Bill to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana Introduced in Alabama

Many traditionally write off the Southern United States as an area dead to cannabis law reform, but one Representative is behind a new effort that can change all of that.

This week, Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) has introduced House Bill 550, the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013. This measure would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and the cultivation of up to 12 mature marijuana plants by those over the age of 21. It would also authorize the Department of Revenue to establish marijuana retail outlets. You can read the full text of the measure here.

As many of you have seen, yesterday, Pew Research released new polling data that revealed, for the first time in data from a US based polling firm, that Americans support legalizing marijuana by over 50%. The survey found that 52% support legalization and only 45% were opposed. This is no longer just an issue relegated to states such as those on the West Coast and Colorado, traditionally considered bastions of marijuana law reform, this support is now nationwide.

As it very well should be, marijuana prohibition is a failed policy that squanders hundreds of millions of tax dollars a year, inversely affects society’s underprivileged, violates civil liberties, and fuels a violent, criminal black market responsible for countless deaths on our border as well as our local communities.

If states such as the traditionally conservative Alabama are beginning the discussion around alternatives to our failed prohibition of marijuana, the collapse of the drug war machine and its war on a green plant cannot be too far behind.

ALABAMA: If you live in Alabama click here to easily write your Representative and urge him or her to support this legislation!

91 thoughts

  1. Hey,

    We here in Australia, blindly followed the US into the War on Drugs, as we did with many things. Culture, TV, food, corporat eetc etc Now that the US is waking up and changing its laws, we’re left with the legacy of all these laws.

    Hopefully, when the US changes its laws at Federal level, in about 2018, then in about 2028, Australia will update its laws.

    You heard it here first ok.


  2. I think it should be legalize for the tax money like Willie Nelson said on national T.V. that it would solve the money problems or dang sure help .. so that’s why I think it should be, and I don’t even do it. Thanks

  3. @Jenna – I wonder why you stopped smoking marijuana even though it sounds as though it was a very positive thing in your life until 2003.

    Perhaps it is because you now use a vaporizer or consume it via edibles… Just wondering…

  4. @ Evening Bud, yeah, Ron Paul isn’t so hot on several issues. However, he is correct in some cases over regulation is killing business in this country. He is an honest voice in a crowd of cretins. Of course his no regulations is a bad idea, and will not get over the ground. But like with marijuana prohibition, both Dems and Repubs seem to think the public is theirs to heap more and more debt there upon. We have to pay for bad social policy, badly fought wars with vague goals, subsidizing polluters, bad regulations, Policing the World, etc…

    Seriously, if Ron’s ideological opponents can’t figure out what should be cut and what shouldn’t, they aren’t fit.

    Does anyone here really feel our government is too small?

  5. I can’t think of anything less “Bama” than leading the east coast in this progressive endeavor. Lead the way Alabama. I saute you.

  6. Way to go Alabama…. I live about 10-15 miles from the Bama line and if they pass this law I will move there and start paying my state taxes there.

  7. @ Dave Evans,

    I understand what you’re saying. However, which govt programs to cut are often in the eye of the beholder. That elderly person or that one living on the edge of poverty might have a few things to say about what money should be cut. That corporation, which pays no taxes, would undoubtedly also have a few things to say. Every Senator it seems wants to cut the funding for the other guy’s state.

    My conservative mother-in-law tends to begrudge others their checks; then cashes her own without a second thought.

    To think, just a dozen short years ago, we actually had a surplus instead of a deficit. (Seems so long ago.) But, you’ll recall, Alan Greenspan, that guru of supply side economics, told us, “Hey, it’s actually not good to have a surplus. It’s actually better to run the economy on a deficit.” Then GW happily gave away or else spent all the bucks; then proceeded to run up a record debt, which we still haven’t been able to solve. (At least the billionaires are happy.)

    Future historians will look back on these times and laugh or shake their heads. “What fools these mortals be . . . ”

    Regarding Paul, I’m afraid we have different opinions. I understand that fewer regulations can sometimes (often) help a company’s bottom line or profit margin. However, I like the idea that somebody is inspecting them, and making sure they’re not selling us salmonella-tainted food; or dumping oil in my town’s reservoir. Somehow I just don’t trust the companies to “regulate themselves.”

    Take Care, E. Bud

  8. I live in the south and will also be moving to Alabama if it passes. If not, I guess another marijuana friendly state will get my taxes.

  9. One of the first and foremost concerns with the legalization of marijuana is obviously the money involved. Money is major factor because America can go one of two ways with this, they can either lose money or make money. Which do you think they will most likely go for? “Almost every year 872,000 arrests relate to marijuana and 775 of them are for possession; thats a ton of YOUR taxes going to the war on drugs.” (, White 1). Other than ridding of pointless convictions, taxing marijuana would serve as a very liable way for the government and the public to earn money. The United States can literally take money from organized crime and give it back to the American people. This will in turn cut down organized crime and street related charges from the drug. Many people believe this is the best advantage to legalizing marijuana. Regulating marijuana much like alcohol and tobacco will produce mass amounts of income for the American people. “Then selling the product at exactly the same price as on the street today ($10 per gram) could raise $40 billion to 100$ billion in new revenue.”(Easton 1). There is no denying that taxing marijuana will produce major tax revenues as research has shown marijuana to be the leading cash crop in America.

