Alabama Senators Approve Marijuana Decriminalization Bill In Committee

MJ moment

An Alabama Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession. The Judiciary Committee advanced the legislation after brief discussion in a 6-3 vote. It now heads to the full Senate for consideration. Under the proposal, sponsored by Sen. Bobby Singleton (D), possessing less than two ounces of marijuana would be a simple violation that carries a $250 fine. That’s consistent with a previous version of the senator’s decriminalization bill that also moved through committee in 2019 but later died without a floor vote. But unlike that last version, this one also seems to take a fine-only approach to possession of more than two ounces of marijuana as well, or possession in the first degree. Possessing two or more ounces of cannabis would be a class C misdemeanor punishable by a $250 fine for the first offense and $500 for a second offense. Being convicted a third time would be classified as class D felony, but it would still be punishable “only” by a $750 fine without the threat of jail time. That would make a significant departure from Singleton’s last decriminalization proposal, which stipulated that possessing more than two ounces would be a class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The current bill also provides that a person convicted of possession would be able to petition the courts to have their records expunged, and that could be granted as long as the person doesn’t have any other violations, misdemeanors or felonies (except for “minor traffic violations”) in the preceding five years. — Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 800 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss…

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