State representative says medical marijuana legislation still up in the air

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A piece of legislation that would allow Alabama doctors to recommend medical marijuana for a number of ailments passed in the state Senate. But its future remains shaky.

There are plenty of legislators on both sides of the argument. But one state representative is arguing, morality plays the biggest role in the fight.

Senate Bill 46, also known as The Compassion Act, is a hot topic in the legislature. The bill has passed in the Senate for the past 2 years but it continues to stall in the House

Huntsville-area Representative Mike Ball said he’s not hopeful that will change this session.

“I don’t know something just keeps blocking it in the House, and it’s really puzzling to me.”

Not much has changed about the bill from 2020. It allows doctors to recommend medical cannabis as a treatment for illnesses and ailments such as nausea, anxiety, and chronic pain.

Ball said for some legislators, the medical marijuana conversation is deeper than surface level.

“It’s called a moral dilemma,” said Ball.

Before he became a State Representative, he was a hostage negotiator and investigator with The Alabama Bureau of Investigation.

He said he’s been on both sides of the argument.

“I have been in law enforcement, I have seen people who abuse it. I know people do abuse it,” said Ball. “I had no idea I bought into the propaganda hook, line, and sinker.”

Ball said regulation remains necessary however, his feelings have since changed about the benefits of medicinal marijuana. He said it is the duty of legislators to speak up on behalf of citizens who need it.

“I will tell you when people are suffering, I think the moral obligation to help people who are suffering is more than this law and as legislators, I think we have a responsibility to challenge it,” he said. “It’s not unprecedented for states to challenge federal law. It happens all the time.”

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