Dec 172011
 December 17, 2011

Alabama marijuanaAlabama Marijuana Policy

If you live in Alabama and you consume marijuana, then you should know what the marijuana policies are in your state. If you don’t live in Alabama and consume marijuana, you may still find this information useful for educational purposes. I’ve always been a marijuana information nerd, and one of my favorite things to do is research each state’s marijuana laws for our marijuana law database. When comparing Alabama’s marijuana laws to the rest of the country’s, it becomes pretty obvious that Alabama has some of the harshest laws in the nation.

There is no such thing as marijuana decriminalization in Alabama. There is also no medical marijuana program in Alabama. Possession of 2.2lbs or less of marijuana (first conviction) is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in jail and a $6,000 fine. Possession of 2.2lbs or less of marijuana (second conviction) is a felony, punishable by 1-10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Possession of more than 2.2lbs of marijuana is a felony, punishable by 1-10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

All cultivation of marijuana is considered felony activity. Cultivation of 2.2lbs or less of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Cultivation of 2.2lbs to 100lbs of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Cultivation of 100 to 500lbs of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $200,000 fine. Cultivation of more than 1,000lbs of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Considering the cops are going to weigh the raw plants in their entirety (not dried out), anyone that cultivates marijuana in Alabama is risking a lot.

Distributing marijuana is a very serious offense in Alabama. Distributing any amount of marijuana to a minor is a felony, punishable by 10 years to life in prison. Distributing any amount of marijuana within 3 miles of a school or public housing project is a felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. Distributing any amount of marijuana (1st offense) is a felony, punishable by 25 years to life in prison, and a $50,000 to $1,000,000 fine. Distributing any amount of marijuana (2nd offense) is a mandatory lifetime sentence! Possessing or distributing marijuana paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Distributing marijuana paraphernalia to a minor that is at least 3 years younger than the offender is a felony, punishable by 2-20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

To add insult to injury, in Alabama any conviction for marijuana results in the suspension of the offender’s driving privileges for six months. Do you think these laws are harsh? I certainly do! Fortunately for the marijuana consumers in Alabama, there are some great people working very hard to reform marijuana laws in Alabama:

Alabama NORML

Marijuana Policy Project

Americans for Safe Access

Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition Facebook

Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition Website

If everyone in Alabama that is a supporter of marijuana joined one, if not all, of these great organizations, true marijuana reform would happen much faster. If you have another group that I didn’t list, please add it to the comments below so I can include them on our activism page. Alabama is a great state, and it’s citizens deserve a more sensible approach to marijuana policy. Enforcement resources are scarce in Alabama as they are in the rest of the nation. Shouldn’t these resources be used to fight real crime, instead of being wasted on marijuana? Get out there marijuana supporters in Alabama! Get active!

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://Www.Facebook.com/alacompcare Loretta Nall

    Alabama Compassionate Care is the oldest medical marijuana organization in the state having had a bill in the legislature every year since 2004. We will be reintroducing the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act again in the 2012 legislative session. You can find us on Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/alacompcare

    • http://www.theweedblog.com Johnny Green

      I will make sure to add you to our activism database. Keep up the great work and keep fighting the good fight! Anytime your organization wants help to get the word out, consider theweedblog.com at your disposal. Send me an e-mail with a press release and I’ll make sure to put it up!

  • Gil Joiner

    I think you have some of the penalties for cultivation wrong..The mandatory minimum of 3 yrs. for “trafficking in Cannabis” starts at 2.2 lbs not 0-2.2 lbs.
    Also growing even one plant can be charged as a classA felony(10-99 yrs) by using the manufacturing a controlled substance and operation a clandestine laboratory sections of the code.

    • http://www.theweedblog.com Johnny Green

      I originally got these statistics from Alabama NORML which at the time of the writing of the article had a penalty for 0-2.2 lbs on their website. But looking at it today, not only has the format changed, but the information for cultivation of less than 2.2 lbs. is gone altogether.

      In the narrative it says “The sale, cultivation or manufacture of marijuana shall be known as “trafficking in cannabis” and is a felony offense. For an amount greater than one kilogram (2.2 lbs) but less than 100 lbs, the sentence is a minimum of three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. For an amount greater than 100 lbs but less than 500 lbs, the sentence is a minimum of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. For an amount up to 1000 lbs, the sentence is a minimum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Any amount of 1,000 lbs or greater is punishable by life without the possibility of parole.”

