Ron Crumpton

Alabama: Democratic Senate Nominee Favors Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

While the pace of cannabis law reform may sometimes seem far too slow, we are making major progress. One way that I know this, is by watching my home state of Alabama, the "Heart of Dixie," rightly considered one of the most conservative states in the union.

You may be asking, "Progress? What progress?" Well, for the first time in history, as far as we've been able to determine, the 2016 Democratic nominee for United States Senator from Alabama favors marijuana legalization.

"Current marijuana policy in Alabama, and across America, lacks reason, intelligence and sanity," said Democratic Senate nominee Ron Crumpton, a native of Wilsonville, Alabama. "It creates criminal enterprises, puts our children in unnecessary danger and clogs our courts and prisons with people who would be considered normal productive members of society, but because they choose to use marijuana as opposed to alcohol, they are considered criminal."

It is mighty refreshing to see a major party nominee for Senator with such an enlightened viewpoint -- and doubly so, since Crumpton is from the Deep South.

"The prohibition of marijuana promotes violence, costs millions of dollars in law enforcement/corrections, and violates the constitutional rights of Americans," Crumpton said. "Using marijuana does not present a viable danger to anyone. Therefore, denying the use of marijuana, or arresting someone for the use of marijuana is not only a violation of our personal rights and liberties… it is asinine."

Alabama: Key Senator Blocks Medical Marijuana Bill; Says State 'Not Ready'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana may have been passed by an Alabama Senate committee this week, but a powerful politician quickly blocked the way for further progress, declaring the state is "not ready" for such legislation. The full membership of the Senate won't even get the chance to debate the bill unless he changes his mind.

Sen. Jabo Waggoner, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, displayed the arrogance of power in disregarding both the Senate Judiciary Committee, which on Wednesday approved the bill on a 4-3 vote, and popular opinion in the state.

"It is bad legislation," Waggoner said, ignoring both the scientific evidence of marijuana's medical effectiveness and the wishes of his own constituents. "We don't need that in Alabama."

A whopping 97 percent of more than 1,300 respondents to an online poll said the state should allow medicinal cannabis. More than a decade ago, back in 2004, 75 percent of respondents said medical marijuana should be legal in the Heart of Dixie, according to a Mobile Register/University of South Alabama survey.

Waggoner, a relic of the 20th Century and career politician who has served in the Alabama Legislature for 49 years, said he didn't think anything would change his mind about the medical marijuana bill this year.

Alabama: Medical Marijuana Bill Passed By Senate Committee

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday narrowly approved a bill to allow the medical use of marijuana.

Judiciary Committee members approved Senate Bill 326 -- the Medical Marijuana Patient Safe Access Act -- on a 4-3 vote.

"It's a great day for patients in Alabama," said Ron Crumpton of the Alabama Safe Access Project (ASAP), which drafted the legislation. "Even if the bill doesn't go any further, this is progress.

"However, we expect the bill to go before the whole Senate next week," Crumpton told Hemp News Wednesday afternoon. "It looks like Hell may freeze over in Alabama."

Applause broke out from medical marijuana advocates who have unsuccessfully lobbied in Montgomery for years; one of those cheering was Tammy Collazo, who said she takes small amounts of cannabis to ease the pain of a brain tumor, reports the Associated Press.

The legislation now moves to the Alabama Senate floor, where political observers believe it faces rough going.

The bill would allow patients with serious medical conditions, including cancer, AIDS, autism, Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, and seizures, to buy or grow cannabis for medicinal use. Marijuana sales would be taxed, and revenue would be used to combat illegal drug trafficking.

Graphic: Kathy Day/Facebook

Alabama: Medical Marijuana Safe Access Act Filed In Legislature

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill which would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes has been filed in the Alabama Senate.

The bill, crafted by the Alabama Safe Access Project (ASAP), was filed on Thursday as SB 326 by state Senator Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), according to ASAP director Ron Crumpton.

The companion bill is set to be filed in the Alabama House on Monday by Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham), according to Crumpton.

"When passed, the Alabama Medical Marijuana Safe Access Act will create a system of safe and regulated access to marijuana for patients who have been diagnosed by a physician as having one of the specific medical conditions outlined in the legislation," Crumpton said.

Medical conditions included in this year’s legislation:

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease)
Anorexia
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)/ Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
Autism
Bipolar disorder
Cachexia
Cancer
Cerebral palsy
Chronic depression
Chronic pain
Dystonia
Fibromyalgia
Gastrointestinal disorders, including, but not limited to, colitis, Crohn's disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Glaucoma
Lupus
Migraine
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Parkinson’s disease

Alabama: Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Both House, Senate Sponsors

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

For the first time ever, the Alabama Medical Marijuana Safe Access Act will be sponsored in both houses of the Alabama Legislature. The companion bills are expected to be filed in the Alabama Senate and House on Tuesday, March 17.

Senator Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) and Representative John Rogers (D-Birmingham) have agreed to sponsor the bill in the 2015 legislative session, according to Ron Crumpton of the Alabama Safe Access Project (ASAP).

"ASAP would like to thank both Rep. Rogers and Sen. Singleton for their willingness to lead Alabama towards a future where patients receive the best in medical care," Crumpton told Hemp News Wednesday afternoon.

