— Allen Farley (@RepAllenFarley) March 20, 2014
Carly’s Law, a bill that would legalize a new treatment method for children with serious neurological and epileptic disorders, unanimously passed the Alabama House of Representatives Thursday as legislators worked deep into the night.
The bill, sponsored by Reps. Mike Ball and Allen Farley and Sen. Paul Sanford, legalizes marijuana-derived cannabidiol, also known as CBD, as a treatment method and funds research at UAB to study the treatment’s success. CBD comes in oil form and has none of the intoxicating effects of marijuana that might make legalization susceptible to abuse.
This bill is named after Carly Chandler, a 3-year-old from Birmingham, Ala. who suffers from an extremely rare neurological disorder called CDKL5 that causes her to have daily seizures. There are believed to be less than 700 people in the world with the disorder, and there are only a couple hundred known cases in the United States.
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Carly’s parents, along with the parents of other children suffering from neurological and epileptic disorders, formed an effective advocacy team lobbying for the bill’s passage. Carly’s father, Dustin, recently sent an email to members of the Alabama House and Senate, quickly bringing the issue to the forefront.
Here’s an excerpt from the email:
Since we don’t know how long she will be with us, my wife Amy and I said we were going to give Carly the best quality of life we could possibly give her no matter what. Giving Carly the best quality of life is what led me to this journey.
Carly has tried over 8 Anti-Epileptic Drugs or AED’s and none of them have stopped her seizures. All the AED’s that she has been given have had bad side effects with some of them possibly being fatal.
As we looked for answers we heard about a specific strain of Marijuana that was high in CBD and low in THC called Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte’s Web comes in an oil form and is given orally. Since there are no psychoactive properties there is no way to get “stoned” by taking it. It has shown to be 80-85% effective in children in not only stopping seizures, but also improving cognitive abilities… But, as you know, it is illegal in the state of Alabama.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard suggested amending the original bill to add in the $1 million UAB research component. That funding was also appropriated yesterday when the House passed the Education Trust Fund budget.
The Senate is expected to give the bill final passage Thursday. Gov. Bentley has also indicated that he will sign it into law.
Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims