Search Results: decriminalization/ (11)

Prohibition is part of the international order.

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Download WeedWeek’s free 2016 election guide here.

As Canada moves to legalize it has two options regarding international treaties to which it is a part. It could take a “ principled stand” against prohibition or quietly withdraw from the treaties and then attempt to re-enter them with exemptions. Canada being Canada, it is leaning towards the quiet approach.

Virginia isn’t very friendly when it comes to cannabis. Less than a half-ounce can get you up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines and anything over a half-ounce nets you anywhere from a mandatory year in jail to 10 years. Even paraphernalia can get you a year in the pokey.
But a proposal from Virginia state Sen. Adam Ebbin would ease some of that by decriminalizing an ounce or less of pot and dropping the fine to $100. The bill would also lessen the penalties for people caught growing six plants or less – though that would still remain illegal.

In January of this year, The Washington Post conducted a poll of Washington D.C. residents which found that 8 in 10 polled said they were in favor of either decriminalization, or straight up legalization, of weed in the nation’s capital.

In March, the City Council voted to decriminalize cannabis possession, knocking the punishment down from a year in jail, to a $25 fine. The District’s medical marijuana program is expanding, and much like in Colorado, none of these things are leading to the reefer madness we’ve been warned about for decades.
But with legalization talk being passed around the tightest circles in the nation’s capital, leave it to local Congressional Republicans to try to halt the inevitable progress of reform.

The U.S. House of Representatives is standing in the way of Washington D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization laws, refusing to authorize funding for the law change.
Despite that, Mayor Vincent Gray says the city will still move forward with the change, which makes the possession of about an ounce of pot a civil infraction punishable by a $25 fine. But Gray also warns that House Republicans could possibly shut down the city’s medical marijuana program as well.

In a time of extreme uncertainty in the marijuana industry, one thing is still certain, business is booming.
According to data released in a 180 page report last month by Medical Marijuana Business Daily, retail medical cannabis sales in the U.S. are predicted to rise between 10-15% over last year – potentially earning up to $1.5Billion in 2013. Fueled by legalization in Washington and Colorado, and favorable marijuana polling across the country, the Marijuana Business Factbook 2013 predicts that we will see that billion and a half in weed sales double in 2014, to $3Billion nationwide, and then double again to upwards of $6Billion annually by 2018.

Graphic: The Fresh Scent

18-18 Tie Was Broken By Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman

The Connecticut Senate has passed a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill now goes to the state House.
The measure passed on Saturday after Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman broke an 18-to-18 tie vote. The bill now moves to the Connecticut House of Representatives for final action, report Susan Haigh and Cory Ziman for the Associated Press.

Former Mexico President Vicente Fox: “We’re talking about the last frontier of prohibition”

​Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, a onetime ally of the United States in the War On Drugs who now advocates legalization, said at Thursday news conference in San Diego that prohibiting drugs doesn’t work.

Fox, a member of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, compared drug use to sexual orientation and a woman’s right to an abortion, reports Richard Marosi at the Los Angeles Times.
“We’re talking about the last frontier of prohibition,” Fox said. “Tell me something else that is prohibited today? Abortion is permitted. Marriage between same-sex [people]now is permitted … Smoking cigarettes is permitted; alcohol is permitted.”
Fox, who was in San Diego on a fund-raising trip for his presidential library, has become an outspoken proponent of drug legalization, joining other prominent Latin American leaders who agree that law enforcement efforts to stop drug consumption and distribution are futile.
Fox’s views on drug legalization caused Point Loma Nazarene University to cancel its invitation to have him speak at their San Diego campus earlier this year.

Photo: The Edge Apartments
Man, that fountain would be a great way to cool off at Seattle Hempfest this August.

​Seattle Hempfest, the world’s largest pro-cannabis annual event, may be held underneath the Space Needle this year.

With the City of Seattle scheduling heavy construction this year in Myrtle Edwards Park, where Hempfest has been held for the past 15 years, the event’s promoters are currently in negotiation for a 20th Anniversary venue upgrade to Seattle Center, according to an internal email sent to supporters, members and VIPs.
“Such a move to the world renowned Seattle Center — home of the 1962 World’s Fair — would be a major step up for the visibility and legitimacy of our event (and movement, sponsors, etc.), and might attract media attention at the national level,” the Seattle Hempfest Membership Committee wrote in the email. (That “media attention at the national level” part just came true.)

Photo: Hampden-Sydney College
Delegate Harvey Morgan: “Making simple possession a civil rather than a criminal offense makes sense”

​Virginia lawmakers will have a chance to end criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession when the Assembly convenes in January — and the fight to decriminalize pot is being led by an 80-year-old Republican.

GOP Delegate Harvey Morgan, an assistant clinical professor of pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University, is sponsoring House Bill 1443, which would replace the criminal fine for pot possession with a civil penalty and eliminate the 30-day jail sentence and criminal record following conviction.
HB 1443 would not change penalties for the “manufacture” or distribution of marijuana, reports Eric W. Dolan at The Raw Story. It would also continue to require drug screening and education for minors convicted of pot possession.

Photo: Chris Mikula/The Gazette
Ottawa Police Chief Vern White said although he doesn’t want people to have criminal records for simple marijuana possession, he doesn’t agree that cannabis is harmless.

​Ottawa Police Chief Vern White said he isn’t interested in arresting marijuana users or giving them criminal records, and would support discussing decriminalization. “My only concern about the word ‘decriminalizing’ is the suggestion to the public that [marijuana]is not a dangerous drug,” he said.

The Ottawa Citizen asked about pot decrim following a recent community meeting, reports Tony Spears.
An Angus Reid poll earlier this month showed a majority of Canadians want to legalize marijuana. And on April 20, hundreds flocked to Parliament Hill to light up in an annual tradition in support of decriminalization.
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