Lawmakers consider bill to allow medical marijuana use for some

Lawmakers consider bill to allow medical marijuana use for some

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - More than 20 House lawmakers are co-sponsoring a bill to allow people with certain conditions to use cannabis, also known as medical marijuana.

House Bill 243 would people with qualifying conditions to use cannabis for medical reasons.

“But this can ease suffering for a lot of people for a lot of things,” said Rep. Mike Ball, the sponsor of the bill.

Robin Pass said her son used to have more than 5,000 seizures each year. The family began weaning him off of pharmaceutical drugs and giving him cannabis oil. Four years later, he has less than 300 seizures a year.

“When you say the word ‘cannabis,’ it doesn’t mean a bunch of kids are getting high. It doesn’t mean what it used to mean," said Pass. "It really is a medicine.”

Currently, Leni’s Law gives people a defense against unlawful possession of marijuana for a person in possession of CBD if the person has a debilitating medical condition.

However, this bill would create the CARE Act and allow someone with a qualifying condition to apply for a medical cannabis card. The card with allow patients to use medical marijuana without committing a crime. It would apply to people with at least 32 conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV.

A licensed physician, physician assistant, and certified nurse practitioner would need to confirm that the patient has one of those qualifying conditions.

Pass said passing the bill would allow their doctors to help prescribe doses of cannabis oil to her children. Currently, she and her husband test and see which doses work best for their children.

The bill also establishes the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which will administer a patient registry system and regulate the growing and dispensing of cannabis in the state.

Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon co-sponsors the bill. He said it is difficult to say whether it will move through the House.

“It’s hard to say, because of the cannabis and marijuana issue that’s attached to it," McCutcheon said. "It’s going to be interesting to see how that bill moves.”

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