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GOP Senator Says Alabama's Medical Marijuana Rollout Is 'Corrupt Or Incompetent' And That Cannabis Is Not Medicine
© Reuters. GOP Senator Says Alabama’s Medical Marijuana Rollout Is ‘Corrupt Or Incompetent’ And That Cannabis Is Not Medicine

Benzinga – by Nina Zdinjak, Benzinga Staff Writer.

Alabama legalized medical marijuana in 2021. Fast-forward three years later, the industry suffered a series of setbacks including several lawsuits and challenges, due to the limited number of cannabis licenses and disputes over rightful recipients.

One of the fiercest cannabis opponents in Alabama’s legislature, State Senator Larry Stutts (R) recently commented on the industry, continuing to express his criticism.

“This is just a setup for corruption,” he said during an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show.”

“They’re either … corrupt or incompetent in how this is being rolled out. I mean, what’s it been, three years? I’d like to know how many dollars that have been spent already just trying to get it off the ground. I’m still opposed to it.”

Stutts added he doesn’t believe that legal medical marijuana is good public policy or that cannabis is indeed good medicine.

“I think drugs in general are a tremendous problem in our society. To call it ‘medical marijuana’ — it is going to make it more available in society. It is going to legitimize it to young people. ‘This is a medicine.’ It’s not. It’s marijuana. I’m still opposed to it for all those reasons.”

Stutts was the main sponsor of a bill approved by the Alabama Senate in 2022 that requires that all women between the ages of 13 and 50 to prove that they are not pregnant and not breastfeeding to buy medical cannabis.

The Republican senator’s comments come after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended the DEA to reclassify cannabis to Schedule III under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III would acknowledge some of its medical values and make it the same type of substance as Tylenol, ketamine, anabolic steroids and testosterone.

Currently, 40 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana in some form.

Gambling Comparison

The state senator went on to draw a parallel, stating that legalizing gambling would lead to a similar “catastrophe.”

“The rollout has just been a catastrophe, and if you objectively look at how it was going to be rolled out three years ago, you could see that coming — and that’s the same situation with gaming,” Stutt said. “Who is going to run it? Where are the facilities going to be located? How is it going to be managed? Who is going to decide who gets what? Those two issues are a mirror image of each other. You think a marijuana dispensary license is a big deal? Try getting a casino license. And see how big of a deal that is.”

Related Links:

Third Time Was Not The Charm: Alabama Judge Blocks Medical Marijuana Permits

Setback Strikes Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Industry, Licenses On Hold Yet Again

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Photo: Courtesy of FabrikaSimf via Shutterstock

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