Lawmaker Files Bill To Lessen Marijuana Penalties

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-The launch of legalized marijuana in Colorado has captured national attention this week, but a newly filed bill right here in Alabama aims to lessen penalties for marijuana possession, a move opponents say is a smaller step in the same direction.

State Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) pre-filed HB 76 at the state capitol, but critics say the legislation has virtually zero chance of passing in solidly conservative Alabama.

Among other things, the proposal would change second-degree marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a violation punishable by monetary fine only. The bill also would strip an existing provision that makes repeat second-degree offenses a felony. Current state law defines first-degree marijuana possession as possessing marijuana for reasons other than personal use, such as drug dealing, or more than one second-degree conviction.

“I don’t think the people of Alabama are ready to go there right now,” said State Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison), who opposes the bill. “Many of us do believe it can open the door to that drug culture…There are many in the legislature and many in the law enforcement community that have grave concerns about the expansion and legalization of marijuana.”

WHNT News 19 did reach out to Rep. Todd, but she was not available for comment. Todd filed a marijuana legalization bill in 2013, but that legislation never made it out of committee.

21 comments

  • raymondp42

    YOU NEED TO LEGALIZE MARY JANE HERE IN ALA IT HELPS PAIn an copd a lot I.M NOT RUNNING TO THE HOSPITAL WHEN I HAVE IT Sent from my LG Mobile

  • Steve

    If cannabis has no medical benefit, then why does the Fed. Govt. have a patent on using it medicinally. Look up patent # 6630507! And if the Government owns the patent, then who owns the Government, we do. Thus, the people of the U.S.A. paid for and own the patent.

  • preacher

    Will all of you please move to Colorado! Alabama needs to increase the penalties for weed and alcohol. Lets start with 6 month mandatory jail for simple possession 1st offense. Don’t like it, Tuff. Move to Colorado! Amen…

  • Steve

    God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth.…To you it will be for meat.” … And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
    You leave!

    • Steve

      All I did was quote the bible, and you try to insult me. It’s a plant God created. That’s all I’m saying, nothing more.
      “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” I suggest you read this last statement again.

  • preacher

    The calamus was mixed with cinnamon and myrrh to form an oil for anointing purposes. It is ridiculous to twist the Word of God in order to justify smoking pot! exodus chapter 30. thank you…Amen.

  • preacher

    One of the favorite attacks which Bible-corrupters like to hurl at King James totin’ believers is that the King James mistranslates the word “calamus” in Exodus 30:23. According to Nave’s Bible Dictionary, calamus is “A sweet cane of Palestine – Song of Solomon 4:14; Ezekiel 27:19; “An ingredient of the holy ointment – Exodus 30:23; Isaiah 43:24.” The 48 King James translators were educated men and knew what they were doing. They were extremely proficient in the Hebrew and Greek Languages. The calamus was mixed with cinnamon and myrrh to form an oil for anointing purposes. It is ridiculous to twist the Word of God in order to justify smoking pot! Amen..

  • preacher

    Steve, I did not mean to insult you. I just speak bible truth. Have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth? Also, “wake up” is the troll. Its really Juan. If you love the Lord, you too, will speak up about all the wickedness in America. Take care.

  • Steve

    So called “preacher”, you are the first to use the word enemy, and the the first to say “leave”. The main issue here is the plant does have medicinal value. Why would you deprive those who would benefit from a natural plant? Are you employed by a pharmaceutical company? Really!

  • Aerhae Starza

    Why would anybody not want people to get medicinal help /values from this plant? If people think this is going away ,they are wrong and chances are they are either uneducated in medicinal cannabas or they are on the dis information Republican side helping with the dis information. Proverbs 6:16-19
    There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

  • Jeffrey Scott Harned

    Having a small personal use of marijuana in your possession should just be a fine. Having marijuana on you should never be a felony. Only a felony if you are moving pounds of marijuana. Decriminalization is a great thing. Lets put real criminals in our jails. Good people in jail who should not be due to pot. Ridiculous !

  • Freshair

    The state can change laws but the Feds still have MJ classed as a CLASS I narcotic. Since Federal laws over ride state laws, that warm fuzzy feeling of stepping across the line could wind up getting you prison, not local jail time and a slap on the wrist. Also, having it in your system at work can get you fired. Having it in your system in a serious auto accident can get you a contributory negligence charge and the fault falls on you even if it’s the other guy’s fault. Too many details and questions and not enough answers.

  • Ariel

    preacher, youre not a man of God youre ignorant. if you believe in the bible and live by it you wouldnt have said anything you have just said. god created pot if you believe in god cause he created everything right? and if pots so bad why is the sane chemical found in human breast milk? you can go rot youre brain and liver using youre “medicine” but keep your ignorance to yourself thats why everyone thinks people in alabama are stupid cause of people like you

  • Ariel

    if you think pot is bad read some ACTUAL studies and pull youre head out of your butt and if you have even a particle of a brain cell you’ll understand why it needs to be legal. instead you believe the 1930’s bull crap the tobacco and alcohol companies said so youd quit using the most benefical plant in the world and buy THEIR product youre buying into greed people how can you not see that youre believing some crap some guy said so he could put extra money in his pocket and then benefit from your suffering

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