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. It’s good to see my fellow Southern states might finally be opening their eyes on the blatant stupidity of marijuana prohibition. Being a smoker from Texas, I understand since everything is bigger in Texas, the ignorance of said prohibition is bigger as well. It’s good to know, however, that a gulf state is taking a stand to fight senseless oppression. So many people have bullied Mary Jane for far too long on this playground we call America. Kudos to Alabama for at least trying to fight back.

  2. Please take this initiative under consideration. Look at what good it can do and the people and jobs it will help and create. Step back from the old thinking and look at this from the a new perspective. If it was as bad as the old thinking, why is it SO popular and in the headlines EVERY day? Besides, we are adults and can think for ourselves. We know right from wrong, and you, as part of the government are WRONG for trying to tell us as taxpaying citizens what we can and cannot put in our bodies. We DO NOT drink alcohol and we stay home most of the time so what is wrong with smoking something to help glaucoma, PTSD, and Multiple Sclerosis. All have been proven by the same government that pays YOU, to improve the symptoms of each of these things we live with every single day.

  3. The south shall rise again!

    Good luck Alabama! The ‘war’ on drugs and the prohibition of marijuana has been an failure.

  4. “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.”

    –Music to my ears.

  5. “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.”

    This seems grammatically incorrect. Otherwise great article, I hope it passes!

  6. We’ll see how far this goes, hope it passes, just like hoping it passes for all states to legalize. Just hope and pray corrupted idiots don’t cockblock the bill because their pockets are being filled by big corps…

  7. Yes!!! This gives me hope for my home state (Tennessee.) Time to vote out the Southern Baptists and finally make some progress in the south.

  8. Congratulations on the bill and hoping it goes through. All our support, Marijuana Party of Canada.

  9. I feel marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes, like in my case of crippling Arthritis (RA) I am 62 yrs old and had joint replacements for both hips,shoulder,knee,and in constant pain. I have smoked marijuana and it does more for my pain than Lortabs or other medications the Drs. have given me…

  10. No no no we the State of Alabama must continue to ruin and destroy more lives, because ruined and destroyed people will fill up more churches! Ahhhhh!

  11. 1 This is not the first bill on this issue in Alabama. 2 People who live in cities like Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, and Huntsville, places where these reforms are welcomed, are very different form people living in other places in AL. The bill will never pass. 3 People who push for social change in AL are usually religious themselves so bashing religion doesn’t really help their cause.

  12. Please consider this bill not just for recreational use but think of the medicinal benefits. Cannabinoids have been proven to assist with the reduction of seizures and if it becomes legal the amount of research that can be done could possibly alleviate a child with epilepsy. GO NORML

  13. Uh, guys, Alabama is a lot more educated than the stereotypes say… Rednecks love their ganja, it’s the intellectual/religious conservatives that will oppose this bill. Call the representatives!

  14. Will go nowhere, sadly. Will be referred to committee, and never have a chance of emerging. The medical mj bills under a Democratic legislature went nowhere the last few years, it will only be worse under the Republican legislature. I guess it’s nice someone introduced it anyway.

  15. Sorry but my state is stuck in the 19th century,This will die a quick death and Alabama will be one of the last to pass anything this Liberal even if it made the state millions…

  16. Alabama? I guess cows do give beer after all. Seriously, I’m glad for them. Guess I’m gonna have to give my Rep another call.

  17. Amen. Finally people are realizing the stupidity of prohibition and the need for potential medical Marijuana patients.

  18. Good effin luck. We can’t get BINGO legalized here, and you can’t buy beer on sundays in shelby county.

  19. I havent smoked since 2003, but I def agree that it should be legalized. There is alot of good that come out of it. When I used to smoke, it made me study harder in school, work harder at my job and I nvr messed up or got hurt. Even if its legalized I will still not smoke it but I agree it IS A GOOD IDEA!

  20. Here in HI we are extremely jealous. We can’t even get a decrim bill to pass…forget regulation and legalization.

  21. The feds cannot enforce Prohibition without the states. They just don’t have enough psychopathic agents. So as the states restore our liberty, the federal government will have to back down.

    And maybe one day, when Obama is just a bad memory, we will elect a president who will overturn Nixon’s unconstitutional acts.

  22. Most states are just waiting to see the federal response to Wash. and Colo. As it is, I believe that one more state should be just about enough momentum to start an avalanche of support for legalization nationwide.

  23. Give this part of the planet the right to grow a green herb and man the dominion and freedom to grow and to do as free will just and 0% tolerance to the other mess that kills for GODS sake keep it real. Thanks NORMAL and may GOD BLESS

  24. This is great news….even though it has little chance of going anywhere for now. There are so many wonderful and brilliant people in Alabama…far more than most people think. Maybe, just maybe they will legalize it and show the world just how great they really are

  25. People only look at the benifits of smoking it and selling it what about medical properties.. What about all natral fuel sorce and all the natraul resources like rope fuel clothes fwater filters and more

  26. People only look at the benifits of smoking it and selling it what about medical properties.. What about all natral fuel sorce and all the natraul resources like rope fuel clothes fwater filters and more

  27. If everyone in favor would contact their representatives letting them know that if it doesn’t get to a full vote they won’t be reelected, it would at least have a chance.

  28. It is just a matter of time before all states legalize.I think that there will be states that hold out even after it is legal on a federal level.At least for a few years after they run out of money completely.

