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Politics => Vox Populi => Topic started by: Reginald Hudlin on April 29, 2014, 08:33:50 pm

Title: Yet Another State Wants To Legalize Marijuana
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on April 29, 2014, 08:33:50 pm
Yet Another State Wants To Legalize Marijuana
Posted: 04/29/2014 11:02 am EDT Updated: 04/29/2014 12:59 pm EDT

It's time to "legalize it" in Illinois.

That was the message from a cohort of elected officials at a Monday press conference in downtown Chicago that called for the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois.

“The main difference between the War on Drugs and Prohibition is that, after 40 years, this country still hasn’t acknowledged that the War on Drugs is a failure,” said Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

In what's perhaps the strongest show of support yet for legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois, Fritchey was joined by State Representatives Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) and Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) in calling for a task force to address all aspects of legalizing recreational marijuana, WGN reports.

“We can find a way to do this and look at what other states have done, and cherry pick the good ideas, dismiss the bad ideas and find a workable policy that recognizes what we’re doing now simply isn’t right,” Fritchey said, according to WBEZ.

Facing empty state coffers and a losing war on drugs, some elected officials are viewing marijuana as a lucrative option to boost tax revenue. In Colorado, where recreational marijuana was recently legalized, the state netted roughly $2 million in tax revenue from licensed dispensaries during the first month of sales alone.

Illinois is still in the midst of crafting rules for its medical marijuana pilot program, set to become the strictest in the nation. Fritchey and others acknowledged the statewide legalization of weed for recreational use is still a ways off, but believe decriminalization is the first step.

Beyond tax revenue, Fritchey said decriminalization could soothe other issues, like the racial disparity in drug enforcement efforts and arrests.

“You’ll see people getting swept off the streets on a daily basis on the South Side and the West Side," Fritchey said, according to the Sun-Times, referencing predominantly black and Latino areas of Chicago. "You don’t see kids getting arrested in Lincoln Park."

The pro-legalization lawmakers aren't without their opponents, including the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. At the conference, the group said legalizing recreational weed could be particularly dangerous for teens and motorists who may drive under the influence.

Cassidy told the Sun-Times “the sky won’t fall" if marijuana is decriminalized.

"Public opinion moves much more quickly than legislators’ [opinions]," Cassidy said.
Title: Re: Yet Another State Wants To Legalize Marijuana
Post by: Battle on June 16, 2019, 03:46:31 pm
Sunday, 16th June 2019
Virginia AG calls for state to legalize marijuana
by Associated Press



(RICHMOND, Va.) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for the legalization of marijuana.

Herring said Saturday that Virginia should start decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and eventually legalize the drug.

The Democratic attorney general said criminal prosecutions are costly to the state and local governments and disproportionately affect African Americans.

Herring made the remarks in an op-ed in the Daily Press and in comments to reporters at a Democratic fundraiser in Richmond.

Herring's announcement won't have any practical impact on marijuana prosecutions, which are typically handled at the local level.

But Herring said he hopes his public support for legalization will help spur lawmakers to act.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly has killed past efforts to decriminalize marijuana.






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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/virginia-ag-calls-for-state-to-legalize-marijuana/ar-AACWEDx?ocid=spartanntp (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/virginia-ag-calls-for-state-to-legalize-marijuana/ar-AACWEDx?ocid=spartanntp)
Title: Re: Yet Another State Wants To Legalize Marijuana
Post by: Hypestyle on June 17, 2019, 11:47:24 am
Sunday, 16th June 2019
Virginia AG calls for state to legalize marijuana
by Associated Press



(RICHMOND, Va.) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for the legalization of marijuana.

Herring said Saturday that Virginia should start decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and eventually legalize the drug.

The Democratic attorney general said criminal prosecutions are costly to the state and local governments and disproportionately affect African Americans.

Herring made the remarks in an op-ed in the Daily Press and in comments to reporters at a Democratic fundraiser in Richmond.

Herring's announcement won't have any practical impact on marijuana prosecutions, which are typically handled at the local level.

But Herring said he hopes his public support for legalization will help spur lawmakers to act.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly has killed past efforts to decriminalize marijuana.






Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/virginia-ag-calls-for-state-to-legalize-marijuana/ar-AACWEDx?ocid=spartanntp (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/virginia-ag-calls-for-state-to-legalize-marijuana/ar-AACWEDx?ocid=spartanntp)

with the (still sorta) racially-embattled Governor Northam, and the spectre of alleged sex-assault still hanging over Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, I wonder how far this effort will go, and will it go to a state referendum or will the legislature attempt to stop it with a new state law.
Title: Re: Yet Another State Wants To Legalize Marijuana
Post by: Battle on July 09, 2019, 05:41:05 pm
Tuesday, 9th July 2019
Hawaii has decriminalized marijuana

by German Lopez

(https://i.imgur.com/3Jt3H1t.gif)


Hawaii on Tuesday decriminalized marijuana, making it the 26th state to decriminalize or legalize the drug. (https://i.imgur.com/P2VfJSg.gif)

The new law removes the possibility of jail time as a penalty for up to three grams of marijuana, but maintains a $130 fine.

Hawaii’s Democrat-controlled legislature approved the bill and sent it to Democratic Gov. David Ige in May.

Ige didn’t sign it, but he also didn’t veto it, effectively letting it become law on Tuesday.

(https://i.imgur.com/rE3d2Xt.gif)
The new law will take effect on January 11, 2020.

“Unfortunately, three grams would be the smallest amount of any state that has decriminalized (or legalized) simple possession of marijuana,” the Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy group, noted in a statement.

“Still, removing criminal penalties and possible jail time for possession of a small amount of cannabis is an improvement.”
(https://i.imgur.com/P2VfJSg.gif)
This is different from marijuana legalization. Under decriminalization, possession of small amounts of pot no longer carries jail or prison time but can continue to carry a fine, and possession of larger amounts, repeat offenses, and sales or trafficking can still result in harsher sentences.

Under legalization, penalties for marijuana possession are completely removed, and sales are typically allowed.

Some opponents of legalization favor decriminalization as a step toward peeling back America’s harsh drug and criminal justice policies.

They see “tough on crime” policies as too punitive and costly, but they don’t want to resort to full legalization, which they fear would make pot too accessible in the US and allow big corporations to sell and market the drug irresponsibly.

The concern for legalization advocates is that decriminalization keeps the ban on selling marijuana, which means users wouldn’t have a legal source for the drug, and criminal organizations would therefore still have a source of revenue that they can use for violent operations around the world.

The fines, while less punitive than arrests or prison time, can also cause problems, since they’re often applied in a racially disparate manner. (https://i.imgur.com/P2VfJSg.gif)

Eleven states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana, although DC and Vermont don’t allow sales.

Fifteen additional states, now including Hawaii, have only decriminalized. (https://i.imgur.com/P2VfJSg.gif)

So far, marijuana legalization has failed to gain serious traction in Hawaii’s

Supporters of legalization argue that it eliminates the harms of marijuana prohibition:

the hundreds of thousands of arrests around the US, the racial disparities behind those arrests, and the billions of dollars that flow from the black market for illicit marijuana to drug cartels that then use the money for violent operations around the world.

All of this, legalization advocates say, will outweigh any of the potential downsides — such as increased cannabis use — that might come with legalization. (https://i.imgur.com/P2VfJSg.gif)

Opponents, meanwhile, claim that legalization will enable a huge marijuana industry that will market the drug irresponsibly.

They point to America’s experiences with the alcohol and tobacco industries in particular, which have built their financial empires in large part on some of the heaviest consumers of their products.

This could result in far more people using pot, even if it leads to negative health consequences.

Hawaii doesn’t seem ready for legalization, but it has now embraced decriminalization.(https://i.imgur.com/P2VfJSg.gif)









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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/hawaii-has-decriminalized-marijuana/ar-AAE5EsG?ocid=spartandhp (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/hawaii-has-decriminalized-marijuana/ar-AAE5EsG?ocid=spartandhp)
Title: Re: Yet Another State Wants To Legalize Marijuana
Post by: Battle on December 01, 2019, 09:07:02 pm
Sunday, 1st December 2019
Activist and poet John Sinclair among first to purchase legal recreational marijuana in Michigan, 50 years after his historic arrest

by Gus Burns

(https://i.imgur.com/3Jt3H1t.gif)




(ANN ARBOR, Michigan) -- Marijuana activist and poet John Sinclair, although older now at 78, is no less the rebel he was in 1969.

