Perry Amendment to Protect States’ Ability to Help Children with Epilepsy Passes U.S. House
Washington, June 3, 2015
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives adopted an amendment Wednesday by U.S. Representatives Scott Perry (PA-4) and Bob Dold (IL-10) that allows states who have legalized cannabidiol (CBD) to do so without federal interference. CBD has shown significant results in reducing the amount and duration of seizures in those who suffer from epilepsy. The amendment passed by a vote of 297-130 during debate of the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill, which is expected to pass the House as well.
CBD currently is banned for medical use at the federal level. Although the federal government hasn’t actively interfered with states that have legalized CBD, this amendment would block its ability to do so. Currently, more than 300,000 children in American suffer from some form of epilepsy. Many experience more than 100 violent seizures a day — any one of which could be fatal without proper care.
“People across the nation are being forced to consider geographically breaking up their families to move to states that allow CBD treatment", said Rep. Perry. “The federal government shouldn’t be able 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. Dold said. "I came to Washington to fight for common sense, 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.”
Today’s vote shows growing support for taking action on CBD at the federal level. Reps. Perry and Dold have introduced H.R. 1635, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015”, which ensures that children and individuals with epilepsy and other debilitating seizure disorders have access to CBD oil. Similar legislation, S. 1333, was introduced by U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ron Wyden (D-WY), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
CBD comes from an extremely low THC strain of hemp and its characteristics mirror the Farm Bill definition of industrial hemp. With such a low THC concentration, the hallucinogenic effects of typical marijuana are eradicated. Charlotte Figi, after whom the strain was named, was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome (also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy) and had 300 grand mal seizures per week; after using Charlotte’s Web” (taken internally, not smoked), the Figis saw immediate results with Charlotte, who now has "only" four seizures per month.
To see a short video of Congressman Perry discussing his amendment, please visit http://bit.ly/1Jr6nn3. To learn more about efforts to raise awareness about epilepsy, please visit http://www.purpleday.org/index.html.