Saturday, March 26, 2011

Possible Changes in Alabama Drug Policy

Representative Mack McCutcheon has introduced HB344 as part of Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb's sentencing reform and prison overcrowding package of bills. It is very interesting and in someways very good. There are some very bad things in it too....like mandatory sentences, life sentences and unreal fines.The part of the bill dealing with possession of marijuana is near the end and in bold. That part is good but falls short of what is really needed with regard to marijuana and that's LEGALIZATION.

Here is the text of the bill. Thoughts?

HB344
By Representative McCutcheon
RFD Judiciary
Rd 1 24-MAR-11


SYNOPSIS: This bill would revise the quantity thresholds for marijuana criminal violations to distinguish between low-level drug users and career criminals by changing penalties for marijuana possession in the first and second degrees and creating the crimes of possession of marijuana in the third and fourth degrees.
This bill would revise the quantity threshold of Schedule I controlled substance criminal violations to distinguish between individual drug users and drug traffickers.
This bill would also restructure criminal drug offense penalties for Schedule II through Schedule V controlled substances based on recommended therapeutic dosages as established by the State Board of Health, which would render the Schedules current based on the lawful allowable dosages as drugs are improved or new drugs become available.
This bill would authorize the State Board of Health to establish monthly therapeutic dosages for Schedules II-V drugs.
Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, prohibits a general law whose purpose or effect would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds from becoming effective with regard to a local governmental entity without enactment by a 2/3 vote unless: it comes within one of a number of specified exceptions; it is approved by the affected entity; or the Legislature appropriates funds, or provides a local source of revenue, to the entity for the purpose.
The purpose or effect of this bill would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of the amendment. However, the bill does not require approval of a local governmental entity or enactment by a 2/3 vote to become effective because it comes within one of the specified exceptions contained in the amendment.

A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

To amend Sections 13A-12-211, 13A-12-212, 13A-12-213, 13A-12-214, 13A-12-231, and 20-2-20, Code of Alabama 1975, to revise the quantity thresholds for marijuana criminal violations to distinguish between low-level drug users and career criminals; to revise the quantity thresholds of Schedule I controlled substance criminal violations to distinguish between individual drug users and professional drug traffickers; to restructure criminal drug offense penalties for Schedules II through V controlled substances based on recommended therapeutic dosages as established by the State Board of Health; to create new criminal penalties related to distribution and possession of certain controlled substances; to authorize the State Board of Health to establish monthly therapeutic dosages for Schedules II-V drugs; to add Sections 13A-12-214.1 and 13A-12-214.2 to the Code of Alabama 1975, to restructure the current criminal penalties for the possession of marijuana; to add criminal penalties for the possession of marijuana; and in connection therewith would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
Section 1. Sections 13A-12-211, 13A-12-212, 13A-12-213, 13A-12-214, 13A-12-231, and 20-2-20, Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as follows:

§13A-12-211.

"(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful distribution of controlled substances if, except as otherwise authorized, he or she sells, furnishes, gives away, delivers, or distributes a controlled substance enumerated in Schedules Schedule I through V.

"(b) Unlawful distribution of controlled substances, unless otherwise provided, is a Class B felony.

"(c) A person, except as otherwise authorized, who sells, furnishes, gives away, delivers, or distributes a controlled substance enumerated in Schedules II through V, as provided in Section 20-2-25, 20-2-27, 20-2-29, or 20-2-31, where the offense classification is based on the specific Schedule II through V enumeration and the number of tablets, capsules, or pills constituting the monthly therapeutic dosage or the milligrams as established by the State Board of Health, to establish the lawful amount of the controlled substance for possession, including whether the quantity is above or below the monthly therapeutic dosage established by the State Board of Health, commits the crime of unlawful distribution of controlled substance. If the distribution is:

"(1) A Schedule II drug and:

"a. Above the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class B felony.

"b. Below the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

"(2) A Schedule III drug and:

"a. Above the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

"b. Below the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class D felony.

