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Legislators Seek To Delay The Enactment Of Voter-Initiated Marijuana Laws

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 18, 2017

    take_actionLegislators in a number of states are pushing forward measures to delay the enactment of several voter-initiated marijuana laws.

    In Arkansas, House lawmakers are moving forward with legislation, House Bill 1026, to postpone the deadline for establishing the state’s new medical marijuana program by 60 days. Fifty-three percent of voters approved Issue 6 on Election Day, which called on lawmakers to regulate the production and dispensing of medical cannabis within 120 days.

    In Maine, leading House and Senate lawmakers have endorsed emergency legislation, LD 88, to delay retail marijuana sales by at least three months. Under the voter-initiated law, rules regulating the commercial marijuana market are supposed to be operational by January 1, 2018. (By contrast, separate provisions permitting adults to possess and grow specific quantities of cannabis take effect on January 30, 2017.)

    In North Dakota, Senate lawmakers unanimously passed emergency legislation, Senate Bill 2154, to postpone the deadline for the enactment of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act. Sixty-four percent of voters backed the measure, which gave lawmakers a 90-day window to regulate the distribution of medical marijuana.

    Massachusetts’ lawmakers previously enacted legislation imposing a six-month delay on the licensed production and retail sales of marijuana. Legislators are also debating making additional changes to the law, including raising the proposed retail sales tax and limiting the number of plants an adult may grow at home.

    In Florida, health regulators are also calling for significant changes to Amendment 2, which passed with 71 percent of the vote.

    NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri strongly criticized the proposed changes and delays, calling them “an affront to the democratic process.” He added: “Voters have lived with the failings of marijuana prohibition for far too long already. Lawmakers have a responsibility to abide by the will of the voters and to do so in a timely manner.”

    38 Responses to “Legislators Seek To Delay The Enactment Of Voter-Initiated Marijuana Laws”

    1. Donna says:

      If most of you where as passionate in other forms of governing and social acceptance as you demonstrate here with regards to pot smoking the world would be a much better place. Unfortunately, there is a very high possibility that most of you that post (not all)here have a narrow point of view with regards to such endeavors and simply want to get high. That being said I do agree that marijuana should be legalized without any form of government or commercial evolvement to minimize the black market. In other words if you want to smoke it – grow it.

      • Julian says:

        Donna, “narrow points of view” come from presumptive stereotyping and judgements cast upon people we do not know without even asking what other government interests they may or may not have that get them “high.” (And coming from a blog where one post mentions Governor Christie smoking crack, that’s a broad list of interests to cover… broader than Christie himself).
        In the words of rapper Talib Kweli “We get high on all types of drugs when all we need is love.”
        But the real question is what difference does it make to you if I enjoy getting high? Even if my only purpose of consuming marijuana was the pure pleasure, which in plain fact it is not, or even if I didn’t persue other venues of activism besides marijuana legalization, which I most certainly do, so long as I am not harming anyone and contributing to society in some productive manner what business is it of yours?

    2. The Terrible says:

      I say we all start smoking weed everyday!!!!!! Fuck the law!!! What are they gonna do? Arrest us all for using the safest plant in the world??? Fuck all assholes against cannabis, Fuck them all!!!!!

    3. Mark Mitcham says:

      In other words, you support marijuana legalization, but you still consider marijuana users as flawed individuals, one way or another, because we “simply want to get high.”

      Okay. Thank you for your support for marijuana legalization. I can live with your low opinion of me, more easily than I can do jail time or pay financial penalties, so I live peacefully with people like you in society. I won’t try to make you smoke it, if you won’t try to make me stop smoking it.

      But, I would encourage you to educate yourself on the topic of the medical applications for cannabis. The science is in, backing up what people have known for thousands of years — marijuana is safe and effective medicine. Fact!

      It also gets you high. So what? How is that a problem?

      Finally, marijuana prohibition teaches us all about social justice, and the need for citizens to stand up for social justice.

      See you at the Women’s March!

    4. Anonymous says:

      NORML, please post my comments, no desire to be banned or ostricized. Marijuana legalization out here in Michigan and Ohio is a DAILY passion of mine. I hate Prohibition, I hate them tellin us what we should be doing with OUR free time. Even whom we associate with. Please continue to post my comments, unless they are, of course, out of line. Hypens, too lazy. To THIS article. It remains evident these politized idiots remain in opposition to marijuana legalization.

    5. Matt says:

      NORML, I am a VERY active member in our cause to reform marijuana laws, and to end this insanity. i only reqest that you continue to post my posts. I will keep fighting, regardless. Our people WANT THIS, and that is what we are going to give them! Trump, or otherwise!

    6. Matt says:

      I realize the diffrence between an appropriate, and inapproprite, not to mention unprofessional and WRONG approach. Please do no post this.

      I view myself, despite everything, as still a powerful member of this movement. I am nobody’s IDIOT, and am activly involved, numerous states have joined us, including prize California. Regulations are not in place, nor is state law, which means, for so many youngs in Cali, get out of the way, stop it, it is DRUG REHAB, or jail. PRSON. if they set you up on inevitable failure prison probation, with the rehab counselors whos deserve a serious re-education, who won;t get one from me!!!! I can’t go any further on this one. Prosecutor Dobsen,( NO ON Issue 2) Judge Reger, I must thank you!

    7. slash432 says:

      I’m a trump supporter and I support legalizing MJ and so does every trump supporter I know in my personal life. The idea that republican voters are against marijuana legalization is absurd.

      Even if Trump doesn’t legalize it, I still support him because there are more important issues than legalizing marijuana at the moment.

      • Julian says:

        “The idea that Republican voters are against legalization is absurd.”
        And yet Trump nominated the most prohibitionist, asset-forfeiting-without-due-process Sen. Jeff Sessions to Attorney General. And Republicans on on the Senate Judiciary are poised to confirm him, not Democrats.
        And you STILL support Trump…
        So while you are entitled to believe there are other issues “more important than marijuana legalization” of which I partially agree, because climate change is the biggest issue to affect all of our daily lives yet legally regulated hemp and cannabis production are a major force to mitigate global warming and return our planet to homeostatic balance… make one thing clear, you in NO way get to vote for or support Trump and say you are FOR legalization of marijuana. That is where I call bull$#!+.
        And I vote down both party lines… if theres a Republican that wants to work with decriminalization or legalization I will work with that Republican… and in my state legislature at least I can say I do…
        But if you think for one moment that the drug war ONLY pertains to blacks and latinos or, whatever your race, that you can afford to let Drug War III happen because it wont affect you, I got news for you: lock up yo wife, lock up yo daughter an lock up yo husband cuz Jefforey Beuregard Sessions iz rapin EVERYbody up in here!

    8. Mouth says:

      How can this article be true: if tens of thousands of cannabis supporters temporarily gave up their dreams to become cops and soldiers etc, acting like a virus upon the system and gaining leverage–risking their jobs and their future as well (and it sucks losing a good job doing the right thing . . . it’s very painful and depressing). Cops are not arresting people anymore for drugs because too many of us joined the rank and file, giving up our dreams totally or temporarily. You cannot be counter culture until you’ve encountered the culture you are countering. Just say no to arresting drug users by being a cop and that is how we win from the inside out . . . lest we really believe it’s not the government enforcing the laws. A government for the people by the people requires our kind to be the government if we believe in legalizing cannabis with truth and action.

    9. deeboKY says:

      I fear that some of these state’s AGs are talking with Sessions already. They’ve decided to push back timeframes because the hammer is coming

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