Author: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Michigan: Supreme Court Says Detroit Voters Can Decide On Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure

The Supreme Court for the state of Michigan has ruled that city election officials cannot prevent Detroit voters from deciding on a municipal ballot measure that seeks to remove marijuana possession penalties for those age 21 or older. The Court refused to review an appeal brought by the Detroit City Clerk’s office and the Detroit Election Commission that sought to strike down the proposed ballot question, sponsored by the group Coalition for a Safer Detroit. In 2010, the Coalition collected over 6,000 signatures from registered voters to place the measure […]

Study: Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Not Associated With Neighborhood Crime

The establishment of medical cannabis dispensaries does not adversely impact local crime rates, according to a federally funded study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) examined whether the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries is associated with elevated crimes rates. Researchers assessed the spatial relationship between density of medical marijuana dispensaries and two types of crime rates (violent crime and property crime) in 95 census tracts in Sacramento, California, during the year 2009. Researchers reported: “There were no […]

New Hampshire Lawmakers Send Medical Marijuana Legalization Measure To Governor’s Desk

Less than one week after Connecticut became the 17th state to legalize the therapeutic use of cannabis, lawmakers in the New Hampshire House and Senate late today affirmed their support for legislation to allow for the personal possession, cultivation, and use of the plant for medicinal purposes. This afternoon, House lawmakers on a voice vote reaffirmed their prior support for Senate Bill 409, which they had previously approved last month by a veto-proof super-majority. Members of the Senate then approved the measure by a vote of 13-9 — a gain […]

Breaking: Rhode Island General Assembly Overwhelmingly Backs Marijuana Decriminalization Measures

By a vote of more than 2 to 1, members of the Rhode Island General Assembly today approved legislation to significantly reduce the state’s criminal marijuana possession penalties. Members of the House and Senate passed twin bills, House Bill 7092 and Senate Bill 2253, which amend state law so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an individual 18 years or older is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine) to a non-arrestable civil offense — punishable […]

Connecticut Becomes The 17th State To Allow For The Limited Legalization Of Marijuana As Medicine

Democrat Gov. Dan Malloy signed legislation into law on Friday, June 1, allowing for the state-sanctioned production, distribution, and use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The new law – Public Act 12-55, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana – will take effect on October 1, 2012. “For years, we’ve heard from so many patients with chronic diseases who undergo treatments like chemotherapy or radiation and are denied the palliative benefits that medical marijuana would provide,” Governor Malloy said in a prepared statement. (Read it here.) “With careful regulation […]

Rhode Island: Lawmakers Moving Forward With Marijuana Decriminalization Measures

On Tuesday, separate legislative committees in the Rhode Island House and Senate approved measures to significantly reduce the state’s criminal marijuana possession penalties. House Bill 7092 and its companion legislation, Senate Bill 2253, amend state law so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an individual 18 or older is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine) to a non-arrestable civil offense, punishable by a $150 fine, no jail time, and no criminal record. You can read […]

Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Lower Mortality Risk In Patients With Psychotic Disorders

[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.] The use of cannabis is associated with lower mortality risk in patients with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders, according to a forthcoming study to be published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. (Read the abstract of the study online here.) An international team of investigators from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Inje University in South Korea assessed […]

Rhode Island: Governor Signs Legislation Authorizing State-Licensed Medical Marijuana ‘Compassion Centers’

Governor Lincoln Chafee signed legislation into law this week authorizing the creation of state-licensed ‘compassion centers’ to engage in the production and distribution of cannabis for authorized patients. It is the second time since 2009 that state lawmakers have approved legislation allowing for the state regulation of medical marijuana facilities. Under the new law, Senate Bill 2555, health regulators will license three not-for-profit entities, known as ‘compassion centers,’ to operate within the state. Compassion centers will not be allowed to cultivate more than 150 cannabis plants on the premises at […]

Study: Non-Psychotropic Plant Cannabinoids Counteract Prostate Cancer Growth

[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.] The administration of non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids, in particular cannabidiol (CBD), inhibit proliferation and selectively trigger cell suicide of prostate carcinoma, according to preclinical data to be published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. (Read the study abstract online here.) An international team of investigators from Italy and the United Kingdom assessed the anti-cancer properties of various non-psychoactive synthetic and botanical […]

Breaking: Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession Moves Forward In New Jersey

[Update: The full Assembly is now scheduled to vote on A. 1465 this THURSDAY, MAY 24. For the first time in many years, there is now political momentum in New Jersey to mitigate marijuana possession penalties. If you reside in New Jersey, your member of the Assembly needs to hear from you NOW. Contact your state lawmakers via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.] Members of the state Assembly Judiciary Committee voted unanimously today in favor of Assembly Bill 1465, bi-partisan legislation which reduces criminal penalties for those who possess personal […]