State Lawmakers Turn Attention To Marijuana Posted by on February 11, 2019 at 20:08:59 PT By Rebecca Anzel and Peter Hancock, Capitol News Source: Chicago Sun-Times Springfield -- Attention at the Statehouse is expected to begin focusing on one of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top priorities — legalizing recreational marijuana — with the deadline for lawmakers to introduce new bills on Friday. Two key Chicago Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, have met with interested groups around Illinois and are expected to introduce legislation soon.
Meanwhile, though, Rep. Carol Ammons, a Democrat from Urbana, has already introduced a bill that is drawing attention. It would open the door to a much more expansive legal pot industry than most others have envisioned. Read More... Dem Senator Introduces S. 420 Bill Posted by on February 08, 2019 at 17:54:46 PT By Aris Folley Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Friday introduced legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, designating the measure S. 420 in a nod to cannabis culture.
The bill, known as the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, would “responsibly legalize, tax and regulate marijuana at the federal level,” according to the Democratic side of the Senate Finance Committee, where Wyden is the ranking member. Read More... Congress Taking First Step to Get MJ Bank Accounts Posted by on February 07, 2019 at 06:09:13 PT By Amelia McDonell-Parry Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- For the first time since 2011, the Democrats have the majority in the House of Representatives, and it appears that reforming federal marijuana laws is one of their highest priorities. While 33 states so far have legalized medical and/or recreational use, cannabis remains federally prohibited, further complicating the implementation and regulation of the nation’s growing legal marijuana industry. On Wednesday, Congressional Democrats announced a scheduled hearing focused on the challenges legal marijuana businesses face in obtaining bank accounts because many financial insitutitions fear they’ll be found in violation of federal money laundering and drug laws. Read More... First Marijuana Hearing Of The New Congress Posted by on February 06, 2019 at 19:07:01 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- Congressional Democrats are already moving ahead with plans to consider broad changes to federal marijuana laws in 2019.
Whereas the Republican-controlled House for the past several years had blocked votes on most cannabis-related measures, the chamber's new Democratic majority on Wednesday announced it has scheduled a hearing for next week to examine the difficulties that marijuana businesses face in opening and maintaining bank accounts. Read More... AG Pick Puts MJ Enforcement Pledge In Writing Posted by on January 28, 2019 at 15:20:44 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- William Barr, President Trump's nominee to serve as the next U.S. attorney general, made headlines earlier this month when he pledged during his Senate confirmation hearing not to "go after" marijuana companies that comply with state laws.
Now, in response to written questions from senators, Barr is putting that pledge on paper, in black and white. He's also calling for the approval of more legal growers of marijuana for research, and is acknowledging that a recent bill legalizing hemp has broad implications for sale of cannabis products. Read More... Pot Website Offers Free MMJ to Government Workers Posted by on January 23, 2019 at 07:58:45 PT By Judy Kurtz Source: Hill California -- Another business is joining those aiming to ease the pain of the partial government shutdown for federal workers — a marijuana marketplace says it’s giving away free weed.
BudTrader.com, which describes itself as the “largest online cannabis marketplace” and has been dubbed the "Craigslist of weed," will offer free medical marijuana to government workers who can’t pay because of the shutdown. Read More... Legalized Marijuana: A Green New Deal Posted by on January 16, 2019 at 15:58:55 PT By Vivian Wang and Jesse McKinley Source: New York Times Albany, New York -- With a Democrat-controlled State Legislature and the bold promises of an election year behind him, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday laid out a sweeping agenda for the coming year, including legalizing marijuana, establishing congestion pricing in New York City and embracing a popular environmental platform known as the Green New Deal.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, won a third term in November by running on an aggressively progressive platform that promised to make New York a leader among liberal states. And his new agenda, which he unveiled in his ninth State of the State address, seemed crafted with other Democrat-dominated states in mind. Read More... Barr Supports Federal Marijuana Prohibition Posted by on January 16, 2019 at 05:49:41 PT By Alexandra Hutzler Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee William Barr appears to have a similar stance on marijuana as his predecessor Jeff Sessions, telling lawmakers on Tuesday that he would support federal prohibition of the drug across the United States.
Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would support prohibiting marijuana “everywhere” but also said that, if confirmed, his approach would be “not to upset settled expectations” in states that have already legalized weed for medical or adult use. Read More... Aboard The Canna Crawl Bus Posted by on January 15, 2019 at 05:46:50 PT By Hallie Miller Source: Washington Post Maryland -- For the first time in five years, Joppa, Md., resident Brandon Bevins feels good. There’s still some pain, but after being diagnosed with bladder cancer at 31, he feels like he’s turning a promising corner. And he owes it all to the medicinal cannabis community, he said.
“When you get sick, man, it really beats you down,” the former nightclub promoter said. “We take care of each other.” On a recent Tuesday, Bevins boarded a bus leaving from Towson to embark on a “canna crawl” with about 20 other Marylanders who have found long-awaited relief with medicinal marijuana. Read More... HR 420 Would Treat Marijuana Like Alcohol Posted by on January 10, 2019 at 09:36:00 PT By Owen Daugherty Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced a bill this week that would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and numbered it “H.R. 420” in a nod to cannabis culture. The bill introduced Wednesday, dubbed the “Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act” calls for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive to be in charge of regulating the drug.
"While the bill number may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, the issue is very serious," Blumenauer told the Willamette Weekly. "Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives. Read More... High Time For Marijuana Reclassification Posted by on January 07, 2019 at 06:53:17 PT By Nicole Fisher, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- At the close of 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a bold move, and called on the federal government to rethink marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I substance. While the Surgeon General did not go so far as to condone legalization for recreational use, he did say that medically, marijuana should be studied like any other pain relief drug and that both health and criminal justice policies need to be re-examined as they pertain to cannabis drug classification. Read More... Governor To Pardon Misdemeanor MJ Convictions Posted by on January 04, 2019 at 19:11:15 PT By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman Source: Huffington Post Washington State -- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) offered on Friday to pardon potentially thousands of people who have a misdemeanor marijuana possession conviction in his state, where weed has long been legal.
Inslee’s new “Marijuana Justice Initiative” will provide pardons on an individual basis to adults who have a single misdemeanor conviction for marijuana possession on an otherwise clean record. He announced the plan at an annual event for The Cannabis Alliance, a group that promotes the cannabis industry. Read More... Marijuana Legalization 2019 Posted by on January 01, 2019 at 20:15:44 PT By Alexandra Hutzler Source: Newsweek USA -- Following a year of huge advancements in marijuana policy reform, experts predict that 2019 would be a “real game-changer” in terms of the conversation surrounding cannabis legalization at both the state and federal level.
“In 2019, I think that we can expect to see more of the same type of change, but maybe at a more rapid pace,” Jolene Forman, senior staff attorney at the Drug Policy Alliance, told Newsweek. Read More... One Year of Legal Pot Sales Posted by on December 28, 2018 at 17:08:33 PT By Patrick McGreevy Source: Los Angeles Times California -- When Californians voted in 2016 to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, advocates of the move envisioned thousands of pot shops and cannabis farms obtaining state licenses, making the drug easily available to all adults within a short drive.
But as the first year of licensed sales comes to a close, California’s legal market hasn’t performed as state officials and the cannabis industry had hoped. Retailers and growers say they’ve been stunted by complex regulations, high taxes and decisions by most cities to ban cannabis shops. At the same time, many residents are going to city halls and courts to fight pot businesses they see as nuisances, and police chiefs are raising concerns about crime triggered by the marijuana trade. Read More... Live Free or Die, But Don’t Touch That Plant Posted by on December 28, 2018 at 16:56:26 PT By Naomi Martin, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe New Hampshire -- Live free or die. Unless, that is, your idea of freedom involves marijuana.
