Marijuana bill passes senate committee but faces uphill climb to passage

Marijuana bill passes senate committee but faces uphill climb to passage

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Two bills which would lessen the penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana were in committee Wednesday.

The House version was killed in committee, the Senate version, sponsored by Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, passed.

Both bills would make possession of marijuana under an ounce punishable by a fine, not with a criminal charge which will stay on someone's record. For The first two offenses, the fine would be $250, moving up to $500 for the third offense.

Brewbaker owns multiple car dealerships in Montgomery and employs 109 people. Brewbaker said he has seen people looking for jobs with criminal records because of a possession they had when they were in college.

Brewbaker said the original intent of the marijuana crackdown was to not give felonies and criminal records to college kids.

Sen. Phil Williams is opposed to the bill and said he will filibuster the bill if it goes to the Senate floor. He said the bill can start a slippery slope for drug addiction and potentially encourage the penalties. Williams said he worked with addicts and that all of them started with marijuana. 
 
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