Biden Uses Clemency Powers for First Time Posted by on April 26, 2022 at 11:04:45 PT By Zolan Kanno-Youngs Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- President Biden said on Tuesday that he would use his clemency powers for the first time to commute the sentences of 75 drug offenders and issue three pardons, including to the first Black Secret Service agent to work on a presidential detail, who had long maintained he had been wrongfully convicted.
“Helping those who served their time return to their families and become contributing members of their communities is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism and decrease crime,” Mr. Biden said in a statement, adding that those receiving clemency had “demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities.” Read More... Recreational Cannabis Sales Near $2 Million Posted by on April 02, 2022 at 10:43:09 PT By Matthew Narvaiz, Journal Staff Writer Source: Albuquerque Journal New Mexico -- Customers flooded New Mexico dispensaries on Friday – the first day of recreational cannabis sales – and spent more than $2.7 million, according to the state’s Cannabis Control Division.
Over 29,000 recreational cannabis customers spent more than $1.9 million on Friday, according to the agency. Medical sales stood at around $788,000. Read More... House Votes to Decriminalize Cannabis Posted by on April 01, 2022 at 13:38:13 PT By Jonathan Weisman Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- The House passed legislation on Friday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, as Democrats and three Republicans banded together to capitalize on the political resonance of legalized cannabis as an issue of economic growth, racial justice and states’ rights.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which passed 220-204, is unlikely to secure 60 votes to pass the Senate, despite the backing of the majority leader, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. But supporters of marijuana decriminalization — even some Republicans who voted against the Democratic legislation — said on Friday that the vote was a necessary step toward building consensus on something that can become law. Read More... House Set To Pass Marijuana Legalization Friday Posted by on March 31, 2022 at 15:59:08 PT By Cristina Marcos Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- The House is set to pass legislation on Friday to legalize marijuana nationwide, an effort that has unprecedented levels of support in both chambers of Congress. The bill is likely to pass the lower chamber largely along party lines, with most Republicans expected to oppose it.
Proponents argue that legalizing pot at the federal level will simply reflect most states’ existing policies that allow it in some form. Read More... Cannabis Legalization Bill Nears House Floor Vote Posted by on March 25, 2022 at 06:47:20 PT By Cristina Marcos Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Legislation to legalize marijuana at the federal level will be teed up for a House floor vote as soon as next week. The House Rules Committee announced Thursday that it will hold a hearing regarding the bill on Monday, which is the final step before consideration on the floor.
House leaders also placed the measure on a list of bills expected to be considered on the House floor next week. Read More... Schumer Will Back Marijuana Legalization Bill Posted by on February 11, 2022 at 06:37:15 PT By Clyde Hughes, UPI.com Source: UPI UPI -- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday he is supporting an effort by Democrats to bring a marijuana initiative to the floor that would legalize it and set banking rules for its sale for the first time.
The Democrats are pushing to introduce legislation by April that could be considered for votes during the mid-term elections. Read More... Bill to Legalize MJ in Ohio Heads to Lawmakers Posted by on January 31, 2022 at 04:58:27 PT By Haley BeMiller, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Columbus -- Ohio lawmakers will consider a proposal to legalize marijuana in the coming months after advocates gathered enough voter signatures in support of the effort.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 136,729 valid signatures as part of the state's initiated statute process, according to the secretary of state's office. That's nearly 4,000 over the required number. The measure will now be sent to the Ohio House and Senate, which have four months to act on the proposed law. Read More... How Oklahoma Became a Marijuana Boom State Posted by on December 29, 2021 at 07:44:32 PT By Simon Romero Source: New York Times Keota, Okla. -- Across Oklahoma, a staunchly conservative state with a history of drawing people in search of wealth from the land, a new kind of crop is taking over old chicken coops, trailer parks and fields where cattle used to graze.
