A marijuana starter plant is for sale at a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, in this November 20, 2012 file photo.
REUTERS/Anthony Bolante

GOP Congressman pushes for federal legalization of marijuana oil


The movement to legalize marijuana oil for the treatment of seizures just got a big push.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) has introduced a bill to nationally legalize CBD oil, or marijuana extract, to treat seizures in children. 

“Earlier this year I was approached by three local families whose children suffer from severe epilepsy,” said Rep. Perry. “Their heartbreaking situations compelled me to act at the federal level to enable their access to a supplement that literally has changed lives – not only in the form of relief for the individual who suffers from this condition, but subsequently for their families and loved ones as well.” 

The move comes in conjunction with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s promise to create a pilot program on the state level for families in need of marijuana oil for their children.  But many Pennsylvania families have complained that the governor’s bill has been slow moving, and time is not on the side of many of these children.

Eleven states, including South Carolina, North Carolina, Utah and Kentucky have legalized marijuana oil for the treatment of epilepsy.  In a re-election year, many Republicans find take a stance supporting the extract is an acceptable median between legalizing medicinal marijuana and banning all forms of marijuana legalization.

“This bill in no way changes my stance on marijuana—I still disagree with the recreational use of marijuana,” says Rep. Perry.  “However, these children and individuals like them deserve a chance to lead a healthy and productive life and our government shouldn’t stand in the way.”

But the movement to legalize marijuana, both in medicinal and recreational forms, has been picking up steam.  The New York Times editorial board just published an article this week calling for the federal government to repeal the ban on marijuana.  And a new Quinnipiac poll in Florida shows young voters in the state calling for the legalization of recreational marijuana, while others polled favored legalizing medicinal marijuana 9-1.

“Forget the stereotypes of stodgy old folks living out their golden years playing canasta and golf,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.  “Almost nine-in-ten Floridians favor legalizing medical marijuana and a small majority says adults should be able to possess small amounts of the drug for recreational purposes.”