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Highlights from the Hill August 21, 2014

Representative Perry Introduces Bill to Improve Access to CBD

On July 28th Representative Scott Perry introduced the Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014 (H.R. 5226), which would remove therapeutic hemp form the Controlled Substances Act. This legislation would expand the availability of this treatment option and make extracting cannabidiol (CBD) oil legal at the federal level by allowing cannabis with less than .3% THC to be grown as therapeutic hemp. 

About a third of people living with epilepsy suffer from uncontrolled seizures, despite available treatments, which can lead to disability, injury and even death. In states where medical cannabis is legal, many patients with epilepsy have reported beneficial effects from using CBD. This is why people living with uncontrolled seizures turn to medical cannabis when all other options have failed. 

We were proud to be present at the introduction of the bill and will continue to work for the passage of this much needed legislation. You can read more about this bill at http://bit.ly/EF5226. Call your Representative and share your support at http://bit.ly/5226Call

Disability Treaty Passes Out of Committee

On July 22nd the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an important step towards ratification. The CRPD, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and embodies principles of equality, non-discrimination, full inclusion in society, accessibility, and respect for an individual’s dignity. Ratification of the CRPD is important to all people with disabilities, and will help to ensure that people living with epilepsy or disabilities throughout the world can have the same rights as everyone else in order to live full, satisfying, and productive lives, and will allow the United States to maintain its position as a leader on disability rights. Please ask your Senator to vote for ratification at http://bit.ly/CRPDAlert

Charitable Giving Incentives Pass House

The House of Representatives passed legislation that would encourage charitable giving by allowing individuals over the age of 70 to donate up to $100,000 directly from their IRA with tax benefits. This incentive has prompted more than $140 million in gifts to non-profits since it was enacted in 2006. It was in part due to the advocacy of our community that this bill has passed the House, and we are now looking to the Senate to pass this tax incentive and help non-profits who depend on these contributions.

 

States

California Looks to Limit Cost Sharing

The California legislature is considering legislation (AB 1917) that would limit cost-sharing in state commercial health insurance plans, including plans sold in the state’s Health Insurance Marketplace. For persons living with chronic conditions, like epilepsy, this would improve access to lifesaving medications by making them more affordable. At the August 5th Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on AB 1917 the committee heard testimony from an epilepsy advocate who has struggled to maintain access to the medication his physician recommends. The bill passed out of committee, and we need your help to get it through the full Senate and to the Governor’s desk. If you live in California, please ask your Senator to support AB 1917 at http://bit.ly/AB1917

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