When the 2014 Alabama Legislative Session starts Tuesday, there's one bill that's sure to draw attention. It's a bill that seeks to legalize a medicinal oil found in marijuana.
That oil is called CBD, for short.
"It's a genetically modified part of the plant that has very low levels of THC, no hallucinogenic affect, no street value. Matter of fact, it has no value as a recreational drug," says Rep. Mike Ball of Madison.
He is a co-sponsor of the bill and says it will be prescribed only for those patients with neurological conditions and epileptic seizures. It's a measure the Chandler family of Hoover has publicly supported.
Their two year old daughter, Carly, has a rare condition called CDKL5. It causes her to have anywhere from one to five seizures every day. Her father, Dustin, says she takes several medications to control them, but they don't work. He says if she could use CBD it would make a drastic difference.
"You can put it in her food. You can put it under her tongue and it is something that does not have psychoactive properties that are commonly in other forms of it," he said.
Ball says it's important to realize his bill does not seek to legalize all forms of marijuana and stresses it is a completely separate measure from the medical marijuana bills that are making national news.
Governor Robert Bentley says he is against the general legalization of marijuana. He says he has not seen Ball's bill, but feels if it were to pass, it would need to clear some rigorous standards first.
"If someone wants to use the medicine in marijuana, go through the same testing you have to go through with the FDA, that's fine. I have no problem with it," Bentley said.
Ball says any bill faces an uphill battle when it is introduced in the legislature for the first time. He says if this one can be kept separate from the more controversial medical marijuana bill, it should have as good a chance as any first time bill at passing.
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