USA Roundup Tuesday 4 April 2017: Federal, California. Massachusetts, Texas, West Virginia


Marijuana on the Hill: Bills introduced in Congress in 2017


Four governors team up, urge feds to keep marijuana enforcement status quo

In an open letter, the governors on Monday asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to “engage with us before embarking on any changes to regulatory and enforcement systems.”

The signatories of the letter are Gov. Bill Walker of Alaska; Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado; Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon; and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington. They lead the first four states to implement laws allowing recreational marijuana sales.

Governors From 4 Marijuana States Ask to Be Left Alone

Governors from the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana are asking the Trump Administration to let the pot experiments continue.

The problem with America’s marijuana DUI laws: science

With the passage of recreational marijuana in November, Nevada is grappling with questions of how to handle the issue of driving while stoned. And while driving high is still illegal, determining what exactly constitutes “high” is not as easy as it sounds.


Marijuana Proposal In California May Restrict Local Police From Cracking Down

Lawmakers in California have taken a page from laws establishing sanctuary cities for immigrants to create a bill aimed at protecting marijuana from a federal restriction. Similar to laws defending undocumented immigrants, the recently introduced Assembly Bill 1578 would bar cooperation by police in the state with federal authorities seeking to bust marijuana growers and sellers operating legally under California law.


Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg is Massachusetts’ top recreational marijuana regulator, with unilateral power to hire and fire the officials who will oversee the new billion-dollar industry.

But probably not for long.

The Legislature appears likely to strip Goldberg of her authority, perhaps creating an independent marijuana oversight commission instead, according to several Beacon Hill officials familiar with the discussions.


AUSTIN, Texas — A bill that would make carrying small amounts of marijuana a civil penalty in Texas instead of a criminal one is advancing in the state House.

The House Criminal Jurisprudence committee on Monday approved a bill that would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana punishable by a fine of up to $250 instead of a criminal charge. A person also could not be arrested solely for possession of the small amount of pot.


State Republican Party comes out against medical marijuana bill

The West Virginia Republican Party asked its members in the House of Delegates to vote no on a bill, up for second reading Monday, that would permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in the state.

The letter, which is from the West Virginia Republican Platform Committee and addressed to WV House Republican members, notes that the state party’s 2016 platform states: “We support those who are practicing drug-abuse prevention efforts at the local and state levels and oppose the normalization, legalization, or decriminalization of any illicit drugs.”

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