Gov. Ivey signs CARE Act into law

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Update (6/10): Governor Kay Ivey has signed a bill creating a commission to study medical marijuana. The CARE Act commission will look into the future of medical marijuana use in Alabama. CBS 42 Reporter Malique Rankin has been tracking the bill, and what’s next for Carly’s Law.

Through the CARE act, Carly’s Law is extended; it allows the University of Alabama Birmingham to continue its research on the use of CBD oil as a treatment for debilitating epileptic conditions. Dustin Chandler’s daughter is the inspiration behind the bill. 

“Carly, she’s 8 years old. She suffers from CDKL5 epileptic deficiency disorder,” Chandler said. “She’s doing pretty good now, so we contribute a lot of that to the CBD oil that she’s had and really that’s why I’m here talking to you about the medical cannabis legislation.” 

Chandler says his daughter was experiencing hundreds of seizures a day.

“Some of the ones that were recorded on EEG, she was having 200-300 per day,” Chandler said. “She would have some really bad, convulsive, locking her body up a lot of times, she’d have 7-9 of those a day.”

With the use of CBD oil, Carly has significantly fewer seizures. For the Chandler family, they hope the extension of this research program will help change the public’s perspective on how medical marijuana can help.

“I think it really opened my eyes to it,” Chandler said. “And I think it has to a lot of people. We’ve got to get rid of the stigma cannabis has had. If there are people that truly need medical cannabis, we have to look at the best ways, safe, responsible ways to allow them to have access to it.”

Language was removed in the CARE act to legalize medical marijuana. While the bill was only opposed by 20 lawmakers, some lawmakers, like Rep. John Rogers say it isn’t doing nearly enough.

“We’re behind the times as we always are. Instead of being on the cutting edge like we could be, we’re waiting for some other states to do it, then we’ll just fall in line with other states,” Rogers said.

The CARE act went into effect immediately after the governor signed it. The medical cannabis study commission will be made up of 15 people to draft legislation for the next session. Their deadline is December 1. 

Original Post:

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed the CARE Act into law.

The bill, SB236, will create a medical marijuana commission to draft legislation that may be considered next year. 

The story is still ongoing. Check back for updates. 

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