By any standard, the rollout of Alabama's medical cannabis effort over the last two years has not gone well. What started with confusion about the process has transitioned into a series of lawsuits with no end in sight.
One of the most outspoken opponents of Alabama's medical marijuana law during the attempts to pass it in 2019 and 2021 was State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia).
Nearly three years later, Stutts remains a staunch critic of Alabama's formalized medical marijuana effort that continues to struggle to get off the ground.
"Anyone that objectively looked at it could tell that it was going to be," he said during an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show." "I made that point in our Senate debate. This is just a setup for corruption. 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 has been spent already just trying to get it off the ground. I'm still opposed to it. I don't think it is good public policy, and I don't think it is 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."
The Colbert County Republican predicted a similar "catastrophe" if the legislature initiated the process to legalize gambling.
"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," he added. "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."
Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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