United States experts back marijuana-based drug for childhood seizures

WASHINGTON -- A panel of government health advisers is recommending approval of a medicine made from the marijuana plant to treat childhood epilepsy, moving the medication closer to the U.S. market.

The Food and Drug Administration experts voted unanimously Thursday in favor of the experimental medication from GW Pharmaceuticals. The company's medicine is made from a chemical found in the cannabis plant - one that does not get users high.

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Experts said the drug reduced seizures in children with two rare forms of severe epilepsy.

If the FDA follows the group's recommendation, the syrup-based medicine would become the first drug derived from cannabis to win federal approval in the U.S. The FDA is expected to make its decision by late June.

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