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Alabama Senate debating banning pregnant women from buying medical marijuana


Medical marijuana hasn’t been sold legally in Alabama yet. But the idea is opening up new debates.

The latest deals with pregnant women using the drug. A bill that would require all women ages 13 to 50 to provide proof of a negative pregnancy test to obtain medical marijuana passed a state senate committee last week. It will now go to the full Senate.

Emma Roth is a staff attorney with National Advocates for Pregnant Women. She said the legislation will likely be legally challenged if passed.

“If Alabama is concerned about protecting maternal and infant health, it should focus on measures that would increase healthcare access for pregnant women," she said. "This kind of legislation will not actually improve maternal or infant health outcomes, but put additional roadblocks in the way of women who are seeking medical treatment.” 

She says the bill will likely be legally challenged if passed.

"We have serious constitutional concerns about this legislation as an invasion of the privacy of Alabama women who need medical marijuana," Roth said. "It also raises some serious equal protection concerns given that it applies only to women and not to men.” 

The proposed bill would also ban breastfeeding women from obtaining medical marijuana.

Libby Foster is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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