Marijuana News

State DAs plead with lawmakers to reconsider medical marijuana program

State DAs plead with lawmakers to reconsider medical marijuana program


The Alabama House of Representatives is expected to introduce and vote on legislation that would legalize limited uses of medical marijuana for patients suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, and other illnesses where THC appears to be useful in treating symptoms. The bill was approved by the state’s Senate and was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Tim Nelson, who is also an anesthesiologist and medical researcher.  

The bill, however, is being met with much opposition, and not the traditional opposition you normally expect from Republican lawmakers. Of Alabama’s 42 district attorneys, 23 sent a letter to lawmakers opposing the proposed legislation. They argued that, “marijuana is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” suggesting that the general public’s notion that cannabis is essentially harmless is a lie. 

More than half of the state’s district attorneys buy into the fear propaganda that’s actively fueling marijuana prohibition, particularly in the South. Nelson, who supports the use of marijuana as medicine, openly opposes legalization for recreational use and permitting any product that could be vaped or smoked by patients enrolled in the medical marijuana program. 

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon expects that a vote in the House on the bill will occur before the session ends May 17. There are currently no indicators on how members of the House will vote, or if the district attorneys were successful in scaring them out of progressing the medical program. McCutcheon believes the vote will be close, but could really go either way. 

There are medical marijuana programs in 36 states, four territories, and Washington D.C. Six of the states comprising the Southern Legislative Conference have laws legalizing cannabis for medical use. These states include Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Virginia remains the only southern state to fully legalize marijuana for recreational use. Unless changes are made at the polls, marijuana prohibition will survive in the South much longer than it’s welcomed.

Soon you may see medical marijuana dispensaries in Alabama.


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