Alabama

Fri
07
Apr

Medical marijuana in Alabama: 'Nobody really leading that fight'

For marijuana to be legalized in Alabama - whether for medical or recreational use - it must begin with the state legislature.

And that's pretty much the end of the conversation because that conversation isn't taking place these days.

"There's not been any talk here about, any serious conversations about it," said state Rep. Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, and House minority leader. "I've heard more from constituents on this issue than legislators. There's nobody really leading that fight."

AL.com this week spoke with seven lawmakers - both Republicans and Democrats - and that sampling indicated there was virtually no movement in legalizing marijuana.

Tue
21
Mar

Pro-Marijuana Church Active in Alabama: Members Tout 'God and Cannabis'

With a stained-glass window behind them, a lineup of speakers stepped to the front of the church and talked about the potential health benefits of legalizing plants that are currently outlawed in Alabama.

"I smoke cannabis on a daily basis for my pain," said Janice Rushing, president of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama. "If I did not, I'd be on pain pills."

Her husband, Christopher Rushing, chief executive officer of Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light, says he also uses marijuana routinely.

The Rushings founded the Oklevueha Church in 2015 and claim that it has a legal exemption for its members to smoke marijuana and ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms and peyote cactus.

Fri
17
Mar

Alabamians react to Jeff Sessions' medical marijuana comment

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has harsh words for the use of marijuana.

He wrote the criticism into a prepared speech for law enforcement officers in Richmond, Virginia.

In the speech, Sessions describes marijuana as "only slightly less awful" than heroin. After the speech he told reporters "medical marijuana has been hyped--maybe too much".

Dustin Chandler of Hoover calls the attorney general's comments disappointing. Chandler's daughter, Carly, was born with a neurological disorder. In 2014, Carly's Law was passed in Alabama, allowing similar patients to access cannabidiol oil through UAB.

Tue
14
Mar

Alabama's slow embrace of medical marijuana

Unlike most states, Alabama does not allow the medical use of marijuana. But the state has recently passed laws allowing the use of some marijuana-derived extracts that can't get you high.

And Mark Coleman's testimony on his daughter's use of cannabidiol oil makes a compelling case for the drug's benefits.

Coleman's 15-year-old daughter, Mary Ann, has a severe case of autism. She doesn't speak and frequently tries to hurt herself - pinching her arms, slamming her head, biting whatever she can get into her mouth.

Then the Alabama legislature passed Leni's Law, which went into effect June 1, 2016, and Mary Ann's life improved "tenfold" since she began taking the CBD oil, her father said.

Wed
01
Mar

Marijuana Company With Alabama Roots Becomes Major National Pot Brand

In 2008, real estate developers Tripp Keber and Chuck Smith owned and operated an upscale RV resort just outside Gulf Shores with aspirations of building a national chain.

But the recession would see those dreams dashed, and in 2009 the business partners took a risk and diversified their investment portfolio in a new way by putting money into an up-and-coming cannabis company in Colorado.

Business was good, and they soon realized that legal pot was quickly becoming a booming industry. So in June 2010, they took the next step, incorporating a humble Denver-based cannabis start-up called Dixie Elixirs.

Wed
22
Feb

Legal marijuana: Will Alabama be last?

As legalized marijuana spreads across the United States, most observers remain skeptical that recreational marijuana will be legal anytime soon in Alabama.

"We're the Bible Belt," said Gary Hetzel, a retired warden at Donaldson and Holman prisons and now executive director of the Alabama Therapeutic Education Facility. "We're too conservative."

Marijuana activists are hopeful, but realistic.

Wed
20
Jul

The 12 Best Cities for Growing Marijuana Outdoors

The marijuana business in the U.S. is growing like a weed.

Nationwide, legal sales of marijuana reached $5.7 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion the previous year, according to a report from ArcView Market Research. For 2016, the market is projected to grow to $7.1 billion. And by 2020, ArcView says, sales of legal marijuana in the U.S. could top $22 billion.

As it stands now, about two-thirds of America’s marijuana crop — the legal and illegal kinds — is grown outdoors, according to Mother Jones magazine.

Thu
12
May

Alabama medical marijuana bill signed into law

Gov. Robert Bentley says patients deserve 'every possible option' to treat their illness

 Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed legislation into law to allow medical marijuana oil in the state.

The law, which will decriminalize possession of cannabidiol produced in other states, will go into effect June 1.

The legislation, nicknamed Leni’s Law, follows a similar bill in 2014 that established a CBD oil medical study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Thu
05
May

Alabama: Gov. Robert Bentley Signs Medical Cannabis Oil Bill

Gov. Robert Bentley has signed into law a bill to allow people with debilitating medical conditions to use cannabidiol, which is made from the same plant as marijuana.

The bill, known as Leni's Law, expands on a bill passed two years ago, known as Carly's Law, that authorized a UAB study on using cannabidiol to treat people with severe seizure disorders.

"As a physician, I believe it is extremely important to give patients with a chronic or debilitating disease the option to consider every possible option for treatment," Bentley said in a statement.

"With Leni's Law, citizens in Alabama will have access to cannabidiol that may help with treatment. 

Thu
28
Apr

Alabama legislature passes medical marijuana oil bill

The Alabama legislature on Wednesday voted to decriminalize medicinal marijuana oil possession.

In a 95-4 vote in the House of Representatives and a 29-3 vote in the Senate, legislators supported a bill supporters say is a bid to help families struggling with debilitating medical conditions.

Though derived from cannabis, cannabidiol doesn't cause a high like marijuana due to reduced amounts of the psychoactive property tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Proponents say it can help alleviate severe seizures, among other conditions.

"This is an opportunity to give some sunlight to families," said Sen. Paul Sanford, who sponsored the bill in the Senate. "They don't want to feel like criminals, but they know they need to try something like this."

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