The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 18, 2014

House committee approves marijuana oil bill

A proposal to study the impact of using a marijuana derivative to treat seizures is one step closer to becoming state law.

A House Committee on Tuesday voted to fund a $1 million University of Alabama At Birmingham study on the effectiveness of using cannabidiol to control seizures.

Parents of children with seizure disorders are seeking the marijuana oil, which does not get users high, based on anecdotal evidence that it is effective.

The study bill was a compromise. The original version would have protected families from a drug conviction if arrested for possession.

Lawmakers raised concerns about where families would get the oil. Proponents say there were also political worries over a marijuana bill in an election year.

The Senate approved the study bill last week.

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