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It’s official: Alabama is legalizing medical marijuana

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MONTGOMERY, AL – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the medical marijuana bill on Monday as Republican opposition to the issue waned after decades of debate.

The program enables people with a qualified illness to purchase medical marijuana on the recommendation of a doctor. Approval came eight years after a 2013 medical marijuana bill won the so-called “Shroud Prize” for the “deadliest” bill of the year in the House of Representatives.

I signed SB 46 on medical marijuana. I would like to thank Senator Tim Melson and Rep. Mike Ball for their hard work over the past few years and their dedication to continuing to work to ensure we operate productively, safely, and responsibly in AL. #alpolitics pic.twitter.com/2IUBZVEKpI

– Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) May 17, 2021

Ivey described signing the bill as an “important first step” and thanked the bill sponsors for their work.

“This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue that is under constant investigation. At the state level, we have had a study group that has looked into this in depth, and I’m interested in the potential that good medical cannabis can have for people with chronic diseases, or what it can do for people’s quality of life in China to improve their last days, ”Ivey said.

The Senate had already approved the bill last February after only 15 minutes of debate with 21 to 8 votes. But the House of Representatives had traditionally been more skeptical of medical marijuana proposals and had sent the bill through two committees before approving it in 68-34.

More than a dozen medical conditions, including cancer, an incurable disease, depression, epilepsy, panic disorder, and chronic pain, would allow a person to qualify. The bill would allow the marijuana in forms like pills, skin patches, and creams, but not in smoke or steam products.

Representatives voted to name the bill after the son of a state Democratic representative, Laura Hall. She first introduced medical marijuana bill over a decade ago after her son Wesley ‘Ato’ Hall died of AIDS.

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Beth Edmonds