Alabama House takes no vote on medical marijuana Following 9-hour debate – AL.com

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Republicans in the Alabama House of Representatives blocked a vote on a bill to legalize, regulate, and tax medical marijuana.

The House adjourned at 11:43 p.m. after debating the laws more than twice.

They will return at 8 a.m. Thursday.

“I trust and expect that we just take up where we’re in and we stay with this before we get the up or down vote,” Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, the House sponsor of the bill, said. “And I believe that you can see from the votes so far that there is a enormous amount of support in this body, bipartisan support”

Ball was speaking to procedural votes in the bill today that passed by wide margins. But the final vote did not come tonight.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, said tonight because he left the room that the House would return into the medical marijuana bill Thursday morning.

The speaker said the House on Thursday will also consider the invoices to allow a lottery and six brand new casinos in Alabama. Those statements were approved in a committee Tuesday. The essential announcement in the three-bill bundle is that a constitutional amendment which would require approval by voters in November 2022.

The final vote on medical marijuana never came because a handful of lawmakers made repeated trips into the microphone to postpone it. McCutcheon said there wasn’t enough support to pass a petition for cloture, which would have cut off the debate. The Republican majority has used cloture petitions to end Democratic filibusters in this session, but in this instance would have been shut off a filibuster by Republicans.

Still, the medical marijuana bill is much nearer than ever before becoming law. It’s passed the Senate three times but hasn’t come up for a vote in the House.

A number of Republican lawmakers started the argument today by expressing staunch opposition to medical marijuana, saying it will move the nation in the wrong direction and they were surprised it had been contemplated in Alabama.

But the statement cleared a rotational movement that was necessary for the argument to continue. The vote was 69-31. Another procedural vote passed 71-20. The debate continued then before the House adjourned.

The legislation will establish a method to regulate the creation and use of medical cannabis products from the cultivation of the plants into the sales of products in dispensaries.

Doctors could recommend medical marijuana for more than a dozen symptoms and conditions, including chronic pain, nausea and weight loss in the cancer, cancer disorders, PTSD, muscular cramps from certain diseases, and many others.

Melson, a physician and medical writer, said that the 69-31 procedural vote was a strong sign that the House would pass the bill tonight.

“I have no doubt that it’s likely to pass whether it’s provided a vote,” Melson said.

When the House passes the bill Thursday, it would return into the Senate, which might agree with modifications made by the House and give the bill final approval, or send it into a conference committee.

Patients would get a health cannabis card. The legislation would set up an Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to oversee the regulatory plan and permit organizations to nurture, process, transport, and market the merchandise.

The strategy would not allow products which may be smoked or vaped.

Ball, the House sponsor, who is retired from a career in law enforcement, spoke about how he became the advocate for CBD oil, a cannabis derivative, when parents and grandparents lobbied for laws to help kids who suffered from acute seizure disorders starting about eight decades back.

In 2014, the Legislature handed Carly’s Law, which authorized a UAB study on the use of CBD oil for seizure disorders. 2 decades later, lawmakers enlarged that using Leni’s Law, which decriminalized using cannabidiol for certain medical conditions. The law applies to cannabidiol with reduced levels of THC.

The company said the bill isn’t needed since there are already four pharmaceutical grade medications, THC and CBD established, that physicians can prescribe as clinically indicated.

Mooney read a letter from the president of the Alabama Fraternal Order of Police opposing the bill.

Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, said it was odd for her to encourage Republican-sponsored invoices but she said there are people who need the chance to test medical marijuana solutions.

“If we are actually about trying to help someone we would do it by voting yes on this announcement,” Givan said.

Ball, in answer to inquiries from Rep. Tommy Hanes, R-Scottsboro, said the dosages enabled under the bill would make it difficult for someone to use medical marijuana products to receive high the way a person would by smoking marijuana.

Hanes said he believed the intentions of the bill were good. However he said he would love to see an amendment stating Alabama would not legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Rep. Ralph Howard, D-Greensboro, spoke in support of the bill, stating that it may help individuals suffering from PTSD, including veterans who are in danger of suicide. Howard said his father suffered during the late phases of the cancer which took his own life. He said individuals suggested marijuana to help alleviate the pain and the family seriously considered it. The bill would allow the use of medical marijuana in these situations.

“The end of life that we choose for our nearest and dearest is none of the Alabama Legislature’s company,” Howard said.

