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Alabama Health Committee Chairman Jim McClendon; Out Of touch With The People Or Reality?


alabama medical marijuanaAMMJC APRC, Ron Crumpton 2014

On November 14, the Alabama House Committee on Health, held a hearing on the issue of medical marijuana in Alabama. It was evident that the purpose of the hearing was to kill HB 2, the Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights Act.

In his closing remarks at the hearing, Chairman McClendon, Republican St. Clair Springs, said, “Medical marijuana is an issue supported by an extremely small group of people in Alabama, while the vast majority of the population is opposed to this type of legislation.” He went on to say that, there would have to be a “sea of change” in public opinion before this issue is considered by his committee.

The problem is that the most recent poll on medical marijuana in Alabama, conducted by the Mobile Register and the University of South Alabama found that 75 percent of respondents supported legalizing marijuana for medical use under a doctor’s supervision. I know that the chairman has seen the polling information because I personally placed a copy of it in his hand. In other words, it is not that the chairman does not know about the polling, it is that he chooses to ignore it.

Things just didn’t turn out the way he planned!

Why would Chairman McClendon claim that there is no support for this issue when he has been provided with evidence to the contrary?

If the chairman uses a factually inaccurate reason for not holding a vote, then he is completely out of touch with the people of Alabama, the issues that come before his committee, or he is holding the legislation for his own personal reasons.

Chairman Jim McClendon thought that by holding his little dog and pony show, he would discourage the medical marijuana community in Alabama. Much to his surprise, it is not producing the results that he desired. Apparently, the people of Alabama are not as stupid as Chairman McClendon would like to believe, everyone saw his hearing for the hoax that it was. The blowback against the Republican leadership in the house following coverage of the hearing has been tremendous.

If you would like to ask Jim McClendon why he refuses to allow a vote on medical marijuana in Alabama, his contact information can the found on his profile at the Alabama legislature’s website.

While it is evident by his actions that Jim McClendon is holding this legislation, what is not certain is if it is of his own accord.

Speaker Hubbard said that “HE” doesn’t think the bill is right for Alabama.

During my many conversations with Jim McClendon, during the 2012 session, he constantly implied that he was getting pressure to kill the bill from Speaker Mike Hubbard. I tried to schedule appointment with the speaker’s office and was told that he did not have time to meet with me. I did receive a call from the Speakers policy analyst, I asked “Why is the speaker holding our bill?”  He said that the Speaker “didn’t think the bill was right for Alabama.”

Medical research supports the use of marijuana as medicine, the people of Alabama support the use of marijuana as medicine, but these two men have decided among themselves that they know better than the people they were elected to represent.

The people of Alabama overwhelmingly support is issue. If the house leadership will not listen to the will of the people, then the people of Alabama should elect someone who will.




About Author

Ron Crumpton is the Executive Director of The Alabama Patients' Rights Coalition and The Alabama Safe Access Project and is running for Alabama Senate district #11 in the 2014 election.


  1. Good morning, just wanted to share this letter I fired off to your 2014 opponent through email and comments section of a related story in the Birmingham News. Keep up your hard work!

    Mr Crumpton,

    What can we do to replace you with an elected official who listens to the voice of the people? Organize organize organize! The Committee to replace Committee Chairman from Office who will not allow votes on issues they are afraid of! Are you sure your opinions are not being formed out of fear and possible hatred not based on science or the will of the people? Are you pleased to leave the thousands and thousands currently using marijuana medically in Alabama outside the law?

    You understand the process; we elect people who speak for us on the whole and you’re busy playing God with people’s lives who are worthy citizens left outside laws born in fear and hatred that are absent science.

    Have you read a paper lately, compassionate people across the country, even your constituency, wish to end the malarkey surrounding marijuana politics. Let’s get you replaced with someone with the guts to get an important delicate job done. You keep your head in the sand, keep your party leaders that you are beholden to happy and we will get out the vote!

    Of course you could tell the Speaker you’re going to do the right thing and allow democracy to take place and allow bills to be discussed and voted on before your Committee and send them to the General Assembly!

    What can I do to help you do the right thing?

  2. The people of this state cannot be ignored forever. As the mmj laws change across the country in other states, Alabama legislature will get a hint. It may not be soon, but as quick as its moving out west, it’s likely to “fire up” here too. Stay positive friends!!

  3. The average southern christian believes that marijuana is evil being that most christians are quick to judge. If someone that looked like jesus walked into most churches they would think ” who is that dirty hippie” and give him the stink eye!

  4. actually, a number of Alabama churches have expressed support of medical cannabis, if the comments on several medical marijuana can be believed….

  5. This area of the country will be the very last to recognize marijuana as a medicine much less a legal commodity, the south and its officials are steeped in ignorance and christian ideals.

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