Alabama lawmaker pushing bill to decriminalize marijuana

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An Alabama lawmaker believes it is time to decriminalize some of the state's drug possession laws, especially those dealing with marijuana.

Birmingham Representative Patricia Todd said there are people in courts and jail on drug convictions.

She said some of those folks were busted for a small amount of marijuana and she doesn't believe that is fair. "This would be if you had an ounce or less you would just get a citation like a speeding ticket," Rep. Todd said.

Todd plans to push a bill in this legislative session to scale back the penalties for marijuana possession. "The court system is so clogged with a lot of these possession charges. So we need to clear some of that out of the court system. Let's follow the movement across America," Todd said.

New Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton believes marijuana often leads to harder drugs and he does not favor changing the current law. "I'm going to enforce the laws the state of Alabama passes. I'm personally not in favor decriminalizing marijuana," Anderton said.

"We need to get our head out of the sand on this issue. We got an opioid crisis we need to be spending on. Not chasing around some accountant who gets high on the weekend," Todd said.

Todd realizes her bill faces an uphill fight in the Alabama legislature but she believes its time has come considering the mood of the country.

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