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(D-OR), who has worked for decades to end marijuana prohibition, said that those "long overdue efforts to reform our outdated cannabis laws are finally resonating in Congress."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... NY Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana Posted by on July 29, 2019 at 15:30:08 PT By Chris Mills Rodrigo Source: Hill New York -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday signed a bill decriminalizing the use of marijuana in the state and expunge the records of some people convicted on cannabis-related charges.
"Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and today we are ending this injustice once and for all," Cuomo said in a statement. Read More... Harris Introduces Law to Federally Legalize MJ Posted by on July 25, 2019 at 09:15:42 PT By EJ Dickson Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- On Tuesday, Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris announced that she is teaming up with House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler to co-sponsor the MORE Act of 2019, a bill that would decriminalize marijuana on the federal level and expunge low-level marijuana possession convictions. If enacted, the bill would also provide grants to members of communities of color, in an attempt to reverse decades of damage that cannabis criminalization has done to those communities. Read More... American Companies Not Prepared For Legalization Posted by on July 19, 2019 at 19:57:49 PT By Mike Adams, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- Marijuana legalization is not a new idea. For the past two decades, states have been chiseling away at pot reform in the United States, first passing voter initiatives to legalize for medicinal use and then finally, just about five years ago, pulling the trigger on the recreational front. Now, well over half the country has legalized the leaf in some form or fashion. Sure, some of these laws are as good as a three-legged horse and in desperate need of being put down. But no matter how flimsy they might be, it still proves the nation is perfectly capable of rising above the drug war mentality. Read More... Legalizing Pot Tied To Less Teen Marijuana Use Posted by CN Staff on July 10, 2019 at 08:35:08 PT By Lisa Rapaport Source: Reuters USA -- Marijuana legalization laws don’t appear to increase teen pot use and instead may have the opposite effect, a U.S. study suggests.
To see how teen marijuana use compares in states with and without such laws, researchers examined survey data on substance use collected from 1.4 million adolescents between 1993 and 2017. During that period, 27 states and Washington, D.C. legalized medical marijuana and seven states legalized cannabis for recreational purposes. Read More... Reefer Madness or Pot Paradise? Posted by on June 30, 2019 at 05:56:41 PT By Jack Healy Source: New York Times Denver -- Serenity Christensen, 14, is too young to set foot in one of Colorado’s many marijuana shops, but she was able to spot a business opportunity in legal weed. She is a Girl Scout, and this year, she and her mother decided to sell their cookies outside a dispensary. “Good business,” Serenity said.
But on the other side of Denver, legalization has turned another high school student, David Perez, against the warehouselike marijuana cultivations now clustered around his neighborhood. He said their skunky aroma often smacks him in the face when he walks out his front door. Read More... Inside Illinois’ New Marijuana Legalization Bill Posted by on June 25, 2019 at 17:28:25 PT By Thor Benson Source: Rolling Stone Illinois -- When Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act into law on Tuesday, Illinois became the first state to legalize a comprehensive adult-use marijuana market through its legislature, setting up what looks to be a booming industry in the state, while helping to assist communities of color that have been ravaged by the War on Drugs.
Starting on January 1st, Illinois residents over the age of 21 will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, and adult visitors will be allowed to possess up to 15 grams. Medical marijuana patients will be allowed to grow up to five plants at home, though growing at home for social use will not be allowed. Cannabis flower that has under 35 percent THC will be taxed at 10 percent, products that contain over 35 percent THC (like vape oils and other concentrates) will be taxed at 25 percent, and cannabis-infused products will be taxed at 20 percent. Read More... Gov. Pritzker Expected To Sign Bill Into Law Posted by on June 25, 2019 at 05:23:24 PT By Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected Tuesday to approve a plan to legalize marijuana in Illinois next year, marking a momentous shift in how the state treats drug use.
