Illinois Governor Signs Hemp Research Measure Into Law

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Democrat Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation, House Bill 5085, authorizing state universities to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes. [caption id="attachment_24738" align="alignleft" width="243"]Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D)[/caption] The new law takes effect in January. Illinois joins more than a dozen states — including Hawaii, Indiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah earlier this year — that have enacted legislation redefining hemp as an agricultural commodity and authorizing state-sponsored research and/or cultivation of the crop. In February, federal lawmakers approved language in the omnibus federal Farm Bill authorizing states to sponsor hemp research absent federal reclassification of the plant.

Prescription Painkiller Deaths Fall in Medical Marijuana States

NEW YORK, NY – In the 23 U.S. states where medical marijuana has been legalized, deaths from opioid overdoses have decreased by almost 25 percent, according to a new analysis. “Most of the discussion on medical marijuana has been about its effect on individuals in terms of reducing pain or

Poll: Only 19% of New Yorkers Want Marijuana to Remain Illegal

HAMDEN, CT — Less than one in five New York residents feel that marijuana should remain illegal, a new poll released by Quinnipiac University has found. The poll, released Friday, found that 44% support medical marijuana, while 35% support full legalization of marijuana, including medical use.  Only 19% of those polled said

Police: Steelers’ Bell & Blount Admitted Buying Marijuana

PITTSBURGH, PA — Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount told police they “pitched in” to buy a bag of marijuana with a female friend shortly before they were pulled over – and Bell acknowledged smoking some, though he told the officer who pulled them over he felt

Marijuana Possession Charges Filed Against Steelers’ Bell & Blount

PITTSBURGH, PA — Police have filed marijuana possession charges against Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount following a traffic stop. Police in the Pittsburgh suburb of Ross Township say a motorcycle officer pulled over Bell’s Chevrolet Camaro when he smelled marijuana coming from it around 1:30 p.m.

New Mexico: Albuquerque Considers Marijuana Decriminalization

New Mexico: Albuquerque Considers Marijuana Decriminalization

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — The city of Albuquerque may eliminate jail time for offenders caught with small amounts of marijuana after a city councilor proposed giving only small fines to those caught with less than an ounce of pot. City Councilor Rey Garduno says the legislation he introduced at a…

What You Need to Know About DC’s Marijuana Decriminalization Law

What You Need to Know About DC’s Marijuana Decriminalization Law

WASHINGTON, DC — As of midnight Wednesday, misdemeanor criminal charges for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in Washington, DC have been replaced by a civil violation resulting in a $25 fine. While our nation’s capital now has some of the least punitive marijuana laws in the…

Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect in the Nation’s Capital

Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect in the Nation’s Capital

WASHINGTON, DC — A far-reaching marijuana decriminalization law takes effect in the District of Columbia Thursday that replaces jail time with a $25 fine for the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, ending a year-long effort in the nation’s capital to reduce severe racial disparities in marijuana…

DC’s Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance Goes Into Effect Tonight

DC’s Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance Goes Into Effect Tonight

WASHINGTON, DC — A new District ordinance reducing marijuana possession penalties to a $25.00 fine-only violation goes into effect at midnight tonight. Washington, DC City Council members overwhelmingly approved the legislation, entitled “The Simple Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana Decriminalization Amendment Act,” this past spring. The measure amends…

House Republicans to DC Residents: Guns are OK, Pot is Dangerous

House Republicans to DC Residents: Guns are OK, Pot is Dangerous

WASHINGTON, DC — If House Republicans have their way, District of Columbia residents won’t be allowed to walk the streets with a joint in their pocket, and they will be allowed to carry a semi-automatic rifle. The GOP-controlled House approved a spending bill Wednesday that would undo the District’s…

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Controversial California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Dies

Controversial California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Dies

SACRAMENTO, CA — A controversial bill that would have imposed statewide regulations on California’s multi-billion dollar medical marijuana industry died yesterday in Sacramento. The bill, Senate Bill 1262, was blocked by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and the effort to impose some order on the industry is now dead for…

An Updated Look at Medical Marijuana in the United States

An Updated Look at Medical Marijuana in the United States

WASHINGTON, DC — NORML has updated its homepage’s medical cannabis section, including a newly designed national map of medical marijuana states to reflect the recent surge in states that have passed so-called ‘CBD-only’ legislation. Currently in the United States, 35 states have reformed their laws via legislation or binding…

D.C. Mayor Signs Bill to Expand Medical Marijuana Program

D.C. Mayor Signs Bill to Expand Medical Marijuana Program

WASHINGTON, DC — On July 29, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray signed the Medical Marijuana Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2014.  The bill was unanimously approved by the D.C. Council on July 14th. The ordinance takes effect immediately, but it is only temporary, so another measure and Congressional approval are needed…

Minnesota Issues Draft Medical Marijuana Rules; Public Meetings Scheduled

Minnesota Issues Draft Medical Marijuana Rules; Public Meetings Scheduled

ST. PAUL, MN — The Minnesota Department of Health has issued draft rules governing applications and oversight for the two medical marijuana manufacturers that will be allowed in the state under a bill passed earlier this year. The complete draft regulations can be read here.  These rules are provisional, and may…

D.C. Empowers Doctors to Determine Medical Marijuana Eligibility

D.C. Empowers Doctors to Determine Medical Marijuana Eligibility

WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday of last week, Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray took the bold step of putting physicians in charge of determining which of their patients should use medical marijuana therapy, quietly signing B20-0876, the Medical Marijuana Expansion Emergency Amendment Act of 2014. The emergency legislation, which…

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Federal Bill to Legalize CBD Oil Introduced by Pennsylvania Republican

Federal Bill to Legalize CBD Oil Introduced by Pennsylvania Republican

WASHINGTON, DC — A Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania will introduce a bill to Congress that would make cannabidiol legal under federal law.  Also known as CBD oil, the marijuana-based oil has been shown to reduce seizures in children with debilitating epilepsy. US Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) announced the bill at a press conference…

Sen. Rand Paul Proposes Amendment to Protect Marijuana Laws

Sen. Rand Paul Proposes Amendment to Protect Marijuana Laws

WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul proposed an amendment that would keep the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana patients and physicians as well as interfering with states that implement medical marijuana laws. The amendment was added to a jobs bill currently being heard on the Senate…

US House Votes to Limit Restrictions on State-Approved Marijuana Commerce

US House Votes to Limit Restrictions on State-Approved Marijuana Commerce

WASHINGTON, DC — A majority of members of the US House of Representatives voted last week in favor of an amendment that restricts the Treasury Department‘s ability to take action against financial institutions that possess relations with businesses engaged in state-sanctioned activities specific to cannabis commerce. The amendment, offered…

Medical Marijuana Patients Hail Landmark Victory with Another Unprecedented Vote in Congress

Medical Marijuana Patients Hail Landmark Victory with Another Unprecedented Vote in Congress

WASHINGTON, DC — Medical marijuana patients hailed another landmark victory Wednesday when Congress voted 231-192 to restrict Department of Treasury funds from “being used to prohibit or penalize a financial institution from providing services to a marijuana-related business that engages in activities permissible under state or local laws.” The amendment…

House Votes to Let Banks to Accept Deposits from Marijuana Businesses

House Votes to Let Banks to Accept Deposits from Marijuana Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC — In a historic vote Wednesday, the U.S. House passed a bipartisan amendment by Representatives Denny Heck (D-WA), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) preventing the Treasury Department from spending any funding to penalize financial institutions that provide services to marijuana businesses that are legal under state…

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