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Episode #146 – Paige Figi, Coalition for Access Now

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Episode #146 - Paige Figi, Coalition for Access Now

Episode #146 – Paige Figi, Coalition for Access Now

If you’ve heard of Charlotte’s Web in relation to cannabis- the moniker is named after little Charlotte Figi who’s been taking CBD for her epilepsy.
Paige Figi, her mother, returns to catch us up with companion bills in the House and Senate which hope to Deschedule CBD which with the rest of the cannabis plant is a schedule 1 substance in the US.  Paige has found some unlikely allies in the House and Senate and she shares just how she’s done it.
And you’re so inclined, I’d very much appreciate you filling out our new survey at https://survey.libsyn.com/canneconomy

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Page figgi returns

Speaker 2: if you've heard of Charlotte's web in relation to cannabis. The moniker is named after Little Charlotte figgy who's been taking cbd for her epilepsy page, figure her mother returns to catch us up on companion bills in the House and Senate, which hope to dea schedule CBD, which with the rest of the cannabis plant, of course, as a schedule one substance in the US. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on twitter, facebook, instagram, and our new youtube channel with the handle can economy. That's two ends in the word economy. Got The new cannabis economy APP in itunes. You can get us through the itunes podcast APP and Google play and if you're so inclined, I very much appreciate you filling out our new survey at [inaudible] dot Libsyn.com/can economy. That's lip b. s y n pages found some unlikely allies in the House and Senate and she shares just how she's done it.

Speaker 1: Okay, paige figgi is back paige. Thank you for giving us some some time.

Speaker 3: I'm great. I'm great. How are you?

Speaker 1: I'm doing all right. I know that you're doing some important work and it is a and time is of the essence, so I want to make sure that to get to that. But first things first, how is my friend Charlotte?

Speaker 3: Uh, yeah. Charlotte's great. So Charlotte's my daughter, she has epilepsy. If you don't know this story, she uses cannabidiol or CBD. She's been using this substance for four and a half years to control her life threatening. Very, very severe epilepsy disorder. So she's been on it four and a half years. We've been out of the hospital and nonmedical for, for that time and she's on no other drugs. She's walking, she's outside riding a bike with a friend right now. So, um, it's been, you know, it's been life changing. She's doing great. She's in school. She started school this year. She's a nine and hasn't really left my care for all those nine years until, until recently. So it's, um, it's been a pretty incredible journey to watch her, to watch her succeed. She had a rough, very rough time with jurvay syndrome. She was, she was in hospice, she was in a wheelchair. She couldn't swallow. She couldn't breathe and, and so to see her transform from that, to, to this and, and, and not, not on any of these powerful drugs, pharmaceutical drugs is pretty, is pretty eyeopening.

Speaker 1: I mean it was, it, it was just unbelievable that to just hang around with her, you know, when I was there, um, you know, she, she is nonverbal, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't communicate. I was definitely communicating with her and she was definitely communicating with me. How, how does school work for her? How, how, what is that setup?

Speaker 3: Yeah. So she gets up early in the morning. She gets the bus, comes and picks her up. She has a talking machine so she can push the button. So she's all in there in her head. She just can't express it as well. So she has a couple words, you know, a couple of, like 100 words she uses, but she can push the buttons on the machine. It looks kind of like an ipad and then she can say, I want to have spaghetti for dinner. Sure. I want to go ride my bike right now. And so she can communicate, it's just, um, people have to learn how to, how to interact with her and she loves it. And then she comes home at the end of the day and uh, she loved school. It's a brand new experience for her. So yeah, it's a life has gotten very thankful.

Speaker 1: That's unbelievable. When did she start using this machine?

Speaker 3: She's been using it since she was two because her syndrome, typically these kids are speech effected. So don't, they all sort of dwindle in their speech. They're all, they all have some speech delays. So I knew that was headed down her path when she was a little baby and um, we started it pretty young so she uses it really well because we started so young. Yeah. So she's got that tool. It's nice. And, and she's, you know, she can communicate with us.

Speaker 1: I, I a personal question. What, what, you know, I understand I want to go ride my bike. You know, I, I, I like spaghetti and I'd like Spaghetti for dinner. What kind of emotional connection does she make with the, with the device? Does you know how, how often does she tap into her own emotions?

Speaker 3: You know, it's, that is probably, this is really interesting. She uses it to communicate, to interact with people so when you're sick or special needs, especially when she was in a wheelchair and on a hospital bed, people don't, I don't. There's not a physical connection and you don't really think about this too much, but how often do you go up to someone in a wheelchair and, and embrace them or you know, they're not sitting in your lap and reading a book. A little kid. So she really lost that when she was real sick and so she uses it to interact so she sees you. She'll make eye contact and she'll open the talker and she usually goes right to his. This is my brother's name is maxwell and this is my twin sister chase and this is the, you know, these are the things we do together.