The governor is set to sign into law a bill allowing the licensed growth, sales, possession and consumption of cannabis for adults 21 and over, according to state Sen. Heather Steans, a co-sponsor of the bill. While the plant remains illegal under federal law, and the state previously decriminalized possession of small amounts, the new statute would end part of the war on drugs that led to thousands of arrests and convictions. Read More... Marijuana Decriminalization Expanded in New York Posted by on June 21, 2019 at 05:56:57 PT By Jesse McKinley and Vivian Wang Source: New York Times Albany -- New York lawmakers, having fallen short in a push to fully legalize marijuana, have agreed to further decriminalize possession of the drug and automatically expunge many low-level marijuana convictions across the state.
The measure, which would treat possession of up to two ounces of marijuana as a violation instead of a crime, is a significant change in a state in which tens of thousands of residents have been arrested for small-scale possession. Read More... Congress Votes To Block Feds From Enforcing MJ Law Posted by on June 21, 2019 at 05:41:35 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- The House of Representatives approved a far-reaching measure on Thursday to prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with state marijuana laws, including those allowing recreational use, cultivation and sales.
The amendment, which also shields cannabis laws in Washington, D.C. and U.S. territories, is now attached to a large-scale appropriations bill to fund parts of the federal government for Fiscal Year 2020. Read More... New York Won't Legalize Marijuana This Year Posted by on June 20, 2019 at 05:45:03 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Hill New York -- A bill that would legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use is dead in the New York state legislature this year, dealing another blow to legalization advocates who had planned an ambitious campaign in states across the country. The prime sponsor of the bill said Wednesday morning it had become obvious that legalization would not advance this year.
“It is clear now that [the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act] is not going to pass this session,” state Sen. Liz Krueger (D) said in a statement. “This is not the end of the road, it is only a delay. Unfortunately, that delay means countless more New Yorkers will have their lives up-ended by unnecessary and racially disparate enforcement measures before we inevitably legalize.” Read More... People Smoked Cannabis in China 2,500 Years Ago Posted by on June 14, 2019 at 15:02:02 PT By Amina Khan Source: Los Angeles Times World -- High in the Pamir Mountains of western China, scientists exploring an ancient cemetery have uncovered 2,500-year old vessels containing the chemical remains of burned cannabis plants.
The discovery, described Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, marks the earliest solid chemical evidence that ancient people sought out cannabis for its mind-altering properties, and could shed light on the interactions between ancient human cultures as well as our evolving relationship with certain plants. Read More... Marijuana Experts? There Really Is No Such Thing Posted by on June 12, 2019 at 04:52:35 PT By Mike Adams, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- It was just last week that some coroner from Louisiana made national news by claiming that a woman died as a result of a marijuana overdose. Considering that there have never been any reports of someone croaking from cannabis, the story sparked a significant amount of outrage in the advocacy community. These folks can be an especially sensitive breed, presumably because the past several decades have been spent on a mostly fruitless crusade to get weed recognized for its medicinal benefits and made legal at the national level just like alcohol and tobacco. Read More... Recreational Marijuana Goes on Sale January 1st Posted by on June 04, 2019 at 12:44:44 PT By Ally Marotti, Chicago Tribune Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- Recreational marijuana is just a signature away from being legal in Illinois, and dispensaries are staffing up, remodeling, and wasting no time preparing for new foot traffic.
Illinois lawmakers approved a bill Friday that, with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s promised signature, will allow the state’s 55 medical dispensaries to apply to sell recreational marijuana. Additionally, the dispensaries can apply to open a second location. That means more than 100 dispensaries could be selling marijuana by the beginning of next year. Read More... From Speaker of the House to Cannabis Pitchman Posted by on June 04, 2019 at 11:38:59 PT By Elizabeth Williamson Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- John A. Boehner, the former speaker of the House, once stood second in line for the presidency and staunchly against legalized marijuana. Now you can find the longtime Republican standing before a wall-size photo of the Capitol, making an online infomercial pitch for the cannabis industry.
“This is one of the most exciting opportunities you’ll ever be part of,” Mr. Boehner says in an endlessly streaming video for the National Institute for Cannabis Investors. “Frankly, we can help you make a potential fortune.” Read More... Illinois Legislature Legalizes Marijuana Posted by on June 01, 2019 at 04:51:22 PT By Kurtis Lee Source: Los Angeles Times Illinois -- Lawmakers in Illinois on Friday approved a measure legalizing the sale of marijuana to anyone over the age of 21, making it the second state in the Midwest to legalize pot after Michigan.
