Charlotte’s Web Gulf Breeze residents Holley and Peyton Moseley have been making headlines lately, with a purpose. The Moseleys’ 10-year old daughter RayAnn suffers from epilepsy, typically experiencing hundreds of seizures a week. While the family has discovered a viable treatment to reduce RayAnn’s seizures, the treatment—known as “Charlotte’s Web”— is derived from a strain of marijuana and is currently illegal in Florida.
The Moseleys recently established a non-profit, Caring 4 Florida, which has the stated mission of “fighting to improve the lives of those living with epilepsy in Florida through education and advocacy for use of non-euphoric cannabis.” The couple has also found a political ally in State Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) to promote targeted medical marijuana legislation specific to the treatment of epilepsy.
While Gaetz makes it clear he is against legalizing marijuana for vague medicinal purposes—he is an opponent of the current pro-medical marijuana ballot initiative—he recently led a hearing before the state House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and stated he will advocate for the decriminalization of Charlotte’s Web in Florida.
“We are hoping to put a face on this,” said Holley Moseley, “This is a child who needs this to survive. This is our last hope.”
What was in the past jokingly refer to as “The Hippie’s Disappointment” for its failure to produce a high, the strain of marijuana now known as Charlotte’s Web is proving highly effective in reducing seizures. While low in THC (which is why it’s not helpful for those looking to just get stoned), Charlotte’s Web is high in Cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound that has been found to have a range of medicinal effects, but not the psychoactive effects that purely recreational marijuana users enjoy.
For medical use, the Charlotte’s Web plant is processed into oil and ingested, and produces none of the side effects associated with current antiepileptic drugs (AED).
Currently Colorado and California are the only states where Charlotte’s Web is available for legal purchase. The Moseleys recently traveled to Colorado and visited the Realm of Caring laboratory in Denver, and met the Stanley brothers who have developed and championed Charlotte’s Web as a treatment for epilepsy.
The plant is named for Charlotte Figi, a child in Colorado who went from experiencing hundreds of seizures a week to approximately three a month. Around 300 patients are using Charlotte’s Web in Colorado, experiencing on average an 85 percent reduction in seizures, many even coming off of their AEDs, according to Moseley.
Upon returning from Colorado, the Moseleys applied for non-profit 501(c)(3) status for Caring 4 Florida and have hired two lobbyists to work toward their goal.
Caring 4 Florida will host an Educational Meet & Greet on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Atlas Oyster House, 600 S. Barracks St. Representative Gaetz will speak, as will the Moseleys. For more information about the Moseley’s efforts through Caring 4 Florida, visit facebook.com/caring4florida.