Medical marijuana debate to likely return in 2020

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The new year is around the corner, and coming with it, a new debate over medical marijuana in Alabama.

In December, the Medical Cannabis Study Commission submitted its final report on the issue.

State leaders created the commission in the 2019 session and tasked it with providing recommendations on how the state should move forward.

As part of its final presentation, it also submitted a potential bill for the legislature to consider.

In its’ report, the commission created a list of items it would want to see in any bill.

They included but were not limited to:

  • All marijuana products would have to originate in Alabama.
  • The plant could not be smoked, and could not be put in candy or anything that would entice children.
  • Physicians would be trained on the drug, and all employees handling it would go through background checks.

The draft of the bill leaves the door open on who could use the marijuana. It lists off patients with Epilepsy, AIDs and PTSD among others, but also stated illnesses could be added if there is scientific evidence showing marijuana helping those patients patients.

It will likely fall to Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, to present the bill.

He was chair of the commission and an advocate for potential benefits.

Melson was able to get a medical marijuana bill through the senate last session before it died in the house.

The legislative session begins February 4.

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