MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — There are 33 states that have legalized medical marijuana. Alabama leaders are now considering whether to be the next state to push with the newly formed Medical Cannabis Study Commission having its first meeting Tuesday in Montgomery.

It was a packed room for the Medical Cannabis Study Commission’s first meeting.

“I’m glad to see Alabama be so progressive, I’m surprised to be honest,” said Dr. Steve Stokes, a member of the commission.

The 15-member committee is made of law enforcement, medical professionals and those interested in this topic, such as Stokes.

“The only potential problem i could see if chronic unknown ideology that could be anything, that could potentially be a gateway, you can’t measure pain it is what people tell you,” Stokes said.

The Alabama Legislature didn’t exactly give the green light for medical marijuana in the state during the last session, but what it did was create a study to look at the issue and suggest future legislation.

Cynthia Atkinson shared an emotional testimony about her late husband who used medical marijuana for relief from Parkinson’s disease. Her husband, Dan, was a longtime meteorologist for WSFA in Montgomery.

“At times, most of the time for the last three years, it felt like he was in vice grips, we went to professionals to the doctor. He was on a number of opioids just to sleep at night, and many times could not,” Atkinson said.

She is now very passionate about the issue and coming at it from a spiritual standpoint.

“We are both Christians, I think the problem is a lot of people don’t see the clinical scientific aspect of cannabis,” she said.

Gov. Kay Ivey said she’s keeping a close eye on what the committee does.

“Certainly we need to look at the health benefits that will really come, and be sure that we have all the information that we need,”said Gov. Kay Ivey.

The commission is looking to meet again sometime in September.