May 18, 2021–10:20 p.m.
On Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey officially signed Senate Bill 46 into law, making Alabama the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana.
“Signing SB 46 is an important first step. I would like to again thank Sen. Tim Melson and Rep. Mike Ball for their hard work over the last few years and their willingness to address the legitimate concerns,” Gov. Ivey said.
“This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue and something that is continually being studied,” the governor continued. “On the state level, we have had a study group that has looked closely at this issue, and I am interested in the potential good medical cannabis can have for those with chronic illnesses or what it can do to improve the quality of life of those in their final days.”
The bill will create a statewide regulatory system for medical cannabis, from cultivation to sale. Doctors will be able to prescribe it for cancer, HIV, and AIDS-related conditions including chronic pain, nausea, and weight loss. Other treatable ailments include PTSD, depression, and epilepsy along with others listed in the bill.
“The victory in Alabama shows elected officials nationwide are finally getting the message that allowing medical cannabis has overwhelming, bipartisan public support,’ said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in a written statement. “Polls consistently show the vast majority of Americans support allowing seriously ill patients to use cannabis for medical purposes with their doctors’ approval, and Alabama serves as the latest evidence that medical cannabis is possible in any state in the country.”