Next year will mark 50 years since President Richard Nixon declared
drugs "public enemy number one," launching a new war on drugs that has
pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into law enforcement, led to
the incarceration of millions of people - disproportionately Black -
and has done nothing to prevent drug overdoses. In spite of the
widespread, growing opposition to this failed war, made clear yet
again on Election Day, punitive policies and responses to drug use and
possession persist. As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice
President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to take office, it is abundantly
clear that they have a mandate from the electorate to tackle this issue.
[continues 802 words]
One of America's greatest mistakes over the last century was the war
on drugs, so it's thrilling to see voters in red and blue states alike
moving to unwind it.
The most important step is coming in Oregon, where voters easily
passed a referendum that will decriminalize possession of even hard
drugs like cocaine and heroin, while helping users get treatment for
addiction. The idea is to address drug use as a public health crisis
more than as a criminal justice issue.
[continues 773 words]
Oregon became the first state in the nation to decriminalize the
possession of all illegal drugs and also legalize the use of
psilocybin-the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms-for
mental health treatment, after voters passed a pair of ballot measures
Both are the first of their kind in any U.S. state and represent the
next frontier in the relaxation of drug laws beyond marijuana.
With results from 76% of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning,
59% of Oregonians approved Measure 110, the drug decriminalization
referendum, and 56% voted for Measure 109 on psilocybin therapy,
according to the Associated Press.
[continues 576 words]
Oregon has an addiction problem. Pockets of rural poverty, chronic
homelessness and cities with lots of young people have given the state
one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the nation. It is also,
because there is so little money allocated to it, one of the toughest
places to get treatment.
A proposed solution on the ballot next week would be one of the most
radical drug-law overhauls in the nation's history, eliminating
criminal penalties entirely for personal use amounts of drugs such as
heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Tax revenues from drug sales
would be channeled toward drug treatment.
[continues 1164 words]
PHOENIX - Foes of legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana in
Arizona are trying to keep the issue from going to voters in November.
Legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court contend the
legally required 100-word description misled people into signing the
petition to put the issue on the ballot. Issues range from the
definition of "marijuana" to how the law would affect driving while
The lawsuit comes as a new survey Tuesday finds widespread support for
the proposal a=80" with more than 6 out of every 10 likely voters saying
they will support it if it is on the ballot. Pollster Mike Noble of OH
Predictive Insights said the query of 600 likely voters found that
just 32% say they're definitely opposed.
[continues 814 words]
Largest such move in California comes amid nationwide push for
criminal-justice reform and relaxing drug laws
Los Angeles County will vacate nearly 66,000 marijuana convictions
dating back to the 1960s, part of a growing national effort to reduce
The move, announced Thursday by Los Angeles County District Attorney
Jackie Lacey, will dismiss convictions for tens of thousands of
individuals, the majority of whom are black or Latino.
"As a result of our actions, these convictions should no longer burden
those who have struggled to find a job or a place to live because of
their criminal record," Ms. Lacey said in a press conference Thursday.
[continues 532 words]
DENVER - Once a politically dangerous subject, legal marijuana has
become something of a de facto platform plank for the 2020 Democratic
candidates: All support either legalizing or decriminalizing its use,
and the differences lie in how far the candidates are willing to take
Those differences - particularly former Vice President Joe Biden's
reluctance to embrace full federal legalization and the lack of
enthusiasm that increasingly organized young marijuana activists have
for him - may play a role in determining who faces President Donald
Trump next fall, experts said.
"People from both parties are just thinking, 'Duh, we should be
legalizing this at the federal level,' " said Rachel Gillette, a
Denver-based cannabis activist and attorney. "It would be great if
they could focus on this. It's time."
A year after medical marijuana became legal in Oklahoma, state
lawmakers and marijuana advocates seem to have found a balance in
implementing State Question 788 and moving the industry forward into
the near future.
Sweeping legislation -- the result of a major compromise between
legislators and cannabis advocates -- to regulate the medical
marijuana industry will go into effect later this month.
Meanwhile, there are whispers of an initiative petition to put the
question of legalizing recreational marijuana to a statewide vote,
which could shake up Oklahoma's fledgling marijuana industry and the
new regulatory framework.
[continues 795 words]
Smoking pot cost Kimberly Cue her job.
