Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced in Alabama

Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, AL — A bill that would allow the possession, use, cultivation, and sale of marijuana by adults in Alabama was introduced Thursday. The bill would also authorize the medical use of marijuana in Alabama and the cultivation of industrial hemp.

Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham)

Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham)

House Bill 550, the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013,  was introduced Thursday by Birmingham Democrat Rep. Patricia Todd, who has unsuccessfully lobbied her colleagues at the Alabama state house to legalize medical marijuana, including two medical marijuana bills introduced this year.

If passed, House Bill 550 would:

  • Allow adults 21 or older to use or possess up to one ounce of marijuana
  • Allow adults 21 or older to grow up to twelve mature cannabis plants in an enclosed, locked space
  • Allow adults 21 or older to share, but not sell, marijuana among other adults 21 or older
  • Authorize the Department of Revenue to regulate the cultivation, processing, packaging, testing, transportation, display, and sale of marijuana and marijuana accessories
  • Prohibit the sale of marijuana except by licensed, regulated cannabis retail stores
  • Sets product labeling regulations and advertising restrictions for marijuana and marijuana related businesses
  • Authorize the medical use of marijuana by certain qualifying patients who have been diagnosed by a physician as having a serious medical condition.
  • Allow the cultivation of industrial hemp by Alabama farmers
  • Impose penalties for supplying marijuana to minors under 21 years of age, except those with medical marijuana authorizations
  • Allows local communities to ban marijuana retail outlets, but only if approved by voters on an even-numbered election year ballot.

Alabama currently has some of the harshest marijuana penalties in the country. Possession of  any amount of marijuana — even a single joint — is punishable by up to a year of incarceration and a $6,000 fine.

If passed, the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013 would take effect on October 1, 2013.  The bill has been referred to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

A poll released earlier this week found that the majority of Americans now favor the legalization of marijuana.




  • John in Tally

    It has a very slim chance, but if it passed there would be many people moving from FLA and GA to BAMA. I would even though it would increase my commute by an hour assuming I would keep my FLA jobs.

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  • tommy

    I doubt if it does pass but I am hoping. It sure would be nice to legally grow my own instead of dealing with people I really don’t know

  • Amy

    Considering we still have dry counties here that participate in alcohol prohibition, I see a very slim margin for this to pass. The medical panel who reviewed the last bills voted against it. Something along the lines of 100 something to 2. One day, people will have access to safe medicine.

    • Kelan McLain

      I would much rather the state have alcohol prohibition than marijuana prohibition. The statistics are staggering that marijuana is not only safer, perhaps not in a health sense, as smoke is dangerous no matter if it’s coming from tobacco or marijuana, but definitely in a legal sense. Alcohol has been proven to cause increased aggression among both males and females as well as sense of over-confidence (hence why so many people still get behind the wheel of a vehicle which impaired by alcohol), where as marijuana does not have that effect but is more on the opposite end of the spectrum. Don’t get me wrong, marijuana still affects judgment and decision making, but it is proven that people are less likely to engage in risky, aggressive, or violent behavior when inhibited by marijuana, as opposed to alcohol.

    • larr

      the reason we have dry counties is due to the tva. the small counties make more money from what the tva gives each year than that of alcohol revenue, they just have to stay dry.

  • Amber

    I doubt this happens, but I’m hoping on it. I believe it’s a very safe medicine. It helps alot of people. I believe it would help Alabama’s financial issues, especially in Jefferson County. There would be less people arrested for it there for peoples hard earned money would not be taking care of inmates arrested for marijuana. Hoping really hard it’ll pass..

  • Joe

    If you doubt it will happen, tell someone about it, if they doubt it will pass, get them to write/send an email to Alabama republicans AND democrats and push for this to go through! All this doubt, with no action is of course going to lead to failure, but if everyone spreads the word it would help

    • Mike

      Good point, Joe. Even the longest journey starts with a single step.

      Good for Rep. Todd for doing what she was elected to do, represent her constituents. The “drug war” is an utter failure, but she’s willing to be the first to stand up and note the emperor has no clothes. Everyone can see the future, you just need to believe in it.

  • Stephen Burnette

    tch kills cancer cells on contact LEAGALIZE THE BUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thom

    It’s coming, slowly but surely. so all you gung-ho cope better find someone else to go after, like heroin or meth. You never hunt down the real dangerous dealers, because it easy to go after the passive cannabis user, esp when they are asleep in bed in your black ops gear.