"(3) A Schedule IV or V drug and:

"a. Above the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class D felony.

b. Below the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

"(d) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of cocaine, cocaine-base, or any mixture containing cocaine or methamphetamine, as described in Section 20-2-25(1) or Section 20-2-27, is guilty of a felony, which shall be known as "unlawful distribution of controlled substance." If the quantity involved is:

"(1) 1.5 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, the person shall be guilty of the unlawful distribution of controlled substance in the first degree, a Class B felony.

"(2) Less than 1.5 grams, the person shall be guilty of unlawful distribution of controlled substance in the second degree, a Class C felony.

"(e) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of any morphine, opium, or any salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin, phencyclidine, or lysergic acid, as described in Section 20-2-23(2) or Section 20-2-25(1)a., or of any mixture containing these substances, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "unlawful distribution of controlled substance." If the quantity involved is:

"(1) 1.5 grams or more, but less than four grams, the person shall be guilty of unlawful distribution of controlled substance in the first degree, a Class B felony.

"(2) Less than 1.5 grams, the person shall be guilty of unlawful distribution of controlled substance in the second degree, a Class C felony.

§13A-12-212.

"(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of controlled substance if:

"(1) Except as otherwise authorized, he or she possesses a controlled substance enumerated in Schedules Schedule I through V.

"(2) He or she obtains by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge or by the alteration of a prescription or written order or by the concealment of a material fact or by the use of a false name or giving a false address, a controlled substance enumerated in Schedules Schedule I through V.

"(b) Unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unless otherwise provided, is a Class C felony.

"(c) A person, except as otherwise authorized, who possesses a controlled substance enumerated in Schedules II through V, pursuant to Section 20-2-25, 20-2-27, 20-2-29, or 20-2-31, commits the crime of "unlawful possession of controlled substance" when in the unlawful actual or constructive possession of drugs enumerated in Schedules II through V, or in violation of the lawful monthly therapeutic dosage or the milligrams for the scheduled drugs as established by the State Board of Health. The therapeutic dosage established for lawful possession is the lawful amount of the controlled substance for authorized possession, which shall be the benchmark to determine whether the quantity in possession is above or below the monthly therapeutic dosage established by the State Board of Health. If the unlawful drug possessed, actually or constructively, is:

"(1) A Schedule II drug and:

"a. Above the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

"b. Below the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class D felony.

"(2) A Schedule III drug and:

"a. Above the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class D felony.

"b. Below the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

"(3) A Schedule IV or V drug and:

"a. Above the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

"b. Below the monthly therapeutic dosage, the person shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

"(d) Any person who has the unlawful actual or constructive possession or receipt of any morphine, opium, or any salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin, phencyclidine, or lysergic acid, as described in Section 20-2-23(2), 20-2-23(3), or 20-2-25(1)a., or any mixture containing any of these substances, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "unlawful possession of controlled substance." If the quantity involved is:

"(1) Three grams or more, but less than four grams, the person shall be guilty of unlawful possession of controlled substance in the first degree, a Class B felony.

"(2) One gram or more, but less than three grams, the person shall be guilty of unlawful possession of controlled substance in the second degree, a Class C felony.

"(3) Less than one gram, the person shall be guilty of unlawful possession of controlled substance in the third degree, a Class D felony.

"(e) Any person who has unlawful or actual constructive possession of cocaine, cocaine-base, or any mixture containing cocaine or methamphetamine, as described in Section 20-2-25(1) or Section 20-2-27, or any mixture containing these substances, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "unlawful possession of controlled substance." If the quantity involved is:

"(1) 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, the person is, except as otherwise authorized, guilty of unlawful possession of controlled substance in the first degree, a Class B felony.

"(2) 1.5 grams or more but less than 14 grams, the person is, except as otherwise authorized, guilty of unlawful possession of controlled substance in the second degree, a Class C felony.

"(3) Less than 1.5 grams, the person is guilty of unlawful possession of controlled substance in the third degree, a Class D felony.

§13A-12-213.

