In the early 2000’s a friend of mine spent 4 years in prison in Colorado for marijuana related offenses. A few months after his release, Colorado ended marijuana prohibition.
In Alabama, marijuana prohibition laws are still terrorizing families and destroying communities. The Legislature has made small strides in peeling back these antiquated laws with the creation of a “Class D” felony, avenues for pre-trial diversion, drug court, and the creation of an affirmative defense for possession of CBD oil.
There has been a lot of confusion in the State over wether CBD Oil is legal or not. If your reading this, I’ll assume you are up on the history, so I will only briefly mention it here. Carly’s Law was passed in 2014 which initiated a study group at UAB for children with seizures. In 2016, the Alabama Legislature passed Leni’s Law which created an affirmative defense for the possession of CBD Oil by a person with a specified medical condition and their caretaker.
The key words to pay attention to in the last sentence is “affirmative defense.” That doesn’t mean that possessing CBD oil is legal, or that a patient will not be prosecuted for possessing it. It just means that if a patient is prosecuted for possessing CBD oil, they can raise a legitimate defense (which could get them off the hook) that they are a qualified patient. Possession of CBD oil is still a violation of the Alabama Criminal Code, specifically sections 13A-12-212.
“Okay,” you may say. “My child has seizures, and the most I would get tagged with for possessing CBD oil – worst case scenario – is a Class A misdemeanor? I’ll take that risk. So, what store can I buy it from?”
And that’s the conundrum that the Alabama Legislature has created. To sell (or “traffic” in criminal defense lingo) is still punishable as a felony. “Wow, that’s a whole different risk analysis,” you may say. And, I would agree. Currently, no-one is setting up major storefronts and selling CBD oil to patients who need it. So, how do patients get access to the life-saving medicine they need?
Questions like this still pervade the burned out landscape of Alabama’s failed war on marijuana. (The Alabama Attorney General’s Office recently released a report to give guidance on the question – Find it Here.)
We want to be the law firm that partners with you in the fight against marijuana prohibition. Whether you’ve been arrested for a marijuana related offense, or you want to take the Big Pharma lobby head on at the Legislature – we’re here to help.
About the Author, Samuel J. McLure, Esq.
Sam graduated from Huntington College in 2006 with a degree in Business Administration. Before transferring to Huntington College, he attended Bethune-Cookman University as the first minority-white running back in the historically black conference.
He went on to Jones School of Law and graduated with honors, cum laude. During law school, Sam had the distinguished honor of serving with the Faulkner Law Review, clerking with Supreme Court Justice Patricia Smith, clerking with the Attorney General’s Office, and studying International Law with Cornell University in Paris, France.
However, Sam’s most memorable law school achievement was adopting his first child from the Hungarian foster-care system. It was through that process that he and his wife saw the great need to protect children in the foster care system and to encourage adoption.
Sam’s law practice has maintained an orbit around protecting vulnerable and at-risk children. He and his wife have four children and have been actively engaged in the foster care system. Sam is the author of The End of Orphan Care, and book devoted to unpacking the orthodoxy and orthopraxy of orphan care; and has founded or served with ministries and community outreach initiatives such as Kiwanis, Personhood Alabama, Proposal 16, and Sav-a-Life.