Lawmakers Try to Delay Enactment of Voter Approved Marijuana Laws

Legislators in a number of states are pushing forward measures to delay the enactment of several voter-initiated marijuana laws.

In Arkansas, House lawmakers are moving forward with legislation, House Bill 1026, to postpone the deadline for establishing the state’s new medical marijuana program by 60 days. Fifty-three percent of voters approved Issue 6 on Election Day, which called on lawmakers to regulate the production and dispensing of medical cannabis within 120 days.

In…

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Criticism of Massachusetts Lawmakers Meddling with Marijuana Legalization Initiative

A supporter holds up a “Yes on 4” sign at the 2016 Boston Freedom Rally (Scott Gacek/The Daily Chronic)

There has been much talk in the Massachusetts Legislature about making changes to the Question 4 marijuana legalization initiative, which was passed by Bay State voters Nov. 8.

The new law is already filled with restrictions designed to boost profits for the marijuana industry. Further restrictions will benefit the industry even more.

Examples can best be shown by making…

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Massachusetts Lawmakers Want to Reduce Plant Limit, Raise Marijuana Taxes

BOSTON, MA — Lawmakers in Massachusetts are considering big changes for a voter-approved law that legalizes marijuana in the Bay State, including an increase in tax on retail marijuana sales and a reduction in plant limits on personal home grows.

Following decades of inaction on similar bills in the state legislature, voters in Massachusetts approved Question 4 in November, legalizing marijuana for adults.

Some provisions in the new law took effect in December, including personal…

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Massachusetts Lawmakers Delay Start of Legal Marijuana Sales

BOSTON, MA — Lawmakers in Massachusetts wasted no time in meddling with a referendum passed by voters in November to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, passing legislation Wednesday to delay the start of a retail cannabis market by several months.

Home cultivation and personal possession of marijuana by adults 21 or older became legal on December 15, but thanks to Beacon Hill lawmakers, the black market will continue to thrive as the state works to delay full…

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Massachusetts: Over a Century of Cannabis Criminalization Comes to an End

Massachusetts today became the sixth US state to enact legislation eliminating criminal penalties specific to the adult possession and personal use of cannabis. The law change ends over a century-long policy of criminal cannabis prohibition in the Bay State. Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to criminalize the use of marijuana — a policy it first enacted in 1911.

“By legalizing the adult use of marijuana, Massachusetts will shrink the illicit black market,…

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Marijuana Possession Becomes Legal in Massachusetts on Thursday

A supporter holds up a “Yes on 4” sign at the 2016 Boston Freedom Rally (Scott Gacek/The Daily Chronic)

BOSTON, MA — Adults 21 or older can legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana in public or ten ounces in their homes starting on Thursday, December 15, as the voter-approved Question 4 takes effect.

While retail sales remain at least a year away, adults will no longer face a $100 fine for possessing marijuana — possession of up to one ounce of cannabis in the…

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Massachusetts: Urge Lawmakers to Implement Question 4 As Passed

On Election Day in Massachusetts, 54 percent of voters decided in favor of Question 4: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act – permitting adults to legally grow and to possess marijuana for personal use, while also establishing regulations governing commercial cannabis cultivation and capping taxes on retail sales.

Your message could not have been any clearer: It is time to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana.

But it is becoming increasingly apparent…

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Sore Losers: Some State Leaders Challenging Marijuana Election Results

Election-2016

Political leaders in several states are threatening to thwart the implementation of voter-approved initiatives specific to the regulation of marijuana.

In Massachusetts, where voters decided 54 percent to 46 percent on election day to legalize the cultivation, use, and retail sale of cannabis by adults, politicians have suggested amending the law and delaying its implementation. Specifically, lawmakers have called for pushing back the date when adults may legally begin growing…

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Voters In Eight States Approve Marijuana Law Reform In Unprecedented Election Victories

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WASHINGTON, DC — Millions of Americans cast votes on Election Day in favor of sweeping statewide marijuana law reforms.

Voters in four states: California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada approved ballot measures legalizing the adult use of cannabis and licensing its commercial production and retail sale. Voters in four additional states: Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota approved initiatives legalizing and/or expanding the use and dispensing of cannabis for therapeutic…

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Four States End Marijuana Prohibition, Three Adopt Medical Marijuana Laws in Historic Election

Election-2016

WASHINGTON — California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted to end marijuana prohibition and Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota adopted medical marijuana laws Tuesday in the most momentous election to date for marijuana policy reform.

