WeedVoice

An online media news aggregator and blog for the cannabis and hemp industry world-wide.

On 4/20, Sen. Chuck Schumer To Introduce Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana - Cannabis News

Politics isn't always red or blue. Lately, it has been green.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., plans to introduce legislation on Friday to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level, adding a high-profile advocate in the effort to decriminalize, legalize and normalize marijuana use in America.

Schumer's legislation would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under a 1970 law that classifies marijuana as dangerous as heroin for legal and regulatory purposes

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Susan Davis ~ NPR.org ~

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Bernie Sanders Backs Bill To Punish States With Harsh Marijuana Laws - Cannabis News

Several potential rival presidential candidates are teaming up on legislation to end the federal war on marijuana.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is signing on as a co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act, introduced last year by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

Many political observers expect that Booker and Sanders will compete for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), another rumored contender, is also a co-sponsor of the bill.

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Tom Angell ~ Forbes.com ~ 

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New bill would push VA to conduct more research into medical marijuana - Cannabis News

New legislation released Tuesday would dump the Department of Veterans Affairs’ excuse for not better researching the possible benefits of cannabis for suffering veterans, a move that could have wide-ranging ramifications for the nationwide legalization of medical marijuana.

The bill — dubbed the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 — has the support of the top Republican and Democrat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and other key lawmakers.

It would not only clarify that VA has the authority to research cannabis, but require regular reports from department leaders on how seriously they are taking that responsibility.

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Leo Shane III ~ MilitaryTimes.com ~ 

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Rohrabacher Pushes New Marijuana Bill In Wake of Trump Pledge - Cannabis News

One of Congress’s leading proponents of marijuana law reform — a key Trump ally — announced he will soon be filing new legislation in line with the president’s pledge to support changing federal cannabis laws.

“I am extremely happy that President Trump has made perfectly clear that he meant his campaign promise to respect state laws with regard to marijuana. Now there should be no question in Attorney General Sessions’ mind about the president’s intention,” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said in a press release.

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Tom Angell ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~ 

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Which States Are Most Likely To Legalize Pot In 2018? - Cannabis News

The election is still a ways off, but one state has legalized pot already in 2018.

Vermont made history back in January by becoming the first state to ever pass a recreational cannabis law through the legislature – as opposed to putting it up for a popular vote.

And there are almost a dozen states that are slated to have cannabis legislation on the ballot in November.

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Ben Neal ~ WeedReader.com ~

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Cynthia Nixon is Making Marijuana a Central Part of Her Campaign for New York Governor - Cannabis News

Actress Cynthia Nixon is challenging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination in next fall's election, and it appears the Sex and the City star is making marijuana legalization a cornerstone of her campaign.

Earlier this week Nixon posted a video where she encouraged the state to legalize marijuana and made the issue her first policy plank of her campaign.

She specifically said she wanted to do so to fix racial inequalities caused by the War on Drugs.

Marijuana is one issue where Nixon can gain some traction on Cuomo.

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Ex-Speaker John Boehner Joins Marijuana Firm’s Advisory Board - Cannabis News

“Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically,” he said in an interview. “I find myself in that same position.”

The U.S. marijuana industry has a new spokesman: John Boehner.

The Republican former Speaker of the House has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a company that cultivates, processes and dispenses cannabis in 11 U.S. states.

Boehner’s endorsement, after saying nine years ago he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization, could be considered a watershed event: Marijuana has gone mainstream.

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Maryland Lawmakers OK Medical Marijuana Bill - Cannabis News

A measure to help improve diversity in Maryland's new medical marijuana industry received final approval by the General Assembly on Monday, as lawmakers worked toward a midnight deadline when the legislative session is scheduled to end.

Maryland lawmakers also will be working on measures designed to improve school safety and fight crime.

The medical marijuana measure increases the number of grower licenses from 15 to as many as 22.

Two licenses are set aside for two companies that sued over the licensing process and four more will be up for grabs.

