Guam Becomes First U.S. Territory To Send Marijuana Legalization To Governor In 2019
Iowa House passes bill making some changes to medical cannabis law
DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa House on Tuesday approved a bill that would make changes to the state’s medical cannabis law in an effort supporters say will expand access.
The proposal, which makes small adjustments to the 2017 law allowing the growth and sale of medical cannabis in the state, moved out of the chamber on a 96-3 vote. The plan expands who can certify sick Iowans for medical cannabis cards to include nurse practitioners and physicians assistants. As of March 25, 619 health practitioners have recommended patients for medical cannabis products, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Attorney For Minnesota’s Largest County To No Longer Criminally Prosecute Marijuana Possession Offenses
Minor marijuana possession offenders will no longer be criminally prosecuted in Hennepin County, Minnesota, according to a new policy announced last week by County Attorney Mike Freeman. An estimated 1.2 million people live in the county, which includes the city of Minneapolis.
Under the policy, prosecutors will not criminally charge anyone for marijuana offenses involving the possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis. Rather, defendants will be ordered to complete a diversion program or partake in community service. Under state law, marijuana possession offenses involving over 42.5 grams are classified as felony offenses – punishable by up to a five-year prison term and a $10,000 fine.
Under special circumstances, such as if the defendant possessed a firearm or is a habitual offender, prosecutors may still file criminal charges.
Freeman said the policy change was necessary because he believes that the state law is overly punitive and produces racial disparities in incarceration rates. “My job is to determine if people are charged and how to spend my resources,” Freeman said. “Spending resources on these cases is just wrong.”
All the elements for swiftly legalizing marijuana in New Jersey seemed to be in place: A proposed bill was enthusiastically backed by Gov. Philip D. Murphy and had been endorsed by leaders of the Democratic-controlled State Legislature. Also, statewide polls showed support for the issue.
Then the plans unraveled.
Some lawmakers were unsure about how to tax marijuana sales. Others feared legalization would flood the state’s congested streets and highways with impaired drivers. Some would not be deterred from believing that marijuana was a dangerous menace to public health.
A disagreement existed among lawmakers about how far to go regarding the social justice component in the legalization bill: Fissures grew over whether it was necessary to expunge criminal records for marijuana-related offenses for those found with as much as five pounds of the drug.
Marijuana debate ramping up in Texas Legislature
AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) – A Texas State House Committee Monday night approved a bill to decriminalize the possession of marijuana under specific conditions.
A floor debate in the House on HB 63 may not take place until April.