Recently we reported that 5 cannabis reform measures were in the works in Alabama thanks to Alabama State Rep. Patricia Todd and the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMC). One of these measures, Alabama’s Medical Exemption Act, has been introduced in the House – now officially House Bill 315 – and has been assigned to House Committee on Health.
According to Ron Crumpton, Executive Director of AMMJC and a state senate candidate in Alabama;
“HB-315 is a no brainer. It doesn’t make provisions for access to marijuana; it simply renders a patient exempt from prosecution of marijuana laws deemed as personal use under the Alabama Code when their physician recommends marijuana as a possible treatment for their illness.”
A couple notes about the measure:
- HB 315 would provide legal protection to doctors who wish to recommend that their patient use cannabis, if they feel could benefit from it, and if there condition is on the list of qualifying conditions approved under the measure (which is pretty wide-reaching, including things such as chronic pain and migraines; thankfully, as cannabis benefits both greatly).
- Once the patient receives the authorization, they can get a license issued through Alabama’s Department of Health that establishes them as a qualified patient, exempting them from arrest.
- The measures allows for the possession, usage, and personal cultivation of cannabis for those qualified, with the Department of Health determining regulations in regards to possession limits.
- Provides employment protection to qualified patients, as in, employers couldn’t fire, or refuse to hire, someone based solely on their use of medical cannabis, or the fact that they’re a qualified patient.
- Provides defined custody protection for patients, establishing a provision that makes it illegal for any state or law enforcement agency to initiate removal proceedings based solely on the fact that someone is a medical cannabis patient, uses medical cannabis, or has medical cannabis in their system (via a drug test).