Epilepsy Foundation Eastern PA Supports Medical Cannabis Legislation

August 5, 2014 Philadelphia, PA—The Epilepsy Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania (EFEPA) is proud to declare its support
for Representative Scott Perry’s bi-partisan legislation H.R. 5226, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014.” As a patient advocacy organization and the only service provider for individuals with epilepsy in the area, the EFEPA will fight for the needs of its constituents to access potentially life changing treatment options.

Epilepsy is a neurological disease categorized by two or more unprovoked seizures. It is estimated that over 110,000 Eastern Pennsylvania residents  live with epilepsy or seizure disorders, a disease which affects over 2 million Americans and results in nearly 50,000 deaths each year. To date there is no known cure for epilepsy and the “one size fits all” treatment approach for seizures is unacceptable. In fact, one third of people with epilepsy live with uncontrolled seizures. Seizures can have a physical, emotional and economic impact—it’s time to take action and expand treatment options so that all individuals with epilepsy have equal access to a healthy life.

Although medical cannabis has been legalized in 23 states as well as the District of Columbia, countless Americans, including Pennsylvanians, have been denied the right to determine with their doctor the best possible treatment option.  Many have elected to move to different states just to access medical cannabis in hope that this may finally reduce or eliminate their seizures. The EFEPA believes that access to medicine should not depend on an individuals’ zip code. Moreover, in states where medical cannabis is legal, businesses and universities are hesitant to abide by state laws that do not restrict use and/or access to the drug  from fear of federal injunctions. Often patients with medical cannabis prescriptions are still denied right of use. Thus, federal legislation, such as H.R. 5226, is necessary to protect the rights of individuals with epilepsy to maintain equal and consistent access to treatment.

“Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014” will improve the lives of those with epilepsy by altering the Controlled Substances Act to exclude therapeutic hemp and cannabidiol from the definition of marijuana. This will allow medical cannabis to be available for research and clinical trials. Furthermore, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act  will not apply to therapeutic hemp or cannabidiol. The bill clearly states that the act will not prohibit activities related to the production or distribution of marijuana in a State in which such activities are legal under State law. To read the act in full.

The EFEPA urges Pennsylvanians to visit their website and learn about the potential benefits medical marijuana can offer. Individuals who chose to support this treatment option are encouraged to contact their local representative via . Nothing should stand in the way of patients gaining access to this potentially lifesaving treatment when all other options have failed.

For more information about epilepsy or medical marijuana visit