Alabamians requesting changes to state’s pending medical cannabis program legislation


Special to the
Opelika Observer

Patients and citizens of Alabama ask that the following language in the current draft of the medical cannabis program legislation be changed. Overall, this bill is a good starting place, however, there are a few concerns. This includes but is not limited to:
-There is no requirement to have patients in the Commission. (20-2a-20) Patients are stakeholders are the targets of these policies, so policy input should be needed when it comes to how they will be regulated. Regular without representation isn’t optimal or American.
-The THC cap must be removed entirely. (20-2a-33) The state of Alabama is not a physician, and this oversteps the state’s boundaries. Nearly all the severe conditions, including hospice care, will require significantly more than 75 mg a day. Daily dosing needs to be flexible so the doctor can work with the patient to find an effective therapy plan.
-The bill need an Implementation date. (Absent from bill) for patient applications and for patients to have access to services. Right now, the only implementation dates apply to business licensing. There is no clear deadline for the program to be actively servicing patients.
-Add ‘chronic pain’ to the list of qualifying conditions. (20-2a-3) Without this condition, the bill would not cover severe conditions like veteran’s physical service injuries, traumatic brain injury or autoimmune arthritis diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
-The patient form required under Article 3, section 20-2a-33 provides an overbearing legal liability for the patient. It is too invasive and becomes a liability in child services cases, custody and divorce and more. Unless a medical necessity defense is worked into this bill, this form presents a problem for patients because they are essentially signing something that admits to breaking federal law.
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