WASHINGTON (March 25, 2015) – The Coalition for Access Now – a nonprofit organization of family advocates petitioning for access to therapeutic hemp oil for thousands of families across the country – joined Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) and other lawmakers in a show of support as they announced the introduction of the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015.” The bipartisan legislation will allow those suffering from debilitating conditions to gain access to life-saving hemp oil therapies.
“Today marks a crucial moment for thousands of suffering families who have been waiting for access to these therapies,” said Coalition founder Paige Figi. “Today marks a crucial moment for thousands of suffering families who have been waiting for access to these therapies,” said Coalition founder Paige Figi. “Rarely do lawmakers from both sides of the aisle rally around an issue, but today they are standing with us and our children. Our families need access now; we can no longer wait.”
The bill is named for Figi’s 8-year-old daughter Charlotte who, prior to gaining access to therapeutic hemp oil, was plagued by approximately 1200 grand mal seizures monthly. Now, with hemp oil therapy, Charlotte’s seizures are down to roughly 2 per month. By amending the Controlled Substances Act to exclude cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiol-rich plants from the same legal restrictions as marijuana, the Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act will finally allow families across the country access to hemp oil therapies.
Coalition family representatives from near and far, many of whom have been forced into medical refugee status as they uproot their families to travel to states where hemp oil therapies are legalized, travelled to Capitol Hill to witness the bill’s introduction.
“This is a truly bittersweet moment,” said mother and advocate Sally Schaeffer of Wisconsin. Schaeffer led the charge to legalize cannabidiol in her home state, before legislation was implemented, her 7-year-old daughter Lydia died waiting for access to therapeutic hemp oil. “I hope that Congress will not hesitate to move this bill forward so that no other family has to endure the loss of a child as they battle bureaucracy in order to get their hands on a natural, potentially life-changing option.”
Therapeutic hemp oil, a cannabis-derived treatment with low-THC (the chemical that produces a psychotropic effect or “high”) and high-CBD (a known anticonvulsant) has been shown, through anecdotal evidence, to reduce seizures in some children and adults who suffer from them regularly. However, due to the legal barriers surrounding the use of hemp oil therapies, not only are families compelled to overcome geographic hurdles to access, but the medical research community is also hamstringed in its ability to study the many potential health benefits of therapeutic hemp oil. The Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015 will facilitate access for families and researchers alike.
The Coalition for Access Now – a non-profit organization of thousands of American families – was formed to educate the public and lawmakers regarding the health benefits of therapeutic hemp oil for the treatment of chronic health conditions. Limited access to hemp oil due to legal restrictions in many states has created thousands of medical refugees nationally. Amidst the ongoing debate on the legalization of marijuana in the U.S., the Coalition works to inform the public on the differences between hemp oil and marijuana.