DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — In a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the Decatur City Council approved an ordinance to allow medical cannabis dispensaries.
Although the approval came with some dissent, City Council President Jacob Ladner said he did not support the ordinance’s passage. He provided reasoning for his positions.
“We have fentanyl issues, and we have other issues… in Alabama and in this country. This will be a challenge for our local officials in how to know,” Ladner said. “It’s just throwing another drug into the mix that people will be impaired with.”
Ladner also mentioned federal laws that prohibit growing and selling weed for any reason, although the U.S. Department of Justice lifted all federal bans on marijuana for medical use.
His greatest concern, Ladner told News 19, is that approving the ordinance will be an additional concern in conjunction with Morgan County’s current opioid crisis.
Andrea Hoffmeier, a citizen advocate in Decatur, disagreed with Ladner’s assessment.
“Chemically, it’s absolutely different than opioids and that’s something I don’t think, pardon the pun, mixed our drinks on it,” explained Hoffmeier, who has pushed medical cannabis for years as she struggles with pain and uses a cane to walk.
“I also think there was some discussion that Mr. Ladner had about meth,” she continued. “Well, any illegal drugs we can’t compare to medical marijuana.
The council says Morgan County is at the top of the state for businesses requesting licenses to operate a dispensary. Decatur now joins 37 other counties that approved the ordinance.