Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recently signed a medical marijuana bill into law.
MONTGOMERY — Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a benchmark medical marijuana bill that makes Alabama the latest state to adopt marijuana reforms.
Ivey, a staunch conservative with a controversial track record for civil liberties, said that the bill was “an important first step” in the reforming of the state’s drug laws. Alabama is now the 37th state in the United States to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.
“This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue and something that is continually being studied,” Ivey said in a statement her office released after signing the proposal, Senate Bill 46, into immediate effect. “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.”
Under the new law, medicinal marijuana can be prescribed to people who qualify. These include individuals who suffer from more than a dozen preexisting conditions including cancer, other terminal illnesses, depression, epilepsy, panic disorder, and chronic pain.
Marijuana legalization advocates have applauded the bill’s passage into law as an important step towards wider liberalization of the drug across the state.
“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, the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement that he shared shortly after Ivey signed Senate Bill 46 into law. “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.”