If You Want Police Reform, Legalize Marijuana Posted by on June 21, 2020 at 05:56:28 PT By Brendan Bures, The Fresh Toast Source: Chicago Tribune USA -- National leaders and lawmakers have held ongoing conversations around criminal justice reform and racial injustices following George Floyd’s death by Minneapolis police. According to Sen. Bernie Sanders, one obvious place to start is legalizing marijuana.
Sanders gave a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, discussing several solutions to address police violence in the country. He proposed abolishing qualified immunity and establishing a "civilian" core of unarmed first responders. But legalizing marijuana is a key pillar to police reform, Sanders added, especially amid other issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Read More... Some Pa. Republicans Want To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on May 21, 2020 at 20:41:36 PT By Sam Wood Source: Philadelphia Inquirer Pennsylvania -- There’s a gaping budget hole caused by an economy in tatters. There’s growing voter support and some assurance that the issue is no longer political poison. And there are tax windfalls, potentially huge revenues to be gleaned, if a bill can win bipartisan support in Harrisburg.
For those reasons, some Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are coming around — if slowly — to the idea of legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use. Read More... States Turn To Unenforced Federal Law Posted by on March 04, 2020 at 11:05:39 PT By Emily Kopp Source: Roll Call Washington, D.C. -- Since 2014, Congress has protected patients and cannabis programs from federal marijuana prosecutions in states that allow it for medical use.
Medical marijuana’s unique legal status involves a little-known provision called the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment that Congress renews every year in spending laws. It says the Justice Department cannot use federal funds to prevent states from implementing their own medical marijuana laws. Read More... Governors Across U.S. Step Up Push To Legalize Posted by on February 11, 2020 at 13:34:40 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- State legislatures across the U.S. have convened for new sessions over the past month, and a growing number of governors are taking steps to push lawmakers to include legalizing marijuana as part of their 2020 agendas. At least 10 governors have gone so far as to put language ending marijuana prohibition in their annual budget requests, or used their State of the State speeches to pressure legislators to act on cannabis reform.
Some are proactively addressing the issue, while others appear to be mostly reacting to support that has already built up among lawmakers. But altogether, it’s clear that top state executives are now taking marijuana more seriously than ever before. Read More... Sanders Pledges Legal Marijuana In All 50 States Posted by on February 02, 2020 at 06:33:48 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- With just two days to go before the Iowa caucus, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is pledging to immediately legalize marijuana in all 50 states if he is elected to the White House.
“We will end the destructive war on drugs,” the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said at rally in Cedar Rapids. “On my first day in office through executive order we will legalize marijuana in every state in this country.” Sanders emphasized it would be important for his administration to end cannabis prohibition in a way that helps communities harmed by the drug war’s enforcement. Read More... New Mexico Governor Calls For MJ Legalization Posted by on January 16, 2020 at 17:07:15 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Mexico -- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said in the 2020 agenda she sent to lawmakers on Wednesday that she wants the legislature to enact a bill “legalizing the use of recreational cannabis in New Mexico and establishing a regulatory framework for its use, including public safety considerations, public health safeguards, and the protection of the state’s existing medical cannabis program.”
If lawmakers send such a bill to her desk, New Mexico will almost certainly be the next state in the U.S. to end cannabis prohibition, as the legislature there is meeting for a short 30-day session that begins on January 21. Read More... Marijuana Bills Congress Will Debate This Week Posted by on January 16, 2020 at 16:58:54 PT By Jon Blistein Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing centered around six pieces of marijuana legislation, including two bills that would legalize marijuana on a federal level.
A briefing memo for the hearing, obtained by Marijuana Moment last week, offers a breakdown of the six bills up for debate. At the top of the list is the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which passed the House Judiciary Committee last fall and became the first marijuana legalization bill to be approved by a Congressional committee. The other legalization bill up for debate is the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, while the final four bills deal with cannabis research, medical marijuana, and access to medical marijuana for veterans. Read More... Lawmakers Press Trump To Change Federal MJ Law Posted by on January 16, 2020 at 16:48:46 PT By Nathaniel Weixel Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- House lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with restrictions on federal marijuana research and are putting pressure on regulators to change the rules. While 33 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, federal research is extremely restricted.