Speaker 1: Page figgi returns

Speaker 2: if you've heard of Charlotte's web in relation to cannabis. The moniker is named after Little Charlotte figgy who's been taking cbd for her epilepsy page, figure her mother returns to catch us up on companion bills in the House and Senate, which hope to dea schedule CBD, which with the rest of the cannabis plant, of course, as a schedule one substance in the US. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on twitter, facebook, instagram, and our new youtube channel with the handle can economy. That's two ends in the word economy. Got The new cannabis economy APP in itunes. You can get us through the itunes podcast APP and Google play and if you're so inclined, I very much appreciate you filling out our new survey at [inaudible] dot Libsyn.com/can economy. That's lip b. s y n pages found some unlikely allies in the House and Senate and she shares just how she's done it.

Speaker 1: Okay, paige figgi is back paige. Thank you for giving us some some time.

Speaker 3: I'm great. I'm great. How are you?

Speaker 1: I'm doing all right. I know that you're doing some important work and it is a and time is of the essence, so I want to make sure that to get to that. But first things first, how is my friend Charlotte?

Speaker 3: Uh, yeah. Charlotte's great. So Charlotte's my daughter, she has epilepsy. If you don't know this story, she uses cannabidiol or CBD. She's been using this substance for four and a half years to control her life threatening. Very, very severe epilepsy disorder. So she's been on it four and a half years. We've been out of the hospital and nonmedical for, for that time and she's on no other drugs. She's walking, she's outside riding a bike with a friend right now. So, um, it's been, you know, it's been life changing. She's doing great. She's in school. She started school this year. She's a nine and hasn't really left my care for all those nine years until, until recently. So it's, um, it's been a pretty incredible journey to watch her, to watch her succeed. She had a rough, very rough time with jurvay syndrome. She was, she was in hospice, she was in a wheelchair. She couldn't swallow. She couldn't breathe and, and so to see her transform from that, to, to this and, and, and not, not on any of these powerful drugs, pharmaceutical drugs is pretty, is pretty eyeopening.

Speaker 1: I mean it was, it, it was just unbelievable that to just hang around with her, you know, when I was there, um, you know, she, she is nonverbal, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't communicate. I was definitely communicating with her and she was definitely communicating with me. How, how does school work for her? How, how, what is that setup?

Speaker 3: Yeah. So she gets up early in the morning. She gets the bus, comes and picks her up. She has a talking machine so she can push the button. So she's all in there in her head. She just can't express it as well. So she has a couple words, you know, a couple of, like 100 words she uses, but she can push the buttons on the machine. It looks kind of like an ipad and then she can say, I want to have spaghetti for dinner. Sure. I want to go ride my bike right now. And so she can communicate, it's just, um, people have to learn how to, how to interact with her and she loves it. And then she comes home at the end of the day and uh, she loved school. It's a brand new experience for her. So yeah, it's a life has gotten very thankful.

Speaker 1: That's unbelievable. When did she start using this machine?

Speaker 3: She's been using it since she was two because her syndrome, typically these kids are speech effected. So don't, they all sort of dwindle in their speech. They're all, they all have some speech delays. So I knew that was headed down her path when she was a little baby and um, we started it pretty young so she uses it really well because we started so young. Yeah. So she's got that tool. It's nice. And, and she's, you know, she can communicate with us.

Speaker 1: I, I a personal question. What, what, you know, I understand I want to go ride my bike. You know, I, I, I like spaghetti and I'd like Spaghetti for dinner. What kind of emotional connection does she make with the, with the device? Does you know how, how often does she tap into her own emotions?

Speaker 3: You know, it's, that is probably, this is really interesting. She uses it to communicate, to interact with people so when you're sick or special needs, especially when she was in a wheelchair and on a hospital bed, people don't, I don't. There's not a physical connection and you don't really think about this too much, but how often do you go up to someone in a wheelchair and, and embrace them or you know, they're not sitting in your lap and reading a book. A little kid. So she really lost that when she was real sick and so she uses it to interact so she sees you. She'll make eye contact and she'll open the talker and she usually goes right to his. This is my brother's name is maxwell and this is my twin sister chase and this is the, you know, these are the things we do together.

Speaker 3: So she goes to those pages that we built for her and talks about her siblings, talks about stuff she likes. Orange is my favorite color. And so I think that's really interesting and that shows a level of, I don't know, understanding that she, you know, she wants to interact with strangers and other people and it's um, you know, it's nice that we have technology to do that now, but it's sort of sad that, you know, how we treat people. I think people are afraid to approach a special or a disabled person and they don't know they're afraid of being reproached I guess. Are you, you know, told. No. So I think it's scary. But yeah, she sort of breaks the ice with her talking machine.

Speaker 1: Two things to that end, you know, my, my mom was sick and unfortunately passed away about 10 years ago and she was in a wheelchair at, uh, at points and um, you know, didn't look too great and absolutely, uh, I can attest to what you're saying, which is just the general public and even, you know, kind of acquaintances don't quite know what to do with a sick person. You know, I, I hear you there.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And it's, yes, we're afraid of somebody saying the wrong thing, just afraid of making a mistake. Even me still and having a sick child, I still am afraid to offend somebody who is in a chair and say the wrong thing. So it's, it's fun and it's crippling actually.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. You overthink it. Almost. The other thing that I wanted you to share with the Charlotte, if you don't mind, is that my favorite color is also orange.

Speaker 3: See, that's rare. That's a rare. It's a sign of intelligence. That's what that is.

Speaker 1: Yeah. That's where I'm going with. Yep, exactly. Um, you mentioned chase and A. Well we've had some news there I guess is a, is a way to say it.