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School Nurses In Colorado Could Soon Administer Medical Marijuana To Students - Cannabis News

The Colorado legislature has advanced a bill that would allow school nurses to administer medical marijuana to students.

While students in Colorado are already permitted to use medicinal cannabis at school it must be administer by a legal guardian or parent.

The bill is named after student Quintin Lovato who, along with his mother Hannah, testified that the current regulations are disruptive to their daily lives. 

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Calvin Hughes ~ Civilized.Life ~ 

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Connecticut lawmakers advance marijuana legalization bill - Cannabis News

Connecticut lawmakers have advanced a recreational marijuana bill out of committee, setting up the state legislature to vote on legalizing the substance in the state for the first time.

The appropriations committee voted 27-24 in favor of the bill Thursday, advancing it to the full General Assembly, the Hartford Courant reported.

The bill would require the state to create a plan to legalize and regulate marijuana. The measure would also create programs for substance abuse treatment, prevention, education and awareness. 

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Jacqueline Thomsen ~ TheHill.com ~ 

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Nearly half of New Jerseyans want legal recreational marijuana, new poll finds - Cannabis News

Nearly half of New Jerseyans want the state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana — while a slightly smaller number say Trenton should stay away from legalizing weed — as lawmakers consider a variety of proposals that would make it easier to use the drug in the Garden State.

According to a new poll by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, 49 percent of respondents backed legalizing recreational marijuana while 44 percent opposed such a move. Five percent of respondents were unsure.

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Joe Hernandez ~ WHYY.org ~ 

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These 4 States Legalized Recreational Marijuana but Each Is Doing It (or Not) in Its Own Way - Cannabis News

If the Congress ever legalizes pot nationally, expect 50 unique versions of legalization.

In November 2016, four states approved the sale of recreational marijuana. Each has taken different paths to getting a regulated, legal marijuana retail system off the ground.

Or, in two cases, not quite off the ground yet. Here’s an update and overview on where the legal recreational marijuana business stands in each of those states: Nevada, California, Maine and Massachusetts.

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Entrepreneur.com ~ 

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The 2018 Midterms and Marijuana: How Pot Change Will Change the Vote - Cannabis News

Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, these five politicians have thrown their support behind weed.

A hot-button topic for the 2018 midterm elections — set for November 6, now seven months away — looks to be repeat from previous elections, that of marijuana legalization by state.

Marijuana legalization is shaping up to be a talked-about issue again because support for the idea is higher than ever: In of January, a Pew Research poll found that 61 percent of Americans thought that the use of the substance should be legalized.

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Sarah Sloat ~ Inverse.com ~ 

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New Mexico: Albuquerque City Council votes to decriminalize pot - Cannabis News

The Albuquerque City Council has voted to decriminalize marijuana possession in small amounts and send the measure to the mayor for final approval.

The City Council’s vote Monday night came after lengthy testimony, mostly from citizens urging council members to approve the change to the local criminal code.

The proposal put forward by city council members Pat Davis and Isaac Benton would make it a citable offense — not a criminal one — to possess an ounce (28 grams) of pot and paraphernalia without a valid medical marijuana referral.

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Associated Press ~ 

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Medical marijuana advocates react to ouster of VA chief, nomination of Dr. Ronny Jackson - Cannabis News

One veterans organization called David Shulkin’s tenure at the VA, “a blunder that has caused harm to millions of veterans.”

Veterans organizations fighting for medical marijuana access reacted with both hope and skepticism to President Donald Trump’s latest shakeup at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Trump ousted VA Secretary David Shulkin via tweet late Wednesday and announced that he would nominate for the position Dr. Ronny Jackson, 50, an active-duty rear admiral in the Navy who has served for the past three administrations as White House physician.

