Legalize it

  • Cities in conservative states lead cannabis policy reform

    Missouri, Texas, and Tennessee all have cities going against state-level drug laws

    April 8, 2017

    On Apr. 4, voters in Kansas City, Mo. approved a measure to decriminalize possession of marijuana. The new law institutes a maximum $25 fine and eliminates jail time for being caught with less than 35 grams of pot. Previously, those who got in trouble for small possession could’ve been on the hook for a $500 fine and 180 days in jail.

  • Johnathan Namauleg would still be alive if not for prohibition

    He was sent back to prison after using cannabis to treat his ADHD, where he later died just shy of his 22nd birthday.

    March 7, 2017

    An investigation into Hawaii’s practice of sending prisoners to the mainland by Vice and the Nation Institute contains the heartbreaking story of a young man who would probably still be alive today if not for cannabis prohibition.

    Johnathan Namauleg first got into trouble with the law after he lit a hut on fire at the local canoe club in Maui,

  • Sessions says ‘we need to crack down’ on drugs

    In a speech to state attorneys general, Jeff Sessions ramps up criticism of cannabis legalization.

    February 28, 2017

    In a speech to state attorneys general, Jeff Sessions continued his criticisms of cannabis legalization this morning. The remarks come on the heels of his first press briefing, where he had some harsh words for the policy.

    “We need to crack down more effectively”

  • Sessions inadvertently makes an argument for cannabis legalization

    The attorney general said he is 'not a fan' of marijuana and is reviewing the Cole Memo.

    February 27, 2017

    In his first briefing with reporters as attorney general, Jeff Sessions said he was looking into the Cole Memo. The Justice Department directive instructs prosecutors not to focus their enforcement efforts on those who are complying with state laws. While not a law itself, the directive is the basis that legal cannabis programs are built on.

  • The Trump administration signals crackdown on legal weed

    'I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it,' said press secretary Sean Spicer.

    February 23, 2017

    Responding to questions about the state-federal conflict in cannabis laws, White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the Trump administration will crack down on states that have legalized adult-use: “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” he said.

    When another reporter attempted to clarify,

  • From East to West, newly legal states face challenges

    While officials in Massachusetts try to roll back a voter-approved initiative, their counterparts in California promise to deliver.

    January 24, 2017

    Last November’s election delivered a somewhat surprising feat for supporters of cannabis legalization: eight out of nine state ballot measures passed. Four states legalized adult-use cannabis, with Massachusetts and Maine leading the way in the Northeast.

    But while those successes seem like victories for legalization supporters,

  • Rep. Rohrabacher defends Sessions as pot activists meet with staff

    Pro-weed congressmen differ on Jeff Sessions, the President-elect's anti-cannabis pick for attorney general.

    December 8, 2016

    President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General is worrisome to many supporters of cannabis legalization, despite Trump’s campaign promise to keep out of state marijuana laws.

    While some activists and cannabis professionals were hopeful due to Trump’s campaign statements that supported states’ rights,

  • Lawmakers pushing back against legal weed in Massachusetts

    Voters favored the law, but politicians are already trying to change it.

    December 3, 2016

    Despite huge successes at the ballot box in November, efforts to delay the implementation of at least one cannabis legalization measure have begun.

    Massachusetts became the first state in the Northeast to legalize adult-use cannabis when 53.6 percent of voters approved Question 4. But now, lawmakers are taking issue with several aspects of the measure,

  • Nashville and Memphis go separate ways on pot enforcement

    Both cities passed decriminalization ordinances, but Nashville is standing firm against the state's attorney general.

    November 29, 2016

    Trouble is brewing in Tennessee, where city councils in Nashville and Memphis recently passed marijuana decriminalization measures. While those measures gave police too much discretion (see Freedom Leaf coverage here), they at least showed a willingness to lessen penalties in a Bible Belt state.


  • Maine Legalization Recount Scheduled to Start Dec. 1

    Opponents to Question 1 begin a recount effort, which could take up to six weeks.

    November 28, 2016

    Opponents of Maine’s Question 1 have requested a recount after a close race. The state’s marijuana legalization measure was part of a wave of successful initiatives around the country on Election Day. It won by just 2,620 votes.

    According to Ballotpedia, a non-partisan site that covers ballot initiatives,