15 March 2017

ARKANSAS

Arkansas Senate again rejects bill to ban smoking medical marijuana

http://www.swtimes.com/news/20170314/arkansas-senate-again-rejects-bill-to-ban-smoking-medical-marijuana

LITTLE ROCK — For the second time, the Arkansas Senate on Monday rejected a bill to ban smoking marijuana in all locations in the state.

Sen. Bill 357 by Rep. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, received 11 votes in support and 15 against. It fared only slightly better than it did on March 6, when it received 10 votes in support and 15 against.

COLORADO

Citing organized crime, Colorado House OKs efforts to limit marijuana grows

Citing organized crime, Colorado House OKs efforts to limit marijuana grows

In a bid to crack down on drug trafficking, the Colorado House on Monday voted to put new limits on home-grown marijuana that would dramatically reduce the number of plants people can legally grow in residential areas.

The bill would impose a blanket 16-plant per home limit — whether the pot’s grown for medical or recreational purposes.

That represents a significant reduction from the current cap, which goes as high as 99 plants for medical marijuana patients and caregivers — a limit that law enforcement officials say has been exploited by large-scale, international crime organizations.

FLORIDA

Marijuana in small amounts decriminalized in new Florida bill

http://www.mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2017/3/14/marijuana_in_small_a.html

FL Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, and FL Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, have filed HB 1403 and SB 1662. The two bills reduce penalties for small amounts of recreational cannabis to a civil violation. 

Under current state law, those convicted for possessing small amounts of marijuana face a year in jail or a fine of $1,000.

Under the new bill, the penalty for possession of 1 ounce (roughly 28 grams) or less of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia is a $100 fine. If you can’t afford to pay it, you can instead do 15 hours of community service. 

Someone under 18 who is convicted faces up to 15 hours of community service, a drug awareness program or both. 

VIRGINIA

Gov. McAuliffe expected to sign marijuana reforms

Gov. McAuliffe expected to sign marijuana reforms

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia probably will ease up a bit in its laws against marijuana by making it easier for epilepsy patients to obtain cannabis extract oils and by relaxing the penalty for people caught with small amounts of marijuana.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to sign the handful of marijuana-related bills passed by the General Assembly during its recent session. They include SB 1027, which will allow Virginia pharmacies to make and sell marijuana extract oils for treating intractable epilepsy, and HB 2051 and SB 1091, which will eliminate the state’s punishment of automatically suspending the driver’s license of adults convicted of simple marijuana possession.