Minor marijuana possession arrests have plunged in the city of New Orleans following the adoption of a municipal ordinance one year ago that called for fining rather than arresting low-level offenders.
State laws reducing minor marijuana possession offenses from criminal to civil violations (aka decriminalization) are associated with dramatic reductions in drug-related arrests, and are not linked to any uptick in youth cannabis use, according to data published by researchers at Washington University and the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Philadelphia officials announced today that they will no longer prosecute marijuana possession offenses.
On Tuesday, January 24th, activists from a wide array of Pennsylvania NORML affiliates, allied groups, and state lawmakers took the fight for marijuana law reform to the state capitol building in Harrisburg.
Despite last week’s move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind the Cole Memo, a 2013 DOJ memorandum that allowed state sanctioned marijuana business to thrive despite the quagmire between state and federal laws, lawmakers in several states are advancing marijuana reform legislation.
Legal Aid of Western Missouri, an organization that provides free, comprehensive civil legal services to low-income people, can now offer free legal services to indigent defendants charged with marijuana possession.
The Athens Cannabis Ordinance – better known as “TACO” – to completely remove all penalties for possessing, cultivating, and gifting of up to 200 grams of marijuana was approved by voters on election day by a vote of 77 percent to 23 percent.
Among the policy proposals are options that are line with those of numerous other states, including Nebraska and Mississippi. Such a change will save taxpayers money and allow police and the courts to re-prioritize their resources toward addressing more serious crimes.
African Americans in Pennsylvania are over eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession offenses than are Caucasians, according to an analysis of statewide arrest data by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Atlanta City Council voted to pass Ordinance 1700-1152, decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses. This measure amends the local law so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is punishable by a $75 fine — no arrest, jail time, or criminal arrest record.