TJ Baker | April 25, 2017
DENVER, CO — Lawmakers in the Colorado legislature have passed a measure to add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in the state.
The measure, Senate Bill 17, will now be sent to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper for final approval. It was approved
Previous attempts to add PTSD to the conditions that qualify a…
TJ Baker | April 25, 2017
OLYMPIA, WA — Lawmakers in Washington state have sent a comprehensive marijuana reform bill to the desk of Governor Jay Inslee (D), making several changes to the state’s cannabis regulation policies.
The bi-partisan Senate Bill 5131 was sponsored by Sens. Anna Rivers [R] Steven Conway [D], and received overwhelming support in both chambers of the legislature.
Among the notable changes made by SB 5131 is a provision that makes it legal for adults 21 or older to share up marijuana…
Marijuana Policy Project | April 21, 2017
MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Senate approved a bill on Friday that would regulate the production and sale of marijuana and eliminate penalties for personal possession and cultivation by adults 21 and older.
The Senate amended H. 167, an unrelated House-approved bill, to replace it with a revised version of a marijuana regulation bill that passed last year in the Senate and failed in the House.
The Senate also amended H. 167 to include the same home cultivation…
NORML | April 19, 2017
SALEM, OR — Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed legislation into law this week limiting the ability of government officials to obtain data identifying customers who purchase marijuana at state-licensed retail facilities.
Voters legalized the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis in November 2014. Retail sales of cannabis to those age 21 or older began in October 2015.
The new law, which took effect immediately upon signing, states “A…
Marijuana Policy Project | April 19,…
NORML | April 19, 2017
BISMARK, ND — North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) signed legislation on Tuesday amending provisions of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act – a voter-initiated measure approved by 65 percent of voters last November.
Senate Bill 2344 makes several significant changes to the law. Specifically, it removes provisions permitting patients the option to home cultivate their own cannabis if they do not…
NORML | April 19, 2017
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…
Maggie Ellinger-Locke | April 17, 2017
The Iowa Senate Appropriations Committee has introduced a bill to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program in the state. The bill already received unanimous support by a subcommittee at a hearing last week, and may receive a full Senate vote as early as this week.
The bill would allow patients suffering from cancer, PTSD, intractable pain, and a host of other aliments access to this life-saving treatment option if their doctors certify them for the program.
NORML | April 13, 2017
CHARLESTON, WV — Lawmakers in both chambers of the West Virginia legislature have approved a significantly amended version of Senate Bill 386, which seeks to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis program.
The measure now awaits action from Democrat Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously expressed support for…
Marijuana Policy Project | April 12, 2017
CHICAGO, IL — Sponsors of a proposal to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use in Illinois announced Wednesday that lawmakers will hold the first hearing on the bill next week in Chicago.
The Senate and House Appropriations committees will hold a joint hearing on SB 316 and HB 2353 on Wednesday, April 19, in the Michael A. Bilandic Building, according to Senate Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy…
Drug Policy Alliance | April 7, 2017
SANTA FE, NM — New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has vetoed House Bill 527, a measure that would have made improvements to the state’s medical cannabis program.
The most significant provision in the legislation would have allowed New Mexicans diagnosed with opioid use disorder by a licensed practitioner to be eligible for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. Nationally, in 2015, more people died from opioid overdoses than died from HIV/AIDS when that epidemic peaked…
Marijuana Policy Project | April 7, 2017
CHARLESTON, WV — A medical marijuana bill received final approval in the West Virginia Legislature on Thursday and is headed to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice. He has publicly expressed support for legal access to medical marijuana and is expected to sign the bill into law, making West Virginia the 29th state to…
NORML | April 6, 2017
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…
NORML | April 6, 2017
RICHMOND, VA — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed legislation into law amending the state’s mandatory driver’s suspension law.
Under existing law, defendants convicted of a marijuana violation lose their driving privileges for six months, even in instances where the offense was not driving related.
