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While the legalization of marijuana in Alabama will not likely happen anytime soon, it does not have the stigma that it did some years ago. That being said, a marijuana possession charge can have serious consequences and it is vital to talk with an experienced Alabama marijuana possession lawyer right away to avoid a conviction.

Many prosecutors are treat marijuana charges, especially possession, a bit more leniently. This is not the case for marijuana distribution or trafficking type cases, but they do differentiate between the different types of controlled substances. There is a trend of prosecutors looking at marijuana differently, especially in view of the fact that there are many states that have legalized it for recreational use.

Judges look at more serious drug charges differently, especially for people who are distributing them, which is why people to need a confident Alabama drug lawyer who understands what needs to be done to defend somebody charged with a drug crime. A lot of it depends on where an individual is. There are some counties that are much more conservative and the same type of case would be treated differently than other counties that are much more lenient in the way they address first offenders with marijuana.

Long Term Implications

There are some employers, including the government, law enforcement, and any type of security conscious employer, that are probably not going to consider hiring people who have been charged with marijuana possession. It is important to realize that a marijuana possession conviction does have consequences beyond what the courts can do, especially when there are two qualified applicants and one has a drug conviction and one did not. Realistically, the applicant without a possession conviction will get priority. For this reason, an Alabama marijuana possession attorney can help you avoid these long term consequences by fighting the conviction.

Changing Social Stigma

The societal stigma of marijuana use is changing. For example, years ago a young man was arrested by the police with possessing a small quantity of marijuana, which at that time was a felony or a misdemeanor possession charge. If they were charged with a felony, the individual would be sent to prison for seven years for having just a few grams of marijuana. Today, most in the court system believe it is outrageous that anyone would think that those in possession should be locked up in the penitentiary. It costs money to incarcerate people. There are enough prosecutors and judges that have recognized the failure of incarceration and that type of punishment to bring about a behavioral change in people who continue to smoke marijuana.

Attorneys try to help people on an individual basis to examine their life and the reasons why they are using substances and fight like wild cats to help them in court, because they do not think that jails or prosecution make people not want to use drugs.

Decriminalization

As nearby jurisdictions have begun to decriminalize or legalize the process of small amounts of marijuana, this has started to influence the way Alabama enforces marijuana laws with more leniency. The earliest show of that is the fact that there are diversion programs of municipal courts as well state courts for people that have used quantities of not only marijuana, but other types of drugs. That is an effort at decriminalizing marijuana. There is a large amount of resources that go into prosecuting marijuana cases that many see that could be better utilized in pursuing other types of crimes.

Important to Know

The first thing everyone should know about facing marijuana possession charges in Alabama is that it is illegal. Alabama is not one of those states that have legalized it for recreational use, so law enforcement is still very motivated to make marijuana trafficking cases, marijuana distribution cases, and marijuana possession cases. Law enforcement has not curtailed any of their efforts in trying to eradicate marijuana in Alabama.

Secondly, there are consequences if they get caught. At the very least it is going to cost them money in court fees, and it is really important to have a marijuana possession lawyer in Alabama. Regardless of whether or not attitudes have changed about marijuana, people need a lawyer when they get charged with a possession type crime. Alabama marijuana possession attorneys can do things that the public cannot do for themselves, nor would know how to do them, what questions to ask, or with whom to talk. The most important thing is hiring a good, confident lawyer that knows what he or she is doing.