House Passes Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana Posted by on December 04, 2020 at 12:15:05 PT By Catie Edmondson Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- The House on Friday passed sweeping legislation that would decriminalize marijuana and expunge nonviolent marijuana-related convictions, as Democrats sought to roll back and compensate for decades of drug policies that have disproportionately affected low-income communities of color.
The 228-164 vote to approve the measure was bipartisan, and it was the first time either a chamber of Congress had ever endorsed the legalization of cannabis. The bill would remove the drug from the Controlled Substances Act and authorize a 5 percent tax on marijuana that would fund community and small business grant programs to help those most impacted by the criminalization of marijuana. Read More... Inside the Weed Legalization Bill Posted by on December 04, 2020 at 06:31:08 PT By Ryan Bort Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- It was 2018, Democrats were about to gain control of the House of Representatives, and cannabis justice advocates knew they needed to get to work. Every two years, a handful of new states were joining those that had already legalized cannabis, either recreationally or medicinally. Federal decriminalization was inevitable. If advocates wanted to have any say in what legislation would look like, the first Democratic House majority since 2011 was their best chance to make inroads. Read More... U.N. Reclassifies Cannabis as Less Dangerous Drug Posted by on December 03, 2020 at 12:03:29 PT By Isabella Kwai Source: New York Times United Nations -- A United Nations commission voted on Wednesday to remove cannabis for medicinal purposes from a category of the world’s most dangerous drugs, a highly anticipated and long-delayed decision that could clear the way for an expansion of marijuana research and medical use.
The vote by the Commission for Narcotic Drugs, which is based in Vienna and includes 53 member states, considered a series of recommendations from the World Health Organization on reclassifying cannabis and its derivatives. But attention centered on a key recommendation to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs — where it was listed alongside dangerous and highly addictive opioids like heroin. Read More... Pot Legalization Hits a Snag: Magic Mushrooms Posted by on November 19, 2020 at 16:13:38 PT By Tracey Tully Source: New York Times New Jersey -- Winning a constitutional right for adults to smoke pot in New Jersey was, apparently, the easy part. The ballot question drew overwhelming support on Election Day, in spite of a muted pandemic-era campaign that had minimal financial backing from the national cannabis industry.
But creating a legislative pathway to reach proponents’ goals — establishing New Jersey as the dominant East Coast marijuana market, right next to New York, while ending the disproportionate rates of arrest in minority communities — is proving to be far more complicated. Read More... Finally, New Jersey Might Be Cooler Than New York Posted by on November 16, 2020 at 07:46:27 PT By Valeriya Safronova Source: New York Times Hoboken, N.J. -- In the very important, high-stakes fight for tristate area coolness, New Jersey rarely has the upper hand. (The tristate, for those without a Northeast-centric worldview, has traditionally referred to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.) But two weeks ago, New Jersey residents voted to amend the state constitution and legalize recreational marijuana, something New York and Connecticut have not done.
The spunky underdog sneaked in a powerful left hook. The amendment kicks in on Jan. 1, 2021. Read More... Support To Legalize MJ Reaches All-Time High Posted by CN Staff on November 09, 2020 at 05:38:07 PT By Clyde Hughes Source: UPI USA -- A record share of Americans want to see marijuana legalized in the United States, according to a Gallup survey on Monday. The new poll showed that 68% of respondents favored making the substance legal, the highest mark Gallup has ever recorded on the issue. Last year, 66% favored legalizing pot.
Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota approved the use of recreational marijuana in ballot measures on last week's election. Eleven other states have previously voted to do the same. Read More... Montana Green Lights Marijuana Legalization Posted by on November 04, 2020 at 14:40:10 PT By Seaborn Larson Source: Billings Gazette Montana -- In 1929, Montana made it illegal to grow, use, possess, sell or give away “Marijuana,” but medical marijuana was legal. The law did not prohibit druggists or doctors from “possessing Marijuana in the ordinary and the usual course of his business or profession … in prescribing or dispensing Marijuana or any derivative, mixture, or preparation."
