Medical marijuana bill gets Alabama Senate committee approval

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An Alabama Senate committee on Wednesday morning approved a bill that would allow the use of medical marijuana in certain cases.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, would authorize the use of medical marijuana for conditions ranging from addiction and chronic pain to depression and schizophrenia. A patient would need a prescription from a physician as well as a second opinion from a specialist in their field to obtain marijuana.

Melson emphasized the potential benefits of marijuana for patients and the possibility that its availability could cut down on opioid use in a state trying to get a hold of the issue.

“This is not going to be the first line of defense in the treatment of a disease,” he said. “It will be one of several down the road, and we want to make sure all physicians are compliant with that, making sure they’ve tried several therapies before they resort to this.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill 6 to 2, with three abstentions, but the legislation seems likely to be heavily scrutinized before it gets to the floor of the Senate for a vote if it ever does. [Read more at Montgomery Advisor]