Zaki Jackson, seen here with his mom Heather, used to suffer through 200 seizures per hour.
Today, a Pennsylvania member of the U.S. House of Representatives will introduce a bill that would federally legalize the kind of CBD-heavy tinctures made by the Teller County-based Realm of Caring
, home to the nationally known strain Charlotte's Web.
Rep. Scott Perry's bill, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014," may go the bizarre route of calling it "medical hemp," but it would allow some 300,000 children in the country access to the treatment by removing CBD oil and "therapeutic hemp" — defined as having no more than 0.3 percent THC — from the Controlled Substances Act.
"This bill in no way changes my stance on marijuana — I still disagree with the recreational use of marijuana," Perry says in a statement
on his website. "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."
In addition to the eponymous Black Forest child Charlotte Figi, who first benefited from the strain grown by the Stanley brothers, there was 10-year-old Zaki Jackson, whom the Indy
profiled last October
"So my friend at hospice, she said to me, 'I can't tell you to try this, but there is this group of brothers who have helped treat a similar case with cannabis oil. I can't tell you to try it, but here's some phone numbers.'"
The brothers — Josh, Jordan, Jesse, Joel, Jon and Jared Stanley, cannabis growers and founders of Realm of Caring — created a strain of cannabis containing minimal THC, the psychoactive ingredient, and very high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), the ingredient considered to provide the most medicinal benefits.
Josh Stanley explains: "We were reading these studies in Israel from the '70s, '80s, and '90s — studies where they saw positive results on lab mice using high-CBD strains. So we decided to give it a try, originally focusing on aiding cancer patients. It was by luck that we discovered it could be so beneficial to those suffering from seizures."