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NORML | January 4, 2021

Carly Wolf
Democratic Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois last week issued over 500,000 expungements and pardons for individuals with past, low-level marijuana convictions. Statewide, Illinoisans hold hundreds of thousands of low-level cannabis-related records, a burden disproportionately shouldered by communities of color, said Gov. Pritzker in a statement. We will never be able to fully remedy the depth of that damage. But we can govern with the courage to admit the mistakes of our pastand the decency to set a better path forward. The announcement comes exactly one year after Pritzke.... View more in new window | 1/1/2020

Cara Wietsto
The cannabis legalization movement counted major wins in the 2020 U.S. General Election and a President-Elect Joe Biden, whose campaign included a platform of cannabis decriminalization and expungements, could dictate a national shift in both policy and public attitude towards the plant starting next year. Heading into the election, cannabis was already legal for adult use in 11 states. By January 2021, possession and sales will be newly legal in Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey after voters there opted to end prohibition and by July, South Dakotas new market will have co.... View more in new window

NORML | January 1, 2021

Initiative 190 and Initiative 118, a pair of complementary, citizen-initiated ballot measures legalizing the personal possession, commercial production, and retail sales of marijuana to adults, became law today. Provisions in the new law allowing those ages 21 and older to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or to privately cultivate up to four mature cannabis plants for personal use took immediate effect. Separate provisions in the law establishing a licensing system for commercial marijuana producers and retailers will take effect later this year. Voters.... View more in new window | January 1, 2021

Kyle Jaeger
A New Mexico judge has ruled that medical marijuana patients cannot be punished for using cannabis while incarcerated. In a potentially precedent-setting case, District Court Judge Lucy Solimon granted a motion for declaratory judgement and petition for writ for Joe Montao, who was penalized after correctional officers discovered marijuana in his possession while serving a 90-day sentence in home confinement. The judge said that New Mexicos medical cannabis law broadly protects registered patients, and those protections extend to people serving time in jails or prisons. .... View more in new window | December 29, 2020
As we wave an eager goodbye to 2020 in the rearview mirror, it`s time to assess the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to drug policy and drug reform at the international level. As in other realms of human behavior, the coronavirus pandemic is inescapable, but even as the pandemic raged, drug policy developments kept happening. Here are the biggest world drug policy stories of 2020: The Coronavirus Pandemic and the World of Drugs As with virtually every other aspect of human affairs, the year`s deadly coronavirus pandemic impacted the world of drugs, from disruptio.... View more in new window
NORML | December 21, 2020

Thanks to the tireless activism and support of NORML Supporters like you, the marijuana law reform movement experienced unprecedented successes and major victories in 2020 worth celebrating. Here are just a few highlights: HISTORIC: HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASSES LEGISLATION REPEALING FEDERAL MARIJUANA PROHIBITION As 2020 came to a close, members of the House of Representatives voted to approve the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement MORE Act, HR 3884, which removes marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act thereby eliminating the existing co.... View more in new window

NORML | December 17, 2020

Carly Wolf,
Members of the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate have given final approval to legislation permitting the possession of marijuana by adults and regulating its commercial production and retail sales. Each of the measures now awaits the signature of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. Senate Bill 21 and Assembly Bill 21 establish regulatory guidelines for the marijuana market. Under the bills, adults may legally purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis. The measures cap the number of commercial cultivators permitted under the law at 37 for the first two years. The measure.... View more in new window

Cannabis Culture | December 18, 2020

Anthony Noto,
New Jersey lawmakers have passed a measure to allow a recreational marijuana marketplace in the Garden State. The legislation will now be sent to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who is expected to sign the bill. Once that happens, New Jersey cannabis businesses will be able to offer recreational weed within six months. The Democrat-led Assembly and Senate passed the bill on Thursday. The six-month time frame would be among the shortest wait times from legalization to market open date for a recreational cannabis state. In Massachusetts, it took over two years from the time a.... View more in new window | December 18, 2020

Kyle Jaeger
Sen. Cory Booker D-NJ says the fate of federal marijuana legalization rests on the shoulders of Georgia voters who next month will decide which party controls the Senate in two runoff elections. And if Democrats win both races, cannabis reform will advance under President-elect Joe Biden despite his opposition to legalization, he said. In a clip of an interview with Vice News that was released on Thursday, the senator was asked about the prospects of reform if Republicans maintain control of the chamber or if Democrats reclaim power. He put it bluntly: Look, if youre in Ge.... View more in new window

NORML | December 14, 2020
Former Senator Joe Biden was one of 87 Senators in 1988 who voted to authorize the creation of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a/k/a the Drug Czars office. Now it is time for the Biden administration to abolish this agency. The ONDCP represents a bygone era. Today, most Americans now agree that the adult use of marijuana ought to be legal, and the majority of states have legalized the substance for either medical or recreational use. There is no longer any legitimate need for the Drug Czars office or for a Drug Czar. Think about this: The White House Drug Czar.... View more in new window | December 14, 202

Jostling over who will be named Joe Biden`s drug czar has begun, Arizona gets working on rules for the nascent legal marijuana industry, more cartel conflict in Mexico, and more. Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy is openly lobbying to be named drug czar in the Biden administration. Marijuana Policy Arizona Begins Working on Draft Rules for Recreational Marijuana Sales. State health officials have commenced the rulemaking process for legal marijuana commerce. Since election results were certified on November 30, adults can legally possess up to an ou.... View more in new window

Cannabis Culture | December 10, 2020

Penelope Overton
Sales of medical marijuana alone totaled nearly $222 million through October, making cannabis the states most valuable agricultural commodity. Cannabis is now Maines most valuable crop, besting the states signature agricultural products such as potatoes, milk and blueberries. Medical marijuana sales totaled $221.8 million from January through October, more than double what had been sold by this time last year, according to state sales tax figures. That puts the industry on pace to hit $266 million in sales this year despite a global pandemic that has put many Mainers out .... View more in new window | December 11, 2020

Kyle Jaeger
One month after Arizona voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adult use, regulators have already put forward draft regulations to implement the program. Theyre working on a tight schedule to develop rules for the recreational cannabis market, as the measure stipulates that license applications must be accepted starting January 19. But industry stakeholders are optimistic that they will be able to accomplish that given experience in the existing medical marijuana program. The new draft regulations cover licensing fees, the timeline fo.... View more in new window

NORML | December 8, 2020

Seventy percent of respondents favor expunging the criminal records of those with marijuana-related convictions, according to national polling data compiled by Pollsters asked: Do you support or oppose expunging marijuana-related convictions for non-violent offenders? Seven in ten respondents supported expungement while only 17 percent opposed the process. Support is bipartisan, with majorities of Democrats 81 percent, Independents 69 percent, and Republicans 57 percent endorsing the expungement of marijuana convictions. On Friday, members of the US House of R.... View more in new window | December 9, 2020

Kyle Jaeger
Just days after voting to federally legalize marijuana, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a separate bill meant to promote research into the plant, in part by allowing scientists to access cannabis from state-legal dispensaries. In a voice vote, the chamber passed the bipartisan Medical Marijuana Research Act, which previously advanced out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in September. The bill, which has been slightly revised in the months since, was considered under a procedure known as suspension of the rules, meaning that no further amendments were .... View more in new window

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