New York: New Regulatory Changes To Expand Medical Marijuana Access

ALBANY, NY — Newly enacted regulatory changes to the state’s medical cannabis program are expected to result in increased patient access.

As of this week, patients suffering from chronic pain conditions are now eligible to qualify for cannabis therapy.

In January, a National Academies review of over 10,000 scientific abstracts acknowledged that “conclusive” evidence exists to support the use of cannabis in pain treatment.

Another change in the program allows physician…

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Leading Reform Organizations Applaud Formation of Congressional Cannabis Caucus

WASHINGTON, DC — The nation’s leading cannabis and drug policy reform organizations commended Congressional members Thursday on the formation of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) formed the Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.

They represent constituents…

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Donald Trump Vows ‘Ruthless’ War on Drugs and Crime

(Flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation)

In a sharp break with the Obama administration, which distanced itself from harsh anti-drug rhetoric and emphasized treatment for drug users over punishment, President Donald Trump last week reverted to tough drug war oratory and backed it up with a series of executive orders he said were “designed to restore safety in America.”

“We’re going to stop the drugs from pouring in,” Trump told law enforcement professionals of the…

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So We Have Attorney General Sessions. Whats Next For Marijuana?

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech hosted by Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (WikiMedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)

Despite historic opposition, members of the United States Senate voted 52 to 47 last week to approve the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for US Attorney General.

While we are disappointed with this outcome, we are pleased that several members of Congress cited the…

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Senate Votes to Confirm Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Senate voted 52 to 47 Wednesday to confirm Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as Attorney General. Most Republicans voted for him; most Democrats voted against him.

The vote comes after two months of organized opposition as hundreds of organizations expressed concerns about Sessions’s record and racially-charged statements he has made in the…

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Senate Judiciary Votes to Advance ‘Drug-War Dinosaur’ Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to advance the nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General of the United States. The vote was 11 to 9, with no Democrats supporting the nominee. The nomination will now go to the Senate floor for a full and final vote.

“Jeff Sessions is a disaster for drug policy and criminal justice reform,”…

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Senate Judiciary Advances the Nomination of Marijuana Prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to be the Attorney General

WASHINGTON, DC — Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the confirmation of Jeff Sessions to be the next US Attorney General on a party line vote of 11 to 9.

There a numerous groups in the criminal justice advocacy space, ranging from the NAACP to the ACLU who are opposed Senator Sessions becoming the nation’s top law enforcement officer for various reasons, ranging from his positions on voting rights, capital punishment, and…

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Drug Policy Alliance executive director Nadelmann stepping down

Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, said Friday he is vacating his post, though he’ll remain on the job until “late April,” he wrote in a letter posted online.

“I’ve decided that the time has come for me to step aside as head of DPA. My extraordinary colleagues are ready to take us into the future!” Nadelmann wrote on Twitter in making the initial announcement of his departure.

The DPA followed with its own statement on Twitter: “We are so grateful for everything you did to help shape the…

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AG Nominee Sessions Responds to Marijuana Questions from Senators

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has issued written responses to marijuana-related questions from several US Senators, but those answers still do not clarify the Trump Administration’s stance on marijuana legalization by states.

While on the campaign trail, President-elect Trump said that marijuana legalization was an issue for the states to…

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Colorado DHS Wants $6M from Pot Tax to Fund Public Health Approach to Drug Use and Mental Health

DENVER, CO — The Department of Human Services (DHS) in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, at the request and guidance of Drug Policy Alliance and other advocates such as the Equitas Foundation, submitted a request yesterday to the Colorado General Assembly Joint Budget Committee (JBC) to allocate over $6 million annually from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund for grant-based initiatives that will create meaningful alternatives to criminal justice involvement for…

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Jeff Sessions Confirmation Hearing Draws Mixed Reactions from Marijuana Organizations

During his confirmation hearing for the position of Attorney General Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) avoided giving a straight answer on how he will handle states that have legalized marijuana, drawing a mixed reaction from organizations advocating for further marijuana law reform.