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Bruce Kennedy ~ TheCannabist.co ~ 

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Tennessee: House committee approves, advances medical cannabis legislation - Cannabis News

Over the objections of law enforcement and health officials, a second House committee approved a bill Wednesday that would legally allow some Tennesseans to use medical cannabis.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Crosby, would give those suffering from roughly a dozen maladies a legal defense if they are arrested and prosecuted for having cannabis, provided they have a doctor’s note prescribing the product.

The House Criminal Justice Committee advanced the legislation with a 9-2 vote.

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Joel Ebert ~ USA Today Network via Tennessean.com ~ 

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Taking the high road: Denver uses pot tax revenue to pave roads - Cannabis News

Since the state of Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, many people ask the question, where does all the tax money go from pot sales? Denver provides one "concrete" answer.

"We've got more money this year and we're gonna pave more streets because of it," Nancy Kuhn, Denver Public Works spokesperson, said.

Kuhn says her department received an additional $1.2 million of marijuana tax revenue.

"With that money this year, we're going to be able to pave at least another 50 blocks of streets," Kuhn said.

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Congressional Budget Deal Includes Medical Marijuana Protections - Cannabis News

Seeking to avert another government shutdown at midnight Friday, Congressional leaders struck a deal on a $1.3 trillion spending bill that would keep the federal government open through September.

That measure includes the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which prevents the Department of Justice and its agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, from spending any money to undermine or interfere with state-legal medical cannabis programs.

Last year, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) blocked the medical marijuana protections by refused to allow them to pass out of his House committee. Today’s deal effectively kills Sessions’ blocking maneuver, at least until the end of Sept. 2018.

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Bruce Barcott ~ Leafly.com ~ 

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Chicago Voters Embrace Cannabis Legalization in a Big Way - Cannabis News

Voters in the Illinois county that includes Chicago have backed the recreational use of cannabis in a nonbinding referendum.

The question for Cook County voters asked if Illinois should legalize “the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older.”

With nearly all precincts counted, the “yes” vote carried the day, with 63.3% of ballots cast in favor of legalization. 36.7% of voters were against the idea.

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Associated Press via Leafly.com ~ 

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New Poll: The Politics of Medical Marijuana Heats Up For 2018 - Cannabis News

November’s midterm elections are just around the corner and a new poll offers some timely advice for candidates running for the House or Senate – support medical marijuana as part of your platform in 2018.

On Monday, Politico’s Kevin Robillard reported that a new survey found 77 percent of likely 2018 voters had a favorable opinion of medical marijuana.

The survey revealed the topic of legalizing medical marijuana enjoys compelling bipartisan support.

Conducted by Fabrizio, Lee and Associates, the nationwide survey found only 15 percent of likely voters had a hostile opinion of medicinal cannabis. 

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Alaska: House measure asks feds to respect state-approved pot businesses - Cannabis News

The Alaska House is asking the federal government not to interfere in state-authorized marijuana businesses.

The House voted 38-0 Monday to pass a nonbinding resolution asking the feds to respect Alaska’s authority to regulate marijuana use, production and distribution.

The resolution also urges the federal government to reconsider its listing of marijuana as a controlled substance.

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Associated Press ~ 

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Colorado Congressman Invokes Tenth Amendment to Protect State Pot Programs in 2019 Federal Budget - Cannabis News

"Our constitutional framework has afforded the whole nation the chance to allow states to differ on many matters of public policy, including marijuana."

Representative Jared Polis has been trying to protect state-compliant cannabis businesses since long before United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded nine years' worth of federal pot protections in January.

With his latest attempt, Polis is hoping to attach an amendment to the federal government's 2019 fiscal budget.

The McClintock-Polis Amendment, sponsored by Polis and California Congressman Tom McClintock, would protect compliant licensed businesses and users in states where cannabis is legal from persecution by federal agencies funded by the United States Department of Justice, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Georgia lawmakers to Congress: ‘Get off your duffs’ on marijuana - Cannabis News

The Georgia House of Representatives is calling on the U.S. Congress to allow medical research of marijuana.

The House voted 158-5 on Thursday to pass a resolution asking Congress to take action so that marijuana can be studied, either by reclassifying marijuana as a Schedule II drug or by passing a separate law.