Next door to a Pentecostal church in the tiny town of Keota, the smell of marijuana drifts through the air at the G & C Dispensary. Strains with names like OG Kush and Maui Waui go for $3 a gram, about a quarter of the price in other states. Read More... Ohio MJ Measure Secures 206K Voter Signatures Posted by on December 21, 2021 at 09:48:48 PT By Haley BeMiller, The Columbus Dispatch Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- A proposal to legalize marijuana in Ohio is poised to head to the state Legislature after proponents got the backing of more than 200,000 voters.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 206,943 signatures to Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Monday for a bill that would allow adults to buy and possess marijuana. The group drafted its measure earlier this year and began collecting the required 132,887 signatures in August. Read More... What Might Legalization of Marijuana Look Like? Posted by CN Staff on November 16, 2021 at 06:10:50 PT By Alex Malyshev and Sarah Ganley Source: Reuters USA -- It should come as no surprise that Americans' attitudes toward cannabis, and cannabis legalization, have come a long way since President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act ("CSA") of 1970 into law. Once associated with the War on Drugs, cannabis has become big business, with the state-legal cannabis market expected to reach over $40 billion in the United States by 2026.
Support for full federal legalization is at an all-time high, with 60% of adults believing that marijuana should be legal for both medical and recreational use. This is consistent with the fact that Americans now have access to either medical or adult-use cannabis under state laws in most states: Since 2012, 18 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized adult-use marijuana, while 37 states have legalized medical marijuana. Read More... Comedians, Cannabis Companies Push MJ Legalization Posted by CN Staff on November 09, 2021 at 15:03:23 PT By Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press Source: Associated Press New York -- Big cannabis companies are backing a new, celebrity-infused campaign to enlist marijuana users to pressure members of Congress to legalize pot nationwide.
Federal legalization has advanced somewhat but still faces strong headwinds on Capitol Hill. The “Cannabis in Common” initiative launched Tuesday aims to change that. A website makes it easier for supporters to email or call their congressional representatives and push for making marijuana legal. Read More... Marijuana Use Among Seniors is Getting Higher Posted by on November 08, 2021 at 15:57:55 PT By Hannah Critchfield, Tampa Bay Times Source: Orlando Sentinel St. Petersburg,Fla. -- Marvin Yeoman, 74, had tried cannabis as a young adult, but for his wife, it was new. “I never, never, ever even thought about marijuana when I was growing up — never in college, as a young adult or as a middle-aged adult,” said Rene Yeoman, 71. “It was just not even something that was on my radar.”
The Land O’ Lakes residents had both undergone recent major surgeries, so they gave in to their daughter’s suggestion to use the drug to treat chronic pain. Read More... 68% Of Adults Support Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on November 06, 2021 at 08:15:29 PT By Marisa Dellatto, Forbes Staff Source: Forbes USA -- For the second year in a row, a record-high majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, according to a new Gallup poll, as more states have recently passed laws allowing the drug and a $17 billion industry has sprung up around it.
A record high of 68% of U.S. adults support the legalization of marijuana, according to the October survey of over 800 adults released Thursday. That’s the same amount of people who were in favor of legalizing the drug last year. Read More... Marijuana is a $1 Billion Market in Massachusetts Posted by on November 01, 2021 at 16:53:42 PT By Roesli Arena, Boston University Source: Metro West Daily News Boston -- Recreational marijuana sales have soared in 2021, as Massachusetts emerges from the pandemic. However, business complications in the industry have remained stagnant. Massachusetts legalized marijuana in 2016, becoming the seventh state to do so. However, because the state only licensed sales in 2018, the industry has gotten off to a slow start here.
“Right out of the gate, the Legislature delayed everything by six months to rewrite the initiatives,” said Jim Borghesani, communications director of “Yes on 4” in 2016. Massachusetts was the only state to rewrite the law passed by voters on marijuana legalization. Read More... Push Begins for Marijuana Legalization in Arkansas Posted by on November 01, 2021 at 16:10:31 PT By Griffin Coop Source: Arkansas Times Arkansas -- A group that failed to get a recreational marijuana amendment on the ballot four years ago and sued the attorney general over procedural issues hopes to give Arkansas voters a chance to legalize recreational marijuana next year.
Arkansas True Grass, a group of marijuana advocates and volunteers, is gathering signatures for a constitutional amendment that would allow Arkansans aged 21 and over to purchase up to four ounces of marijuana a day and grow up to 12 plants of their own. The group needs 89,151 verified signatures to make the November 2022 ballot. The deadline to submit petitions is July 8, 2022. Read More... Reforming Marijuana Laws Before The Holidays Posted by on November 01, 2021 at 14:29:10 PT By Justin Strekal, Opinion Contributor Source: Hill USA -- Legalize and Regulate: That is the popular consensus in the United States when it comes to how Congress should reform federal marijuana laws.
