Kansas City Municipal Decriminalization Measure Passes

Kansas City, MO (Flickr/Dean Hochman)

KANSAS CITY, MO — Kansas City voters approved a municipal ballot measure on Tuesday decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses within the city’s limits.

Nearly 75 percent of citywide voters decided ‘yes’ on Question 5, which reduces penalties for the possession of up to 35 grams of cannabis from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil violation punishable by a $25 fine. The ordinance also eliminates local penalties for the possession…

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Voters in Kansas City, MO Decriminalize Marijuana in Blowout Victory

KANSAS CITY, MO — In a blowout victory for sensible criminal justice policy, the voters of Kansas City, Missouri have decided to approve Question 5 and decriminalize marijuana to direct their law enforcement officers to no longer target citizens for possession of the plant and would replace current criminal penalties with just a civil fine.

The measure will amend local laws regarding the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana for adults age 21 and older from a criminal…

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Texas Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Advances to Floor Vote in House

AUSTIN, TX — A proposal to reduce penalties for marijuana possession in Texas received bipartisan approval from the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Monday and will soon be scheduled for a full vote in the House.

The measure passed by a vote of 4-2, receiving support from two Democrats and two Republicans.

House Bill 81, authored by committee Chairman Joe Moody (D-El Paso) and Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) with 37 co-sponsors, would remove the threat of…

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Kansas City Voters to Vote on Decriminalizing Marijuana on April 4

KANSAS CITY, MO — After more than a year of negotiations with city officials, and countless hours cultivating support for a ballot measure aimed at decriminalizing certain amounts of marijuana, members of Kansas City NORML will finally have a chance to hear from voters on the issue.

Next Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Kansas City voters will weigh in on Question 5. If approved, the measure will amend local laws regarding the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana for adults age 21 and older…

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Pennsylvania: Harrisburg Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Takes Effect

Harrisburg, the state capital of Pennsylvania, as seen from City Island in the Susquehanna River. (Flickr/Don Shall)

HARRISBURG, PA — Minor marijuana possession offenders are no longer subject to arrest in the city of Harrisburg under a new local ordinance that took effect last week.

The municipal measure, approved by members of the City Council in July, reduces local marijuana possession penalties for first-time and second-time offenders from a criminal misdemeanor to a…

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Texas House to Hold Hearing on Reducing Marijuana Penalties Today

AUSTIN, TX — A bill that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession in Texas is scheduled to receive a hearing Monday afternoon in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

“I’m proud to present HB 81 to the committee and build on the bipartisan support it’s had from the very beginning,” said Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Chairman Joe Moody (D-El Paso). “This sort of reform crosses party lines because it’s a law enforcement issue, a business…

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New Hampshire House Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

CONCORD, NH — The state House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve House Bill 640, bringing New Hampshire one step closer to becoming the final state in New England to decriminalize marijuana possession.

The bill, which was approved by a vote of 318-36 by the House, will now be considered by the Senate.

HB 640, sponsored by Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) and a bipartisan group of 10 co-sponsors, would reduce the penalty for possession of one…

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New Mexico Senate Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill By Wide, Bi-Partisan Margin

SANTA FE, NM — The New Mexico Senate on Thursday voted (33-9) to pass Senate Bill 258, sponsored by Senator Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, reducing penalties for adults who possess small amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.  The final vote was bi-partisan with eight Republicans voting in support.

The proposed legislation makes 1/2 ounce or less of marijuana and possession of any drug paraphernalia a penalty assessment with a fine of $50; a penalty assessment is not…

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New York State Assembly Passes Landmark Bill to Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions

ALBANY, NY — The New York State Assembly voted this week in support of a bill that will seal the criminal records of people who have been unjustly and unconstitutionally arrested for simple possession of marijuana in public view.

The vote on Assembly Bill 2142 was 95 in favor and 38 opposed.