"(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of marihuana marijuana in the first degree if, except as otherwise authorized:

"(1) He the person possesses marihuana two or more pounds, but less than 10 pounds of marijuana. for other than personal use; or

"(2) He possesses marihuana for his personal use only after having been previously convicted of unlawful possession of marihuana in the second degree or unlawful possession of marihuana for his personal use only.

"(b) Unlawful possession of marihuana marijuana in the first degree is a Class C B felony.

§13A-12-214.

"(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of marihuana marijuana in the second degree if, except as otherwise authorized, he or she possesses marihuana 10 or more ounces, but less than two pounds of marijuana for his personal use only.

"(b) Unlawful possession of marihuana marijuana in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor C felony.

§13A-12-231.

"Except as authorized in Chapter 2, Title 20:

"(1) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, in excess of one kilo or 2.2 10 pounds of any part of the plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin including the completely defoliated mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil, or cake, or the completely sterilized samples of seeds of the plant which are incapable of germination is guilty of a Class A felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in cannabis." Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to samples of tetrahydrocannabinols including, but not limited to, all synthetic or naturally produced samples of tetrahydrocannabinols which contain more than 15 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols and which do not contain plant material exhibiting the external morphological features of the plant cannabis. If the quantity of cannabis involved:

"a. Is in excess of one kilo or 2.2 10 pounds, but less than 100 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

"b. Is 100 pounds or more, but less than 500 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"c. Is 500 pounds or more, but less than 1,000 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000).

"d. Is 1,000 pounds or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(2) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of cocaine or of any mixture containing cocaine, described in Section 20-2-25(1), is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in cocaine." If the quantity involved:

"a. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 500 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 500 grams or more, but less than one kilo, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is one kilo, but less than 10 kilos, then the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

"d. Is 10 kilos or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(3) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, four grams or more of any morphine, opium, or any salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin, as described in Section 20-2-23(2) or Section 20-2-25(1)a., or four grams or more of any mixture containing any such substance, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs." If the quantity involved:

"a. Is four grams or more, but less than 14 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 56 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and to pay a fine of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).

"d. Is 56 grams or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(4) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of 1,000 or more pills or capsules of methaqualone, as described in Section 20-2-1, et seq., is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs." If the quantity involved:

"a. Is 1,000 pills or capsules, but less than 5,000 pills or capsules, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 5,000 capsules or more, but less than 25,000 capsules, that person shall be imprisoned to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 calendar years and pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is 25,000 pills or more, but less than 100,000 pills or capsules, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and pay a fine of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).

"d. Is 100,000 capsules or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(5) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of 500 or more pills or capsules of hydromorphone as is described in Section 20-2-1, et seq., is guilty of a felony which shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs." If the quantity involved:

"a. Is 500 pills or capsules or more but less than 1,000 pills or capsules, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 1,000 pills or capsules or more, but less than 4,000 pills or capsules, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of 10 calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is 4,000 pills or capsules or more but less than 10,000 pills or capsules, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"d. Is more than 10,000 pills or capsules, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison without parole.

"(6) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of 3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine, or of any mixture containing 3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs." If the quantity involved:

"a. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 500 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 500 grams or more, but less than one kilo, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is one kilo, but less than 10 kilos, then the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

"d. Is 10 kilos or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(7) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of 5-methoxy-3, 4-methylenedioxy amphetamine, or of any mixture containing 5-methoxy-3, 4-methylenedioxy amphetamine is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs" if the quantity involved:

"a. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 500 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 500 grams or more, but less than one kilo, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is one kilo, but less than 10 kilos, then the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

"d. Is 10 kilos or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(8) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, four grams or more of phencyclidine, or any mixture containing phencyclidine, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs." If the quantity involved:

"a. Is four grams or more, but less than 14 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 56 grams, then the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

"d. Is 56 grams or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(9) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, four grams or more of lysergic acid diethylamide, of four grams or more of any mixture containing lysergic acid diethylamide, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs." If the quantity involved:

"a. Is four grams or more, but less than 14 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 14 grams or more, but less than 28 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is 28 grams or more, but less than 56 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 25 calendar years and to pay a fine of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).