  • Inga Von Der Morgenstern

    I notice that EVERYONE of us says I doubt it will happen….thats cause this state lives in the dark ages. I seriously doubt it will happen before I die..and I am 56…so hopefully my children may see it happen before THEY die..(ages 32 and 30)..we can only hope…stupid Alabama

  • Dangles

    I certainly hope this goes through, but I am indeed a doubter (the Church has a vice grip on the South and with it comes all sorts of asinine rules and prejudices).

  • Drew

    Awesome! What this does is spread the message, start some new conversations, change more minds in new places. While this has almost zero chance in 2013, it sets the stage for us to take over in the near future!

    • 420 Med Smoker

      Marijuana Prohibition is destroying our youth needlessly collaring them with criminal records while cruelly maintaining the status quo of a black elicit dangerous market.

  • confused

    I googled marijuana legalization petitions and just went down the line, then I wrote/emailed everyone in my state and made my opinion vocal. Everyone should do the same. NORML has all the email addresses.

  • justin

    Support this and if your against marijuana that’s fine, just keep it to yourself because whatever evidence you base your opinion on is false. If you don’t like the idea of it being legal well guess what, you don’t have to participate no one is forcing you, that’s your right so don’t try and hinder us from ours. This plant is harmless. “It Kills brain cells” you say. do your research people! The only cells it kills are cancer cells. The whole “it kills brain cells” spiel was introduced when the refer madness propaganda came about. I swear people believe anything they hear. Research something before assuming its fact and passing those beliefs on to others.

  • Malcolm Kyle

    Prohibition is an absolute wrong; those who support it are absolute wrongdoers—vicious parasites who pray on their own family, friends and neighbors, delivering us all up to be devoured by the most corrupt and venal elements in society. They are waging a predatory war on all we hold dear, bringing corruption and degeneration to our most cherished social structures and institutions.

    During alcohol prohibition (1919-1933) all profits went to enrich thugs and corrupt politicians. Young men, while battling over turf, died every day on inner-city streets. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have been far more wisely spent. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, (in 1929) the economy collapsed! Sound familiar?

    Are we (again) going to stand by and allow our wealth, safety and freedom to be sacrificed on the blood-stained ‘alter of prohibition’ by traitorous demagogues who cannot control their own vile and sadistic urges?

    An ever growing majority of us no longer think we should!

  • Leslie Lane LaPoint

    I do hope it goes thru,but Alabama is in the dark ages!! It took some time to legalize alcohol but it eventually happened.This state needs the legalization to help w/finances, it would stop putting the little “pothead” in jail for getting caught smoking a joint, not to mention the dealer who gets mad and popped him for being in his hood!! And it is a safe drug, it helps kill cancer cells amongst other ailments, it helps w/pain instead of those man-made “addicting” drugs!! It just is beneficial for all who do smoke it and for the state’s finances, God put it on this earth and when he mentioned all he put here for us he did not say “Oh, by the way I put a 5 leaf plant for you to stay away from,” he said,” And All was Good!!!”

  • g33k5t4

    If all the people complaining saying, “I doubt it will ever happen” would call their representatives to say how they stand on the matter, then it might just happen. All of us just sitting back watching it not happen will not do a damn thing toward making it happen. Our government is supposed to be there for our best interests. Call them and let them know what our best interests really are!

  • alex

    We can only hope that reform can happen. I am currently one of those lucky people that are catching the blunt of the harsh laws right now. Its costing me over $3,000 for possession of less than 2 grams of cannabis

  • Randy

    alright yes i believe it a great thing if it happens but you have to get approved by a doctor to even grow your own and i agree that if it was possible i wouldnt have to go too drug dealers to get it yey

  • frogmaninbama

    i would so love to see this pass,i am allergic to all pain medications & muscle relaxants make my seizures worse,can not take ibuprophine any more,it’s tore my stomace up

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  • alabama girl

    For people who cant handle pain medicane .it teally would help at least nobody overdoses on weed.

  • Steve Baranick

    We gotta keep on what we been doing keep applying pressure and vote for the right people who is with us,so u young ones need to vote as well ty,,

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  • Tara

    When do I get to vote?

  • mike

    this would bring alabama from 15 years behind and put us 10 years ahead.