New Hampshire One Step Closer to Decriminalizing Possession

For the first time in its history, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve a marijuana decriminalization bill. HB 640 was amended and passed by the committee in a 3-2 vote today. A vote by the full Senate is expected on Thursday, May 11. For a summary of the bill, as amended, click here.

The House overwhelmingly approved HB 640 in February in a 318-36 vote, and it has approved similar bills eight times since 2008. The Senate Judiciary Committee vote marks the first time such a bill has been approved by a Senate…

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Can Decriminalizing Marijuana Lead to Higher Wages? Study Says Yes.

(Flickr/neetalparekh)

IRVINE, CA — Reducing criminal penalties for marijuana offenses is associated with greater overall employment and higher wages, according to data compiled by economists at the University of California.

Researchers at the Economic Self-Sufficiency Research Policy Institute at the University of California at Irvine assessed the relationship between statewide marijuana decriminalization laws and labor outcomes.

Authors reported that decriminalization is…

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Tennessee Governor Signs Law Repealing Citywide Decriminalization Statutes

NASHVILLE, TN — Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation last week repealing municipal statutes in Memphis and Nashville that reduced local penalties for marijuana possession offenders.

House Bill 173 nullifies both cities’ decriminalization ordinances and preempts any other city from enacting similar reforms.

City council members in Nashville and Memphis both passed ordinances last fall providing local law enforcement the discretion to cite and fine minor marijuana…

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N.H. Senate Committees Approve PTSD and Chronic Pain Bills

Slowly but surely, the New Hampshire Senate appears to be evolving in support of marijuana policy reforms. After hearing compelling testimony from patients and medical providers, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted to pass two important bills that would improve the therapeutic cannabis program: HB 157, which would allow patients to qualify if they suffer from moderate to severe chronic pain, passed 4-1, and HB 160, which would add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition, passed 5-0.

Unfortunately,…

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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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Israeli Cabinet Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization Plan

JERUSALEM — Israeli lawmakers have signed off on legislation decriminalizing offenses involving the possession of personal use quantities of marijuana.

Under the new policy, first and second time possession offenders will face a fine, but no criminal penalties.

“The Cabinet approval is an important step on the way to implementing the new policy that will put emphasis on explaining and treating rather than on criminal enforcement,” explained Israeli Public Security…

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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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Israeli Cabinet Approves Proposal to Decriminalize Marijuana

On Sunday, Israel took a big step toward decriminalizing adult marijuana use. The Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal that would replace criminal penalties with fines for people who are caught using marijuana in public. The proposal from the Ministries of Justice and Public Security has received support from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but still requires approval of the Israeli Parliament before becoming law.

Some Israeli marijuana reform advocates worry that the plan…

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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: Advocates Push Crucial Legislation to Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions

ALBANY, NY — Advocates and lawmakers came together for a press conference in Albany on Tuesday to demand reprieve for the harm that has been caused by arrests for low-level marijuana possession and mobilize for legislative solutions to keep New York families together.

New York’s marijuana arrest crusade began more than 20 years ago. Since then, police departments across the state have arrested more than 800,000 New Yorkers for low-level marijuana possession offenses….

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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 York City Marijuana Possession Arrests Spike in 2016

NEW YORK, NY — Criminal arrests for marijuana possession increased ten percent in 2016 despite former promises from Mayor Bill de Blasio to reduce the city’s total number of cannabis-related prosecutions.

New York City police made over 17,600 arrests last year for which the top charge was marijuana possession in the 5th degree – a class B misdemeanor. Of those charged, 85 percent were either Black or Hispanic. Ninety-six percent were arrested specifically for…

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New Hampshire House Committee Approves Decriminalization Bill

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee overwhelmingly voted to pass HB 640, a bill that would decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. The vote, 14-2, was overwhelming, and it appears very likely that the House will pass HB 640 with a huge margin of support.

The Committee also voted to “retain” HB 656, a bill that would make marijuana legal for adult use. This is a good thing because it means the Committee will be able to study the issue more thoroughly this summer and fall before they…

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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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Vermont House Judiciary Hearings on Marijuana Bill to Begin This Week

The Vermont House Judiciary Committee will begin holding hearings this week on H. 170, a bill that would legalize possession and limited home cultivation of marijuana for adults 21 and older. This bill is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, vice-chair, and ranking Republican, and its prospects appear to be bright: Vermont Public Radio reported on Friday that the House “appears more receptive” to legalization in 2017, and Governor Phil Scott is “willing to consider the House plan.” 

Although this bill would not legalize and…

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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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Tennessee Lawmaker Wants to Nullify Local Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinances

NASHVILLE, TN — A Republican lawmaker has filed a bill in the Tennessee legislature to prevent local communities from relaxing local marijuana laws — and to nullify those ordinances that have already been passed in the state’s two largest cities.

State Rep. William Lamberth (R-Cottontown), a former Assistant District Attorney for Sumner County, filed House Bill 173 this week.

The intent of the bill is to override and nullify ordinances passed in the state’s two largest…

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New Hampshire Hearings on Marijuana Bills Wednesday

Two of New Hampshire’s most anticipated marijuana policy reform bills of the year have been scheduled for hearings on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 1. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will consider public testimony on the decriminalization bill, HB 640, beginning at 1 p.m. in the House chamber. The public hearing on HB 656, which would make marijuana legal for adult use and create a regulated market system, will follow.
WHAT: Public hearings on the decriminalization bill (HB 640) and a bill that would…

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Wyoming: Joint Resolution 11 Would Legalize Marijuana for Adults

CHEYENNE, WY — Two lawmakers from opposite sides of the aisle have come together to co-sponsor a measure that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older.

