Alabama Medical Marijuana Bill to Get Hearing

Alabama Medical Marijuana Bill to Get Hearing

MONTGOMERY, AL — A bill that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes has been pre-filed in the Alabama House. The House Health Committee will consider the bill next Wednesday.

Todd’s bill would allow people with certain illnesses, such as cancer and AIDS, to obtain small amounts of marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Patricia Todd of Birmingham, says legalizing the cannabis for medical purposes would help cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and others suffering from severe pain.

“All we’re asking is to give us another tool in the doctor toolkit,” said Rep. Todd.

Similar bills in Alabama have failed several times, including most recently in November 2012.

Todd acknowledges the opposition to her bill, and said she was “shocked” at being on the committee agenda.

The 2013 session of the Alabama Legislature begins Tuesday and Todd’s bill is the first issue scheduled to be considered Wednesday by the House Health Committee.

A total of 18 states currently have legalized medical marijuana and two states, Washington and Colorado, have legalized the general use of marijuana. But the use of marijuana remains a violation of federal law.

Arkansas voters narrowly defeated a medical marijuana ballot measure in November by a 51 .4 percent to 48.6 percent margin.