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…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


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,…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


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…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Tennessee Could Reduce Some Marijuana Possession Penalties

(Flickr/Phillip Dodds)

NASHVILLE, TN — Penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana in Tennessee could soon be reduced to a low-level misdemeanor, punishable by only a fine without the possibility of jail time.

Two lawmakers from Nashville, both Democrats, have filed joint legislation to reduce marijuana penalties statewide in direct response to a Republican lawmaker’s attempt to nullify their city’s recently passed ordinance that gives police officers the option to…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


South Dakota Could End Felony Charge for Marijuana Possession by Ingestion

PIERRE, SD — A broad group of bi-partisan lawmakers in South Dakota have signed on to co-sponsor a bill that would end the state’s law making it a felony to test positive for tetrahydrocannabinol, a primary component found in marijuana.

Even though someone may not physically be in possession of marijuana, it can remain detectable in one’s system for several weeks after being consumed, placing a cannabis user at risk for arrest long after smoking, even just…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Kansas Governor Signs Marijuana Sentencing Reform Measure

Kansas Governor Signs Marijuana Sentencing Reform Measure

TOPEKA, KS — Kansas Governor Samuel Brownback has signed legislation, House Bill 2462, into law amending marijuana possession penalties.

The new law reduces criminal penalties for first-time marijuana possession offenses from a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year incarceration and a $2,500 fine) to a Class B misdemeanor (punishable by no more than six months in jail and a $1,000 fine).

A subsequent conviction is amended from a felony to a Class B misdemeanor.

An estimated 5,000 Kansans are arrested annually for violating…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


New Tennessee Law Amends Felony Marijuana Possession Penalties

New Tennessee Law Amends Felony Marijuana Possession Penalties

NASHVILLE, TN — Legislation signed into law reduces marijuana possession penalties for repeat offenders.

House Bill 1478 amends third-time marijuana possession offenses from a Class E felony, punishable by up to six years in prison, to a misdemeanor offense, punishable by no more than one year in jail.

Tennessee is #18 in the nation in per capita marijuana possession arrests, according to nationwide analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The new sentencing penalties take effect on July 1, 2016.

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


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…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Virginia Senate Passes Bill to End License Suspensions for Minor Marijuana Offenses

Virginia Senate Passes Bill to End License Suspensions for Minor Marijuana Offenses

RICHMOND, VA — A bi-partisan bill that would change state law so that first time minor marijuana offenders no longer risk losing their driver’s license has been approved by the Virginia Senate.

Currently, offenders caught possessing marijuana could be punished by losing their driving privileges, even in cases where the offense did not take place in a motor vehicle.

Senate Bill 327, proposed by Senators Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), Tom Garrett (R-Buckingham) and William Stanley (R-Franklin), would end this practice.

If passed, Virginia…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Kansas Senate Passes Marijuana Penalty Reduction Bill

Kansas Senate Passes Marijuana Penalty Reduction Bill

TOPEKA, KS — The Kansas Senate gave approval Wednesday to a bill that would reduce the penalties for some marijuana possession charges, although the proposal will not legalize or decriminalize the possession of cannabis.

In a vote of 38 to 1, the Senate voted to approve House Bill 2049.  The lone vote cast against the measure came from Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City), who favors decriminalizing marijuana possession instead of reducing criminal penalties.

The bill, which was approved by the House last May, now returns to the House for…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Two Marijuana Policy Bills Progressing in Kansas

Two Marijuana Policy Bills Progressing in Kansas

TOPEKA, KS — Two bills that would improve Kansas’ marijuana policies have passed the House and are moving in the Senate.

The first bill, now called Senate Bill 147, would permit patients with seizures to access low-THC cannabis, called medical hemp preparations in the bill. While it is not a full medical marijuana law and would leave many patients behind, the bill proposes a workable system to provide immediate relief to some seriously ill Kansans. In addition, by passing the House, it has advanced much further than any medical…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Kansas: Hemp, CBD, Penalty Reduction Bill Being Considered

Kansas: Hemp, CBD, Penalty Reduction Bill Being Considered

TOPEKA, KS — Lawmakers in the Kansas Senate are considering legislation, House Bill 2049, to amend various penalties and regulations specific to marijuana possession and use.

Members of the House of Representatives approved the measure by a vote of 81 to 36 last year. Members of the Senate are now debating the bill.

House Bill 2049 seeks to a) establish a statewide research program to oversee the production of industrial hemp, b) authorize the limited use of cannabidiol for therapeutic purposes, and c) reduce criminal penalties for…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Georgia Bill Would Eliminate Felony Charges for Marijuana Possession

Georgia Bill Would Eliminate Felony Charges for Marijuana Possession

ATLANTA, GA — A bill has been filed in Georgia that would eliminate the possibility of felony charges for marijuana possession offenses in the state.

If passed, Senate Bill 254, introduced by state Sen. Harold Jones II (D-Augusta), would amend the state’s criminal code so that no marijuana possession offense could be classified as a felony offense.

Nearly a dozen states already have similar laws on the books, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Currently, Georgia law classifies any…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


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…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article…


Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Reform Bills

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Reform Bills

BATON ROUGE, LA — As expected, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on Monday signed into law two marijuana reform bills that were passed by the legislature earlier this year.

