/ Modified oct 29, 2013 12:51 p.m.

ACLU Suing to Add Cannabis Extracts to MMJ Law

Group files suit in name of 5-year-old with rare form of epilepsy; he's one of the few children in state to have a medical marijuana card.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a lawsuit today that seeks to add marijuana extracts to the list of acceptable forms of cannabis covered by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

The ACLU’s lawsuit is filed on behalf of the parents of Zander Welton, a 5-year-old boy with a rare form of epilepsy.

Welton's is one of less than 50 children in Arizona to receive a medical marijuana card, and his parents said taking cannabis oil pills has made his seizures less severe.

But Welton's parents feel uncomfortable giving the pills to their child so long as Maricopa County officials see marijuana extracts as illegal.

The suit seeks to bar the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office from taking action against the Weltons.

“This case is about the [Arizona Medical Marijuana Act], and when voters said yes to legalizing medical marijuana in 2010, they intended for sick people like Zander to have access to this medicine in forms like extracts,” said Emma Anderson, the ACLU's attorney on the case. “Those are easier to ingest and can be more accurately dosed than simple plant material.”

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has stated he does not think the law covers medicinal use of extracts.

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