Rep. Jim Carns, R-Vestavia Hills, Birmingham, opposes the bill, stating medical marijuana should not be called”medical” since it’s never gotten FDA approval.

“What we’re doing today will modify the exact fiber and also the cloth of Alabama 10 years from now,” Carns said. He said he had been afraid it would prove for a”a 90-something page bill of unintended consequences”

Carns also pointed out that 23 of Alabama’s 42 district lawyers declared a letter to lawmakers last week urging them to deny the bill.

Melson reported some of the points made in the letter were based on discredited data.

Rep. Rich Wingo, R-Tuscaloosa, talked several times against the bill. Wingo said he had read studies showing there isn’t any proof it provides relief for certain conditions. He explained he wanted to help veterans struggling with depression, also, however, had read that marijuana made depression worse.

Rep. Mike Holmes, R-Wetumpka, a competitor of the bill, questioned whether some folks who believe they are receiving help from medical marijuana are undergoing the placebo effect.

“We do not really know. We do not have any scientific research to prove that this works for at least one of these maladies,” Holmes said.

Ball noticed a poll of Alabama physicians from the Lister Hill Center for Public Health Policy in UAB. Approximately 70 percent of those 450 physicians who responded said they strongly agreed, agreed, or rather agreed with legalizing medical cannabis products which could be recommended by a physician.

Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Albertville, said he would vote for the bill.

“I have come to the conclusion that this is something that’s rewarding,” Rich explained.

“I will vote my certainty on this bill, and also my certainty explained that this is correct,” Rich explained.

Ball also said he would also never vote for recreational marijuana. However he said that although marijuana is illegal it’s readily available throughout the nation. He explained blocking the use of medical marijuana doesn’t impede people who wish to use marijuana illegally.

“They can find the drugs at the moment and get high, and they do,” Ball explained. “We are cutting off access from those who’d love to use it in a restricted dose in cooperation with their physicians. “

Rep. Ginny Shaver, R-Leesburg, said she thought medical marijuana would set the platform for recreational marijuana, noting that it would set up dispensaries to market the merchandise. Shaver opposes the bill.

“It is only setting up a frame for complete legalization,” Shaver said. “It is only an issue of time. This is the way it begins. It is a development.”

Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, said he came close to having the ability to support the bill but had been convinced it would result in the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Meadows’ husband is a Montgomery physician who conducted drug trials earlier in his career. Meadows said she worked as his principal investigator.

“I have said from the very beginning, there is no thig as medical marijuana,” Meadows said. “There is marijuana for medical use.”

“Now, I’m not ready to commit the state of Alabama into some of the things which I’ve seen in other states,” she explained.

Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, said she considers medical marijuana might have helped her mom with all the symptoms of late-stage cancer. She said she preferred the bill for a means to help people who are struggling.

“We should have done this 20 decades back,” Warren explained.

“We’re not attempting to make anyone a drug addict. We’re not attempting to make anyone a drug seller. We’re only hoping to help people in need.”

Farley said his brain altered after meeting with the parents of children with seizure disorders who lobbied for Carly’s Legislation in 2014, simplifying the usage of CBD oil for seizure disorders. He spoke about helping take care of his mom, who perished in 2019 at age 94.

“This can change the essence of the life for those people who we adore,” Farley said. “It may help people like you have heard stand up here and testify today. It can help the elderly group whether they’ve got cancer or they’ve got dementia or they’ve got Alzheimer’s disease. It will provide them a relaxing effect”

Farley noticed that lawmakers have approved invoices this season making it easier for individuals to buy alcohol with home deliveries.

“But we’re concerned about someone carrying a patch in their arm or even carrying any drops under their tongue so they may get a better quality of life” Farley stated. “We’re a whole lot smarter than that.”

But most Republican House members who spoke opposed the bill. Rep. David Wheeler, R-Vestavia Hills, talked several occasions. Wheeler said medical marijuana should go through precisely exactly the exact same review procedure as prescription drugs. He also said it would make bureaucracy.

Some opponents of the bill cited the deaths of in 2019 of Auburn University sports broadcaster Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula in a traffic crash. The teen driver who caused the wreck had THC in his machine and was charged with manslaughter. He had been sentenced as a young offender a week.

Rep. Debbie Wood, R-Valley, said it was ineffective to use the disaster for a reason to oppose medical marijuana.

Republicans in the Alabama House of Representatives blocked a vote on a bill to legalize, regulate, and tax medical marijuana.

