MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would decriminalize medical marijuana.
The vote was 21-8 in favor of the bill. This comes after the bill was passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month 8-3.
It would create a Medical Cannabis Commission to license growers, oversee cultivation, implement regulations and oversee dispensing of medical marijuana.
It would prohibit using cannabis by smoking, vaping, candy or baked goods products.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, says he was once a skeptic but believes the time has come for medical marijuana in Alabama.
“We live in a time when something happens, right away we hear it,” Melson said. “If somebody’s family member has it, we see it. I just started listening to people. Listen, I’m not a recreational marijuana person, I don’t want that in this state. I just want the patients who need it to have it.”
The bill will now head to the House for a final vote. The bill has had trouble in the past once it’s hit the House, but Melson said he believes support there is growing.