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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 24 Jan 2017 04:20:21 PST

Legislators Move To Delay The Enactment Of Voter-Initiated Marijuana Laws

Washington, DC: Legislators in a number of states are pushing forward measures to delay the enactment of several voter-initiated marijuana laws.

In Arkansas, House lawmakers unanimously voted in favor of legislation, House Bill 1026, to postpone the deadline for establishing the state's new medical marijuana program by 60 days. Fifty-three percent of voters approved Issue 6 on Election Day, which called on lawmakers to regulate the production and dispensing of medical cannabis within 120 days.

In Maine, leading House and Senate lawmakers have endorsed emergency legislation, LD 88, to delay retail marijuana sales by at least three months. Under the voter-initiated law, rules regulating the commercial marijuana market are supposed to be operational by January 1, 2018.

In North Dakota, Senate lawmakers unanimously passed emergency legislation, Senate Bill 2154, to postpone the deadline for the enactment of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act. Sixty-four percent of voters backed the measure, which gave lawmakers a 90-day window to regulate the distribution of medical marijuana.

Massachusetts' lawmakers previously enacted legislation imposing a six-month delay on the licensed production and retail sales of marijuana. Legislators are also debating making additional changes to the law, including raising the proposed retail sales tax and limiting the number of plants an adult may grow at home.

In Florida, health regulators are also calling for changes to Amendment 2, which passed with 71 percent of the vote.

NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri strongly criticized the proposed changes and delays, calling them "an affront to the democratic process." He added: "Voters have lived with the failings of marijuana prohibition for far too long already. Lawmakers have a responsibility to abide by the will of the voters and to do so in a timely manner."

Report: Consumers Spend $53 Billion On Marijuana In 2016

Oakland, CA: Cannabis consumers spent over $53 billion on marijuana-related purchases in 2016, according to a report released this week by Arcview Market Research. The total includes sales of cannabis in both legal and illegal markets.

In jurisdictions where marijuana is legally regulated, sales totaled an estimated $6.9 billion in 2016 - a 34 percent increase over 2015 totals. Authors estimate that legal sales will total nearly $22 billion nationwide by the year 2021.

The report also finds that an increasing number of consumers are gravitating toward non-traditional forms of cannabis, such as concentrates, which have enjoyed increased market share over the past three years.

An executive summary of the report, 'The State of Legal Marijuana Markets - 5th Edition,' is available online.

Police Survey: Attitudes Toward Marijuana Legalization Shifting

Washington, DC: Nearly seven in ten police officers believe that marijuana ought to be legally regulated for either medicinal or recreational purposes, according to a Pew Research Center survey of nearly 8,000 law enforcement personnel.

Thirty-two percent of respondents supported legalizing the plant for adults, while another 37 percent agreed that marijuana ought to be regulated for medical purposes only. Thirty percent of police said that marijuana ought to continue to be illegal for any reason.

Law enforcement's views continue to be more conservative than those of the general public - 81 percent of whom endorse the legalization of medical cannabis and 60 percent of whom support broader legalization for adults.

Indiana: American Legion Calls On Lawmakers To Permit Medical Marijuana Access

Indianapolis, IN: The American Legion of Indiana passed a resolution on Sunday calling on state lawmakers to permit veterans' access to marijuana as a therapeutic remedy.

The resolution acknowledges that legalizing cannabis access will reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths, and urges members of the Indiana General Assembly to "amend state legislation to remove restrictions from marijuana and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum, will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value."

Legislation is pending in the state, Senate Bill 255, to establish guidelines for the licensed production and dispending of cannabis to qualified patients.

During its national convention in September, the American Legion called on Congress to remove marijuana from its Schedule I classification under federal law. With nearly 2.5 million members, the American Legion is the largest veterans advocacy organization in the United States.

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