Posted: Sep 22, 2014 4:54 PM CST Updated: Sep 22, 2014 5:37 PM CST
By Lawrence Smith – email
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Right now, it’s against federal law to use cannabis oil – a marijuana extract – even for medical purpose, but Louisville Congressman John Yarmuth is co-sponsoring a bill that would change that.
If the bill passes, using cannabis oil for medical purposes would no longer put you in danger of landing at the federal courthouse facing drug charges.
Suzanne De Gregorio’s son, Alex, suffers from autism and epilepsy.
She believes cannabis oil can help control the seizures that have hindered his development.
"Children with epilepsy, they’re finding that it can calm the seizures," she said.
Suzanne is using cannabis oil – or CBD oil – right now to help control the after-effects of chemotherapy for breast cancer.
It’s legal because the oil imported from overseas, but Suzanne wants to see more research before trying it on her son.
"This is for me. I don’t give it to him because you really need a neurologists involvement," she said.
Kentucky has approved research into CBD oil for treatment of seizures, but the trials have stalled because the federal government still considers it a controlled substance.
For her son’s sake, De Gregorio is trying to change that.
"He’s suffered tremendously in his life. I mean the pain, the screams. You wouldn’t believe it. And I promised him when he was very little I’m going to find am answer. I’m going to make this better for you somehow, some way," she said.
Now Rep. John Yarmuth (D-3rd Dist.) has signed onto a bill being pushed by De Gregorio that would decriminalize CBD oil and hemp for medical use.
"The idea that we as a federal government have classified hemp in the same category that we classify heroin makes absolutely no sense, and it’s preventing some very, very important therapies from reaching many of our needy citizens," said Yarmuth.
The bill is called the Charlotte’s Web Act; named after a Colorado girl, Charlotte Figi, whose seizures led to development of a non-intoxicating marijuana extract.
"I believe this could be that answer. I hope it is. I want at least have the right to find out," said De Gregorio.
Yarmuth says the bill will not likely be considered until the next session of Congress. Supporters say they’ll keep pushing.