What is Carly’s Law? (A Father’s Love)

Throughout my years walking with Christ I have come to expect the occasional “knock at the door” from a stranger. And yes, I firmly believe that all believers are somehow tested from time to time to see if we truly are who we say we are. (Do we really believe?) So, when my iphone dinged with an incoming email a few days before Christmas I really wasn’t surprised. You see, I think the timing was perfect for me to receive an email from a man I had never met seeking help for his child. After all, Christmas really is all about a Father’s love.

Matthew 2:9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.

Just imagine, it’s just over five months before the Republican primary and I receive an email from a stranger requesting me to consider supporting a piece of legislation that would legalize the oil from a Marijuana plant. (God, is that really you?) Any politician would be crazy to even talk to someone about the “M” word when they’re trying to get re-elected. (Well, you know I really don’t like being called a politician anyway. I prefer to be called friend, brother, dad, and pop.)

James 2:18 Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.


First, let me be perfectly clear. I do not support legalizing the use of Marijuana in the state of Alabama. Over my last three years in the Alabama legislature I have been contacted by a number of individuals who were lobbying for “Medical Marijuana” legislation. I have heard stories of cancer patients, Alzheimer patients, and patients with various spinal cord injuries, who could be helped by using Marijuana in various forms to decrease pain and anxiety. But, there always seems to be the underlying fear of “Medical Marijuana” simply becoming another source for the illegal street dealer to access marijuana to sell to our children.

My response to those who have approached me wanting support for Medical Marijuana legislation has always been the same: {Get the medical associations to step forward and verify the medical benefits of specific forms and doses of Marijuana to treat specific patients}.

The father who contacted me just before Christmas was Dustin Chandler. Dustin and his wife Amy are the loving parents of two children. Their son Colton is 4 years old, and their daughter Carly was 3 years old in February. Dustin is a police officer for the city of Pelham in Shelby County and also sells real estate in the Birmingham area. Amy is a stay-at-home mom. They sound like a typical young couple who are committed to working hard and taking care of their children. Yes they are.

Dustin explained to me that their son Colton is a little boy who is as wild as a 4 year old boy can be. But, little Carly is something extra special. Carly has a very severe neurological disorder called CDKL5. Dustin stated that there are only 600-700 people worldwide with the disorder, and only about 100-200 in the United States. The CDKL5 disorder causes multiple disabilities. Carly suffers from daily seizures and is severely developmentally delayed. Along with being legally blind, she cannot walk, talk, or feed herself. There is no long term prognosis for the CDKL5 disorder. Carly’s doctors can’t tell Dustin and Amy how long they think Carly will live, or what to expect from the next seizure.

A scary fact: According to Wikipedia.org approximately 50,000 people die each year in the United States from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). Dustin Chandler reflects the love of a father in his resent email:

Since we don’t know how long she will be with us, my wife Amy and I said we were going to give Carly the best quality of life we could possibly give her no matter what. Giving Carly the best quality of life is what led me to this journey. Carly has tried over 8 Anti-Epileptic Drugs or AED’s and none of them have stopped her seizures. All the AED’s that she has been given have had bad side effects with some of them possibly being fatal. As we looked for answers we heard about a specific strain of Marijuana that was high in CBD and low in THC called Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte’s Web comes in an oil form and is given orally. Since there are no psychoactive properties there is no way to get “stoned” by taking it. It has shown to be 80-85% effective in children in not only stopping seizures, but also improving cognitive abilities. After hearing Dr. Sanjay Gupta cover the story, Amy and I knew we wanted to try it. But, as you know, it is illegal in the state of Alabama.”


Well, what should the Alabama Legislature do? (Remember, this is an election year.) We have to be tough on crime. Do we dare even discuss Carly’s Law this session? Should we hire a political consultant to conduct a telephone survey to determine an acceptable number of children’s lives it would take to justify legalizing low THC Marijuana oil? Do we need to save 100 lives, or 200? Or, maybe we need to be able to save at least 1000 children before we discuss legalizing any substance associated with Marijuana? What if Carly Chandler were your daughter or granddaughter? (It really is that simple.)


I am just one person on a long list of Alabama state elected officials Dustin Chandler has contacted to seek support for Carly’s Law. And, I must admit, after learning that this low THC Marijuana oil has no psychoactive properties that would appeal to the typical Marijuana smoker, I was encouraged. Just think, Carly’s Law may even bring some unintended benefits to a sometimes fiercely divided Alabama Legislature in 2014. (Remember, God has been known to use a child.)

Isaiah 11:6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.

Last Saturday Muriel and I were privileged to be with over 250 people who attended a Carly’s Law rally at the Pelham Civic Complex. Pelham’s Mayor and Police Chief were among a long list of speakers who went to the microphone and voiced support for the passage of this life changing legislation. Carly’s Law, (House Bill 207 and Senate Bill 174), has now passed the Senate committee and is waiting to be placed on the calendar for a vote of entire body of Alabama Senators. In the next few weeks House sponsor Representative Mike Ball is excited to have the opportunity to present Carly’s Law to the Alabama House of Representatives. This has been a long road, but God has placed individuals where they needed to be when they needed to be there. (To God be the glory!)

Judges 7:2 The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her.”

God Bless America!!!

Representative Allen Farley represents District 15 in the Alabama House of Representatives. His email address is


Representative Farley’s blogs can be viewed at