Alabama House committee advances medical marijuana bill

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A medical marijuana bill on Wednesday cleared its first main hurdle within the Alabama House of Representatives.

The House Judiciary Committee authorized the bill after prolonged debate and a number of modification makes an attempt. The bill now goes to the Health Committee after House leaders determined the controversial bill should undergo two committees earlier than going to a flooring vote. A model of the proposal has already handed the state Senate.

The proposal by Republican Sen. Tim Melson would permit folks with a qualifying medical situation to buy marijuana after getting a suggestion from a physician.

During committee debate, Republican Rep. Allen Farley, a former police officer, described how his 94-year-old mom on the finish of her life entered a facility that treats folks with dementia.

“This 37-year law enforcement professional, I was humbled. And if this right here can help some of these grandmothers and great grandmothers have a quality of life and not just sit there doped up in a chair, we’re going to do a great thing for the state of Alabama,” Farley mentioned.

Under the proposal, folks may get a physician’s suggestion to make use of medical marijuana for greater than a dozen sorts of circumstances — together with most cancers, anxiousness, epilepsy, menopause, a terminal sickness and persistent ache. The bill would permit marijuana in types corresponding to tablets, pores and skin patches and lotions however not in smoking or vaping merchandise.

The bill has confronted a troublesome street within the Alabama Legislature. A medical marijuana bill in 2013 received the so-called “Shroud Award” for the “deadest” bill that year within the House of Representatives. Committee members on Wednesday mentioned the bill at size and made a number of modification makes an attempt.

“It was frustrating in taking this long, but hey, the process worked,” Melson mentioned.

The Alabama Senate had authorized the bill by a 21-8 vote after quarter-hour of debate in February. However, the House of Representatives has historically been extra skeptical of medical marijuana proposals and has required the bill to undergo two committees.

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