Montana approved an initiative to re-establish patients’ access to medical marijuana providers, which was hindered by state lawmakers, and create a more regulated system of medical marijuana production and distribution.

As of 4:30…

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Massachusetts Becomes First State East of the Rockies to Approve Marijuana Legalization

Massachusetts flag

BOSTON, MA — Voters in Massachusetts have approved marijuana legalization, making it the first state east of the Rockies to do so.

“Western states have led the way on legalizing marijuana but the victory in Massachusetts powerfully demonstrates that this movement is now bicoastal and soon to be national,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Indeed, I’d wager that the next states to legalize marijuana will also be in the Northeast –…

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Marijuana Wins Big on Election Night

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This Election Day was a watershed moment for the movement to end marijuana prohibition, with the results expected to accelerate efforts to legalize marijuana in states across the U.S., at the federal level, and internationally.  Overall, legalization initiatives prevailed in four out of five states, and medical marijuana initiatives prevailed in all four states this year.

Votes are still being counted for legalization initiatives in Maine and Arizona, as well as for a medical…

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Latest Polling Information for the 2016 Marijuana Related Ballot Proposals

Election-2016

On Tuesday, November 8, nine states will be voting on marijuana related ballot proposals potentially doubling the number of states that allow the recreational use of marijuana and expanding the therapeutic benefits of marijuana use to millions of Americans. Here’s where these measures stand in the latest polls.

Arizona: According to an October Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite poll, 50 percent of registered voters in Arizona favor Proposition 205 and 42 percent oppose it. The…

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Election 2016: Marijuana Law Reform Takes Center Stage

Election-2016

This Election Day is shaping up to be a watershed moment for efforts to end marijuana prohibition, with five states voting on marijuana legalization and four more on medical marijuana. The results are expected to have major ramifications for marijuana law reform in states across the U.S., at the federal level, and even internationally.

A recent nationwide Gallup poll found that a record 60 percent of respondents support legalizing marijuana, but polls on this year’s…

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Gallup: Record High Percentage Of Americans Back Legalizing Marijuana

Marijuana grows legally in Colorado. (Brett Levin via Flickr)

Marijuana grows legally in Colorado. (Brett Levin via Flickr)

Sixty percent of Americans believe that “the use of marijuana should be legal,” according to nationwide polling data released Wednesday by Gallup. The percentage is the highest level of support ever reported by the polling group, and represents more than a doubling in public support over the past two decades.

The data closely follows the release of polling data compiled by the Pew Research Center showing…

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Marijuana Legalization: Recreational Use Initiatives Leading In Latest Polls

Marijuana Legalization: Recreational Use Initiatives Leading In Latest Polls

WASHINGTON, DC — Voters are supportive of five pending ballot measures that seek to regulate the adult use and sale of marijuana, according to recent polling data compiled in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada.

Half of Arizona voters intend to vote ‘yes’ in favor of Proposition 205: The Arizona Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Act, according to an Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll. Forty percent of voters oppose the initiative. The Act allows adults age 21 and older to possess and to privately…

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Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Leading In Latest Polls

Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Leading In Latest Polls

Voters favor legalizing the adult use of cannabis in the five states where the issue will appear on the ballot this Election Day. Here is a summary of the latest polling data.

ARIZONA: Half of Arizona voters intend to vote ‘yes’ in favor of Proposition 205: The Arizona Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Act, according to an Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll. Forty percent of voters oppose the initiative. The Act allows adults age 21 and older to possess and to privately consume and grow limited amounts of marijuana (up…

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Support for Marijuana Legalization Growing in Massachusetts

Support for Marijuana Legalization Growing in Massachusetts

BOSTON, MA — Support for a proposed ballot question to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana for adults in Massachusetts continues to grow, according to recent polling data.

A new WBZ-UMass Amherst poll released Wednesday found 53% of Bay State voters favor Question 4, while only 40% were opposed to the measure.  Seven percent remain undecided.

Wednesday’s poll reflects an increase in support for the proposal, which is among several legalization campaigns sponsored by the Washington, DC – based Marijuana Policy Project…

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After Nearly 80 Years of Marijuana Prohibition, the Tide is Turning

After Nearly 80 Years of Marijuana Prohibition, the Tide is Turning

As marijuana legalization gains traction across the country, some ask “Why now?” A better question perhaps is “How did this prohibition ever last so long?”