“I knew they were going to be after me, but you can’t let them determine your life,” he said of his 1971 release from prison for possession of two joints.

About 9:49 a.m. Sunday, December 1st, at Arbors Wellness in Ann Arbor with a happy line of hundreds wrapped around the block, Sinclair made what was likely the first-ever licensed recreational retail marijuana sale in Michigan.

He paid $160.35 cash and grinned as he clutched a handful of pre-rolled joints with names like Gorilla Glue no. 9 and Forbidden Jelly.

“Things have come full circle, haven’t they, John,” longtime marijuana activist Rick Thompson asked Sinclair, a Detroit resident who resembles a jazz musician with his iconic goatee beard and now uses a wheelchair.

“It would be more full if they came and gave me back the weed that they took,” Sinclair responded.

Sinclair said he’s smoked marijuana every day since 1962, not including the nearly two years he spent in prison between 1969 and 1971 serving a 10-year sentences that was later overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court.

Arbors Wellness is one of three dispensaries in Ann Arbor that received one of the state’s first recreational marijuana licenses and began selling marijuana to the general public Sunday, Dec. 1st.

There’s a reason Sinclair was at the front of the line.

Nearly 15,000 people gathered at the University of Michigan’s Crisler Center in Ann Arbor to protest harsh marijuana laws in December 1971.

(https://i.imgur.com/tjhZ6N3.jpg)

“They gave him ten for two, what else could Judge Colombo do?” sang John Lennon alongside Yoko Ono as a mass of people shouted, danced and openly smoked marijuana.

They demanded the release of White Panther Party founder and activist John Sinclair.

Fifty years ago, Wayne County Judge Robert J. Colombo sentenced Sinclair, a then-27-year-old Flint native, to between 9 1/2 and 10 years in prison for possession of two marijuana joints he was accused of giving to an undercover Detroit cop.

"He isn’t a criminal, he isn’t a criminal at all,” Sinclair’s attorney Chuck Ravitz told Colombo at sentencing.

"The criminals with respect to this law are the doctors, the legislatures, the attorneys who know, who know because they have the knowledge, that these laws are unconstitutional, that these laws defy all knowledge of science.”

A half century later, the same system that sentenced Sinclair to a decade behind bars is sanctioning commercial sale of the plant that put him there, thanks to a 2018 ballot initiative passed by 56% of Michigan voters.

That vote has now come to its culmination.

Marijuana prohibition, at least in Michigan and 10 other states, is over.

After 10 a.m. Sunday, anyone with a picture ID over the age of 21 became legally able to purchase marijuana from a growing number of licensed stores across the state.

That includes four in Ann Arbor, mere miles from that historic 1971 concert that evolved into what’s now known as Hash Bash, an annual pro-marijuana rally on the University of Michigan campus.

Licensed recreational marijuana businesses as of Wednesday, November 27:

Arbors Wellness, 321 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor, 734-929-2602

Exclusive Brands at 3820 Varsity Dr. in Ann Arbor, 734-494-0772

Greenstone Provisions, 338 Ashley St. in Ann Arbor, 734-773-3075

Michigan Supply and Provisions, 1096 E. Main in Morenci, 517-458-3002

Lit Provisioning Centers, 600 W. Seventh in Evart, 231-515-1600

Skymint, 1958 S. Industrial Hwy. in Ann Arbor, 734-627-7360












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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/activist-and-poet-john-sinclair-among-first-to-purchase-legal-recreational-marijuana-in-michigan-50-years-after-his-historic-arrest/ar-BBXBubj?li=BBnbfcL (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/activist-and-poet-john-sinclair-among-first-to-purchase-legal-recreational-marijuana-in-michigan-50-years-after-his-historic-arrest/ar-BBXBubj?li=BBnbfcL)
Title: Re: Yet Another State Wants To Legalize Marijuana
Post by: Battle on December 24, 2019, 11:59:26 am
Tuesday, 24th December 2019
Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on New Year's Day
by Brendan Obrien

(https://i.imgur.com/3Jt3H1t.gif)




(CHICAGO, Illinois) - Many pot-smoking adults in Illinois will ring in the new year on a high note when recreational marijuana use becomes legal in the state on Jan. 1st.


