The People’s Record News Update: This week in the fight to decriminalize across the United States!
March 20, 2013
- In Maryland, the Maryland Senate votes to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, while a House committee considers legalizing as much as an ounce. The marijuana debate has expanded beyond medical uses to recreational ones. The Maryland Senate approved a bill that reduces small amounts of marijuana from criminal possession to a civil fine Tuesday. A bill in the House goes even further.
The bill legalizes the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older. It removes all penalties for possession of up to one ounce and allows adults to grow up to three plants. The prospects of any of the marijuana bills making it through both chambers and to the governor’s desk for his signature remain uncertain. A Senate bill decriminalizing marijuana up to 10 grams now moves to the House. Source
- In Dallas, members of NORML, the nation’s largest group that advocates the legalization of marijuana protested along Greenville Avenue near the Old Town Shopping center in Dallas this weekend. It was estimated that about 100 members are here at the Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival. The group was denied a permit to march in be parade. Source
- In Atlanta, marijuana activists gathered in Midtown at this weekend’s Southern Cannabis Reform Conference to unite and discuss how to reform antiquated marijuana laws. Several pro-marijuana groups gathered at the Spring4th Center in Midtown to promote the idea of drug decriminalization and discuss ways to improve community outreach. The two-day summit was organized by Peachtree National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform and Education (CARE), the American Cannabis Coalition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and Georgia NORML, among others. Source
- In New Hampshire, advocates of medical marijuana won overwhelming support Wednesday in the House for a bill that would sanction five marijuana dispensaries and allow patients or caregivers to grow up to three plants for medical use.
The bipartisan vote of 286-64 marked the fourth time in six years such a medical marijuana bill has won House approval. Two previous measures were vetoed by then-Gov. John Lynch; a third was killed in the Senate. Source
- In New York City, a new report released today by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Arrest Research Project documents the astonishing number of hours the New York City Police Department has spent arresting and processing hundreds of thousands of people for low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests over the last 11 years. The report finds that NYPD used approximately 1,000,000 hours of police officer time making marijuana possession arrests during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure. These are hours that police officers might have otherwise have spent investigating rape or wall street banker’s or conducting internal investigations regarding the NYPDs habitual racism & brutality. Source
- In Florida, two top Democratic fundraisers have committed to providing the money and know-how to get the question of legalizing medical marijuana on the state ballot in 2014. Just a few months ago, the initiative to legalize could barely afford to photocopy the petition. Now, it has commissioned a poll and plans to hire a company to manage a $10 million campaign. Source