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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

Hawaii decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana

7/9/19--Hawaii decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana on Tuesday, becoming the 26th state to decriminalize or legalize the drug. Under the new law set to go into effect on January 11, 2020, possession of up to three grams of marijuana will no longer be punishable by jail time, though it can still warrant a $130 fine. Read

In Macon, it’s just a ticket for some cannabis

7/9/19--Previously, in Macon-Bibb County, you could get a $1,000 fine and serve up to a year in jail for marijuana possession. Earlier this year, however, county commissioners voted to reduce the penalty to a $75 ticket for an ounce or less of pot with no possibility of jail time. Read

Five Ohio cities decriminalize marijuana

11/6/18--Five out of six Ohio cities that had local marijuana decriminalization measures on the ballot have passed the initiatives. Decriminalization passed in Dayton, Fremont, Norwood, Oregon, and Windham. However, voters in Garrettsville rejected the local measure. Read

NYPD change in marijuana arrest policy goes into effect

9/2/18--A new NYPD marijuana policy goes into effect Saturday to cut down on drug arrests in New York City. Police will put a stop to arresting people for smoking marijuana in public. Officials said the policy was implemented because most of these arrests have nothing to do with public safety. Read

Marijuana ‘still a violation of city ordinances,’ say Atlanta Police

10/6/17--The Atlanta Police Department announced that weed is still against the law. This announcement comes days after the Atlanta City Council voted 15-0 to make marijuana possession a non-arrestable offense. Police Chief Erika Shields has told local media that police officers will still enforce marijuana laws in accordance with city and state regulations. Read

What to know about Atlanta’s vote to decriminalize marijuana

10/3/17--The Atlanta City Council voted to decriminalize marijuana in a unanimous decision on Monday. 11Alive examines and outlines what to know about the vote and how it impacts weed-related arrests moving forward. After the 15-0 vote from the City Council, the proposed ordinance goes to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to either sign or veto the legislation. If he signs it, the ordinance will become city law. Read

Marijuana possession is officially decriminalized in New Hampshire

9/17/17--Marijuana possession is no longer a criminal offense in New Hampshire. However, Granite State residents still can’t buy their weed in retail shops or legally grow their own at home. According to Tom Angell at Forbes, anyone caught in New Hampshire with three quarters of an ounce of weed or less will be subject to a simple fine of $100 for a first or second time offense. On a third possession stop within three years, the fine jumps to $300, before finally becoming a criminal misdemeanor only on the fourth such police encounter. Read

Drug Policy Alliance’s marijuana report is misleading 

8/4/17--A report released last month by the Drug Policy Alliance — a group committed to legalization — ignores how New York City Mayor de Blasio's administration’s approach to marijuana enforcement has resulted in both a safer city and fairer enforcement of state criminal law, which continues to prohibit recreational marijuana use. It also ignores the fact that New Yorkers makes tens of thousands of calls to 911 each year to complain about marijuana. Read

Marijuana decriminalized but still triggers gun felony

4/25/17--In a recent ruling, Superior Court Judge Paul R. Wallace pointed out that the Legislature may not have realized it left on the books a law that bars Delawareans from simultaneously possessing a handgun and any amount of marijuana. Rep. Helene Keeley, D-South Wilmington, said decriminalization has gone smoothly, but the judge's ruling will have to be looked at closely to determine if further legislation is necessary. Read

Dallas City Council approves ‘Cite and Release’ for pot

4/12/17--Dallas City Council voted on Wednesday to move ahead with a cite-and-release program for marijuana. If you’re caught with less than 4 ounces of marijuana and live in Dallas County, you will receive a citation and a court summons. This is the second time the city considered a program for low-level offenders. Read

Israeli cabinet makes move to decriminalize recreational marijuana use

3/5/17--Israel, which has been at the forefront of research into medical marijuana and the drug’s commercialization, took a major step toward officially decriminalizing its recreational use. The Israeli cabinet approved a plan that would impose fines rather than criminal penalties on those caught using the drug in public. Growing and selling marijuana would remain illegal. Read

The next ‘big tobacco’ makes inroads into Virginia

2/23/17--According to a published editorial by Rafael Lemaitre, who served as associate director for public affairs for the White House Drug Policy Office under President Barack Obama, politicians in Richmond are opening the door to the full-scale commercialization of yet another drug in Virginia. Lemaitre strongly believes that the painful lessons of the national experience with Big Tobacco should not be forgotten, which for decades lied to Americans about its products and marketed an addictive, harmful drug to minority communities and young people to make money. Read

