Category: GOVERNMENT

Brookings: Logical Alternatives To Marijuana Prohibition?

One of the most important Washington DC think tanks, the Brookings Institute, is hosting a panel discussion on states’ efforts to legalize marijuana on April 15. Marijuana Legalization: Are There Alternatives to State-Federal Conflict? Event Details Event:      Marijuana Legalization: Are There Alternatives to State-Federal Conflict? Time:       2:00 PM Date:       Monday, April 15, 2013 Location: Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20036 To register to watch this event online, go here. Panelist include Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), sponsor of legalization legislation in Congress; Washington state Attorney General Bob […]

Kentucky Industrial Hemp Legislation Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature

On Friday, April 5th, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky stated that he will let Kentucky’s industrial hemp measure become law without his signature. Gov. Beshear had expressed concerns that marijuana growers could hide their illegal growing operations with hemp plants. Despite his concerns, he allowed the measure to become law without his signature and did not veto the legislation. House and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in March during the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Noting that […]

Bill to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana Introduced in Alabama

Many traditionally write off the Southern United States as an area dead to cannabis law reform, but one Representative is behind a new effort that can change all of that. This week, Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) has introduced House Bill 550, the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013. This measure would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and the cultivation of up to 12 mature marijuana plants by those over the age of 21. It would also authorize the Department of Revenue to establish […]

Florida State Attorney Drops Charges Against Bob and Cathy Jordan

Today I share with you wonderful news from an all too conservative state, Florida, where the sun shines on everything but justice for cannabis users. Just a few weeks ago, I announced that the ‘New NORML’ would have an active, working legal committeethat would make a difference for all of us. Last month, State Senator Jeff Clemens in Tampa announced that he was introducing a medical marijuana bill in Florida, which would allow for the establishment of dispensaries in our state. The bill was named the ‘Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis […]

Rhode Island: Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect Monday

Legislation signed into law last year decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses takes effect on Monday, April 1. Presently, possessing cannabis in the Ocean State is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine. Starting Monday, the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an individual 18 years or older is a non-arrestable civil offense, punishable by a maximum fine of $150 but no jail time, and no criminal record.

Maryland: NORML Testimony In Favor Of Marijuana Decriminalization

Written Testimony In Favor of Senate Bill 297 To Be Heard By The Members of the House Judiciary Committee Thursday, March 28, 2013, at 1:00pm By Allen St. Pierre Executive Director National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) I thank members of the Maryland House Committee on the Judiciary for considering Senate Bill 297, which proposes to in effect decriminalize small amounts of cannabis possessed by adults. NORML and its members in Maryland encourage this committee to agree with their senate colleagues that now is the right and […]

Marijuana Legalization Measure Formally Introduced in Maine with 35 Co-Sponsors

This week, Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland) formally introduced LD 1229: An Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana into the Maine legislature. This legislation would legalize the sale of as much as 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana per week to people 21 or older at licensed retail locations. It would also permit for the cultivation of the plant in private settings. The measure has been assigned to the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, but has yet to be scheduled for a hearing. In a previous session, an […]

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

House and Senate lawmakers yesterday passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp.” The floor votes took place with only hours to go before the close of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.” The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that […]

Report: New York City Cops Spent One Million Hours In Staff Time Making Marijuana Possession Arrests

New York City police spent an estimated one million hours in staff time making low level marijuana possession arrests between the years 2002 and 2012, according to the findings of a study released today. Authors of the study report that City law enforcement personnel engaged in approximately one million hours of police officer time to make 440,000 marijuana possession arrests over the past 11 years. Authors further estimated that those arrested for marijuana possession in New York City have spent five million hours in police custody over the last decade.