A senate bill to legalize medical marijuana in Alabama, SB 46, is now heading to the governor’s desk.
The bill cleared its final hurdle in the state legislature on Thursday, when it passed out of the state House of Representatives by a vote of 68 to 34. The legislation passed out of the state Senate in February by a vote of 21 to 10.
The ball is now in Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s court. A spokesperson for Ivey said that the governor would review SB 46.
“We appreciate the debate from the Legislature on the topic,” the statement from the spokesperson said, as reported by the Montgomery Advertiser. “This is certainly an emotional issue. We are sensitive to that and will give it the diligence it deserves.”
The moment has been years in the making for Alabama’s cannabis advocates. In 2019, a bill to legalize medical marijuana fizzled out in the legislature, which opted instead to create a commission to study the feasibility of the proposal.
The commission held public hearings, where the panel heard from proponents and opponents to the idea. By the end of 2019, the commission recommended that the legislature legalize medical cannabis, and offered up a draft of potential legislation. But the idea