June 18, 2021

Jamaica, Washington DC and Alaska legalise pot

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legalise potJamaican government votes to decriminalize marijuana, set up medicinal pot system

By Sasha Goldstein From New York Daily News

Legalization advocate and reggae legend Bunny Wailer smokes a pipe stuffed with marijuana during a ‘reasoning’ session. Jamaica lawmakers on Tuesday passed an act to decriminalize small amounts of pot and establish a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry on the island.
Irie, mon!

Ganja is now decriminalized in Jamaica after the Caribbean island’s Parliament voted to lessen the penalty for those caught with two ounces or less of marijuana.

The Jamaica government will also establish a “cannabis licensing authority” for medicinal marijuana on the island, where its music and even Rastafarian religion has been influenced by weed for decades.

The 4,200-square-mile island is one of the largest pot suppliers to the United States and surrounding Caribbean islands, with approximately 37,000 acres dedicated to pot farming, according to Vocativ.

But Jamaica’s national security minister said the new amendment wouldn’t change restrictions on trafficking.

jamaica-decriminalizing-pot“The passage of this legislation does not create a free-for-all in the growing, transporting, selling or exporting of ganja,” Peter Bunting said in Parliament. “The security forces will continue to rigorously enforce Jamaican law consistent with our international treaty obligations.”

More than 20 states in the U.S. already allow medical marijuana, while three other states — Colorado, Washington and Alaska — have legalized pot for adults to use recreationally.

In Jamaica, possession of up to 2 ounces is decriminalized, as is up to five plants. Tourists with medical marijuana cards who visit the island will be allowed to apply for a permit to buy pot.

“This is a big step in the right direction, but there’s still a lot of work to do,” Delano Seiveright, director of the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Taskforce, told The Associated Press.

For more on this story go to: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/jamaican-government-votes-decriminalize-pot-article-1.2129078

Washington DC legalizes recreational marijuana

From AlJazeer America

DC legalizes possession of small amounts of pot

Recreational marijuana use is legal in the nation’s capital as of Thursday, the result of a measure, approved by voters in November, that permits the possession of a small amount of pot for home use by adults over 21 in Washington, D.C.

Mayor Muriel Bowser this week announced the city’s plans to move forward with the initiative, despite an attempt by Congress in December to block it.

The law, known as Initiative 71, allows possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and six pot plants. It also allows the gift of up to one ounce (28.4 grams) of pot, but the initiative has no provision for sales. Initiative 71 also legalizes the possession of drug paraphernalia, including “bongs, cigarette rolling papers and cigar wrappers,” according to the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C.

But the police department said individuals could still be arrested for selling any amount of marijuana to another individual, or for “smoking, eating or drinking marijuana … in any public space” or “selling any amount of marijuana to another person.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, sent a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser late Tuesday asking her to reconsider moving forward with legalization, The Associated press reported. Chaffetz chairs the House Oversight Committee, which has authority over the District of Columbia’s government.

Congress in December approved language that appeared to block the initiative, but District leaders argued that they could still legalize pot because the initiative was enacted before Congress took action. Chaffetz said that interpretation is wrong, and that legalizing pot on Thursday as Bowser plans would be clearly illegal.

“If you decide to move forward tomorrow with the legalization of marijuana in the District, you will be doing so in knowing and willful violation of the law,” Chaffetz said in his letter.

A key argument of the referendum, which was approved by 65 percent of District voters, was that marijuana laws unfairly victimized black people in Washington, who represent about half the city’s population.

“This is a significant milestone in the movement for racial justice, civil liberties, and drug policy reform,” Malik Burnett, D.C. policy manager at the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. “The racially-biased enforcement of marijuana laws in the nation’s capital is officially a relic of history.”

For more on this story go to: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/25/dc-recreational-marijuana-use-set-to-become-legal.html

Marijuana is now legal in Alaska, the 3rd U.S. State with legal pot

By Bill Chappell From NPR

Leaders of the Alaska Cannabis Club share a joint at their medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage. On Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use.

Alaska’s voter initiative making marijuana legal takes effect Tuesday, placing Alaska alongside Colorado and Washington as the three U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal. The new law means people over age 21 can consume small amounts of pot — if they can find it. It’s still illegal to sell marijuana.

“You can still give people marijuana, but you can’t buy it — or even barter for it,” Alaska Public Media’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports. “So, it’s a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won’t stop people from acquiring it, though.”

While marijuana is legal in three states, it’s actually been legalized in four. Oregon passed an initiative similar to Alaska’s that takes effect in July. Another measure adopted by voters in Washington, D.C., has been blocked by Congress.

The ballot measure that was adopted in November allows Alaskans to possess marijuana harvested from up to six plants on private property. For now, that’s the biggest change in the state’s pot practices.

“There are no stores yet, but black market sales are still illegal,” Gutierrez adds. “The state is now crafting regulations for marijuana retailers, and the stores will be licensed and operational by next year.”

The many questions that surround legalization in Alaska prompted the Alaska Dispatch News to run a story urging its readers to be “highly informed.” In Anchorage, police have posted a “Know Your Grow” page.

Since November, local and state governments have been trying to clarify legal questions such as how much pot a person can possess (and in what form) and the places where consumption will be off-limits.

Also coming into play next year will be the legalization of commercial farms.
On Monday, Alaska’s Gov. Bill Walker filed legislation to create a marijuana control board, similar to the body that controls alcohol sales.

For more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/02/24/388673136/marijuana-is-now-legal-in-alaska-the-third-u-s-state-to-ok-pot

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