Baltimore Sun, 15 Apr 2014 - Maryland Is Right to Be Cautious About Legalizing Pot, but Decriminalization Addresses Some of the Worst Problems of the War on Drugs In 2010, Baltimore police made 64,525 arrests, and more than 7,000 of them - 11 percent of the total - were for simple possession of marijuana. That represents thousands of hours by Baltimore police, Central Booking officials, prosecutors, public defenders, judges and others, all of whom had better things to do. That year, Baltimore recorded 224 homicides, ranking it among the five deadliest cities in the nation.
Washington Post, 15 Apr 2014 - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) signed legislation Monday to remove the threat of jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana but cautioned against legalizing the drug, as Colorado and Washington state have done recently. Under Maryland's new law, which will take effect Oct. 1, those caught with less than 10 grams of marijuana will be subject to civil fines, starting with $100 for a first offense, rather than criminal sanctions. Fifteen other states and the District have taken similar steps.
The Michigan Times, 14 Apr 2014 - On a sun-kissed, crisp morning as the smoke rose over the crowd of onlookers, John Sinclair started off the high noon event in the Diag alongside his fellow activists, which include Adam Brook and Baby Bri. "Where the powers want our heads to be at, [is] up their ass," says Sinclair as he turns around to see two cops talking with Adam Brook, an activist much like Sinclair, and addresses the officers with "Ah, gentleman. We hope you will obey the laws of Ann Arbor here today [haha]."
The Trentonian, 12 Apr 2014 - Maryland's marijuana laws remain a work in progress. Lawmakers in Annapolis have just enacted a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot, treating it as an offense on a par with minor traffic infractions. But possession of drug paraphernalia - growing equipment, scales, bongs and "roach clips" - can still land you in jail and draw a stiff fine. The logic in this arrangement may be lacking, but the trend is clear. Across the country, states are moving to ease punishment for recreational pot use and to make medical marijuana more available. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized the drug and are regulating and taxing it like alcohol. With the legislative landscape in such flux, and public opinion shifting quickly in the direction of leniency, Maryland faced a real challenge in getting its laws right. After some anguished back and forth, it did so, mostly.
The Reporter, 12 Apr 2014 - Maryland's marijuana laws remain a work in progress. Lawmakers in Annapolis have just enacted a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot, treating it as an offense on a par with minor traffific infractions. But possession of drug paraphernalia - growing equipment, scales, bongs and "roach clips" - can still land you in jail and draw a stiff fifine. The logic in this arrangement may be lacking, but the trend is clear. Across the country, states are moving to ease punishment for recreational pot use and to make medical marijuana more available. Two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized the drug and are regulating and taxing it like alcohol. With the legislative landscape in such flflux, and public opinion shifting quickly in the direction of leniency, Maryland faced a real challenge in getting its laws right. After some anguished back and forth, it did so, mostly.
The State, 11 Apr 2014 - KANSAS CITY, MO. - An attorney for Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe filed a motion Friday to suppress evidence related to Bowe's arrest in November for allegedly speeding and possessing more than 10 grams of marijuana. Bowe was pulled over during a traffic stop on Nov. 10 in Riverside. The motion contends the search of his vehicle and person was conducted without a valid warrant, without probable cause and in an unreasonable manner. It also contends Bowe's statements were obtained without police reading him Miranda rights.
Washington Post, 11 Apr 2014 - Maryland Lawmakers' Leniency Toward Marijuana Goes Only So Far. MARYLAND'S MARIJUANA laws remain a work in progress. Lawmakers in Annapolis have just enacted a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot, treating it as an offense on a par with minor traffic infractions. But possession of drug paraphernalia - growing equipment, scales, bongs and "roach clips" - can still land you in jail and draw a stiff fine. The logic in this arrangement may be lacking, but the trend is clear.
Chicago Tribune, 10 Apr 2014 - Legalizing marijuana is an issue made to order for the Democratic Party. A majority of Americans now support the idea, and so do 2 out of 3 Democrats. Two states have done it, and several more may vote on it in 2016. The party could put the issue to use against Republicans, who have no desire to be the party of weed. Can you imagine Rick Santorum or Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan endorsing legalization? Even libertarian Rand Paul declines to go that far.
