Earlier this year, New Jersey became the latest of 14 states to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older. Though the legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy decriminalizes the use or possession of up to six ounces of cannabis, putting an end to disproportionate arrests in communities of color, faith leaders in South Jersey are demanding more from state leadership to mitigate the fallout from within the Black community from earlier drug laws.
After years of false starts, New York state lawmakers said Wednesday that they had reached an agreement to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use by adults starting next year.
State Sen. Liz Krueger said lawmakers were finalizing a bill that would create a new state regulator for cannabis products and decriminalize the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana. New Yorkers will be allowed to cultivate marijuana for personal use and the state will study a new system for determining whether drivers are inebriated because of marijuana use, she said.
Voters approved legal recreational marijuana in the November election, but lawmakers and Gov. Phil Murphy have yet to reach a compromise on bills that would set up the new market and revise penalties for underage possession.
Although both houses of the legislature approved “enabling legislation” in December, and a decriminalization bill sits on Murphy’s desk, the first-term Democrat hasn’t signed either one.
October has been a good month for the marijuana industry, with the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF up about 13% so far against the S&P 500's 4% climb. Many pot stocks, including Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and Curaleaf Holdings (OTC:CURLF), spiked to levels they haven't reached in months. It's not often that there's such widespread bullishness in the industry.
A senior adviser to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden recently reiterated that, if elected, his administration would pursue decriminalizing marijuana and automatically expunging prior cannabis convictions.
Symone Sanders discussed the campaign’s criminal justice agenda during an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, emphasizing that Biden and his vice presidential running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will prioritize the modest drug policy reform proposals.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his vice presidential running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) discussed marijuana decriminalization and other drug policy reforms during their first joint interview as a ticket this weekend.
Harris was pressed on her prosecutorial record, specifically as it concerns her previous call for more law enforcement officers in the streets. She talked about policing reform but went on to state that, under a Biden administration, there will be a “policy that is going to be about decriminalizing marijuana.”
Delegates of the Democratic National Committee voted down a proposal to include the federal legalization of cannabis in the party’s 2020 platform on Monday. Platform committee delegate Dennis Obduskey of Colorado had introduced an amendment to include marijuana legalization in the platform, but the proposal was rejected by the committee with a vote of 105 to 60.
Georgia’s strict drug laws encourage police officers to search for drugs during otherwise routine interactions, such as traffic stops, said Georgia state Sen. Harold Jones II, a Democrat and former prosecutor. That increases the odds of encounters escalating and turning violent.
“I just see so many interactions between police and citizens that are based on drug interactions — trying to find narcotics,” said Jones, who has put forward a bill that would reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
More than 15,000 people who were convicted for low-level marijuana possession in Nevada have been automatically pardoned under a resolution from the governor that was unanimously approved by the state’s Board of Pardons Commissioners on Wednesday.
The measure extends unconditional clemency to individuals with possession convictions of up to one ounce from January 1986 to January 2017. It was introduced to the board by Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) last week.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) released a police accountability plan on Tuesday, and it includes proposals to legalize marijuana and decriminalize other drugs to reduce over-policing of communities of color.
The congressman cited statistics showing that black people are significantly more likely to be arrested over cannabis compared to white people, despite comparable rates of consumption. This pattern is part of the systemic racial injustice fueling mass protests across the country, he said.