Peyton and Holley Moseley are parents. That simple six-word sentence defines them, and it explains why they are the leading advocates in Florida to legalize Charlotte’s Web, a strain of cannabis that may help hundreds of thousands of children deal with their epileptic seizures.
Their daughter, RayAnn, is one of those children who may benefit from the oil, known as Realm Oil, extracted from the plant. Last week, Jesse Stanley, whose family developed Charlotte’s Web in Colorado, and Heather Jackson, executive director of Realm of Caring Foundation that manages the patients, prescriptions, research and advocacy for the Charlotte’s Web, were in Pensacola to help raise awareness of the issue.
Stanley, Jackson and the Moseleys stopped by the Independent News office to fill me in on the latest developments.
Stanley talked about how his brothers developed Charlotte’s Web so it would be high in cannabidiol (CBD) content without inducing the psychoactive “high” typically associated with pot use. The Stanley brothers believe it can help with other medical conditions and diseases. However, they have focused on the pediatric uses to help overcome the legal challenges in states across the country.
Jackson is the mother of the second patient to use Charlotte’s Web, Zaki. She talked about the joy of finally getting to know her 10-year-old son. When he was six months old, the boy was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy that had him battling nearly 250 seizures a day. His mom tried 17 different medications before Zaki tried Charlotte’s Web. Since then, Zaki has been seizure free for over a year.
The Moseleys talked about their testimonies before the Florida Legislature. Peyton spoke about having to be dropped off for a committee hearing in Tallahassee while Holley had to continue driving to Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, where the doctors struggled to abate RayAnn’s latest wave of seizures. He told the lawmakers that he wasn’t sure his daughter would still be alive by the time he finished his testimony.
The chances of the Florida Legislature legalizing Charlotte’s Web are good, particularly since it has the support of Senate President Don Gaetz and his son, Rep. Matt Gaetz. However, anything can happen in the waning days of the legislative session, and Gov. Rick Scott has not committed to signing the bill into law.
The Moseleys hope for the day that RayAnn can live and play like Zaki and Charlotte Figi, for whom the plant is named. Until then, there will be long hours and many sleepless nights for Holley and Peyton as they watch this play out in Tallahassee.
Let’s hope the power of parental love wins out over political power.