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  • garriganchey

Contact Your Alabama Senator to Prevent Criminalizing Delta-8-THC and Delta-10-THC

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Last week was busy as we were monitoring and advocating for passage of the The Compassion Act (SB 46), which would make medical-use cannabis legal in Alabama. The House Judiciary Committee met but postponed voting on it until Wednesday, April 7.

Additionally, we attended the Alabama Hemp Expo, where the Alabama Department of Agriculture informed attendees of the Alabama Hemp Program. (We have news to report on this. Follow our Facebook page and watch for an announcement.) However, our sources informed us that also on Wednesday, Alabama Senator Arthur Orr added an amendment to a different bill: HB2. That bill would add tianeptine (a type of synthetic opioid) to the controlled substance list in Alabama, effectively criminalizing it statewide. Senator Orr's amendment would also make delta-8-THC and delta-10-THC illegal in Alabama. That bill, with the amendment, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee that Wednesday at a vote of 6-3. We expect it to be put on the floor to be voted on by the whole senate very soon, possibly even Tuesday of this week.

As the National Cannabis Industry Association explains, "Delta-8 is a compound similar to delta-9 but with less psychoactive effects. The hemp-derived delta-8 market has grown because delta-8 products can be delivered at near pure levels." As the National Cancer Institute explains, delta-8-THC aids in reducing nausea, anxiety, low appetite, pain, and is neuroprotective. Some mouse studies indicate it might help Alzheimer's patients.

We Oppose this Amendment

It's premature to outlaw these potentially beneficial treatments for very serious conditions until research has been done. What we do know is that there have been no deaths attributed to delta-8-thc and cannabis is generally safer than even some over-the-counter medications. The Alabama Senate has the opportunity to regulate delta-8-thc and delta-10-thc in The Compassion Act so it is controlled but still accessible to people who will benefit from it in reducing suffering and improve quality of life. In addition to public and individual health, this amendment is bad for the state. To make these two delta chemicals illegal, the state will have incur a cost to enforce it. That's tax money that could go to roads. But, if it is included as a medical cannabis product and is legalized and controlled through The Compassion Act, the state will receive taxes from the sale of it.

Another option is to put the control of these two substances and the taxation of it in Representative Jim Hill's bill: HB109. That bill would pay retired judges to reduce court backlogs. But, Alabama Chief Justice Tom Parker said the Alabama judicial system needs at least 21 full-time, circuit court judges. Taxing delta-8-thc and delta-10-thc can be the solution.

Defeating the HB2 amendment is good public health policy and good fiscal policy.

What Can You Do?

It's time to contact your Alabama Senator and tell him/her to oppose the anti-delta-8/10 amendment that was added to HB2. Maybe you could send them a message on Twitter. Use the hashtag #opposeALHB2amendment. Be sure and tell the clerk you are in the district of that senator.

Don't know who your senator is? Go here and enter your full address. Scroll down to find the person with the description of "State Senator for Alabama." Click on that senator's picture. It will give you info about that senator, including their office phone number, a link to their website (actually webpage) and Twitter account, if they have one. If you go to their webpage, you may find more information, such as their email address.

Senators are most concerned with the number of their constituents who support or oppose legislation. So it's important to identify yourself as living in that senator's district, and then it's a numbers game.

We encourage you to JOIN US as we work to make medical cannabis legal in Alabama.