"d. Is 56 grams or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(10) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of amphetamine or any mixture containing amphetamine, its salt, optical isomer, or salt of its optical isomer thereof, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in amphetamine." If the quantity involved:

"a. Is 28 grams or more but less than 500 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 500 grams or more, but less than one kilo, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is one kilo but less than 10 kilos, then the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

"d. Is 10 kilos or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(11) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, 28 grams or more of methamphetamine or any mixture containing methamphetamine, its salts, optical isomers, or salt of its optical isomers thereof, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in methamphetamine." If the quantity involved:

"a. Is 28 grams or more but less than 500 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

"b. Is 500 grams or more, but less than one kilo, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

"c. Is one kilo but less than 10 kilos, then the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

"d. Is 10 kilos or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

"(12) The felonies of "trafficking in cannabis," "trafficking in cocaine," "trafficking in illegal drugs," "trafficking in amphetamine," and "trafficking in methamphetamine" as defined in subdivisions (1) through (11), above, shall be treated as Class A felonies for purposes of Title 13A, including sentencing under Section 13A-5-9. Provided, however, that the sentence of imprisonment for a defendant with one or more prior felony convictions who violates subdivisions (1) through (11) of this section shall be the sentence provided therein, or the sentence provided under Section 13A-5-9, whichever is greater. Provided further, that the fine for a defendant with one or more prior felony convictions who violates subdivisions (1) through (11) of this section shall be the fine provided therein, or the fine provided under Section 13A-5-9, whichever is greater.

(13) If the totality of the evidence shows that the person is a user and is not engaged in an enterprise involving large quantities of cannabis, cocaine, illegal drugs, or amphetamine, the judge, in his or her discretion, may reduce the trafficking charge to unlawful possession of marijuana in the first degree and sentence the person accordingly.

"(13) (14) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any person who has possession of a firearm during the commission of any act proscribed by this section shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of five calendar years which shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, the punishment otherwise provided, and a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000); the court shall not suspend the five-year additional sentence of the person or give the person a probationary sentence.

§20-2-20.

"(a) The State Board of Health, unless otherwise specified, shall administer this chapter and may add substances to or delete or reschedule all substances enumerated in the schedules in Sections 20-2-23, 20-2-25, 20-2-27, 20-2-29, or 20-2-31 pursuant to the procedures of the State Board of Health. and shall have the authority, also pursuant to the administrative procedures applicable to the board for scheduling purposes, to establish the monthly therapeutic dosage for the controlled substances enumerated in Schedules II through V, as found in Section 20-2-25, 20-2-27, 20-2-29, or 20-2-31, which shall serve as the basis for classifying offenses applicable to the lawful and unlawful use, distribution, or possession of the scheduled substances. In making a determination regarding a substance, the State Board of Health shall consider all of the following:

"(1) The actual or relative potential for abuse.

"(2) The scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known.

"(3) The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the substance.

"(4) The history and current pattern of abuse.

"(5) The scope, duration, and significance of abuse.

"(6) The risk to the public health.

"(7) The potential of the substance to produce psychic or physiological dependence liability.

"(8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this chapter.

"(b) After considering the factors enumerated in subsection (a), the State Board of Health shall make findings with respect thereto and issue a rule controlling the substance if it finds the substance has a potential for abuse.

"(c) If any substance is designated, rescheduled, or deleted as a controlled substance under federal law and notice thereof is given to the State Board of Health, the State Board of Health shall similarly control the substance under this chapter after the expiration of 30 days from publication in the federal register of a final order designating a substance as a controlled substance or rescheduling or deleting a substance, unless within that 30-day period, the State Board of Health objects to inclusion, rescheduling, or deletion. In that case, the State Board of Health shall publish the reasons for objection and afford all interested parties an opportunity to be heard. At the conclusion of the hearing, the State Board of Health shall publish its decision, which shall be final unless altered by statute. Upon publication of objection to inclusion, rescheduling, or deletion under this chapter by the State Board of Health, control under this chapter is stayed until the State Board of Health publishes its decision.

