Positive Legal Trend For Canadian Cannabis Companies Doing Business Down South
Another positive sign has emerged for Canadian cannabis companies doing business down south. Alabama—one of the reddest states in the Union (SITU)—is tabling a bill that would reduce the penalty for marijuana possession. The bill is scheduled for consideration tomorrow by both the House and Senate judiciary committees.
While the intention isn’t to legalize marijuana use—at least not yet—penalties are poised to come down drastically.
Current state law designates “personal use” as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable of up to a year and a fine of up to $6,000. A second offense for possession is considered a Class C felony, punishable by 1-10 years and a fine of up to $15,000. It’s very serious business.
If the bill passes however, draconian enforcement will be the thing of the past.
Possession for less than an ounce of marijuana on the 1st/2nd offense would only be punishable by a fine not exceeding $250. A third offense would only setback the offender $500. In both cases, no jail time is imposed.
Another thing which caught our eye is the noticeable shift is attitudes regarding the perceived dangers of marijuana use in the legislature. Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham), one of the bill’s sponsors, described marijuana usage as “…not as bad as alcohol”, adding, “We need all the resources we have to deal with that [opioid epidemic] and not with a little bit of weed.”
This is significant when you consider marijuana has Schedule I drug status in the United States, while most opioids are deemed Schedule II drugs. Todd’s words are a microcosm of the type of attitude shift we’ve seen nationwide.
Yes, even in the red state of Alabama.
Decriminalization Trend Positive For the Industry
In isolation, decriminalization in a small state like Alabama might not