Hope for Haley: The face behind the push to legalize CBD oils in NC

Haley Ward is the face behind CBD oil push in NC
Published: Mar. 12, 2014 at 3:48 AM EDT
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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - A North Carolina Republican says she is going to sponsor a bill to legalize CBD oils – a type of medical marijuana – and name it after a 5-year-old girl in her district.

"I'm calling it 'Hope for Haley'," said Representative Pat McElraft, who represents Carteret and Jones Counties.  "I met 5-year-old Haley Ward a month ago and she just touched my heart.  I have to help.  I have to do something."

Haley's mom, Sherena, says she wants her daughter to have the chance to take "Charlotte's Web", a type of CBD Oil.  CBD oils are made from marijuana, but engineered to be high in CBD, the stuff in marijuana that can be therapeutic, and low in THC, the stuff that gets you high.

"To have our North Carolina families travel to Colorado to get this medicine makes no sense," said McElraft.  "It's not getting any child high."

Haley suffers from CDKL5, a genetic disorder.  She can have dozens of seizures a day.

"It's the only hope those kids have right now," said McElraft.  "Though it doesn't work for all of them, it might work for some.  And it's much better than some of these other drugs they have these children on which are so debilitating to their little bodies.  Why shouldn't we try something?"

Haley's mom, Sherena, says she's endlessly grateful.

"I'm really happy she's sticking her neck out for these kids because nothing else is working," she said.  "There's no other option for my daughter."

Representative McElraft, who has been in office since 2007, says she is still developing the bill.

"I want to legalize CBD oils in North Carolina under strict conditions," she said.  "For pediatric use and through a pilot program with Duke and UNC and some of the university medical systems.  I want neurologists to also be involved."

McElraft says Haley changed her mind about this specific type of medical marijuana.

"To have North Carolina moms travel to Colorado and split up their families, that's not what we need," she said.  "We need to take care of the kids here."

"Charlotte's Web", the one strain we've done extensive stories on here at WBTV, is not FDA-approved.

"Waiting for approval will take too long," said McElraft.  "Some of our families in our state don't have that much time.  We need to pass this now."

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