With record-breaking support for cannabis legalization and virtually unanimous support for medical use, positive reforms have largely become bipartisan when debating policy. However, when actually enacting change, it’s easy to see that the Deep South is the last frontier for advocates, both because of entrenched political powers and the lack of the initiative process. It’s a huge victory for the cannabis community, and a testament to the perseverance and dedication of Alabama advocates that they managed to get the signature of Governor Kay Ivey on a medical bill sponsored by a medical professional and a former member of law enforcement. The Associated Press reports:
“The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Tim Melson, an anesthesiologist. It was handled in the House of Representatives by Republican Rep. Mike Ball, a former state trooper and state investigator. The approval came after a number of lawmakers shared stories of loved ones and their illnesses.
“The bill would allow the marijuana in forms such as pills, skin patches and creams but not in smoking or vaping products.
“The program authorizes use of medical marijuana to treat for conditions including cancer-related nausea or vomiting, or chronic pain; Crohn’s disease; depression; epilepsy, HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss; panic disorder, Parkinson’s disease; persistent nausea; post-traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and Tourette’s syndrome.”
Yes, it’s disappointing that patients won’t be able to smoke or vaporize cannabis, but this is a great step in the right direction, and most importantly, it will improve many lives once enacted. And each step in the right direction lays the foundation for future reforms that will benefit even more people, not only in Alabama, but in the few remaining states without medical cannabis laws. This is a great victory for the cannabis community in Alabama and the its positive implications will be felt well beyond its borders.
At Kind Leaf, we are happy to always provide OMMP patients an additional 15% off of their cannabis purchase.
Featured photo credit: Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance