NYPD to Issue Tickets, Not Arrests, for Public Cannabis Smokers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department announced on Tuesday that the city will begin ticketing, not arresting, people who are caught consuming cannabis in public, according to an NY1 report. This policy change comes just one month after the Mayor directed police to stop making the arrests. “No one should be […]

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New York City Mayor Directs Police to Stop Cannabis-Smoking Arrests

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has told the city’s top police officials to stop arresting people for smoking cannabis and, instead, issue citations, CNN reports. The directive comes about a week after the New York Times published an investigative report which found that black people were arrested for low-level cannabis charges at eight […]

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New York City Mayor and Prosecutors Planning Cannabis Enforcement Reforms

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has given the Police Department 30 days to come up with a plan to end “unnecessary arrests” for cannabis, and city officials – including prosecutors – are working on broad plans to reform how to handle low-level cannabis crimes, the New York Times reports. However, the changes will […]

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‘Expungement Days’ for Misdemeanor Cannabis Convictions Planned in Two Vermont Counties

State attorneys in Vermont’s Chittenden and Windsor counties are moving forward with plans to expunge misdemeanor cannabis convictions with “Expungement Days” this month, Vermont Digger reports. In Chittenden County, Expungement Day is being held June 12 at Edward J. Costello Courthouse in Burlington, while Windsor County’s event is planned for June 9 at Vermont Law […]

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New Jersey Gov. Open to ‘Sweeping Pardons’ for Cannabis Crimes

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is open to reducing or eliminating sentences for low-level cannabis crimes, telling NorthJersey.com that his main motivation behind legalizing cannabis is not to raise revenues but to correct the social justice problem. Murphy, the former U.S. ambassador to Germany under President Barack Obama, said he would be open to, and […]

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Chittenden County, Vermont State Attorney Considering Expunging Low-Level Cannabis Crimes

Chittenden County, Vermont Attorney Sarah George is pursuing a plan to erase convictions for low-level cannabis crimes, according to a NECN report. George, the head prosecutor for the state’s most populous county, said she believes officials are actually “behind in this discussion.” “Any time that someone has a conviction on their record of something that […]

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Seattle Officials Move to Toss Misdemeanor Cannabis Convictions

Officials in Seattle, Washington have filed a motion in Seattle Municipal Court to vacate all convictions for misdemeanor cannabis possession for anyone arrested in the city – a total of 542 people. Mayor Jenny Durkan said her office made the request because “it makes little sense for so many in [Seattle] to be punished for […]

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Zimbabwe Legalizes Medical Cannabis Cultivation

Zimbabwe has opened applications for licenses to cultivate cannabis for medical and research purposes, according to a Reuters report. The approval makes Zimbabwe the second country in Africa to legalize cannabis cultivation after Lesotho approved its own regulations last year. The licenses will be valid for five years. They will allow growers to possess, transport, […]

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U.K. Royal College of Physicians Calls for Legalization of Cannabis, Cocaine, Heroin

The Royal College of Physicians, a professional organization in the United Kingdom which represents 26,000 medical professionals, have called for the legalization of cannabis, heroin, and cocaine saying the criminal justice system is stopping people from seeking help, according to a report from the Sun. The position is in line with a Royal Society of […]

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Bill to Expunge Low-Level Cannabis Convictions in Illinois Approved by House Committee

An Illinois House committee has advanced a measure that would allow individuals with a low-level cannabis or paraphernalia possession conviction to have the charge expunged, according to a WQAD report. The measure, sponsored by state Rep. La Shawn Ford, would add to 2016 reforms that decriminalized cannabis possession of less than 10 grams; allowing those […]

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Alaska House Passes Bill Restricting Public Access to Some Cannabis Possession Criminal Records

Alaska’s House of Representatives has passed a bill that would restrict public access to some criminal records for simple cannabis possession, according to a KTVA report. The measure is intended to make it easier for those with possession convictions to get employed. Who would benefit? Individuals 21 or older at the time of the offense […]

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Sonoma County, California DA Taking ‘Proactive’ Approach to Addressing Cannabis Convictions under New Law

The Sonoma County, California district attorney’s office will “proactively” search for cannabis convictions eligible for reduction or dismissal under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation Safety Act. District Attorney Jill Ravich indicated that there have been “dozens” of convictions already reduced and dismissed but estimated there is still about 3,000 more that have not been […]

