Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is calling for marijuana reform regarding possession in Alabama. He says the current laws are too harsh. He wants to see Alabama decriminalize possession and reduce it to a “petty offense.”
Maddox does not support legalization, but says that decriminalization allows law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes, according to Civilized. Several legislators voiced their support for Maddox’s views regarding the current marijuana laws. They do, however, think it’s a longshot in the Bible-belt state.
Mayor Maddox said, “We need to deal with this in a different pattern besides throwing somebody in jail. 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.”
Representative Bill Poole said, ““I haven’t seen anything like that in the legislature. I think it would have a long way to go. I think there’s a lot of analysis that would have to go into a proposal like that, and lot of public input. You’d have to really put it out there and have a public discussion on an issue like that.”
There is hope though; voters did just elect a Democratic U.S. Senator – many of which thought that alone would be a longshot since Alabama has been predominantly Republican.