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Hawaii becomes 26th state to decriminalize marijuana

7/10/19--Hawaii has become the 26th state in the nation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana -- but its governor cautioned it does not mean the state is ready to say aloha to legalizing recreational use of the drug. Under the new law, people caught with small amounts of marijuana will no longer face a misdemeanor charge that had been punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Now people caught with 3 ounces or less of weed can still be hit with a citation carrying a $130 fine, but no jail term. Read

Once pot friendly N. California county bans marijuana

1/17/18--A previously pot friendly rural Northern California county has reversed course and banned commercial marijuana farms, paving the way for lawsuits from growers who previously received permits and paid taxes. A newly constituted Calaveras County board of supervisors last week voted 3-2 to ban marijuana, giving some 200 farmers with permits about three months to wind down operations. Read

Report reveals underground US haven for heroin, drug users

8/8/17--A report reveals that a safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years. In the report, two researchers said they've been evaluating an underground safe place that opened in 2014. As a condition of their research, they didn't disclose the location of the facility — which is unsanctioned and potentially illegal — or the social service agency running it. Read

Hurdles expected for Utah’s medical marijuana research law

6/14/17--Utah lawmakers balked again this year about passing a broad medical marijuana law. Instead, they gave state colleges and other institutions a green light to study the medical impacts of the drug with the hope of having comprehensive data by next year. However, studies would likely take years, requiring scientists to navigate layers of bureaucracy that can delay and even discourage research. Read

Colorado marijuana market funds busts of illegal growers

6/8/17--The first recreational pot market in the U.S. notched another marijuana first when Colorado started using marijuana taxes to fund police efforts to crack down on illegal growing operations. A measure signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper sets aside nearly $6 million a year in Colorado marijuana tax revenue to reimburse police for investigating black-market marijuana activity that authorities say has increased since the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2012. Read

Medical pot bill in S. Carolina bolstered by conservatives

3/26/17--This year's renewed push in South Carolina for comprehensive medical marijuana programs is bolstered by some of the state's most conservative legislators whose opinions have shifted due to personal losses, or the pleadings of parents and pastors in their districts. Read

Minnesota marijuana oil sent to New York stirs anger

3/23/17--Minnesota lawmakers want to crack down on one of the state's medical marijuana companies whose former executives have been charged with illegally shipping $500,000 of marijuana oils to New York, pushing legislation allowing regulators to revoke the manufacturer's license and levy a huge fine. Read

Massachusetts panel opens hearings on recreational pot law

3/20/17--Massachusetts lawmakers are vowing to respect the will of the voters, and a special legislative committee considering revisions to the law is opening hearings at the Statehouse on Monday. Among those expected to testify are members of "Yes on 4," the group that led the ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults in Massachusetts. State treasurer Deb Goldberg, whose office will oversee regulation of marijuana sales, is also scheduled to appear before the panel. Read

Arkansas Court says voters can decide medical marijuana plan

fb-square-english-spanish10/13/16--The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that voters can consider a medical marijuana proposal on the November ballot. Justices sided with supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow patients with certain medical conditions to purchase marijuana from dispensaries. The proposal is one of two medical marijuana proposals on the ballot. Read

9 states to vote soon on expanding legal access to marijuana

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-8-07-33-pm9/28/16--Five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — will consider legalizing the recreational use of pot. Three others — Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota — will decide whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montana will weigh whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law. Read

Arkansas court rejects challenge to medical marijuana plan

fb-square-english-spanish9/22/16--The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected one of two efforts to block a medical marijuana proposal from the November ballot. Justices denied a challenge from a group opposed to the proposed initiated act that would allow patients with certain medical conditions to buy marijuana from dispensaries. Read

Many think marijuana causes little to no harm

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-1-29-50-pm9/5/16--According to a new study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, substantially more people feel that using marijuana causes little to no harm. This study looked back at 12 years of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, from 2002 to 2014, and found that more Americans reported they were using the drug and far fewer saw it as harmful. Read