Speaker 3: Yeah. We've had a, we've had a rough week. So her twin sister chase is a, they're not identical. Chase does not have her, her disease. And she's a normal kid. Normal nine year old kid who's, who's been sort of Charlotte's watch her, her overseer nurse, her mommy for nine years. She's just had a seizure last week, a massive seizure and ended up in hospital and, and so it was devastating for us because now she has to go through all this testing. It's probably related genetically. Um, it's pretty devastating. Chases is a, is a really bright. She's nine going on 20. I don't know how else to explain. It says real independent, real sharp. Never has never complained or fuss to her her entire life. Easy kid and a little tomboy. And so it's hard to see a healthy kid. You know, Charlotte started seizing when she was three months old and, and to see you're perfectly normal child, have a, have a tonic clonic seizure, a grand mal seizure.

Speaker 3: Knowing what I know and knowing what chase knows, it was pretty devastating. She's terrified. And um, you know, who knows what it's going to bring. We're pretty tough family. We've been through the ringer so we'll deal with that and just like we always do with a smile but, but yeah, you know, it's, it's tough. And you know, I watched her her whole life, like a hawk. I watched this kid waiting to see if she was going to have a seizure. I've watched her brother Max waiting to see if he was going to have one in a different way than most parents hover over their children and they didn't. Then they ended up, everything's fine. They're bright kids and, and so, yeah. I don't know what's going to happen and it, I guess that doesn't really matter. Everything happens how it's supposed to happen.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And to that end, do you have any insight, um, is anyone sharing with you how this happened, why this happened, any of that information?

Speaker 3: No, she's every, all the tests, just like Charlotte were negative. She's perfectly healthy. Everything's totally fine. Now we're going to get into the real, real deeper expensive testing, the million dollar workup they call it and uh, you know, genetic blood work and, and really dig in and start treatment and that's the thing, you know, to, to see her sister fail every drug and in and succeed on CBD oil. I would like to start to and to see the side effects of all these drugs. I'm not anti drug. I want chase to have a successful seizure-free life, but I would like to try the path of least resistance that I would like to give her the therapy with the most effective therapy with the least amount of side. I'd like to try that first and that therapy is, is, is federally illegal and, and so that leads into what I do in DC and what I've been doing. It's just ironic now I'm, I'm doing it for millions of people, but it's ironic now. I have two very personal family reasons to, to now push for this legislation.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. And, and I, I want to get to the work of one last question on chase you, you mentioned that she's terrified. I would imagine that's because she, she knows she has too much information almost

Speaker 3: she knows too much than any nine year old should have ever witnessed. She used to say goodbye to her sister every night. We didn't think she was going to make it every single night. She was just really bad, really bad situation. We brought her home, we signed a do not resuscitate. I stopped calling the ambulance and we just, we kind of actually sadly hoped it would happen faster because she was suffering. It was, it was bad. I hate to admit that out loud, but I, but I do because it's honest. So chase would say, hope you don't die tonight. Give her a kiss, say goodnight. And they split part ways. Go to bed and wake up. She'd peak in early in the morning, chase's eyes first. And did she survive the night? She'd hear her seizing all day and all night, you know, hundreds of seizures a week. And um, and watching her, her word chases words were this week, am I going to dwindle away like Charlotte and I'm, I going to lose my personality, am I going to. What's going to happen to me? So she knows way too much. You're right. Exactly.

Speaker 1: Oh my God, I die. What do you even say you to hold? My goodness.

Speaker 3: You know, I think you just have to. Um, I think everyone's watching my other child is watching me. I think she watches me deal with Charlotte and, and you make your situation what you want it to be. We're dealt very different. Hands every, every one of us and you make it how you want it to be. And so I'm not a victim, you know, we are, we live, I homeschool my other two children and you know, we live a positive life. We turn lemons into lemonade or whatever you want to call it. So we're gonna make this right. Everything happens for some reason that we don't always know and we're going to turn this into a good thing.

Speaker 1: Yeah. No, and I don't mean to talk about you while I'm talking to you, but you know, when I did meet you, I do know that, uh, you're absolutely one of the strongest people that I've ever met and we don't know each other well, but I know that that's true. So learning from somebody, uh, yeah, they're, they're learning from the right person, I think in that, in that area. Okay? So let's also learn from you as far as the work is concerned. I'm now first get into specifically, you know, you did the last time we spoke on the podcast, but just to give us a quick overview of why cbd works for Charlotte.

Speaker 3: Well, that's the thing that we don't know and we don't know how any of the epilepsy drugs work. We don't know the mechanism. CBD is no different. People speculate. The reason we don't is because it is classified as a schedule. One substance dislike many medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is a schedule one substance federally. And so we cannot do research easily at almost at all on this plant. It is very, very difficult. So we can't really know. Even if we could do research, it's very difficult to understand the mechanism of action for these drugs. So, you know, we know it's a neuroprotectant the NFL is using this for their traumatic brain injuries that they sustain everyday for to entertain us. And um, uh, people with head head trauma, concussions, that sort of thing. Als, anything that's progressive and, um, were you decline and it's a progressive disease where you wear your neurons, your nerve cells are damaged like epilepsy.

