De-stigmatizing a plant for suffering children everywhere

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Allow CBD Oil in Alabama for Carly: Police Officer Dad Dustin Chandler Speaks Out

This is an interview with Dustin Chandler. He is father of Carly, who has a rare epileptic condition called CDKL5.  Dustin is a board member of The International Foundation for CDKL5 Research. He also actively advocates for CBD oil to become a legal option for Alabama's epileptic children.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself? And can you talk about what life is like for your epileptic daughter?


I was born and raised in Alabama. I am a Police Officer in a town just south of Birmingham and I love my job. I have a typical four year old son who is as “boy” as they come. I am also the proud father of Carly who will be 3 in February. Carly was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called CDKL5 in 2012. Since her diagnosis we have been trying to bring ultimate awareness to the disorder since only 600-700 worldwide have been diagnosed.
Carly has anywhere from 2-5 seizures per day and currently they are complex partials. Unfortunately, her mother Amy and I live everyday worrying about when Carly's next seizure might occur. Once Carly has a seizure we have to alter our day to accommodate the lethargy that follows. Just recently our four year old son started to “roll play” like he is having a seizure like his “sissy”. It breaks my heart to know my son must witness these episodes of his younger sister and then “act” them out.

When Carly was diagnosed I looked into her gazing eyes and made the promise that I would do everything in my power to give her the best life possible. That is a promise I will keep as long as I am alive.

The fear of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) also is in our minds. 


How does your support for CBD oil, technically a form of medical marijuana, reconcile with your vocation as a police officer? Did you always support this cause or was it inspired by the every day reality in your home?


As a Police Officer I uphold all the laws that are on the books and that most definitely includes the drugs laws of Alabama. That is something I was sworn to do and take very seriously and that stance will not change. It has only been recently that I have started to look into the positive effects that CBD’s could potentially have on Carly. Since there are no psychoactive properties, it's non-addictive and has no side effects, I began to be a vocal proponent of CBDs. You can say I was inspired by the promise that I made to Carly about giving her the best quality of life. She is my inspiration and helping other suffering children of Alabama is as well.

I am not asking anyone to break the law nor am I wanting to break the law. I want there to be proper legislation set forth in Alabama to allow parents to explore treatment options other than traditional methods that most of us have tried and failed.


How do you think CBD oil might help your daughter?


CBD oil has the potential to change the course of not only Carly’s life but also that of my family. It would hopefully be affective in controlling seizures and free us from the nightmare of wondering when the next one will strike.  Since there is not much known about her disorder, CDKL5, there could possibly be more extraordinary benefits we do not know about yet.


What do you want others to know about CBD oil for epilepsy?

I want everyone to know that CBD-oil is not going to get a child “stoned”. CBD oil is extracted from the marijuana plant and used as a medicine. I want people to open their minds and think about the thousands of children like Carly that suffer everyday and the help CBD-oil could possibly provide.


How You Can Help in Alabama 
Please watch this short video of Carly having a seizure and then take the action steps below. I know it might seem strange that I'm asking you to watch the beautiful little girl pictured above convulse in pain. You may know that seizures happen to some people out there, but until you actually see a child in their clutches that's just a concept in your mind. Yet this is a concrete reality of life for too many children.
If there is a chance CBD oil can end this then Carly deserves that chance. Representative Patricia Todd of Alabama has sponsored a bill to help sick children in that state access cannabidiol oil. If you live in Alabama please take the action steps below.
1. Please sign this petition to Alabama governor, Robert Bentley. It asks him to support legislation allowing CBD oil for epileptic children.

2. Contact your legislator and ask him or her to support Carly's Law in Alabama. Just enter your zip code and his or her contact page will appear.  
3. Contact Dustin at to get involved, or visit Carly's Law on Facebook.




  1. Great interview. There is also a White House petition to acknowledge cannabis has medicinal value and reschedule it our ot Schedule I. Please sign. Or if that link doesn't work, try

  2. Unfortunately, cannabidiol alone is not effective as an anticonvulsant. The extract oil currently being used by such patients as Jayden David & Charlotte Figi is whole plant extract with high CBD/low THC content. CBD alone loses the synergy, or entourage effect, of the other plant compounds in cannabis. Furthermore, CBD is cannabidiol. There are numerous cannabinoids, and 2 forms of THC (delta 8 & 9), but not CBD. Research is ongoing for the specific mechanism of CBD, which has a low affinity for the known cannabinoid receptors CB 1 & 2. cannabis is a beneficial plant, not a "dangerous drug". Those are the FDA approved synthetic chemical compounds known as "pharmaceutical drugs" which are known to cause serious adverse reactions and carry the risk of fatal overdose. Pharmaceutical anticonvulsants cause cognitive impairment. Cannabis does not carry any of those risks, even with elevated THC content. The FDA, DEA, ONDCP & NIDA know cannabis is not dangerous. Prohibition is based on lies, period.

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