New Hampshire’s libertarian streak has long been a source of pride for residents, but for cannabis users, that self-image isn’t living up to reality. With pot legalization sweeping through New England, New Hampshire is now an island of prohibition. “The only thing libertarian about our state is the motto,” said Greg Raymond, 30, a ski resort server in Whitefield. “Now it’s become an embarrassing motto: ‘Live free or die, but don’t touch that plant.’ ” Read More... Mayor Backs Legal Marijuana, With Caveats Posted by on December 20, 2018 at 10:03:10 PT By J. David Goodman Source: New York Times New York -- No smoking marijuana in public. An age limit of 21. An option for home delivery. And what about all those prior convictions for marijuana-related offenses? Automatically expunged. Those were some of the recommendations made in a 77-page report from New York City officials for how to approach the legalization of recreational marijuana use, an eventuality that Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged earlier this year even as he stopped short of endorsing the move.
Now, three days after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared marijuana legalization a key part of his agenda for the state in 2019, Mr. de Blasio endorsed legalization for the first time — with caveats. Read More... Cuomo to Push Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Posted by on December 17, 2018 at 10:05:02 PT By Vivian Wang Source: New York Times New York -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he would push to legalize recreational marijuana next year, a move that could bring in more than $1.7 billion in sales annually and put New York in line with several neighboring states.
The highly anticipated proposal came in a speech Mr. Cuomo gave in Manhattan on Monday, in which he outlined his agenda for the first 100 days of his third term. Read More... Chicago Mayor Wants MJ Revenue To Fund Pensions Posted by on December 13, 2018 at 06:12:20 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Chicago -- "Illinois legislators will be taking a serious look next year at legalizing recreational marijuana," Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said in a speech to the City Council. "Should they follow that course, a portion of that revenue could go toward strengthening our pension funds and securing the retirement of the workers who depend on them."
The comments stop short of the outright endorsement of legalization previewed by the Chicago Tribune, which reported in a Tuesday article that Emanuel would "call for state lawmakers to legalize marijuana." Read More... Older Americans Are Flocking to Medical Marijuana Posted by on December 07, 2018 at 17:41:24 PT By Paula Span Source: New York Times USA -- Shari Horne broke her toes a decade ago, and after surgery, “I have plates and pins and screws in my feet, and they get achy at times,” she said. So Ms. Horne, 66, applies a salve containing cannabidiol, derived from the cannabis, or marijuana, plant. It eases the pain.
The salve didn’t help when she developed bursitis in her shoulder, but a tincture of cannabidiol mixed with T.H.C., the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, provided relief. Read More... Michigan First Midwest State To Allow Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on December 03, 2018 at 06:06:15 PT By Ed White, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Detroit -- Michigan clears a threshold this week as the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than just medical purposes.
In the Nov. 6 election, voters by a wide margin endorsed recreational use by adults who are at least 21. The move comes 10 years after voters approved marijuana to alleviate the effects of certain illnesses. Many supporters believe that decadelong experience, as well as similar legalization efforts in other states, led to victory at the ballot box. Read More... Growing Marijuana At Home Would Be Banned Posted by on November 29, 2018 at 16:09:04 PT By Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Source: Detroit Free Press Lansing, Michigan -- Republican lawmakers introduced bills Thursday that would undo some of the provisions in two of the ballot proposals overwhelmingly passed by voters on Nov. 6.
One bill, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, would prohibit homegrown marijuana that was part of the legalization ballot proposal that passed by a 56-44 margin. That provision allows anyone over the age of 21 to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use in their homes. Read More... Inside the Lives of Calif. Marijuana Trimmers Posted by on November 29, 2018 at 15:42:15 PT By Dan Levin Source: New York Times Covelo, Calif. -- Tucked into the forests of Mendocino County, accessible by a two-lane road that winds through hills of golden grass abundant with rattlesnakes is the small town of Covelo, where hundreds of seasonal workers converge every year, eager to help harvest the region’s most lucrative cash crop — marijuana.
