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  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate November 8, 2016

    It’s Election Day and there is no more important day if you are a marijuana consumer or a legalization supporter. Voters in an unprecedented nine states are deciding on statewide ballot measures to legalize and regulate marijuana use.

    Adult Use Ballot Initiatives


    Arizona

    Election Night Results: 47.8 percent approve, 52.2 disapprove with 81.7 percent reporting
    Name: Arizona Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
    Ballot Number: Proposition 205
    Proponents: The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (Marijuana Policy Project)
    Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to five grams of concentrates) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The law imposes a 15 percent tax on commercial marijuana sales, much of which is earmarked for school construction. Under the law, regulators must adopt rules governing the commercial production and retail sales of marijuana by September 1, 20

    Read the full text of the measure here.

    California

    Election Night Results: 55.6 percent approve, 44.4 percent disapprove with 42.5 percent reporting
    Name: Adult Use of Marijuana Act
    Ballot Number: Proposition 64
    Proponents: Let’s Get It Right CA
    Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrates) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. (Medical cannabis patients are not subject to these limits.) The measure prohibits localities from taking actions to infringe upon adults’ ability to possess and cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes. The initiative does not “repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt … laws pertaining to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.” Several other marijuana-related activities not legalized by the measure are reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. The law also provides for re-sentencing consideration for those found guilty of prior marijuana convictions. The revised marijuana penalties take effect on November 9, 2016. Retail sales of marijuana by state-licensed establishments are scheduled to begin under the law on January 1, 2018. On site consumption is permitted under the law in establishments licensed for such activity. Large-scale corporate players are restricted from becoming involved until 2023.

    Read the full text of the initiative here.

    Maine

    Election Night Results: 50.5 percent approve, 49.5 percent disapprove with 85.9 percent reporting
    Name: Marijuana Legalization Act
    Ballot Number: Question 1
    Proponents: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
    Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants, and/or up to 12 immature plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to two and one-half ounces of herbal cannabis) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The law imposes a 10 percent tax on commercial marijuana sales. Under the law, localities have the authority to regulate, limit, or prohibit the operation of marijuana businesses. On site consumption is permitted under the law in establishments licensed for such activity. The new law takes effect within 40 days. Regulations for marijuana-related businesses are scheduled to be in place by August 8, 2017.

    Read the full text of Question 1 here.

    Massachusetts

    Election Night Results: 53.4 percent approve, 46.6 percent disapprove with 93.9 percent reporting
    Name: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
    Ballot Number: Question 4
    Proponents: The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts
    Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce and/or up to 5 grams of concentrate; in addition, adults may legally possess up to ten ounces of marijuana flower in their home) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The law imposes a 3.75 percent excise tax on commercial marijuana sales. Under the law, localities have the authority to regulate, limit, or prohibit the operation of marijuana businesses. The new law takes effect on December 15, 2016. Regulators are scheduled to begin accepting applications from marijuana-related businesses on October 1, 2017.

    Read the full text of Question 4 here.

    Nevada

    Election Night Results: 54.3 percent approve, 45.7 percent disapprove with 68.5% reporting
    Name: Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative
    Ballot Number: Question 2
    Proponents: Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada
    Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to 3.5 grams of concentrates) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. (Home cultivation is not permitted if one’s residence is within 25 miles of an operating marijuana retailer.) Commercial marijuana production is subject to a 15 percent excise tax, much of which is earmarked to the State Distributive School Account. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2017. Regulations governing commercial marijuana activities must be in place by January 1, 2018.

    Read the full text of the initiative here.

    Medical Use Ballot Initiatives


    Arkansas

    Election Night Results: 53.2 percent approve, 46.8 percent disapprove with 98.2 percent reporting
    Name: The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment
    Ballot Number: Issue 6
    Proponents: David Couch
    Summary: Amends the state constitution to permit qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation may legally possess and obtain medical cannabis provided by state licensed dispensaries. The home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted under the law. Under the law, regulators will license up to 40 dispensary providers and up to eight marijuana cultivators. The new law takes effect on November 9, 2017. Regulators have 120 days following the law’s enactment to develop rules overseeing the new medical marijuana program.

    A summary of the Amendment is available here.

    Florida

    Election Night Results: 71.3 percent approve, 28.7 percent disapprove with 100 percent of the vote counted
    Name: Use of Marijuana For Debilitating Conditions
    Ballot Number: Amendment 2
    Proponents: United For Care
    Summary: Amends the Florida state constitution so that qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation may legally possess and obtain medical cannabis provided by state licensed dispensaries. Under the law, a “debilitating medical condition” for which marijuana may be recommended includes is defined as “cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” The home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted under the law. Department of Health regulators must begin issuing patient identification cards within nine months of the law’s enactment.

