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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 10 Jan 2017 04:20:21 PST

Marijuana Advocates Tell Senators #JustSayNoToSessions

Washington, DC: The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and its supporters will participate in a "Day of Action" to mobilize opposition to the appointment of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General.

"Senator Sessions' views are out of step with mainstream America and they are in conflict with laws throughout a majority of states," stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, "We must demand that Senators on the Judiciary Committee ask this nominee whether he intends to respect the will of the voters in these states and whether he truly believes that no 'good people' have ever smoked pot. If he truly believes such outdated Reefer Madness rhetoric, then he should not be the next Attorney General."

Participants from over the country will be flooding their Senators phone lines to demand that if Senator Sessions refuses to agree to respect state marijuana laws, members of the Senate should refuse to confirm him as Attorney General. The effort will be promoted online with the hashtag #JustSayNoToSessions.

If confirmed by the US Senate, Sen. Sessions will possess the power to roll back decades of hard-fought gains. He will have the authority to challenge the medical marijuana programs that now operate in 29 states and the adult use legalization laws that have been approved in eight states.


Marijuana Supporters Plan Day of Action Against Sessions

Washington, DC: On Monday, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and its supporters will participate in a "Day of Action" to mobilize opposition to the appointment of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General.

"Senator Sessions' views are out of step with mainstream America and they are in conflict with the laws of over half of the states," stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, "We must demand that Senators ask this nominee whether he intends to respect the will of the voters in these states, and whether he truly believes no that 'good people' have ever smoked pot and, if he truly believes such an outrageous claim, he should not be the next Attorney General."

Participants from all over the country will be flooding their Senators' phone lines to demand that if Senator Sessions refuses to agree to respect state marijuana laws, members of the Senate should refuse to confirm him as Attorney General. The effort will be promoted online with the hashtag #JustSayNoToSessions.

If confirmed by the US Senate, Sen. Sessions will possess the power to roll back decades of hard-fought gains. He will have the authority to challenge the medical marijuana programs that now operate in 29 states and the adult use legalization laws that have been approved in eight states.


Nevada Becomes The Seventh State To Eliminate Marijuana Possession Penalties

Carson City, NV: Nevada has become the seventh state to eliminate criminal penalties specific to the adult possession and personal use of cannabis.

Language in Question 1: The Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative specific to the possession and cultivation of marijuana took effect on Sunday, January 1. It permits adults who are not participating in the state's existing medical cannabis program to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or up to 3.5 grams of cannabis concentrates. An adult may also lawfully grow up to six plants in their home if they reside 25 miles or more away from an operating marijuana retailer. Public use of the plant remains a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $600.

Separate provisions in the statute also license the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. Those regulations do not take effect until January 1, 2018.

Fifty-five percent of Nevada voters approved the measure on Election Day.

Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington have previously adopted voter-initiated laws legalizing the private consumption and sale of cannabis by adults. The District of Columbia also permits adults to legally possess and grow personal use quantities of marijuana in private residences. Similar legislation in Maine is scheduled to take effect on January 30.


Maine: Governor Certifies Legalization Law

Augusta, ME: Adults in Maine will be able to legally possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis without penalty beginning on Monday, January 30, 2017.

Republican Governor Paul LePage on Saturday certified the results of Question 1: The Marijuana Legalization Act, which then becomes law 30 days later. At that time, adults who are not participating in the state's medical cannabis program will be able to legally possess up to two and one-half ounces of cannabis and/or the total harvest produced by six mature plants.

Separate provisions in the measure also establish regulations for the commercial cultivation, retail sale, and social use of cannabis. Regulations governing marijuana-related businesses are scheduled to be in place by August 8, 2017. However, the Governor has called on lawmakers to push back this timeline.

Governor LePage has been a strong opponent of Question 1, stating, "If there was ever a bill that the legislature should just kibosh, that's it." He has also suggested increasing marijuana's retail sales tax rates, as well as abolishing the state's medical cannabis program, which has been in place since 1999 - positions that NORML opposes.


Missouri: Minor Marijuana Possession Offenses No Longer Punishable By Jail

Columbia, MO: Sentencing reforms took effect on January 1, 2017 eliminating the threat of jail time for some first-time marijuana offenders.

Under the newly enacted law, first-time offenders who possess no more than ten grams of cannabis face a $500 fine, but no threat of incarceration. However, the act remains classified under state law as a criminal misdemeanor.

Those defendants convicted of possessing greater quantities of cannabis (up to 35 grams), or who are subsequent offenders, face up to one year in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Lawmakers initially approved a wide range of criminal sentencing reforms in 2014. However, those changes were not eligible to take effect until this year.


Massachusetts: Governor Signs Legislation Delaying Retail Marijuana Sales

Boston, MA: Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation into law Friday amending the state's voter-initiated marijuana law.

The legislation, which was passed unopposed by fewer than a dozen lawmakers during an informal legislative session, delays the timeline for the establishment of licensed marijuana sales from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2018.

Separate provisions in the law that eliminate penalties for adults who privately possess or grow personal use quantities of cannabis took effect in mid-December.

Governor Baker and other political leaders were outspoken in their opposition to the law's passage, and have also suggested further amending the measure in a manner that would increase sales tax rates and potentially infringe upon adults' right to cultivate the plant at home.


Puerto Rico: Island's First Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Open For Business

San Juan, Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico's first legal medical cannabis dispensaries opened their doors last week. The new facilities are operating in accordance with a 2015 executive order by Gov. Alejandro J. Garcia Padilla, which called on health officials to regulate the dispensing of cannabis-infused products - such as oils and pills - to qualified patients.

An estimated 2,000 patients within the US territory are authorized to access the products. Under the new regulatory scheme, patients are not permitted to cultivate their own cannabis. Also, herbal preparations of cannabis are not allowed.

Twenty-three firms are presently licensed on the island to grow, sell, or process cannabis or related products.


NORML Comments on Maine Marijuana Legalization Certification

Portland, ME: Adults in Maine will be able to legally possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis without penalty beginning January 30, 2017.

"Sometimes our opponents have to be drug there kicking and screaming, but it is good to see the ‘No on 1' campaign and Governor LePage honor the will of state voters and allow legalization's election night victory to finally be formally certified," stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, "We will be fighting to ensure the initiative is implemented as voters intended and will be vigilant and prepared to fight back against any further efforts to rollback this landmark reform."

Governor Paul LePage on Saturday certified the results of Question 1: The Marijuana Legalization Act. The voter-initiated measure narrowly passed on Election Day and was subject to a partial recount. By law, the measure becomes law 30 days after the Governor has affirmed the results.

At that time, adults who are not participating in the state's medical cannabis program will be able to legally possess up to two and one-half ounces of cannabis and/or the total harvest produced by six mature plants.

Maine will become the eight US state to eliminate criminal and civil penalties for adults who possess marijuana for their own personal use.

Separate provisions in the measure also establish regulations for the commercial cultivation, retail sale, and social use of cannabis. Regulations governing marijuana-related businesses are scheduled to be in place by August 8, 2017. However, the Governor has called on lawmakers to push back this timeline. Massachusetts lawmakers last week enacted a similar delay to their retail sales program.

Governor LePage has been a strong opponent of implementing Question 1, stating, "If there was ever a bill that the legislature should just kibosh, that's it." He has also suggested increasing the retail sales tax rates associated with the measure, as well as abolishing the state's medical cannabis program, which has been in place since 1999 — positions that NORML opposes.


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