Category: ACLU

Maryland: Lawmakers Eliminate Criminal Penalties For Minor Marijuana Possession Offenses

Maryland lawmakers have given final approval to legislation to eliminate criminal penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses. The forthcoming law reduces existing penalties for marijuana possession offenses involving ten grams or less from a criminal misdemeanor (presently punishable by arrest, up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a criminal record) to a non-arrestable, non-criminal fine-only offense ($100 fine for first-time offenders, $250 for second-time offenders).

California Lt. Governor to Chair Blue Ribbon Panel on Marijuana Legalization

Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California, will chair a blue ribbon committee tasked with studying marijuana legalization in the state. This was announced at a joint press conference held this morning with the ACLU of California. The panel will “engage in a multi-year research effort to help voters and policy makers as they consider proposals to enact a strict tax and regulation scheme that will enable California to benefit from billions of dollars of potential revenue annually while protecting the health and safety of our children and communities.” Joining Newsom […]

Support for Marijuana Legalization Blooming in the South

It is often said that the South will be the last region in the United States to take up marijuana legalization, but, as support grows nationwide, it is becoming evident the southern states likely won’t be left behind. Polling data released today by the ACLU of Louisiana revealed that 53% of Louisiana voters supported regulating marijuana in a manner similar to the models approved last November in Colorado and Washington. Only 37% were opposed and 10% were not sure. Hopefully state politicians are paying attention, as it seems advocating for […]

PA NAACP Endorses Marijuana Legalization Legislation

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the NAACP endorsed Senate Bill 528, legislation that would regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, yesterday during a press conference in Harrisburg. SB 528 was introduced earlier this year by State Senator Daylin Leach*. Speaking at the press conference the current chair of the Legal Redress Committee for the Cheltenham Area Branch of the NAACP, David Scott, stated, “The war on drugs is a catastrophic failure.” Sponsor Daylin Leach welcomed the group’s support. “This is decimating the minority community. This is a problem that […]

Minorities Disproportionately Arrested In U.S. For Marijuana

The American Civil Liberties Union released a new report affirming NORML’s historic data that minorities are disproportionately arrested (and most certainly prosecuted and, worse, incarcerated) at a rate four times higher than whites for cannabis (based on per capita cannabis use rates). In some midwest states–like Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota–minorities are arrested at rates eight times higher than whites. ACLU’s report ‘The War On Marijuana/In Black And White‘ is a fascinating and well researched multimedia presentation about why America’s failed seventy-five year-old social experiment known as ‘Cannabis Prohibition’ must end, […]

Hawaii: 57% Want to Tax and Regulate Marijuana

New polling data, released this past week by the ACLU of Hawaii, shows strong support for marijuana law reform on the islands. 57% of respondents stated that they believed marijuana should be “taxed, regulated, and legalized for adults” – only 39% were opposed. This is up a whopping 20 percentage points in support since they last polled the question in 2005. The survey also asked about the state’s medical marijuana program. An astounding 81% of respondents said they support the current law and 78% were in favor of passing regulations […]

Marijuana Legalization Initiative Launched In Washington State

A mainstream coalition in Washington State has emerged in an attempt to pass a binding voter initiative to legalize the responsible adult use of cannabis, raise needed taxes and create alternative legal controls to the clearly failed policies of 74 years of Cannabis Prohibition.
It would set limits on how much cannabis people can have: an […]

Marijuana Testing State Services Applicants: It’s Just Wrong!

I am a Latina, a forty-year cannabis consumer, a medical cannabis patient and a single mother who has had to use public assistance more than once. In 2011, Oregon and three other states have introduced bills that would require drug testing for people receiving public assistance. I am writing to present my unique perspective on this issue, and why individuals should oppose any type of legislation that would require drug testing for all applicants looking to receive state services such as food stamps or unemployment benefits.