Alabama is considering decriminalizing marijuana. No, you’re not too high. You read that right.
A bill that would change possession of an ounce or less of cannabis from a misdemeanor to a civil offense is being debated by the state’s Senate and House judiciary committees. That means instead of facing jail time for being caught with an ounce, Alabama residents would face only a fine of up to $250.
“No one is talking about legalizing possession of marijuana,” Republican State Sen. Dick Brewbaker, who sponsored the bill with Democratic Rep. Patricia Todd, told Alabama.com. “But I haven’t talked to anybody who thinks hanging felonies on college kids is a great idea because that follows them around for the rest of their lives.”
Alabama residents can currently go to jail for up to a year for possessing an ounce or less, and they can face thousands of dollars in fines. This bill would obviously make punishments far less harsh.
You wouldn’t expect Alabama to be on the list of states that is likely to legalize or even decriminalize weed, but according to CNBC, a poll from January found nearly 64 percent of Alabama residents support legalization. That’s pretty funny considering former Alabama senator and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leading the fight against marijuana in the Trump administration.
That said, some lawmakers in Alabama are still gun shy about the idea of supporting decriminalization. It would appear the old “don’t be soft on crime” trope is still alive and well in Alabama.
“People are scared during an election year that they’re going to get called soft on crime,” Republican State Sen. Cam Ward said. “If you argue the merits of his bill, it makes sense.”
It’s unclear whether the bill will pass or not, but it really says something that it’s gotten this far already. We’ll all have to light a jay for Jeff Sessions if it does pass.
Source: The 420 Times
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