Birmingham City Councilor working to decriminalize marijuana

Updated: Apr. 23, 2019 at 10:57 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Could Birmingham be the next city to push decriminalization of marijuana?

Several cities including Atlanta and Pittsburgh have moved to ease penalties for small amounts of pot. City Councilor John Hilliard said it’s time.

"I'm totally for legalizing marijuana across the board," he said Tuesday evening.

While, he doesn’t believe the state is ready for that yet, he’s pushing for decriminalization

“We want to see something fair among all of our citizens,” he continued.

Hilliard has been working to push a resolution that would decriminalize marijuana since December of last year after meeting with a group of Birmingham Southern College students.

“It’s affecting too many young people across the board for us to continue to make criminals out of children. If they are using recreational marijuana or a small amount . They not only leave without the graduation certificate, they leave as criminals. When they enter the work world they have a criminal record,” Hilliard explained.

He was the only councilor to speak up in support of this issue at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

“As leaders of this government it’s time for us to step forward,” he said while addressing a citizen who addressed the council.

Hilliard said the resolution would mirror the sheriff's office new policy and share the same sentiments as the D.A's, "cite and release" making sure these remain low level misdemeanors.

“I’m going to bring forward a resolution to give your support to our legislative colleagues and others that saw fit to try and change it,” said Hilliard.

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