Alabama Marijuana Laws

Updated May 2020

The State of Alabama has some of the harshest marijuana laws in the United States. Alabama marijuana laws state that getting caught with any amount of cannabis can land you in jail for up to 20 years. Efforts thus far to legalize marijuana in any form have received little support from the Alabama State Government. Learn more about Alabama marijuana laws below.

Recreational Marijuana in Alabama

Alabama is considered one of the most conservative states in the US in regards to marijuana. Smoking or possessing any amount of recreational marijuana can land individuals in jail. First-time offenders are susceptible to a misdemeanor charge punishable to a one-year jail term and a fine of $6,000. In some cases, the jail term can be suspended with probation. Repeated offenders are charged with a Class C felony that is punishable with anywhere from one to 10 years of jail time and a $15,000 fine. The sale of recreational marijuana, even in trace amounts, is a Class B felony, and is punishable to a two to 20 years prison sentence with a $30,000 fine. Selling marijuana to minors can lead to life imprisonment.

Local Decriminalization of Marijuana

Alabama has one local jurisdiction that has passed local resolutions to decriminalize marijuana. In the city of Birmingham in Jefferson County, individuals caught with a small amount of marijuana for personal use or marijuana paraphernalia are only subject to a citation and immediate release. This is much less strict than Alabama marijuana laws for the state, which makes possessing any amount of marijuana a misdemeanor that can result in up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine.

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Trafficking Marijuana in Alabama

Manufacturing, cultivating, or selling anywhere between 2.2 and 100 pounds of marijuana is considered drug trafficking in Alabama, and is a felony that comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years and a $25,000 fine. Trafficking 100 to 500 pounds comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in jail and a $50,000 fine, and trafficking between 500 pounds and 1,000 pounds comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in jail and a $200,000 fine.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Marijuana Offenses

Alabama marijuana law is very strict when it comes to selling and trafficking marijuana, as many of these offenses come with a mandatory minimum sentence. A judge is required to sentence an offender to at least the mandatory minimum sentence, giving the judge no room to change the jail sentence due to extenuating circumstances. For example, possession of any amount of marijuana with intent to sell comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of two years, meaning that if you are caught selling marijuana, the best-case scenario is that you spend two years in jail.

Alabama Marijuana Laws for Hash

Hash is a derivative of marijuana that is incredibly strong and contains very high levels of THC. Also known as hashish, hash is made from the resin found in marijuana plants, and using hash results in strong psychoactive effects. The strength of hash makes possession of any amount a felony under Alabama marijuana laws, resulting in anywhere between one to 10 years of jail time and a $15,000 fine.

Manufacturing hash is also a felony, but it comes with a much harsher punishment than possession of hash. Being charged with manufacturing hash is a second-degree felony that comes with a two to 20-year jail sentence and a $30,000 fine. A first-degree hash manufacturing felony is a more serious charge that usually involves a minor or firearm being present or the manufacturing occurring near a school or church. A first-degree finding will result in a jail sentence of anywhere between 10 years and life in jail, as well as a $60,000 fine.

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Marijuana Concentrate Laws in Alabama

Marijuana concentrate is another very potent marijuana product, created by filtering out all of the excess marijuana plant material so that all you are left with are cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. The strength of marijuana concentrate means that the penalties for possession and manufacture of concentrates are identical to the penalties for hash, as outlined above.

Alabama Marijuana Laws for Drug Paraphernalia

In the state of Alabama, use or possession of paraphernalia (items such as pipes or bongs) is a misdemeanor that comes with up to a year of jail time and a $6,000 fine. Delivery or sale of marijuana paraphernalia comes with the same penalties as the possession of paraphernalia for first-time offenders.

The second time an individual is caught delivering or selling paraphernalia, they will be charged with a felony and face one to 10 years in jail, as well as a $15,000 fine. Delivery or sale of paraphernalia to a minor is also a felony, resulting in two to 20 years of jail time and a $30,000 fine.

Medical Marijuana in Alabama

Full strength medical marijuana is still illegal in Alabama. However, in 2014, Governor Robert Bentley signed Senate Bill 174, also known as Carly’s Law, which made it legal for seizure patients with a prescription from a licensed physician to possess and use low-THC marijuana extracts.

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In June 2019, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a bill that would set up a medical marijuana commission to study the issue of legalization. This study led to a vote in the Alabama state senate in March 2020 on a bill that would make medical marijuana legal, which ultimately passed by a 22-11 vote. As of May of 2020, Alabama is waiting for the state House of Representatives to approve the medical marijuana bill. If the House approves the bill, Alabama would become the 34th state to legalize medical marijuana.

Alabama Tax Stamps for Marijuana

Alabama marijuana laws require that all licensed marijuana needs to have a state-issued tax stamp clearly affixed to the contraband. Tax stamps cost $3.50 for each gram of marijuana an individual possesses, as long as the owner has at least 42.5 grams of marijuana. Failure to purchase and place a tax stamp on any marijuana an individual possesses will result in a substantial fine.

Drugged Driving Laws in Alabama

It is against the law to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of any drug, including marijuana. If you are caught driving with marijuana still in your system, you are subject to harsh penalties.

Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in Alabama

Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under federal law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.

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Cultivation of Cannabis in Alabama

The cultivation of cannabis for any purpose, including personal, commercial, medical, and research, is illegal in Alabama. Growing cannabis or any of its derivatives on your personal property can result in a trafficking felony punishable by a minimum three years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine.

Alabama has established an Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, which allowed licensed farmers across the state to grow hemp. The Hemp Research Program Act, passed in 2016, called for the development of a licensing and inspection program.

Legal Status of Other U.S. States

Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.

Sources

  • https://www.uab.edu/news/innovation/item/7060-uab-presents-first-results-of-cbd-oil-studies-at-neurology-meeting

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