Griffith, Blumenauer Reintroduce Compassionate Access Act to Reschedule Marijuana and CBD

Thursday, February 2, 2017 | Kevin Baird (202-225-3861)

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) today announced that they have reintroduced the Compassionate Access Act to reschedule marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD). The Compassionate Access Act would allow the states to provide appropriate access to patients needing these legitimate medical treatments under the supervision of their physicians.

The Compassionate Access Act sets up a process to reschedule marijuana from its current position as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which asserts the drug has no medical use and limits the ability of researchers to study the drug’s safety and effectiveness as a treatment. The bill provides protections and access to patients, parents of minor children, other caretakers, pharmacies, producers, and testing labs in states where medical marijuana is legal when the treatment is prescribed by a physician. The legislation also exempts CBD from the federal definition of marijuana in recognition of CBD’s unique ability to treat and prevent epileptic seizures, especially in children.

“There are countless reports of marijuana’s medicinal benefits in treating conditions including cancer, epilepsy, and glaucoma,” said Griffith. “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. I am pleased to have Congressman Blumenauer join me again in introducing this legislation. I believe the Compassionate Access Act is a good, responsible approach.”

“For too long our federal marijuana policies have failed the American people,” said Blumenauer. “It’s past time for a change. The Compassionate Access Act will bring us closer to making sure federal law does not get in the way of doctors, researchers, and business owners working to provide safer access to patients.”

BACKGROUND

In 1979, Virginia passed measures to permit the use of marijuana for the purposes of treating cancer or glaucoma. However, this is blocked by the current federal law, which these bills would alleviate. On February 26, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed HB 1445 into law, which adds further protections for patients using CBD to treat epileptic seizures. 

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