Nevada Bill Would Allow Public Consumption of Marijuana
Nevada voters approved recreational marijuana in November. Retail sales are expected to start as early as July. But now, lawmakers are considering taking reform even further. If Nevada Senate Bill 236 is passed, local governments could set up safe havens for the public consumption of marijuana. Vegas is already known for its fancy clubs and VIP treatment. Could marijuana lounges be the next trend in Vegas nightlife?
Connecticut Lawmakers Debate Legalizing Recreational Marijuana
Could Connecticut be joining its Northeast neighbors, Massachusetts and Maine, in legalizing recreational marijuana? This week, lawmakers debated the issue. Although some are not yet on board, Rep. Melissa Ziobron is ready to reap the benefits Colorado is experiencing. She was so excited she seemed to lose track of her words. “Denver tourism is at an all-time high,” she said at a state hearing. “I’m sorry, no pun intended.”
Florida Aims to Decriminalize Marijuana
Florida residents spoke clearly in November. Amendment 2 legalized medical marijuana and was passed with over 70 percent of voters approving it. Two lawmakers may want to ride the momentum. State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando), and state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) filed two bills to “overhaul Florida’s draconian marijuana possession laws.” Currently, small possession of marijuana in Florida is a misdemeanor crime that carries up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $1000. The state representatives’ bill would lower that to a $100 fine or 15 hours of community service if offenders cannot afford to pay.
New Hampshire Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana and to Expand Qualifying Conditions for Medical Use
The New Hampshire House signaled overwhelming support for marijuana reform this week. It voted to add chronic pain and PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. Lawmakers also voted to eliminate criminal penalties for small possession cases. The bill will now to the Senate where advocates expect a bit more resistance than in the New Hampshire House. “We hope their colleagues in the Senate will agree that our tax dollars and law enforcement officials’ time would be better spent addressing serious crimes,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.