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... Smoking Out The Year’s Top Pot Trends Posted by on April 20, 2019 at 11:50:01 PT By David Moye Source: Huffington Post USA -- April 20 aka “420” is considered pot’s biggest day, and it should only get more popular now that 33 states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. The buzz over 420 isn’t just media hype, according to cannabis industry insiders like Robert Arabian, founder of Pop-Up Potcorn, a line of cannabis-infused microwave popcorn.
“These days, 4/20 has turned into the biggest Holiday in the cannabis industry and serves as a day of celebration for the advancements the industry has made in the legal space,” Arabian told HuffPost. Read More... The STATES Act Will Expose Flawed Marijuana Legacy Posted by on April 20, 2019 at 10:42:22 PT By J.J. Rich, Opinion Contributor Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- In anticipation of inevitable marijuana legalization, Congress is introducing legislation attempting to end the futile federal prohibition of pot. Now that the vast majority of Americans support legalizing all forms of cannabis, politicians from both parties, from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) now endorse the STATES Act — a bill that would legalize practically all marijuana-related activities at the federal level, at least where they are permitted by state law. Read More... A Reason To Celebrate 4/20 Posted by on April 20, 2019 at 06:33:54 PT By Lea Lane, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- In this post-Mueller report atmosphere, it's a relief for many adult travelers to know that you can now legally celebrate 4/20 or any day with recreational weed in Washington D.C and 10 states. (And in 33 states marijuana is okay for medicinal purposes.) So depending where you travel in the U.S., you can actually enjoy a legal "weedcation."
Yes, the recreational use of cannabis is legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. Another 14 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands have decriminalized. Read More... Chicago's April 20 Marijuana Fest Surging Posted by on April 17, 2019 at 05:33:17 PT By Ally Marotti, Chicago Tribune Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- A street festival unlike any other will be held in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood this weekend: a daylong celebration of weed.
Saturday is April 20, or 4/20, a day that has evolved into a nationwide celebration of marijuana. In the cannabis community, the term 420 is a slang reference to smoking weed. The term reportedly dates back to the 1970s, when a group of Northern California high schoolers began meeting after classes at 4:20 p.m. to light up. Use of “420” gradually spread and grew into a marijuana holiday of sorts on April 20. Read More... 84 Percent Say Marijuana Use Should Be Legal Posted by on April 16, 2019 at 11:11:12 PT By Matthew Sheffield Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- In a new Hill-HarrisX poll released Tuesday, 84 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. The April 12-13 survey of registered voters found overwhelming support across ages, races, genders, and even political affiliations for making cannabis legal.
Forty-two percent of respondents said that weed should be legal for any use, the same percentage said that it should be legal for medicinal purposes. A small 13 percent minority said that marijuana users and distributors should be prosecuted while 3 percent said that only distributors should be prosecuted. Read More... Many Employers Drop Zero Tolerance Drug Tests Posted by on April 12, 2019 at 14:33:36 PT By Margot Roosevelt Source: Los Angeles Times California -- When Rye Electric was founded in Orange County five years ago, it screened all prospective workers for drugs. If a test showed traces of cannabis, the applicant was nixed. But the fast-growing construction company, which has a millennial-heavy workforce, has since adapted to the times. “We still do the tests,” Chief Executive Chris Golden said, “but we choose to look the other way on marijuana.”
Some 20 of the company’s 150 workers were hired despite flunking a pre-employment screening for cannabis. “We let them know they can’t do it on the job and we trust them not to,” Golden said. “What are we going to say — you can’t do something that’s legal?” Read More... Marijuana Testing of Job Applicants Is Barred Posted by on April 12, 2019 at 06:55:41 PT By Michael Gold Source: New York Times New York -- Most employers in New York City would no longer be able to force job applicants to take drug tests for marijuana use, under a bill overwhelmingly approved this week by the City Council.
If the drug-screening law is enacted, it would put New York in relatively uncharted territory. Several drug policy and employment experts said that they did not know of similar laws on the books, even in states that have legalized marijuana. Read More... Bill To Protect Legal Cannabis Introduced Posted by on April 05, 2019 at 09:47:25 PT By Alex Gangitano Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- A bipartisan bill protecting state laws regulating marijuana use from the federal government was reintroduced on Thursday in the House and Senate.
The legislation, which allows states to determine their own cannabis policies, was offered by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in the Senate and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and David Joyce (R-Ohio) in the House. Read More... Marijuana Banking Bill Picks Up Momentum Posted by on March 28, 2019 at 06:20:24 PT By Alex Gangitano Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Lawmakers are poised to send a bill to the House floor that would allow banks to provide services to legal marijuana businesses. The House Financial Services Committee is slated to vote on the measure Wednesday, in what is seen as a turning point for industry groups who have long pushed for the legislation.
Similar legislation was first introduced six years ago, but in recent months the idea has gained bipartisan support and the backing of heavy hitters on K Street and in the business world who see it as essential to bringing a growing industry into the financial mainstream. Read More... Florida Makes It Legal to Smoke Medical Marijuana Posted by on March 21, 2019 at 06:06:49 PT By Ed Dickson Source: Rolling Stone Florida -- Way back when in 2016, the majority of Florida voters (more than 70 percent) said yes to a constitutional amendment that would make medical marijuana legal. But when then-Gov. Rick Scott — he of brutal dictatorial regime-supporting fame — signed it into law in 2017, he curbed the forms of cannabis that would be available: Concentrates such capsules, topicals, tinctures and vapes were fine, as were flower sealed into pods for vaping, but according to the law, smokable pot would not be available in the state.
