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Alabama lawmakers must think it’s pretty funny when sick and dying people are begging for the only medicine that works.

At the end of each legislative session, The Shroud Award — a black garment mounted on cardboard — is traditionally given in the House of Representatives to the “deadest bill” of the session.

Rep. Patricia Todd, a brave advocate for medical marijuana patients' rights in Alabama
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Rep. Patricia Todd, a brave advocate for medical marijuana patients’ rights in Alabama

Rep. Patricia Todd and her efforts to legalize medical marijuana in the Heart of Dixie got the Shroud Award for 2013, amid much laughter, reports Kim Chandler at

Todd was professional and gracious as she accepted the (dis)honor. She thanked her fellow lawmakers for their tolerance and willingness to talk about the issue.

“I’m not ignorant,” Todd said. “I know where I live. But I will keep trying for all the people who need it at end-of-life.”

The Birmingham Democrat introduced a total of three marijuana bills, two to legalize medicinal cannabis and one to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use.

If you have a, well, high tolerance for endless bad pot puns, you can slog your way through the supposed-to-be-funny resolution in its entirety

1 HR546
2 153018-1
3 By Representative Barton
4 RFD:
5 First Read: 20-MAY-13
Page 01 153018-1:n:05/14/2013:MF/hh LRS2013-2357
10 WHEREAS, it is once again time for the annual Shroud
11 Award, a unique sine die tradition in which the Deadest Bill
12 of the 2013 legislative session is revealed. Originating in
13 1979, this is the 35th anniversary of the award.
14 This year, no pretense is made about what this
15 resolution is targeting. We will flat out say it. Our intent
16 is to single out A.E.A. …..; proposed legislation that is
17 AMUSING, ENTERTAINING, or ABSURD. We also have our sights on
18 the B.C.A., the BEST COMEDY AVAILABLE. We aren’t BRAGGING. We
19 just Dare To Defend Our HYPE.
20 This ceremony is a time of light-hearted fun in
21 which partisan sniping is suspended and both sides of the
22 aisle come together in a spirit of solidarity for the
23 entertaining purpose of ridiculing the recipient. Critics say
24 it’s just one more example of this body’s irresponsible habit
25 of Kicking the MAN down the road.
26 We hope folks will take our gentle ribbing in good
27 humor. But if you find us irritating or our barbs get under
Page 11 your skin, there is some good news. There’s a fine
2 Dermatologist right across the street. However, Democrats may
3 want to ask if he accepts Medicaid.
4 If we have REALLY made you mad, we are sorry. We
5 encourage you to forward your complaints to our Representative
6 for customer service care of J. Mitchell at House District
7 103…….
8 This year, due to certain technicalities, two bills
9 do not qualify for the award. Still these efforts are worthy
10 of a short footnote:
11 House Bill 31 by Representative K.L. Brown, relating
12 to pre-need funeral services. How sweet it would have been for
13 the Shroud spokesman to throw some dirt on the undertaker, but
14 unfortunately the House in its wisdom, passed the bill, not
15 because anyone understood it, but because they figured they’d
16 be dead when it applied to them. Mournfully, his corpse
17 coverage clause was revoked upstairs when prepaid forces from
18 below quietly closed the lid on this coffin. As the old saying
19 goes, nothing is certain except death, taxes, and the
20 influence of lobbyists.
21 House Bill 84, the Local Control Flexability Act;
22 aka, the Alabama Accountability Act; aka, Triple A Two; aka,
23 Triple A Three; aka, the Just Trust Us Act. This bill had so
24 many unlicensed makeovers the Board of Cosmetology is
25 investigating. The sponsor sure got those Ed-U-crats all bent
26 out of shape. He’s one HANGING CHAD a lot of people would love
27 to see. These days, Representative Fincher is what’s Trending.
Page 21 His “Likes” on Facebook have reportedly soared to three, of
2 course two of those were his own kids. And so far, only 42 of
3 his fellow Republicans have un-friended him. He’s concerned
4 how all this is going to play at home. We think his worries
5 are IMAGINARY, like that Notre Dame’s linebacker’s girlfriend
6 or the conference committee meeting for the Accountability
7 Act. This would have been the perfect Shroud Award winner, but
8 go figure, you guys passed it not once, but twice, making it
9 ineligible.
10 Alright, we better move along, as it looks like the
11 Republicans are about to invoke Rule 25. Before we announce
12 this year’s winner, we review the runners-up, those bills
13 whose performances were bad, just not bad enough to capture
14 the grand prize. Consolation gifts go to:
15 House Bill 496 by Representative Patricia Todd
16 changing the way Alabama public schools teach lessons on
17 homosexuality and birth control. While some may say the House
18 is becoming more diverse and tolerant, it’s not yet a Modern
19 Family. This bill was dead from the moment she thought of it.
20 House Bill 469 by Representative John Rogers,
21 creating the Committee on Horse Welfare. The bill intends to
22 use certain pari-mutuel pool funds for horse-related
23 activities like rescue, adoption, retirement, and education.
24 How things change. In heavier times, a horse couldn’t support
25 Big John. Now it looks like Little John is trying to support
26 the horse. Some claim his interest is based on the fact he
27 didn’t get a pony as a child, but we suspect it’s because he
Page 31 wants to be a JOCKEY. After all, he already has the required
2 clothes. Most of his sports coats are interchangeable as
3 jockey silks. At first some questioned why the scope of the
4 bill did not include donkeys. Then we remembered, the WELFARE
