Legislators voted this week in 4 states to approve payments to legalize marijuana

Legislators in four states last week approved bills to legalize marijuana.

At committee level, marijuana legalization was passed in Hawaii, Minnesota, New Mexico, and North Dakota. These laws coincide with other drug reforms in California, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington State, and Wisconsin.

Marijuana Legalization in Hawaii

The Hawaii Senate Public Safety Committee approved a bill legalizing the possession and sale of cannabis for adults ages 21 and up, allowing adults to grow three plants for personal use. The bill was passed with 4 votes in favor and 1 against.

The committee also passed laws that raised the possession threshold from three grams to one ounce. Under the revised Property Threshold, adults caught with an ounce or less will now face fines of $ 130 with no time in jail. This bill was passed unanimously.

These bills are now going to two separate hearings. The Legalization Act faces a joint hearing by the Senate Judiciary and Appeals Committees before being proposed to the Senate Chamber, while the Decriminalization Act is submitted to the Judiciary Committee.

Marijuana Legalization in Minnesota

A bill legalizing marijuana was approved by the Minnesota House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee by 10 votes in favor and 7 against. The bill would legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over, owning up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, and growing up to 8 marijuana plants, 4 of which can be mature.

The bill has yet to be approved by eleven other state committees in Minnesota before a vote can be taken.

Marijuana Legalization in New Mexico

In New Mexico, the House Health & Human Services Committee passed a law legalizing marijuana on Monday with 7 votes in favor and 4 against. New Mexico’s bill would legalize the possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis for adults 21 years and older, allow the cultivation of up to 6 mature and 6 immature plants for personal use, and introduce regulations on the taxation and sale of marijuana.

The bill also includes a clause to automatically remove marijuana possession charges from prisoners currently in custody.

Marijuana Legalization in North Dakota

Sponsored by a Republican legislature, a measure to legalize marijuana use in North Dakota was narrowly passed by 7 votes in favor, 6 against, and 1 vote out of the office. Legislation would legalize the possession and sale of 1 ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

Sponsor Senator Jason Dockter (R), while still opposed to marijuana legalization, acknowledges the direction the U.S. is headed and wanted to use that legislation to allow the Senate to legislate on marijuana rather than advocating for advocates of legalization through electoral initiatives.

Additional resources:

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