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Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Extracts for Epilepsy

A bill legalizing two marijuana extracts to treat epilepsy were passed by the Virginia Senate yesterday (2/5) by an overwhelming majority.

Democratic Senator Dave Marsden of Fairfax introduced the bill that would allow doctors to legally prescribe and dispense Cannabidiol oil and THC-A oil, the derivatives used to control epileptic seizures.

In a dramatic event two weeks ago during the bills infancy, a young girl had a seizure during the bill’s presentation in committee while she and her mother waited to speak in favor of the legislation.

House Republicans Unveil Mental Health Plan

House Republicans have introduced an alternative proposal to the Governor’s Access Plan for the state’s most severely mentally ill.

The GOP says Governor McAuliffe did not have the authority to create a new benefits program on his own without legislative approval. They say their 124 million dollar plan will benefit 30,000 Virginians, 10,000 more than the Governor’s.

It would provide targeted behavioral health and substance abuse treatment with case management and care coordination through existing provider networks as well as prescription drug benefits.

Campus Sexual Assault Bills Advance

Bills to reform universities’ policies on campus sexual assault response are advancing through Virginia House and Senate committees.

One bill would require universities to identify on students’ transcripts if they have been expelled or suspended for violations of the schools code of conduct.

Another bill would require university police to immediately inform prosecutors once a sexual assault investigation begins and regularly inform them of their progress. However, the victim’s name would be withheld if she does not give her consent.

Virginia Committee Kills Child Labor Tobacco Farming Bill

A bill that would ban child labor in tobacco fields has been killed by the Virginia House of Delegates Commerce and Labor committee.

According to a report by the group Human Rights Watch, children as young as 7 are working in tobacco fields in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, where 90 percent of U.S. tobacco is grown.

Virginia’s current laws do not prevent children ages 14-17 from working on a tobacco farm though those under 14 are required to have parental consent.

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