More than two years later, Floridians have gotten their way: Gov. Ron DeSantis has just signed legislation overturning his predecessor’s ban, thereby legalizing smoking medical marijuana in the state. Read More... DeSantis Signs Smokable Medical Marijuana Bill Posted by on March 19, 2019 at 13:08:29 PT By Gray Rohrer, Tallahassee Bureau Source: Orlando Sentinel Tallahassee -- Patients who receive medical marijuana from their doctors will be able to smoke the substance legally, under a bill signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday.
The bill (SB 182) is the first of DeSantis’ short tenure and an early legislative victory. DeSantis insisted that lawmakers repeal the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana by last Friday, or he would drop the state’s appeal of an ongoing lawsuit over the ban. Read More... Legalizing Marijuana With Focus on Social Justice Posted by on March 17, 2019 at 12:43:13 PT By Trip Gabriel Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- People in Colorado still remember John Hickenlooper’s crack after the state legalized marijuana, a move he opposed: “Don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”
But Mr. Hickenlooper, the governor at the time of the 2012 initiative allowing recreational use of cannabis, eventually changed his mind. He acknowledged that fears of increased use by children did not materialize, and he boasted of the tax revenues for social programs that regulated sales delivered. Read More... Alaska Approves On-Site Marijuana Use Posted by on March 14, 2019 at 05:52:09 PT By Ed Dickson Source: Rolling Stone Alaska is associated with many good things: cold-weather cruises, salmon bakes, a 1996 feel-good movie starring Pete from Mad Men and a baby polar bear, TK. And now, we can add one more entry to the list: on Tuesday, Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Myers signed new legislation making the state the first to allow on-site consumption at licensed dispensaries. In layman’s terms, if you happen to be passing through the state and you’re over 21, it’s soon going to be totally cool to head into a store, buy a joint, and smoke up on-site. Read More... Police Searched a Cancer Patient’s Room for MMJ Posted by on March 11, 2019 at 05:48:21 PT By Lindsey Bever Source: Washington Post Missouri -- When police officers wanted to search Nolan Sousley’s medicine bag, he said no.
One of the officers said police had received a call that marijuana could be smelled in the hospital room in Bolivar, in western Missouri — where the substance is illegal, though medical marijuana will soon be available in the state. Sousley, who said he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, told the officers that he had taken THC oil pills in the parking lot of Citizens Memorial Hospital but that he did not have marijuana and he did not want them going through his things. Read More... New Mexico House Votes To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on March 08, 2019 at 13:12:51 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Hill New Mexico -- The New Mexico House late Thursday voted to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, a deal that could make the state the 11th in the nation to allow adults to consume the drug recreationally.
The House passed the bill without any Republican votes, and several moderate Democrats also voted against the measure. But the bill’s prime sponsor, state Rep. Javier Martinez (D), said he had worked with three Republicans in the state Senate to craft a compromise, giving the bill a shot to pass this session. Read More... Beto O'Rourke Calls for Legalization of Marijuana Posted by on March 05, 2019 at 14:40:37 PT By Brett Samuels Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) on Monday expressed support for the federal legalization of marijuana as he mulls a potential presidential bid in 2020.
CNN reported that O'Rourke sent an email to supporters in which he backed the repeal of the federal criminalization of marijuana and called for the records of those jailed over marijuana possession to be expunged. Read More... Marijuana Legalization Law Reintroduced Posted by on February 28, 2019 at 15:35:56 PT By Ed Dickson Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- Senator Cory Booker brought back his pot legalization bill from 2017, which would help to rectify the devastating impact of the War on Drugs on communities of color
In his latest bid to win over the hearts and minds of the left leading up to his 2020 presidential campaign, Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) has rolled out a new federal marijuana legalization bill. Read More... Booker and Four Presidential Rivals Endorse MJ Posted by on February 28, 2019 at 09:44:17 PT By David Weigel Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Joined by four fellow candidates for the presidency, Sen. Cory Booker is reintroducing legislation that would legalize marijuana and expunge convictions for possessing the drug.
“It’s not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana,” Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, said in a statement announcing the new version of his Marijuana Justice Act. “We must expunge the records of those who have served their time. The end we seek is not just legalization, it’s justice.” Read More... Marijuana Tax in New Jersey? It Could be $42 Posted by on February 19, 2019 at 15:17:54 PT By Nick Corasaniti Source: New York Times New Jersey -- Gov. Philip D. Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders in New Jersey have reached an agreement that could place the state on a path to legalizing recreational marijuana this year if they are able to win enough support in the state legislature.
The agreement, which establishes how marijuana would be taxed and sets parameters on a committee to regulate the drug, marks a significant step forward for Mr. Murphy’s promise to introduce the roughly $50 billion national recreational cannabis market to a major population center on the East Coast and on New York City’s doorstep. Read More... 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...
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