My four-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. It will completely legalize high CBD strains of marijuana for medical treatment nationwide.
The CARERS Act would also reclassify marijuana as schedule 2, 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:
- Allow states to legalize marijuana for medical use without federal interference
- Permit interstate commerce in cannabidiol (CBD) oils
- Reschedule marijuana to schedule II
- Allow banks to provide checking accounts and other financial services to marijuana dispensaries
- Allow Veterans Administration physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans
- Eliminate barriers to medical marijuana research.
Twenty-three 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.
Last year, the Republican-controlled House passed an amendment to a spending bill prohibiting the Department of Justice from undermining state medical marijuana laws. This amendment was backed by Sens. Rand Paul and Cory Booker and made it into the final "cromnibus" bill that was signed by President Obama in December. Unfortunately the amendment expires at the end of this fiscal year, making legislation like the Paul-Booker-Gillibrand CARERS Act essential.
The House also passed three other amendments last year letting states set their own marijuana policies, but those amendments never made it into law. 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.
Kate Hintz started this petition with a single signature, and now has 190,539 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.