Pubdate: Thu, 06 Feb 2014
Source: Opelika-Auburn News (AL)
Copyright: 2014 Media General, Inc.
Author: Sara Falligant, Opelika-Auburn New


Speaker Mike Hubbard Does Not Expect House Version To Go Far

In the wake of President Barack Obama's statement that marijuana is 
no more harmful than alcohol, the Alabama State Senate Judiciary 
Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would give justifiable 
defense for the use of a marijuana- derivative for medicinal purposes 
Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Senate Bill 174, named Carly's Law after an Inverness girl diagnosed 
with a rare genetic disorder, would provide a defense for the use of 
cannabidiol (CBD) oil to provide relief for debilitating medical 
conditions, like violent seizures and severe nausea. The bill 
stipulates the CBD user must be diagnosed by a physician, and that 
the drug must be likely to provide therapeutic or palliative relief. 
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Madison.

CBD does not induce the psychotropic or psychoactive activity 
commonly associated with marijuana use. An identical bill is 
currently in the House Judiciary Committee.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, does not expect the bill to go far.

"I know it will be considered in committee," he said. "I don't expect 
there to be any movement."

Hubbard added medical marijuana bills have come up in session for the 
past four or five years. Last year, Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Jefferson, 
sponsored two bills dealing with the legalization and regulation of 
marijuana. Both died in committee. Todd, along with Rep. Mike Ball, 
R-Madison, and Rep. Allen Farley, R-Jefferson, are sponsoring Carly's Law.

"You empathize with those people as a parent," Hubbard said. "You 
hear horror stories. ... They are looking for anything they can do to 
alleviate that."

But Hubbard said lawmakers need to consider the long-term effects of 
legalizing medical marijuana.

As for the state legalizing marijuana for recreational use, the 
Speaker said it's unlikely.

"In Alabama, we really don't look to states like Colorado or 
Washington to emulate their policies. ... Our values are vastly 
different," Hubbard said, calling California's medical marijuana laws "a joke."

But Opelika resident Trey Yielding said Lee County has a definite 
pro-medical marijuana community.

"It's just really underground because of how taboo it is," he explained.

Yielding is an employee of DreamScapes, an herbal remedies and 
tobacco store on South College Street, in Auburn. The store sells 
pipes and other smoking devices for tobacco.

Yielding added he knows several people who would benefit from the 
legalization of medical marijuana. His fiancee, whose hips were 
shattered in a motorcycle accident, is one of them.

"She was supposed to be put on Loritab 10 every four hours for the 
rest of her life," he said.

Instead, Yeilding said his fiancee smokes marijuana once in the 
evenings, which allows her to sleep and alleviates her pain through 
the following day.

"I can say that I've never seen my fiancee high," he said. "She takes 
just what she needs."

Yielding, who said he took Xanax from ages 16 to 24 for chronic 
anxiety and other psychological disorders, said he has also found 
relief in medical marijuana.

"It has changed my outlook. It helps me to be a lot nicer," he said. 
"I'm more stable. ... When I find out that we have an opportunity to 
march for it or have a sit-in, I'll be there. ... If not for me, for 
other people who could benefit from it.

"We're not all stony hippies, and we're not all drug dealers," he 
continued. "We're just people trying to live our lives in comfort and 
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