The senior member of the House files a racial profiling bill, Colorado lawmakers move to reduce medical marijuana homegrow limits, Kansas lawmakers mess with a medical marijuana bill, Texas lawmakers get a hearing on decriminalization, and more.
Texas Decriminalization Bill Gets Hearing Today . The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee today held a hearing on House Bill 81 , which would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Under the bill, offenders would face a ticket and fine rather than jail time and a criminal record. The Sheriff's Association of Texas opposes the bill, arguing that marijuana is "a gateway drug."
Colorado House Gives Preliminary Approval to Cutting Home Grow Plant Limits . The House voted last Friday to give preliminary approval to House Bill 17-1220 , which would limit medical marijuana home grows to 16 plants per residence. The current limit is 99 plants. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and law enforcement support the bill as a means of reducing diversion. The House must vote on the bill again this week before sending it to the Senate.
Florida Lawmakers Have Six Competing Medical Marijuana Plans to Choose From . Voters approved medical marijuana at the ballot box last November. Now, the legislature is trying to figure out how to implement it. Here's an overview of the six competing plans.
Kansas Senate Committee Approves CBD Cannabis Oil Bill, But Activists Unhappy . The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee approved a CBD cannabis oil bill last Thursday, but only after gutting the original bill, Senate Bill 155 , and replacing it with Senate Bill 151 , which would only allow doctors to recommend "non-intoxicating" cannabinoid medications. "This is not the scope of what those who want to see prescriptive authority for medical marijuana want," said Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City), who sponsored the original bill. Haley said he would attempt to restore the original bill this week.
Conyers Files Federal Racial Profiling Bill . Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the longest serving member of the House (he's been there since 1965), filed House Resolution 1498  last Friday. The bill calls for "eliminat[ing] racial profiling by law enforcement."
Philippines President Creates New "Joint Command" to Wage Bloody Drug War . President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order creating an Interagency Committee on Illegal Drugs (ICAD). The order mobilizes 21 executive agencies to prioritize "high value" targets and go after all levels of the drug trade. Since Duterte took office last year, more than 8,000 people have been killed by police or shadowy vigilante groups. Another 48,000 have been jailed.