      I have e-mailed Alabama NORML to see what the penalty is for cultivation of less than 2.2 lbs. because I doubt it’s just considered simple possession if the laws are so harsh on everything else. But admittedly, I could be wrong. Thanks for pointing this out and I’ll update this article when I get the scoop!

  • Gil Joiner

    We have people in Alabama serving life for marijuana offenses due to the habitual offender act. Your fourth conviction for simple possession could lead to a life sentence.

  • gil joiner

    The penalty for cultivation of less than 2.2 lbs(even 1 plant) could be charged as manufacturing AND enhanced with operating a clandestine laboratory to a class A felony (10-99 yrs). A couple in Blount County were charged with this.
    You can check out the Alabama code if you want to http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginie.asp.
    In reality it it’s almost impossible to grow 1 plant that is less than 2.2 lbs when every part can be weighed(even the roots) while it is still wet. A couple here in Baldwin County were charged with “trafficking in marijuana” for ONE plant (3 yrs mandatory min)!

  • Gil

    Here are the relevant sections:

    “Trafficking in Cannabis”
    From the Alabama Code Chapter 13-
    (1) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, in excess of one kilo or 2.2 pounds of any part of the plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin including the completely defoliated mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil, or cake, or the completely sterilized samples of seeds of the plant which are incapable of germination is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as “trafficking in cannabis.” Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to samples of tetrahydrocannabinols including, but not limited to, all synthetic or naturally produced samples of tetrahydrocannabinols which contain more than 15 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols and which do not contain plant material exhibiting the external morphological features of the plant cannabis. If the quantity of cannabis involved:

    a. Is in excess of one kilo or 2.2 pounds, but less than 100 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

    b. Is 100 pounds or more, but less than 500 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

    c. Is 500 pounds or more, but less than 1,000 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000).

    d. Is 1,000 pounds or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

    (2) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of cocaine or of any mixture containing cocaine, described in Section 20-2-25(1), is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as “trafficking in cocaine.” If the quantity involved:

    a. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 500 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

    b. Is 500 grams or more, but less than one kilo, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

    c. Is one kilo, but less than 10 kilos, then the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

    d. Is 10 kilos or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

    “Manufacturing a Controlled Substance”-

    Section 13A-12-217
    Unlawful manufacture of controlled substance in the second degree.
    (a) A person commits the crime of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance in the second degree if, except as otherwise authorized in state or federal law, he or she does any of the following:

    (1) Manufactures a controlled substance enumerated in Schedules I to V, inclusive.

    (2) Possesses precursor substances as determined in Section 20-2-181, in any amount with the intent to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance.

    (b) Unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance in the second degree is a Class B felony.

    (Act 2001-971, 3rd Sp. Sess., p. 873, §1.)

    Section 13A-12-218
    Unlawful manufacture of controlled substance in the first degree.
    (a) A person commits the crime of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance in the first degree if he or she violates Section 13A-12-217 and two or more of the following conditions occurred in conjunction with that violation:

    (1) Possession of a firearm.

    (2) Use of a booby trap.

    (3) Illegal possession, transportation, or disposal of hazardous or dangerous materials or while transporting or causing to be transported materials in furtherance of a clandestine laboratory operation, there was created a substantial risk to human health or safety or a danger to the environment.

    (4) A clandestine laboratory operation was to take place or did take place within 500 feet of a residence, place of business, church, or school.

    (5) A clandestine laboratory operation actually produced any amount of a specified controlled substance.

    (6) A clandestine laboratory operation was for the production of controlled substances listed in Schedule I or Schedule II.

    (7) A person under the age of 17 was present during the manufacturing process.

    (b) Unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance in the first degree is a Class A felony.

    (Act 2001-971, 3rd Sp. Sess., p. 873, §1.)

    (3) CLANDESTINE LABORATORY OPERATION. Any of the following:

    a. Purchase or procurement of chemicals, supplies, equipment, or laboratory location for the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances.

    b. Transportation or arranging for the transportation of chemicals, supplies, or equipment for the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances.

    c. Setting up of equipment or supplies in preparation for the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances.

    d. Distribution or disposal of chemicals, equipment, supplies, or products used in or produced by the unlawful manufacture of controlled substances

    (13) MANUFACTURE. The production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of a controlled substance either directly or indirectly, by extraction from substances of natural origin or independently by means of chemical synthesis or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container; except, that this term does not include the preparation, compounding, packaging, or labeling of a controlled substance.

    (21) PRODUCTION. The manufacture, planting, cultivation, growing, or harvesting of a controlled substance.