Ms. Cue, a 44-year-old chemical engineer from Silicon Valley, received
an offer this year from a medical device manufacturer only to have it
rescinded when the company found out that she smoked prescription
marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
"My email was set up with the company," she said. "My business cards
were printed." But after a pre-employment drug test came back positive
for marijuana, a human resources representative told her the job was
no longer hers.
[continues 1413 words]
DENVER - Serenity Christensen, 14, is too young to set foot in one of
Colorado's many marijuana shops, but she was able to spot a business
opportunity in legal weed. She is a Girl Scout, and this year, she and
her mother decided to sell their cookies outside a dispensary. "Good
business," Serenity said.
But on the other side of Denver, legalization has turned another high
school student, David Perez, against the warehouselike marijuana
cultivations now clustered around his neighborhood. He said their
skunky aroma often smacks him in the face when he walks out his front
[continues 2319 words]
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois' new governor delivered on a top
campaign promise Tuesday by signing legislation making the state the
11th to approve marijuana for recreational use in a program offering
legal remedies and economic benefits to minorities whose lives critics
say were damaged by a wayward war on drugs.
Legalization in Illinois also means that nearly 800,000 people with
criminal records for purchasing or possessing 30 grams of marijuana or
less may have those records expunged, a provision minority lawmakers
and interest groups demanded. It also gives cannabis-vendor preference
to minority owners and promises 25% of tax revenue from marijuana
sales to redevelop impoverished communities.
[continues 742 words]
Once Gov. Pritzker signs the bill into law, Illinois will become the
first state to approve cannabis sales through the Legislature, instead
of a ballot measure.
SPRINGFIELD - A recreational marijuana legalization bill will soon
land on Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk after the Illinois House on Friday
voted to pass the comprehensive measure.
The Illinois House voted 66-47 after more than three hours of debate.
The Illinois Senate on Wednesday cleared the measure. The governor
issued a statement applauding the bill's passage and pledging to sign
[continues 906 words]
Voters in Denver, a city at the forefront of the widening national
debate over legalizing marijuana, have become the first in the nation
to effectively decriminalize another recreational drug: hallucinogenic
The local ballot measure did not quite legalize the mushrooms that
contain psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound. State
and federal regulations would have to change to accomplish that.
But the measure made the possession, use or cultivation of the
mushrooms by people aged 21 or older the lowest-priority crime for law
enforcement in the city of Denver and Denver County. Arrests and
prosecutions, already fairly rare, would all but disappear.
[continues 634 words]
SAN FRANCISCO - A billion dollars of tax revenue, the taming of the
black market, the convenience of retail cannabis stores throughout the
state - these were some of the promises made by proponents of
marijuana legalization in California.
One year after the start of recreational sales, they are still just
California's experiment in legalization is mired by debates over
regulation and hamstrung by cities and towns that do not want cannabis
businesses on their streets.
California was the sixth state to introduce the sale of recreational
marijuana - Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington paved the
way - but the enormous size of the market led to predictions of
soaring legal cannabis sales.
[continues 1167 words]
Legalizing marijuana is looming as a next big political showdown at
the Minnesota State Capitol.
Fully legalizing marijuana in Minnesota is looming as a next big
political showdown at the Capitol, as a growing number of states are
ending bans on recreational cannabis.
Gov.-elect Tim Walz, who favors ending marijuana prohibition, will
replace Gov. Mark Dayton, who doesn't. A new Democratic House majority
will debate proposals to legalize next year and will likely take votes
on the issue as soon as 2019 or 2020. And, not one but two legal pot
parties -- the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party and Legal Marijuana
Now Party -- emerged with 5 percent of the vote in statewide
elections, giving them "major party status," which means automatic
ballot access and the chance for campaign subsidies.
[continues 1075 words]
Six days after confirming approval of medical marijuana dispensary
bans in Northboro and Bellingham, Attorney General Maura Healey's
office reversed its decision.
