By Steve Elliott
The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday narrowly approved a bill to allow the medical use of marijuana.
Judiciary Committee members approved Senate Bill 326 -- the Medical Marijuana Patient Safe Access Act -- on a 4-3 vote.
"It's a great day for patients in Alabama," said Ron Crumpton of the Alabama Safe Access Project (ASAP), which drafted the legislation. "Even if the bill doesn't go any further, this is progress.
"However, we expect the bill to go before the whole Senate next week," Crumpton told Hemp News Wednesday afternoon. "It looks like Hell may freeze over in Alabama."
Applause broke out from medical marijuana advocates who have unsuccessfully lobbied in Montgomery for years; one of those cheering was Tammy Collazo, who said she takes small amounts of cannabis to ease the pain of a brain tumor, reports the Associated Press.
The legislation now moves to the Alabama Senate floor, where political observers believe it faces rough going.
The bill would allow patients with serious medical conditions, including cancer, AIDS, autism, Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, and seizures, to buy or grow cannabis for medicinal use. Marijuana sales would be taxed, and revenue would be used to combat illegal drug trafficking.
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