Nebraska & Oklahoma Sue Colorado Over Legalization Posted by on December 18, 2014 at 14:02:39 PT By John Ingold, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Colorado -- Two neighboring states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Colorado's laws legalizing recreational marijuana.
Nebraska and Oklahoma filed the lawsuit directly with the nation's highest court on Thursday. The two states argue that, "the State of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system." Read More... Obama Commutes Sentences for 8 Drug Inmates Posted by CN Staff on December 17, 2014 at 13:50:46 PT By Nedra Pickler, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday cut short prison time for eight drug convicts as part of his new initiative to reduce harsh sentences under outdated guidelines, a step that could lead to a vast expansion of presidential clemency in his final two years in office.
The president also is pardoning 12 convicts for a variety of offenses. But the commutations are particularly significant because they are the first issued under new guidelines announced earlier this year designed to cut costs by reducing the nation’s bulging prison population and grant leniency to nonviolent drug offenders sentenced to double-digit terms. Read More... The Federal War on Medical Marijuana Is Over Posted by on December 17, 2014 at 05:50:22 PT By Josh Harkinson Source: Mother Jones USA -- Good news for medical pot smokers: The $1.1 trillion federal spending bill approved by the Senate on Saturday has effectively ended the longstanding federal war on medical marijuana. An amendment to the bill blocks the Department of Justice from spending money to prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries or patients that abide by state laws.
"Patients will have access to the care legal in their state without fear of federal prosecution," Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), a supporter of the rider known as the Hinchey-Rohrbacher amendment, said in a statement. "And our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on fighting actual crimes and not wasted going after patients." Read More... Congress Ends Federal Government's Ban on MMJ Posted by on December 16, 2014 at 05:29:57 PT By Evan Halper Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D,C. -- Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. The bill's passage over the weekend marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana.
Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so. Read More... Teen MJ Use Declines Even as States Legalize Posted by on December 16, 2014 at 05:21:58 PT By Donna Leinwand Leger, USA Today Source: USA Today USA -- Marijuana use among teens declined this year even as two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the drug for recreational use, a national survey released Tuesday found.
University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study, now in its 40th year, surveys 40,000 to 50,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade in schools nationwide about their use of alcohol, legal and illegal drugs and cigarettes. Read More... Fight Over Marijuana More Risky in States than DC Posted by CN Staff on December 16, 2014 at 05:12:21 PT By Kevin Freking, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- It's easy for Congress to meddle with the District of Columbia's decision to legalize recreational use of marijuana, but taking on the states is a different matter.
A massive, catch-all spending bill Congress passed last week contains a provision preventing the District from using federal money to implement any law or regulation that repeals or reduces marijuana-related penalties. The action is in direct response to a voter initiative passed last month that allows possession of up to 2 ounces of pot or up to three mature plants for personal use. Read More... Texas Lawmaker Proposes Lower Marijuana Penalties Posted by on December 15, 2014 at 18:30:02 PT By Katy Steinmetz Source: Time Texas -- On Monday, Texas State Rep. Joe Moody introduced a bill that would remove criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. “Our current marijuana policy in Texas just isn’t working,” Moody said in a statement. “We need a new approach that allows us to more effectively utilize our limited criminal justice resources. This legislation is a much-needed step in the right direction.”
Under current Texas law, possessing up to two oz. of weed can yield six months of jail time and a $2,000 penalty. Under the proposal, adults caught with up to one oz. would get a $100 ticket, similar to a parking violation. Larger amounts would still lead to criminal penalties. The measure would make Texas the 20th state plus the District of Columbia to remove the threat of jail time for the possession of small amounts of weed. Read More... D.C. Maneuvering for Marijuana Showdown Posted by on December 14, 2014 at 05:09:05 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The congressional effort to block marijuana legalization in the District has been widely viewed as yet another frustrating defeat for self-governance by residents of the nation’s capital.
