Pennsylvania Governor Wants to Decriminalize Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, May, 22nd 2015 by THCFinder

While the fate of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program remains in the hands of House Health Committee Chair Matt Baker, who said last week that he has no plans to submit the Senate approved proposal to the House of Representatives, Governor Tom Wolf has come forward in hopes of opening up the discussion of leading the state into the light of marijuana reform – specifically with decriminalization.

In a recent interview with Pittsburgh’s Channel 11, Wolf expressed his desire to decriminalize marijuana possession across the state because he feels the current prohibitionary standard is destroying families. 

“I believe, for a number of reasons, that we ought to decriminalize marijuana use,” said Wolf. “I think our prisons are over-crowded as a result of people going to jail for reasons that, you know, we break up families for reasons that we shouldn’t.”

“We destroy lives and we make it hard to find employment,” he went on to explain. “So often right now possession of a small amount is a felony and an employer looks at that and dismisses (the person) automatically.”

While the governor did not voice his total opinion of Representative Baker’s unwillingness to send medical marijuana legislation through to the House for consideration, he did say that medicinal cannabis should be left up to the discretion of physicians.

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Illinois Senate passes marijuana decriminalization bill but plans changes

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, May, 22nd 2015 by THCFinder

The Illinois legislature joined the movement to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot, passing a measure Thursday that would bar arrest for the offense.

Carrying small amounts of marijuana would result in a fine instead of an arrest under a measure approved Thursday by the Illinois Senate.

Low-level cannabis possession would go from a crime with fines up to $2,500 and up to a year in a jail to penalties likened to a traffic ticket: no court time and a fine of up to $125 for those caught with 15 grams or less, which is the equivalent of about 25 cigarette-size joints.

The Senate voted 37-19 to approve the legislation after it cleared the House last month. But it's not going to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's desk just yet — sponsors say they'll hold onto it until additional cleanup language is approved.

If signed into law, Illinois would join 17 other states in decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to NORML, which advocates the legal use of marijuana. Nearly half the country, including Illinois, already allows for the use of medical marijuana.

Sponsoring Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, said that while he believes using marijuana is wrong, people shouldn't have their lives ruined because of it. 

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PA Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, May, 13th 2015 by THCFinder
medical marijuana

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Senate passed the latest version of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana bill Tuesday afternoon.

The vote was 40-7 for the bill that would make it legal in the state for marijuana to be used to treat certain serious illnesses when prescribed by a doctor.

The bill known as SB 3, sponsored by Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), would allow edible forms of marijuana and vaporization, but smoking would not be allowed. Patients would have to get the cannabis from a licensed and regulated dispensary and would not be able to grow their own plants.

The qualifying conditions in the bill were slightly expanded to include patients suffering from cancer, seizures, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cachexia/wasting syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury and postconcussion syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Spinocerebellara Ataxia (SCA), posttraumatic stress disorder, severe fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and chronic pain.

Patients under age 18 would need parental consent.

The medical marijuana bill now heads to the state House of Representatives.

Last year, the senate passed a similar bill, but it was never brought to a vote in the House.



Take Action To Reform Marijuana Laws In Your State

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, May, 10th 2015 by THCFinder

marijuana prohibition

The 2015 state legislative session has been the busiest on record.

State lawmakers have debated nearly 100 different marijuana law reform bills this session and some 60 bills remain pending.

NORML’s Take Action Center here provides you with the ability to track pending legislation in your state and to contact your elected officials and urge them to support marijuana law reform.

So far this legislative session, some 65,000 letters have been sent by NORML members to their elected officials in support of pending legislation. These efforts are paying dividends.

Below are some examples of pending legislation that need your support:

Delaware: Legislation to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses has passed committee and awaits a House floor vote. Take action here.

Hawaii: House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation permitting medical cannabis production facilities and dispensaries. The measure now awaits the Governor’s signature. Take action here.

Illinois: Marijuana decriminalization legislation passed the House and now awaits action on the Senate floor. Take action here.

Minnesota: Legislation to legalize hemp farming has passed the House and now awaits action from the Senate. Take action here.

Missouri: Legislation establishing a licensed hemp cultivation program has been passed by the House and now awaits a vote on the Senate floor. Take action here.

New Hampshire: House lawmakers voted 3 to 1 to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses. The bill now awaits Senate action. Take action here.

Texas: Legislation to remove marijuana-related offenses from the Texas criminal code has passed out of committee and now awaits action from the House of Representatives. Take action here. Separate legislation decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses has also passed out of committee and awaits further House action. Take action here.

Additional legislation seeking to legalize the adult use and retail sale of cannabis remains pending in over a dozen states, whiledecriminalization and medical marijuana measures are pending in nearly 20 others. For a full listing of pending legislation and approvedlegislation, visit NORML’s Take Action Center here.



Ecuador Moves to Decriminalize All Illegal Drugs

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, May, 7th 2015 by THCFinder

Convinced that prohibition of marijuana, or even cocaine, is not the solution to curbing addiction rates or fighting against the black market drug trade, Ecuadorian lawmakers have proposed a historic piece of legislation aimed at decriminalizing all illegal drugs

Earlier last month, Carlos Velasco, who oversees Ecuador’s congressional Commission of the Right to Health, submitted a bill (Organic Law on Comprehensive Drug Prevention) that would strip away the criminal penalties currently associated with the possession and use of illicit substances, while establishing a system that provides prevention and rehabilitation programs as and alternative to jail.

"Treating the drug phenomenon in a repressive way, as was done in the 1980s and 1990s when prison was the only destination for the drug consumer, is absurd," said Velasco

The law, if passed, would allow for the creation of a Technical Secretariat of Drugs, which would set controls on more than 100 substances, regulating every aspect from importation to general use. Anyone wishing to take advantage of the system, whether it is consumer or dealer, would be required to register with the agency and adhere to the rules set forth. The current law punishes individuals caught growing or selling illegal drugs to up to 16 years in prison. Under the revised statute, violators would only be required to surrender their stash and pay a fine.

But will decriminalization serve the greater good of Ecuador?

Many legislators believe the measure is entirely too liberal to be effective, paving the way for an escalation in drug use, while giving dope dealers a free pass. Some even argue that if the grand scheme of the proposal is to simply legalize marijuana that it should be decided on by the people through a referendum.

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Texas House Committee approves bill to make marijuana legal for adults

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, May, 7th 2015 by THCFinder

AUSTIN, Tx - The Texas House of Representatives Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved a bill 5-1 Wednesday that would end marijuana prohibition in the state. 

HB 2165, introduced in March by Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), would strike references to marijuana offenses from Texas statutes, resulting in marijuana being treated similarly to other legal crops.

Nearly three out of five Texas voters (58%) support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol, according to a statewide survey conducted by Public Policy Polling in September 2013.

Four states have adopted laws that regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. Two of them, Colorado and Washington, have established regulated systems of marijuana cultivation and sales. Alaska and Oregon are in the process of implementing similar systems.

“Marijuana prohibition’s days are numbered in the Lone Star State. Texas voters recognize that punishing adults for consuming a substance that is safer than alcohol is a waste of law enforcement resources and an affront to individual liberty. It appears most of the committee members agree.

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