Wells, Civil Rights Groups Push for Potent D.C. Pot Bill

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  On Tuesday, the D.C. Council will have a chance to pass what civil rights groups are calling the strongest marijuana decriminalization bill in the country.

The proposal, offered by Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, who represents Capitol Hill and is also running for mayor, would prevent police officers from stopping and searching D.C. residents solely because officers smell pot. Supporters also see it as an attempt to end racial profiling. [Read more…]

A Marijuana Stash That Carried Little Risk

NEW YORK:  Walking down Eighth Avenue a few weeks ago, I made sure my backpack was fully zipped shut. Inside was a modest stash of pot, bought just an hour or so earlier.

A friend knew someone in that world, and after an introduction, then a quiet, discreet meeting, I was on my way to the subway. Never before had I walked through Midtown Manhattan with it on my person. There were four cookies in vacuum-sealed pouches — “edibles” is the technical term — and then a few pinches of what was described as “herb.”

The innovations of Michael R. Bloomberg as mayor are legion, but his enforcement of marijuana laws has broken all records. More people have been arrested for marijuana possession than any other crime on the books. [Read more…]

NAACP Backs Marijuana Federalism

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recently endorsed a bill that would make the federal ban on marijuana inapplicable to people who grow, possess, or distribute cannabis in compliance with state law.

H.R. 1523, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2013, would essentially repeal (or at least limit) federal pot prohibition in the 21 states that allow medical or recreational use of the drug. So far the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), has 20 cosponsors, including five more Republicans: Justin Amash (Mich.), Dan Benishek (Mich.), Don Young (Alaska), Duncan Hunter (Calif.), and Steve Stockman (Texas).  [Read more…]

At Pa. capitol, longshot marijuana legalization bill gets NAACP support

PENNSYLVANIA: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People threw its support behind the measure, saying the war on drugs in America unfairly targets minorities and that there is a “staggeringly disproportionate” arrest rate compared with white drug users. [Read more…]