WASHINGTON (JUNE 4, 2015) – The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted today, by a vote of 297-130, in favor of an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill that will help suffering families from coast to coast receive the therapy they seek. The amendment, offered by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) prohibits the use of federal funds to be used by the Department of Justice to prevent a state from implementing any law that makes it lawful to possess, distribute or use hemp oil.
“The overwhelming bipartisan support of the hemp oil amendment today demonstrates that our federal lawmakers are strongly standing behind the thousands of families struggling to gain access now to the lifesaving benefits of therapeutic hemp oil for our children,” said Paige Figi, founder of the Coalition for Access Now and whose 8-year-old daughter Charlotte inspired the national discussion of the positive health impacts of therapeutic hemp oil. “Keeping the federal law the way it currently is helps nobody, while passage of full Charlotte’s Web legislation would help so many.”
The action in Congress today demonstrates yet another important milestone in the growing momentum for CBD legislation of leaders from all across the country.
“People across the nation are being forced to consider geographically breaking up their families to move to states that allow CBD treatment,” Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) said. “The federal government shouldn’t have the ability to interfere with families who’re just trying to help their children. This important supplement could be the key to mitigating childhood epilepsy – and various other seizure disorders for children as well as adults.”
"Last week I met Sophie Weiss, an inspiring young girl from Round Lake who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy and has over 200 seizures each and every day,” Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL) said. "I came to Washington to fight for commonsense, bipartisan reform that will improve the day-to-day lives of the people I represent, and this amendment offers hope to thousands of kids like Sophie who are in desperate need of this life-saving seizure relief.”
In addition to the amendment that passed today, forty-six Members of Congress and counting have signed on to co-sponsor bills that would allow thousands of families access to therapeutic hemp oil, a therapy used to alleviate severe seizures and other neurological disorders.
The Senate legislation (S. 1333) sponsored by Senators Cory Gardner (R‐CO), Ron Wyden (D‐OR), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) ensures access to children suffering from severe seizures disorders have access to the therapy they need. The U.S. House of Representatives has offered similar legislation called the Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015 offered by Rep. Scott Perry (D-PA), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL), and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MA), among many others.
Many families have found success using therapeutic hemp oil for anti-seizure treatments, but the conflict between federal and state law has forced many families to choose between their homes and adequate treatment for their loved ones. In this case, changing the law to allow for the hemp oil would mean both changing lives and saving lives.
The hardships these families face and the hope they have found in therapeutic hemp oil will be featured on NBC’s Dateline, titled, “Growing Hope” on Sunday, June 7, at 7pm EST. Dateline follows the challenging journey these families underwent when traditional pharmaceuticals failed to work and the relief they found in CBD for enabling their child to live a better life by severely reducing their seizures.
Nearly 3 million Americans suffer from ‘intractable epilepsy’ – characterized by frequent, uncontrolled seizures that place tremendous strain on the patient, often resulting in serious physical problems including brain damage and even death. Charlotte’s Web is named for Charlotte Figi, an 8‐year‐old Colorado resident who was diagnosed as an infant with Dravet Syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy. As the disease progressed, Charlotte eventually came to suffer as many as 300 grand mal seizures in a week. After having exhausted all other treatment options and doing significant research, Charlotte’s parents tried using a low‐THC, high‐CBD strain of cannabis, ingested as oil. The results were immediate and significant: Charlotte’s seizures, and their intensity, were significantly reduced. Instead of suffering dozens per day, she now suffers just a handful per month, and usually in her sleep.
In the years since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, many individuals and families have flocked to the state in order to obtain the medicine for themselves or loved ones suffering from conditions that are treated by the drug. Legalizing this medication nationwide would prevent families from having to uproot and move long distances just to have access to medicines available in some states but not others.
ABOUT THE COALITION FOR ACCESS NOW
The Coalition for Access Now – 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 bipartisan support of federal lawmakers, the Coalition announced a House and Senate bill - H.R. 1635 and S. 1333 which is rapidly gaining support from both sides of aisle to give families across the country the access they need by removing hemp oil from the Controlled Substances Act.
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