During a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing Wednesday, bipartisan lawmakers pressed officials from the Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse about obstacles to studying the safety and effectiveness of cannabis products, including hemp-based cannabidiol. Read More... Cuomo Pledges To Legalize Marijuana in New York Posted by on January 09, 2020 at 05:45:53 PT By Rebecca Klar Source: Hill New York State -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) during his Wednesday night State of the State address pledged to legalize marijuana in New York by the end of this year.
Cuomo had said legalization was a priority in his agenda in 2019, but a push for legalization failed to pass in the state legislature before the end of the legislative session. “For decades, communities of color were disproportionately affected by the unequal enforcement of marijuana laws,” Cuomo said in his address, according to The New York Times. “Let’s legalize adult use of marijuana.” Read More... States That Could Legalize Marijuana Sales in 2020 Posted by CN Staff on January 01, 2020 at 12:02:10 PT By Claire Hansen, Staff Writer Source: U.S. News & World Report USA -- This year saw a number of firsts for marijuana reform at both the state and federal level: Illinois became the first state legislature to legalize the sale and possession of cannabis, a marijuana banking bill passed the Democratic-controlled House in a historic vote and a broad reform bill cleared a House committee for the first time.
But legalization bills also failed in several states as lawmakers squabbled over the moral and practical implications of legalization and the details of lifting restrictions on possession and sales. Read More... America’s Marijuana Growers are The Best Posted by on December 27, 2019 at 14:48:20 PT By Markian Hawryluk Source: Washington Post Denver -- In a large warehouse, LivWell Enlightened Health feeds its cloned cannabis plants a custom blend of nutrients, sprays them with filtered water and pumps extra carbon dioxide into the air, and releases three types of insects to clear unwanted pests without the use of toxic pesticides.
Every part of the growing process is meticulously documented and evaluated to refine the process. Read More... Congress Silently Killed Several Cannabis Reforms Posted by on December 25, 2019 at 11:06:56 PT By Blake Dodge Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- The House of Representatives attempted to pass cannabis reforms this month by attaching riders to spending legislation for fiscal 2020—only to see them get summarily shut down in the Senate.
The riders would have prevented the federal government from interfering with legal cannabis companies and eased their access to U.S. banking services, among other things the industry has said it needs to function properly. Read More... Federal Marijuana Legalization Is A Lock Posted by on December 11, 2019 at 14:31:32 PT By Mike Adams, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- If you listen carefully, you will hear the sound of a crooked foundation known as marijuana prohibition starting to crumble in the United States. It has been more than eight decades since the federal government outlawed the cannabis plant nationwide, and yet, here we are finally standing on its lawn with torches in hand waiting for a day of reckoning.
Because no matter how much the suits on the Hill have schemed to enslave a population through backasswards drug laws, the nation has risen up in true knock-down-drag-out fashion and fought for its freedom back. Admittedly, this battle for legal bud took a lot longer than it should have, but considering that everyone in the trenches was stoned beyond belief, the marijuana movement seems to be arriving right on time. Read More... Hemp or Pot Farm? Can’t Always Tell Posted by on December 05, 2019 at 14:42:59 PT By Sarah Maslin Nir Source: New York Times Salem, N.Y. -- She planted her spring crops at the family farm, following the same steps as her ancestors did as they farmed the land for seven generations. She tilled the soil, sowed the seeds, irrigated the earth and waited for the bushy green hemp plants to sprout.
Then Iris Rogers did something her farmer forebears never had to do: She put up warning signs. “Not marijuana,” it reads. “Will not get you high.” Read More... Marijuana Legalization Vote Was Truly Historic Posted by on November 23, 2019 at 09:26:25 PT By Justin Strekal Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- On Wednesday, members of Congress did something that they had never done before. For the first time ever, a body of the U.S. Congress voted to end cannabis’s nearly century-long status as a federally prohibited substance.
