While the Alabama Senate race has dominated headlines this week, one other outstanding politician has managed to fly beneath the radar in his try and decriminalize petty possession of hashish within the state.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Demands Reform
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has requested that state legislators discover an alternate technique of coping with residents caught with small quantities of hashish aside from merely arresting them.
“We need to deal with this in a different pattern besides throwing somebody in jail,” Maddox stated throughout final Thursday’s Tuscaloosa City Council’s Legislative Breakfast. “We’ve got this incredible pressure created from decisions in Montgomery. We’re now having to triage the most important aspects in terms of creating public safety in the community.”
According to Maddox, the reform is just not meant to push legalization of weed within the state, however slightly, release police time and stop jail overcrowding.
“We don’t need to be tying officers up on this,” Maddox stated.
As a possible answer, Maddox recommended ticketing individuals for minor pot offenses and have their instances undergo municipal or circuit courtroom, versus treating them like felony instances.
Two Sides of the Spectrum: Alabama Mayor Asks State Legislators For Marijuana Reform
Bobby Singelton, a Democratic Alabama State Senator, supported Maddox’s plan for marijuana decriminalization.
“I’ve always been a big proponent of decriminalizing marijuana. I think that we just have so many people sitting in our jails for a small amount of marijuana,” Singleton stated. “Where you have many states that are making it legal now, we have to look at that in the state of Alabama in terms of our overcrowdedness—I think we could see a big reduction—and I think this is a great step toward the city of Tuscaloosa looking at the seriousness of this crime but also allowing people who have just committed some minor incident to themselves by smoking a small amount of marijuana not to be filling our jails up.”
Rep. Chris England additionally agreed with the notion and defined that a change in coverage might result in police saving a minimum of 45 minutes upon each encounter
“It’s a public safety issue,” England famous. “It’s more efficient and it actually keeps people out of jail who probably shouldn’t be there, anyway.”
But regardless of some help from a few of his colleagues, not each politician on the breakfast shared Maddox’s stance relating to decriminalization.
Rep. Bill Poole, remained lukewarm on the notion and talked about it will develop into a considerably arduous course of to vary the principles, and almost definitely require a state-wide rule change in the beginning.
“I haven’t seen anything like that in the legislature. I think it would have a long way to go,” Poole stated.“I think there’s a lot of analysis that would have to go into a proposal like that, and lot of public input. You’d have to really put it out there and have a public discussion on an issue like that.”