After hours of tense debate, the Alabama Senate voted to pass a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state. Lawmakers voted 22-11 in support of the legislation, which would allow qualifying patients to purchase certain medical marijuana products from state-licensed dispensaries.
The Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill that would expand the state’s current marijuana decriminalization policy, making it so that people caught possessing up to one ounce of cannabis—rather than just 10 grams—would avoid jail time.
President Donald Trump ousted his acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and replaced him with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). Meadows has consistently opposed efforts to scale back the federal war on marijuana as a member of Congress.
A coalition of criminal justice reform advocates—including several Republican officials and a major basketball star—recently delivered a letter to President Trump, imploring him to grant pardons or commutations to people serving time in federal prison for non-violent marijuana offenses.
Boston’s first pot shop opened Monday, marking the first recreational marijuana store to open in a major East Coast city. Pure Oasis is also among the few retail stores in the country owned and operated by people of color, who experts say have struggled to break into the industry.
Lawmakers in several states have sought to limit the amount of THC in cannabis – moves that, if successful, would likely result in costly business adjustments, loss of sales to illicit markets and other disruptions.
When it comes to his support for legalization of recreational marijuana, DeVaughn Ward's top reason is his social justice concerns. As an attorney, he has seen a lot of people prosecuted for marijuana possession, especially youths and people of color.
Since 2014, Congress has protected patients and cannabis programs from federal marijuana prosecutions in states that allow it for medical use. Yet marijuana’s continued status as a Schedule I substance — the most severe drug category — remains fodder for those opposed to legalizing medical marijuana in other parts of the country.