Marijuana is currently considered a Schedule I drug with with no accepted medical use, according to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

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Mark Niesse ~ AJC.com ~ 

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Virginia: Governor approves groundbreaking medical marijuana legislation - Cannabis News

Governor Ralph Northam signed a major piece of medical marijuana legislation on Friday.

Northam’s signature is a step in the process to legalize the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil or THC-A oil for the treatment to alleviate the symptoms of any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the practitioner to benefit from such use in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Virginia Senate and House both passed House Bill 1251 in late February, hitting the desk of Northam’s earlier this week for approval.

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Nick Boykin ~ WTKR.com ~ 

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Poll: Americans See Booze as More Dangerous Than Pot - Cannabis News

More and more states are now pushing to legalize recreational marijuana use, perhaps in part because Americans see it as less dangerous than another already-legal substance.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 46% of American Adults consider alcohol more dangerous than marijuana.

Just 15% think pot is more dangerous. Thirty percent (30%) think both substances are equally as dangerous, while just five percent (5%) say neither are.

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RasmusenReports.com ~ 

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Dennis Kucinich, candidate for Ohio governor, says legalizing marijuana can help with opioid crisis - Cannabis News

Democratic candidate for governor Dennis Kucinich wants to fully legalize marijuana, a move he said would have positive implications for criminal justice, agriculture and even the state's ongoing opioid crisis.

Kucinich unveiled a sweeping marijuana plan on Wednesday, calling for allowing medical-marijuana patients to grow their own plants, fully legalizing recreational marijuana for adults, as well as legalizing the production of hemp, the less-potent cannabis strain with industrial and commercial applications.

He said expanding medical marijuana research could help develop alternatives for opioid painkillers, which have played a central role in the state's drug-addiction crisis. 

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Andrew J. Tobias ~ Cleveland.com ~

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New Jersey Senator Booker: Legalizing weed is 'not a matter of if, but when' - Cannabis News

The Trump administration's decision to step up enforcement of federal marijuana laws is a "tipping point" in the effort to legalize the drug nationally, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker told NJ Cannabis Insider.

Booker, D-N.J., said he has talked to a number of federal lawmakers of both parties, who come from states that have legalized the drug and are opposed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement in January that the Justice Department once again would prosecute marijuana cases in states that have legalized the drug.

Under President Barack Obama, Justice officials said they would let states enforce their own laws while the federal agency focused on drug cartels, on transporting marijuana into states that have not legalized it, and on making sure legal marijuana businesses are not used as a cover for illegal activities, including selling other drugs.

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Jonathan D. Salant ~ NJ.com ~ 

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Marijuana On The Ballot: Rhode Island Voters Could Weigh In On Legalization - Cannabis News

Voters in the nation's smallest state could have a chance to send a big message about marijuana legalization this fall.

Under a new bill filed in the state House of Representatives on Wednesday, Rhode Islanders would be able to decide on a ballot measure calling for the end of cannabis prohibition.

"Do you support the legalization of possession and use of marijuana by persons who are at least 21 years of age, subject to regulation and taxation that is similar to the regulation and taxation of tobacco and alcohol?" the proposed question reads.

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Tom Angell ~ Forbes.com ~ 

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These 12 States Could Pass Marijuana Laws This Year - Cannabis News

Quite a few states could pass marijuana laws this year. Legalization has been a slow but steady process in recent years.

In particular, 2016 was a big year for the movement. During elections that year, nine states voted on new marijuana laws.

Eight of them passed. California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine all voted to legalize recreational weed.

Additionally, Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota all approved new medical marijuana bills.

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Tennessee's State Legislature Is Close to Passing Medical Marijuana Legislation - Cannabis News

Tennessee Republicans are warming to the idea of medicinal marijuana.

It wasn’t quite a 180-degree turn, but state House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) has bucked some in her caucus by announcing she supports legislation that would legalize and regulate medical marijuana in Tennessee.

