Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has signed Senate Bill 364. The measure decriminalizes the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis.
Under the new law, someone caught possessing 10 grams of cannabis or less will be given, at most, a simple $100 ticket for their first offense. For someone’s second offenses, they can be given a $250 ticket, and the ticket can be raised to $500 for subsequent offenses. No amount of offenses will result in jail time or a criminal record.
The new law will take effect on October 1st.
The post Maryland Governor Signs Measure Decriminalizing Cannabis appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has signed Senate Bill 124 into law, legalizing cannabidiol (a non-psychoactive cannabis compound) for medical purposes.
Under the new law, which was approved unanimously by the Kentuck’ys House and Senate, universities in the state with a school of medicine will be authorized to produce and distribute the cannabis extract cannabidiol to qualified patients who receive a recommendation from one of the university’s physicians. The measure would also allow anyone enrolled in an FDA trial (two such trials were approved by the FDA last year) to be legally treated with cannabis oil.
With the signing of this new law – which takes effect immediately – Kentucky becomes the second state in less than a month, following Utah on March 21st, to legalize cannabidiol.
The post Kentucky Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Bill Into Law appeared first on The Joint Blog.
The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) voted unanimously this week to reduce sentences for the majority of federal drug trafficking defendants. The move will effect up to 70% of all federal drug offenses, reducing the sentence by an average of 11 months per case.
Unless Congress votes to stop the amendment, it will go into effect on November 1st. Attorney General Eric Holder recommended that the commission vote in favor of the move.
Specifically, the commission voted to amend federal guidelines to lower the base offense levels in the Drug Quantity Table across multiple drug types.
“This modest reduction in drug penalties is an important step toward reducing the problem of prison overcrowding at the federal level in a proportionate and fair manner,” says Judge Patti B. Saris, chair of the Commission. “Reducing the federal prison population has become urgent, with that population almost three times where it was in 1991.”
The Department of Justice estimates that the amendment will reduce the federal prison population by roughly 6,550 inmates over five years.
The post U.S. Sentencing Commission Unanimously Votes To Shorten Prison Sentences for Drug Offenders appeared first on The Joint Blog.