FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Contact: Violet Cavendish
Montgomery, AL — Today, the Alabama House of Representatives voted in favor (68-34-1) of the Compassion Act (SB 46), a bill that would allow registered patients with qualifying conditions to safely access and use medical cannabis. This marks the first time the Alabama House has considered a medical cannabis bill. A full summary of SB 46 is available here.
While SB 46 was previously passed by the full Senate, the bill was amended in the House. The bill will need to return to the Senate for final consideration before it can be sent to the governor’s desk.
Thirty-six states, including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, allow medical cannabis, and polling has shown that Alabama voters overwhelmingly support it. Furthermore, an April 2021 survey of Alabama doctors found that 70% of respondents support allowing medical cannabis.
Statement from Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project:
“Passing the Compassion Act will allow seriously ill patients to finally get the relief they deserve. Alabama is one of only 14 states in the country that continues to criminalize the medical use of cannabis, and while this bill is more restrictive than is ideal, it is a dramatic improvement from the status quo and would improve the lives of thousands of Alabamians. We urge the Senate to swiftly concur with the modified bill, and Gov. Ivey to sign it into law.”
Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and also works to advance federal reforms.