In an Aug. 25 Telegram & Gazette story, a spokesperson for the AG's
office confirmed that the office in June approved bylaws passed in the
two towns that ban medical marijuana dispensaries. The 2012 Medical
Marijuana law originally prohibited any municipality from banning
medical marijuana dispensaries. An AG spokeswoman said at the time the
approval was based on Section 56 (subsection d) of Chapter 55 Acts of
[continues 941 words]
An LDS missionary passes by the Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square in
Salt Lake City. Voters this fall in Utah will cast ballots on a
measure that would allow medical marijuana. (Isaac Hale / For The Times)
Brian Stoll faced a dilemma as his wedding day approached. For more
than a year, he had been smoking marijuana to treat severe back pain,
but to remain in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and get married in the temple, he had to stop using
[continues 1565 words]
State lawmakers and advocates pushing to legalize marijuana this year
aren't just touting legalization as a way to raise tax revenue and
regulate an underground pot market. They're also talking about fixing
a broken criminal justice system and reinvesting in poor and minority
communities that have been battered by decades of the government's war
The focus on justice and equity has sharpened over time, longtime pot
advocates say, as it's become clear that such issues should be
addressed and that doing so won't alienate voters -- most of whom,
polls consistently show, support legal marijuana. Civil rights groups
also have raised their voices in legalization discussions.
[continues 1505 words]
LOS ANGELES - A slight marijuana smell wafted out as a steady stream of
customers walked into a warehouse, its doors and windows covered by
Suddenly, police swooped in.
"Sheriff's department! Search warrant!" a Los Angeles County deputy
shouted as the team thundered through the front door and began hauling
out people in handcuffs.
The Compton 20 Cap Collective just south of Los Angeles that was
raided earlier this spring is one of hundreds of illegal marijuana
stores operating in LA County, where marijuana is legal for anyone 21
and over and retailers must be licensed to sell to them.
[continues 897 words]
Finding a place to house a medical marijuana dispensary is rarely an
easy task, but MariMed Advisors, which specializes in developing
cannabis businesses, encountered especially aggressive pushback
working for a client in Annapolis, Md., last year.
The company reviewed several hundred potential locations for the
client's proposed dispensary before finally finding one that met
nearly every one of the strict requirements demanded by officials of
Anne Arundel County. It had the proper zoning classification and the
necessary road access. It was not within 1,000 feet of a school. And,
as an added plus, the storefront was discreet, located below ground
level and behind another building.
[continues 1146 words]
LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural
Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every
The 45-year-old church pastor is anti-abortion, voted for President
Donald Trump and is a member of the National Rifle Association who
owns an AR-15 rifle. He also came of age during the 1980s and believed
in the anti-drug mantra that labeled marijuana as a dangerous gateway
But his view on marijuana changed as his pastoral work extended into
hospice care and he saw patients at the end of their lives benefiting
from the use of cannabis.
[continues 687 words]
In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use,
activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: "magic mushrooms."
Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would
eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose
active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and
changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin
might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.
"We don't want individuals to lose their freedom over something that's
natural and has health benefits," said Kevin Matthews, the campaign
director of Denver for Psilocybin, the group working to decriminalize
magic mushrooms in Colorado's capital.
[continues 936 words]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a longtime opponent of legalizing recreational
marijuana, now says the federal government should not interfere in
California's legal marijuana market.
In comments to McClatchy Tuesday -- in the middle of a 2018 campaign
for her seat in a state that has settled into the legal pot market --
the California Democrat said she was open to considering federal
protection for state-legalized marijuana.
Feinstein's office said her views changed after meetings with
constituents, particularly those with young children who have
benefited from medical marijuana use.
[continues 968 words]
America's marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420
holiday : Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana,
according to a national advocacy group.
Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad
legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason.
Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this
Yet cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and it still has many
Here's a look at what some advocates and critics have to say about the
state of marijuana in the U.S. today:
[continues 2321 words]
Rep. Jim Neely has seen firsthand how a terminal illness like cancer
ravages the body.
His own daughter died from cancer three years ago. With a background
in health care working as a physician and managing a hospice agency,
Neely, R-Cameron, knows the importance of patients receiving comfort.
That's why he's sponsoring a bill that would legalize medical
marijuana in a smokeless form for Missourians with terminal illnesses.
"It's for people who are terminal to gain access for comfort," Neely
said. "This seems to me aE& as a good way to get started and seeing if
there are some benefits."
[continues 1242 words]
An Inland church that uses marijuana to worship is embroiled in a
bitter dispute with Jurupa Valley, which alleges the Vault Church of
Open Faith is primarily a pot store and has been trying to shut it
down for more than a year.
An association representing the church and about 15 others like it
fired back Friday, April 13, filing a claim against the city seeking
$1.2 million in damages and alleging harassment and discrimination.