But city leaders are saying otherwise, promising to throw the issue back to Congress next month in a way that could prompt the most high-profile showdown in years over D.C. rights. Read More... Del. May Be On Road To Legalizing Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on December 14, 2014 at 04:48:52 PT By Jonathan Starkey, The News Journal Source: News Journal Delaware -- The marijuana reform movement has reached Delaware. Lawmakers will consider the intermediate step of decriminalization next year following the legalization of pot in Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C.
Legislation drafted by Rep. Helene Keeley, D-Wilmington, would replace criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana, with fines similar to those for speeding or running a red light. And national pot activists are hoping Delaware won't stop there. Read More... Indian Tribes May Legalize Marijuana, Feds Say Posted by on December 13, 2014 at 09:44:22 PT By Mary Ellen Klasherald, Tallahassee Bureau Source: Miami Herald Florida -- Will marijuana be as legal as poker chips on Native American tribal lands in Florida? That is the question being asked after the U.S. Justice Department published a memo directing federal prosecutors nationwide to allow tribes to cultivate and grow marijuana on their sovereign lands without fear of federal harassment.
The decision will be applied on a case-by-case basis, according to the memo published Thursday, and there is no indication yet that Florida’s two federally recognized tribes — the Miccosukees and Seminoles — will participate. Read More... Tribes Can Legalize Pot Justice Department Decides Posted by CN Staff on December 11, 2014 at 19:37:52 PT By Steven Nelson Source: U.S. News & World Report Washington, D.C. -- Four western U.S. states have decided to allow recreational marijuana sales, but legal pot may soon be within driving distance of many more Americans following a new Department of Justice decision.
In a memo released Thursday, the department outlined new policies allowing American Indian tribes to grow and sell marijuana on reservation lands. Read More... Feds: Native American Tribes Can Make MJ Laws Posted by CN Staff on December 11, 2014 at 19:07:30 PT By Associated Press Source: Associated Press Grants Pass, Ore. -- The U.S. Justice Department said Thursday Indian tribes can grow and sell marijuana on their lands as long as they follow the same federal conditions laid out for states that have legalized the drug.
Oregon U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said Thursday the announcement addresses questions raised by tribes about how legalization of pot in states like Oregon, Washington and Colorado would apply to Indian lands. Read More... Congress Hypocritically Blocks DC’s MJ Initiative Posted by on December 11, 2014 at 09:37:49 PT Washington Post Editorial Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The Federal spending bill now pending before Congress includes a provision that bars the Justice Department from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws. It also includes an amendment that prohibits the Drug Enforcement Administration from interfering with a federal law that allows industrial hemp research in states that have approved it.
But for the District of Columbia and its effort to legalize marijuana, it’s a different story, with Congress showing no shame or compunction in trying to upend local authority. The hypocrisy is stunning even by the standards of Capitol Hill. Read More... Congress Hands A Mixed Bag to Marijuana Movement Posted by on December 11, 2014 at 07:14:05 PT By Alex Altman Source: Time Washington, D.C. -- For the marijuana legalization movement, 2014 ends the way it began: with legal changes that showcase the movement’s momentum alongside its problems.
Tucked into the 1,603-page year-end spending bill Congress released Tuesday night were a pair of provisions that affect proponents of cannabis reform. Together they form a metaphor for the politics of legal pot—an issue that made major bipartisan strides this year, but whose progress is hampered by a tangle of local, state and federal statutes that have sown confusion and produced contradictory justice. Read More... Congress’s Double-Edged Marijuana Stance Posted by on December 11, 2014 at 06:55:49 PT New York Times Editorial Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- A bold stride in the popular campaign to legalize marijuana — an amendment blocking federal interference with states that allow medical marijuana — has been written into the bipartisan budget spending bill that’s now being rushed through Congress. At the same time, this clear victory for the pro-marijuana movement nationally has been coupled with Congress’s outrageous rebuff of the will of District of Columbia residents, who voted overwhelmingly last month to join the growing state move to legalize small amounts of recreational marijuana. Read More... Pot Backers Oppose U.S. Bill Banning Legal MJ Posted by CN Staff on December 10, 2014 at 15:55:37 PT By Ian Simpson Source: Reuters Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana advocates on Wednesday urged Congress not to use a spending bill to overturn a local referendum that overwhelmingly backed legalizing pot in the District of Columbia.
