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Tue March 2, 2004
Commission Reviews Marijuana Sentencing
By Alabama Public Radio
Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Sentencing Commission is reviewing how the state handles marijuana use. Commission members estimate Alabama spends about four million dollars a year incarcerating marijuana users who would not go to prison in some other states. In Alabama, the first conviction for personal-use marijuana is a misdemeanor. After that, possession becomes a felony. Statistics show about one-thousand people are convicted every year of felony marijuana possession, and about 40 percent are sent to prison. Critics say the prison sentences punish addicts without stemming drug use.