Following important cannabis news articles every day can be a real burn-out, we know. That’s why the Emerald rolls up a chronicle of the headiest news hits, and passes them to you at the end of each week. We Bring You: The Dime.
Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Introduce Bill to Legalize Recreational Cannabis
On Tuesday, April 20th, Republican and Democrat state senators discussed legalizing cannabis for adult use in Pennsylvania. According to Fox 43, it was the first time they did so since introducing a bill in February. The bill would set the minimum age for consumption at 21. It will also incorporate social equity measures. With its neighbors of New York and New Jersey’s recent adult-use legalization, Jeff Riedy, executive director of the Lehigh Valley chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), has been outspoken in terms of the War on Drugs saying, “it seems like a really easy way to eliminate 20,000 arrests annually for small amounts of marijuana in Pennsylvania,” Penn Live Patriot-News reports.
Virginia Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Cannabis Possession Starting This Summer
On Wednesday, April 21st, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed SB1406, legalizing adult-use cannabis, making it the first Southern state to do so. The bill will go into effect on July 1st. According to CNN, “it will allow anyone 21 or older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana beginning July 1, and adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household at home.” Additionally, the bill “eliminates criminal penalties for simple possession of marijuana, modifies other charges associated with the drug, and facilitates the “automatic expungement” of individuals imprisoned for certain crimes involving cannabis,” MSN reports.
Senate Majority Leader calls for Cannabis Legalization on 4/20
On Tuesday, April 20th, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a democrat, reiterated his call to federally legalize cannabis. Specifically, he said that he hopes to see an end to the drug’s prohibition by next year’s 4/20. According to UPI, Schumer also said, “it’s as appropriate a time as any to take a look at our laws that have over criminalized the use of marijuana and put it on a par with the heroine, LSD, and other narcotics that bear little or no resemblance in their effects either on individuals or on society more broadly.”
House Passes SAFE Banking Act
On Monday, April 19th, members of the U.S. House of Representative approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act. According to Reuters, “lawmakers voted 321-101 to approve the bill […].” House members originally introduced and approved the bill in 2017, and again 2019. However, it did not pass in the Senate. But House reps reintroduced the bill again in March 2021 and now, have re-approved it. Next, it goes back to the Senate. Advocates are hopeful that the democrat-led Senate will pass the bill.