State Representative introduces medical marijuana legalization bill
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – State Rep. Mike Ball (R-Huntsville) introduced a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Alabama.
According to our news partners at AL.com, Rep. Ball says House Bill 243 is about “helping sick people.”
Rep. Ball, who is a former Alabama Bureau of Investigation agent, also sponsored the bills that became Leni’s Law and Carly’s Law for CBD oil use. Carly’s Law will soon expire and he said those laws need to be extended or revised.
“Carly’s law expires, and we need to extend that,” Ball said. “There need to be clarifications on Leni’s Law.”
Carly’s Law, passed in 2014, authorized a UAB study on using cannabidiol, or CBD oil, to treat seizure disorders. That law expires July 1, 2019. The bill would extend Carly’s Law until Jan. 1, 2021.
“The research is paying off,” Ball said. “Some of the doctors want to do a medical card procedure. I’m doing one bill that will take care of that.”
The law would give people with medical conditions who qualify for a valid medical cannabis card an exemption from the crime of marijuana possession.
HB 243 would revise Leni’s Law by authorizing those over age 19 diagnosed with a qualifying condition to obtain a medical cannabis card and authorizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
The bill sets guidelines for establishing the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, which would regulate the patient registry system, and issue medical cannabis cards and licenses for the cultivation, processing, transportation, manufacturing, and sale of cannabis in the state.
“We’ve got to have a legitimate way of regulating cannabis,” Ball said. “This will be strictly regulating it.”
The bi-partisan bill has 20 other co-sponsors, including Democrats Rep. John Rogers and Rep. Juandalynn Givan, and Republican House Speaker Mac McCutcheon. “The speaker’s always been supportive on this,” Ball said.