Hemp Hemp Hooray, a Victory for Families of Brazil
By Mark M. Ward
Brazil takes their illegal substances, or lack thereof, exceedingly serious as the Brazilian criminal code states “Selling and transportation of any illegal drugs, as well as possession or cultivation of larger amounts is characterized as drug trafficking, a criminal act punished with 5 to 15 years in prison and a significant fine.” Naturally, as I researched this momentous news out of Brazil, I became ecstatic to write the piece. The California based company Medical Marijuana, Inc. (MMI) has become the first enterprise to legally import CBD oil into this Latin American country for epilepsy treatment and other conditions, However it was only when I delve into writing the backstory of this historic happening, that I took on a feeling of privilege to recount such a remarkable event. Despite the fact that importing cannabis was a criminal offense in the eyes of the Brazilian feds, it didn’t stop one family from doing so for the sake of their daughter.
Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO)
The story begins in Dallas, Texas with a little girl named Harper Elle Howard. Harper was diagnosed with a rare non-hereditary disorder known as CDKL5 epilepsy and at just two weeks old started experiencing seizures. At about 19 months Harper’s seizures started to increase rapidly in frequency, up to at worst 40+ seizures a day. Being that “traditional” pharmaceuticals were ineffective and could leave Harper catatonic, her mother Penny Harper did what any mother trying to save their child would do… which was anything. In 2013 after watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s special “Weed”, Penny proceeded to undergo countless hours of research and stumbled upon CBD oil derived from hemp called Real Scientific Hemp Oil (RSHO). After purchasing and administering RSHO, Penny immediately began noticing improvement and as she accounts in our interview with significance I could only image, “Within just three days Harper was displaying progress such as eye contact, verbalization and attempted physical interactions… she was now able to show us, that she was with us mentally and as a mother this meant the world.” Harper’s seizures quickly diminished and before long she went day after day without occurrence, until she was finally 60 days free of seizure and making mental contact. During conversation MMI CEO Stuart Titus voiced to me “There is tremendous stress and burden with not being able to communicate with a special needs child, but in 3-4 months of administering RSHO personalities developed, as well as smiles and laughs.” However that wasn’t the culmination to this miracle, but just the start.
Half a world away in Brazil, Katiele Fischer was also conducting countless hours of research because just as Harper suffered with CDKL5, Katiele’s daughter Anny was also battling the horrible seizures of the disorder. During her search for answers Kateile stumbled across Penny’s Facebook blog “Hope 4 Harper” and the news of Harper’s success with RHSO. Fearing that her only recourse was to resort to what was considered drug trafficking, Katiele quickly had RHSO shipped to her home illegally by relatives with documentation from a doctor and lawyer in order to acquire the CBD oil necessary to treat her daughter’s seizures. The RSHO was quickly administered and what seemed to be another miracle transpired. Just like Harper’s, Anny’s seizures started to vanish. By illegally importing CBD oil Katiele was healing her daughter, but then the worst. Katiele was soon caught importing the CBD oil illegally.
ANVISA, Brazil’s FDA
However in April 2014 Katiele braved the steps of ANVISA, Brazil’s FDA, and recounted the relentlessness of her daughter’s seizures, and how within nine weeks of the use of CBD oil, Anny’s seizures waned to “almost zero” as Katiele accounts. Just when it seemed that the rightfully infuriated mother could not display any more courage, Katiele proceeded to sue the Brazilian federal government for the right of access to RSHO to save her daughter and within just three days… she had won.
ANVISA ruled that it would be considered “inhumane” to withhold CBD oil from Anny. It is because of the Fischer’s efforts, that families now will be able to benefit from curative properties of CBD oil without acquiring the stigma and perils of drug trafficking. Medical Marijuana, Inc. has publicized their agreement with the Brazilian government that they will now legally sanction importation and use of hemp-derived CBD oil for epilepsy and associated conditions. Andrew Hard, MMI’s PR rep explains in our interview “Anny Fischer’s story was most definitely one of the deciding factors in the Brazilian government’s decision.” Today not only is Brazil allowing import of CBD hemp oil as a medication with a doctor’s prescription, but they are also now subsidizing it under their healthcare insurance program.
Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s announced that their newly trademarked partnership, entitled HempMeds Brasil™, will make prescription CBD oil accessible to Brazilian citizens as treatment for illnesses such as epilepsy, and other comparable conditions, such as Anny Fischer’s rare CDKL5, “Medical Marijuana, Inc. is proud to announce to shareholders and the public that HempMeds Brasil’s™ RSHO™ product has been written into world history as the first cannabis product to be approved for import by Brazil’s federal government and used as a prescription for approved medical indications within Brazil including epilepsy.” Andrew Hard states.
Despite the elation of such an amazing legislative triumph, soon came tragedy. On Friday, January 8, 2016 the Howard family lost little Harper. But it is because of Harper and the strength and love that these mothers possess, that other children will no longer hurt needlessly. It is because of these mothers, that parents of Brazil will no longer have to tell their child that they cannot have a medicine that does in fact exist. It is within the well being and smiles of these children that Harper’s miracle continues.