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EDITORIAL: Legalization of marijuana was always the goal

7/15/19--According to an editorial published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the people who demanded medical marijuana for years just really wanted a foothold in Arkansas, and the next item on their agenda would be recreational marijuana. That's how they got there in other states. Then, once voters fall for it, requests to support full legalization follows. Now they're pushing for a vote on recreational pot in Arkansas. Emphasis on pushing. Read

Let’s rein in the CBD gold rush

7/11/19--Despite the fact that CBD is everywhere, it still exists partly in a legal gray area. Some states are cracking down on sales of CBD products, while others are allowing CBD to be sold widely under certain conditions. The almost-unprecedented scale of the business potential in the CBD market is what’s causing the rush. Sales of products infused with hemp-derived CBD are expected to reach $5 billion this year, according to recent industry estimates. That represents a 700 percent increase from last year. Read

The unintended consequences of cannabis: Can avocado and marijuana growers peacefully coexist?

5/10/19--According to Scott Van Der Kar, an avocado grower in the Carpinteria foothills, avocado growers were “broadsided” by the news that the Oxnard-based pest control companies that treat their crops would no longer spray the insecticides that work best on avocados, for fear of contaminating cannabis crops with the slightest trace of residue and getting sued. The growers’ quandary has sent county officials scrambling to find a solution, and time is of the essence. Read

The slippery slope of looser drug policy

5/13/19--Seemingly, voters in Denver have approved Measure 301, which will decriminalize the use of so-called “magic mushrooms,” better known as psilocybin. Psilocybin has been outlawed in the U.S. since the 1960s; some researchers warn that it should only be used under medical supervision and can prompt paranoia and anxiety. The federal government classifies psilocybin as a Schedule I drug, with no medical purpose and a high potential for abuse. Read

Denver says no to ‘magic mushrooms’: Historic vote on psilocybin unlikely to pass

5/8/19--Voters in Denver appeared to have voted down a first-in-the nation plan to decriminalize the use and possession of "magic mushrooms" known for sending users on psychedelic journeys. Unofficial results suggested Measure 301 was on track to fail, with 46.5% in favor and 54.5% opposed. Read

It was the largest cannabis farm in SLO County. Supervisors just voted to shut it down

4/13/19--CFAM Management Group, a large cannabis business in Nipomo, is being forced to shut down after the county Board of Supervisors stripped its permitting Tuesday, citing multiple code violations and saying it was intentionally thwarting regulations and would likely continue to operate in bad faith. Read

The leader of the DOJ marijuana working group has a message for regulators: Slow down

4/13/19--In an exclusive interview, US Attorney Billy Williams weighs in on banking, hemp, overproduction, black-market diversion—and marijuana regulators who fail to think things out. Williams’ advice to lawmakers and regulators considering legalization? “Slow down, wake up, and get serious about what you’re doing.”  Read

Brooklyn officials voice opposition to recreational pot legalization

3/24/19--Several elected officials voiced their opposition to a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. They say regulations are needed to address marijuana use in public areas the same way cigarettes are currently regulated. Yet, some Brooklyn residents cite health reasons as why marijuana should be legalized. Read

Legalized marijuana hits hurdles in Albany

3/21/19--The effort to regulate and tax adult-use marijuana has hit stumbling blocks in Albany amid disputes over revenue, who will have access to licenses, and an intensifying counteroffensive by marijuana opponents. Read  

Doctors oppose legalizing marijuana in New York and three other states

3/22/19--Groups representing doctors in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware released a rare joint statement opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana in their states. “We have serious concerns about the lack of scientific evidence that supports recreational marijuana use by adults and young adults. Most importantly, not enough research has been done to prove marijuana is safe,” the presidents of the four state medical societies said. Read

United Nations unanimously agrees to indefinitely postpone cannabis vote

3/20/19--The United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) opted to indefinitely postpone a vote on the World Health Organization’s recommended changes to the scheduling of cannabis in international drug control conventions. The recommendations, prepared by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, call for cannabis and cannabis resin to be deleted from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs. Read  

The Marijuana Delusion

3/25/19--Even as the legalization push gains momentum, scientific journals report mounting evidence of the drug’s harmful psychological effects and social consequences, and pockets of resistance to the pot movement are emerging. According to Steven Malanga, senior editor of City Journal, the inherent contradiction of a country facing growing addiction problems in tandem with states rushing to legalize marijuana has not been lost on everyone. Read

