HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Alabama Cannabis Coalition held a bipartisan pro-medical marijuana event Tuesday at Big Spring Park. This comes on the heels of major marijuana-related news in Birmingham and potential state-wide action in Montgomery.
The pro-medical marijuana event in Huntsville started at 4:20 p.m. on 4/20. While attendance was minimal, speakers from the far left and right found themselves coming together for the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana.
“Rapists and child abusers are getting out of prison, getting out of jail on two or three year bids. They’ve changed a child’s entire life. And you have people get caught with a joint and they’re in the system forever,” said one speaker with Black Lives Matter.
BLM along with several pro-marijuana conservative groups took turns addressing jail over-population, natural rights and the benefits of medical marijuana. While being mostly on the same page, there was no shortage of opinions.
“I’m not one up here that says I use marijuana, because I don’t. I think it is a disgusting, despicable drug. But at the same time, it should not be illegal. It shouldn’t be something someone goes to jail for. For what they put into their own body,” said Anson Knowles of the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership.
In Birmingham Tuesday, Mayor Randall Woodfin pardoned 15,000 closed marijuana convictions dating back to 1990. Mayor Woodfin says the act was done out of forgiveness and mercy as well as an attempt to rejuvenate gaps in the workforce. Meanwhile in Montgomery, SB 46 has support on both sides of the aisle.
“My Republican colleagues are listening to their constituents and valuing their opinion,” said Rep. Chris England, the Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party.
“We are not going to have come get your cannabis card billboards all up and down the interstate. Those things we made sure are not in there (the bill),” said Rep. Tim Melson of Florence.
Medical marijuana legislation could see a vote in Montgomery sometime next week at the earliest. Some North Alabama residents are hoping they will see progress beyond medical marijuana in their lifetimes.
“It ain’t nobody’s business what somebody does in your own home. If you want to smoke a plant, be gay, shoot guns, do whatever you want to. It’s supposed to be a free country that millions of men and women have fought and died for,” said Colby Burns.
House Speaker Mac McCutcheon says some members of the house are still doing their homework on medical marijuana. Leaders at the event in Huntsville Tuesday afternoon are urging people to call their state government officials to speak their mind on marijuana legislation.
Should anything legislation pass, the state would form a commission to regulate medical marijuana.