Alabama’s drug laws are some of the toughest in the nation but some have slipped through the cracks. Some of the cracks are man-made and intentional like ‘family drug courts’ and the grants that come along with creating money making bureaucracies that seek not to heal punish the person but to receive federal matching funds. One of those laws is Alabama Code- Section 26-15-3.2: Chemical Endangerment of Exposing a Child to an Environment in Which Controlled Substances are Produced or Distributed. This is more commonly known as Alabama’s chemical endangerment law. What most people don’t know is that the law was initially created to fight the growing meth problem in parts of Alabama.
The chemical exposure law makes it a Class C felony when a person “Knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally causes or permits a child to be exposed to, to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphemalia.” As such, it carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. If the child is harmed, the charge can escalate to a higher level felony and carry even more prison time upon conviction. There’s instances when children are born or shortly thereafter develop problems like asthma although no asthma is in the immediate family but DHR (Department of Human Resources) failed to escalate to higher level felony that carried even more prison time upon the conviction. Child endangerment laws are designed to punish behavior that might lead to a child becoming harmed, but they do not require that children actually suffer an injury or physical harm.