France Marijuana Decriminalization Rebuked By Gov’t

France Marijuana Decriminalization

PARIS, France (CRN) – Socialist lawmakers in France are rebuking a fellow minister who criticized the country’s prohibition of marijuana as ineffective and called for “a selective lifting of prohibition for adults”. Parliamentary Relations Minister Jean-Marie Le Guen insisted that cannabis use was bad for public health, “particularly for young people,” but that “prohibition has not led to a decrease in consumption.” One minister from the left said enacting Le Guen’s ideas would show “we have let our guard down in the fight against drugs,” while a former prime minister on the right said, “legalization of cannabis would be an extremely permissive signal to send to young people.” Cannabis has been prohibited in France since 1970, yet a World Health Organization survey of 42 wealthy nations showed that 15 percent of French 15-year-olds have used marijuana, the most in the survey, beating out Canada (the United States was not included.)

MELBOURNE, Australia (CRN) – The Australian state of Victoria became the first in the country to legalize medical marijuana following a vote today by the local government. But this won’t be a whole plant medical marijuana like found in many US states. The government will license very strictly regulated producers of cannabis which will be then manufactured into non-smokable cannabinoid products. Children with epilepsy are expected to be the first to benefit from the law, sometime in 2017.

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (CRN) – Today the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee meets to discuss a bill that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older. But lawmakers will also consider other marijuana related bills that include one to add post-traumatic stress as a qualifying condition for the Ocean State’s medical marijuana program and create a fast-track process to get medical marijuana to hospice patients. Other bills make changes to the medical marijuana program and prohibit the home manufacture of solvent concentrates.

PHOENIX, Arizona (MPP) — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced Tuesday that it has collected more than 200,000 signatures in support of a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona. The campaign needs to collect 150,642 valid signatures of registered Arizona voters to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana, establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol, and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and public education programs.

ORLANDO, Florida (CRN) – Orlando may become the latest Florida jurisdiction to decriminalize the personal possession of marijuana. Next Monday, the City Council will take up a proposal to reduce the punishment for possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana from a misdemeanor to violation of city code, earning the first-time offender a $50 fine and no criminal record. The fine doubles for a second offense and a third offense requires an appearance in court. Tampa recently decriminalized possession, as has the counties of Volusia, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach. The punishment for the possession misdemeanor under state law is a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

DENVER, Colorado (AP) — A first-of-its-kind license for marijuana couriers is nearing approval in Colorado. The state House gave preliminary approval Tuesday to creating a new “marijuana transporter” license under the pot-regulating agency. Colorado already has 12 marijuana courier companies, which fill out shipping manifests to move pot from growing warehouses to store shelves. The couriers are currently classified as marijuana “vendors,” a broad category which includes other ancillary services. The new license would give those couriers additional powers, such as temporarily storing pot if an unexpected snowstorm closes a highway.

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Illinois (CRN) – Citizens in the suburbs of Chicago could be voting on the legalization of marijuana, if voters tonight at two small obscure town meetings agree to place non-binding public policy questions on the ballot. The advisory question is “Should the State of Illinois legalize and regulate the sale and use of marijuana in a similar fashion as the State of Colorado?” and whether it is placed on the November ballot in these two Illinois townships will be decided by a majority who attends the 6pm town meeting in Cunningham Township (Urbana) and the 7pm town meeting in Champaign. Pro-marijuana supporters are expected to turn out to these annual meetings that usually only attract the city officials required to attend, according to the Urbana town clerk.