Delaware House panel approves marijuana legalization bill

DOVER, Del. – (AP) – A bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Delaware has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The legislation, which was released Wednesday by a House committee and now goes to the full House for a vote, regulates and taxes marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.

The bill doesn’t allow people to grow their own marijuana but allows adults over age 21 to legally possess less than an ounce of marijuana for personal use.

The legislation would create a commission to regulate, license and tax the marijuana industry, allowing licenses for up to 40 retail stores.

Consumers would pay an excise tax of $50 an ounce, while businesses would pay an application fee of $5,000 and a $10,000 licensing fee every two years.

Vermont legislature approves recreational marijuana use

A measure legalizing marijuana use in Vermont cleared the state’s legislature on Wednesday.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) has said the legislation is not “a priority for Vermont” and has not made a final decision as to whether he will sign it. The measure makes Vermont the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana use among adults and the first to legalize through a legislative process. Other states have approved recreational marijuana use through ballot initiatives.

“Vermont lawmakers made history today,” said Matt Simon, the New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, a marijuana policy group. “The legislature has taken a crucial step toward ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.” Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized the possession and use of marijuana, though each state has its own rules and regulations. For example, in Washington — one of the first states to legalize pot — only individuals using the drug for medical purposes can grow it, though any adult is allowed to possess and use it.

In Washington, D.C., marijuana can be used and “gifted,” but not bought, sold or exchanged for other goods or services.

Marijuana use is illegal according to federal policy, and President Trump’s opposition to legalization has created uncertainty for some states seeking to regulate the industry.

If signed by the governor, the Vermont measure would remove civil penalties for possessing one ounce of marijuana or less and would allow adults to keep up to two mature pot plants. It would also create a commission to develop a plan for taxing and regulating the drug.

Oklahoma City Update 

OKLAHOMA CITY — A bill to legalize the use of cannabidiol, a derivative linked to marijuana, is heading to a vote of the full Senate after being unanimously approved in the Senate Health and Human Services committee yesterday by a vote of 9-0.

House Bill 2154, also known as Katie and Cayman’s Law, would legalize clinical trials using CBD to treat children and adults who suffer from epileptic seizures and help reduce the number and intensity of their seizures.

“Oklahoma has children who are suffering from different types of epileptic seizures and this bill allows the opportunity to be supportive of innovative treatments that could help them,” Senator Brian Crain (R-Tulsa) said.

State Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City) emphasizes the bill is not an attempt to legalize marijuana, but an effort to help his niece and other children in the state who suffer from a variety of debilitating types of epilepsy.

“Katie and Cayden’s[sic] Law would allow children with severe epilepsy to participate in a clinical trial using cannabidiol, a marijuana derivative with less than a .3 level of THC to help with seizures, headaches and other effects of various epilepsy-associated ailments,” Echols said. “Cannabidiol is very high in the CBD content, but very low in the THC content, which is the component that gives users the feeling of being ‘high’.”

The bill passed in the House by a vote of 99-2 earlier this year and is now headed to a vote of the full Senate.