Alabama's legislature begins its session tomorrow, and lawmakers are already wary of a controversial issue: medical marijuana. Tomorrow, the Alabama Legislature meets for the first time after recess, and some lawmakers have already expressed caution on the controversial issues.
Senator Tim Melson of Florence, Alabama, raised the issue of decriminalizing medical marijuana, which failed in an Alabama House committee. Legalizing medical marijuana is one of the issues he has addressed in 2019 and 2020, and he has already introduced his bill to the Senate as Senate Bill 46 this year. At the time, the Alabama Senate narrowly passed the bill, but the decriminalization of medical marijuana failed in its first session in 2019 at a Senate committee.
For those who believe they can be treated with medicinal cannabis, there are other legal options such as leaving the state. SB46 would create the Compassion Act, according to the Alabama Department of Health's website.
It would allow certain Alabama residents diagnosed with a qualifying disease to be registered and receive a medical cannabis card that gives the patient permission to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. While dozens of states have legalized medical marijuana, state citizens still commit a crime and go to jail if they visit an Alabama beach or even drive marijuana legally prescribed to them by a doctor in another state if caught. Under current law, unlawful possession of first-degree marijuana is a Class C or Class D offense, and unlawful possession of second-degree marijuana is a Class A. Even marijuana, legally prescribed by doctors, leads to violations of the Alabama Criminal Code.