People have always suffered the compulsion to hunt scapegoats, and politicians are more than happy to pander to our harshest instincts. With two world wars and the Cold War, the 20th Century in particular, was a time of fear, with a hunger for social control and conformity. The malignant belief of the Communists and other totalitarians in the perfectibility of humanity at any…

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Poll: Massachusetts Voters Likely to Approve Legalizing Marijuana

Poll: Massachusetts Voters Likely to Approve Legalizing Marijuana

BOSTON, MA — A new poll released this week finds enough support among Bay State voters to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts this November.

According to a WBUR Poll released Tuesday, Massachusetts voters support Question 4 by a margin of 50% to 45%.

Democrats were more likely to support legalization, with 53% in favor and 41% opposed.  Independent voters narrowly approve of the proposal, 48% to 47%. Republicans, on the other hand, narrowly oppose the measure, 49% to 48%.

When looking at voters by age, there was much stronger support…

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These 5 States Will Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November

These 5 States Will Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan last week certified a marijuana legalization initiative for the November ballot, setting the stage for a national election that will see the issue go directly to the voters in five states, including California, the nation’s most populous.

Four states have already legalized marijuana at the ballot box, Colorado and Washington in 2012 and Alaska and Oregon in 2014. The District of Columbia also legalized marijuana—but not commercial sales—in 2014.

But those states combined only have a population…

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Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Measure Qualifies for November Ballot

Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Measure Qualifies for November Ballot

Massachusetts voters will decide this November on a statewide ballot measure to legalize and regulate the adult use and retail sale of cannabis.

The Secretary of State’s office has confirmed that initiative proponents, The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, submitted a sufficient number of signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

CRMLA MassachusettsQuestion 4, The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, permits adults to possess (up to ten ounces) and to cultivate (up to six plants) personal use quantities…

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Election Year Legalization Politics in Massachusetts

Election Year Legalization Politics in Massachusetts

After years of ducking the issue of marijuana prohibition, it is encouraging to see the Massachusetts legislature at least starting to wake up.

It is heartening that Sen. Brownsberger and others on the Judiciary Committee are confronting the problems caused by prohibition.

Rep. Rogers and some colleagues have actually introduced a reasonable bill this session.Not that it is going anywhere. Most politicians are still too nervous when it comes to anything even slightly controversial.

Massachusetts citizens, however, have a marvelous remedy when…

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Vermont Governor Critical of Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Vermont Governor Critical of Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Vermont Governor Calls CRMLA’s Proposal a “Bad Pot Bill”

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who has encouraged lawmakers in his own state to pass a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, had some critical words about a proposed ballot initiative to do the same in a neighboring state.

In a blog post earlier this week, Shumlin says that now is the right time for Vermont to legalize marijuana, noting that if the House approves a legalization bill that has already passed in the Senate, the Green Mountain State could be the “first…

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Massachusetts to Hold Marijuana Legalization Hearing Monday

Massachusetts to Hold Marijuana Legalization Hearing Monday

Backers of Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts Urge Legislators to Approve House Bill 3932

BOSTON, MA — Lawmakers in Massachusetts will hold a legislative hearing Monday on a proposed ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the Bay State.

If legislators fail to approve the measure, House Bill 3932, it will be placed before voters in November to decide.

The Joint Committee on the Judiciary is hosting the hearing on H.3932 because the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), backed by the Washington,…

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Marijuana Legalization 2016: Is It Better Than Prohibition?

Marijuana Legalization 2016: Is It Better Than Prohibition?

The test should be, “Is it better than Prohibition.” Does the proposal stop the arrest of smokers and establish a legal market where consumers can obtain their marijuana?

As we look forward to what should be a fantastically successful year for marijuana legalization, it is important that those of us who support legalization join arms and move forward in a unified manner. All political progress requires some measure of compromise, and legalizing marijuana is no exception.

Each state that legalizes marijuana, at least during this early…

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Massachusetts to Hold Hearing on Legalizing Marijuana Next Week

Massachusetts to Hold Hearing on Legalizing Marijuana Next Week

BOSTON, MA — The Joint Committee on the Judiciary will hold a public hearing on a proposal to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts on Wednesday, January 13 at 1 pm at the State House.