Montana became one of several states Tuesday to legalize recreational cannabis, a measure proponents say could crack open a new revenue stream as economists project the deepest recession in the state's history due to COVID-19. Read More... Medical Marijuana in Mississippi Approved Posted by CN Staff on November 04, 2020 at 06:01:25 PT By Jimmie E. Gates Source: Clarion-Ledger Mississippi -- Voters have overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana in Mississippi. Voters approved the citizen-led Initiative 65 by a 74% majority that will allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for 22 debilitating conditions.
"It is great to see that the tides of change are continuing to flow across the country and now they have come to Mississippi," said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. Read More... Marijuana Legalized by New Jersey Voters Posted by on November 03, 2020 at 20:10:24 PT By Tracey Tully Source: New York Times New Jersey -- After years of legislative failures, New Jersey voters on Tuesday authorized the legal use of recreational marijuana in a year when supporters rallied around the disproportionate number of arrests for the drug in minority communities. The ballot question passed as expected, by a wide margin, according to preliminary results from The Associated Press.
The vote allows New Jersey officials to begin the thorny, potentially lengthy process of establishing rules related to regulating and testing cannabis and issuing licenses, including how many permits to grant — and to whom. Read More... Election Could Stoke US Marijuana Market Posted by CN Staff on October 25, 2020 at 11:21:33 PT By Michael Blood, Associated Press Source: Associated Press USA -- Voters in four states from different regions of the country could embrace broad legal marijuana sales on Election Day, and a sweep would highlight how public acceptance of cannabis is cutting across geography, demographics and the nation’s deep political divide.
The Nov. 3 contests in New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota and Montana will shape policies in those states while the battle for control of Congress and the White House could determine whether marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. Read More... Majority Favors New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Posted by on October 10, 2020 at 15:36:47 PT By Sam Wood, Staff Writer Source: Philadelphia Inquirer New Jersey -- Sixty-one percent of likely voters said they would vote or have already voted “yes.” About 29% said they will or have already voted “no.”
The measure would allow adults 21 and over to use cannabis recreationally and permit the Garden State to set up a regulated market for the drug. New Jersey already has a medical marijuana program. If adopted, it’s unlikely that marijuana will be available for sale any time soon. State legislators still will have to write regulations to govern the cannabis market, a process that could take up to two years. Read More... Vermont To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Posted by on October 10, 2020 at 08:22:00 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Hill Vermont will become the 11th state in the nation to allow sales of marijuana for recreational use after Gov. Phil Scott (R) said this week he would not veto a measure passed by the state legislature. Scott had vetoed an earlier marijuana legalization bill that did not include specific funding directives he had sought.
But in a letter to legislators this week, Scott said he would allow the latest bill to become law without his signature. He said the measure included a sufficient amount of funding to education and prevention campaigns designed to keep children off marijuana, and the implementation of a roadside saliva test aimed at curbing driving under the influence. Read More... Mainers Revel in First Day of Pot Sales Posted by on October 10, 2020 at 07:06:50 PT By Penelope Overton, Staff Writer Source: Portland Press Herald Maine -- After a four-year wait, Mainers can finally buy legal marijuana for the sole purpose of getting high.
That is something that Dan Comeau, a 46-year-old Portland resident, has been waiting almost 20 years to do. He and a friend took the day off from work and got dressed up – he in a suede blazer and she in a velvet minidress – to buy adult-use cannabis from SeaWeed Co. in South Portland on Friday, the first day of legal recreational sales in Maine. Read More... Kamala Harris Might Lead To Marijuana Legalization Posted by on August 21, 2020 at 10:07:08 PT By Kris Krane, Senior Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- Kamala Harris supports marijuana legalization. Sure, detractors can point to her checkered record as a prosecutor in California to claim that Senator Harris was late to the party on marijuana and that her conversion was based on political expediency rather than genuine conviction. But doing so would ignore the mounting evidence that Harris has been one of the most vocal and active supporters of legalization in the United States Senate, demonstrating a depth and understanding of the issue and its many nuances. If elected Vice President, she is arguably reformers best hope of moving Joe Biden and the Democratic Party towards a position of full support for cannabis legalization. Read More... If You Want Police Reform, Legalize Marijuana Posted by on June 21, 2020 at 05:56:28 PT By Brendan Bures, The Fresh Toast Source: Chicago Tribune USA -- National leaders and lawmakers have held ongoing conversations around criminal justice reform and racial injustices following George Floyd’s death by Minneapolis police. According to Sen. Bernie Sanders, one obvious place to start is legalizing marijuana.
