Texas Lawmaker Files Bill To Legalize Marijuana Posted by on March 04, 2015 at 13:30:22 PT By Dylan Baddour Source: Houston Chronicle Houston -- In Texas, a conservative lawmaker filed a bill to completely deregulate marijuana in the Lone Star State Monday, proposing to strike any mention of the psychoactive plant from state law.
"Everything that God made is good, even marijuana" said state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, who filed the bill. "The conservative thought is that government doesn't need to fix something that God made good." Read More... A Majority Favors Marijuana Legalization Posted by on March 04, 2015 at 06:05:32 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- For the first time, the General Social Survey -- a large, national survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research -- shows a majority of Americans favoring the legalization of marijuana.
In interviews conducted between March and October of last year -- when the legal marijuana markets in Colorado and Washington were ramping up -- researchers asked 1,687 respondents the following question: "Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not?" Read More... One More Marijuana Idea from Rep. David Simpson Posted by on March 03, 2015 at 11:50:29 PT By Rodger Jones Source: Dallas Morning News Texas -- Yesterday was Texas Independence Day. It was fitting that Rep. David Simpson used the occasion to file a sweeping bill (HB 2165) that would end marijuana prohibition in Texas. I posted an item yesterday about his “Christian case for drug law reform.” Little did I know that this Longview Republican had put a radical pot bill in the hopper.
A news release from Simpson’s office called the proposal a first in the nation; i.e., it would end marijuana prohibition but NOT substitute a different regulatory scheme. From the statement: Read More... Colorado Sold 17 Tons of Retail Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on February 28, 2015 at 07:04:21 PT By Daniel Wallis Source: Reuters Denver -- Consumers in Colorado bought more than 17 tons of recreational marijuana buds during the first year of the state's new retail market, but sales of medicinal pot still outstripped that at almost 50 tons, officials said on Friday.
In a national first, voters in Colorado and Washington state opted to legalize recreational marijuana use by adults in landmark twin ballots in 2012. The first retail stores opened in Colorado on Jan 1, 2014. Read More... D.C. Mayor Ratchets Down Marijuana Fight Posted by on February 27, 2015 at 15:12:57 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) began to ratchet down her confrontation with conservatives in Congress in her first nationally televised interview after she rebuffed warnings from House Republicans and legalized marijuana.
Bowser had said on Wednesday that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the head of the powerful House Oversight Committee, should stop “bullying” the District over a voter-approved ballot measure. She suggested instead that Chaffetz should focus on “his job,” including passing a budget deal to keep the Department of Homeland Security from shutting down. Read More... On Marijuana, House Republicans Have Few Options Posted by on February 27, 2015 at 06:07:04 PT By Mike DeBonis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana possession has now been legal in the District of Columbia for more than 12 hours, and the business of the city appears to be proceeding much as usual.That certainly seemed to be the case on Capitol Hill around midday Thursday, where eyes did not appear to be appreciably redder and snack food inventories hardly seemed depleted.
But it's looking increasingly likely that the District's voter-approved experiment with legal pot will continue at least through September, despite the determination of some Republican members of Congress to block the measure. Read More... Republicans Warn Washington to Think Twice Posted by on February 26, 2015 at 19:01:18 PT By Jennifer Steinhauer Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- Some Congressional Republicans said Thursday that they would increase their efforts to prevent residents here from possessing small amounts of marijuana, which became legal in Washington at midnight, and warned that the city would face numerous investigations and hearings should the mayor continue her practice of telling them to please find something else to worry about.
“We say move forward at your own peril,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, echoing a letter he and Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, sent to city officials this week, warning of legal action and ordering the district to turn over documentation on any employees involved with putting the law into effect. Read More... Recreational Pot Users are Legally Lighting Up Posted by on February 26, 2015 at 09:56:30 PT By Noah Bierman Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- Recreational pot supporters in the nation’s capital lit up in their homes in the early hours Thursday to celebrate the first day of legal marijuana in the District of Columbia.
Many were toking as they normally do, said Zack Pesavento, press officer for the DC Cannabis Campaign, which led a successful referendum on recreational pot in November. “Now, they just don’t have to worry about getting arrested for it.” Read More... Recreational Marijuana Now Legal In D.C. Posted by on February 26, 2015 at 05:13:00 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- After months of debate, threats and uncertainty, recreational marijuana became legal in Washington, D.C., Thursday -- at least according to the city government.
Adults 21 and over may now legally use marijuana, possess up to two ounces and grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes for personal use. Marijuana sales remain illegal, but the District Council is considering a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana sales, similar to laws in Colorado and Washington state. Because of the city's unique oversight by Congress, it's unclear if any measure legalizing marijuana sales and regulation could go into effect before 2016. Read More... DC Mayor Vows To Move Forward With MJ Legalization Posted by on February 25, 2015 at 16:08:34 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- In the final hours before marijuana possession is scheduled to become legal in the nation's capital, House Republicans have warned District of Columbia officials that they could go to jail if the measure to legalize goes into effect, but D.C.'s mayor has not backed down.
