This bill would revise the crime of unlawful marijuana possession to eliminate references to personal use, provide that a person commits the crime based on weight, and provide a fine for a violation of certain weights. Under existing law, a person who is deemed to have marijuana possession for personal use only may be charged with a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a class D felony for a second offense. A person who is deemed to have marijuana possession for more than personal use may be charged with a class C felony.
This new bill would change the penalties so that personal use is not arbitrarily defined but determined by weight. If HB96/SB98 passes, then a person who is deemed to have 2 ounces or more of marijuana may be charged with a class C felony, a person has between 1 and 2 ounces of marijuana may be charged with a class A misdemeanor, and a person with 1 ounce or less would receive a violation to be punished by a fine of not more than $250 for the first two offenses and not more than $500 for any subsequent offense.
HB96 was introduced on March 5, 2019 by Rep. Hall and assigned to the House Judiciary committee.
A companion bill, SB98, was introduced on March 19, 2019 by Sen. Singleton and assigned to the Senate Judiciary committee. A similar bill was introduced during the 2018 session, but failed in committee. This bill was scheduled for Senate committee vote on Wednesday, April 17. It passed unanimously.
- 4/17/2019 - Bill to reduce marijuana penalties in Alabama advances [AL.com]
- 3/28/2019 - House, senate bills eye easing marijuana penalties [AL.com]