The proposed legislation, House Bill 1561, is independent from a proposed ballot initiative that is expected to be presented to, and approved by, voters in November.

If passed, H1561, also known as the “Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act of 2016,” would “repeal all laws punishing the cultivation of and commerce in cannabis” by adults 21 or older….

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MA Sec. of State Validates Marijuana Legalization Campaign Signatures

MA Sec. of State Validates Marijuana Legalization Campaign Signatures

Confirmation moves campaign one step closer
to 2016 ballot

BOSTON, MA —The Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office today certified 70,739 signatures submitted by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, clearing the way for the petition to move forward toward the 2016 state ballot.

“Today’s announcement confirms that the people of Massachusetts want to vote on an initiative to regulate marijuana and end the practice of punishing adults for using a substance less harmful than alcohol,” said Campaign Manager Will Luzier….

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Multiple Campaigns to Legalize Marijuana in Massachusetts Underway

Multiple Campaigns to Legalize Marijuana in Massachusetts Underway

Multiple Marijuana Legalization Initiatives to be Filed with Attorney General Today

BOSTON, MA — At least two groups hoping to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts in 2016 will formally file the language of their proposed ballot initiatives with state Attorney General Maura Healey today.

At least four proposals are expected to be filed by activists today, all hoping to be placed before voters in November 2016.  Local grassroots organization Bay State Repeal (BSR) intends on filing three different proposals, while the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), backed by the Washington, DC – based Marijuana Policy Project, intends to file one.

While all of the proposals to be filed today are expected to propose legalizing marijuana for adults 21 and older, and…

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2016 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives: An Overview

2016 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives: An Overview

Marijuana legalization initiative campaigns aiming at November 2016 are underway in nearly a dozen states. Here’s a look at what’s likely to pass and what isn’t.

Marijuana is going to be part of the political conversation between now and Election Day 2016. Support for legalization is now consistently polling above 50% nationwide, four states and DC have already voted to legalize it, and activists at least ten states are doing their best to make it an issue this time around.

In those states, they’re working to take marijuana legalization directly to the voters in the form of initiatives. Not all of those efforts will actually make the ballot — mass signature-gathering campaigns require not only enthusiasm but cold, hard cash to succeed — and not all of those that qualify will…

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One State, Two Initiatives. What then?

Terry,
Thanks for this ardent plea to come together to accomplish common goals, one way or another. It’s an issue many places and, in one sense, reflects the diversity and success of our movement. People want to be on this bandwagon. Even more importantly for getting things accomplished, they want to take an active role and have input into the results.

However, we face a dilemma if the current round of consecutive successes were to degenerate into a fight over who gets to take credit for defeating prohibition. Frankly, no matter whose proposal is passed and implemented, nowhere can any group claim exclusive credit for making that happen. Even at the most local level, the wide influence of many different people, groups, and voices, as well as the broad sweep of those who support our…

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Ex-Assistant Attorney General to Lead Massachusetts 2016 Marijuana Legalization Campaign

Ex-Assistant Attorney General to Lead Massachusetts 2016 Marijuana Legalization Campaign

‘Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts’ to Be Headed by Former Assistant Attorney General and Director of State Substance Abuse and Prevention Council Will Luzier

BOSTON, MA — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced Wednesday that Will Luzier will lead the campaign in support of a 2016 ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Massachusetts.

Will Luzier

Will Luzier

Luzier, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general, served as executive director of the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Substance…

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Marijuana Legalization Initiative Filed in Massachusetts for 2016

Marijuana Legalization Initiative Filed in Massachusetts for 2016

BOSTON, MA — In Massachusetts today, June 29, 2015, Bay State Repeal submitted a marijuana legalization initiative to state officials. Intended to go on the ballot in 2016, it would repeal the criminality of marijuana, expunge past convictions, regulate and tax sales, all while preventing access to minors.

The regulations and taxes are reasonable, so eliminating the black market should be able to succeed.

The filing was with the Attorney General’s office, and may still be tweaked slightly before going on to election officials.

Bay State Repeal is a campaign committee comprised of local Massachusetts activists. We have been gearing up for this day for more than two years. 2016 is the big chance to eliminate prohibition, and we feel it is vitally important to do it right.

One of the…

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