Over the last 20 years, more than 800,000 New Yorkers have been arrested for simple possession of marijuana. Those convicted face significant barriers to accessing education,…

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New Hampshire Marijuana Bill Decriminalization Advances; Legalization Bill Killed

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire won’t be joining neighboring states of Maine and Massachusetts in legalizing marijuana, but the Granite State could soon follow the rest of their New England neighbors in treating marijuana possession as a violation, rather than a crime that carries a penalty including the possibility of jail time.

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 14 to 2 on Tuesday to advance a bill to decriminalize marijuana…

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Wyoming Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Killed, Penalty Reform Bill Advances

Wyoming State Capitol building, Cheyenne (Wikimedia Commons)

CHEYENNE, WY — Marijuana possession won’t be decriminalized in Wyoming anytime soon, but statewide penalties could be reduced for first and second time offenders under a penalty reform bill that would also elevate some possession charges to a felony.

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee considered multiple proposals that would change how low-level marijuana offenses are handled in the state, killing a bill to…

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North Dakota Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Introduced

BISMARCK, ND — Lawmakers in the North Dakota House have filed a bill to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and marijuana-related paraphernalia.

If passed, House Bill 1340 would amend the state’s existing law so that activities involving the possession of marijuana, marijuana-related paraphernalia, or the internal possession of marijuana are reduced from criminal misdemeanors to non-criminal infractions — punishable by a fine only, no arrest, no jail, and no…

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Could New Hampshire Finally Decriminalize Marijuana Possession?

CONCORD, NH — Despite years of attempts to decriminalize marijuana possession in New Hampshire, the Granite State remains the only New England state where marijuana possession brings the possibility of jail time.

The New Hampshire House approved decriminalization bills in each of the last five years, only to see those bills die in the Senate.

And in what seems to be an annual rite of passage, lawmakers in the New Hampshire House have once again introduced a bill that would remove…

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Virginia Senate Committee Kills Two Marijuana Decriminalization Bills

RICHMOND, VA — Two proposals to decriminalize marijuana possession in Virginia have been sent to further study, effectively killing the bills for the 2017 legislative session.

On Monday, the Senate Committee on Courts of Justice voted 15-0 against advancing Senate Bills 908 and 1269, assigning both bills the ominous designation of “passed by indefinitely.”

Both proposals would have reduced the penalty for possessing marijuana to a civil violation, punishable by only a…

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Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Introduced in Wyoming

A new bill, HB 157, has been introduced in Wyoming by Rep. Mark Baker (R-Sweetwater) and a bipartisan group of legislators that would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

This would avoid branding someone with a lifelong criminal record for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.

HB 157 would apply to up to three ounces of cannabis or marijuana products (such as edibles) containing 500 milligrams or less of THC.

Under current…

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Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Filed in Wyoming with Strong Bi-Partisan Support

Several bi-partisan lawmakers in Wyoming have sponsored a bill to decriminalize the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana.

State Rep. Mark Baker (R-Rock Springs) filed House Bill 157, along with seven fellow Republicans and three Democrats who have signed on as co-sponsors of the measure.

The bill would reduce the penalty for possession of up to three ounces of marijuana in the state from a misdemeanor, which can land an offender in jail for up to a year and stiff fines of…

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Virginia Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Introduced

RICHMOND, VA — A bill has been filed in the Virginia Senate that would decriminalize marijuana, reducing the penalty for possessing marijuana to a civil violation, punishable by only a fine without arrest, jail time, or criminal record.

State Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) introduced the measure, Senate Bill 1269, last week. If passed, SB 1269 would set fines for marijuana possession at $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense, or $500 for a third or subsequent…

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Western New York NORML Introduces “Buffalo Cannabis Act”

BUFFALO, NY — Marijuana reform activists have filed a resolution with Buffalo city lawmakers asking them to direct city police to stop arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

At a public meeting Tuesday, supporters from Western New York NORML, an affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, introduced the “Buffalo Cannabis Act” to the city’s Common Council legislative committee.

