Currently, more than 300,000 children in American suffer from some form of epilepsy. Many of these children experience more than 100 violent seizures a day— any one of which could be fatal without proper care. U.S. Representative Scott Perry introduces legislation today, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014”, to ensure that children and individuals with epilepsy and other debilitating seizure disorders have access to life-changing Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil and therapeutic hemp. There is anecdotal evidence that CBD oil has been shown to reduce the amount and duration of seizures in children suffering from epilepsy and other seizure disorders. This legislation would enable individuals access to this potentially life-saving supplement without having to split up families geographically in order to receive treatment.
“Earlier this year I was approached by three local families whose children suffer from severe epilepsy”, said Rep. Perry. “As a father, I can’t imagine how helpless and crestfallen I’d feel to be essentially out of options, without any significant way to help my child; and these families live with this circumstance every single day. Their heartbreaking situations compelled me to act at the federal level to enable their access to a supplement that literally has changed lives – not only in the form of relief for the individual who suffers from this condition, but subsequently for their families and loved ones as well. Unfortunately, this plant and its derivatives and extracts are currently banned for medical use at the federal level and are unavailable to the citizens of Pennsylvania; this legislation would remedy that. This bill in no way changes my stance on marijuana—I still disagree with the recreational use of marijuana; however, these children and individuals like them deserve a chance to lead a healthy and productive life and our government shouldn’t stand in the way.”
“We applaud Congressman Perry and his leadership in creating access to this treatment for Americans with epilepsy who have run out of options,” said Philip M. Gattone, M.Ed., President & CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. “As a parent of a child with epilepsy, I know how difficult it can be to stand by as your child has a seizure that you are helpless to stop. The Epilepsy Foundation has supported access to CBD oil – which is showing dramatic results for some patients. Access to a lifesaving treatment should not be determined or limited by zip code. It is time for Congress to enact this sensible bill that could help save lives.”
This legislation in no way federally legalizes the recreational use of marijuana, nor is CBD marijuana; rather, the bill is an incremental approach to providing relief to those suffering from ailments that could benefit from CBD oil and therapeutic hemp. It also doesn’t legalize all forms of marijuana for medical use. It removes CBD oil and therapeutic hemp from the federal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. Therapeutic hemp is defined as having no more than .3% THC, which means it has no hallucinogenic effects of traditional marijuana.
The legislation now moves to the House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary Committees. If it is voted out of committee, it then moves to the full House for consideration.