Gov. Kay Ivey met with Sen. Tim Melson of Florence on Monday to officially sign Senate Bill 46 into law, according to a news release from her office.
This is more commonly referred to as the medical marijuana bill, which allows patients with qualifying conditions to get prescriptions for marijuana.
“Signing SB 46 is an important first step. I would like to again thank Sen. Tim Melson and Rep. Mike Ball for their hard work over the last few years and their willingness to address the legitimate concerns,” Ivey said in a prepared statement.
“This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue and something that is continually being studied. On the state level, we have had a study group that has looked closely at this issue, and I am interested in the potential good medical cannabis can have for those with chronic illnesses or what it can do to improve the quality of life of those in their final days.
“As research evolves, Sen. Melson and I discussed how critical it is to continue finding ways to work on this to ensure we have a productive, safe and responsible operation in Alabama.”
According to the Marijuana Policy Project: To legally use and access medical cannabis, patients must apply for and receive a medical cannabis card. To qualify, they must have a qualifying condition and a physician’s certification. A fee of up to $65 will apply.
The qualifying conditions are autism; cancer-related pain, nausea, or weight loss; Crohn’s; epilepsy; HIV/AIDS-related nausea; persistent nausea that has not significantly responded to other treatments, with exceptions; PTSD; sickle cell anemia; panic disorder; Tourette’s; Parkinson's disease; spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, a motor neuron disease, or spinal cord injury; terminal illness; or a condition causing intractable or chronic pain “in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective.”
The Senate-passed version includes anxiety, menopause, premenstrual syndrome, and fibromyalgia. The House-passed version includes depression.
Patients under 19 would need a parent or guardian to pick up their cannabis.
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