Legalize it

  • House GOP leaders block medical marijuana protections

    Jeff Sessions previously asked Congressional leadership to oppose the amendment

    September 28, 2017

    For a few days in early September, marijuana policy reformers fitfully watched as Republican leaders in the House blocked a vote on the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. The legislation, which is co-sponsored by Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), has been passed in some form since 2014 and protects state-legal medical-marijuana programs from federal interference.

  • Marijuana lounges could be coming to Denver and Alaska as Nevada lags behind

    Despite legalization measures, there are no licensed cannabis consumption lounges in any state with legal weed

    September 20, 2017

    Despite the legalization of marijuana in a number of states, one stubborn obstacle remains: There is no equivalent of bars where people can use it socially. While Colorado and Oregon have become destinations for cannabis consumers, no state allows marijuana lounges. The situation leaves tourists, who eagerly visit pot shops but have no place to light up,

  • Anti-pot group says cannabis industry violates Cole Memo

    Smart Approaches to Marijuana encouraged attorney general Jeff Sessions to 'target the big players' in the cannabis industry

    September 18, 2017

    In 2013, former deputy attorney general James Cole sent marijuana enforcement guidance to U.S. attorneys. Known as the Cole Memo, the guidance instructed federal prosecutors not to go after state-legal cannabis activities. This Justice Department policy has allowed state-legal marijuana markets to flourish.

    On Aug. 30, the nation’s most prominent anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) sent a report to attorney general Jeff Sessions,

  • Guterres urges U.N. to follow Portugal’s lead on drugs

    Secretary general was Portuguese prime minister when the country decriminalized all illicit substances

    In a joint statement on June 30, the United Nations and the World Health Organization called for “ending discrimination in health-care settings.” Among their suggestions was “reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes and that counter established public health evidence.”

    Certain laws,

  • Executive Shuffle: New DPA director in, MPP comms director out

    Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno joins the Drug Policy Alliance, Mason Tvert leaves MPP for VS Strategies

    August 14, 2017

    On Jan. 27, Ethan Nadelmann announced that he was stepping down as executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. The founder of one of the most influential drug policy advocacy groups in the nation, Nadelmann said he’d been thinking about “making this transition for almost two years.” He left the DPA on May 1.

  • New Hampshire joins the rest of New England in decriminalizing cannabis

    The governor signed a bill to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession, making it the 22nd state to do so.

    August 2, 2017

    On July 18, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a marijuana decriminalization billinto law. The move makes the Granite State the 22nd in the country to eliminate jail time as a punishment for cannabis possession. It’s also the last New England state to do so.

    Once the law takes effect in September,

  • Behind RRNY, a campaign to legalize marijuana in New York

    A once-in-20-year chance to put the issue before voters

    July 12, 2017

    Marijuana is still illegal in New York, but that did not stop more than 4,000 people from descending on the Javits Center in Manhattan for a cannabis-industry conference in June. Longtime activists in blazers decorated with weed leaves mingled among Wall Street types in crisp suits. But one man stood out among the well-heeled crowd.

  • Legal cannabis sales underway in Uruguay

    The South America nation is the first country in the world to fully legalize it.

    July 11, 2017

    It’s official: As of July 1, marijuana became available for purchase in Uruguay pharmacies. The South American country made international headlines in 2012 when then-president José Mujica announced plans to legalize cannabis. The following year, Uruguay became the first nation in the world to fully legalize the adult-use of marijuana when lawmakers gave final approval to the bill.

  • Vermont passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana

    But governor Phil Scott vetoed the historic legislation

    May 24, 2017

    Update, June 21: After the governor reached a compromise with legislative leaders, the Senate approved the bill. But the compromise failed in the House. “Despite the setback for 2017, Vermont’s legislature operates on a biennium, and advocates expect that progress achieved this year will be built upon when lawmakers reconvene in January,”

  • Why Western medicine needs to reconsider ‘recreational’ drugs

    The idea of prescribing illegal drugs is heretical. But it shouldn't be.

    May 15, 2017

    What can doctors do to ease emotional pain? The physicians of ancient and medieval times found many plants and plant-derived substances (ie, drugs) that soothed mental as well as physical ills. Rarely did they draw a line between the psychological and physiological benefits of their remedies. Modern medicine has confirmed the overlap of bodily and mental maladies through painstaking research,