The resolution calls for the…

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Kansas City NORML’s Decriminalization Effort Qualifies for City Ballot

Kansas City, MO (Flickr/Dean Hochman)

KANSAS CITY, MO — Petitioners seeking to decriminalize municipal penalties specific to the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana have gathered sufficient signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, a representative from the Kansas City Clerk’s office confirmed today.

The proposal, spearheaded by Kansas City NORML, amends citywide penalties from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine, punishable by a $25 fine….

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Michigan: East Lansing City Council Votes to Eliminate Marijuana Possession Penalties

east-lansing

EAST LANSING, MI — Members of the city council in East Lansing, Michigan (population 49,000) have voted 4 to 1 in favor of a municipal ordinance that eliminates criminal and civil penalties pertaining to the private possession and use of cannabis by those age 21 and over.

Similar local measures are in place in several other Michigan cities, including Detroit, Flint, and Lansing. However, each of those measures was decided by voter initiatives, not by a city council vote.

The East…

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Tennessee: Cities Move to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties

Tennessee: Cities Move to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties

Members of the Nashville metro council and the Memphis city council have given final approval to municipal legislation providing police the discretion to cite rather than arrest minor marijuana offenders.

Nashville city council members voted 35 to 3 in late September in favor of the new ordinance. It provides police the option of issuing $50 citations for those who possess up to a half-ounce of marijuana.

By contrast, under state law, the possession of small amounts of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one…

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Illinois: Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

Illinois: Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation today amending the state’s marijuana possession penalties.

Senate Bill 2228 reduces the penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine) to a civil fine of no more than $200 — no arrest and no criminal record.

It also decriminalizes related offenses involving the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Senate Bill 2228 also amends the state’s zero tolerance per se traffic safety…

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Illinois Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Illinois Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Illinois is now the 21st state in the nation to remove the threat of jail time for simple marijuana possession; possession of a personal amount is now considered a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100-$200, similar to a traffic ticket

SPRINGFIELD, IL. — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law Friday that removes criminal penalties for possession of a personal amount of marijuana and replaces them with a civil fine.

The new law is effective immediately.

SB 2228, introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), makes possession of up to…

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Pennsylvania Bill Would Raise Fines for Marijuana Possession

Pennsylvania Bill Would Raise Fines for Marijuana Possession

Advocates urge decriminalization as House Judiciary Committee plans to raise marijuana fines

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on a bill, House Bill 1422, that seeks to massively increase fines for marijuana possession.

Although HB 1422 downgrades 30 grams of marijuana or less from a criminal misdemeanor to a summary offense, those convicted will live with the burden of a criminal record.

Legislators, marijuana reform advocates and potential medical marijuana patients will speak in Harrisburg…

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Kansas City NORML Moves One Step Closer to Decriminalizing Marijuana

Kansas City NORML Moves One Step Closer to Decriminalizing Marijuana

Great news for marijuana consumers in Kansas City, Missouri!

After months of back and forth meetings with city officials, NORML KC, the local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of marijuana laws, has received approval to move forward with a municipal initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses.

If passed, the measure will amend local laws regarding the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana for adults age 21 and up from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine to a civil…

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Illinois Lawmakers Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Illinois Lawmakers Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

SB 2228, which includes provisions agreed upon by Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers, would replace potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana

CHICAGO, IL — The Illinois House approved a bill 64-50 on Tuesday that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana. It will now go to Gov. Bruce Rauner for approval, having previously passed in the Senate.

Senate Bill 2228, introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), would make possession of up to 10…

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Illinois Lawmakers Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Illinois Lawmakers Pass Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

SB 2228, which includes provisions agreed upon by Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers, would replace potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana

CHICAGO, IL — The Illinois House approved a bill 64-50 on Tuesday that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana. It will now go to Gov. Bruce Rauner for approval, having previously passed in the Senate.