Erik Altieri, Executive Director of the NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, says Session’s responses could be “leaving the door open” for…

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Jeff Sessions Evades Firm Answer on State Marijuana Laws

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

During his confirmation for the position of Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions failed to give a straight answer with regard to how the Justice Department should respond to states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

The Alabama Senator was questioned by both Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) with respect to whether the principles of…

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New York Adds Chronic Pain as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana Program

New York state flag

NEW YORK—The New York State Department of Health announced Thursday that they will expand New York’s beleaguered medical marijuana program by adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition under New York’s Compassionate Care Law.

This decision by the Department of Health is a victory for patient advocates and for all New Yorkers who suffer from debilitating pain,  which medical marijuana has been proven to help treat.

“Medical marijuana is a scientifically proven…

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President Obama Commutes the Sentences of 79 More People, Bringing His Total to more than 1,000

(photo/whitehouse.gov)

(photo/whitehouse.gov)

WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of 79 people incarcerated in federal prison, almost all of whom were serving time under outdated and harsh drug sentences. This round of commutations brings the number of prisoners whose sentences have been commuted under President Obama to more than 1,000.

The commutation of these prison sentences represents what the White House hopes will be just one prong…

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President Obama Commutes the Sentences of 98 People, Bringing His Total to 872

African American in Prison

WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 98 people incarcerated in federal prison serving time under outdated and harsh drug sentences on Wednesday. This brings his total number of clemencies granted to 872 people.

President Obama has been pushed to do more to release those serving time in prison under harsh drug laws.

“This continued historic commutation of prisoners by President Obama is needed to correct the inherent racial…

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Report: Tax Revenue From Retail Marijuana Sales Exceeds Expectations

marijuana money - istock

WASHINGTON, DC — Tax revenue collection from retail marijuana sales in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington is exceeding initial projections, according to a report published by the Drug Policy Alliance.

The DPA study finds that marijuana-related tax revenue in Colorado totaled $129 million over the 12-month period ending May 31, 2016 – well exceeding initial estimates of $70 million per year. In Washington, tax revenue totaled $220 million for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2016….

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National Crime Data Shows Marijuana Arrests Dropping, Still Happen More Than Once a Minute

The FBI just released its annual Crime in the United States report, detailing national crime data for 2015. According to the report, marijuana arrests are at a two decade low. This is definitely a good sign, but even one marijuana arrest is too many, and more than one marijuana arrest occurs every minute.fbi

Huffington Post reports:

…authorities in the U.S. made 643,000 arrests for marijuana-related charges in 2015 ― or about one every 49 seconds. Charges related to the drug accounted for 5.9 percent of all arrests, and about 43.2 percent…

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President Obama Grants Clemency to 111 More People

President Obama Grants Clemency to 111 More People

The President is Acting; Congress Must Step Up Too

WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 111 people incarcerated in federal prison on Tuesday, almost all for drug offenses. This brings his total number of clemencies granted to 673 people. Many of those who received commutations today were victims of the disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine.

President Obama has been pushed to do more to release those serving time in prison under harsh drug laws.

“The President is doing the right thing, but we hope…

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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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Obama Frees More Federal Drug War Prisoners, But Time is Running Out

Obama Frees More Federal Drug War Prisoners, But Time is Running Out

Some 214 federal drug war prisoners saw their prison sentences commuted Wednesday as President Obama took another step toward fulfilling his administration’s pledge to use his pardon power to cut draconian drug sentences and free prisoners serving decades-long stretches for non-violent drug crimes.

“The power to grant pardons and commutations… embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws,” the president said.

Those…

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President Obama Grants Clemency to 214 People

President Obama Grants Clemency to 214 People

Clemencies Come As Paul Ryan Schedules Vote on Sentencing Reform

WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama on Wednesday commuted the sentences of more than 200 people incarcerated in federal prison, almost all for drug offenses. This brings his total number of clemencies granted to 562 people. Many of those who received commutations today were victims of the disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine.

President Obama has been pushed to do more to release those serving time in prison under harsh drug laws.

“The President should be…

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Separating Myth From Fact: DPA Releases New Marijuana Facts Booklet

Separating Myth From Fact: DPA Releases New Marijuana Facts Booklet

Report Addresses Most Commonly-Asked Questions About Marijuana Use and Its Mfor Historic Votes on Marijuana Law Reform this November

The Drug Policy Alliance on Thursday released Marijuana Facts, intended for non-expert audiences seeking answers to some of the most common questions asked about marijuana use, its effects, and the rapidly-shifting legal landscape.

