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Legalization Roundup—Oct. 10

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California clamps down on cops confiscating property … New Mexico considers marijuana legalization through the state legislature … And the latest poll shows that most states with recreational marijuana initiatives on the November ballot will likely legalize this November.

Read all about it in the HIGH TIMES weekly Legalization Roundup for October 10:

Where: Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts
What: Polls! Polls! Polls!

The latest polls indicate that recreational marijuana legalization, on the ballot in five states come November, is ahead in at least four of them. In Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts the numbers indicate between 50 to 60 percent support in favor of legalization. In Nevada, while some of the polls show support at 57 percent, one of the latest surveys suggests voters are split down the middle with respect to Question 2. Marijuana advocates say the polls are no surprise because the majority of Americans are now consistently showing an interest in bringing down prohibition. All that said, this is the weirdest election within memory. Get out and vote, and make sure your friends do as well.

Where: California
What: Hey! Coppers! Leave Our Cash Alone!

California cops will now have to work a little bit harder to steal from people busted for drug-related offenses. Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 443 into law, which forces law enforcement to obtain a conviction before permanently seizing personal property and cash. The new law, which is set to take effect at the beginning of 2017, will still allow law enforcement to keep the cash of drug dealers caught in possession of over the $40,000. But it’s primary focus is to prevent those people in a low-income bracket from losing everything they own as a result of a minor drug offense—and may represent the beginning of the end for a nationwide problem that has even seen some police departments plumping their budgets with confiscated cash, cars and real estate.

Where: New Jersey
What: Top Gov Contender Supports Legalization

New Jersey’s number one contender for the Democrat’s gubernatorial nomination is open to legalizing marijuana if he is elected next year. Phil Murphy told those in attendance of a town hall meeting last week that he supports legalization. This would be a huge step in the right direction, especially since the current governor, Chris Christie, has all but refused to expand the state’s medical marijuana program because he believes it would just be a front for full legalization. Lawmakers have already introduced a bill aimed at establishing a taxed and regulated pot market similar to what is currently underway in Colorado. Their goal is to build some momentum on the issue in the state legislature next year in hopes of passing legislation when the new governor takes over in 2018.

Where: Virginia
What: Norfolk Considers Decriminalization

Norfolk is discussing an ordinance that eliminates the criminal penalties associated with small-time pot possession. Last month, City Councilman Paul Riddick suggested the council look into a measure to decriminalize marijuana. The council is now giving the issue some serious consideration because most members agree that it is a waste of money to send cops to court over minor pot offenses. Of course, there is some opposition coming from the local police department, which worries that doing away with criminal penalties will only increase in distribution into the area. Several cities across the United States have been taking similar action over the past year.

Where: New Mexico
What: Legalization Debate

New Mexico is reportedly looking to legalize a recreational marijuana industry. Last week, Governor Susana Martinez called a special session in the state legislature to come up with a plan to balance the budget and eliminate the state’s problems in the area of criminal justice. Representative Bill McCamely took the opportunity to propose marijuana legalization as a solution. McCamely plans to introduce the bill soon. According to Marijuana.com, the proposal would establish an cannabis industry similar to what is currently underway in Colorado. It would allow for home cultivation and tax retail weed at a rate of around 15 percent.

Where: Oklahoma
What: Medical Marijuana Gets a Shot in 2018

Supporters of an initiative aimed at legalizing medical marijuana in Oklahoma have been cleared for the ballot…but it probably will not happen for another two years. Oklahomans for Health was cleared for the ballot in 2016, but state officials seemed to do everything in their power to stop it. Attorney General Scott Pruitt changed the ballot description, prompting the group to challenge the language, which mixed with other variables, prevented the measure from clearing on the hurdles needed to get in front of voters this year. But the group has been guaranteed a spot in a future election, which could come as early as next year. However, supporters believe the measure have to wait until 2018.

Where: Memphis
What: Decriminalization Ordinance Passed

Memphis is on its way to decriminalizing marijuana. Last week, the City Council approved a proposed ordinance in a narrow vote of 7-to-6 aimed at eliminating the criminal penalties associated with minor pot possession. The measure would give the Memphis Police Department the option of issuing a $50 fine for violators of this offense (up to a half ounce of weed) rather than taking them to jail. Although Mayor Jim Strickland did not say whether he intends to sign the measure into law, he did say that he supports “the intent” behind the ordinance. MPD director Michael Rallings has not a big fan of the proposal since it was first introduced, and has said that he will direct his police officers to continue following state law. In Tennessee, anyone caught with up to a half ounce of marijuana can be punished with up to a year in jail and fines reaching $2,500. Incidentally, Nashville just passed a similar ordinance last month.

