by: Paige Hansen Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. - Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law Thursday that will let some people legally use a form of marijuana.
The governor said cannabidiol, or CBD, oil extracted from hemp plants will help treat patients with epilepsy.
But some advocates think this law will only push back any further legalization of medical marijuana.
Tom Harper showed us the pills doctors prescribe him for his fibromyalgia, a disorder that he said causes him severe pain.
Harper said he would rather ease that pain with medical marijuana but can only get it on the black market.
"I tell the politicians, 'Here's something that's helping’ and they say, 'Well, you can't have that,'" Harper, the president of North Carolina's Cannabis Patients Network, said.
The CBD oil that will be available to patients only in clinical trials will not really benefit Harper but he hopes the new law starts a conversation about marijuana.
"What we ultimately hope for this is that they will see this as a positive thing and start asking for more medical marijuana to use," Harper said.
CBD oil is derived from hemp and has a low THC content, the psychoactive compound in pot.
North Carolina is one of several states that will allow for CBD oil to be used for medicinal purposes but Harper said it can already be purchased online.
Harper said Bluebird Botanicals ships high content CBD oil to all 50 states, which is why Harper said he thinks the new law is only buying time for politicians.
"They can look at us and say, 'Well, we've done something for medical marijuana,'" Harper said.
But advocates, including the family of 5-year-old Haley Ward, who suffers debilitating epileptic seizures, say the CBD oil is a game-changer.
Eyewitness News asked the Attorney General's office if people who order CBD oil online and use it in North Carolina can get into trouble, but so far we have not heard back.