The booklet addresses 15 frequently-asked questions about subjects such as driving, mental health, brain development, potency, edibles and concentrates.  It touches on marijuana’s…

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Senate Appropriations Committee to Allow Banks to Provide Services to State-Legalized Marijuana Stores

Senate Appropriations Committee to Allow Banks to Provide Services to State-Legalized Marijuana Stores

WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 16 to 14 on Thursday to allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana businesses. Currently, because marijuana is illegal under federal law, both medical and non-medical marijuana businesses are unable to access banking services like any other business. Consequently, many marijuana businesses operate on a cash-only basis, leading to huge public safety issues as businesses become the target of robberies, and are forced to hire armed security to protect their…

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New York: Medical Marijuana Too Expensive; Access Difficult for Most Patients

Seventy-seven Percent of Patients & Caregivers Surveyed Who Accessed the Program Say They Cannot Afford the Medicine They Need

On January 7th 2016, New York became the 23rd state to rollout its medical marijuana program. The law, which was passed in June of 2014, took eighteen months to implement and has been criticized as being one of the most restrictive and burdensome programs in the country. Since the program was launched, patients and advocates have been frustrated by numerous barriers to accessing the program, including difficulty…

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Racial Disparities in Marijuana Enforcement Continue in California

Racial Disparities in Marijuana Enforcement Continue in California

Marijuana Infraction Enforcement Nearly 4 Times More Severe for Black Californians and 1.5 Times More Severe for Latino Californians than for Whites, Finds New DPA and ACLU Report

OAKLAND, CA — New data analyses conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance and ACLU of California find that racial disparities in marijuana policing have persisted, following the reduction of low-level marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction in 2011. Possession of under an ounce of marijuana is punishable in California by a base fine up to $100 (plus…

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President Obama Grants Clemency to 58 Individuals in Federal Prison on Drug Offenses

President Obama Grants Clemency to 58 Individuals in Federal Prison on Drug Offenses

WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of  58  people incarcerated in federal prison for drug offenses on Thursday. This follows the commutation of  61 individuals on March 30, 2016, 95 people in December of 2015, 45 people in July, 22 people in March 2015, and 8 people in December of 2014.

All of those who received commutations Thursday were serving time in prison for nonviolent drug offenses, and many were victims of the disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine.

President Obama has been under…

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DC Council Expected to Vote on Final Passage of Permanent Ban on Marijuana Clubs Tuesday

DC Council Expected to Vote on Final Passage of Permanent Ban on Marijuana Clubs Tuesday

Legislation Rolls Back Medical Marijuana Protections, Criminalizes Patients

WASHINGTON, DC — The Council of the District of Columbia has scheduled a final vote Tuesday on legislation that would permanently prohibit adult consumption of marijuana everywhere but a private residence.

Advocates warn that final passage of this bill will undermine existing laws that protect medical marijuana patients and yield more control over local marijuana policy to Congress, in direct contradiction of calls by Mayor Muriel Bowser and other DC lawmakers for…

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DC Council Votes to Permanently Ban Social Marijuana Consumption Outside of Residences

DC Council Votes to Permanently Ban Social Marijuana Consumption Outside of Residences

WASHINGTON, DC — The D.C. Council has once again reversed its position on a law banning the consumption of marijuana anywhere outside a private home, even though it is legal for adults to use and possess up to two ounces of marijuana in the District.

By voting 7-6 Tuesday in favor of B21-107, which would make the “social use ban” permanent, the council ignored its own prior decision to make the ban temporary and set up a task force to study the issue.

The task force, which the council voted to create on February 2, was intended to…

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DC Council Expected to Vote on Permanent Marijuana Club Ban

DC Council Expected to Vote on Permanent Marijuana Club Ban

Council Chairman Mendelson Wants Council to Disregard Its Own Task Force Convened to Recommend Way Forward on Marijuana Clubs

WASHINGTON, DC — The Council of the District of Columbia has scheduled a vote today on legislation that restricts adult marijuana use in the District, prohibiting marijuana consumption everywhere but the home.

