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... Marijuana Will Be Legal in Virginia Starting July Posted by on April 09, 2021 at 06:12:00 PT By Mel Leonor Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginia will legalize the use of recreational marijuana among adults this summer, an acceleration in the timeline that is meant to curb the disparate impact of prohibition on people of color in a Southern state remade by its Democratic legislative majority.
The General Assembly on Wednesday backed a proposal from Gov. Ralph Northam to allow Virginians over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to four cannabis plants at home starting on July 1. Legalization will come with immediate spending on police training and public education, but without a legal marijuana market, which remains years away. Read More... Officers Not to Stop New Yorkers Smoking MJ Posted by on April 03, 2021 at 18:30:51 PT By Jordan Williams Source: Hill New York -- A recent memorandum from the New York Police Department (NYPD) advises officers not to stop residents who are smoking marijuana in public.
The memo shared with The Hill on Friday outlines how officers are to approach the drug after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed recreational weed into law for adults aged 21 and over on Wednesday. Read More... Schumer Says Senate Will Move Ahead on Marijuana Posted by on April 03, 2021 at 13:02:08 PT By Celine Castronuovo Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has vowed to move forward with legislation to federally legalize marijuana, even if President Biden resists such a move. In an interview with Politico published Saturday, Schumer said he “will have an ongoing conversation” with Biden on the legalization of cannabis to “tell him how my views have evolved” on the issue.
However, Schumer said that if Biden, who has vocalized opposition to the full legalization of cannabis, does not eventually come around to the legislation, the Senate will still “move forward.” Read More... New Mexico Is Set to Legalize Marijuana Posted by on April 01, 2021 at 18:56:15 PT By Daniel Victor Source: New York Times New Mexico was set to become the 16th state to legalize recreational marijuana after the Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday, joining a national movement to rethink antidrug laws that are increasingly seen as impediments to racial justice and the economy.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said she would sign the bill, which would also expunge the criminal records of people who possessed marijuana for personal use. She said in a statement that workers, entrepreneurs and the government would benefit from the new industry, creating jobs and tax revenue. Read More... States Speed Ahead with Marijuana Legalization Posted by on March 31, 2021 at 19:43:54 PT By Glenn Thrush Source: New York Times USA -- While the White House is cracking down on the use of marijuana by staff members, governors and lawmakers around the country are taking a very different approach: accelerating their efforts to legalize cannabis and purge the criminal records of people convicted of possessing the drug.
On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed a bill passed in the Democratic-controlled legislature that decriminalizes the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana, imposes a 13 percent sales tax on the substance, and purges the state records of those previously convicted of minor possession infractions. Read More... New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Posted by on March 31, 2021 at 15:31:18 PT By Luis Ferré-Sadurní Source: New York Times New York -- After years of stalled attempts, New York State has legalized the use of recreational marijuana, enacting a robust program that will reinvest millions of dollars of tax revenues from cannabis in minority communities ravaged by the decades-long war on drugs. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the cannabis legislation on Wednesday, a day after the State Legislature passed the bill following hours of debate among lawmakers in Albany.
New York became the 15th state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, positioning itself to quickly become one of the largest markets of legal cannabis in the nation and one of the few states where legalization is directly tied to economic and racial equity. Read More... Schumer Pushes Senate on Pot Legalization Posted by on March 31, 2021 at 07:40:55 PT By Steven T. Dennis Source: Bloomberg Washington D.C. -- Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing the Senate toward lifting the federal prohibition on marijuana with legislation that would represent the biggest overhaul of federal drug policy in decades.
The bill that Schumer is drafting with Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden of Oregon and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is still being written. Though they avoided the term legalization when announcing their plan, it is expected to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and tax and regulate it on the federal level while leaving states able to enforce their own laws regarding the drug. Read More... Senior Happy Hour Goes Up in Smoke Posted by on March 25, 2021 at 14:56:11 PT By Paula Span Source: New York Times USA -- For years, Harry B. Lebowitz spent the cocktail hour at his home in Delray Beach, Fla., sitting in his backyard overlooking a lake and smoking a joint while his partner relaxed with her vodka and club soda.
Mr. Lebowitz, 69, a mostly retired businessman, qualified for a state medical marijuana card because he suffered from anxiety, sleep apnea and back pain. He credits cannabis with helping to wean him off several prescription drugs. Read More... New York Reaches a Deal to Legalize Marijuana Posted by on March 25, 2021 at 11:41:29 PT By Luis Ferré-Sadurní Source: New York Times New York -- New York State officials finalized a deal on Thursday to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, paving the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs and become one of the largest markets in the country.
Following several failed attempts, lawmakers in Albany struck an agreement with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, a move that officials hope will help end years of racially disproportionate policing that saw Black and Hispanic people arrested on low-level marijuana charges far more frequently than white people. Read More... White House Wages Its Own Culture War Posted by on March 23, 2021 at 06:53:11 PT By Giovanni Russonello Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- As President Biden presses ahead with his agenda, Republicans are turning more attention to immigration and “cancel culture” — a 21st-century retrofit of the so-called culture wars, which Republicans often use to retain support when their party is out of power in Washington.
But within the White House, the Biden administration has a culture war of its own on its hands. And it’s left many of the president’s political allies scratching their heads. Read More... Democratic Senators Elevate Fed Cannabis Reform Posted by on March 17, 2021 at 09:04:19 PT By Robert Hoban, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- On February 1, Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden, alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement announcing that marijuana reform bills would be merged as Congress moves toward some form of federal cannabis legalization.
In the wake of this announcement, the cannabis market soared. Hopes are higher than ever that we are on the brink of widepsread cannabis reform in the United States and this would obviously have huge implications for the global marketplace and in turn, investment in the sector. Read More... NJ Governor Signs Bills Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on February 22, 2021 at 13:55:10 PT By Aris Folley Source: Hill New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed into law legislation legalizing and regulating the use and possession of marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older. The legislation also decriminalizes marijuana and hashish possession, his office announced Monday.
“Our current marijuana prohibition laws have failed every test of social justice, which is why for years I’ve strongly supported the legalization of adult-use cannabis,” Murphy said in a statement. Read More... PA Governor Pushing for MJ Legalization in 2021 Posted by on January 29, 2021 at 15:44:11 PT By Andrew Blake, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Pennsylvania -- Marijuana legalization is among the priorities that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf plans to pursue in 2021, the Democrat announced Thursday, albeit facing likely opposition from the GOP-led state legislature.
Ahead of his upcoming annual budget address Tuesday, Mr. Wolf presented a preview of his legislative agenda that includes legalizing marijuana among the governor’s main goals for this year. Read More... 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...
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