Where: Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts
What: Polls! Polls! Polls!

The latest polls indicate that recreational marijuana legalization, on the ballot in five states come November, is ahead in at least four of them. In Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts the numbers indicate between 50 to 60 percent support in favor of legalization. In Nevada, while some of the polls show support at 57 percent, one of the latest surveys suggests voters are split down the middle with respect to Question 2. Marijuana advocates say the polls are no surprise because the majority of Americans are now consistently showing an interest in bringing down prohibition. All that said, this is the weirdest election within memory. Get out and vote, and make sure your friends do as well.

Where: California
What: Hey! Coppers! Leave Our Cash Alone!

California cops will now have to work a little bit harder to steal from people busted for drug-related offenses. Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 443 into law, which forces law enforcement to obtain a conviction before permanently seizing personal property and cash. The new law, which is set to take effect at the beginning of 2017, will still allow law enforcement to keep the cash of drug dealers caught in possession of over the $40,000. But it’s primary focus is to prevent those people in a low-income bracket from losing everything they own as a result of a minor drug offense—and may represent the beginning of the end for a nationwide problem that has even seen some police departments plumping their budgets with confiscated cash, cars and real estate.

 

Where: New Jersey
What: Top Gov Contender Supports Legalization

New Jersey’s number one contender for the Democrat’s gubernatorial nomination is open to legalizing marijuana if he is elected next year. Phil Murphy told those in attendance of a town hall meeting last week that he supports legalization. This would be a huge step in the right direction, especially since the current governor, Chris Christie, has all but refused to expand the state’s medical marijuana program because he believes it would just be a front for full legalization. Lawmakers have already introduced a bill aimed at establishing a taxed and regulated pot market similar to what is currently underway in Colorado. Their goal is to build some momentum on the issue in the state legislature next year in hopes of passing legislation when the new governor takes over in 2018.

 

Where: Virginia
What: Norfolk Considers Decriminalization

Norfolk is discussing an ordinance that eliminates the criminal penalties associated with small-time pot possession. Last month, City Councilman Paul Riddick suggested the council look into a measure to decriminalize marijuana. The council is now giving the issue some serious consideration because most members agree that it is a waste of money to send cops to court over minor pot offenses. Of course, there is some opposition coming from the local police department, which worries that doing away with criminal penalties will only increase in distribution into the area. Several cities across the United States have been taking similar action over the past year.

 

Where: New Mexico
What: Legalization Debate

New Mexico is reportedly looking to legalize a recreational marijuana industry. Last week, Governor Susana Martinez called a special session in the state legislature to come up with a plan to balance the budget and eliminate the state’s problems in the area of criminal justice. Representative Bill McCamely took the opportunity to propose marijuana legalization as a solution. McCamely plans to introduce the bill soon. According to Marijuana.com, the proposal would establish an cannabis industry similar to what is currently underway in Colorado. It would allow for home cultivation and tax retail weed at a rate of around 15 percent.

 

Where: Oklahoma
What: Medical Marijuana Gets a Shot in 2018

Supporters of an initiative aimed at legalizing medical marijuana in Oklahoma have been cleared for the ballot…but it probably will not happen for another two years. Oklahomans for Health was cleared for the ballot in 2016, but state officials seemed to do everything in their power to stop it. Attorney General Scott Pruitt changed the ballot description, prompting the group to challenge the language, which mixed with other variables, prevented the measure from clearing on the hurdles needed to get in front of voters this year. But the group has been guaranteed a spot in a future election, which could come as early as next year. However, supporters believe the measure have to wait until 2018.

 

Where: Memphis
What: Decriminalization Ordinance Passed

Memphis is on its way to decriminalizing marijuana. Last week, the City Council approved a proposed ordinance in a narrow vote of 7-to-6 aimed at eliminating the criminal penalties associated with minor pot possession. The measure would give the Memphis Police Department the option of issuing a $50 fine for violators of this offense (up to a half ounce of weed) rather than taking them to jail. Although Mayor Jim Strickland did not say whether he intends to sign the measure into law, he did say that he supports “the intent” behind the ordinance. MPD director Michael Rallings has not a big fan of the proposal since it was first introduced, and has said that he will direct his police officers to continue following state law. In Tennessee, anyone caught with up to a half ounce of marijuana can be punished with up to a year in jail and fines reaching $2,500. Incidentally, Nashville just passed a similar ordinance last month.

For all of HIGH TIMES’ legalization news, click right here.

 

 

 

 

 

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