legislation

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Congress Will Legalize Marijuana in 2021 Despite Biden Opposition, Democratic Senator Says

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Congress Will Legalize Marijuana in 2021 Despite Biden Opposition, Democratic Senator Says -

A Democratic U.S. senator says that if his party reclaims the Senate and White House in November, lawmakers will “move very quickly” to legalize marijuana regardless of where presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden stands on the issue.

U.S.: Congressmen Introduce Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017

U.S. Capitol - Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017

Bill would legalize production of industrial and research hemp in the U.S.

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Recent Congressional action, which would move the U.S. closer to legalizing industrial hemp, was introduced by Congressman James Comer (KY-01) today in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bipartisan Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, which would remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and legalize its production in all 50 states, has four initial co-sponsors.

"I'm glad to file the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017 after getting a bipartisan consensus of Congressmen on board,” said Congressman Comer. “This will be my priority legislation."

New York: Hemp NY City Series of Events Focuses On Hemp Movement

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GenCanna Global Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner Steve Bevan will join a distinguished panel of hemp industry experts at HEMP NY CITY, a multi-day series of events focusing on the contemporary hemp movement in New York and throughout the nation.

The third event of the series, a panel presentation on Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., will cover hemp legislation in New York State; CBD oil production and use; industrial hemp in Colorado; and the opening of a hemp processing plant in Kentucky.

Speakers include New York Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo; Trey Riddle of Sunstrand LLC; Colorado hemp farmer Ryan Loflin; Morris Beegle, owner of the Colorado Hemp Company; and Joel Stanley, CEO of CW Botanicals. The event will take place at the Great Hall in Cooper Union in Manhattan.

“I am excited to be a part of this esteemed panel and to move forward this important dialogue about industrial hemp and its enormous potential for social, economic and environmental good,” said Bevan. “For the past two years, GenCanna has worked primarily in Kentucky to produce a sustainable and reliable supply of specialized industrial hemp of the highest quality.

"Working together with farmers, greenhouse specialists, researchers, scientists, technological innovators, regulators and legislators has been incredibly rewarding and bountiful," Bevan said. "We look forward to empowering our strategic partners in New York State with the lessons we have learned in Kentucky to jumpstart New York’s own industrial hemp revolution.”

U.S.: First-Ever Bail Reform Legislation Introduced In Congress

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Bill Would Ban States from Receiving Federal Law Enforcement Dollars If They Use Money Bail

DPA: Far Too Many People Behind Bars Simply Because They Can’t Afford Bail; 60% of People in U.S. Jails Have Not Been Convicted of Any Crime

A group of Congressmen led by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) on Wednesday introduced the No More Money Bail Act of 2016. The bill would reform the country’s bail system by denying states access to Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) funds until they end the use of monetary payment as a condition for pretrial release.

Byrne JAG is one of the main federal law enforcement grant programs, directing hundreds of millions of dollars annually to state law enforcement agencies. The bill would also prohibit the use of money bail at the federal level.

“Too many individuals are currently held without trial simply because they cannot afford bail,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “Many of them are charged with drug offenses, therefore the nexus between the drug war and money bail is clear.”

Currently, around 60 percent of individuals in jail in the U.S. are pretrial detainees who have not been convicted of any crime. Such a system contradicts the ethos of “innocent until proven guilty,” and has an adverse impact on low-income families and communities of color.

Vermont: Faith Leaders Support Legislation To End Marijuana Prohibition

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In a letter to state senators on Tuesday, a diverse group of more than a dozen local clergy and faith leaders from across Vermont expressed support for legislation that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use. The bill, S. 241, is expected to receive a full Senate vote this week.

In the letter, the faith leaders say they believe they have “a moral obligation to support change” because the state’s current marijuana prohibition laws “have caused more harm than good for the people of Vermont” and they are “disproportionately enforced against the poor and people of color.”

“As those who teach compassion and love, we believe the harm associated with marijuana can best be minimized through a regulated system that emphasizes education, prevention, and treatment rather than punishment,” they said. “For these reasons, we support S. 241, the proposal to end marijuana prohibition and regulate marijuana in Vermont.”

S. 241 would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and establish a tightly controlled system of licensed marijuana cultivation sites, testing facilities, and retail stores.

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