On Wednesday, Alabama’s Senate passed a policy change to authorize medical cannabis within the state.
This comes after the Senate Judiciary Committee ascended the legislation. It later received a 21-8 ‘pass’ full floor vote during a 15-minute, short discussion.
The reform was championed by Senator Melson Tim and would permit people with eligible conditions to acquire marijuana for therapeutic uses.
Melson also sponsored similar reform that was advanced last year by the full Senate. However, it later stalled without any House vote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This recent policy change would create an eleven-seat Alabama Medical Cannabis Committee to enact rules and regulate licensing.
To be eligible for this measure, individuals would need to be diagnosed with any of about twenty conditions, such as sleep disorders, intractable pain, PTSD, and anxiety. Local jurisdictions won’t be able to add extra conditions independently, that priority will only be exercised by lawmakers.
Advocates have heralded Alabama’s move to advance medical cannabis; however, they’ve cited issues with various aspects of the reform.
One problematic section, they assert, is that patients with intractable or chronic pain could only access medical cannabis in situations where conventional opiate therapy and therapeutic intervention have proven inefficient or are contraindicated.
The proposal also prohibits smoking, vaping, raw cannabis, and baked or cooked food commodities. patients would instead be permitted to buy oils, suppositories, lozenges, capsules, and topical patches.
Patients would also be permitted to possess and purchase not more than seventy daily medical marijuana dosage. Under an amended bill passed on the floor, the highest daily dosage was capped at 50 milligrams. Nonetheless, the bill’s sponsor asserted that it might be increased to 75mg in certain circumstances.
The amendment also advises labeling cannabis commodities to show that marijuana can lead to drowsiness.
Caregivers, patients, and medical marijuana ventures would be legally protected against penalties for state-legalized activities.