"(d) Authority to control under this section does not extend to distilled spirits, wine, malt, beverages, or tobacco.

"(e) The State Board of Health shall exclude any nonnarcotic substance from a schedule if such substance, under the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, and the law of this state may be lawfully sold over the counter without a prescription."

Section 2. Sections 13A-12-214.1 and 13A-12-214.2 are added to the Code of Alabama 1975, to read as follows:

§13A-12-214.1

(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of marijuana in the third degree if, except as otherwise authorized, the person possesses three ounces or more, but less than 10 ounces of marijuana for his or her personal use only.

(b) Unlawful possession of marijuana in the third degree is a Class D felony.

§13A-12-214.2

(a) A person commits the crime of unlawful possession of marijuana in the fourth degree if, except as otherwise authorized, the person possesses not more than three ounces of marijuana for his or her personal use only.

(b) Unlawful possession of marijuana in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor. If a person has three previous convictions for unlawful possession of marijuana in the fourth degree, each a Class A misdemeanor, the sentence shall be enhanced to a Class D felony.


Section 3. Although this bill would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds, the bill is excluded from further requirements and application under Amendment 621, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, because the bill defines a new crime or amends the definition of an existing crime.

Section 4. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

Crimes and Offenses
Criminal Law and Procedure
Board of Health, State
Controlled Substances
Drugs
Marijuana
Code Amended

5 comments:

Iam niman said...

Loretta, there is no possible way I could support something like this. The ONLY time a person should be placed in prison with no chance of release is if that person has a history of habitual violence and has PROVEN he or she cannot or simply will not function in society. Just like all other House Bills that have (somewhat) positive steps toward reform, there are ALWAYS Draconian provisions attached that actually further the agenda of a Police State.

This is one of the reasons I plan to leave Alabama. It has gotten exponentially worse over the years and it looks as though we have just seen the tip of the iceberg -which is darn scary!

I wish you'd have won the Governorship.

C.A. Frost

sixstring said...

This is bad! I don't see how these changes are in the right direction, at least for cannabis law reform.
It makes possession of more than 3 oz. a felony. Now up to 1 kilo for personal use is a misdemeanor. For growing, it keeps existing law for "traffickng in cannabis" at 1 kilo. And any part of the plant can be weighed, roots and all. Even 1 small plant would be over a kilo,wet with roots. This does not distignuish between low-level marijuana users and career criminals. How does this do anything to help with the prison vercrowding?

-Sepp said...

They won't remove the "criminal" aspects of weed because the states and the government have too much money changing hands to actually decriminalize it.
How much Fed money is poured into states to "combat drugs"?

How many "drug enforcement" people would be out of jobs?

How much in fines and confiscated property would states lose? I know a guy who was popped and they took EVERYTHING he owned because according to the state, "everything he owned" was due to profits from marijuana sales! Even stuff he inherited that was verifiable...gone.

With the economy in the crapper in most states, not too many will be willing to see their cash cow decriminalized.

Loretta Nall said...

In re-reading this just now I came across something that struck me as hysterically funny. Is it just me or does the section below say that PCP and LSD are made from the opium poppy?

"(e) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of any morphine, opium, or any salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin, phencyclidine, or lysergic acid, as described in Section 20-2-23(2) or Section 20-2-25(1)a., or of any mixture containing these substances, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "unlawful distribution of controlled substance." If the quantity involved is:


If this is passed will that mean that any LSD and PCP not made from the opium plant is legal?

These clowns really really need to stop playing God with chemical compounds they do not understand and people's lives which the don't give a damn about.

This bill is coming up in judiciary committee this coming Wednesday.It needs to die.

manfood said...

The best solution would be to look to Spain. Decriminalize small scale home growing while keeping commercial sales and transport strictly illegal. And by the way, someone really needs to tell these lawmakers that weighing the entire plants without drying them out is outrageously unfair. Anyway with anything more than a seedling is going to be labeled a trafficker..ridiculous.