Search Results: riffle (24)

Rand Paul.

Late last month, the U.S. House voted to defund DEA medical marijuana raids in Colorado and other states that have legalized MMJ — an unprecedented development that was greeted with cheers by many cannabis reformers.
But the next step in the legislative process — passage by the U.S. Senate — hit a snag despite support by two extraordinarily odd political bedfellows: Kentucky’s Rand “Son of Ron” Paul, a firebrand touted in many quarters as a 2016 Republican presidential hopeful, and New Jersey’s Cory Booker, a liberal Democrat and unapologetic pal of President Barack Obama.

Americans are sick of the current federal stance on marijuana and increasingly favor decriminalization and legalization. But that shouldn’t mean that there should be a major shift in federal pot policy, according to Drug Enforcement Administration deputy director Thomas Harrigan.
Harrigan told a House subcommittee dubbed “Mixed Signals: The administrations stance on marijuana” this week that science should trump public opinion and that states should be wary of changing their laws. He said that the country “can’t abandon science and fact in favor of public opinion.”

When you think of politics in Washington D.C., you rarely think of speed, efficiency, or common sense. Yet, in just half a year, the nation’s capital has gone from the dark ages of full prohibition, to be poised now on the verge of passing two new measures that would place it among the most liberal of jurisdictions when it comes to cannabis legislation.
The first big development, reported on here back in October, was the D.C. City Council’s 10-3 landslide decision to move forward on legislation to end the current marijuana possession laws, and replace them with more fair and effective punishments for law breakers. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has also voiced his support for new regulations, tossing his clout behind what is already a supermajority in the City Council.

“We kill your liver!”

Marijuana is safer than alcohol. It’s a simple message based in a lot of truths. But Big Alcohol doesn’t like that, nor do they like the insinuation that their legal product leads to more violence, health issues and social problems than cannabis.
“We’re not against legalization of marijuana, we just don’t want to be vilified in the process,” an anonymous alcohol lobbyist tells the National Journal this week. “We don’t want alcohol to be thrown under the bus, and we’re going to fight to defend our industry when we are demonized.”

Despite what many see as a lighters stance on cannabis in recent years, marijuana arrests continued at an alarming rate in 2012, with more than 749,800 people arrested – with most (87 percent) for simple possession.
According to a the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, marijuana arrests account for 48.3 percent of all drug arrests. Those figures are down slightly from 2011 numbers when marijuana arrests accounted for 49 percent of all arrests, but not by much.

Sen. Patrick Leahy.

Sen. Patrick Leahy yesterday pushed for historic strides in federal marijuana policy, including remedying banking conflicts and getting further assurance from federal prosecutors that states with legal marijuana laws enacted would be allowed to move forward with regulations and taxes.
“The absolute criminalization of personal marijuana use has contributed to our nation’s soaring prison population and has disproportionately affected people of color,” Leahy said at the hearing.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy yesterday announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing to discuss the conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws next month.
Both medical and recreational marijuana laws will be on the table for discussion, notably whether or not state employees implementing the programs will be safe from prosecution however Leahy also feels that the state’s rights to enact recreational laws should be respected.

The Illinois senate Friday approved House Bill 1, which would create a state-regulated medical marijuana patient program as well as authorize state-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries. Lawmakers say they have created one of the strictest programs in the nation.
But Governor Pat Quinn says he’s still considering the bill, though he told reporters earlier today that he remains “open minded” on the issue. Lt. Gov. Shelia Simon has publicly expressed her support for the bill.

An Illinois Senate committee voted 10-5 Wednesday to move House Bill 1 to the full Senate for a vote, despite a push from law enforcement to shut down the bill.
As it stands now, the bill creates a four-year pilot program would allow qualified patients and primary caregivers to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks from a state-regulated medical marijuana center.

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