A plan to make a marijuana by-product legal in Alabama for medical purposes is taking a big step forward in the state capitol.
"Carly's Law" passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday afternoon. The law legalizes the use of CBD oil, which is made from a species of marijuana plant that does not produce a narcotic high.
The oil may be helpful in controlling seizure disorders like epilepsy.
Huntsville pediatrician Pippa Abston said CBD oil shows such promise that it makes sense to let families struggling with seizure disorders try it; families such as that of Charlotte Dalton of Madison, or Carly Chandler of the Birmingham area, the law's namesake.
Abston took the rare step of advocating the by-product's legalization on her blog Monday. "There's a lot of research to show that in animal studies it is a potent anti-seizure medicine. We have limited data on humans," she said.
Carly's father Dustin said people need to understand the product will not get you high. "It's truly a medicine and it can help thousands of children and people in Alabama," he said.
Dr. Abston said children like Charlotte and Carly may or may not really be helped, but the research needs to be done, and since it appears to be safe, it is worth a try. "The FDA has issued Compassionate Use IND - Investigational New Drug approval for seven sites in the US, and we might get one of them. If we do, it has to be legal for the patients to try it," she said.
The law is sponsored by Huntsville Senator Paul Sanford and Madison Representative Mike Ball. It now heads to the state Senate for approval. Abston said support for Carly's Law is bipartisan, especially if it can bring together an unabashed liberal like her and a Republican like co-sponsor Ball.
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