On Wednesday, a pertinent Alabama Senate Commission passed a reform to decriminalize medical marijuana, tabling it for a full floor vote.
Last week, Senator Tim Melson unveiled a legislation that would permit individuals with eligible conditions to access marijuana for therapeutic uses. The legislation left the Senate Judiciary Commission with an 8-3 vote after a short discussion and now awaits the consideration of the full chamber.
Melson also championed another similar reform that was passed by Senate in 2020, however, it became futile without the House vote going to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest proposal would create an eleven-member Alabama Medical Marijuana Committee to enact reforms and regulate licensing. To be eligible for the measure, folks would need to be diagnosed with at least one of the twenty conditions such as sleep disorders, anxiety, intractable pain and PTSD.
Other authorities won’t be able to add extra conditions independently since that decision would be made by legislators.
Advocates appreciate that medical marijuana reform is passing within the state; however, they were dissatisfied with some aspects of the reform. They pointed out one problematic issue: that patients suffering from intractable or chronic pain could be prescribed marijuana in situations where traditional therapeutic treatment and opioids have become ineffective.
The reform also prohibits raw marijuana, vaping, smoking and baked commodities. Rather, patients would be permitted to buy lozenges, capsules, suppositories, topical patches and oils.
According to the proposal, caregivers, patients and medical marijuana ventures would be legally protected, safeguarding them against penalties for operations that are state-legalized.
Physicians would have to finish a four-hour progressive education course and pass a test to be able to prescribe marijuana to patients. They would have to pay not less than $500 to enrol in the course. Doctors would also need to take a refresher class after each every 730 days.