A $1.1 trillion spending bill negotiated by lawmakers on Tuesday barred the U.S. capital from using funds to implement Initiative 71, which legalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in Washington. Read More... Congress Blocks Feds From Targeting Med Marijuana Posted by on December 10, 2014 at 15:39:20 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- States with legal hemp cultivation and medical marijuana programs just got historic support from Congress.
Included in the federal spending bill released late Tuesday are amendments that prohibit the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state medical marijuana operations and that block the Drug Enforcement Administration from using funds to interfere in state-legal industrial hemp research. Read More... Congress Axes D.C. Marijuana Legalization Posted by on December 10, 2014 at 08:52:04 PT By Andrea Noble and Tom Howell Jr. Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- A plan to regulate and tax marijuana in the District fell victim on Tuesday to federal budget negotiators, who inserted an amendment into a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill that effectively overturns a voter-approved initiative legalizing recreational use of the drug in the District.
But the measure appeared to go much further, also rolling back a law approved by the council this year eliminating criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Read More... D.C. Marijuana Law Blocked By Congress Posted by on December 10, 2014 at 06:23:24 PT By Matt Ferner and Arthur Delaney Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- The legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington, D.C., appears to be blocked in the spending bill Congress released late Tuesday.
A summary posted to the House Appropriations website says the spending bill Congress will consider this week "prohibits both federal and local funds from being used to implement a referendum legalizing recreational marijuana use in the District." Read More... Congressional Budget Poised to Partially Block Pot Posted by on December 09, 2014 at 12:37:24 PT By Aaron C. Davis and Ed O'Keefe Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- An emerging deal to keep the federal government funded into next year would block the D.C. government from allowing legal sales of marijuana in the nation’s capital, according to multiple congressional aides with knowledge of the negotiations.
The spending package remains fluid, and aides warned that details could still change. But asked about the possible curb on D.C.’s marijuana initiative, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) conceded that it may be difficult to remove such language from the final bill. Read More... Americans Want States With Legal MJ Protected Posted by on December 09, 2014 at 09:10:19 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post USA -- A majority of Americans want each state to decide its own marijuana laws and don't want federal interference with those that legalize cannabis.
A report released Monday by centrist think tank Third Way says 60 percent of American voters believe states should decide whether to legalize marijuana. And 67 percent of Americans want a new federal law that would make states that legalize medical or recreational marijuana "safe haven" from U.S. laws against cannabis, as long as the states have a strong regulatory framework. Read More... Colorado OKs Marijuana Credit Union Posted by on December 08, 2014 at 15:16:49 PT By Trevor Hughes, USA Today Source: USA Today Denver -- Colorado's marijuana businesses have a cash flow problem: Too much cash is flowing in and they've nowhere to put it. Most banks refuse to work with marijuana businesses, which are legal in Colorado but remain illegal at the federal level. Now, a new credit union aimed specifically toward the cannabis industry hopes to offer a solution.
The Fourth Corner Credit Union hopes to open its doors within weeks in Denver, offering to accept cash deposits and to permit members to make electronic transfers for payroll and rent, and to buy supplies. Read More... Who's Really Fighting Legal Weed Posted by CN Staff on December 08, 2014 at 07:22:16 PT By Ben Cohen Source: U.S. News & World Report USA -- On TV and billboards, the fight against legalizing marijuana is about health, safe communities and our children’s future. But for Big Pharma and Big Tobacco – who fund these anti-marijuana efforts – it’s really about the bottom line. For years, large corporations and well-heeled lobbyists have blocked the legalization of marijuana for medical use or recreational use in order to protect their own profits.
Florida’s failed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for medical use illustrates how money, and not morals, motivates this issue. Read More... Unregulated MMJ Market is Creating a Hazy Future Posted by on December 07, 2014 at 11:32:54 PT Seattle Times Editorial Source: Seattle Times Seattle -- The world is watching Washington’s historic experiment with marijuana legalization, and we’re screwing it up. A painstakingly slow launch of recreational marijuana stores, with their sky-high prices and scarcity in Seattle, gets most headlines. But the truth is that experiment is utterly undermined by a much larger, wildly unregulated medical-marijuana market.
