Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WHIL is off the air and WUAL is broadcasting on limited power. Engineers are aware and working on a solution.
Alabama Shakespeare Festival Enter for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

AL House, Senate Debating Marijuana Reform

Alabama State House

Alabama lawmakers are considering a bill that would weed out less serious drug offenders.

Democratic Representative Patricia Todd and Republican Senator Dick Brewbaker are sponsoring a bill that would reclassify possession of less than ounce of marijuana as a civil offense. The bill has passed through the Senate and House Judiciary Committees and will now move to the Senate floor.

Alabama Appleseed is a nonprofit that vows to achieve justice for all Alabamians. The organization says they’re pushing for drugs -- and marijuana specifically -- to be viewed through what they call a “public safety lens”. Frank Knaack is Alabama Appleseed’s Executive Director. He says Alabama’s marijuana laws need some work.

“We are not behind everybody, but we do have some of the harshest marijuana drug laws in the country right now. And we are spending an obscene amount of money trying to win a war on marijuana, a war that we’ve now been fighting for over four decades and have failed to accomplish any meaningful shift. Marijuana is just as cheap and available as it’s always been.”

Knaack estimates the state spends about $13 million every year on that war. He also says it has been “absolutely discriminatory” against people of color and individuals with lower incomes.

News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.