5 of the BIG MULES has already been taken care of. Believing
6 there are enough creatures already feeding at the public
7 trough, the E.D. and T. Committee refused to look this gift
8 horse in the mouth.
9 House Bill 287 by Representative Ed Henry allowing a
10 student being taught at home or at a church school to
11 participate in public school athletics; otherwise known as the
12 Tim Tebow Act. This bill has had a longer career in the
13 Legislature than its namesake has had in the pros. The
14 scouting report for both continues to read the same: Keeps
15 RUNNING but seems unable to PASS. If memory serves us, at
16 least three different coaches have lead this endeavor in the
17 House. Just maybe…, it’s not the coaching, but the material
18 that’s at fault. This year’s head coach has a solid
19 reputation, especially when it comes to the shotgun and pistol
20 offense. He requires his players to wear sleeveless jerseys.
21 After all, they have a right to BARE arms. A couple of weeks
22 ago things looked awful promising. He had his team in the red
23 zone, driving for a vote, when he inexplicably took a knee.
24 Some fans think he looked at the scoreboard and saw that a
25 similar effort upstairs was being swamped. With the odds
26 makers giving him little chance of scoring, the NOT so old
27 ball coach decided to punt and wait until next year. In the
Page 41 meantime, by resolution, he hopes to call a team meeting of
2 all interested players to revamp the game plan. Maybe that
3 will work, but Nick Saban doesn’t coach by committee.
4 House Bill 172 by Representative Craig Ford
5 establishing an Education Lottery. It’s official, the man from
6 Etowah has been a Shroud nominee an embarrassing four times.
7 Now that’s the kind of bold leadership his party deserves. In
8 fact, the majority is so impressed they are guaranteeing he
9 will win the award one of these years. This proposal seems to
10 be deja vu all over again. HELLO, have you been in a coma? We
11 are now three years into the new normal. Get over it. This
12 Legislature DOES NOT fund government with gambling proceeds.
13 It prefers trust fund raids. Actually, it’s probably a good
14 thing this bill failed. No one wants the minority leader to
15 get all the glory. After all, the Senate has already bestowed
16 upon the gallant Gadsonian the ultimate honor; placing his
17 name on his own act. Of course, we’re not exactly sure what
18 kind of act it is. Usually, he’s such a gentleman, but we hear
19 behind close doors he can be a real beast. It must be his
20 animal magnetism; and
21 WHEREAS, having summarily dismissed the footnoted
22 and alsorans, it is finally time to announce the winner of the
23 Annual Shroud Award. The deadest legislation of 2013 goes to:
24 A bill that promoted segments of agriculture.
25 That was a prescription for better living.
26 That helped people in therapy.
27 That was viewed as a pot full of miracles.
Page 51 That proved the grass remains greener elsewhere.
2 That wasn’t just blowing smoke.
3 That removed the crimp in your hemp.
4 Think you got it? At least we threw you off for a
5 little while. The winners of the Shroud Award are House Bills
6 2, 315, and 550 by Representative Patricia Todd. These JOINT
7 proposals authorized the medical use of marijuana and
8 legalized cannabis for personal use. The first bill quickly
9 went under the influence of the Health Committee. In this
10 meeting, members sniffed, but refused to inhale when it came
11 time to score this chronic pain management tool. Instead of
12 going one toke over the line, they declared: Nope, not this
13 time. But with two affirmative votes the trip was not a total
14 bummer. And committee members could agree on one thing; while
15 she’s definitely not BETTY CROCKER, the strong-willed
16 Jeffersonian sure bakes a mean brownie. While truly
17 sympathetic to the impassioned pleas of many sufferers,
18 opponents felt the proposal was just too large a leap for our
19 state. That was only the jumping off point for the sponsor.
20 Soon she introduced another medicinal use bill. The second
21 version of REEFER MADNESS also went up in smoke, or using
22 medical terms, was promptly dispatched to the INTENSIVE WE
23 DON’T CARE UNIT. Once again Madam Mary Jane upped the ante by
24 introducing the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act, which
25 legalized the personal use of the drug. Many reasoned, given
26 enough hemp, she would surely hang herself. Others claimed she
27 was no Dope, and was doing this for purely recreational
Page 61 purposes. Maybe it was a mere coincidence, but this time the
2 bill went to Public Safety and Homeland Security where the
3 bong bomb was quickly defused. We are obligated to ask our
4 Ganja Gal, were you aiming to win the Shroud when you
5 introduced this Doobie? If so, you certainly succeeded, as
6 this primo product blew away the competition. With all three
7 weed ordinances mowed down like a kudzu vine in the Birmingham
8 Botanical Garden, some suggest it’s time for the Reefer Rep to
9 mellow out. However, we suspect the head of the Pot Party and
10 her grass roots will light up the medical marijuana issue
11 again. Opponents would be wise not to underestimate this
12 effort. For those of you who say, “Never in Alabama,” go see
13 Representatives Jackson and McCutcheon. Free the Hops and Home
14 Brew are not only former Shroud winners, they are now the law;
15 now therefore,
17 THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, That the winners of the 2013
18 Shroud Award are House Bills 2, 315, and 550 relating to the
19 legalization of marijuana. Representative Patricia Todd is
20 requested to come forward to accept the Shroud. We sure hope
21 she has enough brownies for everyone.
Page 7

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