Under the new legislation, SB 1091, the mandatory suspension will no longer apply to adults convicted of simple marijuana possession offenses.
The new law takes…
NORML | April 5, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) with Representatives Amash (R-MI), Jeffries (D-NY), Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Nadler (D-NY), and Love (R-UT) have introduced The Better Drive Act, legislation removing the federal mandate that demands states to suspend the driver’s license of individuals with a marijuana possession conviction.
Under current law, any drug conviction, regardless of whether or not a motor vehicle was involved, results in an automatic suspension of the…
Justin Strekal | April 5, 2017
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…
Marijuana Policy Project | April 4, 2017
CHARLESTON, WV — A bill that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it was approved by the West Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 386 passed 76-24 on third reading after being revised on second reading, and now returns to…
Marijuana Policy Project | April 3, 2017
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…
“Welcome to West Virginia” sign along westbound U.S. Route 48 and West Virginia Route 55 east of Wardensville in Hardy County, West Virginia (Wikimedia/Famartin)
CHARLESTON, WV — The state Senate approved legislation Wednesday evening (28-6) that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
SB 386, the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, is sponsored by Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan).
It would establish an independent 16-member West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission,…
Phillip Smith | March 30, 2017
The Congressional Cannabis Caucus flexed its muscles Thursday as members of Congress filed a package of bills aimed at creating a “path to marijuana reform” at the federal level and protecting and preserving marijuana laws in states where it is legal.
Two Oregon politicians, Sen. Ron Wyden (D) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) led the charge, announcing a bipartisan package of three bills, including a marijuana…
NORML | March 30, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis have introduced legislation in the House and Senate — to permit states to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal interference.
In addition to removing marijuana from the United States Controlled Substances Act, this legislation also removes enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matter concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales —…
NORML | March 29, 2017
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…
NORML | March 29, 2017
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…
PROVIDENCE, RI — Taxing and regulating the marijuana market in Rhode Island will generate nearly $50 million in new annual tax revenue, according to a report issued this week by the advocacy coalition Regulate Rhode Island.
According to the report, commercial sales of cannabis are estimated to reach $161 million by 2020.
Taxing this retail market at rates comparable to those in Colorado or Washington would yield $48.3 million per year.
Legislation (The Adult Use of Cannabis Act) is pending in the Rhode Island House and Senate to regulate…
Marijuana Policy Project | March 22, 2017
MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont House Judiciary Committee approved a bill 8-3 Wednesday that would make personal possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older.
“Today’s vote shows just how far this issue has advanced in just this past year,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Vermonters agree it makes no sense to continue punishing adults for consuming a…
Marijuana Policy Project | March 22, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, IL — State lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would end marijuana prohibition in Illinois and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed for adult use.
The Senate bill, SB 316, is sponsored by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago), while the House version, HB 2353, was presented by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). Each would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase…
NORML | March 16, 2017
SANTA FE, NM — New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has vetoed a pair of measures that sought to establish a hemp research program through the state’s Department of Agriculture.
The Governor gave no public explanation for the vetoes. The Governor has historically been an outspoken opponent of marijuana law reform efforts – receiving an ‘F’ grade on NORML’s 2016 Gubernatorial Scorecard.
The measures, House Bill 144 and Senate Bill 6, permitted the Department to…
Marijuana Policy Project | March 13, 2017
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…
Marijuana Policy Project | March 8, 2017
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…
Drug Policy Alliance | March 6, 2017
SANTA FE, NM — The New Mexico State House voted 41-26 Saturday afternoon to pass House Bill 155, co-sponsored by Rep. D. Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. McCamley (D-Las Cruces) to establish a fund in the state treasury for research related to the production, uses, effects, and efficacy of medical marijuana.
The bill had bi-partisan support with six Republicans voting in favor, including the minority leader, Nate Gentry, R-Abq. Other Republicans who voted in favor of…
Drug Policy Alliance | March 2, 2017
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…
Drug Policy Alliance | February 28, 2017
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….
