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State Sen. Tim Melson introduces medical marijuana bill

State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) introduced a bill Tuesday that would allow Alabamians with qualifying medical conditions to purchase and use cannabis for medical use.

The system would be strictly regulated. Patients with a prescription from a state-approved doctor would be issued a “medical cannabis card.”

Additionally, any person wishing to cultivate, process, dispense, transport or test the medical cannabis would be required to receive a license from the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, a group that Melson’s bill would create.

The bill originated after almost a year of study by a medical marijuana commission.

Under the envisioned system, Alabama physicians must “meet certain qualifications established by rule by the State Board of Medical Examiners” before they could recommend patients for medical marijuana.

The proposal would provide for a tax at the point of sale t0 the medical patient, the revenue from which would be used to fund the agencies necessary for the regulation of the nascent industry.

The public can read the text of the bill here.

Medical marijuana has been an oft-discussed topic in the statehouse in recent years.

Advocates say it is a common practice across America that particularly helps veterans struggling with PTSD. One of Alabama’s most ardent medical marijuana proponents is Rep. Mike Ball (R-Huntsville), who argues that hundreds of people across the state would be relieved of daily pain and seizures if medical marijuana were implemented.

The idea’s detractors, like prominent Alabama evangelist Scott Dawson, maintain that any step towards marijuana being on Alabama’s streets is a step the state should not take. Additionally, former State Senator Phil Williams has taken issue with earlier drafts of Melson’s bill on conservative policy grounds. Other prominent Alabamians who are against medical marijuana include former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@new-yhn.local or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.