Colorado Gov. Jared Polis plans to mass-pardon 2,732 convictions of low-level marijuana possession through an executive order Thursday after signing a bill earlier this year that gave him that authority. “This really catches Coloradans up with where the law is today,” he told The Denver Post. House Bill 1424, passed by the General Assembly earlier this year, included a provision that allows the governor to pardon those who have convictions on their criminal records for possessing up to 2 ounces of marijuana — the current legal limit for medical marijuana users. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
As calls for criminal justice reform sweep the nation, California is taking steps to reverse some effects of the war on drugs, which continues to disproportionately impact people of color. California’s 58 county district attorneys had a deadline of Wednesday, July 1, to accept or challenge the state’s recommendation to clear the records of some 191,090 past marijuana convictions. The procedure was triggered by Proposition 64, a 2016 measure that legalized cannabis and reduced penalties for related crimes, and by Assembly Bill 1793, which requires justice officials to purge eligible crimes from people’s records. Because local prosecutors agreed with the vast majority of the state’s recommendations, tens of thousands of Californians are now free of criminal records for cannabis charges. In m...
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law Monday that allows him to mass-pardon Coloradans with minor marijuana possession convictions, although he has not said exactly how the process will work. Lawmakers passed House Bill 1424 on June 15, the last day of the 2020 legislative session. The bill aims to make the legal marijuana industry more accessible to people of color and those who were previously convicted on drug charges that wouldn’t be crimes now. It expands the social equity program for marijuana business licenses to Colorado residents who have been arrested or convicted on a marijuana offense, been subject to civil asset forfeiture from a marijuana offense, or lived in an area designated as high crime or economically disadvantaged. “For decades now, the Black community has b...
Published: Jun 22, 2020, 11:45 am • Updated: Jun 22, 2020, 11:45 am By Associated Press By LINDSEY TANNER | The Associated Press Laws legalizing recreational marijuana may lead to more traffic deaths, two new studies suggest, although questions remain about how they might influence driving habits. Previous research has had mixed results and the new studies, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, can’t prove that the traffic death increases they found were caused by marijuana use. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.
The governor would be able to mass-pardon marijuana convictions for possession of 2 ounces or less if he signs a bill that gives him that authority. It was the last amendment to the last bill considered Monday before Colorado’s General Assembly ended its work for the year. Lawmakers added the mass expungement option to House Bill 1424, which aims to open the marijuana industry to people of color and those who were previously convicted on drug charges that wouldn’t be crimes now. A spokesperson for Gov. Jared Polis didn’t directly answer whether he would sign it but sounded supportive Tuesday afternoon. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
Published: May 28, 2020, 6:05 pm • Updated: May 28, 2020, 6:06 pm By Cnn.com Wire Service By Kristen Rogers | CNN If there were any more fun facts to learn about cannabis, its ritualistic use at a biblical site in Israel can now be added to the list. In 1963, two limestone altars were found at the entrance to the “Holy of Holies” of a Judahite shrine at Beersheba Valley, in Israel’s Tel Arad, an archaeological mound located west of the Dead Sea and surrounded by mountain ridges known as the Arad Plain. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is joining a bipartisan group of 34 attorneys general in urging Congress to approve a coronavirus relief package that would let marijuana businesses use traditional banking services. The Democrat-controlled House on Friday, May 15, approved the idea of granting banking access to cannabis businesses as part of the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which would provide the biggest package of programs yet aimed at buffering the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Banking services are out of reach for the cannabis industry, even in states where recreational use of the plant has been approved, because marijuana is illegal under federal law. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.
Cannabis industry advocates applauded House Democrats on Tuesday after a new $3 trillion federal stimulus bill included provisions to allow marijuana businesses access to banking. Introduced by House speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act includes wide-ranging goals to address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, from offering financial assistance to state and local governments to forgiving student loan debt. Wrapped into the massive, 1,815-page bill is an initiative led by Colorado Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would allow legal cannabis businesses to leverage traditional banking services. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco is using private donations to deliver alcohol, tobacco and medical marijuana to a few dozen people dealing with addiction as they isolate or quarantine in city-leased hotel rooms during the pandemic, officials confirmed Wednesday. There are about 270 people, mostly homeless, staying in hotel rooms to recover from COVID-19 or to wait out possible exposure to the virus. Nearly a dozen people have received alcohol and more than two dozen have received tobacco, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. In this Thursday, April 2, 2020, file photo, workers in hazardous material suits clean inside a private hotel the city has contracted with to take vulnerable people who show symptoms or are awaiting test results for the coronavirus in San Francisco. San Francisco is usi...
OAKLAND – An Alameda County Superior Court judge on Friday signed an order reducing thousands of felony marijuana cases to misdemeanors and misdemeanor marijuana cases to infractions. Signed by Judge Charles Smiley, the order follows the 2016 passage of Proposition 64 that legalized the possession and use of recreational marijuana by adults. The law also decreased penalties for possession with intent to sell, sales, transportation and cultivation of marijuana. District attorney’s offices across California had until July 1 to implement the new law. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.
Published: Apr 20, 2020, 3:22 pm • Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 3:23 pm By Cnn.com Wire Service By Alice Wallace | CNN This year’s 4/20 was shaping up to be big. The high holiday honoring the cannabis plant was projected to draw record public celebrations and retail sales — a reflection of the grassroots movement evolution into a burgeoning US industry. Plus, at 4:20 pm on April 20, 2020, it is the year of “four 20s.” Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.
Published: Apr 20, 2020, 10:22 am • Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 10:23 am By Cnn.com Wire Service By Madeline Holcombe | CNN There is something in the air today. Maybe you’ve noticed. April 20, or 4/20, is known as “Weed Day” in some circles because the date corresponds with a numerical code for marijuana. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.