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Alabama Marijuana Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Last updated 11/11/2019

Marijuana, whether you spell it "marihuana," as Alabama law does, or call it cannabis, pot, weed, grass, ganja, Mary Jane, chronic, or anything else, is a common, yet controversial drug. Marijuana law is currently going through a great deal of change throughout the country, with more and more states legalizing recreational and/or medical marijuana use every year. 

Today, almost all forms of marijuana possession, sale, or trafficking in Alabama is illegal. The only legal form of marijuana in Alabama is CBD or cannabidiol, which is a compound in cannabis that has medical effects without the THC to get you high. 

The table below outlines Alabama’s main marijuana laws.

Code Sections Alabama Code Sections:
Possession

There are two degrees or levels of unlawful possession of marijuana in Alabama. First degree is possessing marijuana for something other than personal use (Class C felony) or for personal use after a previous conviction of unlawful possession of marijuana (Class D felony). These can get you between 1 and 10 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.


Possession of pot for personal use is only a Class A misdemeanor (the highest misdemeanor in Alabama). This is possession in the second degree. A Class A misdemeanor can be sentenced to not more than a year in jail and up to a $6,000 fine.

Sale Selling, delivering, or distributing marijuana and other drugs or controlled substances is illegal. The unlawful distribution of marijuana is a Class B felony subject to 2-10 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine.

Because Alabama wants to protect its children from drug sales, if you’re an adult over 18 and you sell marijuana to a child under 18, the penalty is increased to a Class A felony. Class A felonies are subject to 10-99 years or life imprisonment and up to a $60,000 fine. On top of that, selling marijuana within 3 miles of a public or private school or university can receive an additional penalty of 5 years in prison, during which you can’t receive probation.
Trafficking Trafficking in cannabis or selling, cultivating, or transporting any marijuana, hash, seeds, synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), etc. is illegal in Alabama. It’s a Class A felony, but the mandatory minimum sentences are based on the amount of marijuana trafficked:
  • For 1 kilo to 100 lbs. the minimum is 3 years and there’s a mandatory $25,000 fine
  • For 100-500 lbs. the minimum is 5 years and a $50,000 fine
  • For 500-1000 lbs. the minimum is 15 years and a $200,000 fine
  • For over 1000 lbs. the penalty is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole

In addition, under the Alabama Drug Trafficking Enterprise Act a person who manages at least 5 people and gets a substantial income from the marijuana trade faces higher fines and longer minimum sentences. For a first conviction, the mandatory minimum is 25 years in prison with a fine between $50,000 and $500,000. For a second conviction, the leader is facing life in prison without parole and a $150,000 to $1,000,000 fine. The sentences under this law cannot be less than what the defendant faces under the trafficking and habitual offender laws alone.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Get Help With Your Case From an Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing a marijuana-related criminal charge, you should consult with an experienced Alabama drug crimes attorney as soon as you can. The laws surrounding marijuana are constantly changing and you'll want to be sure you know any possible defenses that may be available to you. If you're facing charges, don't delay; call an Alabama drug crimes attorney today.

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