Church leaders say they smoke marijuana or eat edibles as part of
spiritual meditation as a religious sacrament, but city officials say
they're using religion as a front for selling pot.
[continues 887 words]
SALT LAKE CITY -- The push for legalized marijuana has moved into Utah
and Oklahoma, two of the most conservative states in the country,
further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing
in the United States.
If the two measures pass, Utah and Oklahoma will join 30 other states
that have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to the
pro-pot National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws. Nine
of those states and Washington, D.C. also have broad legalization
where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could
become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.
[continues 790 words]
Since last month's release of revised regulations for adult
recreational marijuana use, municipalities are heading to town
meetings this spring to decide whether to ban or allow marijuana
establishments and ways to regulate them.
Shrewsbury, Sutton, Grafton, Northboro, Northbridge and Douglas are
among the Central Massachusetts communities that will deal with
marijuana issues at town meetings in April and May. Northboro may be
the only community that has an article that seeks to ban not only
recreational marijuana, but also medical marijuana
[continues 1017 words]
On Monday, the finance, revenue and bonding committee became the
fourth panel to hold a public hearing on recreational marijuana this
legislative session. This time, on a bill that focuses on the taxation
of marijuana and marijuana products sold in the state should they be
The bill, H.B. 5582, would allow Connecticut to tax marijuana and
marijuana products on and after the date marijuana is legalized,
though this year legalization is unlikely as one key committee has
already rejected the measure and another will not be voting on the
[continues 574 words]
The Riverside City Council voted Tuesday, March 27, to have staff
members prepare an expansive ban on marijuana-related activities.
The ban, which must be approved as a city ordinance before it takes
effect, would replace Riverside's current moratorium that temporarily
bans most marijuana business.
Councilman Chuck Conder proposed the ban, which would prohibit the
retail and commercial sale, commercial cultivation, distribution, and
outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana plants. He did so after a
delegation of city officials who traveled to Denver, including Conder
himself, gave a three-hour presentation on the effects of marijuana
[continues 469 words]
OAKLAND, Calif. - When officers burst into Rickey McCullough's
two-story home in Oakland a decade ago they noted a "strong fresh odor
of marijuana." Mr. McCullough had been growing large amounts of
marijuana illegally, the police said. He was arrested and spent a
month in jail.
A few weeks ago the city of Oakland, now promoting itself as a hub for
marijuana entrepreneurs, awarded Mr. McCullough, 33, a license to sell
marijuana and the prospect of interest-free loans.
Four hundred miles to the south, in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton,
Virgil Grant, 50, straddles the same two worlds, but with a different
outcome. He was a marijuana dealer in the 1990s whose customers are
said to have included rap stars like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac,
and he spent more than eight years in prison on marijuana convictions.
But his vision of starting a marijuana dispensary in his hometown was
dashed in January when the residents of Compton voted decisively to
ban marijuana businesses from city limits.
[continues 1415 words]
Joe Redner, Tampa's outspoken strip club owner and lung cancer
patient, is confident he'll be able to legally grow his own marijuana
plants soon, after stating his case in trial before a state circuit
court judge on Wednesday.
Redner, 77, made his case against the Florida Department of Health in
a Tallahassee courtroom Wednesday on why he has a constitutional right
to grow his own marijuana plants. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen
Gievers is expected to rule on the case next week.
[continues 613 words]
Marijuana companies will be banned from a majority of cities and towns
in Massachusetts when recreational sales begin this summer, a Globe
review has found, the latest indication that there will be fewer pot
stores in the early going than many consumers expected.
At least 189 of the state's 351 municipalities have barred retail
marijuana stores and, in most cases, cultivation facilities and other
cannabis operations, too, according to local news reports, municipal
records, and data collected by the office of Attorney General Maura
[continues 1220 words]
FRANKFORT -- Kentucky lawmakers shelved Wednesday a controversial bill
to legalize medical marijuana, but supporters of the measure pledged to
continue their fight.
Some backers of House Bill 166 were in tears after the House Judiciary
Committee voted 14-4 to "pass over" the measure. That's a procedure to
put off voting on the bill until a later date.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg, said it's doubtful
the proposal will be revisited in this year's legislative session but
"anything is possible."
[continues 357 words]
The state Senate on Thursday voted to ask on the November ballot
whether recreational use of marijuana should be legalized and taxed in
The ballot question would be only advisory, so even if voters approve,
lawmakers still would have to act.
