Alabama Commission Considers Healthcare Marijuana Proposal


A 15-individual panel in Alabama convened for the 1st time Tuesday to look at regardless of whether health-related marijuana is suitable for the state.

The panel, identified as the Healthcare Cannabis Study Commission, was born out of a bill to legalize health-related cannabis that was introduced in the Alabama state legislature earlier this year. As lawmakers referred to as for extra info, the legislation was shifted from a proposal to legalize health-related marijuana to alternatively appoint a commission to study the challenge.

Almost 3 months later, the commission met Monday at the state capital of Montgomery, listening to presentations on health-related marijuana policies in other states, as nicely as appeals from advocates.

The commission heard from Cynthia Atkinson, the widow of a regional meteorologist, Dan Atkinson, who died from Parkinson’s in 2017.

“He had Parkinson’s for more than 10 years,” Cynthia stated, as quoted by “At instances his legs, most of the time for the final 3 years, his legs would really feel like he was in vice grips.”

The web-site noted that Atkinson and her late husband traveled to Colorado in 2015 to seek therapy, and that he discovered relief from patches containing THC.

But as opposed to Colorado, which became one particular of the 1st two states to legalize pot for recreational use in 2012, such items stay incredibly considerably illegal in Alabama. As such, Atkinson stated her husband relied on opioids toward the finish of his life.

“He fought the very good fight,” she stated. “But I do think that there would have been a lot significantly less side effects as a outcome of attempting anything that is considerably extra organic. It is a plant, it is not a synthetic chemical.”

The chairman of the commission is Republican state Sen. Tim Melson, who sponsored the bill to legalize health-related cannabis earlier this year.

Melson’s original legislation would have offered the go-ahead for medical doctors in Alabama to suggest health-related marijuana for individuals suffering from roughly a dozen situations, like cancer, epilepsy, a number of sclerosis, and post-traumatic anxiety disorder.

Healthcare marijuana is legal in extra than 30 states across the U.S., but implementation has lagged in lots of locations more than issues that pot remains illegal on the federal level. Beneath the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is labeled as a “Schedule 1” drug, the identical category as heroin.

Melson stated in Might that he understood the misgivings of some of his colleagues.

“It’s a huge step,” Melson stated at the time. “And everyone is stepping out of their comfort zone. You are asking for a Schedule 1 drug to be offered to individuals. And it is the identical drug that is been enjoyed and abused by individuals all through the years, centuries and centuries.”

Beneath the revised bill, the Healthcare Cannabis Study Commission will hold at least 3 public hearings like one particular performed Tuesday ahead of reporting its findings to the legislature in December.


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