WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 13, 2015)— The Coalition for Access Now- a non-profit coalition comprised of families petitioning for access to therapeutic hemp oil nation-wide—today joined Senators Cory Gardner (RCO) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in a show of support as they announced bipartisan legislation to give families access to life-saving hemp oil therapies. The Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act will amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiol-rich plants, allowing families across the country to obtain hemp oil products for loved ones who suffer from debilitating conditions.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) join Sens. Gardner and Wyden as original cosponsors of the bipartisan legislation.
The announcement of the Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act comes just six weeks after the Coalition, through the help of Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA), introduced the Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015 (H.R. 1635), within the House of Representatives. The Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015 currently has thirty cosponsors within the House, and is rapidly gaining support from both sides of aisle. The bill introduced today will act as the Senate companion to Perry’s legislation.
“The support from our Senate leaders marks a new chapter in our fight for families across the nation to gain access to therapeutic hemp oil that can change their lives for the better,” said Coalition founder Paige Figi. “These displaced families and suffering children have no more time to wait and we are so grateful to the lawmakers who understand that and are leading the charge to grant access now.”
CBD has been shown, through anecdotal evidence, to reduce seizures in some children and adults who suffer from them regularly. Therapeutic hemp oil, a cannabis-derived treatment, contains no more that 0.3% THC, making the hallucinogenic effects of typical marijuana eradicated. However, due to federal legal barriers, many families have been forced to relocate to states where therapeutic hemp oil is legal.
Coalition family representatives from across the nation travelled to Capitol Hill to join Paige Figi and Senators at Wednesday’s press conference to witness the continued momentum of their mission as well as to tell their stories of the struggle of gaining access to life-saving hemp oil therapies.
The Coalition responded to the announcement through a letter of support to the Senators co-sponsoring the Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act. The letter thanked the Senators for their support as well as stressed the need for an emergency passing of the legislation.
The Full text of the letter is included below:
Dear Senator Gardner & Senator Wyden:
The families that comprise the Coalition for Access Now write to thank you for introducing the Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act and to strongly encourage emergency passage of this legislation. Your leadership on this issue not only provides families across our country with the courage to continue their daily fight to provide comfort and care to their loved ones, but reason to be optimistic about their futures. We thank you for recognizing that this is an urgent matter that requires immediate attention from federal lawmakers. More than half of the nation's state legislatures have either passed legislation or are in the process of doing so, and yet our federal government has thus far refused to act, leaving major legal roadblocks to adequate care in place.
Millions of Americans suffer from some form of seizures associated with epilepsy or other conditions. When traditional pharmaceuticals fail these Americans, both they and their caregivers often are left with a very difficult life. Allowing states to determine access to natural therapeutic hemp oil, which has been shown in many cases to function as an anticonvulsant and, therefore, significantly reduce incidences of seizures, offers these Americans hope. The Coalition is asking Congress to de-schedule therapeutic hemp oil and allow states, physicians, and the research community to determine how best to utilize it.
We look forward to supporting your efforts in any way possible, and urge you and your colleagues to advance this legislation as soon as possible to provide relief to Americans across the country who have run out of hope. Enacting this bill would hurt nobody, yet help so many.
Matt Cook, Paige L. Figi, Geoff Whaling
The Coalition for Access Now is a non-profit organization of thousands of American families that was formed to educate the lawmakers and the public on the difference between hemp oil and marijuana, as well as 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. Through the support of federal lawmakers, the Coalition announced the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015.” The bipartisan legislation will give families across the country the access they need by removing hemp oil from the Controlled Substances Act.
For more information on the Coalition and to join our efforts to give families access to life changing treatments, go to www.coalitionforaccessnow.org or connect with us on Facebook.
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