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Published on November 22nd, 2015 | by News Feed

The Latest Progress in the Movement to Legalize Marijuana

If you’re in favor of legalizing marijuana in the United States, you’ll be really pleased with events that occurred during the week of November 16th. It’s been a huge week for marijuana policy and we’ve seen some huge strides in the right direction.

Veterans and Medical Marijuana

Prior to this week, any veteran who wanted to use their military benefits to finance their treatment couldn’t even discuss the possibility of using medical marijuana. Physicians connected to Veteran’s Affairs were also prohibited from considering it as a viable method for treatment. If the veteran tested positive for marijuana, they were severely penalized. Last week the Senate finally managed to vote in favor of the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill, which includes a clause that finally allows veterans to take advantage of any medical marijuana program their home state has in place. The same bill will now be included when the government is negotiating their next federal spending bill.

Massachusetts

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, there are two different groups that are at odds with one another, divided by whether or not marijuana should be legalized in 2016. At the moment, both groups are doing everything they can think of to collect signatures in an attempt to get the matter put on the ballot next November. They have until the start of December to collect the necessary 65,000 signatures.

Kansas

Lobbyists in Kansas are putting increased pressure on lawmakers to considering legalizing marijuana. They’re also in the process of collecting signatures in an attempt to trigger a statewide vote on the topic.

Arizona

Arizona lobbyists are hard at work to create an environment where the cannabis industry is legal. They want it to be sold and regulated in much the same way that alcohol currently is. As of this week they’ve collected more than 100,000 signatures but need another 50,000 before they can get the issue placed on the November 2016 ballot.

Ohio

The Cannabis-Control Amendment is on track to collect the 360,000 signatures they need to make the legalization of marijuana an issue the entire state can vote on. They fully expect to have the signatures needed before the July 2016 deadline.

New Jersey

Perhaps the biggest news of the week comes from New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie has finally signed a law that allows medical marijuana to be administered to the disabled, even while they’re in school.

Florida

Getting caught with pot in Broward County Florida is no longer as serious an offense as it was just a little while ago. Now if the police catch you with less than 20 grams of pot, they’ll issue a ticket instead of pressing misdemeanor drug charges.

Washington

Law makers in Spokane Washington have voted and agree that if you were convicted of a misdemeanor marijuana possession, your record will be cleared, provided they can get the proposal passed. If it does pass, approximately 1800 people will benefit from a cleaner record.

With so many changes happening at once, the future is looking bright for marijuana lobbyists. Do you think more states will vote to legalize pot in 2016?




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