Senate approves bill for medical cannabis in Alabama

Published Mar 28, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
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Alabama has some of the toughest and perhaps harshest marijuana laws in America. If you are caught with any amount of cannabis, you could find yourself spending time in the local lock-up for up to twenty years.

Senate Bill 165 (AL-SB165) is looking to create a Compassion Act that would legalize Alabama marijuana. The bill would allow qualifying patients to purchase specific medical marijuana products from the state-licensed dispensaries.

Senator David Sessions, who voted to pass the bill that was being presented to the Senate, adamantly believes that the time has come for alternative medicines. The opioid crisis is at epidemic proportions. Cannabis can be the alternative to the mess that the world has found itself in. Alabama marijuana could be the answer to the drug overdose death numbers that plague the state.

Alabama marijuana use for medicinal use has cleared the first-floor vote from Alabama senators. Although federal legalization of cannabis in the state of Alabama may not come to life this year in the United States, the medical Alabama marijuana bill has made headway.

The proposal

The current proposal would see people who have doctor recommendations for the use of medical cannabis to treat specific conditions be provided with a medical marijuana card. Some of the medical conditions that are deemed acceptable for the use of  medical cannabis include:

  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

These and any other medical condition that is approved by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission would indicate the approval of the medical marijuana card in the state of Alabama. The proposal would put in place 34 licensed dispensaries where a person could purchase medical cannabis products. Alabama marijuana would be available in numerous forms,including:

  • skin patches
  • pills
  • creams

However, the bill does not include smoking or vaping as one of the approved methods of consumption.


In the past little headway has been made by cannabis activists fighting for the legalization of medical marijuana from the conservative-leaning state. It does seem, however, that this time, the bill has the optimistic results of being passed.

Melon, the republican senator, notes that things have changed, and people are beginning to take note of the values that can and have been achieved from the use of cannabis today.

The legislation did not get approval without some opposition from the Senate floor. A concern from Senator Strutt's arose around the process of drug approval of medical marijuana. Cannabis approval would bypass the normal drug approval process.

Republican Sen. Dan Roberts was in full support of an expansion to the Alabama existing law that allows the use of CBD oil. He was not in favour of a full medical marijuana law.

The opposition was presented by The Attorney General of Alabama, Steve Marshall. He penned a letter to the lawmakers reminding his colleagues that federal legalization was not part of the presentation. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The bill is on its way to the House of Representatives with uncertainty. The House Speaker has been quoted as saying we are in a wait and see mode.

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