Sanders gave a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, discussing several solutions to address police violence in the country. He proposed abolishing qualified immunity and establishing a "civilian" core of unarmed first responders. But legalizing marijuana is a key pillar to police reform, Sanders added, especially amid other issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Read More... Some Pa. Republicans Want To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on May 21, 2020 at 20:41:36 PT By Sam Wood Source: Philadelphia Inquirer Pennsylvania -- There’s a gaping budget hole caused by an economy in tatters. There’s growing voter support and some assurance that the issue is no longer political poison. And there are tax windfalls, potentially huge revenues to be gleaned, if a bill can win bipartisan support in Harrisburg.
For those reasons, some Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are coming around — if slowly — to the idea of legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use. Read More... States Turn To Unenforced Federal Law Posted by on March 04, 2020 at 11:05:39 PT By Emily Kopp Source: Roll Call Washington, D.C. -- Since 2014, Congress has protected patients and cannabis programs from federal marijuana prosecutions in states that allow it for medical use.
Medical marijuana’s unique legal status involves a little-known provision called the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment that Congress renews every year in spending laws. It says the Justice Department cannot use federal funds to prevent states from implementing their own medical marijuana laws. Read More... Governors Across U.S. Step Up Push To Legalize Posted by on February 11, 2020 at 13:34:40 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- State legislatures across the U.S. have convened for new sessions over the past month, and a growing number of governors are taking steps to push lawmakers to include legalizing marijuana as part of their 2020 agendas. At least 10 governors have gone so far as to put language ending marijuana prohibition in their annual budget requests, or used their State of the State speeches to pressure legislators to act on cannabis reform.
Some are proactively addressing the issue, while others appear to be mostly reacting to support that has already built up among lawmakers. But altogether, it’s clear that top state executives are now taking marijuana more seriously than ever before. Read More... Sanders Pledges Legal Marijuana In All 50 States Posted by on February 02, 2020 at 06:33:48 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- With just two days to go before the Iowa caucus, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is pledging to immediately legalize marijuana in all 50 states if he is elected to the White House.
“We will end the destructive war on drugs,” the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said at rally in Cedar Rapids. “On my first day in office through executive order we will legalize marijuana in every state in this country.” Sanders emphasized it would be important for his administration to end cannabis prohibition in a way that helps communities harmed by the drug war’s enforcement. Read More... New Mexico Governor Calls For MJ Legalization Posted by on January 16, 2020 at 17:07:15 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Mexico -- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said in the 2020 agenda she sent to lawmakers on Wednesday that she wants the legislature to enact a bill “legalizing the use of recreational cannabis in New Mexico and establishing a regulatory framework for its use, including public safety considerations, public health safeguards, and the protection of the state’s existing medical cannabis program.”
If lawmakers send such a bill to her desk, New Mexico will almost certainly be the next state in the U.S. to end cannabis prohibition, as the legislature there is meeting for a short 30-day session that begins on January 21. Read More... Marijuana Bills Congress Will Debate This Week Posted by on January 16, 2020 at 16:58:54 PT By Jon Blistein Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing centered around six pieces of marijuana legislation, including two bills that would legalize marijuana on a federal level.
A briefing memo for the hearing, obtained by Marijuana Moment last week, offers a breakdown of the six bills up for debate. At the top of the list is the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which passed the House Judiciary Committee last fall and became the first marijuana legalization bill to be approved by a Congressional committee. The other legalization bill up for debate is the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, while the final four bills deal with cannabis research, medical marijuana, and access to medical marijuana for veterans. Read More... Lawmakers Press Trump To Change Federal MJ Law Posted by on January 16, 2020 at 16:48:46 PT By Nathaniel Weixel Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- House lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with restrictions on federal marijuana research and are putting pressure on regulators to change the rules. While 33 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, federal research is extremely restricted.
During a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing Wednesday, bipartisan lawmakers pressed officials from the Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse about obstacles to studying the safety and effectiveness of cannabis products, including hemp-based cannabidiol. Read More... Cuomo Pledges To Legalize Marijuana in New York Posted by on January 09, 2020 at 05:45:53 PT By Rebecca Klar Source: Hill New York State -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) during his Wednesday night State of the State address pledged to legalize marijuana in New York by the end of this year.
