The Epilepsy Foundation is pleased to support legislation introduced today that would allow children and individuals with epilepsy and debilitating seizure disorders to access cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) has introduced the Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014 (H.R. 5226) to remove therapeutic hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and expand the availability of this important treatment option.
While research is still needed, there have been many anecdotal reports that CBD oil has proven effective for children with the most severe forms of epilepsy. Parents who have exhausted all other treatment options to help their children are going to great lengths to get access to this treatment, even splitting up families. While one parent stays with the family home and works, the other moves to a state where CBD oil is legal to help their child gain access to this treatment option. Rep. Perry’s bill would help families stay together as policymakers continue to address the remaining challenges to accessing this potential treatment option.
“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,” said Philip M. Gattone, M.Ed., president & CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. “That is why the Epilepsy Foundation has supported access to CBD oil – which is showing dramatic results for some patients – and why we applaud Representative Perry for proposing this new bill. We cannot allow access to lifesaving treatment to be determined or limited by zip code.”
“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.”
- Representative Scott Perry
The Epilepsy Foundation will advocate in support of this bill and other actions that can help people living with seizures, including a call for the end to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) restrictions that limit clinical trials and research into the connection between medical marijuana and seizures. If you would like to learn more about CBD oil and which states currently allow the use of medical cannabis, please visit Epilepsy and Medical Marijuana.