On Thursday, Representative Patricia Todd filed The Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013. The bill has been issued as House Bill-550 and assigned to the Alabama House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
The Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013, when passed would create a system of reasonable regulation that would end the criminal prohibition of both marijuana and industrial hemp in the state of Alabama.
- Personal use of marijuana: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following acts are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under Alabama law or the law of any locality within Alabama or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under Alabama law for persons twenty-one years of age or older
- Medical use of Marijuana: In the interest of patients’ rights, this bill would establish separate guidelines in the authorization of the medical use of marijuana only for certain qualifying patients who have been diagnosed by a physician as having a serious medical condition.
- Regulation of Hemp: In the interest of enacting rational policies for the treatment of all variations of the cannabis plant, the people of Alabama further find and declare that industrial hemp should be regulated separately from strains of cannabis with higher delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (thc) concentrations.
$1 Billion reasons why we should pass this bill!!!
- Conservative estimates show that the sales taxes produced from the commercial sales of marijuana would be more than $500 million per year.
- Passage of this bill would create more than 5000 new jobs.
- Passage of this bill would reduce prison overcrowding as well as costs to the court system.
- In total, this legislation should produce more than $1 billion in taxes and spending reductions per year.
- The state general fund budget for fiscal year 2013 is $1.39 billion
The problem with passing any kind of marijuana reform in Alabama is House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R) Auburn. Earlier this year, it was Mike Hubbard who gave the order to kill HB-2, The Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights Act. The order was given to Health Committee Chairman Jim McClendon, (R) Springville, and he twisted arms on his committee to insure that the speaker’s goal was accomplished.
In a public hearing designed to kill the bill, House Majority Leader Micky Hammon, (R) Madison, spoke to the committee about how hard it was to pass a bill, that we were wasting our time and we should just give up.
If you are curious, as to why the bill went to the committee on public safety and homeland security as opposed to judiciary, agricultural, or even ways and means? It is because Micky Hammon is Chairman of the Alabama House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. Speaker Hubbard wanted the bill in the hands of one of his henchman who could do his bidding in the same way Chairman McClendon did.
If you support Marijuana reform in Alabama, I urge you to contact Representative Hammon and tell him that you support this legislation. Tell him that this bill would generate a revenue base equal to two-thirds the state budget; tell him it is time to take serious steps toward marijuana reform in Alabama.
Alabama has taken great strides in changing marijuana policy. This is the third bill from Patricia Todd and Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition, and we are not finished yet. We currently have bills in Alabama Legislative Reference and we hope to have more information this week.
There comes a time when all things must change. When it comes to Alabama and marijuana policy… that time is now! With your continued support, we can continue to make a difference. We are not going away and we will change the law in Alabama.