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Nevada Governor Signs Hemp Research; Cultivation Bill

Nevada Governor Signs Hemp Research; Cultivation Bill

CARSON CITY, NV — Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval on Thursday signed into law legislation that will allow hemp cultivation in the state under current federal guidelines.

The State Board of Agriculture can now begin adopting regulations regarding the licencing and oversight of hemp cultivation.  Hemp cultivation can begin as early as January 2016, once the regulations are in place.

Sponsored by Sen. Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas), Senate Bill 305 won unanimous approval in both chambers of the legislature, passing the…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Second Marijuana Legalization Drive Begins in Maine

Second Marijuana Legalization Drive Begins in Maine

PORTLAND, ME — A second signature drive to place a proposal to legalize marijuana in Maine on the 2016 ballot began Thursday after getting the green light to begin gathering signatures earlier this week.

Regulate Marijuana in Maine 2016The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, backed by the Washington, DC-based Marijuana Policy Project, held a press conference at Monument Square in Portland to kick off the signature drive Thursday.  The campaign was given approval by state officials to begin collecting signatures earlier this week.

“We’re excited to get out…

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Milwaukee Reduces Marijuana Possession Fines to $50

Milwaukee Reduces Marijuana Possession Fines to $50

MILWAUKEE, WI — Members of the Milwaukee Common Council voted 10 to 3 earlier this week in favor of municipal legislation reducing marijuana possession penalties to a fine of no more than $50.00.

Under the proposed ordinance, offenses involving the possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana will be reduced from a maximum fine of $500 to $50.00.  Milwaukee legislators initially moved to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses in 1997.

The proposal, which was introduced by Alderman Nik Kovac and co-sponsored by aldermen Ashanti Hamilton,…

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Poll: 53% of Arizona Residents Support Marijuana Legalization

Poll: 53% of Arizona Residents Support Marijuana Legalization

PHOENIX, AZ — A majority of Arizona residents support legalization, and an overwhelming majority support the medical marijuana research of a recently terminated researcher from the University of Arizona, a new poll has found.

According to the Rocky Mountain Poll conducted by the Behavior Research Center of Arizona and released Wednesday, 53% of Arizona residents support legalizing marijuana for personal use – a finding almost identical with a national Pew poll released earlier this year.

Strongest support for legalizing marijuana…

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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

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Congress Passes 3 Amendments to Stop DEA from Undermining State Marijuana Laws

Important Victories Build on Last Night’s Votes to End DEA’s Controversial Bulk Data Collection Program, Cut DEA’s Budget

“There’s unprecedented support on both sides of the aisle for ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states set their own drug policies based on science, compassion, health, and human rights,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “The more the DEA blocks sensible reforms the more they will see their agency’s power and budget come under deeper…

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Marijuana Sales Won’t Be Banned in North Pole, Alaska

Marijuana Sales Won’t Be Banned in North Pole, Alaska

NORTH POLE, AK — Santa Claus, and other residents in North Pole, Alaska, could be allowed to legally purchase marijuana starting next year.

On Monday, the North Pole City Council voted 2-5 to reject a proposal that would have banned marijuana stores from opening in the city whose moto is “where the spirit of Christmas lives year round.”

Among those speaking against the ban was a North Pole resident named Santa Claus.

“I am a medical marijuana patient,” Claus said. “I would like to have access to medical marijuana here in North…

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Congress Votes to End DEA’s Bulk Data Collection Program; Slashes Agency’s Budget

Congress Votes to End DEA’s Bulk Data Collection Program; Slashes Agency’s Budget

Four Votes Today on Stopping DEA and Justice Department from Undermining State Marijuana Laws;  Votes Come in Wake of Recent Forced Resignation of DEA Head and Growing Public Pressure to End Drug War and Mass Incarceration

WASHINGTON, DC — Legislators voted by a simple voice vote Tuesday night to end the DEA’s controversial bulk data collection programs, as part of the U.S. House of Representatives’ consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.

The House also passed three amendments that cut…

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House Floor Vote to Protect States’ Marijuana Laws Pending in Congress

House Floor Vote to Protect States’ Marijuana Laws Pending in Congress

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the United States House of Representatives are anticipated to vote this week — perhaps as early as Wednesday — on a series of amendments to a Justice Department spending bill. These amendments seek to limit the federal government’s intrusion in states that have regulated various aspects of marijuana production and access.

Specifically, Representatives Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Jared Polis (D-CO) are introducing an amendment intended to halt the federal prosecution of individuals involved in…

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Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Vote Expected Tuesday

Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Vote Expected Tuesday

DOVER, DE — When the Delaware House of Representatives returns to Dover on Tuesday afternoon, one of the first pieces of legislation to be considered is expected is a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

UPDATE: Delaware House Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) and 14 co-sponsors — all Democrats — House Bill 39 would make the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana a civil violation, punishable by a $100 fine.  Fines would double if not paid within 90…

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Vermont Governor Signs Bill to Expunge Marijuana Offenses

Vermont Governor Signs Bill to Expunge Marijuana Offenses

Individuals who were convicted possessing up to one ounce of marijuana before July 1, 2013 can now apply to have the offenses expunged from their record.

MONTPELIER, VT —  Earlier this month, lawmakers in Vermont quietly passed a bill that will allow some past marijuana offenses to be expunged from an offender’s record.  Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed the bill into law on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 115, sponsored by Sen. Joe Benning (R-Lyndonville), allows Vermont residents who were convicted of crimes that are “no longer prohibited by…

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Virginia NORML Endorses Mark Levine for Delegate; Primary Election June 9

Virginia NORML Endorses Mark Levine for Delegate; Primary Election June 9

ALEXANDRIA, VA — The Virginia affiliate of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, Virginia NORML, has endorsed civic activist Mark Levine in his pursuit of the Democratic nomination for the Virginia House of Delegates in Virginia’s 45th District.

Levine, who is running against four other candidates for the 45th House District seat in the upcoming June 9 Democratic primary election, received the endorsement Thursday.

“Virginia NORML strongly believes Mark Levine has the tenacity, knowledge, and political willpower…

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Maine Marijuana Legalization Bill Rejected by Key Committee

Maine Marijuana Legalization Bill Rejected by Key Committee

AUGUSTA, ME — A key legislative committee in Maine voted Thursday to reject a bill to legalize up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 or older, and create a regulatory system for legalized retail sales.  The bill would impose a 10% tax on retail marijuana sales.

Hours of negotiations and compromises between committee members by the bill’s sponsors were unable to sway the legislature’s Joint Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, who voted 6-3 to reject LD 1380, sponsored by Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) and nearly a…

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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…

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New Hampshire Marijuana Decriminalization Vote Expected Next Week

New Hampshire Marijuana Decriminalization Vote Expected Next Week

CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire Senate is expected to vote next week on a bill that could make New Hampshire the final New England state to remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana, despite a recommendation against the bill’s passage this week by a key Senate committee.

House Bill 618, which was overwhelmingly approved by the House 297 to 67 in March, would replace penalties for marijuana possession, which currently could land an offender in jail for up to a year, with a fine-only offense. New…

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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 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…

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South Dakota Marijuana Advocate Proposes Banning Alcohol & Tobacco

South Dakota Marijuana Advocate Proposes Banning Alcohol & Tobacco

PIERRE, SD — A marijuana legalization activist from South Dakota has filed paperwork for two ballot initiatives to ban alcohol and tobacco to make state policies “consistent” with marijuana penalties.

Bob Newland, of the group Consistent South Dakota, filed the two initiatives with the secretary of state’s office earlier this year, and last week Attorney General Marty Jackley’s office released explanations of the measures as required by law.

The first proposed measure, which would go before voters in November 2016 if Newland is…

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Nevada Lawmakers Unanimously Approve Hemp Bill

Nevada Lawmakers Unanimously Approve Hemp Bill

CARSON CITY, NV — Lawmakers in Nevada have unanimously passed a bill to authorize hemp cultivation, sending the bill to Republican Governor Brian Sandoval for final approval.

Sponsored by Sen. Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas), Senate Bill 305 was given final approval by the Assembly in a 41-0 vote on Friday.  The measure was approved 19-0 by the Senate in April.

The bill will allow colleges, universities, and the state Department of Agriculture to cultivation industrial hemp for research purposes under an agricultural pilot program, as…

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Maryland Governor Vetoes Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana Paraphernalia

Maryland Governor Vetoes Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana Paraphernalia

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) announced Friday that he has vetoed a bill that would remove criminal penalties, including potential jail time, for the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

The bill, Senate Bill 517, was intended to fix a law that was adopted last year to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, but did did not include marijuana paraphernalia.

Senate Bill 517 was approved earlier this year by a near veto-proof majority of 32 to 13 in the Senate and 83 to 53 in the House of Delegates….

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Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Approved in Illinois

Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Approved in Illinois

HB 218 replaces the threat of jail time and a criminal record with a civil penalty — a $125 fine, similar to a traffic ticket — for possession of a small amount of marijuana

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois could soon become the latest state to remove criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana after both chambers of the legislature approved a measure to replace criminal charges with a civil law violation.

On Thursday, the Illinois Senate voted 37-19 to approve a measure to make the possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana a…

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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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Jim Kenney Wins Democratic Nomination for Philadelphia Mayor

Jim Kenney Wins Democratic Nomination for Philadelphia Mayor

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Last year, Philadelphia City Council member Jim Kenney successfully pushed through a bill to decriminalize marijuana in the nation’s fifth largest city.  Now, Kenny is poised to become the city’s next mayor after a landslide victory in the Democratic primary for mayor.

Kenny was the clear winner, receiving 56% of the vote.  His closet competitor only pulled in 26%.

Kenny, who accepted the Democratic nomination in a speech Tuesday evening, is all but guaranteed to become Philadelphia’s next mayor, a city where…

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Marijuana Decriminalization; Legalization Bills Die in Texas

Marijuana Decriminalization; Legalization Bills Die in Texas

AUSTIN, TX — Two bills aimed at reforming marijuana laws in Texas have died in the legislature, when the deadline for advancing bills out of committee for consideration by the House passed last week.

Both bills, one that would have decriminalized marijuana possession and one that would have legalized marijuana for adults, were left pending in the House Calendar Committee when committee chair Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi) refused to schedule the bills for consideration by the full House.

House Bill 507, introduced by Rep. Joe Moody…

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