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Alabama Republicans Kill Cannabis Possession Reform Bill

The legislative push to reduce cannabis possession penalties in Alabama is dead as the state’s powerful Republicans ensured it would not make it to the House floor for a vote, AL.com reports. According to the report, Rep. Paul Beckman demanded the measure get a voice vote, which ensured the bill would not make it to […]

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Alameda County, California DA Will Expedite Cannabis Conviction Resentencing

Alameda County, California District Attorney Nancy O’Malley has established “a policy, protocol, and a process to redesignate and dismiss prior cannabis-related convictions” under the guidelines of Prop. 64, which legalized cannabis for adult use in the state. “California is offering a second chance to people convicted of cannabis crimes, from felonies to small infractions, with […]

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Cannabis Decriminalization Bills Introduced in Alabama

Cannabis decriminalization bills have been filed in both chambers of Alabama’s Legislature and are expected to be heard in committees today, according to an ABC 33/40 report. The measure, introduced in the Senate by Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker, would set fines for first-time possession of less than 1 ounce at $250 and up to $500 […]

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Simple Cannabis Possession Reform Bill Gains Traction in Iowa

A measure introduced in Iowa’s Senate would reduce the penalties for possession of fewer than 5 grams of cannabis from six months in jail and a $1,000 fine to a maximum of 30 days in jail and a fine between $65 and $625. According to Democratic Rep. Mary Wolfe, in 2016 there were 3,400 cannabis […]

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Philadelphia DA Will Not Prosecute Simple Cannabis Possession Cases

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s District Attorney Larry Krasner dropped 51 cases for simple cannabis possession last week, part of his new policy to not prosecute such crimes, NBC Philadelphia reports. The prosecution reforms will not apply to possession charges with intent to deliver or sell cannabis. “We are going to tell them, yes, drop any cases that […]

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Virginia Senate Passes First-Timer Cannabis Expungement Bill

A measure allowing first-time cannabis offenders in Virginia to expunge the charge for $150 passed the state Senate 38-2 on Monday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The measure would allow individuals to defer a finding on the charge and ultimately be found not guilty if the offender does community service and pass drug tests as ordered […]

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Seattle Officials Seek to Vacate and Dismiss Cannabis Convictions

In an op-ed in The Stranger, Seattle, Washington’s alt-weekly, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that she has directed City Attorney Pete Holmes to ask Seattle’s Municipal Court to vacate convictions and dismiss charges for misdemeanor cannabis possession. “Here’s why this is necessary: While minor marijuana possession has been the lowest enforcement priority for the Seattle Police […]

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Colorado Gov. Considering Releasing 40 Nonviolent Cannabis Criminals

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is considering releasing 40 inmates convicted of nonviolent cannabis crimes, the Denver Post reports. The pardons would follow 14 commutations by the governor last November. Those pardons, however, applied to have their crimes expunged, while the 40 being considered for release were identified by the administration. “Right now, we have not […]

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San Francisco to Expunge Some Cannabis Convictions

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón will retroactively apply criminal justice reforms in the state’s cannabis legalization law to misdemeanor and felony convictions dating back to 1975. Who’s Affected? Individuals with prior cannabis convictions that would not be crimes under the new law. The District Attorney’s Office plans to review, recall, and resentence up to […]

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Virginia Lawmakers Kill Cannabis Decrim Bills; Advance Expungement Proposal

The Virginia Legislature has killed two bills aiming to decriminalize cannabis possession in the state but a measure allowing first-time offenders to expunge their records passed the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Last week, House Republicans on the Courts Committee voted down a measure by Del. Steve Heretick that would have […]

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France Reduces Penalties for Low-Level Cannabis Possession

The French government has announced that low-level cannabis offenses will now be met with fines of 150 to 200 euros, but ruled out broad decriminalization, France24 reports. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said that while on-the-spot fines would be the new law of the land, further action against offenders would remain an option. According to the […]

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California Bill Would Force Courts to Expunge Low-Level Cannabis Crimes

A bill introduced in California would make it easier for individuals with low-level cannabis convictions to expunge the charge from their records. The measure, introduced by Democratic Rep. Rob Bonta, would require courts to automatically expunge eligible records under provisions of the voter-approved Prop 64. The legalization measure, which took effect on Jan. 1, also […]

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