Marijuana Politics

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Mon
27
Apr

Nevada lawmakers take Colorado marijuana tour

DENVER — With smiles, selfies and a few nervous chuckles, a group of Nevada legislators and policymakers got a first-hand look at Colorado's fast-growing legal marijuana industry this weekend, coming face-to-face with thousands of green growing plants.

The small group is part of Nevada's efforts to understand what legalization could mean. The Silver State has permitted medical marijuana, and now there's talk voters might be asked to legalize recreational pot next year.

The group met its Colorado counterparts, and toured several marijuana stores, including the high-tech, 40,000-square-foot Medicine Man in Denver, one of the state's largest.

Mon
27
Apr

Alabama Senate committee gives OK to medical marijuana bill

In a somewhat surprising move, a comprehensive medical marijuana bill passed in an Alabama Senate committee on Wednesday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave Sen. Bobby Singleton's bill a favorable report on a 4-3 vote after little debate. The Medical Marijuana Patient Safe Access Act can now be considered on the Senate floor.

See related: Could medical marijuana legislation pass this year in Alabama?

Senate leadership could, however, refuse to put the bill on a calendar so it can be debated and voted on by the full body.

Mon
27
Apr

House approves bill to decriminalize marijuana in Illinois

Possessing small amounts of marijuana in Illinois would be punished by ticket

SPRINGFIELD — A bill that cleared the Illinois House on Thursday by a bipartisan 62-53 vote would put possession of small amounts of marijuana on par with traffic tickets.

The proposal by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, would make a possession of 15 grams (about half an ounce) or less a civil law offense punishable by a maximum fine of $125.

The measure, House Bill 218, does not make marijuana a legal substance.

Cassidy said her intent is to bring uniformity to a patchwork of more than 100 local government ordinances that vary tremendously regarding amount of the drug and size of the fine.

Mon
27
Apr

Ecuadorian Activists Want Nothing Less than Universal Marijuana

Ecuador’s National Assembly is currently debating the Organic Law on Comprehensive Drug Prevention, which could decriminalize drugs like marijuana.

Ecuador may be on the verge of a landmark shift in drug policy, as legislators debate the newly proposed Organic Law on Comprehensive Drug Prevention. The initiative, promoted by the ruling party PAIS Alliance, opens the door for legalization, and could spell the beginning of the end for the War on Drugs in Ecuador.

Mon
27
Apr

East Lansing voters to consider marijuana proposal May 5

EAST LANSING – Advocates of marijuana decriminalization, like East Lansing lawyer and activist Jeffrey Hank, are sometimes surprised at how far their efforts have come.

“That is quite an interesting picture of the times we live in, when sensible marijuana law reform is agreed on by everyone and is the least controversial subject on the ballot,” Hank wrote in an e-mail. “Fifteen or 20 years ago that would have been unthinkable.”

One of three proposals on the May 5 ballot for East Lansing voters would repeal the city’s marijuana laws and allow the use, possession and transfer of up to 1 ounce of the drug on private property by people 21 and older.

Mon
27
Apr

Medical marijuana amendment could sway 2016 presidential election

If the Florida Legislature fails to pass a medical marijuana bill this session the issue is almost certain to resurface as a proposed constitutional amendment in 2016. A similar amendment narrowly failed in 2014. However, it is widely believed that in a presidential election cycle (when Democrats in Florida turn out by 4-6 percent more than in non-presidential election cycles) a medical marijuana amendment will pass.

The real question may not be whether a medical marijuana amendment will pass (recent polls show medical marijuana is supported by 70 percent of Floridians) but whether such an amendment will impact the 2016 presidential election.

Mon
27
Apr

Change the drug laws to save money, say UK civil servants

Civil servants will suggest the decriminalisation of the use of hard drugs as a way of tackling the Ministry of Justice’s budget woes when the new government takes power next month.

Officials are expecting the next Lord Chancellor to demand yet more spending cuts and revenue-raising measures to get one of the world’s most expensive legal systems under financial control.

Sun
26
Apr

Mike Folmer: Pennsylvania's Unlikely Champion Of Medical Marijuana

HARRISBURG (CBS) — Medical marijuana legislation is advancing through the Pennsylvania legislature and the profile of the man leading the charge is not what most people would expect.

State Senator Mike Folmer, a Lebanon County Republican, is not just the sponsor of legislation to legalize medical marijuana, he is passionate about it. That passion, he says, comes from what he has learned about it.

Sun
26
Apr

Hemp backers say bill gives momentum, especially for tribes

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Some observers say a North Dakota bill passed this legislative session that sets guidelines for industrial hemp production should make it easier to grow and may help create an industry for Indian tribes, although it could take a while to sort out federal policies.

Hemp can be used to make clothing, lotion and many other products, but growing it has been illegal under federal law because it is type of cannabis plant and looks like marijuana. Unlike marijuana, people can't get high on hemp.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. David Monson is meant to put the state in line with the new federal farm bill that allows hemp to be grown through state agriculture departments and college research stations.

Sat
25
Apr

Marijuana Is Not, Repeat Not, a Gateway Drug

With states legalizing marijuana by popular vote, some politicians, including Boston mayor Marty Walsh and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, are still calling marijuana a gateway drug.

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