Legislation Introduced in Congress to Legalize Marijuana Like Alcohol at Federal Level

Companion bills filed in the House and Senate on Thursday would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and create a federal regulatory process for states that choose to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use.

Legislation was introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday that would end marijuana prohibition at the federal level and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

Bills filed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, leaving states to determine their own marijuana policies, and impose federal regulations on marijuana businesses in states that choose to regulate marijuana for adult use. Wyden’s bill would also enact a federal excise tax on marijuana products. In the House, the tax is being proposed in a separate bill introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

Wyden and Blumenauer also filed marijuana policy “gap” bills that would eliminate many of the collateral consequences associated with federal marijuana convictions without removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act.

Read moreLegislation Introduced in Congress to Legalize Marijuana Like Alcohol at Federal Level

The 5 States Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis Next

By Phillip Smith, StoptheDrugWar.org

Here’s a look at the 5 states most likely to legalize cannabis next.

5 statesFour states, including California, the nation’s most populous, voted to legalize marijuana on November 8. That doubles the number of legal states to eight (plus the District of Columbia), and more than quadruples the number of people living in legal marijuana states, bringing the number to something around 64 million.

Every one of those states legalized marijuana through the initiative process, but we’re not going to see any more initiatives on state ballots until 2018, and perhaps 2020. That means that if we are to make more progress on spreading marijuana legalization in the next couple of years, it’s going to have to come at the state house instead of the ballot box.

Read moreThe 5 States Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis Next

Poll: More Than Six In Ten Connecticut Voters Say Legalize Cannabis

By Paul Armentano, NORML

More thanusepicture six out of ten Connecticut voters favor legalizing marijuana use by adults, according to statewide polling conducted by Quinnipiac University.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said that they favored permitting adults to legally possess personal use quantities of cannabis. Only 34 percent of voters opposed this idea.

Read morePoll: More Than Six In Ten Connecticut Voters Say Legalize Cannabis

New York Times Endorses Initiatives to Legalize Cannabis in Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C.

On Sunday the New York Times, through an article by their Editorial Board, officially endorsed initiatives to legalize cannabis in Oregon,nyt Alaska and Washington D.C., all three of which will be voted on this November 4th.

“In 2012, Washington State and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana. This November, voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia will decide whether to do the same — effectively disregarding the misguided federal ban on a drug that is far less dangerous than alcohol.”, reads the endorsement article. “Decades of arresting people for buying, selling and using marijuana have hurt more than helped society, and minority communities have been disproportionately affected by the harsh criminal penalties of prohibition.”

Read moreNew York Times Endorses Initiatives to Legalize Cannabis in Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C.

Initiative to Legalize Cannabis in South Portland, Maine, to be on November Ballot

South Portland has certified an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis in the city after verifying that at least 959 of thecsm over 1,500 signatures submitted were valid (from registered South Portland voters). The proposal will now be discussed by the City Council (on August 4th), who can either approve the bill directly into law, or send it to voters by placing it on the November ballot. The Council has already expressed its opposition to the measure, indicating that city voters will get an opportunity to voice their opinion on the issue.

If the initiative is approved by the Council, or by voters, it would legalize the possession, use and transfer of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older. A similar initiative was overwhelmingly approved by voters last year in Portland, with just 30% voting in opposition.

Read moreInitiative to Legalize Cannabis in South Portland, Maine, to be on November Ballot

Wisconsin County Votes in Favor of Legalizing Cannabis

Voters in Dane County, Wisconsin have approved an advisory referendum which urges the state to legalize recreational cannabisdanecounty. The referendum was approved with 64.5% of the vote.

Dane County, which has a population of roughly half a million, is the second-most populous county in Wisconsin.

A poll released last year by Marquette University Law School found that 50% of those in Wisconsin support the legalization of cannabis, with just 44% opposed.

Read moreWisconsin County Votes in Favor of Legalizing Cannabis

Enough Signatures Collected to Put Cannabis Legalization to a Vote in 10 Michigan Cities, 1 County

Advocates have collected enough signatures to put the legalization of recreational cannabis to a vote this year in 10 Michigan cities as well as a county. michigan

“That state of Michigan is ripe for change,” says Tim Beck, co-founder of the Safer Michigan Coalition, the organization behind the initiative drives.

Oak Park, Hazel Park, Utica, Lapeer, Port Huron, Onaway, Harrison Township, East Lansing, Saginaw, Mount Pleasant and Benzie County are the jurisdictions in which enough signatures have been collected to put cannabis legalization to a vote, according to Beck.

Read moreEnough Signatures Collected to Put Cannabis Legalization to a Vote in 10 Michigan Cities, 1 County

Latest Poll Shows Initiative to Legalize Cannabis in Alaska Winning This August

Alaska’s Annual Caucus Statewide Issues Poll, releasedvotd! by the state’s House of Representatives, has found that 52% of voters plan to vote in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis this August.

The question was asked; “One ballot measure would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Alaska. It would also set terms for the regulation, taxation, and sale of marijuana. Please tell me, if the election were held today, would you most likely vote yes to support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, or no to oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use?”

Read moreLatest Poll Shows Initiative to Legalize Cannabis in Alaska Winning This August

Proposal Announced to Legalize Cannabis in New Jersey

New Jersey Senator Nicholas Scutari has announced that he will hold a press conference at the State House Monday in order to formallynewjersey introduce a new proposal to legalize recreational cannabis.

“We’re not delusional about how simple the effort [will] be,” says Senator Scutari. “But I think from a standpoint of moving this state and this country forward on its archaic drug laws, I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

Read moreProposal Announced to Legalize Cannabis in New Jersey

Proposal to Legalize Recreational Cannabis Announced in Florida

Florida State Representative Randolph Bracy has announced that he will soon be filing legislation to legalize recreational cannabis. According to Bracy,florida Senator Dwight Bullard will be filing a companion bill in the Senate.

In bringing forth the issue of legalization, Bracy homes to raise concerns surrounding the injustices of cannabis prohibition, such as the disproportionate effect it has on minors and minorities. Bracy also argues that legalization would bring forth much-needed new jobs and revenue for the state.

Read moreProposal to Legalize Recreational Cannabis Announced in Florida