A group pushing for legalizing marijuana in Ohio began the formal process to send proposed legislation to the General Assembly.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted the language of its plan to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. The submission of the first 1,000 signatures, according to group spokesman and attorney Tom Haren, will require Yost to review and approve the petition language within 10 days. Read More
This week’s witnesses in the federal corruption trial of J.T. Burnette, a Tallahassee businessman standing trial for federal extortion and racketeering, described the “dirty politics of getting things done” in Tallahassee.
The testimony exposed some of the true “power behind the throne” like that wielded by Burnette and his wife, Kim Rivers, CEO of the mega medical marijuana company, Trulieve, and by a former “rising star” in Florida Democratic politics, Scott Maddox.
Burnette is facing federal charges of racketeering, and extortion stemming from a multi-year FBI investigation into political corruption in Tallahassee. Government prosecutors are trying to prove Burnette arranged bribes for Maddox, through Governance Services, LLC, a lobbying firm owned by Maddox’s close friend and business partner Paige Carter-Smith. 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
Some Virginia universities intend to prohibit marijuana on campus grounds after it becomes legal for recreational use for adults age 21 and older in the state.
Although the commonwealth will allow legal possession beginning in two weeks, the plant still is illegal at the federal level and a schedule I drug under the controlled substance act. If a university allows marijuana on campus, some universities worry it could threaten their federal funding.
A spokesperson from James Madison University told The Center Square the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices will continue to address incidents of marijuana on campus because use and possession are illegal under federal law. 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
Possessing marijuana in amounts of up to one ounce will be legal July 1, but sales will still be outlawed in Virginia until 2024. That means there will be no clear legal way to acquire marijuana or marijuana plants, despite possession itself being legal.
“Outside of the medical cannabis program, there remains no legal access to marijuana in Virginia,” Virginia NORML Executive Director Jenn Michelle Pedini told The Virginia Star. Read More
RICHMOND, Virginia Simple possession of up to one ounce of marijuana will be legal in Virginia, effective July 1. On Wednesday, the Virginia General Assembly approved Governor Ralph Northam’s proposal to expedite legalization from 2024 to later this year. But legislators warned that doesn’t mean there will be a marijuana free-for-all. Read More
During the COVID-19 pandemic, states are turning to new revenue sources in an attempt to avoid raising taxes while filling a projected gaping budget deficit.
For Minnesota, that number is a $1.3 billion projected shortfall for fiscal year 2022-2023.
But top lawmakers say two revenue sources that have been popular in other states are unlikely to be signed into law this year; namely, the legalization of recreational marijuana and online sports betting. Read More
Legislation that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Virginia jumped another hurdle Friday when lawmakers advanced the bill through the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee.
Senate Bill 1406, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, would legalize the recreational sale and use of marijuana for adults age 21 or older in the commonwealth. It narrowly advanced through the committee on an 8-7 vote with support from every Democrat and opposition from every Republican. Read More
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said Monday that he supports the legalization of Marijuana use for adults in the commonwealth.
“Legalizing marijuana will happen in Virginia,” the governor said during a briefing on Monday. Read More
A bill that aims to reduce unnecessary and targeted traffic stops by limiting what police officers are lawfully allowed to pull drivers over for recently passed the General Assembly and is now awaiting a decision from the governor.
Nevertheless, law enforcement opposes the legislation on the grounds that it would hurt public safety and lead to more dangers while driving. Read More
Sen. Kamala Harris, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, reportedly prosecuted nearly 2,000 people on marijuana-related charges during her time as California attorney general.
A total of 1,974 people were sent to state prisons for marijuana-related offenses during Harris’s 2011-2016 tenure as the Golden State’s lead prosecutor, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Read More
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost rejected a proposed marijuana-related constitutional amendment Monday that aimed to regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Yost halted the amendment proposal because it did not gather enough valid signatures.
“Because your submission did not contain the verified signatures of at least one thousand qualified electors, we must reject it,” Yost wrote in the letter to the petitioning committee. “Finally, because the petition failed to meet the signature threshold, I have not made any determination concerning the fairness and truthfulness of the proposed summary.” Read More
Ohioans might get another opportunity to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana this year. Read More
A Minnesota Republican thinks his Democratic colleagues are sending “mixed messages” to Minnesotans on the impact of substance use. Read More
Minnesota House Democrats said they will once again prioritize gun control and climate change during the upcoming legislative session. Read More
A new report found that the Minnesota Department of Health’s “internal controls” for its medical cannabis program “were generally not adequate to safeguard financial assets and ensure compliance with selected legal requirements.” Read More
U.S. Representatives voted to move cannabis decriminalization legislation out of committee, setting the stage for a historic vote of the entire chamber, but the Democrat-sponsored bill faces an uncertain fate in the U.S. Senate. Read More
by Scott McClallen The agency that regulates the marijuana market in Michigan has clarified rules to sell product legally to adult residents, making it easier for small businesses to enter the market. Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency said it plans to accept business applications through Nov. 1 and are required to… Read More
Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana Tuesday, and the first to do so through its legislature rather than a ballot initiative. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law after the legislature passed it late last month. “As the first state in the nation to… Read More
by Jason Hopkins Border Patrol Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal broke down how drug traffickers are taking advantage of the immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border, a situation he said will continue without help from Congress. “This appears to be a growing trend — something that we experienced before, but… Read More
