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... 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...
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