Lawmakers could soon vote on a bill to legalize medical marijuana

Alabama
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WIAT) — A bill to legalize medical marijuana is becoming a bipartisan issue in Montgomery.

The bill would allow people with certain conditions to use medical-grade cannabis, also known as medical marijuana.

Dustin Chandler is the father of 8-year-old Carly, the namesake for Carly’s law. The law allowed her to receive medical grade cannabis under doctor supervision.

“It’s amazing, your daughter that’s being affected by something that you can’t control and you finally get help for it, and then knowing that it could potentially help thousands of others, why aren’t we not doing that,” Chandler said.

Chandler’s daughter has CDKL5 deficiency disorder. It causes her to have seizures.

“If my daughter could talk, she’s receiving help, and I know she would tell me daddy why aren’t we helping other people,” Chandler said.

The bill is also getting support from a doctor at UAB.

“There is potential for the cannabis to be helpful in many conditions, we need to explore that,” Dr. Jerzy Szaflaski at UAB said.

The bill would give doctors like him the opportunity to further their research.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson (R-AL), who has a background in medical research. 

Right now the strongest opposition to the bill is law enforcement, who are afraid this could open the door for broader legalization.

“If this passes, it will greatly hinder any enforcement opportunity enforcement may have with possession of marijuana,” Clay Hammac, director of the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force, said.

Democrats made this apart of their legislative agenda this session.  The bill could potentially get a vote in the Senate as early as next week.

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