Of the two bill signed by Jindal, one is aimed at reducing Louisiana’s harsh penalties for marijuana possession, and the other is intended to provide access to medical marijuana 24 years after the state authorized its use.

PENALTY REDUCTION

While not a full marijuana decriminalization bill, House Bill 149 reduces some of the state’s draconian penalties for marijuana possession.  Currently, Louisiana is home to some of the harshest penalties for marijuana convictions in the country, with misdemeanor penalties for first time marijuana offenses for even the smallest amount (up to 60 pounds) of marijuana punishable…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article…


Louisiana Governor Will Sign Marijuana Reform Bills

Louisiana Governor Will Sign Marijuana Reform Bills

The Louisiana Legislature has sent Gov. Bobby Jindal two bills proposing positive reforms to Louisiana’s marijuana policies! While one bill is largely symbolic, the other will help dial back some of the country’s harshest penalties for marijuana possession.

Gov. Jindal said this week that he will sign both bills into law:

“We are going to sign both bills. They’ve made it through the process. They are going to make to my desk in the next few days,” Jindal told The Des Moines Register.

Senate Bill 143 amends a 1991 law allowing Louisiana’s physicians to prescribe medical marijuana in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, this prescription requirement was not removed and because no physician can prescribe marijuana without risking losing their license to prescribe other…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Source: The Daily Chronic

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Expected to Sign Marijuana Reform Bill

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Expected to Sign Marijuana Reform Bill

New Law Would Be Important Step Toward Reducing Louisiana’s Notoriously Overcrowded Prisons and Jails; Even With This Reform, Louisiana’s Marijuana Laws Would Remain Harsher Than Nearly All Other U.S. States; Majority of Louisianans Support Ending All Criminal Penalties for Marijuana Possession

BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana legislature voted Monday to reform its state’s severely punitive marijuana laws and reduce criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession. If signed into law, it’s expected to save the state up to $17…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Source: The Daily Chronic

Louisiana Gives Final Approval to Marijuana Reform Bill; Gov. Expected to Sign

Louisiana Gives Final Approval to Marijuana Reform Bill; Gov. Expected to Sign

BATON ROUGE, LA — Lawmakers in the Louisiana House gave final approval to a bill Monday to a bill aimed at reducing the state’s draconian penalties for marijuana possession, which currently could land an offender in jail for 20 years for possessing as little as a single joint.

The House voted 74-19 Monday to approve amendments made to the measure, House Bill 149,  by the Senate before voting to pass the bill last week.  The House had already approved the measure in May, but had to sign off on the Senate’s changes before it could be…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Louisiana Senate Passes Important Marijuana Reform Bill

Louisiana Senate Passes Important Marijuana Reform Bill

BATON ROUGE, LA — Lawmakers in the Louisiana Senate have approved an amended version of a House Bill aimed at reducing the state’s draconian penalties for marijuana possession, which currently could land an offender in jail for 20 years for possessing as little as a single joint.

The Senate voted 24 to 13 on Wednesday to approve House Bill 149, which was approved by the House in May, but changes made to the bill in the Senate will require a final House vote before being sent to Governor Bobby Jindal for approval.   The Senate has also

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Louisiana Senate Amends House Version of Marijuana Reform Bill

Louisiana Senate Amends House Version of Marijuana Reform Bill

BATON ROUGE, LA — Just one day after passing their own version of a bill to reduce the penalties for some marijuana convictions, lawmakers in the Louisiana Senate have amended  a similar proposal passed by the House, increasing the chances of one of the bills passing this year.

The Senate’s Judiciary Committee made the changes to House Bill 149 on Tuesday, which was approved by the House in May, making the two bills nearly identical.  The Senate’s version of the bill, Senate Bill 241, was approved by a floor vote in the Senate on…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


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…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Louisiana Senate Passes Bill to Reduce Marijuana Penalties; Expunge Some Convictions

Louisiana Senate Passes Bill to Reduce Marijuana Penalties; Expunge Some Convictions

BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Senate voted Monday to reduce some marijuana penalties, and to allow for some offenders to have first-time marijuana convictions expunged from their records.  The measure now moves to the House, where a similar proposal has already been approved this session.

The Senate voted 27-12 on Monday to pass Senate Bill 241, sponsored by Senator J.P. Morrell (D-New Orleans) who says the proposal will treat penalties for marijuana convictions “in a way that is more humane.”

Currently, Louisiana is home to some…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


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…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Kansas House Passes Bill to Reduce Marijuana Penalties; Allow Access to Low-THC Medical Marijuana Oils

Kansas House Passes Bill to Reduce Marijuana Penalties; Allow Access to Low-THC Medical Marijuana Oils

TOPEKA, KS — Lawmakers in the Kansas House passed a bill Thursday that would reduce marijuana possession penalties, authorize the study of industrial hemp cultivation, and allow limited medical marijuana use for patients suffering from seizures.

The bill, House Bill 2049, passed on an “Emergency Final Action” by a vote of 81 to 36, sending the bill to the Senate without the need for additional readings or debate in the House.

As introduced, the bill would reduce the sentencing range for first time marijuana possession offenders from…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article…