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New Alabama medical marijuana law does not legalize it for all

On Behalf of | May 26, 2021 | Drug Charges |

The perception of marijuana as a substance that should automatically be illegal is changing across the nation. Depending on the state, it is being legalized in general, people can use it for medical purposes if it is approved by a doctor and the penalties associated with criminal violations are being reduced. Alabama was slow to change its policies, but it has recently updated the law by passing a bill to legalize medical marijuana. Still, it is important for people to understand that simply allowing it to be used to address certain medical issues does not mean it is legal for recreational use. The way it is used it also essential as part of the law.

New law allows medical marijuana use

A law allowing medical marijuana use in the state was signed by Gov. Kay Ivey. It is important, however, that people understand they can still be arrested and charged for marijuana-related crimes. The law does not stipulate that people can use it for recreational purposes. For those who are legally allowed to use it, a crucial aspect is that it cannot be smoked, vaped or used as an ingredient for food. In other words, it can be ingested, but not in the way most people use it.

Another part of the law is that it cannot be used if it is brought in from other states. A district attorney interprets the medical marijuana card as needing to be issued in Alabama for it to be legal. People who have an out-of-state card cannot use it legally. As for qualifying to use medical marijuana, it must be a patient or caregiver living in Alabama. There is a list of conditions and illnesses that will be prerequisites including treating pain from cancer, epilepsy, HIV, AIDS, Parkinson’s Disease, autism, PTSD and more.

Even with this law, marijuana charges can still be lodged

Medical marijuana law aside, there can still be charges for possession, sales, cultivating, trafficking and distribution. People who are arrested must remember there can be significant penalties and a criminal defense is imperative. Many allegations of criminal wrongdoing stem from a misunderstanding of the law. In other instances, people have a small amount of the substance and find themselves facing charges. Even those accused of more severe violations can mount an effective defense to reduce the charges or be acquitted.

Although most might not consider marijuana charges serious, there can still be various penalties including jail and fines. Assessing the evidence and the circumstances are fundamental aspects of a case. To avoid the criminal and personal penalties, having legal guidance to combat the charges and accurately assess the new law is key.