Alabama Medical Marijuana Bill Advances

A bud of Maui Afghooey medical marijuana

A bill authorizing medical marijuana in Alabama Wednesday cleared its first hurdle in the legislature. The vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee was 6-2, with three abstentions.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence), a doctor, who said the proposal permits people with select conditions to receive a medical cannabis card. The legislation also creates a state commission charged with compiling a patient registry, and handles licensing for the cultivation, production, and selling of cannabis.

Supporters contended the use of marijuana will help patients who have pain. But Clay Hammac, commander of Shelby County Drug Enforcement, said the bill sends the wrong message. "Marijuana is not a safe drug ... it is highly addictive," Hammc said. The bill now heads to the full senate.

Photo: Getty Images

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