Clock ticking for passage of medical marijuana commission bill

Clock ticking for passage of medical marijuana commission bill

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama’s legislative session is over, but there are still big decisions to be made in Montgomery.

Senate Bill 236 is sitting on the desk of Gov. Kay Ivey, and will die if left unsigned by 11:59 p.m. on June 10.

The bill would do two things:

One- it would create a commission to study medical marijuana, potentially creating a pathway for legalization.

Two- it would renew a law which allows children with seizures to get cannabis oil, the so-called Carly’s law.

The governor’s press office said the bill is still being reviewed.

Carly’s Law advocate Gena Dalton said she’s confident Ivey will sign the bill, but the potential consequences are great.

“They would be pretty dire, I’m trying to not even put that on my radar,” she said.

Her daughter, Charlotte, suffers from epilepsy, but doesn’t directly benefit from the law.

Dalton’s stake is in the medical marijuana study commission, which (if the bill passes) would be tasked with making recommendations to the legislature on the legalization of medical marijuana.

“I think in the end it’s going to benefit us a whole lot, especially if she grows up and needs higher concentrations of medicines,” she said.

Joe Godfrey is an advocate against medical marijuana but said he supports Carly’s Law because of its safe guards.

“We certainly want to help children and others who are suffering, but we at the same time we are quite concerned it will expand to other areas, which is accidentally what is happening,” he said.

Godfrey is the Executive Director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program. He said his organization can get behind the bill on Ivey’s desk if the medical marijuana commission does its homework.

"If they have people on there that are going to look at the issue and be honest about it, and look at the facts and study the case, then we would certainly be open to extending Carly's law for another year."

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