With many state legislative sessions coming to an end and the federal government beginning final budget negotiations, we’ve seen plenty of marijuana legislation move forward this week. Click here to catch up on this week’s legislative action!
With the reversal of House Speaker Shap Smith Vermont is positioned to become the first state legislature in America to vote in favor of legalizing marijuana.
A strong majority of Vermonters support regulating the commercial production and retail sales of marijuana for adults, according to a statewide Castleton Polling Institute survey. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that they support “changing Vermont law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, so retailers would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older?” Only 34 percent of those survey opposed the notion of legalization.
Legislation reducing marijuana possession penalties in Vermont became law today. Under the new state law, penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia by a person 21 years of age or older have been amended from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by up to six-months in jail and a $500 fine) to a civil fine only — no arrest, no jail time, and no criminal record. The law also decriminalizes possession of less than five grams of hashish.
Democrat Gov. (and NORML PAC recipient) Peter Shumlin today signed legislation into law eliminating criminal penalties for adults who possess personal use amounts of cannabis and/or hashish.
Members of the Senate this week approved legislation to significantly reduce marijuana possession penalties. On Tuesday, Senators voted 24 to 6 in favor of a House measure that amends the penalty for the possession of personal use amounts of marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia by a person 21 years of age or older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine only — no arrest, no jail time, and no criminal record. House members had previously signed off on a slightly different version of the bill in April. House members must sign off on the Senate’s changes to the bill. It will then go to Democrat Gov. Peter Shumlin, who has publicly expressed support for liberalizing the state’s marijuana possession penalties.
Representative Joseph Souki, Chair of the Hawaiian House Committee on Transportation and House Speaker Emeritus, has introduced legislation that would make Hawaii the third state to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana. House Bill 150 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce or less of marijuana by adults over the age of 21, in addition to allowing for the licensing and regulation of marijuana retail stores, as well as cultivation and manufacturing centers. Polling conducted this month by the ACLU of Hawaii found that 57% of […]
The Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the most senior member of the Senate, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) again spoke out against the War on Drugs today during a briefing on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s upcoming agenda. “The fact that so many people, especially young people, go to prison for a relatively minor thing, a drug offense. And then you ask, why can’t they get jobs afterward? Why do they have problems from then on? I think we have spent tens of billions, hundreds of billions of dollars on […]
The message from our big wins on Election Day has already begun to reverberate around the nation. Right on the heels of the votes in Washington and Colorado, several other states (and countries!) are already beginning to consider similar measures in their legislature. Last week, representatives from Maine and Rhode Island announced their intentions to introduce legislation that would tax and regulate marijuana in their respective states. Rep. Diane Russell of Maine and Rep. Edit Ajello from Rhode Island will be submitting these bills soon. Reports from Marijuana Policy Project […]
New polling data released this week from Castleton Polling Institute shows pro-reform incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin (D) holding a massive lead over his challenger, Randy Brock (R). A survey of 477 registered Vermont voters taken from August 11th to 21st found they favored Gov. Shumlin by a full 34 percentage points, 60% for Shumlin and just 26% for Brock. This is notable considering Shumlin’s longterm support of marijuana law reforms while governor and that this data comes just over a week after he contacted NORML to explicitly express his desire […]