The legislation is opposed by a majority of District residents and a growing number of councilmembers who oppose limiting consumption of marijuana to private residences, favoring instead the creation of…

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Obama Grants Clemency to 61 Federal Drug Prisoners

Obama Grants Clemency to 61 Federal Drug Prisoners

WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama on Wednesday commuted the sentences of 61 people incarcerated in federal prison for drug offenses.

This follows the commutation of 95 people in December, 2015, 45 people in July of that year, 22 people in March 2015, and 8 people in December of 2014. All of those who received commutations today were serving time in prison for nonviolent drug offenses, and many were victims of the disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine.

President Obama has been under significant public pressure from…

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Top Nixon Adviser: Drug War was Policy Tool to Go After Anti-War Protesters and Black People

Top Nixon Adviser: Drug War was Policy Tool to Go After Anti-War Protesters and Black People

A decades old quote from President Nixon’s administration is making front page news and being shared widely around the web. The quote from John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon’s domestic policy chief gained new notoriety after appearing in a cover story in Harper’s Magazine by author Dan Baum.

“You want to know what this was really all about,” Ehrlichman, who died in 1999, said, referring to Nixon’s declaration of war on drugs. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies:…

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Poll: South Carolina Primary Voters Support Decriminalizing Drug Possession

Poll: South Carolina Primary Voters Support Decriminalizing Drug Possession

South Carolina Voters Mirror Attitudes in New Hampshire About Reforming Drug Laws

A large majority of South Carolina presidential primary voters across party lines support ending mass incarceration, and a substantial majority support decriminalizing drug possession outright, according to a new poll released by the Drug Policy Alliance.

70 percent of voters in the upcoming first Southern state primary consider substantially reducing the number of Americans in prison an important issue, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and…

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DC Council Reverses Opposition to Regulated Spaces to Consume Marijuana

DC Council Reverses Opposition to Regulated Spaces to Consume Marijuana

Council Creates Taskforce to Explore Creation of Designated Spaces for Marijuana Use

WASHINGTON, DC — The Council of the District of Columbia voted Tuesday to halt consideration of legislation that would permanently ban adult consumption of marijuana outside the home, and instead moved forward with the creation of a task force to explore the establishment of regulated places where adults can legally consume marijuana in the District.

“The will of District voters was upheld today by the Council, which voted unanimously to move forward on…

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DC Council Expected to Vote Tuesday on Marijuana Club Ban

DC Council Expected to Vote Tuesday on Marijuana Club Ban

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson Pushes Bill Through the Council Despite Strong Opposition from the Public and Councilmembers

WASHINGTON, DC — The Council of the District of Columbia plans to vote Tuesday on legislation that restricts adult marijuana use in the District, prohibiting marijuana consumption everywhere but the home. The legislation is opposed by a majority of District residents and a growing number of councilmembers who oppose limiting consumption of marijuana to the home, favoring instead the creation of regulated places…

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Poll: DC Residents Want Regulation of Marijuana in the District

Poll: DC Residents Want Regulation of Marijuana in the District

Majority Oppose Congressional Interference with DC Law, View Marijuana Reform as a Statehood Issue, Believe Mayor Bowser Should Move to Tax & Regulate Marijuana, Support Regulated Venues for Social Consumption

WASHINGTON, DC –A substantial majority of District residents believe Mayor Bowser should move forward with taxation and regulation of marijuana despite Congressional prohibition, according to a survey conducted over the weekend by Public Policy Polling (PPP) for the Drug Policy Alliance, DC Vote, DC Working Families and the…

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Over 60% of New Mexicans Support Legal Marijuana Sales

Over 60% of New Mexicans Support Legal Marijuana Sales

SANTA FE, NM — More than three out of five New Mexicans believe that state law ought to be amended to permit retails sales of marijuana to adults, according to statewide polling data provided by Research & Polling Inc. and commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance.

Sixty-one percent of respondents said that they supported legislation to regulate and tax retail sales of marijuana to those age 21 and over. Respondents’ support rose to 69 percent when pollsters indicated that sales taxes would be used to fund health-related programs.

Majority…

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DC Council Committee Permanently Bans Marijuana Consumption in Private Clubs

DC Council Committee Permanently Bans Marijuana Consumption in Private Clubs

WASHINGTON, DC — On Wednesday, the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on the Judiciary voted to dilute the will of District voters who approved Ballot Initiative 71 by passing unnecessary legislation largely outlawing adult marijuana use in the District.

