Martin Not Supporting Medicinal Marijuana

June 06, 2005

Scott Mims, The Clanton Advertiser (AL)

A recent U.S.  Supreme Court decision overriding California's medical marijuana law is not deterring an Alabama state representative from trying to pass a similar law here. State Representative Laura Hall ( D-Huntsville ) has drafted a bill that would allow people who use marijuana for medical purposes to get the drug from pharmacies through a doctor's prescription.  Hall's bill differs from California's law in that the latter made provisions for homegrown marijuana.

The bill was approved by the Alabama House Judiciary Committee but was not considered by the House during the regular session.

'I don't think any state law could supersede any federal law,' said Rep.  Jimmy Martin, indicating that the differences of Hall's bill from California's law wouldn't make any difference.

Monday's 6-3 Supreme Court decision overrides similar marijuana laws in 10 U.S.  states, meaning anyone who gets marijuana through a doctor's prescription, as well as anyone who grows the plant for themselves or someone else, can be prosecuted by federal law enforcement for possession.

Doctors have been known to prescribe the drug for pain; usually the type of pain related to chronic medical conditions.

'Marijuana is declared illegal,' Martin said.  'It mostly leads to additional drug use of harder drugs.'

Martin added, 'I've never been in the situation where I or my loved ones would be better off or would get some type of relief from marijuana.  I would never want to be in that situation.  I hope I'm never put into the position to have to make that decision.'

States wherein medical marijuana laws have been passed include Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state.  Hall intends to bring the bill back next January with the beginning of the 2006 Alabama Legislative Session. 

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