Cannabis Legalization and Expungement Legislation Planned in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania state Rep. Jake Wheatley plans to introduce a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis and expunge the records of people convicted of minor cannabis crimes, according to a report by the Pittsburgh CityPaper. Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis market launched in February. Earlier this month, the Auditor General of Pennsylvania released a report indicating that an adult-use market would generate […]

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Michigan Gubernatorial Candidates Split on Party Lines Over Legalization Issue

In Michigan — where, in November, voters will both elect a new governor and decide whether to legalize adult-use cannabis — governor candidates are sharply divided along party lines over the issue of cannabis legalization, according to a Michigan Radio report. There are four Republicans, three Democrats, and two Libertarians currently in the gubernatorial race; the Republicans have […]

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New York Gov. Office Report Recommends Legalizing Cannabis

A report commissioned by the New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released today by the New York Department of Health recommends the legalization of cannabis, Syracuse.com reports. The New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker told reporters in June that the report would recommend legalization but did not release the full report until today. “The positive effects […]

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Saskatchewan Establishes Fines for Cannabis Crimes

Authorities in Saskatchewan, Canada have established a provincial fine structure for cannabis offenses for after federal legalization takes place in October. According to a Global News report, the fines will range from between $200 and $2,250 depending on the severity of the offense.  Justice Minister Don Morgan said the goal was to create “an appropriate disincentive for […]

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Texas GOP Endorses Cannabis Decriminalization, Rescheduling, & Industrial Hemp

The Republican Party of Texas officially endorsed the decriminalization of cannabis last month. Party leaders also called on the federal government to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act and to legalize industrial hemp. “Civil Penalty: We support a change in the law to make it a civil, and […]

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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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