Alabama State Rep. Mike Ball is currently writing a rough draft of a bill that would legalize certain types of cannabis oils.
Ball, a Republican and retired Alabama state trooper, said the proposal would not open the door for marijuana legalization. Rather, the intent is to help children suffering from epileptic seizures by offering them oils that provide the pain relief associated with marijuana, without the “high.”
Promoting cannabidiol-based (CBD) oils and extracts with low THC content could prove to be a useful strategy for entrepreneurs and cannabis advocates in the South, where resistance to medical marijuana is still strong.
Showing that the plant has more benefits than its psychoactive agents could help bring opponents into the discussion.
But even that won’t be easy.
Alabama legislators have not been kind to medical marijuana proposals in the past. The proposed Alabama Medical Marijuana Patient’s Rights Act, which would have legalized medical cannabis, was defeated 12-2 by the state’s Health Committee in February. Another proposed bill to legalize marijuana possession by registered patients never even made it to the debate phase.
Ball’s bill seems to be a step in the right direction. The lawmaker, who has repeatedly opposed medical marijuana legalization, expressed basic knowledge of the difference between CBD and THC and tried to differentiate cannabis oil from marijuana plants.
“This substance shouldn’t even be confused with medical marijuana,” Ball told WHNT News. “You can’t get high off of it.”