To date, 11 states, including Illinois, have legalized recreational marijuana, a majority through ballot measures placed before voters. The move by Illinois lawmakers is only the second time a legislature has legalized marijuana, following Vermont in 2018, which passed a measure allowing possession and limited cultivation of cannabis. Read More... Lawmakers Not High on Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2019 at 12:17:57 PT By Claire Hansen, Staff Writer Source: U.S. News & World Report USA -- Legalization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey seemed all but inevitable earlier this year: The state's Democratic governor campaigned on the issue, polling showed the public was on board, and a measure was winding through the Democratic-controlled state legislature led by lawmakers who backed the effort.
But in March, hours before a scheduled vote on the legalization bill, the measure was yanked for lack of support in the Senate. And despite tepid promises from top state lawmakers that they would continue to push for it, the state's Democratic Senate president declared the legislation dead last week. Read More... Veterans Face Hurdles to Marijuana Access Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2019 at 05:13:44 PT By Claire Hansen, Staff Writer Source: U.S. News & World Report Washington, D.C. -- When LT. Col. Doug Distaso retired from the Air Force in 2017, he left with a laundry list of service-related medical diagnoses – chronic pain, a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder – and a slate of opioids, muscle relaxers and other drugs prescribed to ease his symptoms. The drug cocktail, he says, left him in a medicated stupor. His wife was worried. He felt like he was at a dead end. Read More... Why We Must Legalize Marijuana Posted by on May 23, 2019 at 10:48:39 PT By Robert Reich Source: Common Dreams Washington, D.C. -- The federal prohibition on marijuana has been a disaster. For decades, millions of Americans have been locked up and billions of dollars have been wasted. It’s also deepened racial and economic inequality. We must end this nonsensical prohibition.
The facts are staggering. In 2017, more Americans were arrested for marijuana possession than for murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery combined. That’s one marijuana arrest every minute. Read More... How Legalization Changed Humboldt County Marijuana Posted by on May 20, 2019 at 07:42:48 PT By Emily Witt Source: New Yorker Magazine California -- For more than forty years, the epicenter of cannabis farming in the United States was a region of northwestern California called the Emerald Triangle, at the intersection of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties. Of these, Humboldt County is the most famous. It was here, in hills surrounding a small town called Garberville, that hippies landed in the nineteen-sixties, after fleeing the squalor of Berkeley and Haight-Ashbury. They arrived in the aftermath of a timber bust, and clear-cut land was selling for as little as a few hundred dollars an acre. In their pursuit of self-sufficiency, the young idealists homesteaded, gardened naked, and planted seeds from the Mexican cannabis they had grown to love. They learned the practice known as sinsemilla, in which female cannabis plants are isolated from the pollen of their male counterparts, which causes the females to produce high levels of THC. The cultivators smuggled in strains of Cannabis indica from South Asia and bred hybrids with sativas from Mexico. They learned to use light deprivation to encourage premature flowering, and they practiced selective breeding to isolate for the most desirable potency, scent, and appearance. Read More... Embattled New York Introduces New Marijuana Bill Posted by on May 17, 2019 at 04:32:54 PT By Sara Brittany Somerset, Contributor Source: Forbes Albany, New York -- After the failure to include legalized adult use cannabis in the New York State budget earlier this year, sponsors of the legislation say they are introducing a new bill that they hope stands a better chance at becoming law.
Democratic Manhattan Senator Liz Krueger, who is a longtime supporter of legalizing marijuana, says "the new bill incorporates some of the ideas the governor and legislature came up with when they talked about the issue during the budget talks," according to Karen DeWitt of WAMC radio. Read More... 38 AGs Ask Congress To Advance Marijuana Bill Posted by on May 09, 2019 at 16:26:04 PT By Tal Axelrod Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Bipartisan attorneys general from 38 states and territories sent a letter Wednesday urging Congress to pass legislation to allow banks to work with marijuana businesses legal under state law.
