Alabama Medical Marijuana
Alabama Medical Marijuana

If Alabama Re-Attempts Medical Marijuana Legalization in 2021 Isn't It Game Over for Marijuana Prohibition?

If Alabama is able to get medical marijuana approved in 2021 doesn't that mean is will pass everywhere?

Posted by:
Joseph Billions on Sunday Feb 28, 2021

Will Alabama Re-attempt to Legalize Medical Marijuana in 2021?

alabama medical marijuana

In our technologically advanced world, medical solutions to health crises are no longer restricted to traditional drugs and capsules as there are several alternatives currently available. Medical marijuana has proven to be an all-time favorite recommended by a lot of health practitioners because of its versatility and effectiveness. 


As cannabis gains widespread popularity in various regions of the world, lawmakers in places where it is currently illegal are seeking ways to either legalize or regulate it. The world is evolving and it's obvious marijuana is going to be a major part of our future. The pressure is on these lawmakers to make something happen for their citizens.


People need solutions to their health challenges; marijuana offers answers, so why not legalize it? Would the State of Alabama re-attempt a legalization legislature process? 


A closer look


Although Alabama made some attempts at legalizing medical marijuana in previous years, 2021 holds much promise for legalization through Senator Melson's re-attempt. In February 2021, the Alabama Senate committee approved the bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state.


To understand the gravity of this re-attempt, we must reassess the history of medical marijuana in Alabama and how the pre-existing laws prevented cannabis patients from gaining access to marijuana. 


The pre-existing medical marijuana laws in Alabama


There are no legal options for those living in Alabama with a medical challenge that seek treatment with medical cannabis. Such residents will have to move to another state for cannabis treatment. 


There is only one exception with the SB46 rule that created the Compassion Act, authorizing Alabama residents diagnosed with a qualifying disease to get medical cannabis. Such patients can only use cannabis for the treatment of that ailment and nothing else. 


Under Alabama law, unlawful possession of marijuana in the first degree is regarded as a Class C or D felony. At the same time, unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree is a Class A. 


Do you know that marijuana that a doctor in another state legally prescribes violates the Alabama criminal code? The pre-existing marijuana laws are a joke, total change is needed for progress to occur in the state.


While many American states have legalized medical marijuana, if residents of those states visit Alabama or even drive through possessing medical marijuana, they will be committing a crime.


The Alabama Legislature first attempt at legalizing medical marijuana 


In 2019 and 2020, respectively, Senator Tim Melson of the Alabama legislature brought forward the medical marijuana bill, and the Senate didn't pass the bill both times. The decriminalization of medical marijuana also failed at the Senate committee stage at the Alabama House of Representatives. 


But this year, 2021, Senator Melson's bill has been re-filed with the hope that we will get a more favorable ruling on the medical marijuana bill. The bill seeks to re-establish the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which will establish a patient registry system. 


The registry system will also enable the issuance of cannabis cards and licenses to cultivate and process cannabis. The senators advocating for the bill see it as a tool to allow the transportation and testing of medical cannabis, making access to cannabis easier in Alabama. 


The Coronavirus also impacted the lack of a unanimous decision at the legislative level. After the first attempts, the Alabama legislature didn't consider the possibility of legalizing medical marijuana anytime soon, but here we are in 2021. Would it happen this year? 


The second attempt at the legalization of medical marijuana in 2021 


In 2021, Senator Melson has reintroduced the legislation that will allow cannabis patients with qualifying conditions to gain access to marijuana for treatment purposes. 


Under the new proposed law, an 11-member Alabama Cannabis Commission will be set up to implement regulations and licenses. Patients will need to qualify for the program by first getting diagnosed by a doctor. 


The new attempt at legalization states that there are 20 conditions for which cannabis can be used legally in Alabama. Some of the requirements include: 

Sleep disorders 

Post-traumatic stress 


Intractable pain 

So if a person has any of these conditions and lives in Alabama, the new proposal gives them the legal standing to get cannabis. Regulators in Alabama cannot independently add more health conditions as that decision is up to the lawmakers. 


The impact on cannabis patients in Alabama 


Cannabis advocates in Alabama welcome the new development to legalize cannabis with joy. This development won't just make the lives of medical marijuana patients a lot easier, it will spur enormous growth in medical marijuana research in the region. The legislation will also make it possible for cannabis users to use medical marijuana without any concerns about breaking the law.


As with all drug regulations in states, the State of Alabama added some precautions that most cannabis advocates still believe must be reviewed. 


The preventive laws include: 

Patients with chronic pain will only get cannabis when other treatments are proven ineffective. So it wouldn't be possible to get cannabis at will in Alabama: you must prove that you have exhausted other treatment options. 


The bill prohibits the use of raw cannabis, vaping, smoking, and baked cannabis products. 


Patients are only allowed to purchase CBD oils, capsules, suppositiories, and topical patches. 


Patients will be allowed to get up to 70 daily dosages of medical cannabis under the new amendment. 


The bill calls for the labeling of marijuana products to indicate that cannabis may cause drowsiness. 


30% of the revenue from cannabis sales will be used to fund research into the medical potentials of cannabis. 


The bill restricts who can grow cannabis in the state, but this wouldn't affect its availability or supply to Alabama patients. 


Cannabis contains CBD, a cannabinoid that possesses effective therapeutic functions (like pain-relieving properties) making it a valuable addition to any treatment plan (recommended by a doctor, of course). Therefore states should take legalizing medical cannabis seriously, and Alabama has taken a big step in 2021. 


Cannabis experts and enthusiasts in Alabama argue that many more can still be done to make cannabis more accessible with flexible laws. But considering Alabama's history with medical marijuana, the state has taken a great first step in the right direction.


Bottom line 


Alabama has come a long way with the legalization of medical cannabis. From past years when it was considered a crime to possess cannabis to senators deliberating its legality, the state has slowly but surely moved in the right direction. Now, it's ready to maximize the values of cannabis in today's world. 


The state re-attempted legalizing medical marijuana in 2021 and succeeded. With the approval of the bill proposed by Senator Melson patients, caregivers, and cannabis businesses in Alabama can access medical marijuana without being penalized. 



alabama legalizes medical marijuana








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