Drug laws in US differ from state to state and a great variance can be noticed amongst the penalties that are prescribed by different states for the same offence. Amongst the states that have relaxed laws in place for marijuana usage, the state of California comes across as a very liberal one especially when its laws are compared to Alabama marijuana laws or US marijuana laws that are applicable on the federal level.
California passed the first laws against marijuana in 1913. At present California marijuana laws are perhaps the most liberal in the entire USA. It has decriminalized the use of marijuana for medical use. Proposition 215 passed by 56% of voters in 1996 legalized the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana by patients legal. However a physician’s recommendation is required.
Regarding the possession of marijuana for non medical purposes, the Governor of California in September 2010 signed the SB 1449 bill into an act according to which possession of marijuana less than one ounce will no longer be considered a misdemeanor. It is only an infraction. The defaulter will be fined $100. However possession of marijuana more than 1 ounce continues to be a misdemeanor. One may face incarceration up to 6 months and a fine of $500. Similar punishment is given if one is found to possess marijuana more than 28.5 g when the school is open.
Regarding the cultivation of marijuana for non-patients, Californian marijuana laws consider cultivation a felony and it entails a prison term of 16-36 months.
As far as sale is concerned sale of marijuana less than 28.5 g is considered a misdemeanor. The person can be fined $100.Sale of the drug to a minor above 14 years will lead to a jail term of 3-5 years and in case of sale to a minor below 14 years it will be a prison term for 3-7 years. In both instances it will be considered a felony. It will also be a felony in case of sale to an adult and the prison term is 2-4 years.
On November 3,2010 a poll was held regarding the legalization of marijuana in California. It is popularly known as Proposition 19 or the Regulate,Control and Tax Cannabis Act,2010.It was however defeated.
As compared to California Alabama marijuana laws are very rigid. Possession of drug up to 2.2 lbs is a misdemeanor and more than that is a felony. In the later case the defaulter can imprisoned up to 1-10 years and fined $15000.Sale of marijuana to a minor is a felony and a person can get a 1-10 years jail term. In case of cultivation of less than 2.2 lbs the punishment is a minimum mandatory sentence of 3 years and for more than 1000 lbs it is a life term. The Alabama marijuana laws thus heavily punish offenders.
Even though there are many pot dispensaries operating in California, they are still open to check from local as well as federal authorities if they tend to violated existing regulations. Similarly even in California one must be careful before consuming marijuana as it may have legal consequences for non medical users. However the best reason why one should desist from marijuana usage stems from the fact that the drug is addictive and has long term ill effects on health. So choose a healthy drug free lifestyle and try to avoid usage of drugs.