Forty-four percent of Americans currently live in a state that has legalized it already under state statute. Poll after poll finds that a supermajority of Americans, including outright majorities of Democratic, Republican, and Independent voters, support the full legalization of cannabis for adult use. In fact, Pew Research recently reported that 91 percent of voters oppose federal cannabis criminalization, with only 8 percent supporting the status quo. Read More... Legalization of adult-use marijuana in Pa. Posted by on October 29, 2021 at 14:46:59 PT Source: The Express As a Republican senator who spent more than two decades in law enforcement, it may come as a surprise to some people that I have circulated a co-sponsorship memo outlining my intent to introduce legislation legalizing adult-use marijuana in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Read More... County D.A. To Dismiss 60,000 Past MJ Convictions Posted by on September 28, 2021 at 13:40:54 PT By James Queally, Staff Writer Source: Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, CA -- The nation’s largest prosecutor’s office is moving to dismiss roughly 60,000 marijuana convictions, the latest step to undo what some reform advocates consider the damage caused by narcotics enforcement carried out before Californians voted to legalize marijuana, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón announced Monday.
Under previous Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, the office moved last year to dump 66,000 marijuana convictions that took place before voters passed Proposition 64, the state law legalizing recreational marijuana use. But that list was compiled using information collected by the California Department of Justice, and Gascón said his office was able to identify tens of thousands more eligible cases by combing L.A. County court records. Read More... Greener Pastures: Marijuana Jobs Posted by on September 28, 2021 at 07:49:30 PT By Abha Bhattarai Source: Washington Post USA -- After a year on the front lines, Jason Zvokel traded in his 15-year career as a Walgreens pharmacist for a different kind of drugstore: a marijuana dispensary. Now instead of administering vaccines and filling prescriptions, he’s helping customers make sense of concentrates, tablets and lozenges. His pay is 5 percent lower, he said, but the hours are more manageable.
“I am so much happier,” said Zvokel, 46, who’s worked in retail since he was 18. “For the first time in years, I’m not miserable when I come home from work.” Read More... Legal Weed Is Key To Democrats’ Success Posted by on September 21, 2021 at 16:58:19 PT By A.J. Herrington, Contributor Source: Forbes Pennsylvania -- As the 2022 election cycle gets into full swing, Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race is already shaping up to be one of the most closely watched contests in the nation. With the pending retirement of Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, many pundits believe Pennsylvania is the best chance for Democrats to pick up a seat and break the 50-50 tie in the Senate. While about a half-dozen Democratic candidates have announced their bid for the office, current Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is emerging as the frontrunner. A populist with 14 years of experience as a small-town mayor, Fetterman stands firmly on core Democratic values. But the best chance of taking the Senate blue, he says, lies in the color green: legal marijuana. Read More... Ohio Marijuana Legalization Measure Gets Boost Posted by on August 21, 2021 at 08:18:20 PT By Grace Deng and Jessie Balmert Source: Columbus Dispatch Ohio -- An effort to legalize marijuana in Ohio cleared its first hurdle Friday. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost approved revised language for a law proposed by a group called the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. Yost rejected a previous version on Aug. 5. The law, called "An Act to Control and Regulate Adult Use Cannabis," would allow adults age 21 and older to buy, possess, grow and use marijuana.
A 10% tax on marijuana sales would go to funding jobs, addiction treatment and community support for areas with marijuana businesses. Ohio's medical marijuana businesses, several of which are backing the plan, could automatically get recreational marijuana licenses. Read More... Senate Moves To legalize Pot at Federal Level Posted by on August 03, 2021 at 11:33:57 PT By Sasha Hupkalos, LA Times Source: Press Herald Washington, D.C. -- The Senate is preparing to wade into a controversial conversation about federal policies on marijuana after Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat from New York, released draft legislation this month that would legalize weed at the federal level.
The draft bill, known as the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, follows a similar bill that passed the Democratic-controlled House in December and comes as recent polling from the Pew Research Center shows that about 60% of Americans support legalizing marijuana for recreational and medical use. Read More... Schumer Will Propose Federal Decriminalization Posted by on July 14, 2021 at 05:26:02 PT By Nicholas Fandos Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- Senator Chuck Schumer of New York plans to propose legislation on Wednesday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, putting his weight as majority leader behind a growing movement to unwind the decades-old war on drugs.
