Senator Wants Legal Cannabis In New Mexico

New Mexico Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants the people of his state to be given the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis.

welcomeThe senator plans to construct a resolution that would be voted on within the state’s legislature, that would be sent to the 2014 general election ballot if it were to pass both the house and the senate.

“Permits to produce it, permits to sell it – all those could be revenue streams for local and state government…..We’re also destroying a lot of lives in the process as we send people to jail or prosecute them,” said Ortiz y Pino on the issue.

Read moreSenator Wants Legal Cannabis In New Mexico

4,200 Plants Found In Utah, Man Faces Life In Prison

As reported by the Salt Lake City Tribune, Roman Juarez-Sanchez of Compton, California, is facing life in prison for over 4,200 cannabis plants found on U.S. Forest land in Iron County, Utah. 19661363_BG1His sentencing is set for April 1st.

Two other individuals have pleaded guilty to manufacturing/cultivating a controlled substance, and Juarez-Sanchez faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.

The DEA, who are clearly proud of themselves that a man faces life in prison for growing a non-lethal part of nature, called the bust a “victory”.

– TheJointBlog

New Hampshire Bill to Legalize Cannabis Introduced

In an exciting move, in a state with support for legalization above 50%, House Bill 492 has been introduced in the State of New Hampshire.

The legislation, sponsored by a handful of bipartisan legislators, would legalize the possession of up 21784506_cannibis_336251cto an ounce of cannabis, as well as a limited number of home-grown plants – as long as you’re 21 or older.

In addition, HB 492 would allow for licensed facilities to manufacture cannabis, which would be sold through licensed and regulated retail stores. You can read the entirety of the text here.

– TheJointBlog

LA Council Puts Medical Marijuana Legislation On May Ballot

In an 8-4 vote, the Los Angeles City Council has put a measure further regulating medical marijuana dispensaries to a vote of the people – the vote will take place May 21st, 245620_6db9479f5d87fa0d5b12e87d8ac751c4_35faa5823ce79f4f18e8c72e8a58ba61013.

The measure, which is an accumulation of much-discussion amongst the council, comes after a back-and-forth from the council that’s left people confused, and unsure of how to move forward.

If passed, the bill would drop the number of dispensaries, which is currently around 1,000, to roughly 130. In addition, it would ban locations from operating within 1,000 feet of a school, or 600 feet from certain public places like libraries (huh?). In addition, it slightly increases the cost to obtain a medical cannabis business license.

The news comes with two other initiatives already headed for the ballot, and as activists are attempting to get a statewide initiative on the 2014 ballot to expand upon California’s current medical cannabis policy.

– TheJointBlog

Canada’s Liberal Party Puts Forward Specific Plan For Legalization

In a recently released report, Canada’s Liberal Party has put forth their reasoning for why the country should legalize cannabis, while also laying out important pointers in assuring that the system works:

The legal status quo for the criminal regulation of marijuana continues to endanger Canadians by generating significant resources for gang-related violent criminal activity and weapons smuggling – a reality which could be very easily confronted by the regulation and legitimization of Canada’s marijuana industry.LargeLogo.aspx

Hammering the nail on the head, the report lays out two vital things to consider when it comes to legally regulated cannabis; the quality must be top-notch, and the price must be cheap. Otherwise the black-market, which has grown increasingly dangerous and leads to the direct enrichment of criminal organizations, will win.

Read moreCanada’s Liberal Party Puts Forward Specific Plan For Legalization

Washington State Activists Seek To Finally Protect Patients From Arrest

During the current legislative session Washington State legislators will be considering House Bill 1084, being referred to as the Ric Smith Memorial Act. The name is in honor of the recently deceased activist, who many saw as a hero within the cannabis reform movement.

The core function of this legislation is bringing defined arrest protection for medical cannabis patients in the state.Cannabis_Plants5

With the passage of Initiative 502 in November, some may see this as unnecessary, but in reality it’s big, long-overdo step forward for patient protection. Under I-502, portions of which took effect on December 6th, 2012, patients (as well as anyone 21 or older) now have arrest protection for possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. The quandary lies in the fact that under Washington State law, an individual can possess up to 16 ounces, as well as grow up to 15 plants, with a valid authorization.

Read moreWashington State Activists Seek To Finally Protect Patients From Arrest

Washington State Legislators Propose Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

In a move more typically aligned with a state like Georgia, legislators in Washington State will be considering House Bill 1190, which would require recipients of TANF (Temporary Picture-106Assistance for Needy Families) to pass drug testing in certain cases to continue receiving their benefits. The bill, unsurprisingly, is sponsored entirely by Republicans (Reps. Angel, Haler, Walsh, Fagan, Orcut, and Hargrove).

Disguised as a way to stop drug addicts from spending taxpayer money, it’s far more a ploy to grow this particular branch of prohibition, and, just like the drug war itself, disproportionately effect the poor.

Read moreWashington State Legislators Propose Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

State-By-State Breakdown

Cannabis law reform has gained a tremendous amount of momentum in the past several years, specifically in 2012, when historical statement votes were made in both Colorado and Washington. The phaglp-puzzle-hiolitical atmosphere has shifted in drastic fashion, and we’re winning.

As the battle wages on, here’s a state-by-state look at efforts across the country to fight against this failed prohibition.

Alabama:

In Alabama, the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition has been running televised ads in favor of HB – 2, the Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights Act.

Read moreState-By-State Breakdown