House Joint Resolution 11 is co-sponsored by state Reps. James Byrd (D-Cheyenne) and Mark Baker (R-Sweetwater), the same two lawmakers who have co-sponsored a separate bill to decriminalize marijuana possession in Wyoming.

The resolution would legalize and regulate the commercial cultivation and retail sale of…

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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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Israel Could Soon Decriminalize Personal Marijuana Use

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Israel could soon decriminalize personal use and possession of marijuana, a leading government official said Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference in Tel Aviv, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said if the government approves his policy suggestion, those caught possessing or smoking small amounts of marijuana would face fines instead of arrested and prosecuted, similar to approaches taken in many US states.

“This would mean moving to administrative fines, and…

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Marijuana Decriminalization to Appear on April Ballot in Kansas City, MO

Kansas City, MO (Flickr/Dean Hochman)

KANSAS CITY, MO — Kansas City voters will decide this April on a municipal ordinance to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses.

The local initiative, spearheaded by Kansas City NORML, would amend citywide penalties for the possession of up to 35 grams of cannabis from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil violation, punishable by a $25 fine.

Council members voted 12 to 1 last week to place the issue before voters on the April 4 ballot. Kansas City…

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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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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 Wyoming law, possession of even a tiny amount of marijuana carries a…

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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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New York Governor Pushes for Marijuana Decriminalization Fix

ALBANY, NY — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday his renewed commitment to decriminalizing marijuana possession in his State of the State Book, which outlines his agenda for the 2017 Legislative Session.

New York State first decriminalized personal marijuana possession in 1977, recognizing the harmful impact an arrest could have on young people.

Criminalization of the offense has continued, however, due to a loophole left in the law by lawmakers that…

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Texas Legislative Sessions Begins With Efforts to Fix Medical Marijuana Law and Decriminalize Possession

The Texas Legislature convened for the 2017 session today. Rep. Joe Moody reintroduced legislation that would replace Texas’ harsh criminal penalties for marijuana possession with a simple citation. His proposal would eliminate the threat of arrest, jail time, and — most importantly — the lifelong consequences of a criminal conviction.

Meanwhile, Sen. Jose Menendez is leading the charge to fix Texas’ inadequate medical marijuana law. Effective medical marijuana programs have been created in 28 states, but Texas instead has an…

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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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New Hampshire Senate Minority Leader to File Marijuana Legalization Bill

CONCORD, NH — With two neighboring states having just legalized marijuana, a high-profile member of the New Hampshire Senate — where marijuana bills usually go to die — will push for the Granite State to follow suit when the legislature convenes in January.

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton) told the Concord Monitor on Friday that he intends to file a bill to legalize marijuana in New Hampshire, the only New England state where marijuana possession remains a…

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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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Not Legal Yet: Nearly 500,000 Marijuana Arrests in California in the Last Decade

Not Legal Yet: Nearly 500,000 Marijuana Arrests in California in the Last Decade

OAKLAND, CA — A new report by the Drug Policy Alliance shows that there were nearly half a million marijuana felony and misdemeanor arrests in California between 2006 and 2015. Thousands of Californians are arrested annually for marijuana misdemeanors and felonies. These arrests are not equal. Black and Latino Californians are arrested for marijuana offenses at disproportionately high rates.

In addition, youth under 18 years of age now make up the majority of misdemeanor arrestees.

In 1996 California became the first state to legalize…

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Illinois Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession

Illinois Gov. Rauner just signed SB 2228, which removes criminal penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana everywhere in Land of Lincoln. The change in the law is effective immediately.

Illinoisans or visitors found in possession of marijuana are no longer subject to arrest or jail time.IL_decrim The change also removes the possibility of a harmful criminal record for cannabis possession, which can last a lifetime. Instead, those found in possession would face a simple fine of between $100 and $200.

Previously in Illinois,…

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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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DNC Calls for Reform of Marijuana Laws

Over the weekend, the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Drafting Committee established a party platform calling for states’ rights to decide their ownjzH0I1Ka marijuana laws, allowing for greater research on the medical properties of cannabis, and protecting the rights of legally established marijuana businesses:

“We believe that the states should be laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana, and those states that want to decriminalize marijuana should be able to do so. We support policies that will allow more research to be…

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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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Study: Rates of Problematic Cannabis Use Falling Among Teens

Study: Rates of Problematic Cannabis Use Falling Among Teens

Fewer adolescents are consuming cannabis; among those who do, fewer are engaging in problematic use of the plant, according to newly published data in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis evaluated government survey data on adolescents’ self-reported drug use during the years 2002 to 2013. Over 216,000 adolescents ages 12 to 17 participated in the federally commissioned surveys.

Researchers reported that the percentage of respondents who…

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Illinois Set to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

The Illinois House of Representatives voted Wednesday to remove criminal penalties for possession of a personal amount of marijuana in a vote of 64-50. The bill — SB 2228 — will now be sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature.

heather_steans
Sen. Heather Steans

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, represents a historic change in Illinois. Instead of arresting and jailing people in possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana, those found in possession would simply pay a fine of up to $200….

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New Hampshire Senate Punts Decriminalization Bill to Hostile Conference Committee

On Thursday, the New Hampshire Senate had a golden opportunity to reduce marijuana possession penalties, but they failed to seize it.2000px-Seal_of_New_Hampshire.svg Rather than passing SB 498, which had been amended by the House to decriminalize possession of one-quarter ounce or less of marijuana for first offenses, the Senate voted to send the bill to a conference committee. This committee will be comprised of three senators and four representatives, who will meet to discuss a possible compromise between the two chambers.

Sadly, the three…

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