The House Financial Services Committee in March sent The SAFE Banking Act the full House, where it has since stalled. It currently has 153 Democratic sponsors and 20 Republican sponsors. Read More... Why State-By-State MJ Legalization Is a Mess Posted by on May 09, 2019 at 05:47:34 PT By Amanda Chicago Lewis Source: Rolling Stone USA -- A majority of the United States has legalized cannabis in some way, and it’s very exciting, I get it. Fewer people are being arrested, more people are getting off opioids, and accurately dosed pot chocolates might be the best thing to happen to weekends since the invention of television. But this state-by-state legalization thing that we’re doing is kind of a mess, mostly because federal prohibition hampers the whole thing from the get-go. And, since absurd restrictions still disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, as long as pot remains illegal on the federal level, your relationship to weed will continue to be, primarily, a function of your power. Read More... Illinois Marijuana Legalization Bill Posted by on May 05, 2019 at 06:20:34 PT By Robert McCoppin and Jennifer Smith Richards Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- A proposed law to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Illinois would allow possession of up to 30 grams of the plant for residents 21 and over, a $20 million low-interest loan program to promote “social equity” in business ownership, and expungement of misdemeanor and Class 4 felony marijuana convictions.
At the heart of the measure is ensuring that communities that have been disproportionately affected by enforcement of lower-level drug crimes would be able to benefit from the legal pot business in Illinois, said Gov. J.B. Pritzker and lawmakers who worked on the measure at an announcement Saturday morning. Read More... The Cannabis Revolution Comes to the Capitol Posted by on May 03, 2019 at 05:51:46 PT By Tim Dickinson Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- Since the dawn of the Drug War, federal legislators have stood by, or even applauded, as millions of Americans have racked up convictions for marijuana offenses — with arrests increasing in the latest FBI crime statistics, despite nearly a dozen states having already legalized cannabis. But over the past two years, and now accelerating with Democrats in charge of the House of Representatives, federal marijuana reform has become a hot topic on the Hill. Congress is weighing measures to tax and regulate cannabis; to open the federal banking system to pot businesses; to allow the industry to claim federal tax deductions; and, most powerfully, to repair the harms created by generations of prohibitionist policies. Read More... Mayor Unveils Bill To Legalize Marijuana Sales Posted by on May 03, 2019 at 05:41:51 PT By Fenit Nirappil Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) announced legislation Thursday to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana dispensaries in the nation’s capital, setting up a potential showdown with the federal government.
The District’s marijuana laws are in limbo. Residents may grow and possess small amounts of the drug under a 2014 voter-approved law. But they cannot legally purchase pot, and the city cannot tax sales because of a provision in the federal budget that prohibits the District from enacting or enforcing marijuana legalization laws. Read More... Cannabis, Marijuana, Weed, Pot? Just Call It a Job Posted by on April 26, 2019 at 05:29:02 PT By Conor Dougherty Source: New York Times San Francisco -- David Dancer is a 48-year-old marketing executive who has worked for big brands like Charles Schwab and Teleflora. A year ago, he got a call from a recruiter for a different kind of company: MedMen, a cannabis retailer that has been called “the Apple Store of weed.” The opening was for a chief marketing officer. He took it.
One of Mr. Dancer’s early projects was a slick two-minute video by the director Spike Jonze that begins with an anecdote about George Washington as a hemp grower, a staple of dorm-room conversation. It concludes with a suburban couple coming home with a bright red bag of legally purchased pot, symbolizing “the new normal” — an ending that, like his own career twist, seemed improbable not long ago. Read More... Take a Whiff of D.C.’s New Pot-Infused Tourism Posted by on April 23, 2019 at 06:53:10 PT By Petula Dvorak, Columnist Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The District as the new Amsterdam? Maybe.
Sure, we’ve got cherry blossoms, museums and monuments. But our nation’s capital is also a cannabis-friendly island surrounded by pot prudes, and it may be on its way to becoming as hot as Amsterdam, Jamaica, Colorado and California for folks who want the thrill and freedom of a legal high. Read More...
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