Search Results: reform (716)

Mayor Michael Hancock wasn’t a fan of legal marijuana before Colorado voters approved it in 2012, but he’s since become a public defender of the plant — or at least, the actions taken by the City of Denver to comply with Amendment 64. On Sunday, June 10, Hancock’s office announced that he’s spearheading a coalition of mayors from around the country in an effort to push Congress to protect states with legal pot.

Although he originally opposed legalization efforts, Hancock was the mayor of the first major city to legalize marijuana, and since the first recreational sales on January 1, 2014, Denver has become into one of the nation’s capitals of legal weed, with over 200 dispensaries and 1,100 licensed pot businesses now operating in the city, according to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. Now, he and mayors of at least eight other cities are asking Congress to listen to them about their experiences so that legalization “can be done smoothly, safely and effectively.”

Marijuana reform is headed for Texas, but it probably won’t get here anytime soon.

During the 85th Texas legislative session, which ended in May, two cannabis reform bills made it further than pretty much any similar efforts have before. Although both laws had an apparent majority in the Texas House of Representatives, the session ended before they could be voted on.

One bill aimed to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The other tried to create a real medical marijuana program. While the bills’ legislative journey says a lot about how much politicians in Texas have warmed to marijuana, it will probably be at least two or three more years before the state sees any big changes to its pot laws.

After working as a U.S. Senate page when he was sixteen, Jake Lilly went on to intern at the White House in 1998. After receiving his law degree at Cornell, he joined the Army and in 2005 served in Iraq, where he led search-and-rescue teams. Before all that, however, he was thirteen when his Boy Scout troop visited Colorado. He fell in love with the state, went home to Maryland, and told his parents that he would live here someday. Now 39, with thirteen years as a prosecutor, litigator and defense attorney under his belt, Lilly is running for district attorney of Jefferson and Gilpin counties, against incumbent Pete Weir.

His platform focuses on criminal-justice reform — reform he determined was needed after seeing the effects of the drug war up close. Lilly  believes in finding alternatives to prison for nonviolent offenders and finding treatment alternatives for drug abusers. We sat down with Lilly to learn more about his positions, especially his support for continued legalization of marijuana.

Jim McDonnell.

Long Beach Police Department Chief Jim McDonnell was sworn in as Los Angeles County Sheriff yesterday afternoon.
There’s no question that he was elected in November to reform a department rocked by federal charges against deputies that included allegations of excessive force against inmates, assaults on jail visitors, and the attempting thwarting an FBI investigation by hiding an incarcerated informant. It sounds like a clear task, but it won’t be easy. LA Weekly has more.

Bill Frazetto
“42nd Street Subway Arrest NYC 1975”


Stop and frisk.
If you’ve ever smoked weed in New York City, you know that those three little words can do more than kill your buzz, in many cases they have ruined people’s lives. The city’s newly elected Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a change to the discriminatory and highly controversial policy, and more specifically how it will impact those busted with some buds in the Big Apple.

New York state Rep. Hakeem Jeffries rallies for marijuana reform in NYC.


On Tuesday the New York State Assembly passed, for the fifth time since it was introduced in 1997, the Compassionate Care Act. The bill would legalize medical marijuana in New York state, allowing sick New Yorkers relief from symptoms associated with cancer treatment, MS, epilepsy, and other ailments. With that vote, New York comes one step closer to joining the 21 others states and the District of Columbia where marijuana is legal in some form.
More over at the Village Voice.

Some assets seized by the U.S. Marshals.


When Missouri drug task forces seize assets they believed were used in a crime, state law says they have to give it to the state school fund. However, cops don’t trust state lawmakers to use it for that purpose, so they bypass the rule and use a federal program to keep the money for themselves.
The remarks describe a process that has been well-known to property-rights activists for years (Daily RFTreported on it back in 2010), but they’ve nonetheless provided new fuel for those who aim to reform forfeiture laws, especially since the topic has received more attention in the national media lately. The Riverfront Times has more.

Keith Bacongco/Flickr.


A coalition of groups working toward marijuana reform has earned a six-figure settlement from the City of Springfield after council members there unconstitutionally quashed a petition to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Now Springfield will have to pay $225,000 to those pro-reform groups.
It all started back in 2012 when Show-Me Cannabis and the American Victory Coalition introduced a citizen-funded ballot initiative slated for the November 2012 election.
But according to the lawsuit complaint filed in July 2013, Springfield City Council tried to be slick and prevented the measure from going to the voters by passing it themselves with the sole intention of immediately repealing it, which they did.


Demonstrators descended on the state capitol rotunda Wednesday thrusting fists and signs into the air with chants of “yes, we cannabis!”
For two hours, the hallways echoed with the voices of cops, writers, pols, and lawyers invited by Minnesota NORML, which lobbies for marijuana reform. They rubbed elbows with both jean jackets and blazers, showing the disparate makeup of a group that is often typecast and dismissed as burnouts.
“This movement is about people who like drugs, people who hate drugs, and people who just don’t give a damn about drugs,” says Neill Franklin, a former narcotics officer, from the podium. “It’s about everyone who is concerned about cannabis prohibition in the United States today.”
In the crowd, Grassroots Party founder Oliver Steinberg smiles when asked about how pot reform has gone mainstream. He attended his first demonstration back in the early 90s with some of the same people who showed up here.
“The only difference now are those cameras,” he says, pointing to the TV crews.
Read the entire story over at the Minneapolis City Pages.

Show me medical marijuana legalization.

Despite some setbacks earlier this year, marijuana-reform advocates say that a medical-marijuana bill is off to a good start in the legislative process and might have a chance of getting on the November ballot.
SB 951, which was introduced by Senator Jason Holsman, would legalize marijuana solely for medicinal purposes. People suffering from certain conditions would be allowed up to four ounces of their medicine and sales on it would be taxed at a rate of 8 percent.

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