Alabama May Toughen Drug Penalties

If the Alabama House of Representatives has its way, Alabamians carrying more than eight grams of an illegal drug would face tougher penalties. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Blaine Gallaher, says the proposal is aimed at targeting street-level drug dealers who sell in small amounts.

The state House passed a measure on April 5, 2012, that would make it a Class B felony to carry more than eight grams of a substance such as cocaine or heroin. The crime would be punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If passed by the Senate and signed into law, this would represent a substantial change in the potential penalty for defendants carrying small amounts of drugs. For example, currently, less than 28 grams of cocaine is considered to be possession of a controlled substance and is a Class C felony.

(Source: The Anniston Star,  April 6, 2012)