Alabama would be the 34th state to legalize medical cannabis, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The bill, by Sen. Tim Melson,... Alabama Senate approves medical marijuana bill

Alabama would be the 34th state to legalize medical cannabis, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The bill, by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, creates a framework to regulate medical cannabis from cultivation of the plants to production and testing of the products and all the way to the patients, who could use them to treat a variety of ailments. Patients would receive a medical cannabis card authorized by a doctor trained in the use of the products.

Melson, an anesthesiologist and medical researcher, said he believes the overall message of the research and experiences in other states builds a strong case that medical cannabis products could be a potential source of help for patients whose symptoms have not been effectively relieved by conventional medicines.

Opponents of the bill noted that marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law and that legislative approval of its use bypasses more rigorous testing and approval required for prescription drugs.

Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, who voted against the bill, tried to amend it to reduce the maximum daily dosage allowed, to place a cap on the amount of THC, to shorten the list of conditions for which the products could be used, and to make it unlawful for people to drive with THC in their system even if the driver has a medical cannabis card. [Read More @ Al.com]

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