Great victory for children who suffer from epileptic seizures.
Carly’s Law, Alabama’s Medical Marijuana-CBD Oil Study. The law, signed April 1, 2014, scored a rare victory in the conservative South for advocates of medical marijuana, even though the law has a narrower focus: It authorized studies of marijuana-derived cannabidiol oil at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
By the time the Chandlers and others were done with the Legislature, no one rose in opposition.Yet the federal government, through the Food and Drug Administration, is apparently so skittish about anything marijuana-related, it has delayed in getting back to UAB on a plan for the university to proceed. A plan is needed, or UAB cannot proceed with plans to help children with seizures by giving them CBD oil. That’s what Dustin Chandler of Inverness, a Pelham police officer, told a group of new state legislators on Tuesday, at the first day of orientation for freshmen lawmakers within the House of Representative’s chambers.
Chandler, who pushed for the change in law along with his wife, has a four-year-old daughter named Carly who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy. She cannot walk or talk.
Carly had suffered a major seizure on Monday night, Chandler told the lawmakers.
Carly’s rare form of epilepsy is incurable, he said. Carly’s plight and the potential use of CBD oil in easing the seizures convinced the Alabama House and Senate to pass the bill. But marijuana is still an outlawed substance at the federal level, which clashes with the changes in law in some states.
Colorado and Washington state have legalized recreational marijuana. California, Alabama and other states have legalized medical marijuana.
“It’s unfortunate — to me, as a dad — that we’re being caught up in red tape,” said Dustin Chandler, the father of Carly
In total, 23 states and even the District of Columbia have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
But the federal government is under no pressure to help any process along. A message left at the FDA was not immediately returned. Chandler believes UAB has been on hold for more than 80 days. It’s time that could be spent developing oil for his daughter, Carly. He said a number of people with epileptic children have left states with no laws on CBD for Colorado, which arguably has installed the widest deregulation of marijuana.
State Rep. Allen Farley, R-McCalla, said the Legislature “did the impossible” in going from skepticism about medical marijuana to passing the law with no opposition in Alabama.
Now Farley sees the bill he sponsored held in limbo by the FDA. Farley disputes that CBD oil is medical marijuana. He says CBD oil does not produce a “high,” and is developed with low tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, levels. THC is the ingredient in marijuana that produces the high.
Chandler was a guest of House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, who brought three citizens to speak to the Legislature about the positive impacts of laws passed in the last four years.
The Legislature will have two more days of orientation for newly elected state representatives and state senators on Wednesday and Thursday in the Capitol.