Washington D.C.’s Board of Elections gave approval today to an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis. The Board will now have 20 days to give the proposal a ballot title and summary. Once this, plus a 10-day public review period is finished, advocates can begin gathering signatures in an attempt to put it to a vote this November. Roughly 250,000 valid signatures will need to be collected by July 7th. Continue reading
A new study conducted by the RAND Corporation has found that in recent years cocaine use has dropped substantially, while cannabis use has risen. According to the data, drug users in the United States spend over $100 billion annually on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
“This work synthesizes information from many sources to present the best estimates to date for illicit drug consumption and spending in the United States”, says Beau Kilmer, the study’s lead author and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. “Our analysis shows that Americans likely spent more than one trillion dollars on cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine between 2000 and 2010.” Continue reading
If approved into law this November, Amendment 2 would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for those with a qualifying medical condition such as cancer, glaucoma or chronic pain. The proposal would authorize state-licensed dispensaries to distribute cannabis to patients. Continue reading
A new poll released by the Miami Herald and commissioned by the state Republican Party has found that 78% of Florida voters that reside in Republican-controlled Senate districts favor the legalization of medical cannabis, a move they’ll have the opportunity to vote on this November through a citizens initiative put forth by the organization United for Care.
The poll – conducted by the Tarrance Group – found 65% of respondents to be in favor of reducing prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders (with 28% opposed), and 78% (to 15%) to be in support of prison-diversion programs for those convicted of nonviolent drug-related crimes. Continue reading
Philadelphia’s City Council Law and Government Committee gave unanimous approval today to a proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis (one ounce), reducing the charge from an arrestable misdemeanor, to a simple ticket.
There are 4,200 arrests each year in Philadelphia for cannabis possession, something which takes up over 17,000 police hours, according to Councilmember James F. Kenney, the primary sponsor of the measure.
“To me, it makes no sense”, he says. Continue reading
New data released by the State of Colorado shows that over $3.5 million in tax revenue and licensing fees were garnered from recreational cannabis sales in January alone, the first month such sales were legal. This is the first official data released regarding legal cannabis sales in Colorado.
“The first month of sales for recreational marijuana fell in line with expectations,” says Barbara Brohl, Executive Director for the Department of Revenue. “We expect clear revenue patterns will emerge by April and plan to incorporate this data into future forecasts.” Continue reading
Earlier this year a proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis was introduced.
Under current Alabama law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can net someone a prison sentence of up to a year; under this new proposal – House Bill 76 – the possession of an ounce or less of cannabis would be a simple $100 ticket. The measure currently sits in the House Judiciary Committee. Continue reading
The California Democratic Party voted unanimously today to approve a resolution making the legalization of recreational cannabis an official party platform.
The resolution makes it clear that the California Democrats “support the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana, in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol”. The party also called for an immediate ban on fracking, a controversial procedure used by the oil and gas industry. Continue reading
In an 8 to 3 vote, Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has approved a proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, removing the possibility of a criminal sentence, or jail time.
Under the proposal – Senate Bill 364 – the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis would become a simple $100 ticket, rather than an arrestable misdemeanor. The proposal is designed to free up police time and resources, according to Senator Robert Zirkin, the bill’s primary sponsor. Continue reading
By Marijuana Policy Project
Residents in Michigan suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may soon be allowed to treat their symptoms with medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel appointed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has decided to recommend that the department add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. It is now up to Steve Arwood, Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to accept or reject the recommendation. Continue reading