  10. It would so help in a lot of ways and taxes would be going to the state instead of put those people in jail and put money back in the state I think it would be the best thing that could happen marijuana has never put anyone in the hospital cause of a wreck or overdose. Make it legal be our state out of this bind we are in thanks

  11. Too many people at the sheriff departments and county courthouse who make too much money from present laws ,

  12. I don’t smoke marijuana anymore, but I totally think they should legalize it for SO many reasons. The main reason being that they could regulate it, and have good quality weed with medicinal properties. Different strains = different medicinal purposes. I don’t see how these anti-marijuana extremists think that marijuana is bad, yet think it’s perfectly ok for people to take oxycontin, xanax (benzos can take YEARS to withdraw from), percocet, etc. Anyone ever known someone that went to a methadone clinic? Nasty sight isn’t it? They allow that to go on but say pot is bad? Not very bright if you ask me. LEGALIZE IT ALREADY!!!

  13. Why is Alabama the poorest state when the opportunity to take in a new source of taxes available to help. What is holding back this state. Alphabetically we are 1st. Now lets be step up….Heck Washington DC has medical marijuana outlets. It is something many people want to see this as reality. My Grandmother, who was close to 93 when she passed, stated that she would rather see people smoke then drink alcohol. She lost her children to alcohol. Yet the most destructive substance there is…….is legal. Please consider carefully about submitting this proposal as many times as possible til they give up and legalize it. Alabama should lead this nation along with Colorado, etc.

  14. I’m a disabled vet that suffers from a shoulder injury and PTSD. Weed helps out with the pain I constantly have in my shoulder and also with symptoms of the PTSD. My VA doctor wants me to stop smoking, for what, so I could keep taken their poison. Hell no! Nothing man made did it for me. I thank God for that herb. I agree, Alabama needs to legalize weed.

  15. I hear you Bruce. I am also a vet with PTSD. My doc at the VA told me marijuana would help me more with PTSD than anything he could prescribe.of course he could not prescribe it to me. I started growing my own for personal use and was arrested because my exwife turned me in. Here in louisiana I would have been better off robbing a bank than growing marijuana. It is time for a reform of these antiquated laws and let people get the help from a safe medicine that has been used for centuries all over the world.

  16. the drug dealers are the only people wanting it to stay the way it is…. go Alabama ! take out the drug dealers!

  17. Thanks to Harry in 1932 marijuana became illegal but alabama need to get with the program and legalize marijuana

  18. Overcrowded prisons, black market, loss of state revenue, ruined lives, inability to find jobs, safer than alcohol, closet smokers. Yeah, lets keep marijuana illegal. Alabama is such a wealthy state that it can afford the aforementioned results of prosecuting and imprisoning pot smokers.

  19. Why would marijuana be any different than alchol in revenue why would Alabama not draw in the much needed revenue most of our president in the past and even present,smoked marijuana regularly ,I vote yes to legalize it totally

  20. I can not figure out what has the government got to loose? I don’t smoke cigarettes or drink. Yet alcohol and cigarettes are KNOWN KILLERS. They kill families, careers, lives are taken by cancer, grey matter for brains and black lungs for smokers. When you hear of someone dying with marijuana related reasons it ALWAYS has other elements involved. Other drugs (prescription or street)or alcohol are contributors. Now if the powers that be rather government or drug “lords” would get it together and know just how much money they can save and use towards programs like feeding the military 3 meals a day and not the 2 they get now. They have cut all kinds of programs. Even our rescue teams such as the fire department, police would benefit. So what is it going to take to bring the light bulb on?

  21. The only reason more people haven’t voiced the same opinion is that ,they are afraid of the law harassing them,standup alabamians,this will help our economy

  22. Legalize it please we are the United States we should do everything together not some state legal we should all be legal

  23. Advantages are………
    Opens my air way. Copd.
    Calms my manic bi polar disorder.
    Urges me to eat and helps my ulcerated stomach.
    Helps the pain in my neck and back.
    Stops intrusive thinking.
    Allows me to be more social.

  24. To all who want marijuana legal!

    The fight is not with the state you live in our want to move to. The only way to get mary jane, herb etc. legal is for the Federal Goverment to change its federal law on marijuana once this happens other states will not be afraid and there by state laws will change

  25. This is a plant that Jesus used to anoint folks , this is a cannabis oil from a plant that can kill Cancer & other medical conditions . This could be utilized medically.

  26. we need weed to help the drug atics not get on higher drugs it will be like it is now with cigerettes some people smoake and ome don’t and by the way anyone could get it if the wont it the government is stupid bc all they are doing it loosing taxes that they arnt making

  27. this is 9 major reasons we need weed.

    2. For the effect of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana.

    3. To relieve the stress, anxiety, fear, pain or anger related to personal, psychological or family issues.

    4. Popular culture endorses marijuana use.

    5. Low perception of harm.

    6. The opportunity to try marijuana presents itself.

    7. Peer, family or role model influence.

    8. People use marijuana because they were born with or develop certain personality dimensions, such as unconventionality, which make marijuana use non-taboo.

    9. Curiosity.

    10. To relax.

  28. If it was legalized in all 50 states there would no longer be drug cartels from other countries smuggling into the US and in fact there would be less crime I had rather meet 20 people smoking and driving them one drinking and driving that’s my opinion

  29. So many of us suffer buying it illegally risking much more than just jail time sometimes just to get a bag for a chronic pain or sickness or both I my case is ridiculous. I and my fionce refuse to take chemically altered substances and risk physical health issues from them while a puff of a plant solves major issues. Please legalize, don’t be selfish, alcohol and pills are useless. If you don’t over eat McDonalds then don’t push poisons on us that think the same things of chemically altered medical substances. Hear me now and understand me later, this would be a problem solver for both sides.

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