This week Alabama lawmakers will be part of a hearing about legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Medicinal marijuana is legal in 17 states.
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
Marijuana for medical purposes is legal in 17 states. Birmingham representative Pat Todd would like to see it legalized in Alabama for those in pain.
"When you are at end of life, going through cancer treatment, or your have seizures or MS there is a proven medical benefit from the use of marijuana," Pat Todd said.
Under Todd's bill, the Alabama Public Health Department would issue cards saying a patient had a right to use no more than 10 ounces of marijuana a month for medical reasons.
"If your child was dying of cancer and they were in extreme pain and discomfort, you do everything in your power to eliminate that," Todd said.
Some Alabama voters are split over the ideal of legalizing marijuana even for medical purposes.
"First off I'm a Christian. I just don't believe in drugs being legalized period. Even those for medical purposes. I still have issue with that," Douglas Ragland said.
Donna Conklin had an opposing view: "There are lot of bad drugs out there but as far as legalizing marijuana for people who are sick that could actually benefit, I'm all for that."
Todd expects the bill to see tough opposition from other lawmakers and from the law enforcement community, but the Birmingham lawmaker believes there needs to be a serious discussion about drug laws in Alabama.
"We have spent billons of dollars on trying to eradicate illegal drug use. We have not succeeded. We have spent a lot of money on marijuana eradication but it just keeps growing," Todd said.