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State Rep. Ball: ‘This is the year’ for medical marijuana — Says we need to find a way ‘to utilize this plant in the way God intended it’

Last week, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to SB 46, a bill brought by Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence), which would legalize medical marijuana in the state.

That likely clears the path for the legislation’s passage in the Alabama Senate. Its future now rests in the Alabama House of Representatives, where it has not fared as well as it had in the Senate in previous years.

State Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison) will carry the bill in the legislature’s lower chamber this year. During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, he offered an optimistic outlook for medical marijuana.

“Unless something strange happens, I think this is the year for it,” he said. “I’ve listened to some of the opposition, and the opposition is very fear-based, and I understand why. Marijuana is not a safe thing. You know how all of this started and how all of this came about. This is not a conspiracy by a bunch of folks to turn us into California. As a matter of fact, this thing started with Carly’s Law. It started with an email from a grandmother concerned about her granddaughter’s seizures. And it went from Carly’s Law to Leni’s Law. When people see the whole story on how we got here and what’s behind this, and what we’re trying to do, I think a lot of those fears could certainly be laid to rest, and they should be. But I understand why people are suspicious. We’re in a highly politicized environment. It’s a bad time for that.”

“Senator Melson is not a pro-marijuana person, but he is a medical researcher,” Ball continued. “He realizes there are legitimate medical uses for this, and we need to find a way to get this plant — to utilize this plant in the way God intended it, and He created it — for healing. This bill is all about healing. That’s the purpose of it. There are people who do abuse marijuana and have abused marijuana — and it has caused harm. And it actually caused an overreaction by the federal government that while they were trying to prevent people from harming themselves, they inadvertently or maybe intentionally kept researchers from using it, kept doctors from using it as medicine. And we wound up getting opioids and all kinds of other drugs with a lot more harmful side effects that cannabis helps. Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. But what we did is in our fear of the bad, we have hampered people from doing good.”

“I believe healing is good,” he added. “I believe our country, our state — we all need a lot of healing.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.