State of Alabama


    Motto: Audemus jura nostra defendere (We dare defend our rights)
    Capital: Montgomery
    Largest City: Birmingham
    Population: 4,822,023 (rank of #23) [source: U.S. Census Bureau 1 July 2012 estimate]
    Electoral Votes: 9 [2010 Census]
    State flower: Camellia Camellia japonica
    State bird: Northern flicker Colaptes auratus

religious rights


    Alabama has a state version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as an amendment to the state constitution.

    Ala. Const. Art. I, §3.01 [source: National Conference of State Legislatures [external link]]

    The RFRA mandates courts use the following criteria when considering religious liberty cases:

  1. Strict scrutiny
  2. Religious liberty can only be limited for a compelling government interest
  3. If religious liberty is to be limited, it must be done in the least restrictive manner possible

Alabama state constitution

Article I, Section 3:

    That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.

AMENDMENT 622 RATIFIED: Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment.

AMENDMENT 622 RATIFIED: Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment.

    Enacted: November 3, 1998 (ratified in 1999)

    SECTION I. The amendment shall be known as and may be cited as the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment.

    SECTION II. The Legislature makes the following findings concerning religious freedom:

    (1) The framers of the United States Constitution, recognizing free exercise of religion as an unalienable right, secured its protection in the First Amendment to the Constitution, and the framers of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, also recognizing this right, secured the protection of religious freedom in Article I, Section 3.

    (2) Federal and state laws “neutral” toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise.

    (3) Governments should not burden religious exercise without compelling justification.

    (4) In Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), the United States Supreme Court virtually eliminated the requirement that the government justify burdens on religious exercise imposed by laws neutral toward religion.

    (5) The compelling interest test as set forth in prior court rulings is a workable test for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing governmental interests in areas ranging from public education (pedagogical interests and religious rights, including recognizing regulations necessary to alleviate interference with the educational process versus rights of religious freedom) to national defense (conscription and conscientious objection, including the need to raise an army versus rights to object to individual participation), and other areas of important mutual concern.

    (6) Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C., § 2000bb, to establish the compelling interest test set forth in prior federal court rulings, but in City of Boerne v. Flores, 117 S.Ct. 2157 (1997), the United States Supreme Court held the act unconstitutional stating that the right to regulate was retained by the states.

    SECTION III. The purpose of the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment is to guarantee that the freedom of religion is not burdened by state and local law; and to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious freedom is burdened by government.

    SECTION IV. As used in this amendment, the following words shall have the following meanings:

    (1) DEMONSTRATES. Meets the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.

    (2) FREEDOM OF RELIGION. The free exercise of religion under Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.

    (3) GOVERNMENT. Any branch, department, agency, instrumentality, and official (or other person acting under the color of law) of the State of Alabama, any political subdivision of a state, municipality, or other local government.

    (4) RULE. Any government statute, regulation, ordinance, administrative provision, ruling guideline, requirement, or any statement of law whatever.

    SECTION V. (a) Government shall not burden a person’s freedom of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b).

    (b) Government may burden a person’s freedom of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person:

    (1) Is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

    (2) Is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

    (c) A person whose religious freedom has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government.

    SECTION VI. (a) This amendment applies to all government rules and implementations thereof, whether statutory or otherwise, and whether adopted before or after the effective date of this amendment.

    (b) Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to authorize any government to burden any religious belief.

    (c) Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to affect, interpret, or in any way address those portions of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution permitting the free exercise of religion or prohibiting laws respecting the establishment of religion, or those provisions of Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, regarding the establishment of religion.

    SECTION VII. (a) This amendment shall be liberally construed to effectuate its remedial and deterrent purposes.

    (b) If any provision of this amendment or its application to any particular person or circumstance is held invalid, that provision or its application is severable and does not affect the validity of other provisions or applications of this amendment.

medical marijuana

    Medical Marijuana: Alabama allows medical CBD [source: NORML]


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    The courts have already ruled in multiple cases that a person who starts preparing a religious defense (including gathering certificates and other paperwork) after arrest loses all chance to use the late religious defense. It is essential that you prepare your defense before you are arrested. Adequate preparation may even prevent arrest.

    This website is concerned with religious matters and only obliquely discusses the law. I strongly recommend that medical marijuana ministers rely on a high quality lawyer.

    I (Milo) use my own religion as an example, because this is the religion I know well. I strongly urge people to get together with their lawyer and prepare a similar discussion for their own religion. Again, my religion is only an example.

    Good news: Many people over the years have successfully used Pr Ntr Kmt religious cannabis certificates. The author of this website has personally several times over more than a decade shown various police Pr Ntr Kmt documentation and the police have politely returned the religious cannabis. There are at least two Pr Ntr Kmt cannabis ministers who have been released after the police discovered several pounds of religious cannabis (although the police kept the cannabis). There are numerous real world successes.

    Reality: If the government decides it wants to “get you”, then your only chance is if you can afford a really, really good lawyer.

    The law is whatever the government decides the law is.

    The rights you heard about in grade school only apply if you can afford a great lawyer. Public defenders are under-budgeted and only want to process paperwork for plea bargains. They simply don’t have the time or money for trials.

    We don’t want to discourage anyone from worshiping with cannabis, but we do want to strongly warn everyone that you have a significant risk of long term imprisonment or worse, especially outside of major industrialized nations.

    Please act responsibly. Please hire a lawyer if you can possibly afford to do so.


    These web pages contain religious advice. These web pages are not professional legal or medical advice. Nothing on this website should be considered as a substitute or replacement for professional medical, health, or legal advice. All persons should seek the advice of qualified medical, health, or legal providers.

    If you spot an error in fact, grammar, syntax, or spelling, or a broken link, or have additional information, commentary, or constructive criticism, please contact Milo at PO Box 1361, Tustin, Calif, 92781, USA.

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Copyright © 2015 Milo.

Created: March 31, 2015

Last Updated: March 31, 2015

May Goddess Bast grant YOU love, peace, joy, bounty, and wisdom.