Bill for medical marijuana in AL passes Senate Judiciary Committee

Bill for medical marijuana in AL passes Senate Judiciary Committee

ALABAMA (WAFF) - The bill for legalizing medical marijuana has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and will now go to the Senate for discussion.

The committee heard arguments for and against legalizing medical marijuana in Alabama on Wednesday.

The bill, commonly known as the Medical Marijuana Patient Safe Access Act, would allow patients with certain medical conditions to buy and grow a small amount of marijuana each month.

Some of the conditions that would allow for the use of marijuana would include AIDS, anorexia, autism, cancer, Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, chronic depression, bipolar disorder, and seizures.

Carly's Law, which allowed the study of CBD oil, was the beginning. The legislature said okay to the marijuana derivative, and now some lawmakers are ready to take it a step further.

Wendy Ponson of Fort Payne is already seeing the benefits of the CBD oil. Her 8-year-old daughter Aurora has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, insomnia, seizures, and autism.

"It wasn't that there was no speech, it wasn't self-initiated. She would mimic anything she heard," Wendy Ponson said.

She says that's changed since giving her daughter the drug.

Ponson's story is exactly why the bill's sponsor thinks it's time Alabama consider Medicinal marijuana.

"This is strictly going to be for medical attention," Senator Bobby Singleton said. "We have a lot of safeguards built in this bill to where youth should not get their hands on this... Doctors will have checks and balances and they have to be certified."

Some doctors, however, believe more studies are needed before legalization.

"There are over 500 chemicals in the marijuana plant that right now scientists know little about," said pediatrician Dr. Shannon Murphy. "And what we do know should cause us to pause and have some concern."

Tax revenue from the sales would be used to combat illegal drug trafficking.

Singleton says if his colleagues in the legislature won't consider his bill, he hopes they'll at least allow the people of Alabama to decide. People the Ponson family who see marijuana as another option for medical care.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.