Alabama is not alone in criminalizing drugs. All 50 states have had laws enacted that, combined with federal laws, make it a crime to be in possession, to sell, to manufacture, to transport, and even to ingest drugs. This is not news to anyone. Drugs, also known as illegal substances, narcotics, or controlled dangerous substances, are seen as bad for society or for the country. For many years there was a raging debate as to whether or not marijuana should be included in the same category as substances like methamphetamine or cocaine. States penalized pot harshly and their prisons are often populated by non-violent offenders with drug convictions. Times have changed, however. Almost all 50 states have reversed this trend, at least for marijuana, and they have updated their laws to reflect a changing consensus. Still, some states lag behind.
So, which states have the toughest drug laws? What would happen if you were arrested? Check out this short list of some of the harshest drug laws in the country.
Are Alabama’s Drug Laws Harsh?
As we mentioned above, there’s been a consistent push toward changing drug laws in the majority of the country over the past two decades. Alabama might not have legalized marijuana like some of the other states in the union, nor decriminalized it like Mississippi, but in 2021 it introduced medicinal cannabis like Georgia.
However, first-time possession of “personal use” marijuana is a misdemeanor. Unlike other states, the laws are not as clear-cut. Possession is defined as ‘possession for personal use’ based on the amount of marijuana, the surrounding circumstances, and other evidence. If it is deemed that the possession was not for personal use then it’s a Class C Felony. For example, a single gram of marijuana could be a felony even if it is your first offense.
All other possession charges are felonies. This includes being in possession of cocaine which above a certain amount is a 3-year sentence. It also includes methamphetamine. Having above 8 grams of substances like methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin is enough evidence to be charged with not just possession but intent to sell.
Just South of the Border
We’re not talking about Mexico. We mean Florida. Florida does not have decriminalization in its books. And, it might give Alabama a run for its money when it comes to tough sentences. For some context, drugs are categorized by their schedule. So, Schedule One substances are categorized as highly addictive. These include Marijuana, Heroin, and Ecstasy. Being charged with possession of more than 10 grams can result in a 1st Degree Felony. That means up to 30 years of prison. That’s nothing to laugh about.
Marijuana laws in Texas are not the nation’s harshest. It can be argued that they’re more lenient than Alabama’s. In Texas being charged with less than 2 ounces, which is 56 grams, is a misdemeanor. However, not all the laws on the books are this lenient. Being arrested and charged with 2 grams or more of an opiate can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Tuscaloosa Drug Crimes Attorney
When you need a drug charges lawyer in Tuscaloosa, Travis Juneau is there for you. Retaining the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney should be the first thing on your list. Each case is unique and without a consultation, we cannot determine your prospects. However, working with a Tuscaloosa criminal defense attorney, like Travis, could help you maximize your chances at a beneficial outcome.
Your criminal defense lawyer could help you get your charges dropped, reduced, or even negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. It is possible that none of your options will seem ideal, but some are better and more conducive to your future than others.