"You can go to prison for this," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) in a Wednesday interview with The Washington Post about the marijuana law that is supposed to go into effect Thursday. "We’re not playing a little game here." Read More... City to Legalize Pot Despite Threat from Congress Posted by CN Staff on February 25, 2015 at 16:00:05 PT By Ben Nuckols, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- Possession of marijuana will become legal in the nation's capital, Mayor Muriel Bowser reiterated Wednesday, defying a threat from Congress that she and other city leaders could face prison time for implementing a voter-approved initiative.
Bowser, a Democrat, said the city's plans haven't changed despite a letter from two leading House Republicans warning of repercussions if the city moves forward with legalization, which was set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Read More... Republicans Warn D.C. Mayor Not to Legalize Pot Posted by on February 25, 2015 at 05:59:39 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Two powerful House Republicans late Tuesday warned D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser not to move forward with legalizing marijuana in the nation’s capital and they warned of stiff federal retribution if the city’s chief executive did not yield.
The letter came on the same day that Bowser declared that a voter-approved measure to legalize pot would become law in the city at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday and the letter set the stage for a dramatic final 24 hours before that deadline. Read More... How Public Opinion on Marijuana Has Changed Posted by on February 24, 2015 at 19:56:09 PT By Mark Berman Source: Washington Post USA -- Marijuana officially became legal in Alaska on Tuesday, making it the third state to legalize recreational marijuana in as many years. Voters in two other places — Oregon and Washington, D.C. — have also approved legal marijuana, with similar efforts underway in several other states.
The arrival of legal weed in Alaska and the campaigns across the country come as a majority of the public now thinks marijuana should be legalized. And this is a very recent development, as public opinion on marijuana has radically changed in recent years. Read More... Mayor Touts ‘Home Grow, Home Use’ for Marijuana Posted by on February 24, 2015 at 19:35:05 PT By Andrea Noble, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana will be legal to smoke privately but not to be bought or sold in the District starting Thursday, despite Congressional efforts to block a voter approved measure that allows recreational use of the drug.
The city’s mayor and police chief, touting the motto “home grow, home use,” on Tuesday offered additional guidance for how the city will move forward with implementation of the new laws, which allow for home cultivation and possession of small amounts of marijuana but not sale of the drug. Read More... Alaska Becomes 3rd State with Legal Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2015 at 19:29:57 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Juneau, Alaska — Smoking, growing and possessing marijuana becomes legal in America’s wildest state Tuesday, thanks to a voter initiative aimed at clearing away 40 years of conflicting laws and court rulings.
Making Alaska the third state to legalize recreational marijuana was the goal of a coalition including libertarians, rugged individualists and small-government Republicans who prize the privacy rights enshrined in the state’s constitution. Read More... Marijuana May Be Safer Than Previously Thought Posted by on February 23, 2015 at 07:59:44 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Compared to other recreational drugs -- including alcohol -- marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.
Those are the topline findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly-used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine. Read More... Two House Bills Would End Federal Prohibition Posted by on February 20, 2015 at 19:30:58 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Two congressmen filed separate House bills on Friday that together would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana at the federal level, effectively ending the U.S. government's decadeslong prohibition of the plant.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act's schedules, transfer oversight of the substance from the Drug Enforcement Administration over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and regulate marijuana in a way similar to how alcohol is currently regulated in the U.S. Read More... Marijuana Charges Dropped Against Cancer Patient Posted by on February 19, 2015 at 15:19:36 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington -- The federal government has dropped all charges against a Washington medical marijuana patient who was recently diagnosed with late-stage cancer, in a high-profile case that involves the patient and his family growing medical cannabis at their home.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice dismissed multiple federal marijuana charges against 71-year-old Larry Harvey because of his deteriorating health brought on by stage 4 cancer of the pancreas, which has begun to spread to his liver. Read More... Two More Lawsuits Seek To Stamp Out Marijuana Posted by on February 19, 2015 at 13:30:23 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- Two lawsuits filed in federal court Thursday aim to shut down Colorado's regulated marijuana industry, claiming that the state's recreational marijuana laws are in violation of federal law.
The suits, filed by the anti-drug group Safe Streets and three other plaintiffs, target a number of Colorado lawmakers, including Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Revenue Department Executive Director Barbara Brohl and Marijuana Enforcement Division Director W. Lewis Koski. They allege that by allowing for a regulated marijuana market, these lawmakers are breaking federal law, which considers the plant illegal. Read More... Anti-Pot Group Says Lawsuit Will Challenge CO Law Posted by CN Staff on February 19, 2015 at 06:38:21 PT By Daniel Wallis Source: Reuters Denver -- Opponents of Colorado's marijuana legalization are expected to file a federal lawsuit on Thursday that will seek to shut down the state's new industry and which they say will accuse participants of violating racketeering laws.
Voters in Colorado chose to legalize the use of recreational marijuana by adults in a landmark 2012 ballot, even as the drug remains federally outlawed. Washington state has also legalized recreational pot, while Alaska and Oregon are following suit. Read More... Group Launches Campaign to Legalize Marijuana Posted by on February 17, 2015 at 16:50:28 PT By Heather Haddon Source: Wall Street Journal New Jersey -- A group of local prosecutors, civil-rights activists and health officials is launching an effort to make New Jersey the fifth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the U.S.
