Alabama Senate Approves Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill

A bill to give patients access to medical marijuana is one step closer to becoming law in Alabama.

Alabama is one step closer to legalizing medical marijuana after the state senate approved a bill this week to permit the treatment for patients with qualifying conditions.

The bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Tim Melson, passed the chamber on Thursday by a 22-11 vote, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. 

“There could have been more of an organized effort to slow it down, and I appreciate the body not doing that,” Melson told the newspaper following the vote. “We tried to address some very serious things. I’m not taking this bill lightly. It’s a big step for Alabama, and there’s still a long way to go.”

Melson has been one of the leading champions for medical marijuana in the state. He was the chair of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission, which was born out of a failed effort to legalize the treatment last year. The commission, which was tasked with studying whether medical marijuana was a viable option for the state, held several public meetings last year in an effort to provide guidance to lawmakers. 

The Bill’s Journey

In December, the commission voted 12-6 in favor of legislation that would legalize and regulate medical cannabis in Alabama. Last month, on the heels of that recommendation, Melson introduced a bill to legalize medical cannabis, which would make Alabama the 34th state to take such a step. Melson’s proposal would establish another commission, which would be charged with establishing and administering a patient registry system, issuing medical marijuana cards, issuing licenses for cultivating, processing, dispensing and transporting, and testing the cannabis. The commission would also adopt rules, impose restrictions on licensee activity, and regulate the medical cannabis program in the state.

Under Melson’s bill, patients 19 years and older with anxiety or panic disorder, autism, cancer-related cachexia, nausea or vomiting, weight loss or chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, and HIV/AIDS, among other qualifying conditions, would be eligible for a medical marijuana prescription.

Melson introduced a medical marijuana bill last year that also passed the state Senate before fizzling out in the House of Representatives. Following Thursday’s passage in the senate, the bill will now head to the House, where it will likely face a harder road once again.

The Montgomery Advertiser reported that Republican House Speaker Mac McCutcheon “has expressed wariness over the legislation,” and was “noncommittal about the bill on Thursday, but declined to list specific concerns.”

“We’re just in a wait-and-see mode,” McCutcheon said, as quoted by the newspaper.

  1. Nothing better to hear that. The legalization of medical marijuana should have been done before. By now, 43 states have been legalized for medical marijuana. The efforts of Melson for his state are considerable. Alas, there are fewer people considering the legalization of conflict. However, they are busy cultivating their own in large quantities. I hope for best now when the bill has been approved. There are states with medical marijuana dispensaries that have been a relief for patients. Even the current pandemic situation couldn’t stop the sale of medical cannabis. But in states with no legalization, residents are still finding ways to meet their requirements.

  2. Usage of Cannabis as a medical option to some state have been legalized, however, people who uses cannabis, experienced some lung difficulties due to the overusing of cannabis.
    When the allowing of the legality of cannabis businesses to leverage traditional banking services is been agreed, it would be the greatest decision ever been done in the field of marijuana businesses.

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