Though she was never radically opposed to the idea, it took a familial experience for Harwell to lend her support to legislation pushed this year and in years past by Republicans Sen. Steve Dickerson and Rep. Jeremy Faison.

The medical marijuana effort in our state once seemed quixotic, but now it has the backing of the most powerful figure in the House. 

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American Legion Pushes Congress On Medical Marijuana At Hearing - Cannabis News

The leader of the U.S.’s largest military veterans organization pressed Congress to allow the use of medical marijuana during a hearing on Wednesday.

“The federal government continues to list cannabis as a Schedule I drug – the most addictive and dangerous – although its addiction rates are lower than alcohol, and the less-restrictive Schedule II classification applies to opioids, which kill 91 Americans every day,” American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan said in testimony for a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

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Tom Angell ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~ 

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Sorry, Jeff Sessions – Governors Are Moving Ahead with Pot - Cannabis News

At their annual meeting, pro-pot governors say the AG isn't stopping them from advancing plans for medical and recreational legalization.

Over the past few days, most of the nation's governors descended on Washington for their annual meeting with administration officials and the president.

As the governors mingled about and chatted in between sessions, many of them were exchanging ideas and best practices on how to roll out a successful regulatory regime on marijuana.

But hanging over their talks was the specter of Attorney General Jeff Sessions who would like to clamp down on the nation's burgeoning, though disparate, marijuana industry.

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Senator Calls Out Big Pharma For Opposing Legal Marijuana - Cannabis News

A prominent Democratic U.S. senator is slamming pharmaceutical companies for opposing marijuana legalization.

"To them it's competition for chronic pain, and that's outrageous because we don't have the crisis in people who take marijuana for chronic pain having overdose issues," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said. "It's not the same thing. It's not as highly addictive as opioids are."

"On the federal level, we really need to say it is a legal drug you can access if you need it," she said.

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Tom Angell ~ Forbes.com ~ 

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Utah: Medical marijuana bills advance at State Capitol - Cannabis News

Medical marijuana is one step closer to being legal in Utah.

On Wednesday, two bills were up for debate at the State Capitol. The setting was a Senate Committee hearing.

Two bills had already passed through the House and were up before the committee. House Bill 195 came up for discussion and vote first.

It would allow those who are terminally ill -- those with six months to live -- to use medical marijuana.

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Bill would reduce Alabama penalty for marijuana possession - Cannabis News

A bill that would reduce the penalty for marijuana possession in Alabama is scheduled for consideration on Wednesday by both the House and Senate judiciary committees.

Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, and Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, are the bill sponsors.

Todd has tried with similar bills for several years to reduce the penalties for marijuana possession. She believes opposition has faded and is optimistic the bill will pass.

"I haven't talked to one person who is against it," Todd said.

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Massachusetts: Pot regulators face decision on social consumption - Cannabis News

Could Massachusetts become the first U.S. state where adults can gather and use legal recreational marijuana at so-called “cannabis cafes?”

The Cannabis Control Commission, the five-member panel set up to regulate the state’s marijuana industry, is expected to decide later this month whether to approve draft regulations that would allow for the licensing of social consumption establishments.

The idea has received strong opposition from Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration and from law enforcement officials who warn of public safety and public health risks if such facilities were to open.

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Bob Salsberg ~ Associated Press ~ 

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Democrats Forming Marijuana Legalization Consensus - Cannabis News

Support for marijuana legalization is quickly becoming a mainstream consensus position in the Democratic Party.

Two of the party's leading potential 2020 presidential candidates joined together this week in support of far-reaching legislation that would end the federal prohibition of cannabis and encourage states to legalize the drug.

“Legalizing marijuana isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when," Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said about the legislation, the Marijuana Justice Act, which he introduced last August.

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Tom Angell ~ Forbes.com ~ 

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Pot-users want judge to declare marijuana safe under US law - Cannabis News

The lawsuit claims the government’s decision to classify marijuana as dangerous is irrational, unconstitutional and motivated by politics, not hard science.

