Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) said earlier this week that if he is elected governor, he vowed to legalize recreational marijuana and expunge criminals with marijuana convictions.
The announcement came as part of the unveiling of Crist’s “Justice for All” criminal justice reform plan, which also included some gun control policies. Crist said the plan is for the communities who have felt left behind by the government. Read More
Legalized recreational use of marijuana recently cleared a hurdle on its second attempt but several more have to be passed before it becomes law in Ohio.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost gave the go-ahead to the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s proposed law after rejecting its original plan in early August, saying the summary proposes to add an entire chapter to the Ohio Revised Code rather than enact a single law and the summary failed to include key elements in the summary. Read More
Tennesseans may have the option to weigh in on the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana: medical, recreational, or both. State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) introduced bill HB 1634 on Wednesday to include a voter opinion poll on the subject within the November 2022 ballot.
The poll would ask voters if Tennessee should legalize medical marijuana, decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, and legalize and regulate commercial sales of recreational marijuana. Read More
The Minnesota House voted 72-61 to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and expunge minor marijuana convictions.
The Senate leader, however, designated the bill dead upon arrival.
“The war on drugs is a failed policy,” House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said. “The harms caused by current cannabis laws cannot be allowed to continue. Minnesota’s illegal cannabis market creates bad outcomes for everyone. Responsible regulations and safeguards to prevent youth access are a better solution to address the harms our current laws fail to address.” Read More
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is a former marijuana lobbyist, has failed to address her financial ties to the marijuana industry as she advocates for legalization and uses her position to influence medical marijuana legislation. While legacy media looks the other way, other reporting has revealed connections that… Read More
Marijuana legalization is back on track for July, after Governor Ralph Northam announced amendments to legalization legislation. In February, legislators surprised marijuana policy watchers by delaying the effective date of legalization until 2024, leading the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia to blast the bills as worse than nothing. Since then, legalization advocates have lobbied Northam to amend the legislation to go into effect in July, when most other recently-passed bills take effect. Read More
The Virginia General Assembly passed marijuana legalization bills on Saturday, a move that had been expected to make Virginia the first southern state to legalize marijuana. However, legislators from the House of Delegates and the Senate passed a compromise that delays legalization and retail sale of marijuana until 2024. The compromise, created in a conference committee, also requires another vote in 2022 to confirm parts of the bill.
While some legalization advocates said passage of the bill was progress, others criticized it. Read More
Two bills are wrestling over whether Tennessee will have immediate or postponed legalization of medical marijuana. The two bills – the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act and the proposal to establish a medical cannabis commission – pose a direct challenge to one another. The former would outright legalize medical marijuana, enacting an entirely new chapter within the Tennessee Code under Title 68: Health, Safety and Environmental Protection. If passed, Tennessee would join 36 states in legalizing cannabis for medical purposes.
The latter would pump the brakes on the momentum sought by the former. Instead, the bill would establish a commission reviewing federal and state laws on the subject, and would provide that no medical cannabis program be enacted by the state until the federal government removes marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The commission would publish annual reports and recommendations, beginning next year and continuing indefinitely – that is, until the federal government adjusts marijuana on its controlled substances list. Read More
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, has introduced adult-use cannabis legislation that a Senate Republican leader opposes.
The bill is derived from conversations in 15 communities statewide.
“The tide is shifting,” Winkler said in a press conference about the 15 states that’ve legalized marijuana so far. Read More
Marijuana legalization bills are approaching a floor vote in both the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate. In addition to removing criminal penalties, the 274-page bills essentially create an entire industry, including regulation of business licenses, creating taxes, and incentivizing entrepreneurs to enter the market.
But Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) said all of that is just a shell. Read More
It’s not quite a nonpartisan issue, but Virginia legislators expect an effort to legalize marijuana will receive enough bipartisan support to pass in the 2021 regular session. The biggest hurdle to the plan is the massive legislative changes that are required. Legislators have to choose how the cannabis business will interact with many sectors of business and government including banking, law enforcement, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Taxation, and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority. Read More
Virginia’s House and Senate passed another bill further decriminalizing marijuana. Under the bill, the drug’s scent would no longer be a sufficient cause for searching a vehicle. Read More
The House passed the bill in a 51-45 vote. On Friday, the Senate approved to substitute some of the language of the bill.