Alabama’s legislature reconvenes in March; contact your lawmakers
Last update: January 23, 2019
Twenty-three states, including neighboring Mississippi, have stopped jailing adults for possession of small amounts of marijuana. It’s time for Alabama to reform outdated laws that do nothing to make the state safer.
A recent report from the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center showed that marijuana prohibition is a costly and ineffective law that harms thousands of people. Enforcing prohibition costs the state roughly $22 million a year when you add up the costs incurred by the police, courts, and corrections. The enforcement of these laws disproportionally effects people of color, who according to the study, are four times as likely as white people to be arrested for marijuana possession.
MPP wins First Amendment lawsuit against state of Alabama
In 2016, MPP joined forces with the Institute for Justice to bring a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state of Alabama, alleging the state was unconstitutionally pricing MPP and MPP Legislative Counsel Maggie Ellinger-Locke out of exercising our First Amendment rights.
The suit was settled in April 2017, when Alabama agreed to make its lobbyist training class available online, instead of requiring Ms. Ellinger-Locke to travel to Montgomery before she could send a single email to a lawmaker. You can learn more about the suit pre-settlement by checking out this op-ed by lead counsel for the suit, Paul Sherman.
Now, thanks to the successful work on the part of the Institute for Justice, we can bring our important work to Alabama as we seek to improve the state’s marijuana policies. Please ask your lawmakers to lessen penalties for people possessing small amounts of marijuana, and bring badly needed reform to the state.
To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in Alabama, be sure to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service.