Alabamians react to Jeff Sessions' medical marijuana comment

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United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has harsh words for the use of marijuana.

He wrote the criticism into a prepared speech for law enforcement officers in Richmond, Virginia.

In the speech, Sessions describes marijuana as "only slightly less awful" than heroin. After the speech he told reporters "medical marijuana has been hyped--maybe too much".

Dustin Chandler of Hoover calls the attorney general's comments disappointing. Chandler's daughter, Carly, was born with a neurological disorder. In 2014, Carly's Law was passed in Alabama, allowing similar patients to access cannabidiol oil through UAB.

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"She's nonverbal. She's still nonverbal. She has got severe challenges ahead of her. But I was able to connect and still can connect with my daughter through her eyes and I attribute that to CBD oil that comes from the cannabis plant," Chandler said.

The father said Carly has fewer seizures and her cognitive ability has improved. So when he heard Sessions' latest comment about medical marijuana-- it hit home.

"It's almost a kick in the gut as a dad, because it's not over-hyped. Jeff Sessions, please talk to the families of Alabama. I talk to them all the time. I'll invite him to come meet by daughter and see how she has changed," Chandler added.

ABC 33/40 News asked PRIDE of Tuscaloosa their thoughts on medical marijuana. They provide parent resources for drug education.

"Our whole thing is trying to prevent kids from getting addicted. And our place is not to interfere with the way a doctor treats their patients," said PRIDE Executive Director Derek Osborn.

Instead, PRIDE focuses on the recreational use of marijuana. They believe more research is needed to prove the plant's long-term impact.

But PRIDE also questions the attorney general's comment comparing heroin to marijuana.

"The comparison of the two substances themselves is a little bit of a stretch," Osborn said.

Chandler wants to see more national research on medical marijuana. He said it would prove what marijuana can and cannot do.

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