Let’s get the pun out of the way.

The buzz of marijuana legalization in the United States is at an all-time high.

That’s better.

In November 2012, both Colorado and Washington legalized cannabis in a public election. The people had spoken. Both states ended an 80 year prohibition on marijuana, allowing anyone 21 or older to consume, buy, and possess any derivation of marijuana without fear of punishment from the state.

The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington created a direct conflict between states and the federal government. Marijuana is still federally illegal under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. But under the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice has insisted that it will not prosecute marijuana users who comply with their state laws.

All signs indicate that pot is on its way to a corner store near you. According to a 2014 study conducted by CNN and ORC International more than 55 percent of Americans support the legalization of recreational marijuana. Since the passing of their respective laws, citizens of both Colorado and Washington support the measures. Fifty-two percent of Coloradans feel that “marijuana has been good for Colorado,” according to a Quinnipiac University study. But even if a growing number of Americans favor marijuana legalization, it doesn’t mean that every state is likely to adopt. However, some states are better positioned to consider the move than others.

Alabama may not be as far-fetched of a candidate for legalization as you think.On March 20, Governor Robert Bentley signed Senate Bill 174 into effect. The bill, also known as Carly’s Law legalized cannabidiol for prescription in Alabama. S.B. 174 was dedicated to Carly Chandler, who suffered from a genetic mutation which caused her to have violent seizures. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an oil-based derivative of marijuana which is known to limit seizures.

The passing of Carly’s Law makes Alabama the first southern state with any legal form of marijuana. Though the law specifically allows for the prescription of CBD to people diagnosed with various forms of epilepsy, the state has made a tremendous foray into the discussion of drug reform. Despite reluctance from many in the state, marijuana could be a lucrative endeavor for Alabama.

Two of Alabama’s leading industries are lumber production and soil refinery. The Yellowhammer State is notorious for its mineral rich soil and high yield of lumber and wood. Wood products account for more than $13 billion in the Alabama economy, according to the Alabama Forestry Association.

The recreational marijuana laws of Colorado and Washington have been financially successful for both states. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, the state is expected to total more than $100 million in tax revenue in 2014 with 30 percent of that revenue going Colorado public schools. Washington’s law automatically allocates 25 percent to state education.

At the same time, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, Alabama students rank below Kazahkstan, Iran, and Armenia in science education. As of 2012, Alabama ranks 40th in dropout rate among U.S. states with only 72 percent of public school students completing high school.

As one of two southern states without a legal lottery system, Alabama educational funds are not capable of garnishing mass amounts of tax revenue from a single source. The state instead allocates funding for all public initiatives from a combination of state property, sales and income tax.

A recreational marijuana law would be a welcome boon to both Alabama industry and education if it featured the right provisions. If conditions are right and public support for marijuana legalization continues to increase, Alabama could be in the right political and economic position to foster a new industry with very little downside.

Such a bill is likely years away from having a serious chance at becoming law, but stranger things have happened. And they’ll happen again.

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