Judge Clears the Way for Medical Marijuana Extract in Food

Mar 24, 2014

A judge has ruled that it’s legally OK to use extracts to make medical marijuana sodas, candies and lollipops. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

A medical marijuana lollipop
Credit CBS News

The ACLU had sued on behalf the parents of 5-year-old Zander Welton who has a doctor’s permission to use marijuana for seizures caused by his brain injury. They had been using a tincture made from an extract until Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said it’s only legal to use pieces of the whole plant.

That dried up the supply and forced the boy’s parents to try to feed him products with ground up leaves. But, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper slapped down Montgomery. She said the 2010 voter-approved law is clearly intended to help people with certain medical conditions. And, she said his interpretation “reduces, if not eliminates, medical marijuana as a treatment option for those who cannot take it in plant form, or could receive a greater benefit from an alternative form.”

And, Cooper also pointed out the law also says marijuana can be prepared “for consumption as food or drink.” The judge said extracts not only ensure proper doses but also can make it easier for patients who cannot consume the plant itself. Montgomery said he has not decided whether to appeal.