Perry Scott

US Rep Introduces Bill for National Legalization of Marijuana-Based Oil for Seizures

On Monday, US Representative Scott Perry introduced legislation to nationally legalize a marijuana-based oil that has shown to reduce the amount and duration of seizures in children suffering from epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

Scott Perry has introduced 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. Currently, more than 300,000 children in America suffer from some form of epilepsy, many of which experience more than 100 violent seizures a day. These violent seizures could be fatal without proper care. If passed, this legislation would allow individuals to access this potentially life-saving supplement, without having to move to alternate geographic regions 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.”

The bill is an incremental approach to providing relief to those suffering from ailments that could benefit from CBD oil and therapeutic hemp. The bill would remove CBD oil and therapeutic hemp from the federal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. Therapeutic hemp is that which has no more than .3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical responsible for the ‘high’ from marijuana. The plants used in the oil are grown to be high in CBD, which is credited for the reduction in seizures, but low in THC.

“We applaud Congressman Perry and his leadership in creating access to this treatment for Americans with epilepsy who have run out of options,” said the Epilepsy Foundation’s President & CEO Philip M. Gattone, MEd. “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 a zip code. It is time for Congress to enact this sensible bill that could help save lives.”

The Charlotte’s Web strain of marijuana is named after seven-year-old Charlotte Figi, who suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare and catastrophic form of epilepsy. Charlotte was having up to 300 seizures per week, some of which lasted for hours, to having as few as two per month after treatment with Charlotte’s Web, which contains minimal traces of THC and high levels of CBD.

Perry’s bill will be assigned to a committee, where a passing vote will be required before it can be forwarded for consideration by the entire House.