Alabama Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

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By Kim Chandler, Associated Press

(AP) — The Alabama Senate on Wednesday authorized marijuana that is medical as advocates hope to get the measure enacted after years of setbacks in the conservative state.

Senators voted 21-8 to approve the bill by Republican Sen. Tim Melson of Florence that would allow people with a qualifying condition that is medical buy cannabis, in kinds such as for example ties in or pills, for medical usage from licensed dispensaries. The bill now moves towards the Alabama Home of Representatives, where lawmakers have actually formerly been more skeptical for the proposition.

“I just want the clients whom want it, to own it,” Melson stated. An anesthesiologist and researcher that is medical Melson said he grew to support the idea of medicinal marijuana after hearing the stories of people who had been helped by it and talking to other doctors, including a well-known Colorado doctor.

“He says it is not a miracle drug, but in patients who have tried everything else and nothing works, it can do miracles. I think that we need to open our eyes and be willing to let people have that opportunity,” Melson said.

People could get a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana for 17 types of conditions — including cancer, anxiety, epilepsy, menopause, a terminal illness and pain that is chronic. The bill allows cannabis in kinds such as for example pills, epidermis spots and ointments however in vaping or smoking products.

Republican Sen. Larry Stutts, who is also a doctor, voted against the bill, saying that medications should go through the review that is normal and which he thinks the definition of medical cannabis is a misnomer.

“We have actually a procedure for items, for medications, for medicines become authorized so we are bypassing that whole process,” Stutts, R-Tuscumbia, said.

“The listing of items that you can qualify for a

card with, that list is so broad and general anybody in this room could qualify to get it that we have on the bill. Such things such as PMS, menopause symptoms, back pain, chronic pain,” Stutts told a gathering of reporters.

The Senate approved the bill in less than 15 minutes, a contrast to 2013, when the sponsor of a medical marijuana bill won the so-called “Shroud Award” for the” bill that is“deadest that year within the House of Representatives.

Stutts stated the vote started as he had been from the chamber and stated he could be disappointed that one thing therefore “transformative towards the state” received no debate.

Melson Is optimistic about the bill’s chances in the homely house.

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