Starting New Year's Day, people 21 and older will be able to legally buy up to 30 grams of marijuana flower, 5 grams of marijuana concentrate, or 500 grams of THC-infused products such as edibles at licensed commercial dealers throughout the state. (https://i.imgur.com/P2VfJSg.gif)

Cannabis consumers are expected to flock to the handful of licensed shops across Chicago on New Year's Day.

On the city's North Side, a dealer sold $250 tickets to clients who wanted to be at the front of the line when the store opens early in the morning next Wednesday.

Another shop, Dispensary 33, in the city's Uptown neighborhood, will use a paging system to usher in customers who are waiting at a bar next door.


(https://i.imgur.com/POcjM05.gif)

"The whole neighborhood is joining on the party... it'll be a whole new world in Chicago on Jan. 1st," manager Abigail Watkins said, noting that many businesses in the neighborhood are offering specials and deals to celebrate the day.


Illinois joins 10 other states and the District of Columbia where small amounts of the drug for adult use is legal. Medical marijuana in Illinois has been legal since 2014.

In June, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed into law marijuana legislation that also allows for some 700,000 marijuana-related records and convictions to be erased.

Not everyone approves of the legislation.

"The message that... these foolish politicians are sending to our communities and especially to our young kids is that it's no big deal," said Illinois Family Institute Executive Director David Smith, who opposes the measure.

"We know that it's a big deal from all of the studies that have been done about the high-potency marijuana that is today's product... we are seeing a spike in marijuana illnesses and addictions," he said.

Private pot sales, driving while high and consuming marijuana in public will remain prohibited in state.

The law is projected to generate more than $57 million in new tax and fee revenue for Illinois in fiscal 2020, which begins on July 1 for the financially troubled state, according to Illinois’ revenue department. (http://[url=https://i.imgur.com/11Qgc6y.gif]https://i.imgur.com/11Qgc6y.gif[/url])"Peace."
















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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/recreational-marijuana-becomes-legal-in-illinois-on-new-years-day/ar-BBYiUaa?ocid=spartanntp (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/recreational-marijuana-becomes-legal-in-illinois-on-new-years-day/ar-BBYiUaa?ocid=spartanntp)
Title: Re: Yet Another State Wants To Legalize Marijuana
Post by: Battle on May 22, 2020, 12:50:09 pm
Friday, 22nd May 2o2o
Virginia governor signs bill decriminalizing marijuana possession
by J. Edward Moreno


(https://i.imgur.com/3Jt3H1t.gif)




Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) signed a bill Thursday making it the 27th state to decriminalize marijuana possession.

The new law takes effect July 1st and reduces penalties for offenses that involve personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil violation.

It marks one of many progressive initiatives the state government has been able to accomplish since Democrats took over the statehouse and the governor’s office in 2019.

On Thursday, Northam signed Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 972, which create a civil penalty of no more than $25 for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.

A person hit with the penalty would not be arrested and it would not create a criminal record.

The violations will be in the form of a summons, much like a motor vehicle law violations, with no court costs.

As of now, a first-offense marijuana violation in the state is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 in fines, 30 days in jail and a criminal record.

The bills were passed by the legislature at the end of their session in March.

Under the new law, previous marijuana violations will be sealed from criminal records except for “certain circumstances," meaning people with marijuana violations won't have to disclose them when applying to schools or jobs.

“The move to decriminalize cannabis possession in Virginia is long overdue," Steve Hawkins, the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a press release Thursday.

"We applaud the legislature and the governor for implementing a policy that will allow law enforcement to focus resources on more serious crimes and prevent Virginians from having their lives derailed for possessing cannabis, a substance that is safer than alcohol,” he added.























Would You Like To Know More?
https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/499188-virginia-governor-signs-bill-decriminalizing-marijuana-possession