Category: legislation

Hope For Industrial Hemp? Group Of Senators Seeking Legislative Sanity

According to Washington, D.C. Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, a group of bipartisan Senators, led by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D), have filed legislation seeking to exempt industrial hemp (which, in effect, is very low potent cannabis) from the Controlled Substances Act (which, concerning cannabis specifically, is largely directed at prohibiting recreational and therapeutic use of the herb). Update: You can help advocate for this bill’s passage here. One of the most indefensible aspects of modern Cannabis Prohibition is the federal government’s continued opposition to allowing American farmers and consumers […]

Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Approved for Fall Ballot in Springfield, MO

Residents of Springfield, Missouri will likely be voting on a marijuana decriminalization measure this fall. Initiative proponents, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, submitted their final round of signatures to the city clerk in the past week and received word yesterday that they have met the required threshold of signatures for qualification. On Thursday afternoon, the Springfield City Clerk confirmed the petition has officially qualified with at least 2,132 certified signatures. The petition now moves to the City Council, which has the opportunity to enact the measure into law as written or place […]

Poll: Support for Marijuana Legalization Initiative Growing in Washington

New polling data from SurveyUSA shows growing support for Washington State’s marijuana legalization initiative, I-502. The new survey found that 55 percent approve of the initiative, with just 32 percent opposed and 13 percent undecided. The poll was conducted from July 16th through 17th and involved 600 likely voters. You can read more about the SurveyUSA poll here. This is a significant upward swing in support for I-502, previous polling in June had only 50% of voters supporting Initiative 502 to 37% opposed. The Seattle Times is also reporting that […]

Congressional Lawmakers Reintroduce Truth In Trials Act

A bipartisan coalition of Congressional lawmakers yesterday reintroduced federal legislation to provide state-authorized medical marijuana patients and their providers with an affirmative defense from federal prosecution. The legislation, H.R. 6134 –- The Truth in Trials Act (Read the text of the bill here.) –- would allow certain federal defendants the opportunity to “introduce evidence (at trial) demonstrating that the marijuana-related activities for which the person stands accused were performed in compliance with state law regarding the medical use of marijuana.” It states, “It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution […]

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 […]