We hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving with their friends and family. Here’s our weekly roundup of the news.
Washington DC ABC affiliate WJLA has aired a segment on SB 686, quoting George Madison associate government professor Jeremy Mayer, who said “Virginia is still at heart a purple state, it is a state with a liberal, democratic governor, a conservative legislature. You are going to need a different Richmond to decriminalize marijuana.”
Additional coverage on SB 686 from Arlington’s ARLnow.com, which also notes that the bill faces long odds with Republican control of both the House of Delegates and the Senate.
A bi-partisan group of House Representatives are sponsoring a bill to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to their patients. The VA currently prohibits their physicians from recommending medical marijuana to their patients for the treatment of chronic pain or PTSD. The proposed bill, the “Veterans Equal Access Act,” was introduced by Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer, California’s Dana Rohrabacher, and 10 others.
While not directly relevant to Virginia’s efforts, we would like to give kudos to Georgia State Senator Curt Thompson, who has introduced two pieces of legislation to legalize medicinal and recreation marijuana in the state.
Vice.com has a write up on what’s next for marijuana proponents in Washington DC following the success of Initiative 71 this fall. The DC Council is looking for ways to start taxing and regulating the sale of pot, while at the same time Maryland Congressman Andy Harris will “consider using all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action.” While Congress has the ability to overrule any law passed in DC, it seems unlikely that any such efforts will be successful.
The International Business Times looks at how marijuana farms, both legal and illegal, negatively impact the environment.
US Senator Ron Johnson, who will be in charge of the committee reviewing Washington DC’s Initiative 71, says that while he opposes marijuana legalization, he strongly supports state’s rights and would like to hold hearings over the new bill.
Richmond-Times dispatch reporter Bart Hinkle discusses ending Virginia’s monopoly on alcohol sales and making up for it with money from marijuana legalization.
A Williamsburg man is facing grand jury charges after allegedly accepting 14 pounds of weed in the mail.
RedAlertPolitics.com notes that marijuana arrests have declined over the past 5 years, but are still twice as high as they were in the 1990s.