Mobile City Ordinance Proposed to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

May 16, 2017

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson (4th from L) and the Mobile City Council

A new proposal from the Mobile mayor's office would decriminalize several minor offenses, including the possession of marijuana for personal use.

Local news outlets report Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson's proposed ordinance will be introduced at today’s city council meeting. Under the code change, police would issue an Alabama Uniform Non-Traffic Citation and Complaint in the event of such an offense, which typically carries a $100 fine and court costs.

City Attorney Ricardo Woods says the plan's primary goal is increased public safety and the change is primarily procedural. The municipal code currently requires police to make custodial arrests for minor offenses, straining police resources and limiting presence. Woods says officers would still have the discretion to make arrests in the interest of public safety.

Stimpson's director of communications George Talbot says the measure would not make public use of marijuana acceptable in Mobile.