Speaker 3: It is, it is known to be a neuroprotectant, it's known to be an anti inflammatory, so we, I would imagine those two things together would make it a powerful seizure drug. All I know is this, the day we started this, four and a half years ago and she stopped seizing almost entirely. We're almost 100 percent seizure control. She still has seizures here and there in her sleep, but we're like 99 point nine percent seizure control and um, and so that's all I need to see it with no side effects. And so you know that we're not sure how it works, but that's what, that's what I'm seeing. And that's unheard of. These drugs are very strong. These others, pharmaceuticals are very strong, very par. They sedate your brain or they sedate you and it's a slew of side effects to deal with as well, but you have to control the seizures because they are life threatening

Speaker 1: and, and you, you, you just, uh, you just said it, you know, you, we know that it works because it works. She doesn't have seizures or 99 percent of the time, she doesn't have seizures. And just to make sure that we talk about everything. Is she taking anything else or is it just the CBD? Nope. Nope.

Speaker 3: She just takes cbd oil in a daily Vitamin and um, and, you know, and that's the interesting thing. Everyone wants to know how it works, but, but we freely give and prescribe pharmaceuticals with no clue how they work on epilepsy to children. They've never been studied on children, no drugs. She's used, I don't believe, but one have been studied on a child her age when she was on these drugs for epilepsy. So, so it's not that far fetched. In fact, it's normal to use a substance, see that it's working and hopefully someday we'll figure it out, but we just don't know how they work. And um, but yeah, so it's working. She's, it's, it's obvious. It's working for many, many people. This isn't, this isn't one a one off story. This is an anecdotal kid anymore. There's, there's hundreds of thousands probably, I don't know, the number million people using this and um, and it's, it's obviously successful pharmaceutical companies are a rapidly scrambling to go into research to, to study cbd and sell a product that is very telling that this is efficacious for or at least for epilepsy for sure. And many other things, I'm sure.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And you know, there are a really know not left wing states that, uh, that already have a cbd laws on the books. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah. I mean, you don't get more red than these cbd states. Right,

Speaker 3: right. And so that's what happened is we started this, uh, we, people started to kate come here. When the media got ahold of the story, they started to come here from other countries and other states and t to have access because it wasn't legal in Alabama, let's say. And so we were fine. Everything was good. Charlotte was, was, was doing really well. And so I wanted to help these, these refugees, the media calls them, you guys call them the medical refugees. They were, they had to leave their states and countries and come here, so I wanted to go back and help them and they asked me to come testify because Alabama for for an example didn't know. They don't know what it looks like, what a successful program might look like, or New York. They passed a medical marijuana bill. They didn't understand what it would look like.

Speaker 3: They needed somebody to come and explain the success story. I'm a mother of a kid that's succeeding, so they had the problem and I guess I sort of represented the the solution or the success story so it. So it made sense back then. I went back to a lot of these states when I was asked to testify at their hearings to pass bills and like you said, a lot of these states were authored by very republican bill authors and very, very red states and so that we're not willing to do anything more. So I sort of got pigeon holed as the CBD promoting cbd only bills and that is not, that's not the case. I just went back to help people get back home. We sat and deliberated with the legislation, they were only willing to do this or that hemp, only there were only willing to have a, a thc level below this or no smoking and so on and so forth.

Speaker 3: And, and so the urgency to help these dying people trumped the, the need to have a 10 year wait or a 20 year wait or a 40 year wait to pass a larger recreational or medical marijuana bill. So, so it was like a stepping stone for some of these states to help some people right now while they continue to work on a bigger bill. And um, so I helped with that. And then we, you know, a lot of states I think was a year and a half is 17, 18 states passed a bill in a year and a half time. So in three of the estates were full medical marijuana, Maryland, New York and Minnesota. And the rest were cbd type of bills have been cbd oils for children for epilepsy. And so that's a very rapid reforming a really short amount of time. And so DC, Washington DC took notice. The federal government said, okay, almost every state has a law at this point to have illegal use or possession, at least possession of cbd oil and and so we have to get involved because we're almost at 50 and the other states that don't have a law yet written and passed our writing it or passing it right now through committee so we have to get involved, and Scott Perry in the House of Representative Scott Perry out of Pennsylvania, authored the bill, a two d schedule cbd to completely remove cbd and hemp from the controlled substance act, and both of those exist there as a schedule one substance and it's just a quick, easy thing to fix.

Speaker 3: It's a mistake that was made. Nobody really opposes this. This is, we're talking about a component of the cannabis plant that is not intoxicating. You don't get high, No side effect. There's no danger can overdose. You can't die from an overdose on that whole plant, and so cbd is kind of everyone agrees cbd should be a urgently made accessible. It should exist as a dietary supplement and we need to do this rapidly while we continue to work on any other thing we need to work on in DC. This is just one little tiny bill that, oops, we screwed up. Millions of people are begging to use the substance and it's illegal and it's a silly mistake.

Speaker 1: And, and for the rest of the plant, as far as cannabis is concerned because it's psychoactive. Let's just leave that alone. Let's take the non psychoactive CBD. Let's just focus in on that and let's do schedule that.