Washington Times, 10 Apr 2014 - Outmanned and outgunned, local law enforcement officers are alarmed by the drug and human trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping and money laundering that Mexican drug cartels are conducting in the U.S. far from the border. U.S. sheriffs say that securing the border is a growing concern to law enforcement agencies throughout the country, not just those near the U.S.-Mexico boundary.
Washington Times, 07 Apr 2014 - Possessing Small Amounts Would Be Legal ANNAPOLIS (AP) - A bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana is set to go back before the state Senate on Monday after it was passed by the House of Delegates.
Baltimore Sun, 06 Apr 2014 - Delegates Vote to Approve Decriminalization Measure The General Assembly moved Saturday to dramatically change Maryland's drug laws as the House of Delegates joined the Senate in voting to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil offense punishable only by a fine.
Washington Post, 06 Apr 2014 - Maryland lawmakers passed bills Saturday that would raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2018 and decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, acting on two high-profile measures in the waning days of this year's legislative session. On a vote of 34 to 13, the Senate positioned Maryland to become the second state in the nation to embrace a minimumwage goal set by President Obama and hand Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) a victory on his top priority in his final 90-day session. The House, meanwhile, voted 78 to 55 to impose civil fines, rather than criminal sanctions, on those caught with less than 10 grams of marijuana - an outcome that would defy the will of a powerful committee chairman who wanted a study of the issue instead.
Baltimore Sun, 05 Apr 2014 - House Panel to Take Up Decriminalization Today A powerful General Assembly committee chairman and advocates of decriminalizing marijuana have reached a tentative deal that would make possession of small amounts of the drug a civil offense with no jail time, according to sources familiar with the plan.
Washington Post, 05 Apr 2014 - House Panel's Plan Challenged Decriminalization to Be Debated Saturday Members of the Maryland House of Delegates on Friday moved to resurrect a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, just days after the measure was scut
Badger Herald, 03 Apr 2014 - Before closing out the legislative session, the Legislature passed a bill that would legalize cannabidiol, a marijuana by-product, to treat seizures, sending the bill to Gov. Scott Walker's desk. It is certainly true that this bill would help people, specifically children, who have certain medical conditions. Regardless, the bill does not go far enough because it does not end Wisconsin's failed policy of marijuana prohibition. It is currently illegal to possess cannabidiol under Wisconsin law. This is because cannabidiol is a type of cannabinoid that is found in THC - one of the main chemical components of marijuana.
SF Weekly, 02 Apr 2014 - On his way to outer space, Sir Richard Branson is taking a detour. The magnetic billionaire with the electric smile rerouted from his mission to put people in orbit for a trip to San Francisco last week. On a stage shared with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and District Attorney George Gascon - but unmistakably commanded by the blond Brit - Branson entertained his side venture: pushing a future America where we can buy heroin at the corner store, and the citizens aren't all Klansmen in disguise.
Washington Post, 31 Mar 2014 - 'Samaritan' Laws Join Changes on Pot, Prison Someone was with Salvatore Marchese when he died of a heroin overdose, but no one called 911. So his mother, Patty DiRenzo, a legal aide, began a quest to help make sure that others wouldn't be afraid to make that call. She created a Facebook page, wrote New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie nearly every day and called all 120 members of the state legislature.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 28 Mar 2014 - A Philadelphia lawmaker wants to relax the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Sen. Mike Stack, a Democrat and a candidate for lieutenant governor, is introducing bills to lower penalties for having an ounce or less of pot and to expunge first-time offenders' records after five years.
SF Weekly, 26 Mar 2014 - Wouldn't be the hardest thing he's done It's not private prisons or Big Pharma that's keeping marijuana illegal in California (though no doubt both benefit big-time from drug prohibition). It's money, as in a lack of about $3 million to put a voter initiative like the ones that legalized small amounts of cannabis in Colorado or Washington (and failed here in 2010) before voters in the country's richest and most populous state. Luckily, there are some exceedingly rich people who say they like the idea of legalization. And one of them -- the magnetic Virgin Group magnate Sir Richard Branson, all $5 billion of him -- was asked in San Francisco last night, point-blank if he'd consider writing the check.
Seattle Times, 20 Mar 2014 - Prosecutor Disputes the Savings Numbers Show Fewer Cases Than Year Before (AP) - A steep drop in charges filed against adults over 21 in Washington state after legalization of marijuana shows the new law is freeing up court and law-enforcement resources to deal with other issues, a primary backer of the law said Wednesday.