Two Colorado senators are pushing federal legislation that would allow adults and children suffering from epilepsy and seizure disorders, anywhere in the United States, to consume special strains of medical cannabis, including CBD-rich extracts.
The Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act, supported by the National Epilepsy Foundation, is sponsored by Republican Senator Cory Gardner and Democrat Michael Bennet, both of Colorado — in addition to Republicans Orrin Hatch of Utah and Johnny Isakson of Georgia.
At the official unveiling of the bill on May 13 in Washington, D.C., Senator Gardner said:
“Colorado has become a haven for people in need and parents desperate to pursue treatment for their children. Making this medicine available nationwide is the right thing to do and would help families cope with these serious illnesses.”
Senator Bennet added:
“No parent wants to see their child suffer. At the very least, we should ease these restrictions to ensure that families have access to the medicine that their kids need.”
However, the Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act isn’t the only effort in Congress to legalize the use of life-saving CBD oils and other cannabis products by children and adults with treatment-resistant diseases such as rare forms of epilepsy.
The CARERS Act, a competing bill sponsored by New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul (among others), is seeking to make CBD oil legal for children and adults. Like the Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act, CARERS has solid Republican support from leaders like Paul and Dean Heller, a senator from Nevada.
As more states move to legalize at least medical marijuana, pressure is being applied at the federal level by progressive senators like Gardner, Bennet, and Heller to make patients who take advantage of such state laws also legal at the federal level. Such nationwide legality would remove a shroud of fear — which has included violent DEA busts of individuals and dispensaries — that has prevailed over those states that have legalized medical cannabis.