The passage of the controversial measure occurred under unusual circumstances. Almost no notice of the markup of the controversial bill was provided. Notice was not provided to the public until only a few minutes before markup, and even Committee members received less than 24…

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Poll: New Hampshire Primary Voters Strongly Support Decriminalizing Drug Possession

Poll: New Hampshire Primary Voters Strongly Support Decriminalizing Drug Possession

Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents Oppose Arresting People for Simple Possession of Any Drug, Want Health Insurers to Provide Treatment and Support Eliminating Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Non-Violent Drug Offenders

CONCORD, NH — A substantial majority of New Hampshire presidential primary voters support decriminalizing drug possession, according to a new poll released by the Drug Policy Alliance.

Sixty-six percent of voters in the first-in-the-nation primary, including half of all Republicans and 68% of independents,…

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DPA Asks for Reprieve for Louisia Man Serving 13-year Prison Sentence for Two Joints

DPA Asks for Reprieve for Louisia Man Serving 13-year Prison Sentence for Two Joints

Request for Gubernatorial Reprieve by Drug Policy Alliance Urges Louisiana Governor to Free Mr. Bernard Noble

NEW ORLEANS, LA —The Drug Policy Alliance has formally requested the Louisiana Governor to grant Bernard Noble a gubernatorial reprieve and release Mr. Noble from prison, where he has served more than four years behind bars having been sentenced to a term of 13.3 years of hard labor without the opportunity for parole for possessing the equivalent of two marijuana cigarettes.

Pursuant to Article IV, Section 5 of the Louisiana…

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New York Returns to Failed Drug War Approaches to Address Synthetic Cannabinoids

New York Returns to Failed Drug War Approaches to Address Synthetic Cannabinoids

Advocates: New Yorkers Need a Public Education and Health Approach to Deal with Emerging Drugs

NEW YORK, NY — Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo issued regulations and the New York State Senate introduced a bill that would criminalize the sales of synthetic cannabinoids.

Recently, there have been several media reports of tragic episodes involving synthetic cannabinoids, such as spice and K2. Epidemiological reports suggest an increase in hospitalizations due to these substances.

Synthetic cannabinoids  are a class of cannabinoid chemicals…

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NY Sen. Schumer Throws Weight Behind Federal Medical Marijuana Bill

NY Sen. Schumer Throws Weight Behind Federal Medical Marijuana Bill

Senator Schumer Joins NY Senator Gillibrand in Sponsoring the CARERS Act, a Bill that Would End Federal Prohibition of Medical Marijuana

NEW YORK, NY — New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) added his name to the Senate’s sweeping medical marijuana bill on Tuesday.

The CARERS Act, introduced in March by Senators Gillibrand (D-NY), Booker (D-NJ), and Paul (R-KY) would end federal prohibition of medical marijuana, and remove barriers for research, veterans, and banking.

The move comes just days before New York State is expected to announce the names of five companies that will be allowed to produce medical marijuana in New York. New York’s medical marijuana is expected to become fully operational in January 2016.

New York patients have expressed their gratitude for Senator Schumer’s…

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Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Federal Marijuana Banking Bill

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Federal Marijuana Banking Bill

Marijuana Businesses Currently Operate as Cash-only Causing Huge Public Safety Concerns; Legislation Would Allow Marijuana Businesses Access to Financial Services

WASHINGTON, DC — Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Thursday introduced the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act, a bill that would allow banks to provide depository and other financial services to state-legal marijuana businesses.

Currently, because marijuana is illegal under federal law, both medical and non-medical marijuana businesses are unable to access banking services like any other business.

Consequently, many marijuana businesses operate on a cash-only basis, leading to huge public safety issues as businesses become the target of…

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Federal Marijuana Banking Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

Federal Marijuana Banking Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON, DC – In a much-needed move to allow legitimate marijuana businesses to conduct legal financial operations, US Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act on Thursday.

While the move sounds like a minor regulatory matter, the lack of clear financial guidelines represents the single greatest obstacle to state-legal marijuana businesses operating safely and profitably.

Currently, dispensaries and other businesses in states that have legalized medical marijuana or that allow adult use must operate cash-only businesses because banking services fall under federal, rather than state law.