Speaker 3: Yep, and there are other bills that are working on rescheduling thc. There's bills that are for dea, scheduling the. That was hemp bills. There's a lot of their six, I believe right now, six bills in DC that are at varying levels of possibility I guess, and I don't know how. I don't have a magic ball. I don't understand how that, you know, how someone can, can, can tell you if bill's gonna pass or not, but what you can do is look at who is cosponsoring the bills and, and how much chance of passage it'll have. And and who, what committee it's assigned to and Blah de Blah, and you can sit there and pick apart which you know what the climate is in DC and what they get a different media source. They don't. They have their own political media source in DC so they don't get these stories.

Speaker 3: I, they, they have very old fear based, I dunno, stigmas attached to the plant. So it's very difficult to discuss cannabis in DC for decades. They've been working on this. DC is now willing to, to, to talk about it and passed cbd and hemp alone. They'd been working on this for 15 years and with no, with no passage of a hemp bill and hemp was, you know, the first flags are first money. This is just hemp for talking about Granola. Denim oil. They'd still, they won't even pass that. And so you can see that it is a slow, difficult problem. Now we have an urgency. We have an absolute population of people that many aren't even touched yet. Now I'm just talking right now today about epilepsy in kids and we know it's much more than that, but we have an urgent reason to talk about this and so we're sort of forcing them to at least put some light on this issue and they're willing to do that and it and it's a republican effort.

Speaker 3: So it's. So. That's interesting. We have the most repeat after. Yeah, go ahead. Sorry. I do want to get into that. I want to kind of zero in you. You've got the house bill, you've got the Senate, a companion, but let's talk about the. You said it's a, it's a republican thing. Talk about the, the, the sponsors, the cosponsors on, on the house side of it, and then we'll get to the senate. So the, so the bill is hr 16, 35 and this is a Scott Perry's bill. Representative Bob Dold has been out there doing press conferences and discussing it. We have representative Paul Ryan who is now the speaker of the house. So Paul Ryan is the, he's the highest ranking elected Republican in the United States and he signed onto the bill before. He was speaker, he can't do that anymore. And so that was very unusual. He did this because of the state work done in Wisconsin.

Speaker 3: He met the children. He, he is, is a Republican and he is against cannabis and, and any of the legislation for cannabis. So it was interesting how, you know, he um, he's a dad, he understands this and I think that, you know, I think that these people, like we talk about, it's a human rights issue. I think they understand this. I don't think it's, I don't think it religion is involved. I don't think red or blue is involved. That's why it's so bipartisan. The bills almost perfectly bipartisan, which is really unusual. So, so we have some big, very powerful leadership. What are some other states and names on the house side, and then we'll get to the. So the, the house bills got 64 cosponsors we have, we have almost every state represented. The heaviest representation is from states that have been working heavily on a state bill and they're hearing that media.

Speaker 3: They're seeing the success. They're seeing that the sky didn't fall when Georgia or Florida, you know, pass legislation and nothing fell there. Abuse isn't happening. That diversion of CBD oil to in the wrong hands. That's not a real thing. That's not happening. So they're getting involved and um, Colorado, we just, our, our last most recent house representative just a couple days ago is, is a representative from Colorado. So we have, we have five from Colorado, we have six districts and the only one from Colorado is just a staunch cannabis opponent and he won't sign onto this and it never probably never will. So that, and that's fine. But we had an amendment passed. It was 297, yes votes. Votes in the Congress to vote to not use federal funds to prosecute for CBD oil possession. So 297 guys in the House and women in the house are for this.

Speaker 3: And so we should have 297 names on it there. It's just, it's just time consuming. The Coalition for access now that's the platform for this bill. That's the nonprofit in DC that is pushing, that's the book. The voices, all these parents and patients make up the coalition and so it's just time consuming. People are sick or their parents of sick kids and and so 297 is an overwhelming majority on in Congress and the house side that are in favor of cbd dea scheduling, so I'm not too worried about that. That's possible. On the house side, the Senate bill, the Senate companion is as 1333 and that bill is, is was recently dropped and that is moving quickly. We have a senator about a senator a month cosponsoring the bill, and that's what we're looking for. We're looking for a heavier cosponsorship so we can prove that this is, you know, this is not an issue.

Speaker 3: No one's afraid of this and it's not the number. So much of cosponsors. It's the names. I mean it's the names on these bills. These are people who would never come on to agricultural hemp. They would never come on to cbd. They would never come onto a cannabis bill. So it's changed. The dialogue has changed the face of this. It's changed. The whole mentality around that is this medical is this legitimately medical and of course we know that this is a therapeutic plant. It needs to be dealt with. It's a, it's a thing no one wants to talk about, but it's gonna. It has to be dealt with and this is a presidential campaign year and that's all we're going to hear about. So it's the chances of bill passage, I think our one percent right now and uh, typically in this type of year, so that's not great for anybody's bill and um, where, and we'll get to the fact that time is of the essence, but give us some of the names that you already have on the, in the Senate, on the bill.