The campaign, called New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform, intends to push for state legislation that would legalize, tax and regulate pot distribution for adults in the state. If it is successful, New Jersey would join Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., in ending possession of pot as a criminal offense. Read More... Vermont Could Be Next State To Legalize Posted by on February 17, 2015 at 16:31:32 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Vermont could become the first state in history to legalize recreational marijuana via state legislature with a new bill submitted Tuesday that aims to end prohibition of the plant.
Senate Bill 95 would legalize the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana in the state for those 21 and older. Adult residents could possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to nine plants (two mature, seven immature) for personal use, including any additional marijuana produced by those plants. Personal cultivation would be limited to secure indoor facilities. Read More... I'm Facing Years In Prison For Medical Marijuana Posted by on February 13, 2015 at 10:30:08 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington -- Larry Harvey, 71, thought he was doing everything right growing medical marijuana for his personal use. His home state of Washington legalized medical cannabis in 1998, and Harvey says his cultivation of plants with his wife, other family members and a close friend complied with the law.
But in 2012, state and federal law enforcers raided the Harvey home and shut down their operation. Harvey; his wife, Rhonda; their son, Rolland Gregg; Gregg's wife, Michelle Gregg; and family friend Jason Zucker all face federal marijuana charges that could land them in prison for 10 years. Read More... U.S. Judge in CA Considers Argument on MJ Law Posted by CN Staff on February 13, 2015 at 04:43:42 PT By Sharon Bernstein Source: Reuters California -- A federal judge hearing the case of nine men accused of illegally growing marijuana in California said Wednesday she was taking very seriously arguments by their attorneys that the federal government has improperly classified the drug as among the most dangerous, and should throw the charges out.
Judge Kimberly J. Mueller said she would rule within 30 days on the request, which comes amid looser enforcement of U.S. marijuana laws, including moves to legalize its recreational use in Washington state, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska. Read More... Marijuana Use Rises While Arrests Fall Posted by on February 11, 2015 at 18:19:16 PT By Keith Humphreys Source: Washington Post USA -- There's been a general principle guiding drug policy for years: drug laws are enforced in tandem with the drug's use. But recent enforcement of marijuana laws has not followed that principle. The federal government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that in the aggregate Americans used marijuana on over 3.5 billion days in 2013, a rise of 57 percent since 2007. But over that same period, the FBI Uniform Crime Report recorded that marijuana possession arrests fell 21 percent to 609,000. Read More... Federal Judge Rules In Favor Of CA Dispensary Posted by on February 10, 2015 at 16:57:57 PT By Carly Schwartz, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post California -- A federal judge has signaled support for a medical marijuana dispensary in Berkeley, California, despite numerous attempts by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag to shut it down.
Judge Jon S. Tigar of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order on Friday stating that Berkeley Patients Group, a 15-year-old pot shop that bills itself as California's oldest, can continue to operate while the court considers pending litigation. Read More... D.C. Council Backs Down on Marijuana Hearing Posted by on February 10, 2015 at 05:52:41 PT By Aaron C. Davis Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The D.C. Council abandoned plans to hold a hearing on how to tax and regulate marijuana Monday after the District’s new attorney general warned that it could subject city lawmakers and their staff members to fines and even jail time.
The move amounted to a setback for advocates of marijuana legalization and highlighted the difficulties the District is likely to face as it tries to implement Initiative 71, the ballot measure approved overwhelmingly by voters in November. Read More... Feds: No Link Between Pot and Car Crashes Posted by on February 09, 2015 at 07:51:18 PT By Jesse Byrnes Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana use has not been found to increase the risk of car crashes, according to a new federal report.
Studying car accidents in Virginia Beach, Va., during a 20-month period ending in 2012, researchers randomly sampled 3,000 accident-involved drivers and found no evidence suggesting those with marijuana in their system were more prone to accidents, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report released Friday. Read More... D.C. Holds Hearing on Marijuana Sales Posted by CN Staff on February 09, 2015 at 05:22:56 PT By Ian Simpson Source: Reuters Washington, D.C. -- The legal sale of marijuana in the U.S. capital takes a step forward on Monday as District of Columbia city council members weigh a bill legalizing pot and regulating its sale.
The hearing comes as Congress faces an end-of-the-month deadline to quash a ballot initiative overwhelmingly approved by Washington voters legalizing marijuana. Read More... DC Sees Loophole in Congress’s Move to Halt MJ Law Posted by on February 07, 2015 at 18:52:26 PT By Jennifer Steinhauer Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- Last fall, voters in the District of Columbia chose to join a handful of states in legalizing the growth and possession of small amounts of marijuana. But unlike in the states, the free will of district voters — no matter how overwhelmingly expressed — is never the end of the story.
Congressional Republicans believe they have successfully nullified the law. But officials here, seizing on a single word in the congressional legislation designed to scuttle the policy, beg to differ, setting up one of the most closely watched collisions between the two Washingtons in years. Read More...
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