Alabama medical marijuana legislation is stalled.
MONTGOMERY — Legislation to authorize medical marijuana in the state of Alabama stalled Tuesday in the House of Representatives after Republican opponents used a filibuster to at least temporarily delay a vote for the interim. Members adjourned shortly before midnight without a vote after 10 hours of debate on the Senate-passed bill. At that, the bill is expected to return to the House floor on Thursday for debate.
“This can change the quality of life for the people that we love,” said Rep. Allen Farley, a Republican and a former police officer. From there, conservative Rep. Brett Easterbrook of Fruitdale said that he’s “conservative as they get” but saw the impact of medical marijuana on his son, notes local coverage from CBS 42.
“I watched it…There is not one of you sitting in those chairs, if your child has a brain injury or cancer and this will help, you won’t give a damn what the Legislature says,” said Rep. Easterbrook in the same coverage. Other conservatives, however, expressed concern that medical marijuana has not gone through the Food and Drug Administration approval process for drugs and that it could lead to traffic accidents and DUIs.
“What makes us think we know more than the FDA. My other thought is what if we’re wrong,” said Rep. Rich Wingo. He even went on to say that this sort of legislation “is a gateway it has been for Colorado,” citing absolutely no evidence to make that claim.
The Alabama state Senate overwhelmingly approved a companion bill by a 21 to 8 vote in February after only 15 minutes of debate. The House, being more conservative and more skeptical, has a history of killing and stalling bipartisan medical marijuana reform proposals. The probability of this bill passing the office of Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is low.