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Medical marijuana is legal in Alabama but how protected is its usage?

37 states have legalized medical marijuana. 23 states prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of their medical marijuana usage.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — "No one believed that Alabama would be legal. Everybody was certain that we would be the last and we're not," said Founder and Owner of CannaBama, Jennifer Boozer.

Although the use of medical marijuana has been legalized in the state of Alabama, using medical marijuana in Alabama, is much more complicated.

"There's so little law about cannabis other than the laws that make it illegal and then the law that makes it legal. There's nothing else. There are no guidelines, no infrastructure within the legislation to sort of, you know, protect anybody," said Boozer. 

Particularly when it comes to medical marijuana use and employment.

"There needs to be something in place for the people who are already in the workforce, who will be switching over to improve their quality of life. And for people getting jobs, who are just trying to improve their quality of life," said Boozer.

Especially when it comes to those who want to switch over to medical marijuana but work in a place with low to zero tolerance.

"So really, at the end of the day, it's the employer's choice. There are plenty of places, especially when you're talking about heavy machinery or law enforcement or medical personnel, where there is a zero-tolerance policy," said Boozer. 

Many argue that drug testing for substances like marijuana doesn't line up with actual usage.

"It's different because if you drink a beer on a Friday night and you get drug tested on a Monday, you're not going to test positive for alcohol, you know, and you might even still be drunk from Sunday night and it's okay to go to work that way. But with THC, the body metabolizes it much more slowly and so if you were to take a hit or two off of a joint or have a gummy, a week later you may still test positive," said Boozer. 

Nonetheless, those in support of legalizing marijuana, are happy to see Alabama make it here, to this point, even if there's much more to do in the long run.

"We are grateful for the legislation. We're grateful to have made that big leap. And now we have to put some foundation in place that makes sense for the citizens of Alabama, for the patients," said Boozer.

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