New Jersey governor: Push to legalize recreational marijuana is short on votes

3/21/19--Gov. Phil Murphy and two fellow Democrats, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney, support the measure, which would legalize recreational marijuana for people 21 and older. But lawmakers have expressed reluctance, and the vote’s outcome Monday is uncertain. Forty-one votes are needed in the Assembly and 21 in the Senate. Read

Wallingford mayor leads Saturday rally against marijuana legalization

3/16/19--A group of state and local elected officials held a rally on the steps of Town Hall Saturday morning in opposition to proposed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana. Republican Mayor William Dickinson Jr. called into question of legalization “a great debate.” He claimed there is not conclusive evidence that marijuana usage is not harmful, citing reports from the Food and Drug Administration and other state and local agencies. Read

Marijuana in Michigan: Doobie’s Tavern puts small town in a cannabis conundrum

3/8/19--Cynthia Bell and Mike Karl, of Eaton Rapids, recently opened Doobie's Tavern, a marijuana social club with a strict BYOB (bring your own bud) policy. However, Doobie's has also raised concerns among residents in Elsie, which has a population of fewer than 1,000 people, that their community will never be the same. Read

Texas police chiefs: Marijuana legalization would only make things worse

3/8/19--The Texas Police Chiefs Association is urging lawmakers to proceed with caution and to recognize what they believe is a harmful drug, legalized or not. In a report prepared by the Texas Police Chiefs Association called "The Impact of Marijuana Legalization on State and Local Governments and Communities, TPCA proposes to "address the myths vs. the facts" on marijuana production, cannabis use, legalization and long-term effects on a community's quality of life. Read

List of Michigan communities that have opted out of recreational marijuana businesses

3/12/19--Although recreational marijuana became legal in December, more than 200 communities across the area have already notified the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs that they will not allow recreational marijuana businesses in their area. Every city has the right to opt out of commercial businesses for recreational marijuana. Here is a list of each community in each county that has opted out of selling marijuana. Read

Recreational marijuana: What schools fear most about the legalization in New York

3/7/19--At least one district in New York has issued a resolution in opposition of legalized marijuana, and statewide school organizations are increasingly raising concerns over New York's move toward recreational marijuana. Educators' criticisms focus largely on the potential impact on students already enticed by vaping, cigarettes, and opioids. Read

Nearly 300 Michigan towns just say no to marijuana businesses

2/22/19--As part of the Nov. 6 ballot proposal, communities have to take a vote to  ban recreational marijuana businesses in their borders, and nearly 300 communities across Michigan have voted to prohibit those businesses, according to an unofficial list compiled by the state's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department, which is charged with creating the rules and regulations covering the legal weed market. Read

Legal in the state or not, some cities ban marijuana

3/1/19--In New Jersey, dozens of localities have outlawed sales or possession of the drug even before the legislature legalizes it. New Jersey lawmakers are widely expected to legalize pot this year. They have determined that the drug is relatively benign and undeserving of criminal penalties. Yet, quite a few local leaders in the state are determined to do what they can to keep marijuana out of their towns. Read

New York counties skeptical of marijuana legalization

2/25/29--As New York state moves forward with plans to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, some counties in the state are expressing skepticism and considering whether to “opt out” of recreational marijuana. If marijuana is legalized in New York, counties may be able to stop marijuana businesses from operating within their boundaries, according to WKBW Buffalo. Read

Area police chiefs announce opposition to marijuana legalization in New York State

2/15/19--Governor Andrew Cuomo wants New York State to legalize recreational adult-use marijuana in the next 45 days. On Friday, several area police chiefs came out and said they’ll work to curb the governor’s efforts. Cuomo has called for legal pot in the budget due on March 31st. The plan would also allow individual counties and larger cities to opt out of legal marijuana and ban sales outlets from opening. Read  

Weed legalization, decriminalization bills for Virginia die in committee

1/17/19--A local delegate's push to legalize marijuana for recreational use was shot down, as well as several other major bills aimed at decriminalizing or legalizing the drug before they even reached the full General Assembly this year. Read

Gov. Bevin says pension problem too big for marijuana legalization to solve

1/3/19--Governor Matt Bevin said legalizing marijuana is not going to be the sole solution to fixing Kentucky's underfunded pension system. Bevin also dismissed the idea of legalizing marijuana to help fix the problem, as he estimates that revenue alone would take hundreds of years to eventually replenish the pension system. Read