    • http://www.theweedblog.com Johnny Green

      Thanks Gil! Activists in Alabama will benefit from your research. Keep fighting the good fight!!

    • kycountry

      Holy crap…..got to find an alternate route to Fl.

  • J.R

    Alabama is a very messed up state with its laws on cannabis. I have a 1year sentence to be served in tuscaloosa county jail an 5 years probation after I finish the mandatory drug rehab. This is my very1st drug conviction and its 1st degree poss. of cannabis. I was prescribed marinol for my medical conditions, but that did not help like the actual plant does. I’ve been in rehab for 14 months and spent 3 months in jail over a natural plant. I don’t have any idea what to do. I pray every night that I will not wake up. this terrible situation that has effected my family severly. I feel like as if I’ve been kidnaped and held hostage with all this over my head. I thank all those who have taken time out of thier lives to stand up for those sick and suffering like myself.

  • AnAnonomous

    I just got caught in Jefferson County with a little over an eighth of reg. It is my second offense, but i think i got youthful offender on my first. Is it still going to be a felony? I have three children and a wife who i am the soul provider for. Both times being arrested I was in the passenger seat not endangering anyone. You can get how many DUI’s and still no felony, and the license suspension requirement isn’t even as steep. You can kill someone drinking and driving in the state of Alabama and have a better chance of getting off than getting caught a second time with a 20 sack. Look up sex offender punishment, seems like a walk in the park comparatively. I think there is something seriously wrong here as citizens we should stand up for this. It’s bad enough we wont let the lottery in Alabama for our kids education, but we are paying to house (criminals) who are a threat to no one. I am a hard working, tax paying, god fearing citizen of Alabama and this is what I get. Take my advice: if you smoke marijuana and live in Alabama, MOVE!!!! Before you have a felony on your record for absolutely nothing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ShaneRob Shane Robinson

      You couldnt down an Eighth? Id eat that shit so fast bro…

  • anonymous

    I really do not think it is illegal in Alabama because of the plant
    being able to give you a high. I think it is illegal and will probably
    remain illegal because pot plants have the capability to shut down the
    big guys in forestry and textile industries. Would that be why Alabama’s laws are so strict compared to some other states?

  • baby jo

    Can anyone tell me what possession of marijuana in the 1st degree means? and does anyone know what the penalty for that is in alabama for someone already on probation for numerous felony charges? please..

    • baby jo

      i believe it should be legal. but the person i know that is busted for this is not just a normal pothead. he is a terrible meth addict, and he steals, cooks it, sells it, and unfortunatly he is the father of my child and my x, and he scares me. i am just hoping they lock him up for a long time so we can finaly have some peace in our lives. somehow every time he gets caught with controlled substance or marijuana the police always let him go, ive even seen them release him from jail in trenton ga free, didnt have to pay bail, they let him walk out free on a felony charge of meth. please anyone have any advice. im just looking out for me and my child. the law keeps letting him go free, i dont understand it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ShaneRob Shane Robinson

    I blew a 0.03 when I was 18, drivers licence suspended, bout 1000+ in court/lawyer fees, months of drug tests, community service..and an overall waste of time and money, not to mention a LOT of public resources. Alabama has the lowest highschool graduation rate in the USA, and a list of horrible statistics in this state is simply astounding, they lock up casual pot smokers, while the white trash dumbasses look on and laugh as they spit theyre dip and smoke theyre cigs… The youth of Alabama are killing themselves with tobacco products, as state legistlation deals out harsh legislation for extremely minor crimes. If marijuana was legal, or decriminalized then maybe these innocent kids would kick the dip, avoid lung/mouth/other cancer and simply become more mellow pot smokers. Americas got it wrong on pot, it could do so much great, yet people let irrational fear of a harmless plant cloud their judgment. Alabama is a truley backwards state, shame to, it has such amazing nature. Btw Im from florida, just got arrested in alabama, fml.

  • SpoiledRottenweilers

    Johnny- my daughter lives in FL but got pulled over coming to visit us here in AL- search of vehicles/person turned up a roach less than half a joint long. She spent 5 days in jail already before we bonded her out. She goes to court in a couple of weeks, any feedback on what they are likely to fine her on this? (I know what the max is, but am trying to get a more accurate idea based on what she actually had). From what I read above, she is DEFINITELY going to lose her license for 6 mo. correct? Please reply if you can, I am trying to prep her as best as I can on what to expect. She had never been arrested prior to this incident and is freaking out.

  • bgsmithh

    Another group fighting for MMJ in Alabama is the ACC…Alabamians for Compassionate Care.