By a vote of more than two to one, members of the United States House Judiciary Committee passed legislation, House Bill 3884: The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act. Read More... Monumental Day for Cannabis in U.S. Congress Posted by on November 20, 2019 at 19:21:51 PT By Sam Wood Source: Philadelphia Inquirer Washington, D.C. -- As impeachment hearings transpired across the hall in the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee, by a vote of 24-10, advanced a bill that could make use of marijuana legal.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Opportunity (MORE) Act of 2019, which has bipartisan support and 55 cosponsors, would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, which means the federal government treats it as if it were as dangerous as heroin or LSD and has no medical benefit. Read More... House Judiciary Committee Approves Legalization Posted by on November 20, 2019 at 16:15:13 PT By Marty Johnson Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill Wednesday that would effectively make marijuana legal. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019 passed by a count of 24-10.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the committee, introduced the bill and has gathered more than 50 co-sponsors of the bill in the House. “Today’s vote marks a turning point for federal cannabis policy, and is truly a sign that prohibition’s days are numbered,” Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said in a press release. Read More... Only 8 Percent Say Marijuana Should Be Illegal Posted by on November 15, 2019 at 06:13:48 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Most Americans — 2 out of 3 — say marijuana use should be legal, according to new data from Pew Research Center that builds on a decades-long trend line. The share of those opposed, meanwhile, has plunged 20 percentage points, to 32 percent, in the past decade.
Legalization is supported by 78 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans. It has roughly two-thirds support among every racial, gender and educational group in the U.S., according to the survey. Read More... Marijuana and Vaping Posted by on October 21, 2019 at 05:59:07 PT By Matt Richtel Source: New York Times San Francisco -- For years, a divisive debate has raged in the United States over the health consequences of nicotine e-cigarettes. During the same time, vaping of a more contentious substance has been swiftly growing, with scant notice from public health officials.
Millions of people now inhale marijuana not from joints or pipes filled with burning leaves but through sleek devices and cartridges filled with flavored cannabis oils. People in the legalized marijuana industry say vaping products now account for 30 percent or more of their business. Read More... On-Site Smoking of Marijuana One Step Closer Posted by on October 14, 2019 at 15:45:08 PT By Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News Source: Anchorage Daily News Alaska -- Pro- and anti-marijuana groups have six months to pitch voters on whether Anchorage should take the next step in the legal marijuana world and allow people to smoke pot in retail locations around town.
That comes after the Anchorage Assembly voted 7-4 Tuesday night to send the question to voters. The decision followed months of deliberation on how to handle the idea. The question will be on the April 7 city election ballot. Read More... Legalizing MJ Would Make Pennsylvania More Just Posted by on October 06, 2019 at 13:37:32 PT By The Inquirer Editorial Board Source: Philadelphia Inquirer Pennsylvania -- After running for 2018 reelection without a clear position on marijuana, Gov. Tom Wolf came out in support of legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana last month. The announcement followed Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s listening tour through every county in the state, where he found a majority of residents supporting legalization.
We agree with those residents, and with the governor. Legalizing recreational marijuana could bring economic activity, improve public health, and make Pennsylvania a more just commonwealth. Read More... VA Under Pressure To Ease Medical Marijuana Rules Posted by on September 24, 2019 at 16:16:03 PT By Nathaniel Weixel Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is under pressure to ease restrictions on veterans’ access to medical marijuana to help treat pain and other ailments. Veterans advocacy groups want to know if marijuana can treat chronic pain, as well as help address widespread suicides among veteran communities.
While 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, veterans are finding themselves fighting stigma and roadblocks from the federal government’s drug laws. Read More... Officers Said They Smelled Pot Posted by on September 13, 2019 at 05:50:48 PT By Joseph Goldstein Source: New York Times New York -- Police officers can often justify a search with six words: “I smelled an odor of marijuana.”
