Marijuana Legalization

Picture of a marijuana plant
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The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania met in  New York City Thursday to try to hash out a multi-state approach to legalizing the adult recreational use of marijuana.

Dr. Alan Chartock
Eric Korenman

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses a warning from German Chancellor Angela Merkel that there are "dark forces" on the rise in Europe. He also considers what New York lawmakers have yet to tackle, as they near the end of the 2019 legislative session. 

Picture of a marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

New York state legislators are considering legalizing recreational marijuana, but there is opposition to the idea. Smart Approaches to Marijuana officials have visited a number of county legislatures in the state, highlighting what they view as dangers of legalization.

In his new book, "Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America," Box Brown surveys the broad history of marijuana, from its role in Hindu mythology to its importation into the Americas by Spain.

Brought into the U.S. by Mexican immigrants in the 19th century, marijuana eventually became associated with jazz musicians and inevitably became tainted by a racist social mythology—one that linked weed to violence and sex—which was used to justify legal restrictions of the drug.

In his work of graphic nonfiction, Brown provides a look at the history, pharmacological affects, and legalization movement surrounding marijuana in North America.

Brown is an award-winning graphic novelist and will discuss the new book with Paul Benzon, Assistant Professor of English at Skidmore College on tomorrow at 6PM at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Picture of a marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

A Vermont panel has recommended a 26 percent tax rate on marijuana sales in its final report.

12/18/18 Panel

Dec 18, 2018

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, Political Consultant Libby Post, and the Empire Reports, J.P. Miller.

A series of public hearings on legalizing recreational marijuana in New York will begin this week in Albany.

Senator Betty Little (left) and Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (right) visit Plattsburgh with state Housing Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas (center)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In January, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the New York state Health Department to study the impact of legalization of marijuana. Issued in July, the report concluded: “The positive effects of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts.” During a visit to Plattsburgh this week the region’s state Senate and Assembly representatives weighed in about the potential for pot legalization.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On Monday, Governor Phil Scott signed legislation legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Vermont, bringing an end to years of debate and efforts on both sides of the issue.  The general reaction from legislators appears to mirror Scott’s desire to move on to other issues.

Marijuana
flickr

The Vermont Senate approved the legalization of small amounts of marijuana today and sent the measure to the governor for his signature.

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Vermont Governor Phil Scott has established a Marijuana Advisory Commission that will study the best way to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Legalized marijuana in Vermont will have to wait again. Among the vetoed legislation that the legislature reviewed during its special session on Wednesday was a bill to allow the use of marijuana by adults.  While the state Senate overturned the veto, the House refused to reverse the governor’s decision.

Governor Phil Scott announces marijuana bill veto
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Phil Scott today vetoed Vermont’s first-in-the-nation legislatively approved marijuana legalization bill.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was in Montpelier today as the governor explained why he is sending the legislation back.

marijuana
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The anticipated vote on a bill in the Vermont House that would legalize the use and possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults was aborted Tuesday after leaders determined there was not enough support to pass the measure.

Picture of a marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Legal pot is back on the table in Vermont.

After a legalization bill that would have created a structure similar to Colorado's system failed last year, a new bill would legalize up to 1 ounce of marijuana and allow Vermonters to grow several plants for personal use.

Marijuana
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New York is relaxing some restrictions in its nearly year-old medical marijuana law to boost patient access.

Picture of a marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The Massachusetts Hospital Association is adding its voice to those opposed to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

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wikipedia commons

In anticipation of the possible legalization of marijuana, Vermont police dogs are no longer trained to recognize the drug's smell.

Picture of marijuana plant
US Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted to approve a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. The idea is so controversial that even members of the same party are divided over the issue.

Picture of marijuana plant
US Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The Vermont Senate Committee on Government Operations took testimony today on possible legalization of recreational marijuana.

wikipedia commons

Vermont marijuana growers and advocates gathered earlier this week to discuss proposed legislation that would legalize recreational use of the drug in the state.

3/11/15 Panel

Mar 11, 2015

    

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Time Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain, and political consultant, Libby Post.

Scheduled topics include: Hillary Clinton on private email use and Iran letter; City Manager of Ferguson, MI resigns; "Blurred Lines” Decision; Federal Medical Marijuana Law.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

A nine-member delegation that includes law enforcement officials, drug treatment experts, marijuana supporters and detractors left Vermont to travel to Colorado Sunday. They are gathering information on that state's experience with marijuana legalization.   They talked about their expectations just before they boarded their plane on Sunday.

marijuana
Wikipedia Commons

During the spring session, the Vermont Legislature required the Shumlin administration to report to it by January 15 on the issues surrounding legalization of marijuana. A statewide public hearing was held Wednesday on the report that is being drafted.

marijuana
Wikipedia Commons

The state of Vermont will host a hearing on the possible legalization of marijuana.

7/8/14 Panel

Jul 8, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain and Political Consultant Libby Post.

Topics include:
Pope meets with Abused
Afghan Vote Fraud
Pot Legalization
Abortion Buffer Zones
Chicago Killings
TU Stories

marijuana
Wikipedia Commons

The Shumlin administration is preparing to launch a study of what marijuana legalization might look like in Vermont.

    

  Roger Roffman first discovered marijuana while serving as a US Army officer in Vietnam. From these seemingly innocuous beginnings, Roffman has been fascinated by marijuana, as a researcher, scholar, therapist, activist, and user.

Ever since America’s youth first marched in opposition to the war in Vietnam, pot’s popularity has periodically ebbed and surged. Calls for greater, fewer, or no marijuana penalties also have swung on their own pendulum.

He writes about his experiences in Marijuana Nation: One Man's Chronicle of America Getting High: From Vietnam to Legalization.

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The Vermont House has passed a measure calling for a study of marijuana legalization, while a Senate committee looks at cracking down on drivers impaired by drugs.