Senate Bill 2228, introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), would make possession of up to 10…

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Florida: Orlando City Council Approves Marijuana Citation Ordinance

Florida: Orlando City Council Approves Marijuana Citation Ordinance

ORLANDO, FL — Members of the Orlando City Council voted 4 to 3 this week in favor of a new municipal ordinance giving police the option to cite, rather than arrest, minor marijuana possession offenders.

Under the ordinance, which takes effect on October 1, 2016, first-time and second-time possession offenses involving up to 20 grams of cannabis may be punished by a fine of no more than $200 – no arrest and no criminal record.

Under state law, similar offenses are classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in…

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Vermont: House Members Turn Back Marijuana Reform Efforts

Vermont: House Members Turn Back Marijuana Reform Efforts

MONTPELIER, VT — Members of the Vermont House spent over six hours this week debating various amendments to reform marijuana policy, but ultimately decided against enacting any significant changes in law.

House lawmakers voted 121 to 28 to reject Senate-approved language that sought to regulate the adult use, commercial production, and retail sale of marijuana. Although Gov. Peter Shumlin and Attorney General William Sorrell publicly supported the effort, House members expressed little interest in seriously considering the measure.

House…

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Pennsylvania Could Soon See Reduced Penalties for Marijuana Possession

Pennsylvania Could Soon See Reduced Penalties for Marijuana Possession

HARRISBURG, PA — Now that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill to make the Keystone State the 24th state to enact a comprehensive medical marijuana program, one of the bill’s primary supporters in the House plans on filing a proposal to reduce penalties for anyone caught possessing small amounts of marijuana in the state.

State Representative Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny County), a key advocate for the recently passed medical marijuana bill in the House, on Thursday announced his intentions to file the proposal in the…

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Illinois Senate Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Illinois Senate Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

SB 2228, which includes provisions agreed upon by Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly, would replace potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana

CHICAGO, IL — The Illinois Senate approved a bill 40-14 on Tuesday that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana. It will now go to the House for further consideration.

Senate Bill 2228, introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), would make possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a…

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More Municipalities Move Forward With Marijuana Decriminalization

More Municipalities Move Forward With Marijuana Decriminalization

Local legislators in New Orleans, Louisiana and Tampa, Florida voted last week in favor of municipal ordinances to halt minor marijuana possession arrests within city limits.

Members of the New Orleans city council voted 7 to zero in favor of legislation permitting police to cite rather than arrest minor marijuana offenders (defined as those who possess 14 grams or less), including repeat offenders. First-time violators are subject to a $40 fine while subsequent offenders may face fines of up to $100. Under state law, first-time possession…

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New Hampshire House Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

New Hampshire House Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

HB 1631 would replace criminal penalties and potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of small amounts of marijuana

CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday evening in a voice vote that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine.  The measure will move to the Senate for consideration.

House Bill 1631 would make possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100 for a first…

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Illinois Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Wins Key Senate Committee Vote

Illinois Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Wins Key Senate Committee Vote

SPRINGFIELD, IL — A proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Illinois has advanced after winning approval of the Senate’s Criminal Law Committee.

The measure now moves to the floor of the Senate for a third reading and vote, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16.

If passed, Senate Bill 2228, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), would eliminate possible criminal penalties for the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana.  Currently, those caught possessing that amount could face up to six…

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New Hampshire to Consider Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Today

New Hampshire to Consider Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Today

CONCORD, NH — Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House are expected to consider a bill Wednesday that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in the Granite State.

If passed, House Bill 1631, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket), would reduce the penalty for possessing up to one-half ounce of marijuana from current criminal penalties to a violation punishable only by a fine.

In addition to the marijuana being confiscated, offenders would be levied a fine of $100 for a first offense, a fine of $200 for a…

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New Hampshire House Kills Two Marijuana Legalization Bills

New Hampshire House Kills Two Marijuana Legalization Bills

CONCORD, NH — Last week, the New Hampshire House defeated two of the three proposed bills to legalize marijuana in the Granite State.

