Alabama: Marijuana Debate Ignited By Activist Arrests


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The arrest of prominent activist Chris Butts has ignited a debate in Alabama over legalizing medical marijuana.

Butts and three other people -- Sonja Franks, Stephen Franks, and Amber Nixon -- face felony trafficking charges after deputies raided their residence in Cullman County. Sheriff Mike Rainey claimed deputies responded to a child welfare call, then smelled marijuana at the door.

A reader poll conducted on the website (still active at the time this story was written) indicates overwhelming support from readers for legalizing medical marijuana.

Only about 3 percent of respondents to the online poll voted "No, it should stay illegal," with the remaining 97 percent split between "Yes, but regulate and tax it" (50 percent), "Yes, there's no reason the government should have anything to do with this" (41 percent), and "Yes, but only for medical uses by prescription" (6 percent).

Alabama: Child Welfare Check Leads To Arrest Of Medical Marijuana Activists


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A so-called "child welfare check" led to the arrest of a prominent Alabama medical marijuana activist after deputies discovered a cannabis growing operation in Cullman County.

The call to the Cullman County Sheriff's Office for a child welfare check resulted in the arrest of Chris Butts, 42, his girlfriend Sonja Franks, 46, Stephen Franks, 22, and Amber Nixon, 22, after deputies claimed they smelled marijuana when Butts answered the door, reports CullmanSense.

Chris Butts serves as the executive director of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMJC), a group focused on changing Alabama laws concerning medical marijuana.

The call to the sheriff's office came from his ex-wife DJ Butts, Chris Butts claimed in a Saturday Facebook status update apparently made from the back of a police cruiser. "Was just raided," Butts posted Saturday afternoon, reports Toke Signals. "I'm in the back of a transport right now [...] DJ set me up. If you are friends with her you should watch out."

Alabama: Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed In House

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When I was growing up in rural Alabama in the 1960s, my Mom was fond of saying, "Can't never could, but 'try' caught a rabbit." What Mom was trying to convey is that you miss every shot you don't take, and that there's no substitute for effort towards reaching a long-sought goal.

Evidently my Mom wasn't the only one in the Heart of Dixie who taught her kids to be determined, because my friends Ron Crumpton and Chris Butts of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMJC) never say "can't," and these men never tire -- they just keep trying.

The latest effort to reform the marijuana laws there has been introduced by Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) in the Alabama House in the form of House Bill 550, The Alabama Marijuana and Hemp Reform Act of 2013.

House Bill 550 would allow adults 21 or older to use or possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and to grow up to 12 mature cannabis plants in an enclosed, locked space. Adults would be allowed to share -- but not sell -- marijuana with other adults.

The Alabama Department of Revenue would regulate the cultivation, processing, packaging, testing, transportation, display, and sale of marijuana and related accessories. Marijuana sales would be prohibited except by licensed, regulated cannabis stores.

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