Courts in New York have long ruled if a car smells like marijuana smoke, the police can search it — and, according to some judges, even the occupants — without a warrant. But in late July, a judge in the Bronx said in a scathing opinion that officers claim to smell marijuana so often that it strains credulity, and she called on judges across the state to stop letting police officers get away with lying about it. Read More... DEA Wants 3.2 Million Grams Of Marijuana Grown Posted by on September 12, 2019 at 05:27:07 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) wants 3,200,000 grams of marijuana to be legally grown in the U.S. next year, the agency announced in a notice set to be published on Thursday. The more than 7,000 pounds of cannabis will be used in scientific studies investigating the effects of the plant.
The proposal is part of DEA's annual quota for the manufacture of controlled substances "to provide for the estimated medical, scientific, research, and industrial needs of the United States, lawful export requirements, and the establishment and maintenance of reserve stocks." Read More... DEA Responds To Medical Marijuana Research Posted by on September 03, 2019 at 06:41:59 PT By Sara Brittany Somerset, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- Last week, the federal government announced it would begin processing dozens of pending applications for the “steps necessary to improve access to marijuana research.” The announcement came two days prior to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s court-mandated response to a lawsuit brought by a cannabis researcher.
The petitioner, Dr. Sue Sisley, heads the Scottsdale Research Institute in Arizona. Dr. Sisley is seemingly frustrated by the University of Mississippi, inexplicably having the monopoly on federally-approved medical cannabis for research purposes. She believes the cannabis “Ole Miss” disseminates to other researchers is low-quality, which could detrimentally impact their research. Read More... Do We Really Want a Microsoft of Marijuana? Posted by on August 31, 2019 at 16:25:33 PT By Christopher Caldwell Source: New York Times USA -- The legalization of marijuana as a medicine in 33 states, 11 of which allow its use as a recreational drug, has made weed a dynamic American industry, among the economy’s fastest-growing sources of new jobs. California alone, with $3.1 billion in projected marijuana sales for this year, has a legal market as large as that of any country on the planet.
Entrepreneurs grumble nonetheless. Not since Ronald Reagan ran for president have American newspapers been so full of anecdotes about heroic jobs-creating businessmen stymied by regulation. Read More... Marijuana Convictions to Be Erased in New York Posted by on August 29, 2019 at 05:36:06 PT By Azi Paybarah Source: New York Times New York -- Even as states across the country have legalized marijuana, potentially opening the door to a multibillion dollar industry, the impact of marijuana criminalization is still being felt by people — mostly black and Hispanic — whose records are marked by low-level convictions related to the drug.
But on Wednesday, New York began the process of expunging many of those records, as part of a new state law to reduce penalties associated with marijuana-related crimes, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo confirmed. Read More... Why Marijuana Could Be Legal in Florida Soon Posted by on August 19, 2019 at 07:42:18 PT By Xander Peters Source: Rolling Stone Florida -- For years, the possibility of legalizing recreational adult-use marijuana in Florida was little more than an afterthought — but in recently, momentum’s picked up. In 2016, Florida voters approved an initiative that legalized medical cannabis, only for state lawmakers to subsequently ban smokeable forms until earlier this year. Now, legal recreational marijuana in Florida may be a reality as soon as 2020. Read More... Chairman Sends Marijuana Email To NORML Posted by on August 13, 2019 at 08:33:25 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who last month filed legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and begin repairing the harms of prohibition enforcement, asked the advocacy group's supporters to write their own members of Congress in support of his bill, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act.
"America has a moral responsibility to pass my legislation to end the prohibition of marijuana and take on the oppression at the heart of the War on Drugs," Nadler wrote. "I’m proud to work with NORML to create a more just national marijuana policy." Read More... The Most Marijuana-Friendly Congress In History Posted by on August 01, 2019 at 13:30:14 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- Seven months into the session, there have already been seven hearings on cannabis, a marijuana banking bill passed a key committee and the full House adopted a far-reaching amendment to block federal interference in state legalization laws. And those are just the highlights. "Congress has never moved this far, this fast on marijuana policy, period," NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said in an interview.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who has worked for decades to end marijuana prohibition, said that those "long overdue efforts to reform our outdated cannabis laws are finally resonating in Congress." Read More...
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