Speaker 3: The Senate bill was written in Colorado by Senator Cory Gardner, who's a Republican here in Colorado. He is, he is making 13, 33, his top priority. This is, this is his top priority and that is saying a lot because we, there are bigger issues, war and major, major issues in Congress. And so it's an honor to, to have these guys. We have, we have Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander and these two senators are important because not only are they Republican, uh, Utah, Orrin Hatch from Utah and Alexander is from Tennessee. Both states passed cbd legislation. Youtube was actually the first state to even address CBD legislation. And so these guys are, they together represent the controlled Substances Act, the written, the writing of that, and the FDA and they are giving their stamp of approval that can have an aisle, should be a dietary supplement with this, with their names on this bill that's there. They're saying this is crazy. Um, we've Ron Johnson, we have Mike Lee, Mike Lee Being probably the most conservative member of Congress and most recently Mark Warner of Virginia in Virginia has been working very hard to change their laws and successfully, almost unanimously most of these states were almost unanimous. Yeah. And you said it or Orrin Hatch,

Speaker 1: Lauren Alexander, the, these are old guard guys. You know, these are, these are old men from really red states. Um, who, who were on this bill, have you had a chance to talk to either of them? You know, uh, personally, um, if so, if not, what are they sharing with you?

Speaker 3: Oh, absolutely. I've met, I've met with all of these senators themselves. They're in support. They, they understand this, they, they love that this is being brought out. They'd love that this is happening. The United States, they're proud. We're proud of our, of our health here are health and research and future forward is how people think of our healthcare here. Some people don't agree with that, but we are, you know, we are uh, we are able and to do research and we should be doing more and so this, there are thoughtful people. They're intelligent people. They didn't get elected and reelected and reelected for all these years for no reason. And they understand their job is to represent their state and their district. There. It is not just their personal opinion. They are elected to represent what their constituents want. And so their state and spoken and that's what you taught on it.

Speaker 3: And that's. And that's what, what Orrin Hatch's representing. So he's 100 percent. These people have all been 100 percent tears in their eyes, supportive of this and um, it's an honor to work with, with, with these people I think. Say what you want about some of them. I wish, I know it's personal and I know politics is, is a difficult, you know, it gets, it gets heated, but these are thoughtful people. The Senate is this slower, thoughtful body. They're going to put more thought into this. My job is not to say I don't want this to go on the typical congressional timetable. This is a different issue. This can go a little faster. We have an urgency to get this done a little faster and um, and that's my only agenda to go help. People were fine. Charlotte has access. I live in Colorado. We can't leave the state of Colorado.

Speaker 3: She hasn't left the state in four and a half years and chase is actually out of the country on a trip right now. So she can't even start this oil if I wanted to. But you know, I, I see people dying waiting to decide. Do they, do they wait and change the law in their state? Do they break the law or do they refugee to Colorado? That's there's three choices and that's not acceptable. This is America. And so we're just trying to fix this one little thing. It's totally possible. It's totally fixable. That's racing forward. And we are, we just need some help to get it done. We need more voices. Every senator I've met with in DC, we take trips often has just asked to hear from your constituents. They want to make sure they've, they've picked through every detail, every, um, you know, devil's advocate on this issue and made sure everything is as good and I want to make sure their state supports this.

Speaker 3: And um, and so we're asking people to reach out and contact their, their legislators and ask to cosponsor the bill. Alright, well, so coalition for access now that's the website, right? Dot Org.org. Okay. And then, uh, what do I do when I go to do something? If I want to take, say, when you go to coalition, you can read the bills, you can read about what it stands for, we should, you should know what you're, what you're supporting here through and through. It's a very short, simple bill. And again, the bill de schedules removes it entirely from the controlled Substances Act, cbd, both and hemp and makes them, uh, what would be a dietary supplement if you wanted to use cbd. And so you would go to the website coalition for access now.org. Go to the take action link and you can decide you want to email these people, do you want to make a phone call?

Speaker 3: And it's an automatic reply. You can also add in your personal story, but we've written it and asking for their support and you just click your, you type in your zip code and you click it and it's seconds. And um, and they hear from you. I have heard from a couple senators, they say if they get. This is a fascinating to me. If they get 20 phone calls on an issue that is an important issue and that the issue could be one year, it could be one month, it could be a decade of one bill. If they have heard from 20 people on the telephone on a bill, they know that bill should go to the top of the pile and I think that's outrageous. 20 people, how many people did they represent and that's how few of us that speaks to a few of us actually reach out.

Speaker 3: You know, we can go on social media and comment and have political opinions, but it would take less time to go support actual written legislation that it, you know, then to just form an opinion about it, it just takes seconds to do that and then share it. And, and this is how it's getting done. I think this process and our country works. I'm proud of America. I'm proud to live here. It isn't like this everywhere. Every other country doesn't. It doesn't have it like this where they have a say and I'm watching the. I'm literally from start to finish watching a bill race through and get past and um, it's, it's how it's supposed to work and I'm proud to say that's, you know, it's, it's working. I just, I would like more people to reach out in and help. I think what happens is people think this is too small of an issue and there's bigger issues like full cannabis scheduling, which is absolutely much, much bigger issue and so why waste time on, on the smaller things, but this sets a precedent if they don't pass this bill, if people don't agree with this or it doesn't get passed or we don't get.

