A major victory today for the parents of a sick child: The House of Representatives approved a bill to allow testing of marijuana oil for treatment for children with severe seizures.
The Senate unanimously passed the bill last week. In the wee hours of Thursday morning, the House did the same.
Once the Senate approved a slight change the House made to the bill, that gave it the final legislative push needed to get it to the governor. The bill clears a major hurdle for hundreds of Alabama children.
Alabama lawmakers rose to their feet Thursday afternoon, applauding the efforts of a Hoover family that fought to bring relief to their daughter, Carly and other children suffering from seizures.
It's taken a long road to get here. Carly's dad, Dustin Chandler, remembers when the journey first started to get the marijuana derived oil known as CBD legalized in the state. The oil does not make users high and some evidence suggests it could be an effective treatment for seizures.
"When I first walked down here, I don't know if I knew what I was getting into or not. Anytime you have a question about what you are doing you always think about who you're doing it for and that pushed me harder," Chandler said.
He's not only been pushing the bill for his own daughter, who has a rare genetic disease that causes seizures, but also for hundreds of parents facing the same challenge.
"There's so many kids and people in Alabama that will benefit for the passage of this. It's going to be a process that might take a little while. But we've gotten to the 50 yard line and have to take it the rest of the way down," Chandler said.
The bill authorizes and funds a UAB study that would allow those who need CBD oil to participate and therefore have access to CBD oil from other states.
A spokesperson from Gov. Robert Bentley's office says now that the bill has passed, the governor's legal team will review it. Once they sign off on a final version, the governor plans to sign it into law.