Two Congressman just launched their second attempt to reschedule Cannabidiol (CBD).
Is this the game-changer CBD advocates have been waiting for?
You have to give it up for Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith from Virginia and Democrat Congressman Earl Blumenauer from Oregon. They don’t give up without a fight.
In Round 1, the bipartisan Congressmen joined forces to introduce the Compassionate Access Act H.R.1774 into the House of Representatives on April 14, 2015. They recognized CBD’s unique ability to treat and prevent epileptic seizures and felt that CBD’s classification should be changed to reflect this breakthrough.
And right from the get go, it had all the makings of a future law.
Boasting bipartisan support, and backed by the Epilepsy Foundation, the American Academy of Neurology, and Americans for Safe Access, H.R.1774 stood a strong chance of making it all the way through the legislative process.
The purpose of the bill was simple.
It was meant to set up a process to reschedule CBD from its current position as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which asserts the drug has no medical use and limits the ability of researchers to study the drug’s safety and effectiveness as a treatment.
The bill also provided protections and access to patients, parents of minor children, other caretakers, pharmacies, producers, and testing labs in states where medical marijuana and CBD is legal when the treatment is prescribed by a physician.
The legislation also would exempt CBD from the federal definition of marijuana in recognition of CBD’s track record for treating and preventing epileptic seizures – especially in children.
This would therefore allow the states to provide appropriate access to patients needing this legitimate, medical treatment under the supervision of their physician.
If passed, the legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to:
- exclude “cannabidiol” (CBD) from the definition of “marijuana” and remove it from coverage under the CSA;
- limit the concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in CBD to 0.3% on a dry weight basis; and
- deem marijuana grown or processed to make CBD, in accordance with state law, to comply with the THC concentration limit unless the DEA determines state law to be unreasonable.
Unfortunately, a year after the bill was introduced, it reached the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations and was never heard of again.
But thankfully, that was only Round 1. Today, they’re ready to renew their efforts in Round 2.
On January 27, 2017, Griffith and Blumenauer reintroduced the Compassionate Access Act to the House of Representatives as H.R.175.
They hope this time, with nearly a full two years in between the last introduction to this one, their bill will now have the momentum to carry it to the end of the legislative process and into law.
According to Griffith, “There are countless reports of marijuana’s medicinal benefits in treating conditions including cancer, epilepsy, and glaucoma. It is time to research this further, and, where legal, to allow real doctors and real pharmacists to prescribe or dispense marijuana for legitimate medical reasons for real patients. I am pleased to have Congressman Blumenauer join me again in introducing this legislation. I believe the Compassionate Access Act is a good, responsible approach.”
“For too long our federal marijuana policies have failed the American people,” said Blumenauer. “It’s past time for a change. The Compassionate Access Act will bring us closer to making sure federal law does not get in the way of doctors, researchers, and business owners working to provide safer access to patients.”
Don’t Let This Bill Die!
Of course, having legislation introduced and getting it enacted into law are two different things.
Preventing a bill from languishing in someone’s files requires broad support for the issue. Constituents must contact their own senators and representatives and convince them to co-sponsor the bill. The way that is done is by having the lawmaker’s staff contact the original sponsor and ask to have his or her name listed as supporting the bill.
If you want to do your part, we urge you to throw your support behind Compassionate Access Act H.R.175 as well.
To track the bill’s progress, please visit www.congress.gov
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