Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Roll Tide: Medical-Marijuana Push Begins Again in Alabama

Image via WVTM

For the second year in a row, the Alabama Senate has voted in favor of medical-marijuana legislation. The Compassion Act (SB 46), sponsored by Republican Sen. Tim Melson, passed 21-8 on February 24.

Alabama would become the 36th medical state if the House passes the bill and it's signed by Gov. Kay Ivey. In 2020, the Act stalled in the House.

One of the senators who voted against the bill, Melson's fellow Republican Larry Stutts, thinks medical-cannabis is a hoax. 

“First, there’s no such thing as medical marijuana. It’s just marijuana. From a medical aspect it’s just marijuana. And we have a process for products, for drugs, for medications to be approved, and we’re bypassing that entire process.

Under the law, if passed, he adds:

“Anybody that wanted marijuana could get a cannabis card and can qualify for one of these medical conditions and get it. So, it’s a backdoor way of saying we’re going to increase the availability of marijuana.”

Melson opposes adult use:

"I’m not a recreational marijuana person. I don’t want that in this state. I just want the patients who need it to have it.”

Mimicking laws in New York, Minnesota and Louisiana, the Act would not allow patients to smoke or vape flower. Alabama is currently one of 14 CBD-only states.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.