Politics

New Jersey Marijuana Legislation Inches Ahead Despite Gov. Christie Warning

NJ Marijuana Legislation Inches Ahead Despite Gov. Christie Warning

NJ Marijuana Legislation Inches Ahead Despite Gov. Christie Warning

New Jersey already has a tightly regulated medical marijuana program that includes six alternative treatment centers, or dispensaries, but the issue has largely stalled because of Christie’s opposition.

Rhode Island Lawmakers Plan to Introduce Legalization Bill

Rhode Island Lawmakers Plan to Introduce Legalization Bill

On Jan. 11, 2016, Rhode Island state Sen. Joshua Miller and state Rep. Scott Slater announced in a press conference that they intend to introduce legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Maine Legislators Propose Extension of Delay in Marijuana Retail Sales

Maine Legislators Propose Extension of Delay in Marijuana Retail Sales

Adult-use marijuana legalization in Maine is set for Jan. 30, 2017, but the law included a nine-month delay in retail sales to allow lawmakers to set rules. Now Senate President Mike Thibodeau, a Republican from Winterport, Maine, and Rep. Louis Luchini, a Democrat from Ellsworth, Maine, have proposed extending the delay until Feb. 1, 2018.

Pro-Marijuana Groups Respond to Sessions' Confirmation Hearing

Pro-Marijuana Groups Respond to Sessions Confirmation Hearing

Following the U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee and anti-marijuana stalwart Jeff Sessions, pro-pot groups like National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Marijuana Policy Project responded with a blend of skepticism, concern and hope.

South Carolina Lawmakers Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill

South Carolina Lawmakers Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill

On Jan. 10, 2017, a bipartisan group of South Carolina lawmakers, led by Sen. Tom Davis, introduced a bill to the state Senate to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of medical marijuana for patients suffering from certain debilitating medical conditions.

As Sessions Hearings Begin, Rumors About Shuttering Dispensaries Circulate

As Sessions Hearings Begin, Rumors About Shuttering Dispensaries Circulate

As U.S. Senate hearings began on Jan. 10, 2017, for Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s anti-marijuana nominee for Attorney General, rumors about the Drug Enforcement Agency shutting down dispensaries were already circulating.

Some Wisconsin Republicans Warming to Medical Marijuana

Some Wisconsin Republicans Warming to Medical Marijuana

Some Wisconsin Republicans who have been opposed to medical marijuana are now warming to the idea of legalizing cannabidiol or CBD oil, according to an article by the Associated Press. Republican state Sen. Van Wanggaard said he wants to introduce a bill allowing possession and use of CBD oil, which has proven to help people with seizures.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Propose Medical Marijuana Changes

Massachusetts Lawmakers Propose Medical Marijuana Changes

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, state lawmakers are proposing several changes to the state medical marijuana program aimed at addressing issues that have arisen since the program began.

Maine Governor Certifies Pot Vote But Urges Moratorium on Sales

Maine Governor Certifies Pot Vote But Urges Moratorium on Sales

Maine Gov. Paul LaPage on Dec. 31, 2016, signed a proclamation certifying the state’s narrow vote to approve adult-use of marijuana, according to a Jan. 3, 2017, article in the Portland Press Herald. LaPage confirmed the signature during a Jan. 3, 2017, radio show program during which he also urged Maine legislators to set a moratorium on marijuana sales.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts Vote to Delay Retail Marijuana Sales

Lawmakers in Massachusetts Vote to Delay Retail Marijuana Sales

On Dec. 28, 2016, Massachusetts lawmakers voted to pass S.2524, a bill that delays the retail sales of recreational marijuana by six months. Approved during an informal session, the bill’s swift and subtle passage came as a disappointment to many.

Medical Marijuana Bills Pre-Filed in South Carolina

Medical Marijuana Bills Pre-Filed in South Carolina

In South Carolina, Rep. Todd Rutherford has pre-filed a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. Dubbed the Put Patients First Act, the bill would allow qualified patients to possess up to two ounces of medical marijuana as well grow up to six plants.

New York Hospitals Stuck Between State And Federal Laws on Medical Marijuana

New York Hospitals Stuck Between State And Federal Laws on Medical Marijuana

The state of New York allows five companies to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients, but most hospitals receive federal funds, so they cannot allow patients to use pot medicinally, according to an article in the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y. While several states have approved marijuana for medical or adult use, it remains illegal under federal law.

Michigan Court of Appeals Overturns MMJ Transport Law

Michigan Court of Appeals Overturns MMJ Transport Law

On Dec. 20, 2016, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s medical marijuana act takes precedent over a law that restricts how patients can transport medical marijuana. The ruling is the result of a 2014 case where medical marijuana patient Callen Latz was arrested for improperly transporting marijuana.

