A new bill aimed at decriminalizing the possession of CBD oil will likely come up for discussion during the upcoming legislative session, according to the bill’s sponsor, GOP state Rep. Mike Ball of Huntsville).
A previous bill, “Carly’s Law,” gave the University of Alabama – Birmingham the opportunity to research the use of CBD oil, a medicinal oil derived from marijuana but containing little of the “high-inducing” chemical THC, and eventually led to chemical trials for children and adults suffering from myriad ailments.
However, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration narrowed the margins for who could have access to the medicine, many of the state’s most needy were denied access to the program.
Specifically Leni Young and her family, who fled to Oregon last year where access to the oil is more readily available.
“They’re refugees,” Ball said.
Leni’s parents fought tirelessly for “Carly’s Law,” only to see their daughter, who suffers from intractable complex epilepsy and a rare form of cerebral palsy, left out of the trials and following dispersion of medication.
Since moving to Oregon and using “high CBD cannabis oil” regularly, Leni has gone from hundreds of seizures a day to one every four to six weeks and has had her cocktail of medication reduced by 20 percent with no adverse side effects.
Further, Leni is using her hands for the first time, engaging with her family more thoroughly and able to sit on her own with minimal assistance.
Thus, Ball will introduce “Leni’s Law” during the upcoming session.
“This is a spiritual issue, not a political issue” Ball said. “It’s time to take this step.”
To ensure that his bill is on legal footing, Ball had the bill drafted by the Alabama Law Institute and is planning to have it examined by district attorneys.
Ball noted that the issue is complex – federal law has created a climate where doctors are afraid to prescribe the drug and desperate families are afraid to be in possession of it.
For that reason, Ball believes a resolution should be drafted to petition the federal government to change its stance on marijuana policy, specifically as it pertains to the use and dispersion of CBD oil, and the Alabama legislature should eradicate fears of prosecution for potential patients.
“These people are not criminals,” Ball said. “It’s just common sense. Leni is the catalyst for me, but there are lots of other families who need this medication and we have got to do something to help them.”