Lawmakers consider bill legalizing cannabidiol oil epilepsy treatment

Melanie Torre, KYEYE - Texas parents seeking life-saving treatment for epilepsy are closer to accomplishing their goal. Tuesday, a house committee heard testimony for a bill that would allow people to use a compound from the cannabis plant to treat their seizures.      

Two weeks ago, parents were concerned they’d run out of time before law makers considered the bill to legalize Cannabidiol Oil. However, by the end of the week, the bill’s supporters will have made significant progress through committee hearings in both the senate and the house. Despite the progress, parents say this bill must pass to save Texas lives.

Zach Moccia, 25, is no stranger to the Capitol halls.

“We've walked into every office in this building at least once… many, numerous times,” says Zach’s mother, Leslie Moccia. She estimates the pair has made more than 200 trips to the Capitol since August.

“We have made it our mission to speak to everybody here,” she says.

Tuesday, Leslie testified in support of the Cannabidiol bill known as the Texas Compassionate Use Act. The bill could help 150,000 Texans with intractable epilepsy by making Cannabidiol Oil legal.

“If they could start on this at a young age, then maybe they wouldn't have to experience all of the seizures… all of the procedures. Perhaps they could live a much more productive life,” Leslie Moccia explains.

A more productive life is exactly what Jo Reaves wants for her son.

“Understand that this is not giving our kid pot. This is not giving your kid marijuana… or an adult. This is oil that is ingested just like a liquid medicine,” Reaves says. Reaves' two sons both have epilepsy. She says Cannabidiol could save her 16-year-old son, Tyler's, life “He's taking 15 pills a day, and sometimes he can't even get his words out when he's trying to tell you something,” she explains.

In Colorado, the oil changed 8-year-old Charlotte's life. At age 5, she was having seizures every half hour. “She's 99.9 percent seizure-free. She can walk and talk and eat again,” says Charlotte’s mother, Paige Figi. Now, Figi works with Realm of Caring to get CBD Oil, also known as Charlotte’s Web Oil to other people with epilepsy.