Alabama state parks

Alabama’s Senate could be debating allowing medical marijuana in the state soon, since a Senate committee approved a comprehensive medical marijuana bill yesterday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4 to 3 to pass the measure. The bill was likely able to pass committee because three Republican senators failed to attend the meeting.

The legislation, if passed, would allow patients who suffer from 25 specific conditions to purchase a maximum of ten ounces of medical marijuana per month from a state-regulated dispensary.

Alabama parks scheduled to close next month will stay open a little while longer.

Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein on Wednesday said Gov. Robert Bentley has instructed him to delay closing four parks and two golf courses on May 1.

Earlier this month the park system announced plans to close as many as 15 of the state's 22 parks due to budget cuts.

Despite a dire budget situation that may force two thirds of Alabama's state parks to close, two of the parks remaining open are planning to build new hotels on site.

Both Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores and Oak Mountain State Park south of Birmingham are finalizing major upgrade plans to their facilities, which include multi million dollar hotels.

Alabama State Parks is considering a "state parks pass" for vehicles in response to a tight 2013 budget.

Without additional funding, Greg Lein, director of Alabama State Parks, says there could be layoffs and partial seasonal closures of some parks and golf courses. Lein says decisions on which operations could be affected will be made on a month-by-month basis.