October 20, 2017
Since last February, when a bipartisan group of legislators launched the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, lawmakers have filed a flurry of bills aimed at reforming federal drug laws. Here’s a look at some of that legislation:
Marijuana Justice Act of 2017
Introduced by Sen.
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.
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,
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,
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.”
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.
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,
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.
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.
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,”