Israel Plans to Relax Penalties for Soldiers Using Marijuana

Israel Plans to Relax Penalties for Soldiers Using Marijuana

The Israeli army is planning to relax its disciplinary action for off-duty soldiers caught smoking marijuana. Israel’s military prosecutor wants to revise the drug policy to allow IDF soldiers to smoke marijuana up to five times.

In Minnesota, Disagreement Over Medical Marijuana for PTSD

In Minnesota, Disagreement Over Medical Marijuana for PTSD

In Minnesota, medicinal cannabis companies and the state’s health commissioner disagree with the state Veterans Affairs regarding the use of medical marijuana for PTSD. The controversy centers around the commissioner’s decision to include PTSD among the conditions that qualify for medical marijuana, while Veterans Affairs prohibits its use.

Maine Governor Certifies Pot Vote But Urges Moratorium on Sales

Maine Governor Wants to Get Rid of State’s Medical Marijuana Program

Now that adult-use marijuana is legal in Maine, Gov. Paul LePage wants to get rid of the state’s medical marijuana program. Maine voters passed Question 1, the marijuana legalization referendum, on Nov. 8, 2016, leading LePage to say “we’ve got to get rid of medical marijuana” on a recent interview with a radio show.

DEA Issues New Rule to Ban Cannabidiol

DEA Issues New Rule to Ban Cannabidiol

On Dec. 14, 2016, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration announced a new rule that makes hemp-based cannabidiol a federally illegal substance. Under the new rules, liquid extracts derived from plants of the cannabis genus that contain one or more cannabinoids are now considered a schedule I substance.

U.S. senators seek to protect banking for pot business vendors

United States Senators Seek to Protect Banking for Pot Business Vendors

The U.S. government should keep banks from cutting off the accounts of vendors who work with state-sanctioned marijuana businesses, 10 U.S. senators said in a letter to the Treasury on Wednesday.

Two Tennessee Republican Legislators Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill

Two Tennessee Republican Legislators Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill

Two Republican legislators in Tennessee have introduced a new medical marijuana bill, according to an article in The Tennessean. At an announcement that included supporting comments from singer Gary Chapman, Rep. Jeremy Faison and Sen. Steve Dickerson insisted their bill was not opening the door to adult-use marijuana.

U.S. Congressmen Establish Bipartisan Cannabis Caucus

U.S. Congressmen Establish Bipartisan Cannabis Caucus

Two U.S. congressmen have established a bipartisan Cannabis Caucus, set to meet next year, according to KIVI-TV’s website. U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., founded the caucus in hopes of reforming federal marijuana laws. Rohrabacher said he wants to make states’ rights central to his efforts.

Maine Marijuana Opponents Fail to Produce Enough Volunteers for Recount

Maine Marijuana Opponents Fail to Produce Enough Volunteers for Recount

Opponents of legalization in Maine have come under fire after failing to produce enough volunteers for the first two and a half days of a statewide ballot recount for Question 1, a marijuana legalization initiative that was narrowly approved by voters.

New Hampshire Officers Worry About Legalization in Neighboring States

New Hampshire Officers Worry About Legalization in Neighboring States

Law enforcement officers in New Hampshire are worried about the impact of legalized marijuana in neighboring Massachusetts and Maine. “Regardless of what the existing laws are in the state of Maine or the state of Massachusetts, marijuana possession is illegal in New Hampshire,” State Police Lt. Chris Vetter said.

Governor of Arkansas Announces MMJ Commission Appointees

Governor of Arkansas Announces MMJ Commission Appointees

On Dec. 7, 2016, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced appointments to the state’s medical marijuana commission. Hutchinson was accompanied by House Speaker Jeremy Gillam and Senate President Jon Dismang, both opponents of medical marijuana.

John F. Kelly, Trump's Choice For DHS Chief, Considers Medical Marijuana Legitimate

Trump’s Choice For DHS Chief Considers Medical Marijuana Legitimate

Retired U.S. Marine Gen. John F. Kelly will be President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for chief of the Department of Homeland Security. In a recent interview, Kelly said he believes U.S. drug policy should focus on reducing demand, and he also said medical marijuana has a legitimate medicinal purpose.

Head of AK's Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office to Step Down

Head of AK’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office to Step Down

Franklin announced her resignation to members of the Alcohol and Marijuana control boards on Wednesday afternoon, in an email forwarded to Alaska Dispatch News.

Maine Starts Recount of Marijuana Legalization Ballots

Maine Starts Recount of Marijuana Legalization Ballots

On Dec. 5, 2016, Maine began the recount of Question 1, a ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. Backed by opponents of the initiative, this marks the first time in Maine’s history that a statewide recount has been issued.


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