Sponsoring Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said it is important to
poll the public because some lawmakers are already working to legalize
recreational marijuana use for people over 21. He noted that in most
states that allow recreational use, it was done by voters expressing
support in the ballot box.
[continues 305 words]
Pot is hot for Maryland lawmakers in Annapolis this year.
The General Assembly is considering more than two dozen bills on
marijuana -- or cannabis, as the substance is called when used as a
For marijuana enthusiasts, full legalization for recreational purposes
is at the top of the wish list. Bills in both the House and the Senate
would put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to let
voters decide whether to replace prohibition with a system of
regulated sales and taxation.
[continues 767 words]
There isn't a better reader of the tea lives in Annapolis than Senate
President Thomas V. Mike Miller. He's been saying for a couple of
years now that legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland --
something that seemed like a far-out idea when former Del. Heather
Mizeur made it a central plank of her 2014 gubernatorial campaign --
is inevitable. We're inclined to believe him. Public attitudes on the
drug have shifted rapidly in recent years, and it is now legal for
recreational use in nine states and (sort of) Washington, D.C. The
most recent polls on the issue report that about 60 percent of
Maryland voters support legalization. At least four of the seven
Democrats running to unseat Gov. Larry Hogan have voiced support for
some form of it. But legalization still may not happen as fast as
proponents might like.
[continues 713 words]
Illinois voters could get a say whether the state should legalize
recreational marijuana if lawmakers decide to put the question on
A state Senate committee advanced the idea on Wednesday, but a ballot
question would be non-binding. That means it would work like a
statewide public opinion poll and wouldn't legalize marijuana even if
a majority of voters approve. Lawmakers who want to legalize the drug
could get a political boost, though, if voters favor it.
State Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said putting the matter to a
vote would "bring the public into the debate" and "give them an
opportunity to register their opinion" as lawmakers debate the idea in
[continues 303 words]
Political pressure on the state Cannabis Control Commission
intensified Thursday, as Attorney General Maura Healey and 78 state
legislators joined Governor Charlie Baker in pressing the independent
agency to roll out a more limited recreational marijuana industry this
In letters sent at the close of a public comment period on the
commission's draft rules for pot companies, Healey and the lawmakers
urged cannabis regulators to delay their provisional plans to license
marijuana cafes, delivery services that don't also operate a physical
storefront, and "mixed-use" businesses such as art galleries and
theaters that want to sell cannabis on the side.
[continues 450 words]
Berkeley may be the first city to declare itself a cannabis sanctuary
city. A customer shops at marijuana dispensary MedMen in West
Hollywood in January. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to declare the city a
sanctuary for recreational marijuana, a move that may be the first of
The resolution, adopted Tuesday, prohibits Berkeley's agencies and
employees from using city resources to assist in enforcing federal
marijuana laws or providing information on legal cannabis activities.
[continues 367 words]
The Baker administration chastised Massachusetts pot regulators this
week, saying their draft plan to create one of the world's most
permissive regulated marijuana markets goes too far, too fast.
The Baker administration chastised Massachusetts pot regulators this
week, saying their draft plan to create one of the world's most
permissive regulated marijuana markets goes too far, too fast.
In a letter to the Cannabis Control Commission dated Monday , the
governor's office warned the independent agency that it had reached
beyond the core mandate of the state's marijuana legalization law by
proposing the licensure of businesses not seen in other states'
recreational markets: sit-and-get-high cafes, pot delivery services
not tied to dispensaries, and even movie theaters that want to offer
patrons cannabis-laced snacks.
[continues 921 words]
A public hearing on Whitman's proposed ban of recreational marijuana
sales will be held before the Planning Board on Feb. 12.
To take effect, the ban requires approval at a special town election,
which has been set for March 17, and approval at a special Town
Meeting. A date for the Town Meeting has not yet been set, according
to Town Administrator Frank Lynam.
The town voted in favor of the 2016 statewide ballot question
legalizing recreational marijuana, but Lynam said these votes test the
will of residents on whether they want non-medical retail sales within
"This is the community's opportunity to say yes or no here," he
For Jack in the Box Inc., the warm smell of marijuana is rising in the
As California prepares for legal recreational pot on Jan. 1, the
fast-food chain is partnering with a digital media company backed by
rapper Snoop Dogg on a new "munchie" meal aimed at cannabis
enthusiasts. While marijuana's connection to fast food is
well-established, Jack in the Box will become the first national chain
to explicitly embrace the drug.