Cuomo had said legalization was a priority in his agenda in 2019, but a push for legalization failed to pass in the state legislature before the end of the legislative session. “For decades, communities of color were disproportionately affected by the unequal enforcement of marijuana laws,” Cuomo said in his address, according to The New York Times. “Let’s legalize adult use of marijuana.” Read More... States That Could Legalize Marijuana Sales in 2020 Posted by CN Staff on January 01, 2020 at 12:02:10 PT By Claire Hansen, Staff Writer Source: U.S. News & World Report USA -- This year saw a number of firsts for marijuana reform at both the state and federal level: Illinois became the first state legislature to legalize the sale and possession of cannabis, a marijuana banking bill passed the Democratic-controlled House in a historic vote and a broad reform bill cleared a House committee for the first time.
But legalization bills also failed in several states as lawmakers squabbled over the moral and practical implications of legalization and the details of lifting restrictions on possession and sales. Read More... America’s Marijuana Growers are The Best Posted by on December 27, 2019 at 14:48:20 PT By Markian Hawryluk Source: Washington Post Denver -- In a large warehouse, LivWell Enlightened Health feeds its cloned cannabis plants a custom blend of nutrients, sprays them with filtered water and pumps extra carbon dioxide into the air, and releases three types of insects to clear unwanted pests without the use of toxic pesticides.
Every part of the growing process is meticulously documented and evaluated to refine the process. Read More... Congress Silently Killed Several Cannabis Reforms Posted by on December 25, 2019 at 11:06:56 PT By Blake Dodge Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- The House of Representatives attempted to pass cannabis reforms this month by attaching riders to spending legislation for fiscal 2020—only to see them get summarily shut down in the Senate.
The riders would have prevented the federal government from interfering with legal cannabis companies and eased their access to U.S. banking services, among other things the industry has said it needs to function properly. Read More... Federal Marijuana Legalization Is A Lock Posted by on December 11, 2019 at 14:31:32 PT By Mike Adams, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- If you listen carefully, you will hear the sound of a crooked foundation known as marijuana prohibition starting to crumble in the United States. It has been more than eight decades since the federal government outlawed the cannabis plant nationwide, and yet, here we are finally standing on its lawn with torches in hand waiting for a day of reckoning.
Because no matter how much the suits on the Hill have schemed to enslave a population through backasswards drug laws, the nation has risen up in true knock-down-drag-out fashion and fought for its freedom back. Admittedly, this battle for legal bud took a lot longer than it should have, but considering that everyone in the trenches was stoned beyond belief, the marijuana movement seems to be arriving right on time. Read More... Hemp or Pot Farm? Can’t Always Tell Posted by on December 05, 2019 at 14:42:59 PT By Sarah Maslin Nir Source: New York Times Salem, N.Y. -- She planted her spring crops at the family farm, following the same steps as her ancestors did as they farmed the land for seven generations. She tilled the soil, sowed the seeds, irrigated the earth and waited for the bushy green hemp plants to sprout.
Then Iris Rogers did something her farmer forebears never had to do: She put up warning signs. “Not marijuana,” it reads. “Will not get you high.” Read More... Marijuana Legalization Vote Was Truly Historic Posted by on November 23, 2019 at 09:26:25 PT By Justin Strekal Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- On Wednesday, members of Congress did something that they had never done before. For the first time ever, a body of the U.S. Congress voted to end cannabis’s nearly century-long status as a federally prohibited substance.
By a vote of more than two to one, members of the United States House Judiciary Committee passed legislation, House Bill 3884: The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act. Read More... Monumental Day for Cannabis in U.S. Congress Posted by on November 20, 2019 at 19:21:51 PT By Sam Wood Source: Philadelphia Inquirer Washington, D.C. -- As impeachment hearings transpired across the hall in the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee, by a vote of 24-10, advanced a bill that could make use of marijuana legal.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Opportunity (MORE) Act of 2019, which has bipartisan support and 55 cosponsors, would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, which means the federal government treats it as if it were as dangerous as heroin or LSD and has no medical benefit. Read More...
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