“Right now, it’s the Wild West for marijuana businesses,” said…

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One Year Later, Patients & Families Demand Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana in New York

One Year Later, Patients & Families Demand Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana in New York

Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana; Gov. Cuomo Must Sign a Emergency Access Bill or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients

NEW YORK, NY — On the one year anniversary of the signing of New York’s medical marijuana law, patients and families gathered in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City Office to urge him to sign a new bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients.

Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana, and at least four children, who could have likely benefited from it, have died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.

“It’s a year and a half since Governor Cuomo announced in the State of the State message that he…

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Oregon Governor Signs Marijuana Legalization; Sentencing Reform Law

Oregon Governor Signs Marijuana Legalization; Sentencing Reform Law

Oregon Rewrites Marijuana Criminal Code to Reduce Most Felonies to Misdemeanors and to Make Prior Convictions Eligible to be Cleared; Oregon Goes Beyond Other Legalization States to Reduce Harsh Marijuana Sentences and Allow for 78,319 Prior Marijuana Convictions to Potentially be Cleared

SALEM, OR — Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 3400 on Wednesday, an omnibus bill to implement Measure 91, the marijuana legalization initiative adopted by voters last November. The bill was approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives this week.

Measure 91 legalized possession, use, and cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 and older and regulated commercial production, manufacturing, and retail sales of marijuana.  Legalization for personal use took effect July 1, 2015. As of…

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Possession; Home Cultivation of Marijuana Becomes Legal in Oregon on Wednesday

Possession; Home Cultivation of Marijuana Becomes Legal in Oregon on Wednesday

Oregon Joins Washington, Alaska, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. in Ending Marijuana Prohibition

PORTLAND, OR — Beginning July 1st, adults 21 and older will be able to legally possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana in their home and up to 1 ounce of marijuana outside their home. Adults may also grow up to four plants as long as they are out of public view.

Oregon voters passed Measure 91 last November with 56% support. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two U.S. states – and the first two jurisdictions in the world – to…

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Louisiana Senate Approves Bill to Reform Draconian Marijuana Possession Law

Louisiana Senate Approves Bill to Reform Draconian Marijuana Possession Law

New Law Would Be Important Step Toward Reducing Louisiana’s Notoriously Overcrowded Prisons and Jails; Bill Now Heads to the House

BATON ROUGE, LA — Louisiana’s Senate took an important step toward reforming their state’s harsh marijuana possession law when they approved Senate Bill 241 by a vote of 27-12 Monday.

If passed, Louisiana would join the growing number of states that have recently reduced penalties for small amounts of marijuana.

“This is a long-sought opportunity to take a more compassionate and commonsense approach to…

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Louisiana Senate Committee Approves Bill to Reform Marijuana Possession Law

Louisiana Senate Committee Approves Bill to Reform Marijuana Possession Law

Law Would Allow Second Chance for First-Time Offenders and Save Millions of Dollars

BATON ROUGE, LA — Lawmakers in Louisiana took a major step toward reforming the state’s harsh marijuana possession law when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to reform the state’s harsh marijuana possession law.

If House Bill 149 is passed, Louisiana would join the growing number of states that have recently reduced penalties for small amounts of marijuana.  The bill was passed by the House last week, and now heads to the full Senate for…

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Medical Marijuana Advocates to Host 3rd Annual National Conference in Washington DC

Medical Marijuana Advocates to Host 3rd Annual National Conference in Washington DC

Scientists, patients, doctors, advocates, lawyers, policymakers unite to further advance public health policy reforms

WASHINGTON, DC — Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) will hold its third annual national Unity Conference, “Wellness is Winning,” in Washington, D.C. on March 27-31, 2015.

The conference will highlight medical and legal experts, policymakers, and a wide array of workshops and panels focusing on scientific research, strategic planning, and skills building. On Tuesday, March 31st, ASA will host…

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House Version of Federal Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced

House Version of Federal Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced

Support for Letting States Set Their Own Marijuana Policies without Federal Interference Growing Rapidly in Congress

WASHINGTON, DC—Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) have introduced the House companion to a groundbreaking bill legalizing marijuana for medical use that was introduced in the Senate two weeks ago by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) co-sponsored the bill soon after.

“Reforming our nation’s failed drug policies…

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