Only 49 percent of Ohioans registered with the state’s medical marijuana program are actually purchasing the product, according to the latest numbers released by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. As of April 30, there were 31,075 registered patients in the program with recommendations from a doctor, but only… Read More
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined a coalition of 38 states urging Congress to grant federal banking system access to marijuana-related businesses. The coalition is working on getting Congress to pass the Federal Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595). Although many states have legalized medical marijuana,… Read More
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Saturday that he’d reached an agreement with key lawmakers on a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state starting next year. The legislation would allow adults 21 and older to legally buy cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries. Illinois residents could possess… Read More
A new Tennessee Star poll reveals that support for legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee has significant support among likely GOP Primary voters. The poll asked whether voters would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who supports legalizing the distribution and sale of marijuana in Tennessee if… Read More
Ohio Republican Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH-14), along with the entire Congressional Cannabis Caucus, introduced a bill Wednesday that seeks to protect state marijuana policies by strengthening states’ rights. The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act, the “STATES Act” for short, would function to amend existing laws, specifically the Controlled… Read More
by Joshua Nelson A toxicology specialist has found a connection between legalized marijuana and a threefold increase in related visits to emergency rooms in Colorado for heart and other issues, confirming that cannabis poses health risks. Marijuana may be a recreational activity for many, but marijuana-infused “edibles” in particular… Read More
As the Ohio Senate considers legalizing hemp and hemp byproducts in the Buckeye State, the Ohio Department of Health, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is simultaneously cracking down on any form of sale of the substance. Currently, hemp is trapped in a complicated legal limbo and while state legalization will alleviate many of… Read More
The Minnesota State Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly voted to kill a bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana throughout the state Monday. Senate Bill, SF 619, would have made it legal for individuals “21 years of age or older to cultivate, consume, use, and possess cannabis, cannabis products, and cannabis accessories,” as… Read More
Friday, Ohio’s state Commerce Department awarded the first medicinal marijuana processor its certificate of operation. This processor will allow medicinal marijuana to be processed, refined, and distilled into cannabis-infused products. These products include: oil, wax, ointment, salve, tincture, capsule, suppository, dermal patch, cartridge or other product containing medical cannabis concentrate, or usable… Read More
by Evie Fordham A Republican-backed bill to make it legal for Georgians to obtain, not just possess, limited amounts of medical marijuana oil cleared its first hurdle in the state’s House of Representatives Tuesday. The bill is sponsored by five Republican state representatives and one Democrat. Republican state Rep.… Read More
On the political spectrum, Hawaii is among the bluest of states. Democrats control all the levers of power at the state and federal levels, and voters back Democratic presidential candidates over Republicans by some of the widest margins in the U.S. The state has committed to the Paris climate agreement… Read More
Ohio sold $330,000 of medicinal marijuana in 12 days. According to the Marijuana Business Daily, that’s almost double the sales rate of, both, Hawaii and Massachusetts when they legalized the drug. These strong numbers are made all the more impressive by the fact that Ohio marijuana prices are almost five… Read More
DFL lawmakers took the first concrete steps to legalize recreational marijuana in Minnesota Monday by introducing companion bills in the Minnesota House and Senate. House File (HF) 420, sponsored by Rep. Mike Freiberg (D-Golden Valley), and Senate File (619), sponsored by Sen. Melissa Franzen (D-Edina), would make it legal in… Read More
A Wednesday press conference at the Minnesota State Capitol kicked off what is sure to be an emotional and divisive debate over the legalization of marijuana. The press conference was called by Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota, and both Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom and Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie… Read More
After being delayed by more than a year, legal medicinal marijuana will finally be available in Ohio. Medicinal marijuana prescriptions, however, will be much harder to come by. 80 percent of doctors who are eligible to prescribe the drug have yet to register in the program. Of the few that did register, many only… Read More
With medicinal marijuana sales imminent in the Buckeye state, the Ohio State Medical Board is currently considering a slew of additional medical conditions for medicinal marijuana treatment. Currently, 21 conditions are approved for the controversial treatment. A number of the conditions cover a wide swathe of ailments. For example, cancer… Read More
In as early as the coming days, the first legal marijuana dispensary will open for business in Ohio. Fifty-six sites have received approval for sale and several others are only waiting to receive the product before beginning distribution. However, many Ohioans are concerned that, even with legal certification, they won’t be able to… Read More
by Chris White NASA is ordering an investigation into SpaceX’s culture and commitment to safety after company CEO Elon Musk took a hit off a marijuana cigarette in September on a livestreamed podcast. The agency’s review will look at both Boeing and SpaceX, both of which are responsible for… Read More
Federal prosecutors have charged three men with the illegal sale of a synthetic marijuana product that has been linked to at least two deaths and 56 illnesses in Illinois, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Fouad Masoud, 48 and Jad Allah, 44, from Justice, Illinois, a village near Chicago and Adil… Read More
The District Attorney’s office announced in a statement Tuesday that all criminal charges filed in connection with allegations of selling products containing a substance closely related to the active ingredient in marijuana called ‘cannabidiol,’ commonly known a CBD, against store clerks and markets will be dropped and the records expunged . In… Read More
For 17 years, Chalfonte LeNee Queen suffered periodic episodes of violent retching and abdominal pain that would knock her off her feet for days, sometimes leaving her writhing on the floor in pain. “I’ve screamed out for death,” said Queen, 48, who lives in San Diego. “I’ve cried out for… Read More
A bill establishing a legal framework for selling recreational marijuana in the state of Maine has met its demise after lawmakers sustained Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of legislation regulating retail weed sales. Maine’s House of Representatives voted 74-62 on Monday in support of the Republican governor’s veto, slashing the odds… Read More