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Medical Marijuana Bill and Battle of Selma anniversary

Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee passed a comprehensive bill to legalize medical marijuana.

If enacted, the bill would allow patients suffering from any of 25 specified medical conditions to purchase a maximum of ten ounces of marijuana a month from a state-licensed dispensary. Sales would be taxed, with revenue going toward police and sheriff’s departments to combat drug trafficking.

Robert Capecchi** is the Deputy Director of State Policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. He says that one or two years ago he would have been surprised to see a bill like this make it out of committee. Now he’s just pleased.

“Across the country, there’s a realization that these medical marijuana laws in the states that have them are working, and they’re not resulting in mass chaos on the street, and they’re not resulting in increased marijuana use. They’re actually having good, positive effects in a lot of these states.”

Even though the bill passed committee, lawmakers may refuse to debate the bill on the Senate floor. Bill sponsor Bobby Singleton is considering converting the bill into a constitutional amendment, which would require a referendum vote.

Today marks the beginning of the commemoration of the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Selma. The April 1865 Society is holding a memorial ceremony for Union soldiers at Old Cahawba Archaeological Park.

It is to honor federal soldiers who died while being held captive at the Cahawba Military Prison known as Castle Morgan during the Civil War.

Linda Derry is the site director and historical archeologist at the park. She says the ceremony will also honor prisoners of war who perished in what was once considered to be the largest maritime disaster in U.S History.

“It’s such a sad story, they survived the bloodiest war, they survived prison of war camp, they thought they were going home to their families but their steam boat tragically exploded on the Mississippi near Memphis, Tennessee on April 27th and killed almost all of them, so they never made it home.”(17 Seconds)

The memorial ceremony will being at four o’clock pm at Old Cahawba near Selma.  It will include a wreath lying by Civil War re-enactors, cannon fire and a tour of the old prison site.

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