Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant. It has been used for centuries for medicinal and recreational purposes. In recent years, there has been a growing movement to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the United States.
Alabama is one of the few states where marijuana is still illegal for recreational use. However, medical marijuana was legalized in Alabama in 2021.
Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Alabama, but recreational marijuana is not.
In 2021, Alabama passed the Darren Wesley “Ato” Hall Compassion Act, which legalized medical marijuana for adults 21 and over with certain qualifying medical conditions. These conditions include:
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe and persistent nausea and vomiting
- Sickle cell anemia
- Terminal illness
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
To obtain a medical marijuana card in Alabama, patients must first see a licensed physician who has been certified to recommend medical marijuana. If the physician determines that the patient has a qualifying medical condition and that medical marijuana is likely to benefit the patient, the physician will write a recommendation.
Patients can then submit the recommendation to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) to apply for a medical marijuana card. If the application is approved, the patient will receive a card that allows them to purchase medical marijuana products from licensed dispensaries.
Recreational marijuana is not legal in Alabama. Possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. Repeat offenses and possession with intent to sell are felonies.
Here is a more detailed look at the penalties for violating Alabama’s recreational marijuana laws:
- Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana: Misdemeanor, up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000.
- Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana: Misdemeanor, up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $12,000.
- Possession of marijuana with intent to sell: Felony, up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
- Sale or distribution of marijuana: Felony, up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
In addition to the criminal penalties, people caught with marijuana in Alabama may also face civil penalties, such as fines and suspensions of their driver’s licenses.
It is important to note that the Alabama Department of Public Safety has a zero-tolerance policy for marijuana use by drivers. If you are caught driving under the influence of marijuana in Alabama, you could face serious criminal penalties, including jail time and a suspended driver’s license.
What to Expect if You Are Caught with Marijuana in Alabama
If you are caught with marijuana in Alabama, the consequences will depend on the amount of marijuana you have and whether it is your first offense.
If you are caught with less than one ounce of marijuana for the first time, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. You could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000.
If you are caught with more than one ounce of marijuana or if you have been convicted of a marijuana offense in the past, you could be charged with a felony. You could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Medical marijuana is legal in Alabama for adults 21 and over with certain qualifying medical conditions. Recreational marijuana is not legal in Alabama. If you are caught with marijuana in Alabama, the consequences will depend on the amount of marijuana you have and whether it is your first offense.
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