Category: GOVERNMENT

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 […]

Marijuana Law Reform Supporter Dethrones Eight-Term Incumbent in El Paso Primary

In early May, Ellen Rosenblum rode to a landslide victory in the Oregon Democratic Attorney General Primary with marijuana law reform being a central plank in her platform. It looks like it has happened again, this time in the Lone Star state. In the Democratic primary for the House seat representing El Paso, eight-term incumbent Silvestre Reyes faced an unexpected challenger in Beto O’Rourke, who formerly served on the El Paso city council. The race garnered media attention, largely focusing on O’Rourke’s support for marijuana legalization. O’Rourke had been vocal […]

It’s Time for Obama to Have His “Marijuana Moment”

The internet was ablaze yesterday with talk of President Obama’s youthful pot use. Which is odd, considering the only thing atypical about Obama’s high school years is how common and relatable they seem. Recent polling has shown support for marijuana legalization growing exponentially. Just this month, 56% of people responded in favor of legalization in a survey from Rasmussen Reports, with only 36% opposed. This is just the latest in a continuing trend of polling data demonstrating majority support for regulating cannabis. In October 2011, a Gallup poll had 50% […]

Barry Obama Loved Marijuana, President Obama Now Locks People Up For It

[Editor’s note: The infamous Chinese animators at New Media Animation (NMA) poke some good fun at America’s first known cannabis connoisseur president,  ‘Barry’ Obama. Watch animation here.] New insight into the early life of Barack Obama has been recently made available in the form of excerpts from the forthcoming biography, “Barack Obama: The Story.” Apparently young Barry Obama, like countless of his contemporaries, enjoyed partaking in the use of marijuana. The president even was a trendsetter amongst his peers: As a member of the Choom Gang, Barry Obama was known for […]

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 […]

American Universities: The Medical Cannabis Conundrum

Going back to at least 1998, NORML has been receiving complaints from parents and students that while the state where the university is located has legalized medical cannabis use and possession, because of the federal government’s recalcitrance and ‘flat earth’ view on cannabis’ medical utility, the student is threatened with sanctions or expulsion if they get caught with a lawful medicine. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis, more states are expected to soon join the cohort. The issue of medical cannabis on campus is a […]

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 […]

Breaking: Clinical Trial Data Yet Again Affirms Cannabis’ Efficacy

Is it any wonder that the US government fights tooth-and-nail to hinder researchers’ attempts to conduct clinical trials assessing the therapeutic utility of cannabis as a medicine? After all, each and every time the federal government begrudgingly allows for such studies they’re faced with credibility-shattering results like this: Marijuana relieves muscles tightness, pain of multiple sclerosis: Study via the Toronto Star Smoking marijuana can relieve muscle tightness, spasticity (contractions) and pain often experienced by those with multiple sclerosis, says research out of the University of California, San Diego School of […]

US Representatives Debate Defunding DEA’s Ability to Raid Medical Marijuana States

UPDATE: Full C-SPAN video of the entire debate below –”R”R [Update: Like previous vote totals for spending amendments to stop the federal government from spending tax dollars harassing state-sanctioned cannabisbusinesses and patients, unfortunately this vote too lost by virtually the same margins, 262-163, with 135 Democrats and 28 Republicans supporting the amendment.] One of my favorite things about hosting NORML SHOW LIVE is the ability to break in with live coverage of events that are important to the cannabis community. Thanks to a timely tweet from SSDP, our associate producer […]

Time: What Is President Obama’s Problem With Medical Marijuana?

Michael Sherer at Time Magazine has posted online today a particularly astute examination of the Obama administration’s flip-flop on marijuana policy. Below are some key excerpts. Michael’s full article appears in the newsstand edition of Time. What Is President Obama’s Problem With Medical Marijuana? via Time.com [T]he Obama Administration is cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries and growers just as harshly as the Administration of George W. Bush did. In 2011, the Department of Justice revised its guidance to U.S. Attorneys, allowing them to target any medical marijuana activity except […]