Alabama’s move toward medical marijuana has been slow and torturous. Unfortunately for chronic pain patients, the crackdown on “pill mills” has made a lot of doctors afraid to prescribe opioids — even when their patients desperately need them. That’s why a number of chronic pain patients have turned to marijuana use in the first place.

If you’re among them, you may have decided to take the “grow your own” approach to dealing with the situation. You may figure that you won’t get caught with just a couple plants, especially since you aren’t dealing to anyone.

Until a neighbor turns you in, or something else happens that prompts the police to come to your home. The next thing you know, you could be facing life in prison for “trafficking,” based solely on the weight of the plants in your home.

Alabama has some of the most draconian anti-marijuana laws in the nation. It takes only 2.2 pounds of marijuana for a prosecutor to level a trafficking charge at you, and trafficking is automatically considered a violent crime in Alabama — even when there’s no evidence that you actually sold the drug. If you have any prior felony convictions on your record, you could easily be designated a “habitual felony offender” and looking at a life sentence behind bars.

In a day and age when it seems like marijuana is everywhere and it’s legal for recreational use in some states, many people don’t realize just how serious it can be if they’re caught growing a plant or two for their own medicinal needs. The authorities will not treat you lightly. Get an experienced defense attorney by your side.