New York opens its first medical marijuana dispensary today. That is some pretty awesome news for patients that have been sorely missing compassion in a state that is often in the news for marijuana and generally notorious for drug crime. Though, when you hear "medical marijuana," please do not confuse it for the kind of access that is associated with, say, California's long-standing legislation.
Well folks, I hope you have enjoyed a clean slate with a new year — lazily imagining the limitless possibilities that 2016 has to offer in your post celebration hangover — because while we have yet to have a mass shooting, there is a another story to chill your heart: the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF), which administers the Adoption Program, Food Assistance, and Child Protective Services, among others, has the propensity to steal children.
Last week, by a vote of 7 to 2, the Pittsburgh City Council approved marijuana decriminalization in the city. Instead of a criminal misdemeanor, possession of 30 grams of cannabis or less will be punishable by a fine of up to $100. The same penalty applies to up to 8 grams of hashish.
Texas. Yes, that Texas — the one known for cowboys, oil titans, and conservative presidents; you know, Texas, United States of 'Murica — is about to begin a journey that I would never have bet on just a few years ago. Harris County, Texas, is about to decriminalize marijuana starting Friday.
You can thank Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson. He introduced the public policy mandate "First Chance Intervention Program" last year, deferring to the arresting officers discretion for referral; though, just a fifth of cases have been referred. As of Friday, all first time offenders with two ounces or less will be eligible.
Last week cannabis decriminalization took effect in the state of Delaware, making small amounts of marijuana possession punishable by a fine.
Officially possession of an ounce or less of cannabis will only bring a $100 fine; previously it could get you up to three months in jail. Growing and selling cannabis will remain a crime, as will smoking weed in a moving vehicle or in public.
Last week President Obama’s Solicitor General — the lawyer that represents the federal government in cases before the Supreme Court — urged the highest court in the land to decline to hear arguments from the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma, who say cannabis legalization in the state of Colorado is causing more marijuana to flow into their states. SG Donald B. Verrilli argued that the case was outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.