In the desert, Republicans and Democrats have found something to agree upon: A majority in both parties plan to vote to make marijuana legal in the upcoming Arizona election if they get the chance.
State lawmakers are scheduled to vote Thursday on one of two proposals to decriminalize weed and curb arrests that disproportionately impact Black people.
More Louisiana residents will have access to medical marijuana under a significant expansion of the state's therapeutic cannabis program that was signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Lawmakers are moving ahead with the second bill proposed in recent weeks that would decriminalize certain levels of marijuana possession in New Jersey, amid mounting protests both in the state and nationwide against racial inequality.
Their introduction comes months ahead of a ballot question set for November’s 2020 presidential election, where voters will decide whether recreational marijuana should be legalized for adult-use.
There’s a gaping budget hole caused by an economy in tatters.
There’s growing voter support and some assurance that the issue is no longer political poison. And there are tax windfalls, potentially huge revenues to be gleaned, if a bill can win bipartisan support in Harrisburg.
For those reasons, some Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are coming around — if slowly — to the idea of legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use.
The reasons are not hard to discern.
Some New York lawmakers and the Legal Aid Society are calling for last-minute legislation that would legalize marijuana as the state deals with a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Earlier this year, prior to the pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he had intentions to legalize marijuana, as it would potentially bring $300 million in revenues to the state.
However, once the pandemic struck, Cuomo dedicated his time and resources to that, and the state is now facing a potential $61 billion shortfall.
As the country slowly opens up and returns to a semblance of normalcy, many Americans may struggle to remember that this year is also an election year—and unsurprisingly a pivotal one at that. Beyond the important matters of protecting the lives of our citizens and rebuilding the economy, the future of the cannabis industry will also be determined in this year’s election, although not in the branch of government that many might expect.
The new law goes into effect 1 July.
Governor Northam, a Democrat, signed two identical bills, Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 972, creating a civil penalty of no more than $25 for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, with no jail time.