Category: GOVERNMENT

US Senate To Consider Hemp Farming Legislation For First Time

For the first time in modern history, members of the United States Senate have introduced legislation in Congress to allow for the commercial production of industrial hemp. Last week, Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced Senate Bill 359 to amend the US Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The measure grants state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity. Senator McConnell is the Senate […]

Federal Legislation Reintroduced to Legalize and Reschedule Medical Cannabis

Members of Congress reintroduced legislation this week to protect state-authorized medical marijuana patients from federal prosecution. House Bill 689, the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, would ensure that medical cannabis patients in states that have approved its use will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from federal law enforcement agencies. It states, “No provision of the Controlled Substances Act shall prohibit or otherwise restrict in a State in which marijuana may be prescribed or recommended by a physician for medical use under applicable State law.” The measure […]

NYC Mayor Bloomberg: Starting Next Month, No Jail for Marijuana Possession

Today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new marijuana policy for the city during his State of the City address. Mayor Bloomberg, who previously stood with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in his call for fixing New York’s marijuana laws, reiterated that support, but said his city won’t wait for Albany on this issue. But we know that there’s more we can do to keep New Yorkers, particularly young men, from ending up with a criminal record. Commissioner Kelly and I support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to make possession […]

PA State Senator Daylin Leach Formally Introduces Marijuana Legalization Bill Today in Harrisburg

Today, Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach will formally introduce a bill to tax and regulate marijuana in Pennsylvania. “This past November, the people of Washington State and Colorado voted to fully legalize marijuana,” said Leach. “It is time for Pennsylvania to be a leader in jettisoning this modern-day prohibition, and ending a policy that has been destructive, costly and anti-scientific.” “NORML applauds Senator Leach for taking this important step forward to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in his state. Pennsylvania has long been considered a bellwether state that […]

Virginia’s Tea Party Backed Attorney General Cuccinelli “Evolving” on Marijuana Legalization

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Tea Party favorite and presumed Republican candidate for Governor, opened up on his views regarding marijuana legalization while addressing a group of students at the University of Virginia this week. When asked how he felt about Colorado and Washington legalizing the adult use and commercial production and sale of marijuana in November, the conservative politico caught many off guard with his answer. “I don’t have a problem with states experimenting with this sort of thing I think that’s the role of states,” Cuccinelli stated, “I’m […]

Everything You Wanted to Know About the New Federal Marijuana Legalization Measures

Today, Representatives Jared Polis and Earl Blumenauer introduced two legislative measures that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana and permit for the regulated production and retail sales of cannabis to adults in states that have legalized its consumption. Representative Polis’ legislation, The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, transfer the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority to regulate marijuana to a newly renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, require commercial marijuana producers to purchase a permit, and ensure federal law distinguishes […]

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Hemp Production Would Be a Positive Development

In a statement published Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a previously outspoken opponent of marijuana law reform, did something surprising. He came out in support of allowing the production of industrial hemp. “I am convinced that allowing its production will be a positive development for Kentucky’s farm families and economy,” McConnell’s statement read, “The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic […]

Majority of Americans Think Feds Shouldn’t Arrest Marijuana Consumers, Growers, or Sellers in Legalized States

According to a Reason-Rupe Public Opinion survey released this week, not only do a majority of Americans believe the federal government should not arrest consumers of cannabis in states that have elected to regulate it, but that view extends to growers and sellers as well. The poll, conducted from January 17th to 21st, revealed that 72% of Americans thought the federal government should not arrest users of marijuana in states that pass laws regulating it. The majority of them also believe this protection should extend to other aspects of the […]

Several States Considering Legislation To Legalize Adult Cannabis Consumption

Washington, DC: Lawmakers in several states are anticipated to debate legislative measures this year that seek to legalize and regulate the adult use and retail distribution of marijuana. To date, lawmakers in six states – Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont – have either pre-filed or introduced legislation to legalize marijuana consumption for adults. On Friday, members of Hawaii’s House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony regarding House Bill 699, which seeks to tax and regulate the commercial production, sale, and use of cannabis by those persons age […]