Speaker 3: If it doesn't pass by July, again, the doldrums of August, the presidential election, it's, it's, it's dead again until next session. Um, if this doesn't pass, it's going to be much, much harder to, to touch thc and can't the whole cannabis plant. It sets a precedent and enhance cbd over to pharmaceutical interests for financial gain. And I think that is wrong. I think both can coexist. I think it should be A. I have shared with drug companies are dosing. I've shared with them patients who wanted to get into clinical trials that we've helped raise their drug to through clinical trial process and I think both should exist, but I do not think and no scientists will defend that cbd should be a schedule one. Nobody if you read the definition of what is a scheduled, absolutely not.

Speaker 1: Yeah. No, it would, it makes no sense that it is. Um, so what we're saying is that if 20 people call then the senator or congressman takes action and we've got nearly half or over half of, uh, you know, the house and the Senate already on the bill. So who are the folks that you're focused on? You know, if I'm listening now in what particular state with what particular senator? With what particular representative or especially a would a call or an email do a, do you? Good.

Speaker 3: You know, the, the bill is assigned to the judiciary committee. So we have what? We have heavy, heavy representation on judiciary, but it'd be nice to have them all in the bill that would send a signal that this does not need to go through the long, lengthy, slow committee process. This is a little issue. Everyone agrees. Let's just get this done. The chair of that committee is Senator Grassley, Senator Grassley is, is coming almost full circle on this. He, he's starting to understand it, but he is staunchly opposed to cannabis and he is the chair of that committee and we need his blessing. However, if we can overwhelm opposed to a. he's staunchly opposed to a lot of things these days. Yeah. So he is opposed, but he listens and he is sitting down and taking the time to learn and, and I can't say how many meetings has had on this issue, but he's taken the, he's taken the issue.

Speaker 3: He is also simultaneously holding hearings on cannabis and stacking the hearings with opposition with cannabis opposition, with known, uh, supporters of, of Sam and organizations that have for decades been against any form of cannabis use. So we see where he sits on the issue. He is a miracle that he is coming around on CBD, but the thing is, is that we, if we can show him his committee, the whole committee supports this, so I'm looking at states that have, and these are all states that have passed. We're looking at Rhode Island in Minnesota and Connecticut and Texas. Those are heavy states with heavy representation on the bill. Uh, I'm sorry, on the committee and um, and we would like to grab them. Yeah, we would like to have some Minnesota, Texas, Connecticut. We would like to. Rhode Island, we would like to have Illinois. These people come and look at the bill, read it and cosponsor it and learn from their constituents to learn what this bill, how it affects them in Texas, how does this affect them?

Speaker 3: And we now, like you said, uh, we now have more, uh, more uh, senator in Texas as more time on his hands perhaps to maybe take a look at it. That's exactly right. So you know, so things for some people are slowing down. For others it's picking up this is still an issue. These people are still sick and they're still asking for access, are still asking for legal access where they don't have to break the law, somebody doesn't have to break the law, they want to go to school and the schools are federally funded institutions. They would like to travel. They would like to bake. They would like to have research on CBD it, this bill would fix all of these problems and quickly.

Speaker 1: Unbelievable. All right, so it does sound though page like you're, you're in the right place as far as the number of folks that you already have on this is the call to action and hopefully folks will go literally in and Click and take action on the coalition for access now.org site. Um, and then, you know, get in touch with congressmen and senators. Um, anything else that they can do or is that literally all you need to have done between now and you know, basically the end of June?

Speaker 3: Yep. I would, yeah, I would just like them to talk about this. But if four or five, six years ago it wasn't, we weren't able to talk about this. Like we are now, this is almost a popular issue. These guys are and women are rerunning, they need popular opinion, they need funding and they need to be in the media and they are, they do the thoughtful saying they want to know what we want and and so we need to talk about it, we need to share and we need to get other people to act if we want this done, if we don't want it done, we just gave this to a drug company and that's fine. We can pay $6,000 to $10,000 a month for cbd from a pharmacy or we can let it be grown and competed with the drug companies as hemp and, and have that be legal, have it be a dietary supplement and.

Speaker 3: And either way. Yeah. You know, I think that I'm not seeing any opposition to the bill. Nobody has a, has a logical or really any argument against this. It's just we're trying to avoid the, the speed at which things happen in Congress. And if you look at the numbers of people, if 14 in the Senate bill and 64 on the house bill and the names of the people that that's a testament to people calling them and writing them and, and we've made it super, super easy to contact them, like can't be any easier and it just takes a couple seconds. Like I said, not asking for money. I'm not, this isn't a gimmicky, you know, I'm just asking for people to care and if it's not yourself or your child or a family member that needs this, there are other millions of people that do. And it's, it's a, it's a worthwhile thing to do.

Speaker 1: Yeah. No, absolutely. And so then finally, you know, if we want to do this by July, bringing it to a vote in the house, obviously Paul Ryan being the speaker of the house, you would imagine that it could be brought to a vote there. What about Mitch Mcconnell in the Senate? What, what kind of interaction do you have or where we, with the potential of a vote in the Senate?

