Author: NORML

Texas: HB 81 advances with a committee vote of 4-2!

By Jax Finkel
Texas NORML Executive Director

Great news! Chairman Joe Moody’s House Bill 81, which would replace criminal penalties for marijuana possession with a simple ticket, has passed out of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee with a bipartisan vote of 4-2, with one member absent. There was a committee substitute and you can read the verbiage here.

Now, the bill is headed to the Calendars Committee — the group of legislators who manage the voting schedule for the Texas House. What can you do to help?

Houston Has Decriminalized Marijuana, Reveals Conflicting Attitudes and Budget Priorities of Law Enforcement

Last month on March 1, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg decriminalized marijuana by instituting the new Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program. Including the city of Houston this decision in Harris County affects more than 4.5 million Texans. As a result, possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana is now punishable by up to $150, submitting to a “Decision making” class and no criminal record.

Did you see John Oliver last night?

Did you catch it? On Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver skewered our nation’s failed policy of marijuana prohibition addressing topics ranging from a potential crackdown from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the newly formed Cannabis Caucus, and the desperate need for federal marijuana law reform.

Virginia: Local Focus, Nationwide Impact

In the first quarter of 2017, the reform efforts of Virginia NORML laid a framework for exciting changes in the Commonwealth’s cannabis policies. As spring blooms, conversations are blossoming in municipalities across the state challenging the status quo of criminally prosecuting misdemeanor possession in favor of civil fines. And we’re leading the charge not only at home in Virginia, but in Congress as well. As Virginia NORML continues its mission to reform marijuana laws, our efforts must target all three fronts, federal, state and local.

NORML Responds To National Academy of Sciences’ Marijuana Report

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive report today acknowledging that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for cannabis’ efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain, and sharply criticized longstanding federal regulatory barriers to marijuana research – in particular “the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance” under federal law.