Marijuana Misdemeanor for Mobile, AL Slow-Walked By City Council

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Mobile, AL, Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s attempt to sponsor a City Ordinance that would lessen “personal use” marijuana offenses is anticipated to cause “fireworks” during the July City Council meeting.

Mobile Alabama proposal to reduce personal use marijuana penalties

Mobile Alabama proposal to reduce personal use marijuana penalties

Mayor Stimson’s proposal would not require individuals be arrested for what the city calls “minor offenses.” Rather than incarceration, and at the sole discretion of the police, a “Uniform Nontraffic Citation and Complaint” could be issued.

The proposed ordinance would result in $100 fine for individuals charged with second-degree marijuana possession. Defined as being an amount of marijuana for “personal use only,” no court appearance would be required if the charges go uncontested.

Frustrated by the public misconception his proposed ordinance would constitute the “decriminalization” of personal use, on Tuesday, the mayor’s office maintained “the proposal would not ‘decriminalize’ marijuana use or possession,” according to Alabama.com.

“The matter first came up at the council’s preliminary organizational session Tuesday morning. City Clerk Carroll-Lambert had barely finished reading the agenda item when Councilman John Williams suggested, “Why don’t we hold this over about six weeks. Let’s get this to the Fourth of July. There’ll be some fireworks.”

If approved at the July meeting, the City of Mobile Alabama and its police force would have the discretion to issue a Uniform Nontraffic Citation and Complaint for the following offenses: Criminal trespass 2nd degree, Criminal trespass 3rd degree, Disorderly conduct, (Verbal) Harassment – (No fighting words), Loitering for drug purposes, Minor in possession, Public intoxication, Public lewdness, Possession of Marijuana 2nd degree, Possession of drug paraphernalia, and the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The mayor’s proposed ordinance, according to City Attorney Ricardo Woods, would lessen the “disproportionate burden on City resources.” While the ordinance is intended to increase public safety, the mayor’s proposal could be undermined by some of the more objectionable offenses.

Main photo courtesy of Allison Beckett

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Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

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