Thursday, July 17, 2014

Special Needs Parents Group Urges HHS Secretary Burwell to Reschedule Cannabis

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Parents Coalition to Reschedule Medical Cannabis has begun a letter writing campaign urging the new Health and Human Services Secretary, Sylvia Burwell, to reschedule medical cannabis. Mrs. Burwell was sworn into office on June 9th to replace outgoing Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The effort is being spearheaded by Jill Swing of South Carolina, a lead Coalition organizer. She decided to take this on after reading the federal Controlled Substances Act and learning that the HHS Secretary has the power to recommend rescheduling any drug on the list.
"Sub-chapter I-Control and Enforcement, Part B Section 811:.Rules of the Attorney  General under this subsection may be initiated by the Attorney General (1) on his own    motion, (2) at the request of the Health and Human Services Secretary or (3) by petition of any interested party." 
"Up until that point all the focus was on the Attorney General concerning rescheduling, but now I learned there was another person who could make that happen.", said Swing. "What I hope to accomplish is that by sharing our stories, we will reach her on a personal level (she has two young children) and encourage her to request that Attorney General Eric Holder reschedule. Also, under her Agency there is something called the 'Guidance to Procedures for the Provision of Marijuana for Medical Research' which is an additional review for any non NIH-funded protocols. Marijuana in the ONLY Schedule I substance that has to undergo such scrutiny in order to allow research to be done. So, in addition to asking her to reschedule, we will be asking her do away with this policy, to make marijuana more accessible for research."


The Parents Coalition to Reschedule Medical Cannabis invites anyone who wants to write a letter to join this campaign. Interested persons can join the Facebook event Letter to Secretary of HHS, Sylvia Matthews Burwell. The page includes the Secretary's address for the header and more details about the campaign. Send a one page letter in WORD format detailing yours or your child's struggle and how medical cannabis has or might help to Jill by July 6th at hope4kidssc@gmail.com. Pictures welcome. All letters will be bundled together and sent on July 7th. The Coalition also invites state legislators who have passed medical cannabis laws to write letters detailing the barriers Schedule I status for cannabis creates to patient access in their states.


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