There is hope for those who have been advocating for reform of Alabama’s marijuana possession laws. In a bill filed in the Alabama legislature, penalties for simple possession of marijuana would be lessened significantly going forward. This blog post will examine Alabama’s current marijuana laws as well as how they may change should this legislation become law.
Alabama’s laws provide for three levels of drug offense — Possession, Distribution, and Trafficking. Trafficking is by far the most serious of these offenses and carries a mandatory prison sentence as outlined below. The distinction between Possession, Distribution, and Trafficking is based mainly on the weight of the drugs involved.
As you will see by reading below, the punishments for Trafficking offenses in Alabama are severe and, importantly, mandatory. Prison time called for by these laws cannot be suspended or split by the sentencing judge.
These are extremely serious charges and should not be taken lightly by anyone facing a Trafficking charge. A skilled, experienced lawyer is a must for anyone facing a Trafficking offense.
While other states are decriminalizing or even legalizing marijuana for recreational use, Alabama has not changed their marijuana laws.
Alabama law allows for possession of marijuana in the first degree (POM I) and second degree (POM II). POM II is different from POM I because POM II is for first time offenders that are caught with only a small, or “personal use” amount of marijuana.
POM I is a Class D Felony, while POM II is a Class A Misdemeanor.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has, against all common sense and public opinion, decided that marijuana will remain on the list of Schedule I controlled substances. Schedule I is defined as a substance that is “highly addictive and without medical benefit.” This is a particularly bad decision not only for the thousands of Americans incarcerated for possessing or distributing this drug, it puts tens of thousands of people further away from useful and sometimes life-changing known medical uses of this substance. Continue reading