Saturday, February 13, 2010
Group urging legalization of medical marijuana rallies in Birmingham
About two dozen members of Alabamians for Compassionate Care, a medical marijuana advocacy group, staged a march from Caldwell Park to Five Points South in Birmingham this afternoon.
The group was urging the public to support a bill that aims to legalize the drug's use by patients suffering from seizures and chronic pain.
The Michael Philips Compassionate Care Act, which the group hopes will be introduced to the state Legislature in early March, would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for seriously ill patients in Alabama. Similar to laws in effect in 14 states and the District of Columbia, the bill also would provide protection from arrest under state law for doctors who recommend it and patients who use marijuana as medicine.
"Patients in Alabama should not be locked in prison for trying to ease their pain and suffering," said Loretta Nall of Alexander City, executive director of Alabamians for Compassionate Care. "We shouldn't have to buy marijuana on the streets. Alabama needs to join the other states that recognize the benefits of marijuana for medical purposes. It's better than all those legal drugs out there for pain that have terrible side effects."
The group, many holding signs saying "Stop arresting patients" and "Support legal marijuana," staged a rally in Five Points South for 30 minutes before marching back to Caldwell Park.
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