Tuscaloosa mayor requests new marijuana policy

Updated: Dec. 12, 2017 at 6:34 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has asked state legislators to consider another way to deal with people caught with small amounts of marijuana other than arresting them.

"We need to deal with this in a different pattern besides throwing somebody in jail," Maddox said.

Maddox offered the idea to members of the city's state legislative delegation Thursday.

He suggested offenders should be ticketed instead.

"We've got this incredible pressure created from decisions in Montgomery. We're now having to triage the most important aspects in terms of creating public safety in the community," Maddox went on to say.

Maddox argued immediate arrests clogs jail cells and takes away time from police investigating more serious crimes.

State Senator Bobby Singleton supported the idea.

"I've always been a big proponent of decriminalizing marijuana. I think that we just have so many people sitting in our jails for a small amount of marijuana," Sen. Singleton expressed.

Representative Bill Poole said he hadn't heard much talk about changing the way minor drug offenses would be handled.

"That would be a new proposal. I haven't seen anything like that in the legislature. I think that would have a long way to go," according to Poole.
Maddox said those people ticketed could have their cases go through municipal or circuit court.

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