Alabama Activists Busted for Illegal Medical Grow

Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition executive director Chris Butts was arrested for trafficking on Dec. 28.

Several medicaal marijuana activists remain in an Alabama jail on $1 million bond after being arrested for cultivation in Cullman on Dec. 28.

Christopher Butts, president and executive director of Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMJC), was the main target of the raid, which took place at his house at Country Road 821. Tipped off that there was a juvenile living in the house, Cullman Country police arrived to make a "welfare check." A subsequent search by the Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team found glass jars containing marijuana and 30 pot plants growing in a nearby shed.

Butts and Sonja and Stephen Franks were charged with trafficking. A fourth person, Amber Nixon, was hit with an additional possession of a controlled substance charge for heroin. Her bond is $1.5 million. Stephen Franks bonded out on Dec. 28. The others are still in Cullman County Detention Center. A petition to "reduce excessive bond amounts for marijuana offenders" in Cullman County is currently posted at

"Here in Cullman, it's to kind of send the message that we don't want you trafficking in drugs in Cullman County and we don't want you manufacturing meth," says Sheriff Mike Rainey. "The magistrate set those bonds and they are within the bond schedule. It may sound high to some folks but as far as I know, trafficking in marijuana is still illegal in the state of Alabama."

At the AMMJC's Facebook page, one commenter posted, "Chris said his ex wife narced."

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.