    Read the full text of Amendment 2 here.

    Montana

    Election Night Results: 56.3 percent approve, 43.7 percent disapprove with 63 percent reporting
    Name: Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative
    Ballot Number: I-182
    Proponents: Montana Citizens for I-182
    Summary: Expands the state’s medical marijuana laws. It permits licensed medical marijuana providers to serve more than three patients at one time and allows for providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense, and transport medical marijuana. I-182 repeals the requirement that physicians who provide certifications for 25 or more patients annually be referred to the board of medical examiners. It removes the authority of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities, and requires annual inspections by the state. The new law takes effect on June 30, 2017.

    Read the full text of the initiative here.

    North Dakota

    Election Night Results: 63.7 percent approve, 36.3 percent disapprove with 98.6 percent reporting
    Name: The North Dakota Compassionate Care Act 2016
    Ballot Number: Measure 5
    Proponents: North Dakota Compassionate Care
    Summary: Permits qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation may legally possess and obtain medical cannabis provided by state licensed dispensaries. Those who reside 40 miles or more away from an operating medical marijuana dispensary are permitted to grow limited quantities of marijuana (up to eight flowering plants) at home. The new law takes effect 90 days following voter approval.

    Read the full text of the initiative here.Marijuana Ballot Initiatives 2016

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate November 4, 2016

    take_actionIn less than five days, nine states will be voting on marijuana related ballot proposals potentially doubling the number of states that allow the recreational use of marijuana and expanding the therapeutic benefits of marijuana use to millions of Americans. Here’s where these measures stand in the latest polls.

    Arizona: According to an October Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite poll, 50 percent of registered voters in Arizona favor Proposition 205 and 42 percent oppose it. The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act allows adults twenty-one years of age and older to possess and to privately consume and grow limited amounts of marijuana (up to one ounce of marijuana flower, up to five grams of marijuana concentrate, and/or the harvest from up to six plants); it creates a system in which licensed businesses can produce and sell marijuana; establishes a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, and sale of marijuana; and provides local governments with the authority to regulate and limit marijuana businesses.

    AUMACalifornia: Arguably one of, if not the most important state this election to consider legalizing and regulating the adult use of marijuana is the golden state. Passage of the Proposition 64 would permit adults to legally grow (up to six plants) and possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrate) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The measure prohibits localities from taking actions to infringe upon adults’ ability to possess and cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes. The initiative language specifies that it is not intended to “repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt … laws pertaining to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.”

    According to recent October polling by Survey USA, 54 percent of likely voters support Proposition 64 and the measure “now appears positioned to become law.” For more information on the ballot proposal, please visit the AUMA website.

    Florida: Voters in Florida are getting their second chance at passing an expansive medical marijuana law this election day. In 2014, 58 percent of voters approved Amendment 2, however because state law requires a super-majority (60 percent of the vote) for constitutional amendments to pass, the amendment was narrowly rejected. It looks like this election will have different results though, with 71 percent of Floridians saying they will vote ‘yes’ on Amendment 2 according to an October poll by Saint Leo University. Passage of Amendment 2 would permit qualified patients to possess and obtain cannabis from state-licensed facilities.

    Maine: Hoping to bring legal recreational marijuana use for adults to the east coast, Maine is another exciting state to watch in the upcoming election. If enacted by voters in November, Question 1 or the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act would allow adults to legally possess up to two and one-half ounces of marijuana and to cultivate marijuana (up to six mature plants and the entire yields of said plants) for their own personal use. The measure would also establish licensing for the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. Retail sales of cannabis would be subject to a ten percent sales tax. Non-commercial transactions and/or retail sales involving medical cannabis would not be subject to taxation.

    Among likely voters, support for Question 1 leads by a margin of 50 percent to 41 percent, according to an October UNH Survey Center poll.

    cannabis_pillsMontana: Voters in Montana are also faced with an important marijuana related ballot decision this election day with Initiative 182. I-182 expands the state’s medical cannabis law by repealing the limit of three patients for each licensed provider, and by allowing providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense, and transport medical marijuana. I-182 repeals the requirement that physicians who provide certifications for 25 or more patients annually be referred to the board of medical examiners. I-182 removes the authority of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities, and requires annual inspections by the state. However, the measure is presently trailing in the polls. According to an October poll, commissioned by Lee Newspapers, 44 percent of voters approve of the measure while 51 percent are against it.