Medical-marijuana dispensaries appear to outnumber Starbucks stores in Seattle, yet local regulators and law-enforcement agencies are doing almost nothing to police bad actors hiding behind the ubiquitous green crosses. Read More... Debate: Marijuana Under ABC Board Jurisdiction Posted by on December 07, 2014 at 04:58:54 PT By Suzanna Caldwell Source: Alaska Dispatch Alaska -- The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has been busy since Alaskans voted to legalize marijuana in November. Members have been inundated with questions, moving swiftly to provide information to the public and working to inform themselves in order to begin crafting marijuana rules when the ballot initiative goes into effect in February.
But what kind of work they’ll actually have to do remains unclear if a bill pending from Sen. Lesil McGuire goes through. Read More... What's Next for Oregon's Marijuana Advocates Posted by on December 05, 2014 at 13:58:24 PT By Anna Staver, Statesman Journal Source: Statesman Journal Oregon -- The campaign to legalize marijuana in Oregon didn't end on election night, when voters cast their ballots in favor of recreational use and sales. In fact, marijuana advocates have shifted their focus to what might be the more important task: shaping how the state implements Measure 91.
The ballot initiative tasks the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with creating rules governing where and how marijuana can be grown, processed, sold, advertised, tested and taxed. And political action committees such as the Oregon Cannabis Growers hope to be at the forefront of that conversation. Read More... Rider Blocking D.C. Pot Legalization on the Table Posted by on December 04, 2014 at 05:41:36 PT By Bridget Bowman Source: Roll Call Washington, D.C. -- An amendment blocking the legalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia is on the table as appropriators negotiate bills and policy riders to incorporate in the year-end spending package.
“It seems like the marijuana issue has been kicked up to the ‘big four.’ So that’ll get settled,” Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., said Tuesday, referring to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees who are negotiating the spending package. Crenshaw heads the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over District funding. Read More... Legalization of Marijuana: What About the Kids? Posted by on December 03, 2014 at 05:49:13 PT By Marsha Rosenbaum Source: Huffington Post USA -- Last month Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia joined Colorado and Washington as voters approved initiatives to legalize marijuana. Other states,including California, are likely to follow in 2016.
Voters passed these initiatives not as an endorsement of marijuana per se, but as an effort to undo the damage done by its criminalization: out-of-control youth access, massive numbers of arrests, and the crime, corruption and violence that comes with a multi-billion dollar illicit market. Tax revenues derived from sales, meanwhile, can provide local and state governments with badly needed funds for education and other critical services. Read More... Good Election News for First Country to Legalize Posted by on December 02, 2014 at 04:42:18 PT By Tony Newman Source: AlterNet Uruguay -- In a Sunday presidential run-off election in Uruguay, Frente Amplio (Broad Front) candidate Tabaré Vázquez beat opposition candidate Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou by 53.6 to 41.1 percent, a vote that had major implications for the future of Uruguay’s historic marijuana regulation.
While Vázquez has promised to continue implementing marijuana regulation, National Party opposition candidate Lacalle Pou had said that if he were to become president, he would repeal major parts of the law, including government-regulated sales to adults – the most distinguishing feature of the Uruguayan initiative. Read More... The Green Rush: Marijuana Businesses Gear Up Posted by on December 01, 2014 at 10:36:32 PT By Laurel Andrews Source: Alaska Dispatch Alaska -- With the passage of Ballot Measure 2 last month, a new industry has opened up in Alaska for entrepreneurs looking to cash in on cannabis.
Recreational marijuana will be legalized in Alaska on Feb. 24, and the green rush has already begun. Three trade shows are planned for Anchorage this spring. Cannabis associations are taking shape. And entrepreneurs are anxious for the regulatory process to begin, as the laws will ultimately define what marijuana businesses look like in Alaska. Read More...
Sign Our Guestbook View Our Guestbook