A bill to allow people with chronic pain and more than a dozen other conditions to seek relief with medical marijuana products is a step away from becoming law in Alabama.

The Legislature passed the bill by a two-to-one margin, with support from lawmakers in both parties. About 40% of Republican legislators voted against it.

The bill went to Gov. Kay Ivey, who could sign it into law.

Ivey said last week the 102-page bill was under review. Ivey commended the sponsors of the legislation and said she hoped to sign it.

Alabama would be the 37th state to allow medical marijuana. The bill is by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, a physician and medical researcher, and Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, who is retired from a career in law enforcement.

It would set up an intrastate system for businesses to grow, process, test, transport, and sell the products.

Attitudes have changed in eight years, since a medical marijuana bill was given the Shroud Award as the “deadest” bill in the House.

The law would be called the “Darren Wesley ‘Ato’ Hall Compassion Act,” in recognition of the son of Rep. Laura Hall, D-Huntsville, whose death from AIDS inspired her to proposed medical marijuana more than a decade ago.


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