Alabama Legal Information
In 2014, the Alabama state legislature passed SB 174, a restrictive cannabidiol (CBD) law. Officially entitled "Carly's Law," it offers an affirmative defense for the possession and use of CBD; however, the program is extremely limited and may not be able to provide CBD-rich medicine to patients in Alabama. At the time, the law only allows for CBD access after a medical practitioner at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s (UAB) Department of Neurology has made a diagnosis for a “debilitating epileptic condition,” at which point the physician may “prescribe” CBD-rich preparations that are less than 3% THC and “essentially free of plant material.”
In 2016, HB 61 (also known as Leni's Law) was passed, which expanded the affirmative defense to several conditions and removed the requirement that patients must be enrolled in the UAB study program. Under HB 61, patients are eligible for the affirmative defense if they are simply diagnosed with a debilitating condition, regardless of the age of the patient. However, a "prescription" is still required in order for a minor's parents or legal guardians to be eligible for the affirmative defense. Because physicians cannot write prescriptions for medical cannabis, parents of minor-aged patients may be ineligible for legal protections.
In This Section
In 2014, the Alabama state legislature passed SB 174, a restrictive cannabidiol (CBD) law. Officially entitled "Carly's Law," it offers an affirmative defense for the possession and use of CBD. HB61 (2016) extends low-THC extract affirmative defense to patients with more qualifying conditions as well as parent caregivers.
To become a patient eligible for CBD under Leni’s Law, the patient must receive a diagnosis for a serious condition that is resistant to conventional medicine from, and be provided CBD by, a physician with whom they have a bona-fide physician-patient relationship and the CBD must be likely to provide the patient with therapeutic or palliative relief.
Under Leni’s Law, physicians with a bona fide physician-patient relationship to the patient may recommend CBD. This would allow physicians who otherwise treat a patient to prescribe CBD to such patient but is designed to exclude one-off engagements for the purposes of providing CBD from protection under the law.
Carly’s Law previously provided a protection for caretakers of patients, but this was deleted under the Leni’s Law amendments.
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.