With laws around both medical and recreational cannabis constantly evolving throughout the United States, it can be difficult to keep track of which states have legalized marijuana and which have not.
One state that has caused a lot of confusion recently regarding its cannabis laws is Alabama.
If you’re wondering what the legal status of cannabis in Alabama is as of October 2022, here’s what you need to know:
Alabama Law On Medical Cannabis
Medical cannabis is becoming more accepted throughout the US, so one of the first things people want to know when it comes to Alabama marijuana laws is where medical marijauana is legal.
The answer is yes: medical cannabis is legal in Alabama. Alabama partially legalized the medicinal use of marijuana back in 2015 to support a clinical trial at the University of Alabama that proved the positive effects of <3% THC in children with epilepsy.
However, it wasn’t until 2021 that the Darren Wesley Hall Compassion Act was approved, allowing patients to use cannabis medicinally if approved by a doctor.
A doctor may prescribe the medicinal use of marijuana if an individual presents with a mental or physical health condition that has not been successfully managed through other forms of treatment.
This means that before being prescribed medical cannabis in Alabama, the patient must have tried a traditional medication and, in the case of mental disorders, some form of therapy.
Examples of mental conditions that might qualify a patient to receive a prescription for medical cannabis include generalized anxiety or panic disorder, depression, PTSD, or ASD.
Physical health conditions that may warrant a marijuana prescription include sickle cell anemia, parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, various types of cancer, HIV/AIDS, or terminal illness.
Recreational Marijuana Laws In Alabama
Although medicinal cannabis has been legalized in Alabama since 2021, it is illegal to use marijuana recreationally in the state of Alabama.
The laws on recreational cannabis use in Alabama are strict, and it doesn’t look like the state will be legalizing recreational cannabis at any point in the near future.
The Legality Of Edibles And Smoking Marijuana In Alabama
Any form of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal in Alabama, but when it comes to medical marijuana, there are laws dictating the form in which the plant can be sold and used.
If you have legal access to medical marijuana in Alabama, you can get either cannabis oils or the flower from a registered dispensary.
However, you can’t just take these substances in any manner you see fit. Per the law established in 2021, it is illegal to smoke even medicinal cannabis in Alabama, and it’s also illegal to consume it in edible form.
If you have a medical marijuana prescription, you’ll need to take it in tablet, oil, gel, patch, suppository, or cream form. You can get legally approved inhalable oils, but this is the closest you can get to legally smoking cannabis in Alabama.
Alabama Sentencing For Illegal Marijuana Possession
As we just mentioned, Alabama law is strict when it comes to illegal use of marijuana.
However, it’s not only the actual consumption of cannabis that the law cracks down on in Alabama, with possession of even a small amount of cannabis being punishable by a hefty fine or even prison time.
Even a first-time possession offense involving a small quantity of cannabis that hasn’t been prescribed by a doctor can result in a fine not exceeding $6,000. The alternative is a prison sentence not exceeding one year.
Anyone caught with non-medical marijuana in Alabama will have their driver’s license suspended for a period of 6 months.
A repeat offense will be classed as a felony, and if intent to sell can be proven in court, possession may be categorized as a felony even for a first offense.
The Future Of Marijuana In Alabama
Although the legalization of recreational marijuana doesn’t seem to be on the cards in Alabama, there is a movement for the reintroduction of the decriminalization bill, which would mean that people found with non-medicinal cannabis would not face criminal charges.
Whether this bill will be pushed through remains to be seen, but we can be fairly certain that recreational marijuana won’t be fully legalized in Alabama in the near future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Old Do You Have To Be For Medical Marijuana In Alabama?
In many US states, the minimum age to be prescribed medical marijuana is 18. In some states, it is 21. In Alabama, however, patients must be at least 19 years old to receive a prescription for medical cannabis.
Can You Get A Medical Marijuana Card In The State Of Alabama?
If a patient in Alabama qualifies for a medical marijuana prescription, they can receive an ID card that states that they are legally permitted to access and use marijuana.
This is called a registry identification card and it may be given to patients with debilitating medical conditions that cannot be successfully managed through other forms of treatment.
Does Alabama Law Prohibit CBD?
Alabama law surrounding the use and possession of CBD is in line with the federal US guidelines, which state that CBD that comes from hemp can be possessed and used legally, and there is no age restriction for this substance.
However, any CBD product that is derived from a marijuana plant is illegal and possession is a criminal offense punishable by a fine or jail time.
In 2021, Alabama legalized medical marijuana, so you can now get a medical cannabis prescription and ID card in this state. However, recreational marijuana is still illegal and even medical marijuana can’t be legally smoked or taken in edible form in Alabama.
Alabama laws are harsh when it comes to illegal cannabis possession, with penalties ranging from a fine of up to $6,000 to a jail sentence of a year.
If you wish to get a prescription for medical marijuana, you must have a qualifying mental or physical health condition. Speak to your doctor for further information.