The House adjourned at 11:43 p.m. after debating the laws more than twice.

They will return at 8 a.m. Thursday.

“I trust and expect that we just take up where we’re in and we stay with this before we get the up or down vote,” Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, the House sponsor of the bill, said. “And I believe that you can see from the votes so far that there is a enormous amount of support in this body, bipartisan support”

Ball was speaking to procedural votes in the bill today that passed by wide margins. But the final vote did not come tonight.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, said tonight because he left the room that the House would return into the medical marijuana bill Thursday morning.

The speaker said the House on Thursday will also consider the invoices to allow a lottery and six brand new casinos in Alabama. Those statements were approved in a committee Tuesday. The essential announcement in the three-bill bundle is that a constitutional amendment which would require approval by voters in November 2022.

The final vote on medical marijuana never came because a handful of lawmakers made repeated trips into the microphone to postpone it. McCutcheon said there wasn’t enough support to pass a petition for cloture, which would have cut off the debate. The Republican majority has used cloture petitions to end Democratic filibusters in this session, but in this instance would have been shut off a filibuster by Republicans.

Still, the medical marijuana bill is somewhat nearer than ever before becoming law. It’s passed the Senate three times but hasn’t come up for a vote in the House.

A number of Republican lawmakers started the argument today by expressing staunch opposition to medical marijuana, saying it will move the nation in the wrong direction and they were surprised it had been contemplated in Alabama.

But the statement cleared a rotational movement that was necessary for the argument to continue. The vote was 69-31. Another procedural vote passed 71-20. The debate continued then before the House adjourned.

The legislation will establish a method to regulate the creation and use of medical cannabis products from the cultivation of the plants into the sales of products in dispensaries.

Doctors could recommend medical marijuana for more than a dozen symptoms and conditions, including chronic pain, nausea and weight loss in the cancer, cancer disorders, PTSD, muscular cramps from certain diseases, and many others.

Melson, a physician and medical writer, said that the 69-31 procedural vote was a strong sign that the House would pass the bill tonight.

“I have no doubt that it’s likely to pass whether it’s provided a vote,” Melson said.

When the House passes the bill Thursday, it would return into the Senate, which might agree with modifications made by the House and give the bill final approval, or send it into a conference committee.

Patients would get a health cannabis card. The legislation would set up an Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to oversee the regulatory plan and permit organizations to nurture, process, transport, and market the merchandise.

The strategy would not allow products which may be smoked or vaped.

Ball, the House sponsor, who is retired from a career in law enforcement, spoke about how he became the advocate for CBD oil, a cannabis derivative, when parents and grandparents lobbied for laws to help kids who suffered from acute seizure disorders starting about eight decades back.

In 2014, the Legislature handed Carly’s Law, which authorized a UAB study on the use of CBD oil for seizure disorders. 2 decades later, lawmakers enlarged that using Leni’s Law, which decriminalized using cannabidiol for certain medical conditions. The law applies to cannabidiol with reduced levels of THC.

The company said the bill isn’t needed since there are already four pharmaceutical grade medications, THC and CBD established, that physicians can prescribe as clinically indicated.

Mooney read a letter from the president of the Alabama Fraternal Order of Police opposing the bill.

Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, said it was odd for her to encourage Republican-sponsored invoices but she said there are people who need the chance to test medical marijuana solutions.

“If we are actually about trying to help someone we would do it by voting yes on this announcement,” Givan said.

Ball, in answer to inquiries from Rep. Tommy Hanes, R-Scottsboro, said the dosages enabled under the bill would make it difficult for someone to use medical marijuana products to receive high the way a person would by smoking marijuana.

Hanes said he believed the intentions of the bill were good. However he said he would love to see an amendment stating Alabama would not legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Rep. Ralph Howard, D-Greensboro, spoke in support of the bill, stating that it may help individuals suffering from PTSD, including veterans who are in danger of suicide. Howard said his father suffered during the late phases of the cancer which took his own life. He said individuals suggested marijuana to help alleviate the pain and the family seriously considered it. The bill would allow the use of medical marijuana in these situations.

“The end of life that we choose for our nearest and dearest is none of the Alabama Legislature’s company,” Howard said.

Rep. Jim Carns, R-Vestavia Hills, Birmingham, opposes the bill, stating medical marijuana should not be called”medical” since it’s never gotten FDA approval.