    Nevada: Nevadans will also be facing the decision on whether or not to legalize the adult use and regulation of marijuana on Tuesday. Question 2, if passed, would permit adults to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce and/or six plants) for non-commercial purposes. The measure also regulates and taxes the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. It states, “The People of the State of Nevada find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older, and its cultivation and sale should be regulated similar to other businesses.” According to an October poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, voters favor the measure by a margin of 47 percent to 43 percent.

    Massachusetts voters appear poised to enact Question 4, which allows adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana outside of their residences and up to 10 ounces of marijuana in an enclosed, locked space within their residences. A just-released Western New England University Polling Institute survey finds the measure leading 61 percent to 34 percent.

    Recent polling from Arkansas finds voters narrowly approving Issue 6 to regulate the use of medicinal marijuana by qualified patients, while no current polling is available regarding the passage of a similar measure in North Dakota.

    For a summary on all pending ballot proposals, as well as to see the latest videos from each of the campaigns, visit our Election 2016 page.

    Do you have election night plans? If you want to follow all of the marijuana ballot proposals being voted on check back in with us on our homepage Tuesday evening where we will be LIVE updating the results as they come in! We’ve teamed up with our friends over at cannabisradio.com to stream their live election night coverage as well and we hope you’ll join us!

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 3, 2016

    mj_salesAge restrictions in legal marijuana states are effectively keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors, according to newly published data in the Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs.

    A team of investigators from California, Colorado, and New Mexico assessed whether licensed retail cannabis facilities would sell to pseudo-underage buyers who failed to show proof of age.

    Authors reported, “Compliance with laws restricting marijuana sales to individuals age 21 years or older with a valid ID was extremely high and possibly higher than compliance with restrictions on alcohol sales.”

    They concluded, “The retail market at present may not be a direct source of marijuana for underage individuals.”

    Similar assessments of facilities in other jurisdictions have also shown that the overwhelming majority of marijuana retailers refuse sales to apparent minors.

    A pair of studies published earlier this week from Columbia University researchers reported that changes in marijuana’s legal status are “not associated with higher prevalence rates of marijuana use among adolescents.”

    An abstract of the study, “Pseudo-Underage Assessment of Compliance With Identification Regulations at Retail Marijuana Outlets in Colorado,” appears here.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 31, 2016

    no_marijuanaChanges in marijuana’s legal status under state law is not associated with increased cannabis use or with its perceived availability by young people, according to pair of recently published studies.

    In the first study, published online in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, researchers at Columbia University in New York surveyed the marijuana use habits of a national sampling of 1,310 adolescents between the years 2013 and 2015. Investigators assessed whether respondents from states with liberalized cannabis policies were more likely to acknowledge having consumed cannabis compared to those residing in jurisdictions where the substance remains criminally prohibited.

    Authors reported that the study’s findings “failed to show a relationship between adolescents’ use of marijuana and state laws regarding marijuana use.” … [They] suggest that eased sanctions on adult marijuana use are not associated with higher prevalence rates of marijuana use among adolescents.”

    In the second study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of investigators from Columbia University, the University of California at Davis, and Boston University examined the relationship between medical cannabis laws and the prevalence of marijuana availability and use by both adolescents and by those age 26 or older. Authors reported no changes over a nine-year period (2004 to 2013) with regard to the past-month prevalence of marijuana use by those ages 12 to 17 or by those between the ages of 18 and 25. Those age 25 and younger also experienced no change in their perception of marijuana’s availability. By contrast, self-reported marijuana use and availability increased among adults age 26 or older over this same time period.

    The conclusions are similar to those of numerous separate studies reporting that changes in marijuana’s legal status are not associated with any uptick in teens’ use of the substance, such as those here, here, here, and here.

    Abstracts of the two studies, “Is the Legalization of Marijuana Associated With Its Use by Adolescents?” and “State-level medical marijuana laws, marijuana use and perceived availability of marijuana among the general U.S. population,” appear online here and here.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 26, 2016

    legalization_pollSixty-three percent of Americans age 18 and older favor making the use of marijuana legal, according to national polling results compiled by the Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Survey.

    The percentage is the highest ever reported by the poll, and marks a 30 percent increase in public support for legalization since 2014.

    The poll possesses a margin or error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

    The results come only days after separate surveys released by the Pew Research Center and by Gallup also reported that Americans’ support for legalizing marijuana is at an all-time high.

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