Alabama – Marijuana Laws

State of Alabama – Marijuana Laws

The federal government opposes the use and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Notwithstanding, driven by the attitudes of various medical, professional, and policy groups, there are now thirteen states that have enacted permissive use laws providing for the safe use and sale of medical marijuana. These new state laws have evolved in support of different positions, resulting in a patchwork of different state approaches and laws towards legalization. The following information is a summary of the criminal penalties in your state.

Summary of Penalties

Possession: Possession of marijuana is a criminal offense. For possession of an amount of one kilogram (2.2 lbs) or less, the crime is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. A second offense for minor marijuana possession becomes a Class C felony, carrying a possible penalty of not more than 10 years and not less than one year and one day, nor more than a $15,000 fine. For possession of any amount over one kilogram, the crime is a felony, punishable by 1 – 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

Sale: The sale, cultivation or manufacture of marijuana is a felony. If the amount is one kilogram or less, the mandatory minimum sentence is three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. For an amount greater than one kilogram but less than 100 lbs, the sentence is a minimum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. For an amount up to 500 lbs, the sentence is a minimum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Any amount of 1,000 lbs or greater is punishable by life without the possibility of parole. The penalties for sale of marijuana are enhanced if the sale takes place within a three-mile radius of a school or public housing project, adding five years to the sentence for the sale. Sale to minors (under 18) can increase the penalty by 10 years to life in prison, and no suspension or probation can be granted to this sentence.

Paraphernalia: The possession or sale of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If the paraphernalia is sold to a minor at least three years younger than the seller, the penalty becomes a felony and is punishable by 2 – 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Drivers License: Any conviction for possession, sale, manufacture or cultivation also results in the suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for a period of six months.

2015 Update On Permissive Marijuana States

Alaska

Removed statewide criminal sanctions against the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by registered patients who can show valid written documentation from their physician saying that they “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.”

Arizona

Permits qualified patients with a physician’s certified statement that the patient has been diagnosed with a “debilitating condition” and that they would likely receive “benefit from marijuana” to obtain marijuana from a registered nonprofit marijuana dispensary.

California

Eliminated criminal penalties regarding the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a “written or oral recommendation” from their physician that she “would benefit from medical marijuana.”

Colorado

Removes criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and advising that they “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.”

Connecticut

“A qualifying patient shall register with the Department of Consumer Protection… prior to engaging in the palliative use of marijuana. A qualifying patient who has a valid registration certificate… shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution, penalized in any manner, or denied any right or privilege.”

DC – District of Columbia

Allows patients to purchase up to two (2) ounces of dried medical marijuana per month or the equivalent of two ounces of dried medical marijuana when sold in any other form.”

Delaware

The law does not allow patients or caregivers to grow marijuana at home, but it does allow for the state-regulated, non-profit distribution of medical marijuana by compassion centers that have been approved and registered by the state.

Hawaii

Eliminates criminal penalties relative to the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a valid and executed statement from their physician stating that the patient suffers from a “debilitating condition” and that the “potential benefits of medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks.”

Illinois

Established a pilot program in the state, which establishes a patient registry program and protects registered patients and registered caregivers from “arrest, prosecution, or denial of any right or privilege,” and allows for the registration of cultivation centers and dispensing organizations.

Maine

Eliminates criminal penalties relative to the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a physicians “professional opinion” that the patient “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.”

Maryland

Allows a patient to possess up to 30-day supply of marijuana. Beginning June 1, 2016, the state will issue the number of dispensary seller licenses relative to the demand for medical marijuana by qualifying patients and caregivers.

Massachusetts

Persons may possess “no more marijuana than is necessary for the patient’s personal, medical use, not exceeding the amount necessary for a sixty-day supply…”

Michigan

Qualified persons may possess up to two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana and twelve marijuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility.

Minnesota

Plans to register two major Minnesota manufacturers/growers for the production of all medical cannabis within the state. Manufacturers/growers are required to ensure that the medical cannabis sold contains a maximum of a “30-day supply” of the dosage determined for that patient by the medical provider.

Montana

Qualified patients and their caregivers may each possess six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana. “Usable marijuana” means the dried leaves and flowers of marijuana and any mixture or preparation of marijuana.

Nevada

Eliminates criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have “written documentation” from their physician that marijuana “may” alleviate his or her medial condition.

New Hampshire

“A qualifying patient shall not obtain more than 2 ounces of usable cannabis directly or through the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver during a 10-day period.”

New Jersey

Allows “patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are permitted to produce medical marijuana for medicinal purposes” and protects said patients from “arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties.”

New Mexico

Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of marijuana by patients “in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.” The New Mexico Department of Health designated to administer the program and register patients, caregivers, and providers.

New York

New York medical marijuana laws are complex. New York recently announced plans to permit limited use of medical marijuana in 20 hospitals, which will be able to prescribe marijuana to people with cancer, glaucoma or other diseases itemized on the states list of debilitating conditions.

Oregon

Removes criminal penalties relative to the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a executed recommendation from their physician stating that marijuana “may mitigate” the patients debilitating symptoms.

Rhode Island

Permits qualified patients to possess and grow to up to 12 marijuana plants or 2.5 ounces of cultivated marijuana. Primary caregivers may not lawfully possess in excess of 24 marijuana plants and five ounces of usable marijuana.

Vermont

Primary caregivers may not possess an amount of marijuana in excess of 24 marijuana plants and five ounces of usable marijuana for qualified and which is consistent with the Department’s registration process.

Washington

Eliminated criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess “valid documentation” from their physician stating that the patient suffers from a debilitating condition and that the “potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks.”

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