Home / Medicine & Policy / Proposed Medical Marijuana Bill Would Help Epilepsy Patients (VIDEO)

Proposed Medical Marijuana Bill Would Help Epilepsy Patients (VIDEO)

By Brad Broker

“The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.”

That’s the official opinion of The New York Times, which published on Sunday the first part of a series endorsing the legalization of pot. The Editorial Board concluded that “the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco.” However, it did acknowledge concerns about the effects of marijuana on a developing brain and, for that reason, the New York Times would continue “the prohibition of sales to people under 21.”

The debate on recreational pot is likely to continue.  Only two states — Washington and Colorado — have legalized marijuana for recreational use.  That fight will be harder to justify than the benefits of medical marijuana.

medical marijuanaNearly three-quarters of the United States have passed bills or are considering legislation regarding medical marijuana. U.S. Congressman Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania) today introduced a bill for patients to have greater access to medical marijuana. The “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014” would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exempt plants containing less than 0.3 percent of THC, which is chemical responsible for the high associated with recreational pot.

“The bill proposes to exclude industrial hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana, ensuring that children and individuals with epilepsy and other debilitating seizure disorders have access to life-changing Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil and therapeutic hemp,” according to the Realm of Caring, a non-profit organization formed by the Stanley family in Colorado to “to provide a better quality of life” through the use of concentrated medicinal cannabis oil.

The Charlotte’s Web strain of marijuana is named for 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 would last for hours.  Her parents met the Stanley brothers, who had developed a strain of marijuana with minimal traces of THC and high levels of cannabidiol, which has been found to control seizures.

Charlotte’s seizures have been reduced to as few as two per month and the Stanley brothers have dubbed their strain “Charlotte’s Web.”

“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,” Rep. Perry said of his proposed legislation. “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.”

This Physicians News story can be republished for free. (See details)

(Photo by Phillip Cowell via Flickr)

One comment

  1. Unfortunately for some reason adults with other disorders for which medical marijuana has proven to have benefit seems to be missing from this discussion.
    I am considering a 13th brain surgery as a result of a severe facial pain disorder, trigeminal neuralgia, which at this point is primarily neuropathic and intractable.
    Studies have shown it does help in neuropathy.
    It is pennywise and poundfoolish to keep this medication from the many who can benefit medically.
    I am disabled and have been for decades as a result of my pain. Instead of the costs inherent in surgery, literally in health care dollars, the literal $$ cost in terms of financial help from the state and federal government, the physical risks of surgery and the potential costs inherent in that, a relatively benign drug, certainly more benign then opium, morphine, demoral, fentynel, and the other heavy duty narcotics on which I have been tried, should be permitted for our doctors, not politicians to decide if their patient should be tried on it and if it works, stay on it.
    Legalization of medical marijuana benefits all, not just patients, such as the ones in the article, and other patients such as myself and those with chronic pain, cancer, AIDS, MS and other disorders for which this medication has proven benefit.

    Carol Jay Levy
    author A PAINED LIFE, a chronic pain journey
    Women In Pain Awareness FB group, administrator
    accredited to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities member U.N. NGO group, Persons With Disabilities
    (The website above is for CNNIreport, my video on why medical marijuana benefits all.)

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