Israeli Cabinet Makes Move to Decriminalize Recreational Marijuana Use
JERUSALEM — Israel, which has been at the forefront of research into medical marijuana and the drug’s commercialization, took a major step on Sunday toward officially decriminalizing its recreational use.
At a time when many American states and European countries are loosening marijuana laws, the Israeli cabinet approved a plan that would impose fines rather than criminal penalties on those caught using the drug in public.
Growing and selling marijuana, which is widely used here recreationally and medicinally, would remain illegal.
Germany Expects Cannabis-Growing Program to Be Going in 2019
BERLIN (AP) — German authorities say they expect to have a cannabis-growing program up and running in 2019 after the country approved legislation allowing some patients to get the drug as a prescription medication.
Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices said Friday that it’s setting up a “cannabis agency” to oversee the growing program. It plans to solicit bids from throughout the European Union to find companies to run it.
The program’s first cannabis is expected to be available in 2019. Until then, prescriptions will be fulfilled with imported marijuana, which currently comes from the Netherlands and Canada.
Marijuana Stocks Are Doomed if Trump Reneges on His Pot Pledge
With some small exceptions over the past couple of years, marijuana's expansion has been practically unstoppable. In the November elections, eight of the nine states voting on cannabis initiatives and amendments favored legalizing medical or recreational pot (sorry, Arizonans), while two states, Ohio and Pennsylvania, also wound up legalizing medical cannabis entirely through the legislative process last year. By year's end, 28 states had legalized medical cannabis, while eight had legalized recreational weed.
As weed has expanded, pardon the pun, like a weed, so has the public favorability toward the drug. A 2016 Gallup poll found 60% support for the nationwide legalization of marijuana, which compares quite favorably to just the 25% who felt the same way in 1995, the year before California became the first state to pass a Compassionate Use law for medical cannabis patients.
Colorado pot club measure clears 1st hurdle
DENVER (AP) — Colorado is moving ahead with a first-in-the-nation attempt to allow marijuana clubs.
But the measure that passed a Republican state Senate committee Wednesday evening doesn’t go as far as some marijuana activists hoped.
The bill would allow on-site marijuana consumption at private clubs in willing jurisdictions. And those clubs may allow indoor pot smoking, despite health concerns about indoor smoking.
But the bill is far from allowing a statewide network of pot clubs. For one, it would allow any jurisdiction to ban them, same as they can currently prohibit retail pot sales.
Oregon Lawmakers Push to Protect Pot Users’ Info from U.S.
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers worried about a nationwide crackdown on legal marijuana under President Donald Trump’s administration are rushing to protect the personal information of pot customers in case federal agents try to seize it.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is taking one of the first direct state actions in response to White House spokesman Sean Spicer last week suggesting a boost in enforcement of federal anti-marijuana laws.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this week that the Justice Department is reviewing an Obama-era memo giving states flexibility in passing marijuana laws.
States Plot Marijuana Defense As Sessions Goes Off Again
John Hickenlooper has never been a huge fan of marijuana legalization. When Colorado voted to legalized marijuana in 2012, Hickenlooper, a former mayor of Denver who’s served as the state’s Democratic governor since 2010, was in the minority who voted against legal cannabis. Now, the country’s marijuana movement is hoping Hickenlooper is serious when he suggests that he likes Donald Trump messing with him and his state even less than the reefer.
On Sunday, Hickenlooper appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to utter the great conservative mantra—states’ rights—and declared, if in the most passive-aggressive (read: mainstream Democratic) way possible, his intent to abide by his oath of office and defend Colorado from all threats, foreign and domestic, even if that threat is the federal government and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
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