The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

January 30, 2013

Ala. House to consider bill to legalize marijuana

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The use of medical marijuana would be legal in Alabama under a bill pre-filed in the House.

Its sponsor, Democratic Rep. Patricia Todd of Birmingham, said Wednesday that legalizing the drug for medical purposes would help cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and others suffering from severe pain. The bill has failed several times, but Todd says her spirits are buoyed because similar bills have recently passed in other states.

"This would place another tool in the medical tool bag for treating people in pain," Todd said. "It can bring a lot of relief to people."

A total of 18 states currently have legalized medical marijuana and two states, Washington and Colorado, have legalized the general use of the drug in small amounts. But using marijuana remains a violation of federal law.

The 2013 session of the Alabama Legislature begins Tuesday and Todd's bill is the first issue scheduled to be considered Wednesday by the House Health Committee.

It chairman, Republican Rep. Jim McClendon of Springville, said the bill has been in his committee before, but this could be the first time it comes up for a vote.

McClendon would not say how he expects to vote.

Officials with the Libertarian Party of Alabama released a statement saying they support legalizing medical marijuana.

The party said in the release that hundreds of thousands of patients nationwide have found "marijuana in its natural form to be therapeutically beneficial and are utilizing it with their doctors' consent.

"This issue isn't about marijuana; this is about compassion for suffering patients," said party Chairman Mark Bodenhausen.

1
Text Only
Local News
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee