Washington DC City Council Passes Marijuana Decriminalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, March, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
Washington, DC, is set to become the next entity to decriminalize small-time marijuana possession after the city council Tuesday gave final approval to a decriminalization bill. The bill must still be approved by Mayor Vincent Gray, who has signaled support for decriminalization.
But even after the mayor signs off, the measure will not become law until Congress has completed a required legislative review. That process could last into the summer.
The “Marijuana Possession Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2014″ (Council Bill 20-409) removes the threat of arrests for the possession of less than an ounce and replaces it with a $25 fine, the lowest fine in any state that has decriminalized. In setting the fine so low, council members cited homelessness in the District and high poverty rates in areas of the city that have seen the highest numbers of arrests.
Police still can, however, seize your marijuana and whatever you used to smoke it. And public use of marijuana remains a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
“This is a big step forward for our nation’s capital, as well as our nation as a whole. Clearly, marijuana prohibition’s days are numbered in the United States,” said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, which supported the bill. “We should not be saddling people with criminal records simply for using a substance that is less harmful than alcohol,” Riffle said. “Law enforcement resources should be used to address serious crimes, not to arrest and prosecute adults for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Neither the District nor any of the states can afford to continue criminalizing adults for marijuana possession.”
“For far too long, people of color have been disproportionately and unfairly arrested and marginalized for marijuana possession in the District of Columbia. DC council members took the first critical step today toward ending the selective enforcement of marijuana prohibition policies that have perpetuated racial disparities in the criminal justice system for decades,” said Grant Smith, policy manager with the Drug Policy Alliance, which also supported the bill.
Poll: 77% In Texas Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, February, 27th 2014 by THCFinder
A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll has found that 77% of those in Texas support the legalization of medical cannabis. The poll also found strong support for legalizing recreational cannabis, with 49% in support to just 23% opposed.
“It’s not a surprise that Texas was not on the front line of [legalization], given that most of the opposition here is among conservatives and Republicans,” says Jim Henson, Director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas and co-director of the poll. “But you can look at this and see where the movement is going to come from.”
Of the 49% who support recreational legalization, 32% favor legalizing small amounts, while 17% support legalizing “any amount” of cannabis.
Last month Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his support for cannabis decriminalization; lawmakers in the state continue to discuss efforts to both reduce penalties for cannabis possession, and to legalize medical cannabis.
More Than 40 Maine Lawmakers Sign Memo Urging Marijuana Legalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, February, 25th 2014 by THCFinder
On Friday, more than 40 state lawmakers in Maine co-signed a memo authored by State Representative Diane Russell that was delivered to the Appropriations & Financial Affairs Committee. The memo encouraged the committee to keep all options on the table in their upcoming financial deliberations, including potential tax revenue derived from an adult, non-medical market for marijuana.
“All options should be on the table,” Rep. Russell stated in the memo, “In this spirit, we propose committee members give serious consideration to the revenue options associated with legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis for responsible adult use.”
The memo was signed by prominent elected officials in the state including Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Allagash), House Majority Leader Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham), Minority Whip Alex Willette (R-Mapleton), House Chair of Criminal Justice and Public Safety and former County Sheriff Rep. Mark Dion (D-Portland), and House Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Richard Farnsworth (D-Portland).
In 2013, the Maine House of Representatives fell just four votes short of approving a measure introduced by Rep. Russell which would have placed the issue of marijuana legalization before voters during the fall elections.
Citizens Initiative Underway To Legalize Cannabis In The European Union
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, February, 20th 2014 by THCFinder
A citizens initiative to legalize cannabis in the European Union is underway, with advocates needing to collect 1 million signatures from 7 member states within a 12 month period.
Advocates of the initiative – which was approved by the government in November – officially began their signature gathering campaign this week. If advocates are successful in gathering enough signatures, the measure would be put to a vote next year.
According to the group behind the initiative (Weed Like to Talk), it “aims at making the EU [European Union] adopt a common policy on the control and regulation of cannabis production, use and sale.”
In addition to legalizing cannabis possession, the proposal would legalize cannabis cultivation, as well as cannabis retail outlets.
The effort marks one of the most far-reaching attempts at cannabis law reform in European history.
Next Five States Predicted To Legalize
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, February, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
2014 is going to be a big year for cannabis. There are a lot of states that are beginning to rethink their marijuana laws and are beginning to disregard the pressure from anti-cannabis protestors. With Colorado still making a large sum of money due to the legalization of cannabis, other states are pushing lawmakers to follow in the rocky state's steps. Who is predicted to be next in the great race for cannabis legalization?
While being a conservative state, Alaska has a not just a history of openness with cannabis but a very libertarian perspective on things. Marijuana will be on the ballot August 19th and citizens will be able to vote on whether they want legalization or to continue prohibition. The Alaskan ballot states that people over 21 can legally possess an ounce of marijuana, grow up to six plants (three in the flowering stage), as well as allow manufacture, sale, and possession of the plant.
California has tried to put legalization through once already in 2010 but it failed. In the last three years, cannabis approval has snowballed, showing in a recent poll that 56% of respondents approve of cannabis legalization. In order to get the proposition on the ballot, Californians need to gather 500,000 valid signatures by February 24th. If this doesn't happen, the measure will continue to gain support and hopefully pass in 2016.
The state has passed medical laws but hasn't implemented them as of right now. Activists think that again, 2016 is the year that this state will probably see legalization of cannabis. 58% of registered voters polled by MassCann and NORML support the Massachusetts cannabis legalization idea.
A legalization ballot was presented in 2012 but failed, with almost 54% saying no to marijuana legalization. But when voters were asked again, 57% said that they would vote yes to legalize in 2014. In fact, this change happened a mere six months after the measure failed to be approved. The sudden increase in support comes from the details included in the ballot. The first time around, people were allowed to cultivate unlimited amounts of cannabis. Now, they are working on specified limits for citizens to be able to consume and grow.
- Washington DC
The District Of Columbia is the nation's capitol and home to the government that claims our favorite plant should still be illegal. However, the city seems to be pretty cannabis friendly, as the city council unanimously voted in January to decriminalize the plant, making the possession of under an ounce as harsh as getting a parking ticket. Voters in DC were polled and it seems as if they favor legalizing marijuana 63% to 34%.
Feds Take First Step Towards Hemp Legalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, February, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
Yesterday was a big day for hemp advocates. A new farm bill was passed by Congress yesterday, which includes a provision that would allow universities and state agriculture departments to establish hemp programs. The farm bill just needs to be signed by the President now. It’s not a full on legalization of hemp, but it clears a major first hurdle to doing so. I’m confident that once hemp is researched, and grown industrially without issues, full legalization will come sooner than later.
“Oregonians have made it clear that they believe industrial hemp should be treated as an agricultural commodity, not a drug,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who helped author the amendment, told The Oregonian in a statement. ”By including language easing restrictions on industrial hemp in states where it is legal, Congress sends an important message that we are ready to examine hemp in a more appropriate way.”
Ten states have already passed state level laws legalizing hemp cultivation, but federal law has kept most of those efforts from moving forward. The states include Colorado, Washington, California, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia. I’d imagine once programs are rolled out at universities and via state departments, more states will jump on board.
Hemp is one of the most versatile plants on the planet. It can make anything from clothing to medicine. A lot of opponents will use weak arguments against hemp, such as ‘it looks like marijuana, and people can hide marijuana plants in the hemp.’ Arguments like this clearly illustrate just how uneducated hemp opponents are, as cross pollination would ruin the marijuana, and marijuana looks bushy, while hemp plants are tall and skinny.
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