Connecticut Legalizes Marijuana to Combat ‘Racial Disparities’

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed a bill into law Tuesday that legalizes possession of marijuana in the state and anticipates retail sales of the drug in 2022.

The new law allows people age 21 and older to possess or use marijuana up to the specified possession limit of 1.5 ounces on their person and five ounces in their home or car.

The law also establishes penalties for use by those under 21, or possession of an amount greater than permitted by the law. Additionally, it removes most cannabis sales offenses from the state’s list of serious juvenile offenses.

The bill was passed under the umbrella of “social justice,” to combat “racial disparities,” and will place with a Social Equity Council the task of how to regulate the new legal marijuana market so that it becomes “an instrument for addressing racial, social and economic injustice,” reported CT Mirror.

“Those communities were hardest hit by the war on drugs — making up for some lost time there,” Lamont said, adding he expects his state’s new law will be “viewed as a national model.”

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Happy Horseshit of the moment: Marijuana use may increase risk of suicide, NIH study finds

A new study from the National Institutes of Health found an increased risk of suicide was associated with marijuana use.

The study found higher rates of suicidal ideation, suicide planning, and suicide attempts among both men and women who used marijuana on both a daily and a nondaily (fewer than 300 days a year) basis.

Researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the NIH, examined data from over 281,000 participants aged 18-34 in the National Surveys of Drug Use and Health from 2008-2019. The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Editors note: If the above were true I’d be dead a thousand times over and my suicidal partner a thousand times more. Pot saved her and saved me. Get a grip.

Florida Supreme Court rejects ‘grow your own’ marijuana legalization initiative

The Florida Supreme Court has rejected a prospective citizen’s initiative to place a proposed constitutional amendment before voters in 2022 to legalize adult recreational marijuana and allow Floridians to “grow their own.”

In a 5-2 ruling Thursday, the court determined the prospective amendment’s ballot summary is “affirmatively misleading,” the second time since April the state’s highest court has issued that verdict to knock a marijuana legalization measure off the 2022 ballot.

Tampa-based Sensible Florida submitted its proposed amendment, Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol to Establish Age, Licensing, and Other Restrictions, to the Division of Elections on March 17, 2016.

The summary reads: “Regulates marijuana (hereinafter “cannabis”) for limited use and growing by persons 21 years of age or older. State shall adopt regulations to issue, renew, suspend, and revoke licenses for cannabis cultivation, product manufacturing, testing and retail facilities. Local governments may regulate facilities’ time, place and manner and, if state fails to timely act, may license facilities. Does not affect compassionate use of low-THC cannabis, nor immunize federal law violations.”

The proposed amendment would permit people to grow “six mature flowering cannabis plants per household member 21 years of age or older” and possess “the harvest therefrom, provided the growing takes place indoors or in a locked greenhouse and the cannabis grown is not made available for sale.”

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California offers $100 million to rescue its struggling legal marijuana industry

The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry, which continues to struggle to compete with the large illicit pot market nearly five years after voters approved sales for recreational use.

Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be provided as grants to cities and counties to help cannabis businesses transition from provisional to regular licenses.

“California voters approved Proposition 64 five years ago and entrusted the Legislature with creating a legal, well-regulated cannabis market,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We have yet to reach that goal.”

Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a business and a plan for reducing those harms.

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Rep. Cori Bush Introduces Bill to Decriminalize Possession of All Drugs

Apair of House Democrats introduced legislation on Tuesday that would decriminalize possession of all drugs at the federal level for personal use and begin the process of prioritizing a public health approach to drug use over punishment and policing. These are the necessary first steps, advocates say, for ending the war on drugs 50 years after it was first declared by President Richard Nixon.

Representatives Cori Bush (D-Missouri) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey) introduced the Drug Policy Reform Act, which would eliminate federal criminal penalties for possession of any drug for personal use, including marijuana, cocaine, opioids, various psychedelics and other drugs banned under the Controlled Substances Act. The bill aims to begin repairing some of the damage to communities and the lives of individuals caused by the drug war, which has contributed heavily to mass incarceration and other forms of state violence that have fallen hardest on low-income communities and people of color.

“The economic stability of our carceral state depends on this misguided and racist policy, and we are here to say, no more, it’s time that we end this destruction,” Bush told reporters on Tuesday, adding that, as a nurse in St. Louis, she saw how criminalization and stigma harms people who use drugs. “Imagine what we could do if we built systems of care that treated and supported people…that is the world we should build.”

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