Sen. Singleton, who is sponsoring the bill in the Alabama Senate, is serving his third term. He has a degree in Criminal Justice from Alabama State University and a Juris Doctor from Miles College, and works as a consultant. He is a member of Greenleaf Missionary Baptist Church in Greensboro.

Alabama: Senator 'Tired Of These People,' Won't Release Medical Marijuana Survey

SenatorJimMcClendonIAmOneOfThesePeople!

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Alabama state senator this week proclaimed "I'm really tired of dealing with these people" when pressed to release a doctor survey he ordered, which was conducted by the state medical association.

Oddly, Senator Jim McClendon, who at the time he ordered the study was chair of the House Health Committee, repeatedly denied ever ordering the survey in a telephone interview this week, reports Edward Burch at ABC 33/40.

Senator McClendon, who perhaps should seek a less stressful form of employment than public servant, said he had received emails from medical marijuana proponents for the past two years about the missing survey.

"I'm really tired of dealing with these people and this issue," McClendon said.

Reporter Burch later spoke with Rep. Patricia Todd, who sponsored a bill during the last legislative session which would have legalized medical marijuana.

Rep. Todd confirmed that Sen. McClendon did issue the request for the medical marijuana survey.

"I was in (McClendon's) office one day and one of the government affairs people for the medical association was in there and we were talking about it, and he said, 'Oh yeah, we did the survey,'" Todd said.

Rep. Todd said the Medical Association of the State of Alabama (MASA) refused to give her a copy of the complete survey. She said she had submitted a list of questions to McClendon to be included on it.

Alabama: Medical Marijuana Activist Is Democratic Nominee For State Senate

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Alabama isn't the first place most folks think of when they think of marijuana policy reform, but the Heart of Dixie has been experiencing a groundswell of public support for medical marijuana -- and now a medical marijuana activist has qualified as a Democratic nominee for the state Senate.

"On Tuesday, I qualified to appear on the Alabama Democratic Party's primary ballot, and I am proud to announce that at 5 p.m. [Central] today, I became the Democratic Party's nominee for Alabama State Senate in District 11," Crumpton said.

Crumpton will be facing the winner of the Republican primary, either Sen. Jerry Fielding (R-Sylacauga) or Rep. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) in November.

"Both of my opponents have been in politics for more than a decade," Crumpton told Hemp News Friday afternoon. "Alabamians need to ask themselves if they believe we are on the right track. If the answer is no, then they should vote for me, because my opponents intend to continue the same tired policies that have brought us to where we are now."

Crumpton, who leads the medical marijuana advocacy group Alabama Safe Access Project (ASAP), isn't kidding about his opponents. Sitting Senator Jerry Fielding's political priorities (and, perhaps, level of mental activity) can be roughly sketched out by noting that he sponsored a Senate resolution to support Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson after Robertson created controversy with homophobic statements.

Alabama: Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed In House

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When I was growing up in rural Alabama in the 1960s, my Mom was fond of saying, "Can't never could, but 'try' caught a rabbit." What Mom was trying to convey is that you miss every shot you don't take, and that there's no substitute for effort towards reaching a long-sought goal.

Evidently my Mom wasn't the only one in the Heart of Dixie who taught her kids to be determined, because my friends Ron Crumpton and Chris Butts of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMJC) never say "can't," and these men never tire -- they just keep trying.

The latest effort to reform the marijuana laws there has been introduced by Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) in the Alabama House in the form of House Bill 550, The Alabama Marijuana and Hemp Reform Act of 2013.

House Bill 550 would allow adults 21 or older to use or possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and to grow up to 12 mature cannabis plants in an enclosed, locked space. Adults would be allowed to share -- but not sell -- marijuana with other adults.

The Alabama Department of Revenue would regulate the cultivation, processing, packaging, testing, transportation, display, and sale of marijuana and related accessories. Marijuana sales would be prohibited except by licensed, regulated cannabis stores.

Alabama: Rep. K. L. Brown moving forward with medical marijuana bill

By Patrick McCreless, Anniston Star

There is a truth that must be heard! A local lawmaker is moving forward with his bill that would make marijuana use legal for medicinal purposes, expecting to pre-file the legislation within another week.

Rep. K.L. Brown, R-Jacksonville, said Wednesday he had submitted the bill Monday to the state’s Legislative Reference Service. Lawmakers submit their legislation to that department before filing it with the Legislature for consideration.

"What they do is put it in the proper legal jargon," Brown said. "They put it in bill form — that is what happens right before it is filed."

Brown said it should take about a week before he gets the revised bill back from the Legislative Reference Service.

"Hopefully I'll have it in a week and get it filed," he said.

Sixteen states allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for certain medicinal purposes.

Brown's sister used medicinal marijuana to control her pain before she died of breast cancer 25 years ago, and he sees the measure as a way to help many suffering Alabamians in a similar manner.

However, he has emphasized that the bill was in no way part of a larger effort to decriminalize marijuana completely in the state.

"This is not a recreational marijuana legalizing bill at all," Brown said previously.

"It's strictly for medicinal purposes and will be closely monitored by the Health Department and law enforcement."

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