House Representative

White, James

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/16/2016

State Rep. White Testifies on Behalf of SETX Families Seeking Cure for Ailing Children

(Austin, TX) - On Thursday, December 15, 2016, State Rep. James White testified in front of the Texas Public Safety Commission. He urged the Commission, which has direct oversight of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), to immediately draft and implement procedures to dispense cannabidiol hemp oil or CBD oil to families caring for children suffering from acute epileptic seizures. Although it is a derivative from the marijuana plant, CBD oil is a non-euphoric and medically therapeutic pharmaceutical that addresses juvenile epilepsy. “Medical doctors, pediatric care researchers, and patients should have affordable access to any tool that sustains life or improves the quality of life,” said State Rep. White.

Last session, Rep. White joined other members of the Texas Legislature, such as, Representatives Stephanie Klick and John Zerwas, who are a registered nurse and medical doctor, respectively, and co-sponsored the successful passage of Senate Bill 339. This legislation created the Texas Compassionate Use Act, under which DPS would license dispensers of this low-THC CBD oil to certain patients with intractable epilepsy. Governor Greg Abbott signed this legislation into law in 2015, but DPS is still trying to enact procedures that are affordable and practical. “We had to give this task to DPS because the current federal drug schedule attempts to preempt states’ rights, but it is imperative that DPS finalizes these procedures and get this pharmaceutical to families of ailing children immediately.”

“A few years ago, I visited a family in Polk County. Sitting in their living room on that cold afternoon, I listened to their story as I watched their child, who is suffering from seizures, play on the living room floor. This little girl even had seizures while I was there. I felt the anguish and the sense of urgency in the mother’s voice. They can't drive nine hours from East Texas to Austin and back because they have to care for this precious child so therefore, I had to go and testify on their behalf. I'm confident that DPS will draft and implement affordable and practical rules that facilitate access for these families.”

If you have any questions, please contact State Representative James White's office at (512) 463-0490 or (409) 283-3700.