In a voice vote Wednesday, lawmakers defeated House Bill 1675, sponsored by Rep. Michael Brewster (R-Merrimack).  The proposal would have legalized the possession of up to 2.2 pounds of marijuana by adults 18 or older, as well as the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants (three of which may be mature).  Retail marijuana sales would have been authorized, with sales subject to a $30 per…

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Wyoming House Kills Marijuana Decriminalization Bill (Again)

Wyoming House Kills Marijuana Decriminalization Bill (Again)

CHEYENNE, WY — Once again, lawmakers in the Wyoming House have killed a proposal that would have decriminalized marijuana possession statewide.

The bill, House Bill 3, failed at introduction by a vote of 20 to 39.

House Bill 3, sponsored by state Rep. James Byrd (D-Cheyenne), would have replaced current criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana with a civil fine of not more than $100. Offenders would not be subject to arrest or a criminal record.

Currently, offenders are charged with a misdemeanor and face up to one…

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Maryland Lawmakers Override Veto of Marijuana Paraphernalia Decriminalization

Maryland Lawmakers Override Veto of Marijuana Paraphernalia Decriminalization

SB 517 removes criminal penalties for possession of marijuana paraphernalia, which was not included in the 2014 law that decriminalized simple marijuana possession

ANNAPOLIS, MD — The Maryland House and Senate voted 86-55 and 29-17 Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill intended to fix the state’s marijuana decriminalization law.

Senate Bill 517, introduced by Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), removes criminal penalties for possession of marijuana paraphernalia. The measure also imposes a new civil fine of up to…

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Virginia Lawmakers File Marijuana Decriminalization Bills

Virginia Lawmakers File Marijuana Decriminalization Bills

RICHMOND, VA — Senator Adam Ebbin has reintroduced legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses.

Senate Bill 104 eliminates criminal penalties for marijuana possession offenses, replacing them with civil fine-only penalties — no arrest and no criminal record.

Decriminalization legislation is also pending in the House of Delegates. House Bill 997, introduced by Delegate Mark Levine and House Bill 1074, introduced by Delegate Steve Heretick, both seek to decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana.

The number of…

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Pittsburgh Mayor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

Pittsburgh Mayor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

PITTSBURGH, PA — Without any press or fanfare, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed into law an ordinance passed by the city council to decriminalize possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana in Pittsburgh just before Christmas.

The ordinance was signed by Mayor Peduto on December 22, the day after it was passed by the city council by a 7-2 vote, according to a report by longtime marijuana activist Chris Goldstein at Philly.com.  The city’s website confirms the mayor has signed the bill.

There is no timeline in place for the full…

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Marijuana Decriminalization in Pittsburgh: What Does It Mean?

Marijuana Decriminalization in Pittsburgh: What Does It Mean?

Having been in the front lines of the fight for marijuana legalization in the state of Pennsylvania, I am naturally excited by the recent events in Pittsburgh. The City Council voted in favor of decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana and hashish within city limits this week.

This is a big step forward in the fight, make no mistake. It will also be a relief for citizens, the court system and police. No longer will the police and the courts be tied up dealing with simple possession charges, which will translate to an estimated annual…

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New Hampshire Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed for 2016

New Hampshire Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed for 2016

CONCORD, NH — A bill to allow adults 21 or older to legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana in New Hampshire has been pre-filed for the upcoming 2016 legislative session.

House Bill 1610 is sponsored by Reps. Michael Sylvia (R-Belknap) and Robert Hull (R-Grafton).

If passed, the bill would allow adults 21 or older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, grow up to six cannabis plants (three of which may be mature), and give up to one ounce of marijuana to another adult without financial compensation.

