Last year, the Alabama Legislature passed legislation that would set events in motion to make so-called medical cannabis legal in Alabama.
However, even its proponents would admit the implementation is a work in progress.
State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia), a vehement opponent of the legislation a year ago, argues the bill lacks some parameters that were an oversight during its initial passage.
Among those, he says, is a prohibition of medical cannabis being administered to pregnant or nursing women.
During a recent appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Stutts discussed his Senate Bill 278 (SB278), which would require a medical cannabis dispensary site to require a negative pregnancy test for women of childbearing age before allowing them to purchase medical cannabis.
It would also prohibit nursing women from purchasing medical cannabis unless as a registered caregiver.
"We need some parameters, and I'm still not in favor of the marijuana bill," Stutts said. "But it is in place. I think it can be improved, and one of the ways it can be improved is to limit pregnant people using it, limit their availability to it. Every other medicine, even over-the-counter medicine, and this was one of my arguments during the process, is that we're totally going outside the way we have traditionally prescribed medicine, the way medications have been dispensed.
"We're leaving the pharmacies out of it. We're leaving the traditional prescription out of it and we're sending you to a dispensary. Any other medicine, even over-the-counter medicines that you can buy -- they all have a warning about pregnancy. They all say 'consult your doctor,' 'consult your pharmacist.' Every medicine that we prescribe has different warnings about use and pregnancy or breastfeeding.
"The marijuana dispensaries are going to totally bypass that. And there's plenty of data for the harmful effects of marijuana during pregnancy. And I just simply felt like we need to have some guidelines in the bill. Yeah, the marijuana bill is law now but if we're going to have that as the law, we need to set some parameters."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.