Search Results: reduce penalties (78)

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Backers of a proposal that would make the maximum penalty for an ounce of marijuana a $25 fine in Albuquerque, New Mexico submitted signatures Monday hoping to get their proposal on the November ballot.
But even they admit it could be a long shot. Supporters turned in 16,000 signatures, hoping that 11,203 are actually valid. That seems like it would be a given, but verification of the first set of signatures showed that only 57 percent were valid.

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Texas Legislative Black Caucus
Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston) filed the decrim bill

House Bill 184, which would reduce penalties for marijuana possession in Texas, has already been filed and is ready for the Legislature’s upcoming session in January.

The bill, filed by Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), would reduce possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to a Class C misdemeanor, reports Sergio Chapa at Class C misdemeanors carry no jail time, and are punishable by up to a $500 fine.
“We are under no illusions that full decriminalization is gonna come to Texas anytime soon,” said Josh Schimberg of the Texas chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Schimberg said the Austin-based group is pushing for full legalization, but sees HB 184 as a step in the right direction.


​The California Assembly on Friday rejected Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s bill, AB 1017, to reduce marijuana cultivation from a mandatory felony to a “wobbler,” which would have allowed discretion on charging a misdemeanor. The vote was 24 yes to 36 no.

The bill had been supported by the district attorney of Mendocino County, but was opposed by the state D.A.’s association.
“The state Legislature has once again demonstrated its incompetence when it comes to dealing with prison crowding,” said disappointed California NORML Director Dale Gieringer.
“With California under court order to reduce its prison population, it is irresponsible to maintain present penalties for nonviolent drug offenses,” Gieringer said. “It makes no sense to keep marijuana growing a felony, when assault, battery, and petty theft are all misdemeanors.

tokeofthetown20113 Louisiana.jpg

Louisiana lawmakers will not be reducing the penalties for the possession of an ounce of marijuana and have decided to maintain some of the harshest pot penalties in the country.
The sad thing? The reductions still would have made criminals out of cannabis users and those caught still faced up to six months in jail and $500 fines as before. In fact, it wouldn’t have really done much of anything – yet lawmakers still were opposed to it based on knee-jerk principles alone.

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A law that many argued would help end widespread prison overcrowding in California was killed by Gov. Jerry Brown Tuesday.
Senate Bill 649 would have given state judges and district attorneys the ability to charge small possession cases as either felonies or misdemeanors, dropping prison times for personal amounts of drugs from up to three years in jail to under a year in some cases. Provisions were also included that would have increased treatment options for addicts.

Thumbnail image for tokeofthetown20113 Louisiana.jpg

A Louisiana bill to reduce crimes for repeat marijuana offenders and rid the state of abhorrent “three strikes” laws for possession of any amount failed to pass the state Senate yesterday.
House Bill 103 had already cleared the state House late last month, but Senate members refused to call the bill up for a vote on three separate occasions.


Legislative Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee To Hear Testimony On Decreasing Penalties for Adults Who Possess Small Amounts of Marijuana
DPA: Reducing Marijuana Penalties will Improve Lives, Save Taxpayer’s Dollars and Significantly Reduce the Burden on Law Enforcement Resources
The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) on Thursday will be testifying to the New Mexico Interim Legislative Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee about the importance of decreasing penalties for adults who possess small amounts of marijuana. DPA is scheduled to present at 10 a.m. in Room 307 at the State Capitol in Santa Fe.

Graphic: Sheree Krider

​Kentucky, long known as a state where excellent marijuana is grown, has lowered its penalties for possession of up to eight ounces of the herb, effective Friday, June 24.

Back in March the Kentucky Legislature overwhelmingly passed (97-2 in the House; 38-0 in the Senate) House Bill 463, which was then signed into law by Governor Steve Bershear. The new law reduces the penalty for personal possession of up to eight ounces of pot to a Class B misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of 45 days in jail.
But don’t get too carried away; those penalties are just for first offenses. Subsequent offenses with up to eight ounces are still felonies, for which you can get up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Graphic: Animal New York

​A shared desire to reduce the penalties for marijuana possession has inspired a rare show of bipartisanship and upstate-downstate agreement in the New York Legislature. A freshman GOP state senator is co-sponsoring a bill with a Democratic Assemblyman to reduce the penalty for public possession of small amounts of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a violation.

According to the cosponsors, many people — especially minorities in New York City — end up getting busted for small amounts if they are stopped by a police officer and told to empty their pockets — at which point the pot possession supposedly becomes “public,” reports Rick Karlin of the Albany Times Union.

Graphic: Medical Marijuana Blog

​Maryland on Tuesday removed criminal penalties for the medical use of marijuana when Gov. Martin O’Malley signed SB 308 as promised. The bill allows seriously ill patients to avoid prosecution when charged with marijuana possession, and also creates a commission to study medical marijuana laws and make recommendations on how Maryland can institute such a program.

This is the first time since 2003 that additional protections were considered, and it’s an important step toward protecting medical marijuana patients from arrest and ensuring they have safe access to their medicine, according to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
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