Army veteran Jose Belen says the horrors of the Iraq War left him with post-traumatic stress disorder, and the drug that helped him cope best with the symptoms was one his Veterans Affairs doctors could not legally prescribe: marijuana.

“Once I did use cannabis, immediately I felt the relief,” said Belen, who is now working with other medical marijuana users to mount a long-shot court challenge to federal laws criminalizing the drug.

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Karen Matthews ~ Associated Press ~ 

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Florida Congressman to introduce new medical marijuana legislation to Congress - Cannabis News

Congressman Matt Gaetz held two roundtables discussions on Monday with veterans and faith-based community leaders on medical marijuana research.

In Florida, marijuana is a schedule I drug, the same classification as heroin and LSD, but House Bill 2020 (H.R. 2020) would reschedule marijuana to a schedule III drug, the same as steroids.

Congressman Gaetz met with dozens of veterans across the panhandle at the University of West Florida.

Many of the veterans who were there say they would rather use medical marijuana legally than to take the chance of overdosing on prescribed pain pills.

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More Than 60 Percent of Florida Voters Are Cool With Recreational Pot - Cannabis News

The survey out of the University of North Florida shows that 62 percent of registered voters would back a state law regulating marijuana just like alcohol — with an impressive 45 percent saying they'd "strongly support" a move to fully legalize weed.

Florida and marijuana are already a well-matched couple. Jimmy Buffett, the state's de facto songwriter-in-chief, supported himself as a weed smuggler and wrote odes to mary jane.

The tropical climate is perfect for growing herb. And finally given the chance on a statewide ballot, more than seven in ten voters hopped on the medical-marijuana train in 2016.

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Tim Elfrink ~ MiamiNewTimes.com ~ 

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Cannabis Credit Union Gets Go-Ahead from Federal Reserve - Cannabis News

After years of frustrations and legal struggles, there appears to be light on the horizon for Colorado’s embattled Fourth Corner Credit Union, the first financial institution created specifically to serve the legal cannabis industry.

Late Monday the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City had granted conditional approval for Fourth Corner to serve cannabis-related businesses.

However, according to the newspaper, the firm will not serve state-licensed marijuana dispensaries as originally planned, but will instead “focus on individuals and companies that support legalized marijuana.”

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Bruce Kennedy ~ Leafly.com ~ 

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Medical marijuana bill passes Virginia Senate 40-0 - Cannabis News

The Virginia Senate voted unanimously Monday to pass the Joint Commission on Health Care bill SB 726, which will let Virginia doctors recommend the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for the treatment of any diagnosed condition or disease.

This comes on the heels of Friday’s unanimous passing of the companion bill, HB 1251, in the Virginia House of Delegates.

“I finally decided that I needed to advocate for the physicians being the decision makers,” said Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, the chief patron of the Senate bill.

“We, physicians, are the ones that follow the literature and know which treatments are best for different conditions. The literature on medical cannabis is going to be evolving rapidly now, and because of this, it is not a decision that should be in the hands of the legislature. Instead, it should be with physicians.”

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One month after Sessions marijuana memo, where do U.S. attorneys stand on legal weed? - Cannabis News

So where do the U.S. attorneys stationed in the nine states (and Washington, D.C.) that have legalized recreational marijuana stand? Here’s what we know about the top federal prosecutors in those districts one month into the post-Cole Memo paradigm.

It’s been a month since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, Obama-era Department of Justice guidance on enforcement of federal law in states that legalized marijuana in some form.

Sessions’ marijuana policy shift didn’t just inject uncertainty into the legal cannabis industry — it empowered the Justice Department’s U.S. attorneys to enforce — or ignore — federal marijuana laws.

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Bruce Kennedy and Alex Pasquariello ~ TheCannabist.co ~ 

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Colorado: Pueblo County pot scholarships enter third year - Cannabis News

There's nearly $750,000 in funding available to graduating Pueblo seniors attending a local college or university through Pueblo County's cannabis-tax funded scholarship.