Houston area to decriminalize some low-level marijuana possession

2/16/17--Houston and the county containing the fourth most-populous U.S. city will decriminalize low-level marijuana possession. The policy means in most circumstances there will be no jail, no tickets, no court appearances, and no criminal record for possession of less than 4 ounces (113 grams) of marijuana in the city and its surrounding county. Read

NH marijuana decriminalization supporters optimistic on passage

2/4/17--Democratic Rep. Chuck Grassie of Rochester is a sponsor of a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possessing up to an ounce of marijuana. Grassie hopes this is the year the state finally decriminalizes marijuana — roughly 40 years after he first sponsored a bill to do so. Read

Bills would end license suspension for marijuana possession

1/26/17--Virginians convicted of marijuana possession would no longer automatically lose their driver’s license for six months under legislation moving through the General Assembly. However, juveniles convicted of marijuana possession still would be subject to license suspension under the legislation. The bills would leave it up to the judge’s discretion to suspend the driver’s license of adult defendants. Read

Oswego decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana

1/4/17--Oswego has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in the village. Now it is a civil, rather than a criminal, offense for anyone caught with 10 grams of marijuana or less. Read

US path on legal marijuana forces rethink in Mexico

12/27/16--Mexican legislators are taking small steps to decriminalize pot in a country where the war on drugs has killed more than 100,000 people over the past decade. The rising disparity in drug legislation is stoking a debate in Mexico over the effectiveness of its government’s protracted battle against powerful drug cartels when an ever-spreading sweep of the U.S. is giving up the fight. Read

Norms envisaging imprisonment for marijuana use null and void

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-12-14-04-pm12/24/16--Georgia’s Constitutional Court has declared that imprisonment for use of small amount of marijuana, as well as imprisonment for its purchase, retention, and production for personal usage is unconstitutional. In accordance with this ruling, the Court announced that respective norms of Georgia’s Criminal Code and Code of Administrative Offenses were now null and void. Read

Ga.’s debate over pot will proceed only if Trump appointees allow it

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-2-41-49-am11/30/16--The debate over whether Georgia will become a safer space for marijuana, in medicinal or any other form, is poised to pick up speed next year, but only if the incoming Donald Trump administration doesn’t shut it down. With the nomination of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as the nation’s next U.S. attorney general, that has become a distinct possibility. Read

Despite vote, Newark Law Director will still prosecute marijuana possession

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-8-09-00-am11/18/16--Newark voters approved a ballot initiative on Election Day to decriminalize marijuana, but Newark Law Director Douglas Sassen said he won't stop prosecuting people for possession. He intends to follow state law, which still makes marijuana possession illegal. The people who worked to convince 53 percent of Newark voters to decriminalize marijuana feel duped, and several people who campaigned for decriminalization said they are planning a protest at City Hall the day the initiative goes into effect. Read

Memphis suspends decriminalization of marijuana ordinance

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-7-25-11-am11/18/16--City of Memphis officials suspended a decriminalization of marijuana measure Wednesday after Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III issued a statement questioning the legality of the ordinance. Slatery cited a federal limitation that prevents municipalities from enacting measures that conflict with state law, which is the basis of the suspension. Read

Marijuana measures pass in 4 Ohio communities, several states

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-7-50-10-am11/9/16--Four Ohio communities passed local ordinances reducing penalties for marijuana possession to none. The measures decriminalize possession of 200 grams or less of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia, with no jail time or fines. The measures only effect violations in Newark, Logan, Bellaire, and Roseville, not the whole county. Read

Nashville passes marijuana decriminalization measure

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-9-30-11-am9/21/16--Nashville’s Metro Council made history by approving the city’s first measure to allow lesser civil penalties for people caught with small amounts of marijuana, but it may set the stage for a confrontation with the state. Read

Marijuana ordinance missing crucial detail

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-8-41-38-am9/21/16--Nashville’s new ordinance that has decriminalized a half ounce or less of marijuana may be missing one small but significant detail. The language in the current ordinance does not include language that allows a judge to dismiss the charge once a fine has been paid or community service has been completed. Read