Local Family Hoping to Qualify for Carly's Law Study

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ENTERPRISE, AL -- Zion Jackson has spent most of his life beating the odds. Now, Jackson's life could be made easier, thanks to a new bill signed into law by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley earlier this week.

Bentley signed legislation on Tuesday permitting the University of Alabama at Birmingham to do a study of a marijuana derivative to treat seizures. The bill, known as Carly's Law, passed unanimously through the legislature.

Tuesday's bill signing could help Jackson, who choked on a hot dog when he was three years old. Doctor's said Jackson wouldn't live, due to the loss of oxygen to his brain.

Jackson pulled through. However, it came at a price.

The lack of oxygen caused Jackson, now eight years old, to develop a seizure disorder. He suffers 20-30 seizures per day, with an average of seven severe seizures each day.

Jackson is currently on three different seizure medications, and as he's grown older, the doses have increased. Jackson's grandmother, Pamela Baker takes care of Jackson. She says the medicine makes him extremely drowsy and unresponsive at times.

The impending UAB study could help Jackson. His family hopes Jackson will qualify for the clinical trial, which will test the effects of a marijuana derivative, cannabidiol oil.

Some researchers believe cannabidiol oil can help reduce severe seizures. Governor Bentley is a former physician, and he says he supports medical research to discover new medicines.

The new law takes effect June 1, but the study still must be approved by two federal agencies. The state Legislature is allocating $1 million to fund the study.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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