Gibbs said the evidence he has seen from other states where the oil is available has convinced him it would reduce his granddaughter's seizures significantly and keep her from suffering brain damage.
He said the oil is produced from marijuana that is grown to be low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive substance in marijuana.
“It can't get anybody high,” he said.
Gibbs tells people the legislation has nothing to do with a broader medical marijuana bill that has been introduced this session or with recreational marijuana. “There is marijuana pot and then there is miracle marijuana,” he said.
Barry Yarbrough of Haleyville is also walking the halls, but without his 14-year-old granddaughter, Allie Swann. Her parents moved her from Haleyville to Colorado last fall to be able to use the marijuana oil to legally treat her epilepsy. “She probably wouldn't be alive now if not for going out there,” he said.
Sanford said the biggest challenge his bill faces is legislators' concerns about voting for anything pertaining to marijuana in an election year when their opponents might use it against them.
Yarbrough said he understands legislators' concerns, and he was skeptical until he saw the change in his granddaughter.
“She has never gone two or three days of her life without a seizure. She went 21 days without a seizure and her motor skills have improved,” he said. “We were hoping for a 10 percent change. We are at 60 percent.”
If Sanford's bill passes the Senate, it would still have to be passed by the House and signed by the governor. Ball's bill has not yet been considered by the House.
—Reporter Kim West contributed to this report.