“What we’re doing today will modify the exact fiber and also the cloth of Alabama 10 years from now,” Carns said. He said he had been afraid it would prove for a”a 90-something page bill of unintended consequences”

Carns also pointed out that 23 of Alabama’s 42 district lawyers declared a proposal to lawmakers last week urging them to deny the bill.

Melson reported some of the points made in the letter were based on discredited data.

Rep. Rich Wingo, R-Tuscaloosa, talked several times against the bill. Wingo said he had read studies showing there isn’t any proof it provides relief for certain conditions. He explained he wanted to help veterans struggling with depression, also, however, had read that marijuana made depression worse.

Rep. Mike Holmes, R-Wetumpka, a competitor of the bill, questioned whether some folks who believe they are receiving help from medical marijuana are undergoing the placebo effect.

“We do not really know. We do not have any scientific research to prove that this works for at least one of these maladies,” Holmes said.

Ball noticed a poll of Alabama physicians from the Lister Hill Center for Public Health Policy in UAB. Approximately 70 percent of those 450 physicians who responded said they strongly agreed, agreed, or rather agreed with legalizing medical cannabis products which could be recommended by a physician.

Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Albertville, said he would vote for the bill.

“I have come to the conclusion that this is something that’s rewarding,” Rich explained. “I shall not under any circumstances vote for recreational marijuana”

“I will vote my certainty on this bill, and also my certainty explained that this is correct,” Rich explained.

Ball also said he would also never vote for recreational marijuana. However he said that although marijuana is illegal it’s readily available throughout the nation. He explained blocking the use of medical marijuana doesn’t impede people who wish to use marijuana illegally.

“They can find the drugs at the moment and get high, and they do,” Ball explained. “We are cutting off access from those who’d love to use it in a regulated dose in cooperation with their physicians. “

Rep. Ginny Shaver, R-Leesburg, said she thought medical marijuana would set the platform for recreational marijuana, noting that it would set up dispensaries to market the merchandise. Shaver opposes the bill.

“It is only setting up a frame for complete legalization,” Shaver said. “It is only an issue of time. This is the way it begins. It is a development.”

Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, said he came close to having the ability to support the bill but had been convinced it would result in the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Meadows’ husband is a Montgomery physician who conducted drug trials earlier in his career. Meadows said she worked as his principal investigator.

“I have said from the very beginning, there is no thig as medical marijuana,” Meadows said. “There is marijuana for medical use.”

“Now, I’m not ready to commit the state of Alabama into some of the things which I’ve seen in other states,” she explained.

Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, said she considers medical marijuana might have helped her mom with all the symptoms of late-stage cancer. She said she preferred the bill for a means to help people who are struggling.

“We should have done this 20 decades back,” Warren explained.

“We’re not attempting to make anyone a drug addict. We’re not attempting to make anyone a drug seller. We’re only hoping to help people in need.”

Farley said his brain altered after meeting with the parents of children with seizure disorders who lobbied for Carly’s Legislation in 2014, simplifying the usage of CBD oil for seizure disorders. He spoke about helping take care of his mom, who perished in 2019 at age 94.

“This can change the essence of the life for those people who we adore,” Farley said. “It may help people like you have heard stand up here and testify today. It can help the elderly group whether they’ve got cancer or they’ve got dementia or they’ve got Alzheimer’s disease. It will provide them a relaxing effect”

Farley noticed that lawmakers have approved invoices this season making it easier for individuals to buy alcohol with home deliveries.

“But we’re concerned about someone carrying a patch in their arm or even carrying any drops under their tongue so they may get a better quality of life” Farley stated. “We’re a whole lot smarter than that.”

But most Republican House members who spoke opposed the bill. Rep. David Wheeler, R-Vestavia Hills, talked several occasions. Wheeler said medical marijuana should go through precisely exactly the exact same review procedure as prescription drugs. He also said it would make bureaucracy.

Some opponents of the bill cited the deaths of in 2019 of Auburn University sports broadcaster Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula in a traffic crash. The teen driver who caused the wreck had THC in his machine and was charged with manslaughter. He had been sentenced as a young offender a week.

Rep. Debbie Wood, R-Valley, said it was ineffective to use the disaster for a reason to oppose medical marijuana. Wood reported the motorist made bad decisions regarding using marijuana illegally but that the episode had nothing to do with medical marijuana.

Source: https://www.al.com/news/2021/05/alabama-house-could-pass-medical-marijuana-bill-today.html

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