Mobile, Ala. Middle School Teacher Arrested for Small Amount of Marijuana, ‘No Big Deal’ Say Residents

Posted on January 5, 2012

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In Mobile, Ala., a  Causey Middle School science teacher who has been teaching there for 12 years was arrested on second degree marijuana and drug paraphernalia charges and reactions from local residents have been mixed.

According to the Press-Register, Gordon Paul Sanders, 56, of Wilmer, was arrested by Alabama state troopers on Tuesday night and released a few hours later on a bail set for $1500.

Fox-10 says the arrest happened like this:

Sgt. Greg Eubanks with the Alabama Department of Public Safety said troopers stopped Sanders at a driver’s license check point on Howell’s Ferry and Wilmer roads when a trooper smelled marijuana in his car.

Sanders was booked into Metro jail on January 3.

“He rolls through and upon a trooper talking to him, he smelled marijuana. The troopers began to talk to him. And they got consent to search his vehicle,” Eubanks said. “They found paraphenernlia and found small bag of pot in vehicle.”

Sanders has been with Causey for 10 years, teaching 7th and 8th grade science, as well as coaching football. Fox-10 also says that this is Sanders’ first arrest.

According to Steven Eversole of Eversole LLC, a criminal defense firm in Birmingham: “In the State of Alabama, possession of marijuana for personal use only (second-degree marijuana possession) is a Class A misdemeanor carrying up to a year in prison.”

Many of the comments of Fox-10’s Facebook page regarding the arrest were sympathetic to Sanders.

“We got teachers down here worthy of To Catch a Predator and you embarrass this man over marijuana? Shame on Fox News,” said Scott ZS Johnson.

“just legalize marijauna for cryin out loud. another ruined life over a plant. I’d rather a fella go have a toke than a 12 pack,” said Denise Marie.

However, others admonished Sanders for being in the position of a role model and breaking the law, regardless of whether or not marijuana should be legalized.

“We teach our children to follow the rules or face the consequences. So what kind of signals are we sending them by paying this teacher for breaking the rules!??” said Cindi Fiala Taylor.

Several comments indicated Sanders is a popular teacher, jokingly suggesting that pot might be a reason.

“Hahahaha he was awesome! My favorite teacher when I went to Causey. No wonder he was such an awesome dude,” said Katherine Deignan.

Sanders is currently on paid administrative leave and has a court date set for Feb. 8.

 

 

 

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Posted in: Alabama, Crime, Drug War