If medical marijuana is legalized in Alabama anytime soon, we should thank a woman who died of breast cancer 25 years ago. Years later, her brother is a Republican state legislator, and he’s trying to legalize medical marijuana because of what he saw her go through.
State Rep. K.L. Brown is no stranger to death, because he owns and operates a funeral home. But it must have been very different to watch his own sister die of cancer 25 years ago. His sister used marijuana to ease her suffering, and Brown wants to change the law so that anyone can do the same without fear of legal problems.
Brown isn’t some libertine — or even a libertarian. He’s just a conservative Republican who doesn’t believe people should have to suffer unnecessary pain.
Ron Crumpton is executive director of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition, and he told the Anniston Star that this is the first time he’s believed a medical marijuana bill has a chance of passing in the state.
“I’ve talked to a lot of legislators who, quite honestly, in the past have not been for us but who are backing us now,” said Crumpton. “I think it has a lot to do with the fact that K.L. Brown is sponsoring it. He’s well-liked.”
Anybody who knows me knows that I believe recreational drugs — of all sorts — are a very bad idea. But I also believe that people have the right to decide for themselves what to use. If they’re just trying to get high, I might disapprove, but it’s their right. When it comes to relieving pain, though, it’s obscene to deny people the right to a cheap substance that can help. Anyone who stands in the way of this bill is more interested in grandstanding than in doing the right thing.
It’s a big deal for a small-town representative in a conservative state such as Alabama to sponsor legislation such as this. I’m impressed that he’s doing the right thing, even if some of his narrow-minded constituents might hold it against him.