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As of last week, 10 states had pending Legislation to legalize medical marijuana, Alabama was one of them. On Wednesday, the Alabama House Health Committee voted 12 to 2 in opposition of the bill thus thwarting it's progression to the house for a full vote.
This is a good thing as we Alabamians already have our hands full dealing with another issue on a slippery slope, immigration, and don't need to start falling all over ourselves on this one as well.
The bill introduced, HB 2/The Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients Rights Act would have "authorized the medical use of marijuana only for certain qualifying patients who have been diagnosed by a physician as having a serious medical condition."
Why would this have been slippery? Number one, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy there is no such thing as "medical" marijuana under Federal law. Marijuana continues to be a Schedule I substance meaning that it has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
Number two, the U.S. Department of Justice guidance explicitly states that marijuana remains illegal under Federal law. Enforcing Federal law against significant traffickers in illegal drugs including marijuana remains a core Department of Justice priority.
Do we need a number three – it's illegal! and we haven't even mentioned all of the issues Alabama would have had trying to enforce compliance to very specific growing, distribution and prescribing standards. Who's going to fund and staff that control and compliance agency?
To be clear, while we have empathy for anyone sick and in pain, legislating an illegal drug is not something we are going to support and as it stands now, neither is Alabama.
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