Folks suffering from seizure disorders all across the United States could soon have access to medical marijuana. Earlier this week, a piece of legislation with bipartisan support was introduced in the House of Representatives that aims to legalize cannabidiol or CBD, which has been shown effective in calming the severity of a number of medical conditions.
The proposal, aptly deemed the Compassionate Access Act, was submitted by Congressman Morgan Griffith, a Republican from Virginia, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon on Tuesday, in hopes of reforming federal statutes surrounding the plant. The primary goal of the bill is to get the Drug Enforcement Administration to downgrade marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug, and in doing so, allow the medical community more flexibility to prescribe and dispense the medicine without risking the wrath of federal prosecution.
Similar to the CARERS Act, which is currently gaining some support in both chambers of Congress, the latest proposal would also completely remove cannabidiol from the Controlled Substances Act, and allow CBD oil to be prescribed and distributed in states that have established medical marijuana programs.
“There are countless reports of marijuana’s medicinal benefits in treating conditions including cancer, epilepsy, and glaucoma,” Griffith said in a statement. “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.”
Interestingly, the bill has managed to garner the support of two influential medical societies, the Epilepsy Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology, both of which want to make cannabis available to patients suffering from debilitating disorders, while also eliminating the federal barriers that prevent them from conducting research.
Congressman Blumenauer claims there are enough people currently benefiting from medicinal cannabis to lend support to the argument of rescheduling marijuana and removing certain compounds from the government’s list of dangerous drugs.
“Well over one million patients are currently benefiting from the medical use of marijuana in consultation with a physician and in accordance with state law” he said. “Yet, all forms of marijuana use remain illegal at the federal level, classified as severely as heroin under the Controlled Substances Act. This makes no sense.”