Reefer madness

1/10/19--According to an editorial and analysis published by The Washington Times, the use of marijuana is growing now that ambiguity over its legality is well advanced. Contrary to the view that marijuana is a trendy drug with little or no downside, there are undeniable reasons to steer clear of it. Read

Milford Village Council expected to prohibit recreational marijuana businesses

12/10/18--Milford Village Council is expected to pass an ordinance that will prohibit the retail sale of recreational marijuana. On Dec. 3, the ordinance amendment aiming to prohibit the retail sale of recreational marijuana was introduced to council. A second reading, and formal adoption, is expected at the council meeting, according to Village Manager Christian Wuerth. Read

The high costs of legalizing marijuana in New Hampshire

12/3/18--According to an editorial by Kate Fry published in Concord Monitor, the legalization and commercialization of marijuana is not a political issue in New Hampshire; it’s a public health and safety concern. The state already has one of the country’s highest rates of binge drinking and substance misuse in young people, as well as the nation’s lowest perception of harm for marijuana. The legalization and commercialization of marijuana would only heighten these concerns by opening New Hampshire to the Big Marijuana industry, which would aggressively market its products to young people, much like the tobacco and alcohol industries before them. Read

Where marijuana stores can — and can’t — open in Mass.

10/19/18--Recreational marijuana sales are now legal in Massachusetts, but there are some cities and towns that might never sell the drug. More than 80 communities have enacted an outright ban on recreational marijuana shops. Another 110 have some sort of moratorium in place, ostensibly to give the city or town time to put zoning rules in place. Read

New report claims marijuana legalization hurting Colorado more than helping

11/19/18--A new study from the conservative Centennial Institute claims for every dollar Colorado gains from marijuana legalization $4.50 is spent mitigating the effects. According to Peter Marcus, a spokesman with Terrapin Care Station, a dispensary chain, the report is largely based on assumptions – pointing to a recent state report by the Department of Public Safety that in his opinion mentioned only a handful of negative impacts. Read

North Dakota marijuana legalization measure fails

11/6/18--North Dakota voters rejected a marijuana legalization ballot measure on Tuesday. The measure failed by a margin of 41 percent in favor to 59 percent against. The North Dakota initiative would have set no limit on the amount of marijuana that people could possess or cultivate. It would also have allowed a system of legal marijuana production and sales, but outlined no rules and regulations for the industry—something that would have been up to state lawmakers to tackle in the upcoming legislative session. Read

Letter: Selling out our children, residents for cannabis profits

10/6/18--Telegram.com published a scathing letter by Deb Chura of Fitchburg stating her disappointment about the city council not holding meetings to talk about medical marijuana. Chura urges people not to be in favor of marijuana for medical use, and openly states in her letter, "there is a huge cost to this, your life, and the lives of those you love, which are at stake." Read  

Group forms to fight against legalizing marijuana

9/7/18--North Dakotans Against The Legalization Of Recreational Marijuana, a new group formed to fight against recreational marijuana becoming legal in the state, is made up of several state groups including Greater North Dakota Chamber and law enforcement, as well as the national Smart Approaches to Marijuana. Measure 3 on this fall's ballot will give North Dakotans a chance to vote on legalizing marijuana. Read

Dade City Commission extends moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries

9/12/18--Two years into a temporary ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, Dade City officials are still wrangling with whether or not to prohibit them permanently. During a recent meeting, the Dade City Commission voted to extend for another six months its moratorium banning medical marijuana dispensaries first established in 2016. Read

Alhambra looks to ban recreational marijuana businesses

9/11/18--Alhambra is set to ban recreational marijuana businesses in the city – at least for now. The City Council unanimously gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that would ban all land uses associated with recreational marijuana – cultivation, manufacture, distribution, retailers, and laboratory testing. In addition, the ordinance would prohibit delivery of recreational marijuana anywhere in the city but would allow for deliveries of marijuana for medical use to a patient’s primary caregiver in Alhambra. Read

North Dakotans don’t plan to legalize pot, first statewide poll shows

8/31/18--Results of a recent poll show there may not be much support for the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana in North Dakota. Just 153 out of 400 respondents, or about 38 percent, said they would vote for Measure No. 3 to legalize recreational marijuana, according to a statewide poll conducted by Odney, an advertising and public relations firm. Fifty-six percent of respondents, or 224 out of 400, said they wouldn’t support the measure, which will be on the November ballot, and about 6 percent said they were undecided or didn’t answer the poll. Read