Pueblo County officials said Friday that they hope to award 600 scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year.

That is 180 more scholarships than the county awarded in 2017. Applications for the scholarship are at phef.net. The deadline to apply is March 1.

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Anthony A. Mestas ~ The Pueblo Chieftain ~ 

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Push to legalize marijuana in Georgia - Cannabis News

Marijuana is a smoking hot topic at the Georgia State Capitol. A half dozen State Senators are behind a resolution to legalize recreational marijuana in Georgia.

State Senator Curt Thompson (D-Tucker) is the lead sponsor of a resolution that if passed by the legislature would let voters determine if recreational marijuana use should be legal for people 21 and over.

He's also sponsoring a bill that would allow for retail shops.

"A Colorado style system to allow retail sales of cannabis," said Sen. Thompson.

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Republican lawmakers optimistic about passing cannabis legislation in 2018 - Cannabis News

A recent Gallup poll shows a majority of Republicans now support legalizing marijuana.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) is optimistic Congress will take up marijuana legislation this year in some form.

Several Republicans have pending bills protecting medical marijuana and cannabis research they hope will make progress this year, despite resistance from the Trump administration.

“I’m fairly optimistic that this year will be the year that we can make great progress on this,” Rohrabacher told The Hill. Rohrabacher said that growing bipartisan support will help move federal legislation.

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San Francisco will wipe out thousands of marijuana convictions dating to 1975 - Cannabis News

San Francisco's move could be the beginning of a larger movement to address old pot convictions, though it's still far from clear how many other counties will follow the famously liberal city's lead.

San Francisco will retroactively apply California's new marijuana legalization laws to prior convictions, expunging or reducing misdemeanors and felonies dating to 1975, the district attorney's office announced Wednesday.

Nearly 5,000 felony marijuana convictions will be reviewed, recalled and resentenced, and more than 3,000 misdemeanors that were sentenced prior to Proposition 64's passage will be dismissed and sealed, Dist. Atty. George Gascón said.

The move will clear people's records of crimes that can be barriers to employment and housing.

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California: Governor candidate Chiang urges creating a public bank for pot businesses - Cannabis News

State Treasurer John Chiang laid out a plan Tuesday to create a public bank for marijuana merchants in open defiance of what he called an “out of step” Trump administration fixing to take the hose to California’s sizzling new herbal trade.

Chiang said he and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra have initiated “a methodical and disciplined” cost-benefit analysis to determine whether a public bank would work in California amid the threat of a federal crackdown.

The move comes 30 days after California’s recreational market officially began, creating a financial windfall for marijuana merchants and illuminating a serious problem. 

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Peter Fimrite ~ SFGate.com ~ 

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January was the biggest month yet for marijuana legalization - Cannabis News

California opened the world’s biggest legal pot market, and Vermont’s state legislature became the first to legalize marijuana.

January 2018 was the most important month yet for marijuana legalization.

Things looked rocky a few days into the month, when President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, rescinded an Obama-era memo that protected states that had legalized marijuana from federal interference.

Because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, the federal government can still crack down on pot even in states where it’s legal under state law for recreational purposes.

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Idaho bill would allow use of cannabis-derived CBD oil - Cannabis News

A recently introduced bill would allow residents to use oil extracted from cannabis plants as long as the product is prescribed by a licensed practitioner.

Under the proposed legislation, Idahoans seeking to use the oil for medical purposes for themselves or their minor children would have to apply to the Idaho Board of Pharmacy for a cannabidiol registration card.

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD oil, comes from cannabis but contains little or no THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.

“There’s a lot of medicinal qualities to CBD oil,” The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dorothy Moon (R-Stanley) told EastIdahoNews.com. “From epileptic seizures to fibromyalgia to chemotherapy, you know, nausea and pain from other issues. It is amazing.”

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