Last week Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a bill that closes a loophole created by the passage of Question 1, the measure approved by voters in November that legalizes adult use marijuana possession, growing and sales in the state. The loophole would have left police unable to enforce laws relating to the possession of cannabis by minors and people smoking marijuana while operating a motor vehicle.
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The state of Maryland has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana; a 2014 law made possession of less than 10 grams a civil offense that comes with a $100 fine. But according the Maryland Court of Appeals, any marijuana odor is cause for a search of your vehicle, whether police know you have 10 grams or not.
Last November voters in Denver approved a measure that will allow certain public spaces to allow marijuana use, as long as the business doesn’t serve alcohol, doesn’t sell marijuana on the premises, doesn’t allow indoor smoking, doesn’t allow anyone under 21 to enter and is approved by the neighborhood.
Protests were everywhere on Inauguration Day, including some that turned violent. But one protest seemed to fly under the radar on the day that Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States: a protest organized by DCMJ, the group behind the successful effort in Washington D.C. in 2014 to legalize the recreational use and possession of marijuana.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently outlined his agenda for the 2017 legislative session, and in that outline was a call on lawmakers to improve the state’s marijuana decriminalization law by eliminating the “public view loophole” that results in the arrests of so many (mostly minorities) for minor cannabis possession.
President-Elect Trump’s pick for Attorney General – Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions – testified before Congress last week as part of his confirmation process. The hearing probably got the most media attention of any of Trump’s cabinet picks, and for brief moments the discussion turned to the topic of cannabis legalization.
The first marijuana bill to be officially filed in the new 115th U.S. Congress comes from Barbara Lee of California and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, both Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would protect marijuana businesses that comply with their state laws from federal asset forfeiture laws.