  29. @Mike – If you live in friggin’ Virginia, you may as well pull the trigger and get it over with… The politicians here are complete idiots as far as I’ve been able to discern.

  30. Marijuana has been endorsed by the cancer society as a valid cancer drug. It also has worked as an anti cancer medication. It also cures kidney disease. It stops seizures. Helps pain. It’s the only drug that you can’t overdose on. Safe without harmful side effects. This will bring millions of $$$ from the revenue if ever legalized. There are many high paying jobs in which come from the medical industry alone. If this bill passes in Alabama, get ready for state growth. You will have so many Georgians moving to Alabama. I’m one who will move. Alabama wouldn’t have a foreclosure problem any more. There are over 20, 000 products made from hemp. 2500 of them are every day products. These are all products we buy everyday but China makes them now. We need marijuana reform now. Vote yes for medical marijuana!

  31. States vying for medical marijuana legislation / legalization
    ought to ALSO be pressing for BOTH
    medical and recreational re-legalization,
    as the bill introduced by Rep. Patricia Todd,
    (D – Birmingham), of Alabama does:

    Have read all of HB 550 several times over and see that this
    is a step in the right direction for Alabama…

    Both for those who have medical conditions
    which could benefit from the phyto-compounds present in botanical cannabis preparations,
    as well as for adults who wish to choose a SAFER relaxant than alcohol,
    (minus the harsh, medieval legal consequences of Alabama’s present draconian, outdated, antiquated marijuana prohibition laws).

    Full text of Alabama HB 550, introduced Thurs-4-Apr-2013,
    the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013.
    http://legiscan.com/AL/text/HB550/id/811532/Alabama-2013-HB550-Introduced.pdf

    – – – – – – –

    VALID FOR MEDICAL AND NON-MEDICAL:

    An example of an already-legal drug that has both
    recreational and medical uses is caffeine.

    RECREATIONAL:
    Includes beverages prepared from caffeine-bearing botanicals,
    such as coffee seeds, cocoa seeds and tea leaves,
    as well as those containing addition of caffeine alkaloids,
    such as colas, soft drinks and energy drinks.

    MEDICAL:
    These range from over-the-counter alertness pills
    containing only caffeine, (i.e. No-Doz, Vivarin), to OTC
    / prescription medications employed for migraine headache relief,
    improving pulmonary and cardiovascular function, utilizing the pharmacological
    properties of caffeine and caffeine analogues,
    (theophylline, specifically),
    alone or in combination with other compounds,
    such as ergotamine, acetyl-salicylic acid and / or acetaminophen.

  32. Hi Burny, you’re right of course, but there is a belief among many “conservatives” that damaging the government and stopping it from functioning correctly is the way to get to “reform”. They call it “staving the beast”, but then they are the ones insisting the government behaves like a “beast” in the first place. I’m starting to think most mainstream Republicans are there just to make “false flag” situations for US to deal with.

    Their War on Marijuana is the perfect example. ‘Rebublicans’ talk about Government Waste as if it were a problem, and the insist on it. They say they are “concerned about our health”, but are fighting to allow more pollution in our air, water and food. So following their horrid logic we put people in jail for using a plant and make pollution manufactures super rich. Lets see, pollution actually kills people by the thousands and reduces life quality, marijuana no. But which side do these fools find themselves on? They fight for pollution and against regulations, those every things that would actually help keep us safe. Stupid and evil.

    We need more Ron Paul’s to keep these weasels semi-honest.

  33. You should be happy…I live in KS and I GUARANTEE my state will be dead last to legalize. The one thing though that gives me “comfort” is that there is a bill at the federal level that will allow states to decide on their own if they want to legalize because it will be legal at the Federal level as long as its legal at the state level. The best part is it has the support of Nancy Pelosi of all people!! She made the comment that it might as well be regulated and taxed. This bill will put the enforcement of Marijuana policy with the ATF by renaming it to the Buraus of Alcohol,Tobacco,Marijuana, And Firearms…

    The tide is changing our way faster now than ever, but I hold little hope for Kansas…

    Another monstrous obstacle we have to overcome is the fact that we are part of an United Nations International Treaty, so dont think this is almost over yet…

    Dont get me wrong..I DEARLY want my weed to be freed, but we still have a struggle ahead of us.

  34. POST ALL AROUND THE INTERNET EVERYWHERE YOU GO TO MAKE 420 THIS YEAR THE BIGGEST WEED SMOKING? SESSION EVER TO TAKE PLACE ON PLANET EARTH — COPY AND PASTE THIS EVERYWHERE YOU GO EVERY WEBSITE EVERY FORUM EVERY WEBPAGE IN ALL CAPS SO IT GETS SEEN EVERYWHERE –

    – LEGALIZE CANNABIS AND EVERY ASPECT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY – FREE ALL PRISONERS INCARCERATED FOR CANNABIS

  35. @ Dave Evans

    I agreed with everything you said until you mentioned Ron Paul. He has no interest at all in regulating the polluters. I’m sure he’d say that as entrepreneurs they have the god-given right to pollute. Besides, it helps their profit margins.

    Regarding weed, we got a taste of Paul’s true feelings last week when he said he wouldn’t promote it. Had Pelosi said that same thing a couple of weeks ago, the howling on these boards would still be going on. (Paul only supports legalization because he opposes virtually anything that has to do with the government.)

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