JEFFERSON CITY — Zayden Rayl was not expected to live past 2. Yet on Tuesday his mother, Heidi Rayl, sat in front of a House committee and flipped through pictures of her now 8-year-old son during emotional testimony in favor of a bill that would allow limited use of medical marijuana.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Neely, R-Cameron provides access to the substance for people who suffer from terminal conditions. Rayl supports it even though it doesn’t loosen restrictions enough to help her son. His illness would not qualify.
Rayl’s son suffers from a rare genetic condition that causes chronic life-threatening seizures. His mother told the committee that the availability of cannabinoid oil, also known as CBD oil, changed her son’s life.
In 2014, House Bill 2238 afforded certain patients access to CBD oil. CBD, noted for its effectiveness in alleviating pain and epilepsy symptoms, is an active ingredient in marijuana. Unlike marijuana’s other active ingredient, THC, it does not produce the intoxicating effects commonly associated with recreational marijuana use.
Before Rayl’s ability to access CBD oil, her son had to be airlifted or transported by ambulance to a hospital several times a month.
After trying a variety of pharmaceuticals and special diets, “absolutely nothing