As written, the bill does not…

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Pittsburgh Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Wins Final Approval

Pittsburgh Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Wins Final Approval

City Council gives final approval to decriminalization ordinance by a 7-2 vote

PITTSBURGH, PA — The city of Pittsburgh will soon become the second major city in Pennsylvania to treat marijuana possession as a fine-only offense, instead of a criminal misdemeanor, joining Philadelphia, who passed a similar ordinance last year.

After receiving preliminary approval on a 6-1 vote last week, the City Council gave final approval to the decriminalization measure by a 7-2 vote on Monday.

Councilwomen Theresa Kail-Smith and Darlene Harris voted…

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Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect

Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect

DOVER, DE — Legislation signed into law last June decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses took effect at midnight Friday.

House Bill 39 reclassifies the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis by those age 21 and over from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a criminal record, to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine only — no arrest, and no criminal record.

Those between the ages of 18 and 21 may still face criminal charges, but only if it is their second or subsequent offense.

The new law…

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Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Law to Take Effect Friday

Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Law to Take Effect Friday

Adult possession of a small amount of marijuana will become a civil violation punishable by a fine; Delaware will be the 19th state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple possession

DOVER, DE — Marijuana decriminalization legislation adopted earlier this year in Delaware will officially take effect on Friday, making it the 19th state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession. A 20th state, Missouri, has a similar law on the books that goes into effect in 2017.

“Delaware’s marijuana policy…

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Pittsburgh Poised to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana

Pittsburgh Poised to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana

PITTSBURGH, PA — The city of Pittsburgh is poised to become the second major city in Pennsylvania to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Following a hearing on Tuesday, where about 40 people testified in favor of the proposal and no opposition was voiced, the Pittsburgh City Council is expected to give preliminary approval Wednesday to an ordinance that will allow police in the city the option to cite individuals found in possession of a small amount of marijuana, instead of arresting them and charging them with…

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Pittsburgh City Council to Hold Public Hearing on Marijuana Decriminalization Tomorrow

Pittsburgh City Council to Hold Public Hearing on Marijuana Decriminalization Tomorrow

PITTSBURGH, PA —  The Pittsburgh City Council will host a public hearing on a proposed ordinance to decriminalize marijuana possession in the city on Tuesday.

The hearing, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 1:30 pm on Tuesday, December 15 in the Council Chambers, located on the 5th Floor of the City County Building, 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh.

The proposed ordinance was introduced by District 6 Councilman and Public Safety Chair Daniel Lavelle in November.  If passed, the proposal will allow police in the city the…

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Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Filed in Illinois, Faith Leaders Voice Support

Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Filed in Illinois, Faith Leaders Voice Support

Illinois faith leaders call for swift action on HB 4357, which includes provisions agreed upon by Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly

CHICAGO, IL — Rep. Kelly Cassidy announced Thursday that she is introducing new legislation for 2016 that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana in Illinois.

House Bill 4357 would make possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a fine. Adults would no longer face time in jail, and the civil offense would be…

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Pittsburgh City Council to Consider Ordinance Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession

Pittsburgh City Council to Consider Ordinance Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession

PITTSBURGH, PA — On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Councilman and Public Safety Chair Daniel Lavelle is expected to introduce an ordinance that will allow police in the city the option to cite individuals found in possession of a small amount of marijuana, instead of arresting them and charging them with a criminal offense.

Local advocates at Pittsburgh NORML, who have been working with Councilman Lavelle to craft the proposal, say the ordinance would create a civil fine of $25 for possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of…

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Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill in US Senate to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill in US Senate to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Sen. Sanders was the first major party presidential candidate to express support for ending marijuana prohibition, and the bill he filed Wednesday is the first such proposal ever introduced in the U.S. Senate — ‘His actions today speak even louder than his words last month’

WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) introduced a bill Wednesday that would repeal all federal penalties for possessing and growing marijuana, allowing states to establish their own marijuana laws.

The “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015”…

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