Alabama: Father Starts Online Petition Asking Governor, Lawmakers To Allow Medical Marijuana
By Steve Elliott
The father of a two-year-old girl in Alabama with a rare neurological and epileptic disorder has started an online petition asking Governor Robert Bentley and state lawmakers to allow the use of a a form of medical marijuana that could help control the girl's frequent, violent seizures.
Dustin Chandler, a police officer in Pelham, and his wife Amy recently visited Gov. Bentley in Montgomery to ask for his support for medical marijuana, reports Martin J. Reed at al.com. Their daughter, Carly, is unable to walk, talk or feed herself.
The online petition at Change.org focuses on cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid from marijuana that can treat inflammation, pain, anxiety, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. It can also treat Carly's violent seizures that occur several times a day -- seizures which pharmaceutical medications cannot control.
"The main fact that we want people to understand is we're not trying to get our two-year-old high," Chandler said. "They won't get stoned. This is a natural treatment ... that might have great benefit in helping her seizures. The life that she has, I'm trying to give the best quality to her."
People in Alabama deserve to have the health benefits of medical marijuana, according to Chandler.
"Listen, this is an educational thing for the people of Alabama," Chandler said. "We're not pushing for straight across-the-board legalization of marijuana. We're talking thousands of children and people that it's going to help with epileptic disorders and help control their seizures."
Chandler's petition has only two sentences: "Please have compassion and seek legislation allowing the use of CBD oil as a treatment for epilepsy. For some of us this treatment is our last option to give our child a better quality of life," it reads.
Doctors can prescribe legal pharmaceuticals that have a host of negative side effects, including a fatal rash and vision loss, and these medications may not even affect the seizures, or reduce their frequency at all, according to Chandler.
"We're talking about some serious drugs and pharmaceuticals that they'll let us take that have such high-risk side effects and no guarantee," he said. "It's kind of a no-brainer to me. It's an educational thing and a parents' rights thing to me."
"It's not fair to the people of Alabama that we don't have a way of using these treatments and we would have to move into another state and find another job just to be able to try something we should be able to try here," Chandler said. "Allowing us to use this treatment and allowing the residents of Alabama to use this treatment, the people it could help are exponential. If we could write the proper legislation, it could help thousands of people."
One girl in Colorado who had been enduring more than 1,000 seizures a month has only a few now after taking CBD oil twice daily in her food, reported CNN in August.
To sign the petition, click here to visit Change.org.
(Photo of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, center, meeting with the Chandlers: al.com)