AL Rep. pleasantly surprised at support for medical pot push - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AL Rep. pleasantly surprised at support for medical pot derivative

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Charlotte, a seizure patient from Madison, could benefit from pot-derived CBD oil. Charlotte, a seizure patient from Madison, could benefit from pot-derived CBD oil.

Advocates who wish to loosen Alabama's laws against medical marijuana will come together in Montgomery Tuesday, and their fight could turn out to be surprisingly easy.

They will be rallying at the capitol in support of a bill that would authorize a marijuana-based treatment for seizures, but could also derail future efforts to legalize pot.

Representative Mike Ball crafted the law, and Senator Paul Sanford sponsored it. Ball originally figured a medical marijuana bill would be a tough sell, but not anymore.

Ball said families like Charlotte Dalton's in Madison, or Carly Chandler's in Shelby County, desperately trying to control their children's seizures, deserve a chance to at least try cannabidiol, or CBD oil, derived from marijuana.

In the state legislature, Ball is pushing what's been named Carly's Law, to make CBD oil legal. But what he expected to be a tough, controversial proposal is hitting surprisingly smooth waters.

"It's drawing support across the political spectrum, among groups that often oppose one another. It's just an amazing thing to watch," he said.

CBD oil comes from a certain variety of the cannabis plant sometimes nicknamed "Hippie's Disappointment."  Ball said, "You could drink a gallon of this oil. You'd get sick to your stomach before you'd get high."

As a former state trooper, Ball sees the measure as a chance to preempt the movement to legalize pot with a kind of marijuana that really is medical and nothing but. He said he is now seeing support from conservative church groups and Governor Bentley.

He said it looks like it may even pass the State House unanimously, and he's been hearing from lawmakers who want to co-sponsor it.

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