Pass the CARERS Act and protect medical marijuana patients
My six-year-old daughter Morgan suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that causes frequent and dangerous seizures. We’ve tried everything to help her. She’s taken more than 10 different anti-epilepsy medications but at best, she's gone only four weeks without a seizure. Based on our own research, advice from our doctors, and what we’ve heard from families living in other states, we would like Morgan to try cannabidiol oil -- a form of medical marijuana.
For children with similar illnesses in other parts of the country, the results using medical marijuana have been life changing.
Medical marijuana comes in many different preparations, and is prescribed accordingly to treat specific conditions. The treatment Morgan needs would not make her "high", and she wouldn't smoke it. It would come in a bottle just like her other medications, but with fewer side effects. The medications that Morgan has tried have devastating side effects. They gave her kidney stones, ulcerative colitis, and compromise her respiratory system. She should be able to try this much safer option.
But medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. It’s currently a Schedule 1 drug, which means the federal government considers it just as dangerous as heroin and says there is no medicinal value. This means our family would have to move to a different state to get it, or obtain it illegally and risk arrest. I have decided that neither of those choices are good enough for my family.
That’s why I’m supporting the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act -- a bipartisan bill that will let states legalize medical marijuana without federal interference. It will also expand research into the health benefits of marijuana and allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend marijuana to ailing veterans.
The CARERS Act would remove also CBD from scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act, affirming to the world that marijuana does have medical benefits. This bill will change the lives of so many sick and suffering people, like my daughter, around the country.
Please sign my petition asking Congress to pass the CARERS Act.
I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor the CARERS Act. Introduced by Sens. Paul, Booker and Gillibrand and in the House by Reps. Cohen and Young, the bill represents the most important medical marijuana legislation Congress has seen.
The legislation would do the following:
- Prohibits the federal government from interfering in state medical cannabis programs
- Enables Veterans Administration doctors to recommend medical cannabis in states with medical cannabis programs
- Removes some of the barriers to researching medical cannabis, including the NIDA monopoly
- Removes cannabidiol (CBD) from the list of controlled substances
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have laws that legalize and regulate marijuana for medicinal purposes. Twelve states have laws on the books or are about to be signed into law by their governors regulating cannabidiol (CBD) oils, a non-psychotropic component of medical marijuana which some parents are utilizing to treat their children's seizures. Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for non-medical use.
Polls show roughly three-quarters of Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use. A little more than half of voters support legalizing marijuana for non-medical use, in the same way alcohol is legal, taxed, and regulated.
It is time for the Senate to act. Accordingly, I ask you to sign onto this important bill.
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