Category: legislation

And Then There Were Three: Oregon to Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November

The Oregon secretary of state’s office completed the legalization trifecta this afternoon when they announced the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 (OCTA) officially qualified for the November ballot. Oregon now joins Washington and Colorado on the list of states whose voters will have the opportunity to end cannabis prohibition this fall. Supporters ended up turning in 88,887 valid signatures, slightly over 1,000 more than required for qualification. The initiative will appear on the Oregon ballot as “Measure 80.” According to the campaign, Measure 80 would “regulate cannabis (marijuana) for […]

Pelosi: I Support Congressional Efforts to Recognize the Medical Benefits of Marijuana

US Representative and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today reiterated her support for the legalization of medical cannabis and called for congressional efforts to recognize the plant’s therapeutic efficacy. Speaking to Raw Story, Rep. Pelosi said, “I have long supported efforts in Congress to advocate federal policies that recognize the scientific research and clinical research demonstrating the medical benefits of medicinal marijuana, that respects the wishes of the states in providing relief to ill individuals, and that prevents the federal government from acting to harm the safe access to […]

Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative Approved to Go Before Voters in November

A representative from the Secretary of State’s Office in Massachusetts has confirmed that an initiative seeking to allow for medicinal cannabis use by qualified patients has been approved for November’s ballot in the Bay State. The ballot language reads: “A yes vote would enact the proposed law eliminating state criminal and civil penalties related to the medical use of marijuana by patients meeting certain conditions” and that patients will be to procure cannabis “produced and distributed by new state-regulated centers or, in specific hardship cases, to grow marijuana for their […]

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 […]

New Hampshire: Governor Rejects Medical Marijuana Measure; Do Lawmakers Have The Votes To Override His Veto?

As anticipated, Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, today vetoed Senate Bill 409, which sought to allow for the personal possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis by qualified patients. The measure now returns to House and Senate lawmakers, who have the power to enact SB 409 absent the Governor’s approval. On Wednesday, June 27, both chambers will vote on whether or not to override the Governor’s veto. Gov. Lynch’s actions, though disappointing, were anticipated. The four-term governor, who recently announced that he would not be seeking re-election in 2012, had previously […]

Montana Republicans and Democrats Latest to Adopt Marijuana Reform Measures Into Platforms

Not to be outdone by the Democrats, whose state parties in Washington, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, and Iowa have all recently adopted pro-reform policies in their platforms, the Montana Republican Party has endorsed medical marijuana at their state convention held on June 16th. The official language from their 2012 platform is as follows: Medical Use of Marijuana We recognize that a significant problem exists with Montana’s current laws regarding the medical use of marijuana and we support action by the next legislature to create a workable and realistic regulatory structure. […]

Is Uruguay About To Become The First Country To Legalize Cannabis?

Ironically, around 4:20pm (eastern) today, the phones lit up at NORML with numerous newswire services and major media outlets contacting the organization about a bill in Uruguay that appears to be on greased tracks to pass in the legislature and signed into law by President Jose Mujica as the government itself is proffering the reform legislation. If Uruguay moves forward, the country will become the first since the signing of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961 that has moved forward with a tax-n-regulate policy for non-medical access to […]

MUST WATCH: Rep. Jared Polis Destroys DEA Administrator During Congressional Hearing

Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) made some must watch reform video today when he grilled DEA Administrator, Michele Leonhart, over the relative health impacts of marijuana versus other drugs. Rep. Polis has been an outspoken advocate of marijuana legalization and was given the Rufus King, Sr. Award For Outstanding Public Leadership in the Field of MJ Law Reform at NORML’s 2011 Conference in Denver, at which he was also the keynote speaker. Click play below and watch pure drug war idiocy in action. Leonhart’s inability to answer simple questions would be […]

Iowa Democrats Add Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp to Party Platform

Earlier this year, the Colorado Democrats announced their support for marijuana legalization in their 2012 party platform. On June 9th, the Texas Democrats endorsed marijuana decriminalization. Last weekend, the North Carolina Democratic Party added resolutions supporting medical cannabis and industrial hemp. Now, the Iowa Democratic party is the latest one lining up to support sensible marijuana laws. At their state convention on June 16th, the Iowa Democrats adopted their 2012 platform. Two of the policies endorsed within were medical cannabis use and the industrial cultivation of hemp. You can view […]