Author: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Cannabis Is Now Legal In Washington State

History was made in Washington on Election night when 55 percent of voters decided in favor of Initiative 502. And at 12am this morning, history was made once again. Today, for the first time in 89 years (Washington lawmakers initially outlawed cannabis in 1923, 14 years ahead of the enactment of federal prohibition.), an adult may possess up to one ounce cannabis (and/or up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form) for their own personal use in private — […]

Poll: Solid Majority Of Voters Back Legalizing Cannabis

Nearly six out of ten Americans support legalizing cannabis, according to a just released Public Policy Polling automated telephone survey of 1,325 voters, commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project. 58 percent of respondents said that marijuana ‘should be legal.’ Only 34 percent of respondents opposed the notion of legalizing cannabis. A solid plurality of voters (47 percent of respondents versus 33 percent) also said that the federal government should not interfere with newly passed marijuana legalization measures in Colorado and Washington. Male respondents endorsed legalization by a greater margin than […]

Congressional Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Halt Federal Interference In State Marijuana Laws

United States Representatives have introduced bipartisan legislation in Congress — House Bill 6606, The Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2012 — to amend the US Controlled Substances Act to provide that federal law shall not preempt state marijuana laws. The measure is sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, and is co-sponsored by Reps. Blumenauer (OR), Coffman (CO), Cohen (TN), Farr (CA), Frank (MA), Grijalva (AZ), Lee (CA), Paul (TX), and Polis (CO). It has been referred to Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. “I am […]

Angus Reid Poll: Most Canadians, Americans Support Marijuana Legalization — Expect It To Be Legal Within Ten Years

A majority of adults in both Canada and the United States believe that cannabis ought to be legal, according to a two-country Angus Reid Public Opinion poll of 1,005 randomly selected Canadian adults and 1,002 randomly selected American adults. In the online survey of representative national samples, a majority of Canadians (57 percent) and Americans (54 percent) support the legalization of marijuana. Sixty-six percent of those polled in both countries said that they anticipate that cannabis will be legalized within the next ten years. Respondents strongly opposed the notion of […]

The Hill.com: “Voters Say ‘No’ To Pot Prohibition”

I have an op/ed today online at The Hill.com’s influential Congress blog (“Where lawmakers come to blog”). Read an excerpt from it below: Voters say ‘No’ to pot prohibition via TheHill.com Voters in Colorado and Washington made history on Election Day. For the first time ever, a majority of voters decided at the ballot box to abolish cannabis prohibition. … Predictably, the federal government – which continues to define cannabis as equally dangerous to heroin – is not amused. According to various media reports, the Justice Department is in the […]

Study: Those Arrested For Minor Pot Offenses Unlikely To Subsequently Commit Violent Crimes

Arresting and prosecuting low level marijuana offenders in New York City has little or no impact on law enforcement efforts to reduce violent crime, according to a study released today by Human Rights Watch, an international advocacy organization that focuses on human rights violations worldwide. The study’s authors reviewed data from the New York Department of Criminal Justice Services to track the criminal records of nearly 30,000 people who had no prior convictions when they were arrested for marijuana possession in public view [NY State Penal Law 221.10] in 2003 […]

Will Illinois Become The 19th State To Allow For The Medical Use of Marijuana?

Illinois state lawmakers are expected in the coming days to once again consider legislation that seeks to allow for the limited use of cannabis by authorized patients. During a special ‘veto session’ to be held later this month, House members are expected to vote on House Bill 30, which seeks to establish a pilot program to allow for the state-authorized distribution of cannabis to patients with qualifying medical conditions. Previous roll calls have demonstrated legislative support in the House to be just shy of a majority. That said, today’s political […]

Prosecutors In Colorado, Washington Dismiss Even More Marijuana Cases

Prosecutors throughout Colorado and Washington state continue to dismiss hundreds of pending misdemeanor marijuana possession cases. On Thursday, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey and City Attorney Doug Friednash announced that they would stop pressing charges and would review pending criminal cases involving minor cannabis possession offenses. Their announcement came one day after Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett announced he would dismiss pending cases that involved less than an ounce of marijuana. Fifty-five percent of Colorado voters on Election Day approved Amendment 64, which allows for the legal possession of […]

Local Depenalization Measures Win Big On Election Day

In addition to the historic Election Day votes in Colorado and Washington, voters in several cities in Massachusetts and Michigan also decided overwhelmingly in favor of ending marijuana prohibition. Massachusetts voters in over 40 municipalities — representing approximately one-fifth of the electorate — voted in favor of local (non-binding) public policy questions in favor of ending the criminalization of cannabis for adults. A complete tally of these public policy questions and results is available here. (Voters in Burlington, Vermont also passed a similar non-binding legalization measure.) In Michigan, voters in […]

Voters In Colorado and Washington Make History: Vote To Repeal Cannabis Prohibition

Voters in Colorado and Washington on Election Day in favor of ballot measures that remove criminal and civil penalties for the adult possession of cannabis. The votes mark the first time ever that voters have decided at the ballot box to abolish cannabis prohibition. In Colorado, 55 percent of voters decided in favor of Amendment 64, which allows for the legal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by those persons age 21 and over. Longer-term, the measure seeks to […]