These workers, known as “trimmigrants,” patiently cut off the shaggy leaves and brittle stems of marijuana buds, trimming each one into a compact green nugget primed for bongs and brownies. Read More... With Jeff Sessions Out Marijuana Movement Exhales Posted by on November 25, 2018 at 07:49:17 PT By Kurtis Lee Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- He described marijuana as a “very real danger” and has said its effects are “only slightly less awful” than those of heroin. Once, during a drug hearing when he was a Senator, he said he wanted to send a clear message: “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
So when Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions was ousted recently, a collective sigh of relief rose up from proponents of legalized pot — activists, politicians, investors — who felt targeted by the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Read More... Weed Is Legal, Spot. Give Us Your Badge.. Posted by on November 24, 2018 at 12:57:39 PT By Stacy Cowley Source: New York Times USA -- Officer Tulo will turn in his badge in January, forced into early retirement by the country’s waning war on weed.
In his eight years with the Police Department of Rifle, Colo., Tulo, a yellow Labrador retriever, has helped with more than 170 arrests in the town of 9,000. But one of his old-fashioned skills hasn’t just fallen out of demand since the state legalized marijuana, it has become a liability: State court rulings mean that Tulo’s keen nose for pot imperils his work on other drug cases. Read More... Consumers Spent $440,000 on Marijuana Products Posted by on November 21, 2018 at 16:55:07 PT By Dan Adams, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- The smoke has cleared, and the numbers are in. On Tuesday, the first day of legal marijuana sales in Massachusetts, consumers spent a total of $440,011 at two stores on more than 10,700 individual cannabis products, according to data released by the state Cannabis Control Commission Wednesday afternoon.
The products, purchased at the first two stores to open, ranged from marijuana flower to pot concentrates to pre-rolled joints to edibles infused with THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. Read More... Time to Legalize Marijuana at the Federal Level Posted by CN Staff on November 20, 2018 at 09:47:22 PT By Joe Kennedy III Source: Stat News Massachusetts -- The first recreational marijuana shops in the commonwealth of Massachusetts are opening their doors Tuesday, two years after Massachusetts resoundingly voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. It’s a familiar trend across the country, where popular support for marijuana has surged. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have now legalized marijuana in some form — three on Election Day just this month.
I’ve remained skeptical. Read More... Joe Kennedy Calls for MJ Legalization Nationwide Posted by on November 20, 2018 at 09:27:03 PT By Christina Prignano, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Representative Joseph Kennedy III is reversing his position on marijuana legalization and now says he supports making the drug legal at the federal level.
Kennedy’s change of heart comes in an opinion piece for STAT on the same day that recreational marijuana sales began for the first time in Massachusetts. Read More... Massachusetts Begins Recreational Marijuana Sales Posted by on November 20, 2018 at 09:13:50 PT By Michael Levenson, Felicia Gans and Dan Adams Source: Boston Globe Leicester, Massachusetts -- As the doors opened at 8 a.m., a huge cheer went up.
The first recreational sales of marijuana in Massachusetts had officially begun at Cultivate, the new Leicester store, and a second retailer in Northampton, signaling the start of legal cannabis sales after more than a century of pot prohibition in the state. Read More... Marijuana is Getting Cheaper Posted by on November 16, 2018 at 11:31:16 PT By Keith Humphreys Source: Washington Post USA -- Wholesale marijuana prices in Colorado have fallen by a third in just the past 12 months, continuing a price crash that began soon after the drug was legalized. Although this implies that some marijuana entrepreneurs are going to go bankrupt, the bigger financial hit will be felt by states that tax marijuana based on its price.
Marijuana prices are collapsing in Colorado and in other legalization states (e.g., Oregon, where the price can go as low as $100/pound) because a legal business is dramatically cheaper to operate than an illegal one. Because states generally set their marijuana tax rates as a percentage of price, their revenue per sale sinks in direct proportion to the fall in marijuana prices. Read More... Marijuana Backers Plot Ambitious Campaign Posted by on November 14, 2018 at 20:05:01 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Hill USA -- Advocates of legalizing medical and recreational marijuana are planning a wave of new ballot measures in coming years few years, buoyed by wins scored this year's midterm elections in swing and conservative states.
Supporters say they are likely to field measures in states like Ohio and Arizona in 2020, and potentially in Florida and North Dakota. They say plans are underway for initiatives to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi, Nebraska and South Dakota. Read More...
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