In a surprising move Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve a bill to decriminalize certain marijuana possession offenses.
The committee has voted 6 to 4 to pass Senate Bill 251, which was filed by Senator Dick Brewbaker. The proposal would “create the crime of possession of marijuana in the third degree for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and would provide that a first or second conviction would be a violation with applicable fines that would not appear on a person’s criminal record and a third or subsequent offense would be a Class A misdemeanor.” Under current law, the possession of any amount of marijuana for personal use is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Also, under current law a person who possesses marijuana for any other reason than personal use or who possesses marijuana for personal use and has previously been convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree is guilty of a Class C felony and is guilty of a Class D felony for third or subsequent convictions. This bill “would revise the crime to require possession of two or more ounces of marijuana and would revise the penalties for violations.”