By Phillip Smith

At the starting of 2019, hopes have been higher that as several as 4 or 5 states would legalize marijuana by means of the legislative procedure this year. That didn’t occur, and the failure of each New Jersey and New York to get it performed was in particular dispiriting, offered that governors and legislative leaders alike mentioned they supported it.

As we pass the mid-point of the year, and most state legislatures have adjourned, it is seeking increasingly like we will have to settle for Illinois obtaining gotten it performed in 2019. But that is a glass half-empty attitude. In a report released Monday, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) sees a lot of progress this year.

“Virtually every single legislature in the nation is taking a close appear at its marijuana policies, and several have adopted substantial reforms in 2019,” MPP director of state policies and lead report author Karen O’Keefe mentioned in a press release accompanying the report. “Not a single legislature moved to repeal or roll back a health-related cannabis or legalization law. Especially with the very first-of-its-sort legalization victory in Illinois, 2019 has been a milestone year for MPP and our movement.”

One particular state, even though, was named out for bucking the forward trend. MPP identified South Dakota as “the most stagnant,” noting that it “has the dubious distinction of becoming the only state exactly where there has been no forward progress on marijuana policies in 2019. The state lacks a health-related cannabis, decriminalization, and legalization law, and no legislator even place forth a proposal to increase marijuana policies this year. Though the legislature did pass a hemp bill in 2019, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) vetoed the modest measure, and the legislature could not muster the votes for an override. The Mount Rushmore State is also the only state that criminalizes “internal possession” — which means a individual can legally use marijuana in Canada but face jail time if they test optimistic in South Dakota.”

Nonetheless, calling it “a historic year for marijuana policy and the movement, ” MPP pointed to 27 states exactly where legalization bills have been filed, decriminalization in 3 states, and progress in Congress, as nicely as incremental optimistic adjustments, such as expanding current health-related marijuana applications or adding on-internet site consumption to an current legalization law.

And MPP even developed a Top rated 10 2019 pot policy achievements. Right here they are:

  1. Marijuana Legalization in Illinois.  On June 25, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker produced history by signing into law the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) The Illinois Property and Senate had authorized the CRTA in late May perhaps. Adults 21 and older will be permitted to possess and acquire cannabis beginning on January 1, 2020.
  2. U.S. Property Prevents Federal Intervention.For the very first time ever, the U.S. Property of Representatives authorized a spending budget rider to avoid federal interference with adult-use marijuana laws.
  3. Decriminalization in New Mexico. New Mexico decriminalizes marijuana, decreasing the penalty for up to half an ounce of marijuana to a $50 civil fine.
  4. Health-related Marijuana in GeorgiaGeorgia authorized in-state production of health-related marijuana with up to five% THC.
  5. Decriminalization in North Dakota.  North Dakota lowered the penalty for up to half an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction carrying a maximum fine of $1,000.
  6. Decriminalization of Really Little Amounts in Hawaii. Hawaii lowered the penalty for up to 3 grams of cannabis from up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 to a $130 civil fine.
  7. On-Website Consumption in Colorado. Colorado legalized and regulated cannabis hospitality — such as cannabis cafes — in localities that opt in.
  8. Residence Delivery in Colorado. Colorado legalized dwelling delivery.
  9. Employment Protection in Nevada. Nevada prohibited most employers from conducting pre-job give drug testing.
  10. Guam Legalizes Marijuana. The U.S. territory of Guam legalizes and regulated marijuana for adults’ use.

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