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Alabama House of Representatives approves medical marijuana bill

Get more updates on WAAY 31 News at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m.

Posted: May 6, 2021 12:37 PM
Updated: May 6, 2021 12:56 PM

The Alabama House of Representatives has approved an amended version of the medical marijuana bill.

The final vote about 12:30 p.m. Thursday was 68 in favor, 34 opposed, and 1 abstention.

It now goes back to the Alabama Senate. If approved there, it will need Gov. Kay Ivey's signature to become law.

Get more updates on WAAY 31 News at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m.

From earlier:

Right now, Alabama is closer than ever before to allowing medical marijuana.

A key vote in the Alabama House is likely Thursday after hours of intense debate by lawmakers.

"Oh, it would mean a difference between night and day, I believe, honestly. As I said earlier, I have PTSD and I have a lot of issues that come with that," said Farrah Christopher, who is in favor of the medical marijuana bill.

Christopher says getting the medical marijuana bill passed will allow her to have a natural solution for her PTSD. She said she does understand why people have concerns about the bill, but she also sees the positives.

"I know some people probably do use it more or overuse it, but I think the people that really need it, they're not out to do that. They, we just want some relief," said Christopher.

State Rep. Mike Ball said the bill means different things to different people.

"You know, that's why we're having this debate. You know, there's some people see this bill as the opening of the gates to marijuana everywhere, but that can't happen unless the legislature does that," said Ball.

There are several opponents to the bill and multiple people had questions about it, including Rep. Ben Robbins.

"This an in-trust state system. Therefore, we have no competition outside of the state of Alabama. That is correct. So, therefore who are we competing against and why do we need to spend that money on research, if we have no competition outside of this state?" said Robbins.

Ball said he's convinced that now is the right time for this bill.

"I can't help what legislature 10 years from now does or seven years from now, but right now, I see people that can be helped. I see potential for signs and research," said Ball.

People like Farrah Christopher.

"My main goal is not be on medication at all and that would be, that would something that would be life-changing for me," said Christopher.

If the bill passes in the House on Thursday, it will then go to the Senate to concur with changes that have been made to it.

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