The fight to legalize marijuana in the United States made some significant strides last week. California fired a salvo to protect its marijuana laws against the federal government. New Hampshire will no longer arrest citizens for possessing small amounts of cannabis. In Nevada, the plan to begin recreational sales by July 1 hit a snag in court. Read all about these developments and more in The Fresh Toast’s Legislative Roundup for June 5.
On Friday, the California Assembly passed legislation designed to prevent police from cooperating with any federal law enforcement action against individuals and businesses in compliance with state marijuana law. The so-called “marijuana sanctuary state” bill would prohibit the use of state resources to “investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for marijuana activity that is authorized by law in the State of California.”
- Related Story: California Closer To Being A ‘Sanctuary State’ For Marijuana
The move comes in response to threats by the Trump administration to crack down on state-legal marijuana industries in the eight states and D.C. where the plant is legal. In November, California voters passed Proposition 64 to legalize recreational cannabis in the state. A similar bill failed to pass in the Colorado House earlier this year.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted on Thursday to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in the state. The bill will make possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of cannabis a civil violation punishable by a fine of no more than $300, as opposed to a criminal misdemeanor.
- Related Story: You Will No Longer Go To Jail For Marijuana In New Hampshire
The House had previously passed a decriminalization bill with a one-ounce limit, but this threshold was lowered in the Senate. Governor Chris Sununu has said he will sign the legislation, making New Hampshire the last state in New England to decriminalize adult cannabis possession.
On Tuesday, a state judge issued a restraining order prohibiting the Nevada Department of Taxation from enforcing a filing deadline for recreational marijuana license applications. The judge sided with a group of liquor wholesalers that argued that they, rather than existing medical dispensaries, should get first priority in applying to distribute recreational cannabis.
- Related Story: Las Vegas Cannabis Clubs Might Be Modeled On Amsterdam
The judge ruled that the DOT did not follow proper regulatory procedure in determining that insufficient interest existed among liquor wholesalers earlier this year. Nevada’s planned July 1 start date for recreational cannabis sales at medical dispensaries could be delayed as a result of the restraining order.
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