Marijuana laws changed in 2021 throughout the State of Alabama. The legislature gave cities and municipalities the ability to issue tickets for first-time offenders instead of arresting them. Tuscaloosa paid attention.
This change is being welcomed by city officials. They say that the time and effort it takes to charge someone with misdemeanor possession of marijuana is the reason they’ve updated the law.
Marijuana is considered a CDS in Alabama, which is a Controlled Dangerous Substance. The state government, along with the federal government, classify a list of drugs they consider highly addictive and dangerous for use. Almost all drug crimes in Alabama come with felony charges, one notable exception is misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Misdemeanor marijuana possession is reserved for first-time arrests of marijuana deemed for personal use. If the arresting officer(s) believe that the quantity held is not for personal use then they could charge someone with a felony.
Now, while the City of Tuscaloosa is not trying to redefine the punishments of the law it is streamline the process considerably. Penalties associated with misdemeanor possession are intact and these can be serious. A person charged could face up to a year in jail and $6,000 in fines. But, this new law means many of those charged probably won’t face a night in jail.
This new law also applies to other charges. Being in possession of paraphernalia is now ticketable. So is an MIP charge and a fake ID charge.
If you’re facing these charges or felony drug charges you ought to get yourself a criminal defense lawyer like Travis Juneau. Find out why here.