The draft bill, called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and begin regulating and taxing it, placing federal rules on a burgeoning industry that has faced years of uncertainty. Though states would still be allowed to set their own marijuana laws, businesses and individuals in states that have legalized its use would be free for the first time to sell and consume it without the risk of federal punishment. Read More... Three New States Legalize Marijuana Posted by on July 01, 2021 at 17:19:23 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Hill USA -- New laws legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use take effect in three states on Thursday, significantly expanding the number of Americans who will have access to consumable cannabis products.
The new laws may give new momentum to the push to legalize marijuana across the country as supporters begin circulating new ballot petitions and legislators drop their historical reluctance to marijuana reform. Read More... New Mexico: Green Light To Grow Posted by on June 27, 2021 at 10:39:26 PT By Robert Nott, General Assignment Reporter Source: New Mexican New Mexico -- Daniel Gonzales has been a medical cannabis patient in New Mexico for about five years, and he’s been smoking marijuana “since God knows when.” The 35-year-old San Juan County resident thinks it’s high time New Mexico legalized the drug.
He’s looking forward to Tuesday — the day New Mexico residents 21 and over can legally possess, use and grow recreational cannabis. Under the state’s Medical Cannabis Program, he is limited to growing four mature plants, while the law that takes effect Tuesday will allow each adult to grow six plants — or up to 12 in a household with more than one adult. Read More... Connecticut Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Posted by on June 23, 2021 at 07:11:09 PT By Joseph Choi Source: Hill Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) on Tuesday signed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana for adults in the state, becoming the 18th U.S. state to legalize the drug.
Beginning July 1, recreational marijuana will be legal for all adults aged 21 and older, according to a press release from the governor's office. Adults will be permitted to carry up to one and a half ounces on their person and to keep five ounces secured in a home or vehicle. Read More... Amazon Now Supports Federal Cannabis Legalization Posted by on June 02, 2021 at 07:17:20 PT By Will Yakowicz, Forbes Staff Source: Forbes USA -- The effort to legalize cannabis on the federal level won a powerful ally: e-commerce and media giant Amazon. The company announced on Monday that its public policy arm now supports a cannabis legalization bill that was reintroduced in the House late last month. Amazon also announced that it changed its drug testing policy and the company will no longer disqualify employees for marijuana use.
In a blog post published on Tuesday, Dave Clark, the head of Amazon’s global consumer division, wrote about how the company has evolved its thinking concerning cannabis as 17 states have legalized adult-use and over 30 states allow some form of medical marijuana. Read More... Cannabis Latest Battlefield in the Republican War Posted by on May 26, 2021 at 05:07:43 PT By Ryan Bort Source: Rolling Stone USA -- Ken Newburger felt like he’d been blindsided.
He knew a legal challenge had been mounted against the medical cannabis ballot initiative he’d worked on last year in Mississippi. He knew the state’s Supreme Court had taken up the case. But the argument against Initiative 65 was so nonsensical that Newburger had zero doubt the court would rule to uphold the measure. He was wrong: The court overturned it, and with it the will of the 74 percent of Mississippi voters who approved it last fall. Read More... Land Grab for a Piece of NY Marijuana Business Posted by on May 04, 2021 at 09:04:33 PT By Jane Margolies Source: New York Times New York -- It has been only five weeks since New York State legalized the use of recreational marijuana. The board that will oversee the rollout has yet to be appointed, let alone rules set for how licenses will be issued to cannabis businesses. The sale of legal pot in the state is still a year away. And, of course, marijuana remains illegal on the federal level.
But already the rush is on to get a piece of what could be a $4.2 billion industry in the Empire State. Read More... North Carolina Legislators Introduce MJ Bill Posted by on April 23, 2021 at 15:29:28 PT By Marina Pitofsky Source: Hill North Carolina state lawmakers introduced legislation this week to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in The Tar Heel State. Democratic state Reps. John Autry, Allison Dahle, Pricey Harrison and Zack Hawkins introduced the legislation, known as H.B. 617, on Tuesday, or 4/20, the annual pot holiday.
It would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of most forms of cannabis, several cannabis plants and other cannabis products for people who are 21 or older. It also includes regulations on lab testing of cannabis, taxation of marijuana products, creating cannabis-related facilities and more. Read More...