Colorado’s Marijuana Task Force Makes Final Recommendations

Yesterday Colorado’s marijuana task force – established by the state’s governor to study and recommend regulations on legal cannabis in the state – held its final meeting, and concluded on a number of issues that they were discussing. The panel has voted on a variety of other suggestions prior to today’s meeting, including recommending last week that out-of-state residents be able to legally purchase and consume cannabis. Welcome-to-Colorado-Marijuana-Green-Rush_grande

The first action taken yesterday was their recommendation that cannabis-infused alcohol be banned. They also voted in favor of a 15% excise tax on cannabis, as well as a standard sales tax, which would require voter-approved referendums to become law.

Read moreColorado’s Marijuana Task Force Makes Final Recommendations

Alabama Medical Marijuana Exemption Bill Introduced, Assigned Committee

Recently we reported that 5 cannabis reform measures were in the works in Alabama thankorg_AMMJCs to Alabama State Rep. Patricia Todd and the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMC). One of these measures, Alabama’s Medical Exemption Act, has been introduced in the House – now officially House Bill 315 – and has been assigned to House Committee on Health.

According to Ron Crumpton, Executive Director of AMMJC and a state senate candidate in Alabama;

“HB-315 is a no brainer. It doesn’t make provisions for access to marijuana; it simply renders a patient exempt from prosecution of marijuana laws deemed as personal use under the Alabama Code when their physician recommends marijuana as a possible treatment for their illness.”

Read moreAlabama Medical Marijuana Exemption Bill Introduced, Assigned Committee

Oklahoma Lawmakers Vote Unanimously to Decrease Marijuana Possession Penalties

In a state where hash can get you life in prison, movement is being made to decrease the punishment associated with simple cannabis possession.

Under current Oklahoma law, possessing cannabis can net someone a felony charge, and subsequent cannabis 20875940_BG1charges are guaranteed felonies that come with a jail sentence of 2-10 years. The measure approved today, by a vote of 14-0, would change this so that someone’s first and second possession charge is a misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 1 year. House Bill 1835, now moves towards a full house vote.

Read moreOklahoma Lawmakers Vote Unanimously to Decrease Marijuana Possession Penalties

New Poll: Majority in California Support Legalization

Voters in California support legalizing cannabis by double-digit margins, according to a new California Field Poll released today. 54% are in support, while 43% oppose.

151462784aThe poll also found that 67% oppose ongoing crackdowns of medical dispensaries by the state’s four U.S. attorneys.

These results are sure to be seen as encouraging to advocates in the state, some of which will begin collecting signatures in May, attempting to get a legalization initiative on the 2014 ballot.

Read moreNew Poll: Majority in California Support Legalization

Poll: 52% In New Mexico Support Legalizing Marijuana

Today the Drug Policy stickerAlliance held a press conference to discuss recent legislation moving forward in New Mexico, as well as new polling they released today that shows a strong majority of New Mexico residents support reform.

According to the polling, conducted by the firm Research & Polling, Inc., 52% in the state support legalizing and taxing cannabis, with only 40% in opposition. The polling also found that an additional 5% were in support of reducing penalties for possession.

Read morePoll: 52% In New Mexico Support Legalizing Marijuana

New Mexico Bill Decriminalizing 4 Ounces of Cannabis Passes Through Committee

Coming on the heals of polling released that shows 57% of New Mexico residents support decriminalizing cannabis, the state’s House Committee on Consumer and Public Affairs approved a measure doing just that, with a vote of 3-2. New Mexico sign

The measure, House Bill 465, would make possession of up to four ounces of cannabis no longer a criminal offense. It would instead be a civil infraction, and offenders would be given a ticket. Here’s a breakdown of how the tickets would work:

    • Possession of up to an ounce would be a $50 fine.
    • Possession of one to four ounces would be an $100 fine.

    Read moreNew Mexico Bill Decriminalizing 4 Ounces of Cannabis Passes Through Committee

    Hawaii Committee Unanimously Approves Bill Decriminalizing Cannabis Possession

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    Hawaii Senate Bill 472 would make possession of up to an ounce of cannabis a civil infraction.

    Today Hawaii’s Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 472, which would decriminalize cannabis possession in the state. The vote was 5-0. Under this measure, possession of up to an ounce would no longer be an arrestable misdemeanor offense, and instead would become a civil infraction of $1,000.

    The measure is sponsored by 13 of the state’s 25 senators, guaranteeing its passage in the Senate. Hawaii’s House is moving forward with a companion measure.

    Read moreHawaii Committee Unanimously Approves Bill Decriminalizing Cannabis Possession

    Bill Introduced in Oregon to Legalize Cannabis

    Oregon-Marijuana-Reform-Coming-Soon-300x300
    House Bill 3371 would legalize cannabis in Oregon.

    House Bill 3371, introduced this week by Oregon’s Committee on Revenue, would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older. If it were to become law, possession of up to 24 ounces of dried cannabis, and the home-growing of up to 6 plants, would no longer be a crime.

    In addition, the Oregon Liquor Commission would be tasked with regulations and tax collection for retail cannabis outlets that would sell cannabis to adults.

    This past November Oregon voters voted down Measure 80 which would have legalized cannabis in a different fashion. The initiative, however, garnered 48% of the vote, which was higher than polling indicated, and made a big statement that legalization was on the way.

    House Bill 3371 comes at the perfect time, as people begin to realize that cannabis legalization is an inevitability.

    Washington Measure to Clear Marijuana Misdemeanors Passes Second Committee, Moves Towards Full House

    Passing out of its second committee by a vote of 5-4, House Bill 1661 will now move to Washington StaWashington-Pot-Leafte’s Rules Committee, where it’s expected to get scheduled for a full House vote. Its passage would send it to the Senate, where they would have the option of putting it in front of the governor to be signed into law.

    The sponsor of the measure, State Rep. Fitzgibbon, has stated that its chances are “really good” it will pass the House.

    If the bill becomes law, thousands in Washington State with a cannabis possession misdemeanor would be allowed to clear their record of the charge, instantly reopening closed doors and opportunities.

    Read moreWashington Measure to Clear Marijuana Misdemeanors Passes Second Committee, Moves Towards Full House

    70% In Florida Support Legalized Medical Marijuana

    New polling shows that a vast majority of those in Florida, 70%, support legalizing medical cannabis. Only 24% are opposed.

    The poll, released today and conducted by the firm Hamilton Campaigns, found that even Republicans had 56% support for such a change.

    People United for Medical Marijuana.
    People United for Medical Marijuana.

    These numbers are sure to be a huge boost to continuing efforts by People United for Medical Marijuana, an organization collecting signatures for a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. They’ve collected around 100,000 signatures thus far, though have to reach roughly 683,000 to qualify for the ballot.

    Read more70% In Florida Support Legalized Medical Marijuana