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... 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...
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