Category: decriminalization

Vermont Update: Pro-Reform Candidate Gov. Shumlin Holds Massive Lead

New polling data released this week from Castleton Polling Institute shows pro-reform incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin (D) holding a massive lead over his challenger, Randy Brock (R). A survey of 477 registered Vermont voters taken from August 11th to 21st found they favored Gov. Shumlin by a full 34 percentage points, 60% for Shumlin and just 26% for Brock. This is notable considering Shumlin’s longterm support of marijuana law reforms while governor and that this data comes just over a week after he contacted NORML to explicitly express his desire […]

Michigan: Grand Rapids Voters Will Decide On $25 Fine-Only Offense For Pot Possession

Voters in Grand Rapids, Michigan will decide this November on a municipal measure to depenalize marijuana possession offenses to a non-criminal, fine-only offense. The City Commissioner’s office has approved the measure, Proposal 2, which seeks to allow local law enforcement the discretion to ticket first-time marijuana offenders with a civil citation, punishable by a $25 fine and no criminal record. The city of Ann Arbor enacted a similar municipal ordinance in the early 1970s. That ordinance remains in effect today. Proponents of the Grand Rapids initiative collected over 10,000 signatures […]

Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Approved for Fall Ballot in Springfield, MO

Residents of Springfield, Missouri will likely be voting on a marijuana decriminalization measure this fall. Initiative proponents, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, submitted their final round of signatures to the city clerk in the past week and received word yesterday that they have met the required threshold of signatures for qualification. On Thursday afternoon, the Springfield City Clerk confirmed the petition has officially qualified with at least 2,132 certified signatures. The petition now moves to the City Council, which has the opportunity to enact the measure into law as written or place […]

Cannabis Prohibition Now Seventy-Five Years Old

Infamously, America’s federally created Cannabis Prohibition marks its seventy-fifth anniversary this August 2, 2012. The so-called ‘great failed social experiment’ of Alcohol Prohibition of the 1920s barely lasted a dozen years in effect. Rightly, it took a constitutional amendment to both ban and restore alcohol products to the free market. Is there a similar constitutional amendment for cannabis products in 1937? No, of course not. And that is where the sophistry, hypocrisy and duplicity begin regarding America’s modern cannabis policy of vilifying, arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating cannabis consumers, cultivators and […]

Chicago: City Council Votes To Remove Criminal Misdemeanor Penalties For Pot Possession

The American public is fed up with the criminalization of cannabis. And now, more and more politicians are finally starting to get the message. This afternoon, members of the Chicago City Council voted overwhelmingly to halt the practice of arresting minor marijuana offenders. By a vote of 43 to 3, members of the Council approved a new municipal ordinance that reduces most marijuana possession offenses to a ticket-like offense — no arrest, no jail, and no criminal record. Under present law, the possession of any amount of marijuana is defined […]

New Jersey General Assembly Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

The New Jersey General Assembly this evening voted 44-30 in favor of Assembly Bill 1465, which removes criminal penalties for the possession of approximately one-half ounce of marijuana. Members of the state Assembly Judiciary Committee had previously approved the measure by a unanimous vote. Presently, the possession of this amount of marijuana carries a penalty of up to a $1000 fine and six months in jail. A conviction also results in a criminal record that cannot be expunged for at least five years, the loss of driving privileges, and other […]

Texas Democratic Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization

From Thursday, June 7th through Saturday, June 9th, the Texas Democratic Party held their state convention in Houston, Texas. Along side other election related business such as selecting delegates, they also voted on their party platform for 2012. One of the issues added this year was support for marijuana decriminalization. Below you can read the official language: Decriminalization of Marijuana This decriminalization of marijuana does not mean we endorse the use of marijuana but it is only a call to wiser use of law enforcement and public health policy. Prohibition […]

Chicago’s Mayor Favors Marijuana Decriminalization

I’ve followed with more than a passing interest the entire arch of Rahm Emanuel’s substantive and influential career in American politics. In fact, found in NORML’s extensive forty-two year archives are the hand-typed notes of an author who was working on a major profile of the history of America’s ‘drug war’ and what the then Clinton Administration was implementing as their drug ‘control’ policies. The author was former Wall Street Journal reporter Dan Baum and the book he produced is called ‘Smoke and Mirrors’. Any serious student or activist of […]

News Update: Governor Signs RI Decrim Bill and NY General Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

Governor Chafee Signs Rhode Island Decriminalization Into Law Earlier today, Governor Chafee signed Rhode Island’s decriminalization measure into law. Last week, both the state Senate and General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the bill. The new law reduces the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an individual 18 years or older 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. It takes effect April 1, […]