Marijuana Politics

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Mon
24
Jan

House Republicans begin retail marijuana debate with focus on lower taxes and school funding

GOP

Del. Michael Webert's proposed bill would cut taxes on marijuana sales in half

GOP lawmakers in the Virginia House of Delegates are taking their first stab at legislation to open the retail marijuana market, introducing bills that would lower the tax rate on sales and redirect proposed social equity funding to school infrastructure.

But leadership in the chamber stressed that the effort remains very much a work in progress and that they expect plenty of changes as the legislation makes its way through the committee system.

Mon
24
Jan

As Missouri looks to legalize recreational marijuana, expungement gets renewed attention

joint

Legal experts worry expungement proposals currently being considered might cause more harm than good

The push to legalize recreational marijuana use in Missouri is coming from multiple directions, with a handful of proposed initiative petitions and at least one bill, and potentially more, backed by Republican lawmakers. 

Each hopes to place the issue on the 2022 ballot for voter approval.

And each proposal also includes a provision that, while often overlooked in the marijuana debate, is considered a transformative piece of the legalization puzzle — the expungement of nonviolent marijuana offenses from criminal records. 

The proposals differ on how they handle expungement. 

Mon
24
Jan

Florida’s roadmap to cannabis legalization

Florida

The wait for legal cannabis in Florida may continue longer than proponents planned, but if everything goes accordingly from a planning and preparation standpoint, the wait may be worthwhile for consumers.

Ever since Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational cannabis use about a decade ago, dozens of other states have followed in their footsteps. In fact, nearly half of the states in the country have recreational cannabis laws on the books now, which makes one curious as to where Florida is on cannabis legalization.

Fri
21
Jan

New York predicts $1.25 billion in pot tax revenue over six years

Times Square

New York is looking at major revenue from cannabis sales over the next six years according to Governor Kathy Hochul.

New York is poised to collect $1.25 billion in revenue from taxes on legal cannabis sales, according to a budget projection from Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul released on Tuesday. The revenue projections are included in the state budget for next year, which includes significant investment in projects designed to continue the economic and social recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Fri
21
Jan

Austin, Texas cannabis decriminalization initiative set for ballot in May

Austin

The Austin Freedom Act of 2021 also aims to ban dangerous ‘no knock’ warrants.

Officials in Austin, Texas have officially given the green light to a cannabis decriminalization initiative now set to appear in an upcoming ballot. On January 18, the Austin City Council in Texas voted to allow the ballot initiative known as the “Austin Freedom Act of 2021” on the upcoming special election on May 7. The Act will stop local law enforcement from convicting residents of low-level cannabis offenses, and will prohibit “no knock” warrants by police as well.

The initiative is supported by an organization called Ground Game Texas (GGT).

Fri
21
Jan

Gov. Lujan Grisham gives OK for legislature to make some cannabis law changes

gavel

In addition to high-profile efforts to improve public safety and education, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has called on lawmakers to address cannabis during the 30-day legislative session.  Lujan Grisham issued a message on Thursday afternoon, authorizing lawmakers to add changes to the Cannabis Regulation Act to the legislative agenda.  The governor’s message pertains to SB 100, which is sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque.

Fri
21
Jan

An inside look at the humanitarian crisis within illegal marijuana grows

cannabis

As local law enforcement makes one illegal marijuana bust after another they’re also finding human victims at the grow sites themselves. Law enforcement has confirmed much of the illegal cannabis activity in our region is from international cartels. But it’s not just the plants, money, and weapons that local, state, and federal officials are after.

It’s a plant that makes a lot of profit. But it also has a dark side. We’re talking marijuana and it’s not the legal kind.

“As the number of these operations has grown, the number of workers has grown as well, which increases the propensity for this to take place,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer. SAC Hammer oversees the Homeland Security Investigations operations in the Pacific Northwest.

Fri
21
Jan

Mississippi House approves amended medical marijuana bill — here’s what’s in it

city

When, or if, the Senate approves the changes and Gov. Reeves signs the bill, the program regulating and selling cannabis to registered patients will kick off later this year.

The Mississippi House of Representatives passed an amended version of the Senate’s medical marijuana bill on Wednesday, lowering the amount of cannabis a patient can purchase each month.

What Happened

The measure was approved on a 104–14 vote. The changes addressed concerns raised by Gov. Tate Reeves (R), who repeatedly called for lawmakers to lower the amount, Marijuana Moment reported.

Thu
20
Jan

CDC issues best practices for fleet marijuana policies

list

The CDC recently issued guidance to businesses developing marijuana policies, balancing state legalization efforts and fleet safety. Per the CDC, marijuana should be addressed in motor vehicle safety programs.

Marijuana is a particularly challenging issue as THC can remain at detectable levels long after any intoxicating effect has ceased. Indeed, THC can be detected up to several weeks following consumption. As a result, the CDC reports marijuana being one of the most frequent drugs found in post-crash testing.

The CDC's confirmation of marijuana's specific contribution to crash risk being unclear further complicates this issue. Likewise, a zero-tolerance marijuana policy may no longer be viable under state legalization laws.

Thu
20
Jan

2 California men found with nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana in camper in Alabama

jail

Two California men were jailed in Alabama after police said they found almost 1,000 pounds of marijuana worth nearly $3 million hidden in a camper just off Interstate 20.

An officer saw a camper running off the road while exiting the highway Tuesday morning, news outlets reported. The officer stopped the vehicle outside a store and the men agreed to a search, police said.

Officers found 953 pounds of marijuana wrapped in plastic hidden throughout the camper, authorities said.

“There actually wasn’t a square inch of storage space in the vehicle, whether it be the undercarriage or inside the vehicle, that wasn’t stuffed with marijuana,” Police Chief Paul Irwin said.

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