NORML | February 16, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC — United States Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with six other Republicans and six Democrats, has reintroduced bipartisan legislation, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.
House Resolution 975 amends the federal Controlled Substances Act…
Drug Policy Alliance | February 15, 2017
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,…
Phillip Smith | February 13, 2017
While the marijuana community — consumers, industry, and advocates alike — eyes with trepidation the reign of avowed anti-pot Republican Jeff Sessions at the Justice Department, the Trump executive branch isn’t the only game in town when it comes to making marijuana policy. Congress is back in session, and after last November’s legalization and medical marijuana victories at the polls, the pot state delegation is larger than ever.
And at least some of those senators and…
Marijuana Policy Project | February 8, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC — Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday that would resolve the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws and allow states to determine their own marijuana policies.
The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act exempts individuals and entities from certain provisions of the Controlled Substances Act if they are acting in compliance with state marijuana laws. This is…
Matt Simon | February 8, 2017
MONTPELIER, VT — More than 50 Vermont attorneys have signed a letter urging the Legislature to “reform our state’s outdated and unjust policies towards cannabis by passing a bill to legalize and regulate its cultivation and sale for adult use in 2017.”
The letter will be presented to lawmakers at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on H. 170, which is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. ET in Room 30 of the Vermont State House.
Hose Bill 170 is a bipartisan…
Scott Gacek | February 8, 2017
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…
TJ Baker | February 6, 2017
SANTA FE, NM — A proposal to legalize marijuana for adult use has advanced through the first of three committees it needs to clear before advancing to a floor vote.
House Bill 89, the Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act, is sponsored by Reps. Bill McCamley (D-Las Cruces) and Javier Martinez (D-Albuquerque).
The bill was approved in January by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, and is currently awaiting review by the House Business and Industry Committee. It would…
TJ Baker | February 6, 2017
MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers will start legislative hearings on a proposal to legalize marijuana in Vermont on Thursday.
The Vermont House Committee on Judiciary is slated to hear testimony on House Bill 170, which would legalize limited marijuana possession and personal cultivation for adults 21 or older. The bill being considered is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, vice-chair, and ranking Republican.
If passed, HB 170 would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for…
Scott Gacek | February 2, 2017
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…
Scott Gacek | February 2, 2017
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…
TJ Baker | February 2, 2017
MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers in Vermont have filed a bill that would legalize marijuana possession for adults 21 or older.
House Bill 170, sponsored by Reps. Maxine Grad (D), Charles Conquest (D), and Thomas Burditt (R).
If passed, the bill would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and up to ten grams of concentrates by adults.
Adults would be allowed to grow up to two mature and seven immature cannabis plants in a…
Scott Gacek | February 1, 2017
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…
TJ Baker | January 31, 2017
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…
TJ Baker | January 31, 2017
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…
Marijuana Policy Project | January 30, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, MD — State lawmakers are rolling out legislation Monday that would regulate and tax cannabis similarly to alcohol in Maryland.
The proposal consists of two bills — a regulation bill and a tax bill — that will each be filed in the Senate and the House.
The regulation bill, sponsored by Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) and Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), would make possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis legal…
Scott Gacek | January 30, 2017
CONCORD, NH — Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House will hold a hearing on a Republican-backed bill to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older on Wednesday.
The bill, House Bill 656, is sponsored by Reps. Glen Aldrich, Caleb Dyer, Brandon Phinney, and Nick Zaricki, all Republicans. The proposal is not related to a similar measure filed in the Senate by Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D).
Members of the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public…
HWN | January 27, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Lawmakers in the Maryland House of Delegates are expected to introduce a combination of bills Monday that would legalize marijuana for adults.
Two bills are expected to be introduced in each chamber. One proposal would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and regulate its production and sale similarly to alcohol, according to the Washington, DC based Marijuana Policy Project.
The other bill would enact taxes on non-medical marijuana sold in…
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