A bill has been pre-filed in the Alabama House that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
The sponsor, Democratic Rep. Patricia Todd of Birmingham, says legalizing the drug for medical purposes would help cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and others suffering from severe pain. The bill has failed several times, but Todd says her spirits are buoyed because similar bills have recently passed In other states.
A total of 18 states currently have legalized medical marijuana and two states, Washington and Colorado, have legalized the general use of marijuana. But the use of marijuana remains a violation of federal law.
The 2013 session of the Alabama Legislature begins Tuesday and Todd's bill is the first issue scheduled to be considered Wednesday by the House Health Committee.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.