Bid to put recreational marijuana on November ballot fails

7/5/18--Another attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona went up in smoke Thursday when Safer Arizona missed the 5 p.m. deadline to file petitions to get on the Nov. 6 ballot. A representative of the grassroots group said that it had collected about 75,000 of the 150,625 signatures needed to qualify the Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Act for the ballot. The group had hoped to collect 225,000 signatures; the group had been gathering signatures since November. Read

Mr. Trump, please don’t legalize marijuana at the federal level

7/3/18--President Trump has spoken out forcefully about defeating the illegal drug problem. Now he is urged to support marijuana legalization in the midst of the most deadly drug abuse epidemic in American history. Ex-drug czars Bill Bennett and John Walters firmly believe that the President should forcefully reject marijuana legalization, and direct his staff to get the facts out and push back against the ignorance that risks turning our drug policy into one of the worst self-inflicted wounds in American history. Read

Rockport to hold marijuana discussion

3/18/18--The Board of Health is hoping to lead a discussion about what the presence of recreational marijuana establishments could mean to Rockport residents. The event is meant to stoke discussion and see if there is interest in putting a question on the ballot that would give voters the opportunity to decide whether or not recreational marijuana shops could set up in town or not. Read

Medway town meeting affirms marijuana ban

3/19/18--Residents opted to ban recreational marijuana sales in town at Special Town Meeting Monday night. Voters approved by a two-thirds majority a measure that prohibits retail sales of recreational marijuana. The zoning still allows testing, product manufacture, and grow facilities by special permit in the town's industrial zones. Read

Pot shops face bans in most of Mass.

3/17/18--Marijuana companies will be banned from a majority of cities and towns in Massachusetts when recreational sales begin this summer, the latest indication that there will be fewer pot stores in the early going than many consumers expected. At least 189 of the state’s 351 municipalities have barred retail marijuana stores and, in most cases, cultivation facilities and other cannabis operations, too. Read

San Bruno passing on marijuana

6/29/18--San Bruno is passing on pot, as the City Council agreed to extend a temporary moratorium prohibiting cannabis companies to a permanent ban. Officials said while they recognize the rights of those who smoke marijuana, the public safety risks posed by allowing cannabis selling, manufacturing, cultivating or other commercial uses were too great. Read

Victorville refuses to approve Chalice marijuana festival; faces lawsuit

6/28/18--The Victorville City Council refused to sign off on allowing cannabis consumption and sales at the Chalice California festival, set for July 13-15 at at the San Bernardino County fairgrounds. The decision came after a few dozen people spoke in support of the festival, citing the economic benefit Chalice brings to the community, its solid safety record, and an opportunity to help move newly legalized cannabis culture “out of the shadows.” Read

Where marijuana stores can — and can’t — open in Mass.

6/28/18--Recreational marijuana sales are now legal in Massachusetts, but more than 80 communities have enacted an outright ban on recreational marijuana shops. Another 110 have some sort of moratorium in place, ostensibly to give the city or town time to put zoning rules in place. Read

6 ways to beat a local cannabis ban

2/1/18--Retail cannabis may be legal statewide, but California law allows local municipalities to severely limit or ban cannabis companies. In many cases, bans were the response to the vocal outcry of a relatively small number of concerned citizens. However, bans can be reversed. Leafly presents a few ways to change votes. Read

Will Massachusetts become the first marijuana ‘sanctuary state’?

1/20/18--Two state representatives, Dave Rogers and Mike Connolly, want to turn Massachusetts into a sanctuary state for marijuana, filing legislation that would prohibit state and local police from participating in federal cases against people or licensed operators who follow state cannabis laws. 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

South Hadley town meeting approves marijuana sales ban; residents to make final decision during April election

1/10/18--By a 44 to 37 vote, Town Meeting on Wednesday said yes to a total ban on the sale of recreational marijuana in town. The action means voters during April's annual South Hadley municipal election will decide whether to confirm the prohibition. If the ballot question is approved in the spring, recreational marijuana cannot be sold in town. Read

Police leaders want Legislature to delay vote on legal marijuana

1/9/18--Law enforcement officials in Vermont are urging lawmakers to put the brakes on a fast-moving marijuana legalization bill that is poised for Senate passage this week. The bill, which would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and allow Vermonters to grow up to six plants, is set to go before the Senate on Wednesday, and Republican Gov. Phil Scott has indicated he would sign it into law. Read

