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Chronicle AM: NY Cops Oppose Pot Legalization, MD Legal Pot Bills Filed, TX MedMJ Bills, More... (2/7/19)

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #1055)

A House committee will take up legal marijuana banking issues next week, NY cops oppose legalization there, Maryland sees pot legalization bills filed, Texas sees medical marijuana bills filed, and more.

Marijuana Policy

Marijuana Banking Issues to Get House Hearing Next Week. In a refreshing change from the era of Republican control of the House, the Democratic leadership is ready to move on marijuana-related issues. A subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on "Challenges and Solutions: Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses" next Wednesday.

Georgia Pot Decriminalization Bill Gets Hearing. A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, SB 10, got a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The bill would make possession of a half-ounce or less an offense punishable by no more than a $300 fine and possession of under two ounces would be a misdemeanor. Under current state law, possession of more than an ounce is a felony.

Maryland Pot Legalization Bills Filed. State lawmakers in both chambers filed legislation Wednesday that would end marijuana prohibition in Maryland. SB0771, sponsored by Sen. William C. Smith, Jr. (D-Takoma Park), and HB0656, sponsored by Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Silver Spring), would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and establish a system in which cannabis is regulated and taxed for adult use. Past convictions for cannabis possession and cultivation would be automatically expunged. Del. David Moon (D-Takoma Park) filed a constitutional amendment, HB0632, which would establish a similar system. If enacted, it would be placed on the ballot and decided by Maryland voters in November.

New York Police Unions Oppose Pot Legalization. The state association of police unions unanimously opposes efforts to legalize marijuana. "We wanted to be on the record that we oppose it because it's an act of total irresponsibility," Michael Palladino, head of the New York Association of Police Benevolent Associations said Wednesday. "The Governor and lawmakers are trading public safety for a money grab to plug a budget deficit arising from mismanagement of taxpayer funds. Jeopardizing the public’s safety is not something cops support."

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Cards Valid Beginning Next Week. If you're a registered medical marijuana patient, the card is in the mail. The state Department of Health says more than 7,000 patient ID cards are being sent out now and will be active beginning next Friday.

Kansas Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. A bipartisan group of legislators filed a bill to legalize medical marijuana Wednesday. The measure, HB 2163, is not yet available on the legislative website but would provide registration for patients and licenses for medical marijuana growers and distributors and medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill would also establish the cannabis regulatory commission and taxation of cannabis.

Texas Medical Marijuana Bills Filed. The legislature will grapple with at least four different medical marijuana bills this session. The state already allows for the use of CBD cannabis oil for epilepsy, but these bills would all expand on that. Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin) has filed HB 122, which would legalize medical marijuana. Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City) and Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) have proposed HB 209/SB 90. The bills would allow Texans with certain debilitating medical conditions to grow their own marijuana plants for personal use and would also create a licensing process for dispensaries and testing facilities. And Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) has filed HB 551. It would allow Texans who can currently use low-THC medical cannabis under the state's Compassionate Use Act to possess marijuana concentrate.

Asset Forfeiture

Utah Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Advances. Despite strong opposition from law enforcement, a bill that would require that all civil asset forfeiture cases be initially screened in state courts has advanced in the Senate. The measure, SB 109, passed the Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday on a 4-1 vote. The bill would also mandate that seized funds go not to the seizing agency but to a grant fund operated by the state Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Dain Bramage (not verified)

I wouldn't wish to criticize, but I have mixed feelings about the word "refreshing."

Yes, "refreshing" to see matters relating to the topic of marijuana legalization taken up by Democrats in power.

Yet, I would have preferred the first order of business was helping real people, rather than corporations -- those being predominately white-owned corporations, I might add.

It would be disheartening to see rights advanced for dispensary owners in legal states, while also seeing rights continually deprived and violated for real people busted for weed in non-legal states.

That is evidence, not of the so-called "tipping point" for legalization in USA, but instead is evidence of a "fracture point" along state lines, in accordance with the rightwing dismemberment of American democracy.

But you have to start where you are, always.   With greater progressive majorities in Congress, Democrats will legalize it across America,  once and for all!

Vote Democratic!!!  Vote Progressive!!!

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 8:39am Permalink
Robert G. (not verified)

In reply to by Dain Bramage (not verified)

But Democrats & progressives are worse on almost every issue other than this, & they're not even all that good on this!  As just 1 example of their hypocrisy, what they're giving w.r.t. cannabis they're taking away w.r.t. tobacco or even purified nicotine.

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 7:20pm Permalink
Dain Bramage (not verified)

In reply to by Robert G. (not verified)

All I am saying is,  when Republicans say they support marijuana legalization, they are lying through their goddamn teeth because of the very fact that they are Republicans.   You can't have both.

Some other things Democrats are better at than Republicans:

1. NOT stealing children and putting them in cages.  (Rot in hell, Robert G!)

2. NOT being a Putin Operative

3. NOT fucking the poor and the working man



That's just a few.  So yeah, Robert G, you can rot in hell with the rest Republicans (or Third Party) or you can be an American and vote Democratic!

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 8:35pm Permalink
Dain Bramage (not verified)

In reply to by Dain Bramage (not verified)

Robert G, 

Before you get your panties in a knot about me telling you to burn in hell, you must stick up for the kids who were stolen from their parents by the Republicans.  If you can't do that much, then yes I do hope you burn in Hell (if there is such a place.)

 I mean, according to the brochures, that's what Hell is for, right?  Child abusers and pussy grabbers and white supremacists, and child rapists on the Supreme Court.  You know... Republicans! 

So go fuck yourself, Robert G, you're in league with Satan!

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 11:47pm Permalink
Harley (not verified)

In reply to by Dain Bramage (not verified)

You (DB) are a sad, sick boy. Politicians are all whores, so it really doesn't matter who is in office. I'm all for legalization, but general freedom is also important, and Dems are just as bad as Repubs on that. You might want to look into getting a life and doing something with your Dain instead of skulking around insulting people from your Mom's basement. Grow up, son.

Sat, 02/09/2019 - 2:20pm Permalink
NYcopssuck (not verified)

It's their reasons for messing with over half their perps. Cannabis is 100% safer than alcohol which I am sure 75% of the police department abuses on the regular. Everyone sees through your agenda NY cops.

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 11:16am Permalink

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