Alabama’s medical marijuana bill educates but fails to advance in 2013
Two medical marijuana bills were introduced in Alabama in 2012, but neither received a public hearing. However, it’s clear that all the emails and phone calls from supporters made an impact on legislators because this year’s medical marijuana bill was placed on the agenda and considered by the House Health Committee.
Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham), sponsor of H.B. 2, watched her bill get off to an early start when the committee considered public testimony at a preliminary hearing November 14, 2012. Supporters at that hearing included a state prosecutor, Jay Fisher, who publicly outlined five myths about the issue prior to the hearing, and several patients suffering from debilitating illnesses. Then, February 6, a public hearing was held and the bill was voted down 12-2. However, at least one legislator who voted “no” said he could not support the bill in its current form but felt the issue was worthy of further study.
Please email your state legislators to let them know you support legislation that protects Alabama’s seriously ill. The more legislators hear from people like you, the more likely they are to pass effective medical marijuana laws. It only takes a few minutes, but can have an enormous effect. Rep. Todd has had success with medical marijuana legislation before. In 2012, she made Alabama history when she successfully led H.B. 642, “The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act of Alabama,” out of the House Judiciary Committee on April 7, 2010, the first time that medical marijuana legislation ever passed committee in Alabama. The bill went to the House floor, but unfortunately, the legislature adjourned on April 22, 2010, without the bill receiving a vote. Alabamians strongly support protecting the seriously ill from arrest. A 2004 poll by the Mobile Registerand the University of South Alabama found that 75 percent of respondents supported legalizing marijuana for medical use under a doctor’s supervision.
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