Rep. Mike Ball Works on Possible Bill for Cannabis Oil Legalization
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Representative Mike Ball is currently working on a rough draft of a bill that could help children suffering from epileptic seizures. Ball said it won’t be a proposal that could open the door the legalization of marijuana, but it would call for the legalization of cannabis oil.
The oil is said to have low levels of THC, no psychoactive effects, and can serve as a “rescue drug” to bring children out of severe seizures.
“This substance shouldn’t even be confused with medical marijuana,” said Rep. Ball. “This is not even medical marijuana, that’s a separate issue.”
Right now, he is trying to figure out how he can write a bill legalizing cannabis oil, but not marijuana. He wants the public to know it’s not the same thing.
“It has no value as a recreational drug. You can’t get high off of it,” Ball said.
Rep.Ball has a team in Montgomery doing research on the drug and looking into a way to legalize it without legalizing the marijuana plant itself.
Ball is working with Representative Patricia Todd of Birmingham on the possible bill. He said it will be after the first of the year before he gets a rough draft started.
“The bill that I come up with on this, it will be narrowly crafted,” Ball said.
Ball has spoken out against the legalization of marijuana. However, he told WHNT News 19 that education is key. He won’t be asking for marijuana to be legal, just the oil that comes from the plant.
“People have suffering children, we just have a moral responsibility to do what we can to help them,” he said.
Related: One of the families who contacted Rep. Ball lives in Madison. Read our interview with Gena Dalton, about her daughter Charlotte’s battle with seizures.
Rep. Ball said that he is well aware of the can of worms that might be opened, but he thinks a little bit of patience and support from the people of Alabama will go a long way.
“You learn about it, and you learn the potential, it’s just one of those things, it’s dangerous ground you walk on, but sometimes in life we’re just supposed to walk on dangerous ground,” said Ball.
Ball said before he introduces the bill, he will have several law enforcement agencies and government officials glance over it.
“There will be several sets of eyes on it,” he said.