Years of hard work by the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMJC) is starting to pay off.
House Bill 2, The Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients' Rights Act, is scheduled for a pre-session meeting before the Alabama House Health Committee next month, with experts on medicinal cannabis invited to speak.
"Rep. McClendon is having a meeting of the Health Committee to hear proponents and opponents of Medical Marijuana, November 14, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. in the Joint Briefing Room," Committee Clerk Mary Ruth Davis emailed bill sponsor Rep. Patricia Todd on Tuesday.
According to Ron Crumpton, co-president of AMMJC, Rep. McClendon told Rep. Todd that testimony on HB 2 will not be limited unless it gets redundant.
HB 2 makes provisions for patients with designated chronic illnesses to access and use medical marijuana. The bill also protects the patients' designated caregiver to purchase, possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for their patient's treatment. The bill makes no changes in the law regarding recreational cannabis use.
AMMJC's success in getting a scheduled hearing followed a months-long email campaign in which supporters were urged to contact Chairman Rep. Jim McClendon and other members of the Health Committee.
"Last year, more than one member of the House told us that our organization had the most effective lobbying effort of all the nonprofit organizations," said Chris Butts, co-president of the AMMJC. "We must maintain that pressure. We must show them that last year was not just a flash in the pan, and that we are not going away."
'"Where are the doubters now?" Crumpton told Toke of the Town Tuesday afternoon. "They said we would never get a hearing."