The "Merry Munchie Meal," which will be available at three California
locations for a week in January for $4.20, features two tacos, french
fries, onion rings, five mini churros, three chicken strips and a
small drink. The price isn't random: The number 420 is used as a code
[continues 283 words]
At the two malls in town you can buy key chains and Christmas
ornaments shaped like marijuana leaves. Along a downtown shopping
corridor, paintings of cannabis plants grace storefront windows.
Even Kmart stocks its shelves with T-shirts and mugs decorated with
the signature green leaf and "Colorado est. 2012" -- the year the
state legalized recreational marijuana.
But that is the one pot product you can't buy in Colorado Springs.
When Coloradans voted overwhelmingly to make non-medical marijuana
legal, they left it up to cities whether to allow sales. Colorado
Springs, home to five military bases and known for its conservative
politics and religious values, blocked recreational cannabis sales.
Now some in town want to change that, saying the state's second
largest city is missing out on sales taxes that are enriching cities
[continues 1017 words]
COLUMBUS - One day after Ohio announced its choices for larger growing
sites that would fuel a fledgling medical marijuana industry, a legal
challenge was announced that could throw a wrench into the works.
Ironically, such a lawsuit would be filed by some of the chief players
behind 2015's failed ResponsibleOhio ballot initiative that would have
legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use.
"Whether we end up with a license or we don't end up with a license,
that's not what this is about..." said Jimmy Gould, chairman and chief
executive of CannAscend Ohio. "I care that this process is broken. I
care that there should have been better oversight over this process,
and I care where this ends up....
[continues 578 words]
The Garden State could soon become a bit more green.
Proponents of legalized marijuana in New Jersey are lining up in the
aftermath of Phil Murphy's election as governor, anticipating
no-questions-asked pot sales to adults by late next year with an ally
in the governor's office.
Murphy has named the head of a marijuana trade group as his chief of
staff, and a new association for marijuana retailers has formed. The
governor-elect vowed during his campaign to legalize the drug, and the
growing industry is counting on him to quickly make good on the pledge.
[continues 990 words]
LAS VEGAS -- For Hilary Dulany, long roots in Michigan and the
prospect of expanding her Oregon marijuana business are luring her
back to the Great Lakes State.
For Nancy Whiteman, the prospect of taking her business national has
her looking for partners in Michigan.
For the two women and many other entrepreneurs attending the MJ Biz
Conference in Las Vegas last week -- the pre-eminent conference where
18,500 professionals looking to get into the cannabis industry
gathered -- the common thread was Michigan's soon-to-explode marijuana
[continues 1137 words]
Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, provides daily
reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.
When Californians voted to legalize marijuana last year, they also
voted to let people petition courts to reduce or hide convictions for
past marijuana crimes. State residents can now petition courts to
change some felonies to misdemeanors, change some misdemeanors to
infractions, and wipe away convictions for possessing or growing small
amounts of the drug.
"We call it reparative justice: repairing the harms caused by the war
on drugs," says Eunisses Hernandez of the Drug Policy Alliance, a
nonprofit advocacy group that helped write the California ballot initiative.
[continues 1219 words]
Demonized for decades, marijuana remains controversial even on the
brink of its statewide legalization - and even in pot-friendly
strongholds such as San Francisco. The city is one of many still
debating local regulations that will either embrace an overdue retreat
from the drug war or effectively prolong the failed policy at the
For vacillating municipal officials, some context is in order. This
week alone, New Jersey and Virginia voters resoundingly elected
gubernatorial candidates promising to liberalize marijuana policy;
Constellation Brands, a Fortune 500 seller of many popular wine and
beer brands, was reported to have bought a nearly $200 million stake
in a Canadian cannabis company; and California's attorney general
approved signature-gathering for a ballot measure to legalize
[continues 272 words]
A citizens committee in Colton has launched an initiative to regulate
and tax local cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution in
order to generate millions of dollars in revenue for law enforcement,
schools and public safety programs.
The Committee for Safer Neighborhoods and Schools recently filed its
proposed marijuana ordinance with the city and will soon begin
gathering signatures for placement on the 2018 ballot.
Meanwhile, the Colton City Council awaits a drafted ordinance of
potential regulations recommended by a committee of city leaders and
[continues 531 words]