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Sen. Booker: President-Elect Biden’s Decriminalization Plan is “Not Enough”
Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, a former Democratic presidential candidate, is featured in a new BET documentary premiering tomorrow entitled “Smoke: Marijuana + Black America.”
That was Booker calling out now-President-Elect Biden’s rejection of legalization in favor of a plan for marijuana decriminalization. Booker described the moment to BET:
New Jersey Senate OKs Legalizing Six Ounces of Marijuana
Reacting quickly to the 2-to-1 passages of marijuana legalization two weeks ago, the New Jersey Senate passed a bill 29–4 legalizing possession of six ounces of marijuana by adults.
That was State Senator Nicholas Scutari, a sponsor of the bill which also reduces penalties for possession of psychedelics.
The bill is now stalled at the Assembly, where leaders are divided about the psychedelic decriminalization.
Rhode Island Leaders “Very Close” to Advancing Marijuana Legalization
The new leaders of the Democratic Rhode Island House appeared on WPRI-TV’s Newsmakers program Friday and signaled that marijuana legalization is poised to pass in the Ocean State.
That’s newly-chosen Rhode Island House Majority Leader Christopher Blazejewski on the Senate’s support for legalization. The new Speaker of the Rhode Island House, Joseph Shekarchi, explains how the fight for legalization will happen in his chamber.
Virginia Governor Says “It’s Time” to Legalize Marijuana
Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday he plans to propose legislation legalizing marijuana when the General Assembly convenes in January, setting the state on a path to become the first in the South to allow recreational use of the drug.
“We are going to move forward with legalizing marijuana in Virginia,” Northam said. “I support that and am committed to doing it the right way.”
Northam, a physician who says he’s never used the drug, cautioned “it’s not going to happen overnight,” saying he envisions an 18 to 24 month timetable for the state to establish and regulate the new marketplace.
The Virginia Mercury reports that lawmakers in the House of Delegates say a legalization bill would likely pass the chamber. In the Senate, Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said last week he gave it “slightly better than 50-50” odds.
Texas Democrats Urge Legalization to Address Budget Woes, Republicans Oppose It
With a state budget devastated by the coronavirus, some Democratic lawmakers are hoping the economic crisis could become an opportunity to coax Texas into joining a growing number of states opting to legalize — and tax — recreational marijuana use.
The chances are slim, according to reports in the Texas Tribune.
The coronavirus pandemic has blown a $4.6 billion hole in the state budget, according to the comptroller’s latest estimate, and Democratic lawmakers argue that a legal marijuana industry could bring in hundreds of millions in tax revenue and create tens of thousands of jobs.
But changes to marijuana laws still face powerful opposition at the Texas Capitol. With Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a staunch conservative, at the helm of the upper chamber, it remains unlikely that a legalization bill will make it out when the Legislature reconvenes in January.