Speaker 3: Mcconnell supports him. He's at a Kentucky and has always supported him. He is not, he is most concerned with law enforcement and how does this affect. He's concerned with the right things and it was Kentucky law enforcement wants and how they feel about this. So we're not worried about anybody opposing it. I'm not worried about it passing through house. I don't think it needs to. I think it can be a smaller issue if we have enough numbers. We don't have to go through this. The whole committee slog, uh, if it goes through hearings, there is really no opposition to speak against it. So that's just a wasted time consuming. It's an inefficiency. And I know I'm biased, but you can hear this from anybody pushing the bill as well. It's an inefficiency that this particular bill does not carry. It doesn't need. And so it's, um, it's just a matter of, of names on the bill and getting it done in every name we have on the bill. They're also out there pushing this with us. And, and so we're publicly thanking them and giving them lots of credit for doing the right thing and they want to pass bills may, maybe it doesn't look like that, and we criticize them. They have one to three, three to five percent of Bill's dad is, um, unfortunate, but they want to pass bills. So here's a perfectly bipartisan bill. It's all over the media, this issue, and it's, it's, you know, it's being led by Republicans. This is a perfect time to get something done.

Speaker 1: And, uh, it is doable. It sounds like we could get a vote in the house, we can get a vote in the Senate. Uh, thanks to uh, Kentucky hemp, I guess. Um, and, and really all we need is a few more people to call a couple more politicians.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And Hey, this is, this would be the first legislative piece to pass since prohibition and they're not going to take a big leap and, and you're free the whole plant. That's not how it works in DC, unfortunately. And so, so it has to start somewhere. And so this would be the first things that proud thing we need to fix this problem. Absolutely. One thing by the second thing and the third thing, and just one thing at a time.

Speaker 1: Right? Exactly. Take it piece by piece by piece. Um, all right. So, you know, I, I know that I asked you this last time where we're up to a, a final question, unless we missed anything. Did we miss anything or do you think we covered it?

Speaker 3: I think we covered it. I think, you know, one thing I always tell these guys when they, when I'm meeting with, with legislators, they, I say really the most important thing I think that I feel is, is the current law as it exists right now. Who is that benefiting? Well, who does it benefit to have hemp and cbd listed as a schedule one substance and who does it hurt to remove it and d schedule it entirely and no one can really know the logic of that. No one can really. No one has an answer to that. And so I always point that out.

Speaker 1: Either one of those. Exactly.

Speaker 3: And, and that's, and that shows me that this is not my subjective, you know, I'm a mother and I desperately want this for people. This isn't, that, this is just a logical thing to do.

Speaker 1: Well, I was gonna say, you know, it's, it's obvious that, uh, you being a mother of a child, um, you know, with epilepsy, it's, it's obviously a different approach to a senator or congressman. I would imagine that at least opens eyes. But your point is you're not trading on that.

Speaker 3: Right? Right. Exactly. I am, I am. This is, this is, like I said, this is how the process works and, and I don't have my motivation. One of the moms who come to DC and works heavily on the coalition, her daughter died. She passed away waiting. So she was in the, of those three choices, she stayed passed the legislation in her state, in her child died waiting couple weeks later and after the bill was signed into law and she doesn't need to be there. She doesn't need to, she doesn't have an access, urgency issue anymore, as, as, as callous as that sounds. She's still out there doing it because it's the right thing to do. It's very healing, I think, for her to help other people and it's the right thing to do and most of the time we fight issues that we desperately personally care about and, and the ones that fall to the waste out of the ones that don't affect us directly. So the senators and the congressmen that have come on really quickly that were surprising, uh, who usually staunchly opposed to this where the ones that had a personal suffering or an illness or a sick child and unfortunately, you know, you don't wish suffering upon anybody, but the people that came around the quickest are the ones that, that had a first hand empathy and compassion to the issue. And, um, and so I'm a mother and I'm talking about this, but I'm also just a, an American and I think this is the right thing to do.

Speaker 1: There you go. All right. So, uh, now we will ask the final question. We'll see how this goes. You know, I always like to ask it, even if you've been on before on the soundtrack of your life page, the final question, uh, what is one track, one song that, uh, that must be on there?

Speaker 3: Okay. So one of the people helping coalition for access now is Bob Crawford. And Bob Crawford is one of the Avett brothers, if you know the band, if you don't know the band, I don't. Yeah, you don't, you live under a rock. But the Avett brothers, a vow Crawford is, is a, is a good friend and he's been helping heavily with, with these bills in DC and there's a song that the ava brothers wrote. And so we talked about this refugee situations, medical refugee situation here in Colorado and there's a, there's a group of, of big Eva at fans and um, because Bob's such a supporter of, of all of us, and they sort of adopted one of their, one of his songs and it's called Salvation Song. So I always think about that. I always tie this one song to, to this whole issue and, and in my work in, in politics and trying to send people home is how the started. And so if you're listening to the words of salvation song, it's um, it's kind of poignant. So a lot of these families adopted that song. That's their song. They always play it at a show and when they're here in Colorado and it's just really always brings me to tears if you, uh, take a listen to that one. That's a, that's the song that fits this conversation the most to me.

Speaker 1: I love it. Perfect. Thank you so much. Um, coalition for access now dot or go take action please. Page figure. You're one of a kind and I'm pleased to know you.

Speaker 3: Thank you. I just feel the same. Thanks Seth for everything you're doing. And there you go.

Speaker 2: You have page fee, obviously doing very important work and please go to coalition practices now.org. Also, if you are so inclined, please take our survey and survey.Libsyn.com/can economy. That's L I B s y n would love to find out more about you.

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Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.