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Marijuana Reforms Win Big at the Polls

Nov. 4, 2020—On November 3, five states had measures on the ballot to legalize recreational and / or medical marijuana: Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Voters in Mississippi, Montana, and South Dakota actually had more than one measure to consider. Notably, all of proposed ballot measures passed, most by hefty margins. This is the...

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Could the President Legalize Marijuana Through Executive Action?

Mar. 19, 2020—The title of this post is inspired by Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign promise “to legalize marijuana in the first 100 days [of his Administration] with executive action.” See here. Other Democratic Presidential hopefuls made similar promises, but since Sanders is the last such candidate standing (former Vice President Joe Biden has made no similar promise),...

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UPDATE: Voters in 3 of 4 States Approve Marijuana Legalization Measures

Nov. 7, 2018—The poll results from the fall 2018 election are now in. Voters in 3 of 4 states approved marijuana legalization measures. Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 by 56% to 44%, making Michigan the 11th state (if we include D.C.) to legalize recreational marijuana. North Dakota voters rejected a recreational legalization measure (Measure 3) by 60%...

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Four Marijuana Measures on the Ballot in November 2018

Oct. 29, 2018—Voters will decide the fate of marijuana legalization measures in four states next week. Michigan and North Dakota voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana (both states already have medical marijuana laws), and Missouri and Utah voters will decide whether to legalize medical marijuana (both states already have CBD laws). The Washington Post has...

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The Foreignness of Canadian Marijuana Legalization

Oct. 19, 2018—On October 17, Canada became the second country to legalize recreational marijuana (Uruguay did so in 2014). The Canadian Government has posted the full text of the nation’s recreational marijuana laws (including The Cannabis Act) here. It also has a useful summary of the laws here. In many respects, Canada’s new law resembles the laws...

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Recapping 3 Notable Federal Developments Affecting Marijuana Law in 2018

Aug. 2, 2018—The title of this post was the focus of my remarks on a panel at the 2018 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) annual summit in Los Angeles, held at the end of July. The panel drew a packed room, attesting to state lawmakers’ interest in marijuana law and policy. You can watch the full...

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Only One State Has Not Yet Legalized Marijuana in Some Form . . .

Jul. 16, 2018—While updating some of the charts and figures in my book, I discovered that, since early May, 2018, only one state in the nation has not yet legalized marijuana in some form for at least medical purposes. I won’t keep you waiting: it’s Idaho. At the start of the year, Idaho had some company. Kansas...

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New York State Department of Health Releases Report on Legalization

Jul. 13, 2018—The New York Department of Health just released its report on legalization of marijuana in the empire state. The report had been commissioned by Gov. Andrew Cuomo back in January, 2018. The full report can be found here. The news media has previously discussed some contents of the report, but this is the first time the...

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Two New Articles on the International Law Ramifications of State Marijuana Reforms

Jun. 9, 2018—State marijuana reforms raise a host of nettlesome–and seldom discussed–questions about United States compliance with and the ultimate fate of international drug control treaties. Fortunately, two new articles focus on those questions and begin to fill the gap in the literature. The first is by Brian Blumenfed, an attorney and researcher: Pacta Sunt Servanda: State Legalization of Marijuana...

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Analysis of the Warren-Gardner STATES Act

Jun. 7, 2018—[Update 6/8: I redrafted some of the language below for clarity and conciseness.] On June 7, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D MA) and Cory Gardner (R CO) formally introduced legislation to eliminate much of the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws. A full copy of the proposed legislation, called the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through...

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