A 15-particular person panel in Alabama convened for the initially time Tuesday to contemplate no matter if health-related marijuana is correct for the state.
The panel, identified as the Health-related 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 known as for much more facts, the legislation was shifted from a proposal to legalize health-related marijuana to rather appoint a commission to study the concern.
Practically 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 properly 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 mentioned, as quoted by AL.com. “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 identified relief from patches containing THC.
But in contrast to Colorado, which became 1 of the initially two states to legalize pot for recreational use in 2012, such goods stay incredibly significantly illegal in Alabama. As such, Atkinson mentioned her husband relied on opioids toward the finish of his life.
“He fought the very good fight,” she mentioned. “But I do think that there would have been a lot much less side effects as a outcome of attempting anything that is significantly much more 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 propose health-related marijuana for individuals suffering from roughly a dozen situations, like cancer, epilepsy, various sclerosis, and post-traumatic strain disorder.
Health-related marijuana is legal in much more 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 mentioned in May well that he understood the misgivings of some of his colleagues.
“It’s a major step,” Melson mentioned 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 Health-related Cannabis Study Commission will hold at least 3 public hearings like 1 performed Tuesday prior to reporting its findings to the legislature in December.