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NORML Blog

  • by NORML November 7, 2018

    With the approval of Proposition 2, Utah has become the 33rd state to regulate the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis products to qualified patients. The vote comes ahead of a proposed special legislative session of the Utah legislature to address specific rules and regulations governing medical cannabis patient access.

    NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said, “It is our hope that Utah’s politicians will respect the will of the electorate and move swiftly to enact The Utah Medical Cannabis Act in a manner that comports with both the spirit of the law and the letter of law.”

    Under legislation enacted by the legislature in 2018, only those patients who are terminally ill may potentially access cannabis-infused products. To date, however, such products are not yet legally available.

    According to national polling compiled earlier this year by Quinnipiac University, 91 percent of voters nationwide support “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes.”

     

  • by NORML

    Michigan legalizes marijuana

    With the approval of voter-initiated Proposition 1, Michigan has become the 10th state to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for adults.

    NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said,  “Voters in Michigan sent a resounding rebuke to their state’s failed policy of prohibition and elected to follow a new, more sensible path of regulation and legalization. Instead of arresting thousands of citizens a year for possession of a plant, Michigan will now be able to prioritize law enforcement resources towards combating violent crime, honor personal freedom and civil liberties, end the racist application of weaponizing prohibition laws against communities of color, and collect tax revenue that was previously going to black market elements and put it towards important social programs such as education and infrastructure development.”

    Proposition 1 permits those over the age of 21 to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

    “For years, Michigan has been one of the leading states in the nation in total annual marijuana-related arrests,” added Altieri, “In 2016, police made over 22,000 marijuana-related arrests, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of over $94 million. That wasteful and harmful practice ends today.”

    According to recently compiled nationwide survey data provided by Gallup, 66 percent of US citizens — including majorities of self-identified Republicans, Independents, and Democrats — believe that the adult use of marijuana should be legal.

     

  • by NORML

    With the approval of Amendment 2, Missouri has become the 32nd state to regulate the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis products to qualified patients.

    The amendment was one of three competing ballot measures that seek to regulate medical cannabis use in Missouri. Of the three, NORML only endorsed Amendment 2. That is because we believe that Amendment 2 is written in a manner that best provides for the needs of patients and their physicians.

    “This is a patient-centered proposal that puts power in the hands of state-licensed physicians and their patients, not politicians or bureaucrats. Passage of Amendment 2 creates a robust statewide system for production and sale of medical cannabis,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “Of the three proposals on the ballot, we believed that Amendment 2 was the clear choice for voters, and the voters agreed.”

    According to national polling compiled earlier this year by Quinnipiac University, 91 percent of voters nationwide support “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes.”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 6, 2018

    One of Congress’ most powerful and vocal marijuana prohibitionists, Republican Pete Sessions of Texas, failed in his re-election bid for Congress’ 32nd District. Sessions was defeated by Democratic challenger Colin Allred.

    Representative Sessions used his position as Chairman of the House Rules Committee to block House floor members from voting on over three-dozen marijuana-related amendments during his leadership tenure. His actions single-handedly killed a number of popular, bipartisan-led reforms — such as facilitating medical cannabis access to military veterans and amending federal banking laws so that licensed marijuana businesses are treated like other legal industries.

    “Representative Pete Sessions was the single greatest impediment in the US House to the passage of common-sense, voter-supported marijuana law reform measures,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “His departure opens the door for the possibility of House lawmakers in 2019 enacting a number of significant, NORML-endorsed policy changes.”

    Representative Sessions received an ‘F’ grade in NORML’s latest Congressional Scorecard. By contrast, his Democratic challenger received a B+ grade as a result of his stated support for cannabis decriminalization and medical marijuana access.

    Texas’ 32nd Congressional District represents the city of Garland and the northeastern section of Dallas.

  • by NORML

    Florida voters today passed Amendment 4, which amends the state constitution to restore voting privileges to those with non-violent felony convictions.

    Under Florida law, first-time possession of marijuana in amounts greater than 20 grams (less than one ounce) is classified under state law as a felony offense. Only one other state, Arizona, classifies minor marijuana offenses so punitively.

    Commenting on the vote result, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Florida is a national leader in annual marijuana arrests. In many cases, those arrested are charged with felony offenses for simple possession. Passage of Amendment 4 restores voting privileges to those tens of thousands of Floridians who have been stigmatized by a felony marijuana conviction, and makes it clear that the collateral consequences of a non-violent drug possession conviction should not forever bar one from participating in the democratic process.”

    In 2016, Floridians passed a separate constitutional amendment regulating medical cannabis access to qualified patients.

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