Thousands of families got together Wednesday to launch a new initiative that would make medical marijuana more available to critically ill children.
As word of cannabis’s effectiveness in treating illnesses such as childhood epilepsy spreads, more parents seek out medical marijuana. But if these families don’t happen to live in one of the twenty-three U.S. states that currently permit medical marijuana, then the parents either have to move or break the law to get the medicine their children need.
The Coalition for Access Now launched in Washington earlier this week, and announced plans to spread awareness of CBD’s medical effectiveness to the public and lawmakers.
The Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act was first introduced last year by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.). The legislation was named after Charlotte Figi, a 8 year-old who treats her epileptic seizures with CBD. (Side note: Charlotte is also an 8-year-old with a marijuana strain, Charlotte’s Web, named after her. That makes her cooler that every other 8-year-old on the planet.)
The CWMAA was re-introduced into congress last month, including revisions that would take CBD off federal government’s list of Schedule I controlled substances, a legal classification that means CBD has no medicinal value.
“We’re not trying to do something fringe here,” Paige Figi, Charlotte’s mother, told The Huffington Post. “This is a human rights issue. This has been lifesaving for my daughter.” Paige Figi is also a leader of the Coalition for Access Now.
When Charlotte was first diagnosed, she experienced up to hundreds of seizures in a day, and was treated with a mixture of several prescription medications – many of which had unpleasant side effects, none of which actually treated her condition. Three years ago, in desperation, her parents decided to try using an oil extracted from a strain marijuana that was particularly high in CBD and low in THC.
“She’s 99.9 percent seizure-controlled now,” Figi said. “She’s walking and talking and going to dance class. It worked.”
Charlotte’s Web is grown in Colorado, were weed laws are relatively chill. But thousands of families across the country who could use medical marijuana for the same ends find themselves in states that don’t allow prescription cannabis products. Even if they do, they often have laws that make acquiring a doctor’s recommendation or the medicine itself extremely difficult. And even if you do have everything on the up and up, these parents are still violating federal laws if they do fill their child’s prescription.
The CWMAA would eliminate many of these complications by taking the federal laws against marijuana out of the equation.