Don’t brush off Carly’s law

Hundreds of people gathered in Pelham this weekend to show support for the legalization of cannabidiol, an oil derived from the marijuana plant.

For many people in Alabama, the words “marijuana” and “legalization” are likely to cause a kneejerk reaction against the idea. However, we urge Shelby County residents to consider this proposal before they take a position because it affects the health and happiness of some of our own.

We at the Shelby County Reporter first heard about cannabidiol in January, when Managing Editor Neal Wagner spoke to Pelham police officer Dustin Chandler. Chandler has been fighting to allow the use of cannabidiol, known as CBD oil, to help his 2-year-old daughter, Carly, who was born with a rare neurological disorder that causes seizures, severe gastrointestinal disorders and visual impairments. The Chandlers have partnered with State Rep. Mike Ball, who wrote and sponsored the bill supporting the medication commonly known as Carly’s Law.

“It doesn’t get people high, it has no street value. It’s almost like a ‘why not’ type of law,” Chandler previously said of CBD, noting the oil would be prescribed per a doctor’s recommendation.

This weekend, two high-profile Shelby County officials voiced their support for CBD: Pelham Mayor Gary Waters and Pelham Police Chief Tommy Thomas.

Waters identified a key problem in the Chandlers’ fight to legalize CBD.

“What you’re a part of today is the hardest thing in Alabama—we’ve got to educate the ignorant,” Waters said.

We hope you will take some time to learn the issues at stake here – and to consider the people who could be helped by CBD’s legalization. People like Carly Chandler, who has up to 10 seizures a day, or Barry Yarbrough, whose 14-year-old granddaughter and her parents and brothers had to move to Colorado to receive CBD treatment for her seizures.

So before you become brush off Carly’s Law, we hope you will take the time to educate yourself about the issue and then share your opinion with your state legislators.

The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.