Democrats must seize on Jeff Sessions’ misguided marijuana policy

12/7/17--Despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' focus on re-criminalizing, legalization activists are celebrating the widespread adoption of new marijuana laws. But, if history is any guide, declarations of legal marijuana’s permanence may be premature, according to Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America. Still, America’s previous experiments with both legalization and criminalization can provide clues for how to handle the country’s newest legal shift. Read

Legal marijuana deadline may be up in smoke as Tory senators stall bills

12/11/17--Conservative senators are threatening to hold up passage of the two bills that would legalize cannabis consumption and toughen rules against abuse. Unless these senators yield, the bills are unlikely to become law in time for the Canada Day deadline. The political question is who will suffer more if the July 1 deadline is missed: The Liberals, for trying to force through legislation legalizing recreational marijuana use, or the Conservatives, for blocking the legislation in the Senate. Read

Medical marijuana ordinance tabled

12/2/17--Amidst mounting opposition and political strife on a proposed medical marijuana facilities ordinance, the Camden Village Council took no action on the issue Thursday night after a public hearing and open discussion with members of the community. It is unknown the council will discuss the ordinance in the future. Read

Augusta council divided on marijuana moratorium

11/30/17--City councilors had a sharply divided reaction to a proposal to enact a local six-month moratorium banning the sale of recreational marijuana, with some councilors saying the city and the state already have had more than a year to come up with regulations but failed to do so. Other councilors, however, said the city didn’t enact local rules because officials expected the Legislature to come up with statewide regulations and they didn’t want to waste city staff time coming up with local regulations if they weren’t needed. Read

Why some California communities are pushing back hard against cannabis farms

11/24/17--California is set to issue licenses in January to grow, transport, and sell weed for recreational purposes. Farmers can legally grow marijuana for recreational consumption next year but are required to get a local permit before applying for a state license, which has sparked a boom in pot-friendly counties. Yet, authorities this year have cut down close to 30,000 plants grown without permits in a county that is reconsidering its embrace of marijuana cultivation ahead of statewide legalization. Read

Some Massachusetts towns going to pot, after all

11/19/17--A growing number of Massachusetts communities are leaving their borders open to commercial marijuana businesses, bucking a wave of bans and moratoriums that followed voter approval of legal recreational pot. Yet, there's still far from broad acceptance around Massachusetts, which along with Maine were the first eastern U.S. states to legalize recreational weed. Read

Not so fast on legalizing pot, says N.J. senate leader of black caucus

11/20/17--Sen. Ronald Rice, one of New Jersey's longest-serving state Senators, said he plans to hold public hearings to question the next governor's push to legalize marijuana next year. Rice stated that he would use his authority as chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus to call public hearings to explore the negative consequences felt in the eight states in which marijuana possession and sales are legal. Read

New Hampshire marijuana legalization bill shot down

11/15/17--A bill that would legalize marijuana in New Hampshire has been rejected by a House committee. The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted not to recommend the bill to the House. Under the measure, people 21 and older would have been able to buy recreational cannabis from licensed businesses that were taxed by the state. Read

Massachusetts moratoriums may mean long drives for legal marijuana

11/13/17--Although retail sales of recreational marijuana can begin in July, many customers across northern Massachusetts may have to travel significant distances or wait several months to acquire the substance. Moratoriums are becoming widespread, and only a handful of towns in northern Massachusetts will be able to join the initial wave of recreational sales, a trend that legal marijuana advocates say could have lasting economic repercussions. Read

Lancaster voters OK temporary marijuana moratorium

11/10/17--A temporary moratorium on recreational marijuana retailers garnered more than the two-thirds vote necessary to be approved. The moratorium will give the Planning Board until Dec. 31, 2018, to create a bylaw on the use of land or structures for marijuana retailers. There is no bylaw addressing those retailers currently. Read

Hanover adapts to medical marijuana dispensary after voting against recreational sales

11/8/17--In the best interest of patients who reached out for immediate assistance, Curaleaf Massachusetts, the second largest dispensary in Plymouth, opened “sooner rather than later." Curaleaf CEO Patrik Jonsson believes the medical dispensary will blend into the fabric of the community with time, and aims to educate those who are open to be educated on the benefits of marijuana. Read

Indiana prosecutors just say ‘no’ to legalizing marijuana

11/7/17--The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Association sent out a three-page letter to the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse. In that letter, the association detailed why it says “no” to marijuana. David Powell, executive secretary of the association, is making their stance clear on marijuana in Indiana. Pointing to research, the association believes it increases the risk of opioid abuse. The group also believes marijuana has hurt other states where’s it’s legal. Read