Alabama Contemplates Reduced Penalties For Personal Pot Possession


That’s right, while the one-time senator for Alabama, Jeff Sessions, is busy trying to fight back the tide of marijuana reform, a bipartisan push in the Alabama House and Senate aims to decriminalize the personal possession of marijuana.

Alabama House Bill 272 and Senate Bill 251 – considered companion bills –  were sponsored by Rep. Patricia Todd (D-54th District) and Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-25th District) respectively.

Under Alabama’s existing marijuana statute, those arrested for personal possession will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $6,000 and a one-year jail sentence. And for those unlucky recidivists caught with marijuana a second time, they’ll be charged with a class C Felony, face a 15-year jail sentence and a $15,000 fine.

Collectively, the two bills would create a third sentencing option for individuals caught in possession of a personal stash of 1 ounce or less.

HB 272 and SB 251 would make the personal possession of no more than an ounce of weed a “violation” subject to a $250 fine for both the first and second offenses – rather than an exorbitant fine and years of incarceration.

Rep. Todd and Sen. Brewbaker appear to understand that even in Jeff Sessions’ home state, marijuana legalization is more popular than prohibition.

In a survey conducted by in April 2017, they discovered an overwhelming majority of the 9,280 respondents from the Birmingham metropolitan area said they support legalizing recreational marijuana use.

The Judiciary Committee in both the House and Senate will consider the two bills at 1:30 pm today.

Update: Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve their version of a marijuana decriminalization bill by a 6-4 margin. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee overruled its companion legislation by a 7-5 vote.

About Author

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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