WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from Russian prison in a prisoner exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to multiple media reports Thursday morning.
President Joe Biden said Griner is safe and on her way home during an address Thursday with Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, and Vice President Kamala Harris. He thanked the United Arab Emirates for helping facilitate Brittney Griner’s return home.
According to a new study, use of the drug marijuana has reached record highs for young adults in the United States, to the point that it may become a common practice for a majority of this demographic.
Breitbart reports that the study, conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, on behalf of the organization Monitoring the Future, shows a significant increase in the use of marijuana and other hallucinogens among adults between the ages of 19 and 30, compared to the same rates just 10 years earlier.
Delegate Dawn Adams (D-Richmond) was among a bipartisan group of seven delegates who voted against the budget on Wednesday. Adams criticized the Youngkin administration’s policies for state employees, but focused on language in the budget proposal that fails to adequately regulate THC in retail marijuana.
“We are now legalizing retail marijuana straight up. That’s what we’re doing. It’s just we’re going to call it hemp. And you can call it hemp, but it’s marijuana, and specifically until you have regulations, that does of marijuana that is now legal in retail stores can be anything as long as they put it on the package,” Adams, a nurse practitioner, said in a speech to the House of Delegates.
Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations interdicted 62 tons (124,000 pounds) of illicit drugs in the first three months of this year, CBP reports, working with international, federal, state and local partners.
“Collaboration keeps us all safer,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said of their efforts. “CBP AMO works with U.S. and international partners to stem the flow of illicit narcotics. Through the end of March, AMO has contributed to the seizure of over 124,000 lbs of narcotics by partner agencies.”
A majority of the states that legalized recreational marijuana for recreational use are collecting more tax revenue from pot sales than alcohol sales.
The first two states to legalize pot are profiting the most, Colorado and Washington. Across the country, the total revenue for taxes on weed amounted to nearly $3 billion, according to a report on “sin taxes” by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
The Democrat-led House on Friday passed legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide, eliminating the longstanding criminal penalties for those who distribute and possess it.
The bill passed primarily along party lines (220-204), with all but three Republicans voting ‘no,’ and all but two Democrats voting ‘yes.’
The legislation will now head to the Senate where it will likely face an uphill battle toward passage, but has a powerful ally in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is working with several of his colleagues to introduce a twin bill sometime this spring.
Ballotpedia is tracking 20 citizen-initiated measures in nine states related to marijuana that could appear before voters in 2022. As of 2022, recreational marijuana is legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C., and medical marijuana is legal in 36 states and D.C.
In Ohio, sponsors of an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana submitted an additional 29,918 signatures on January 13, after the secretary of state verified their initial petition contained 119,825 valid signatures–13,062 less than the number required. If enough of the additional signatures are found to be valid, the initiative will go before the state legislature. If the state legislature does not enact it outright, sponsors will have to collect a second round of 132,887 signatures to place it on the 2022 ballot. In 2015, Ohio voters defeated Issue 3 with a margin of 63.65% to 36.35%.
In Arkansas, voters could decide on two marijuana initiatives. One initiative would decriminalize marijuana, give limited immunity to cannabis businesses, and create regulations on the cannabis industry. The other would legalize marijuana use for individuals 21 years of age and older regardless of residency. Both campaigns have until July 8, 2022, to collect 89,151 valid signatures.
Marijuana use among college students has surged while alcohol use dropped, according to a recent National Institute of Health and National Institute of Drug Abuse study.
The “Monitoring the Future” study found that 44% of college students said they used marijuana in 2020, an increase from 38% in 2015. More, “daily” or “near daily” marijuana use among college students increased from 5% to 8% over the last five years.
The number of college students who said they consumed alcohol, on the other hand, dipped from over 62% in 2019 to 56% in 2020, according to the report. Binge drinking among college students, defined as having five or more drinks in one outing, decreased from 32% in 2019 to 24% in 2020.
Some Virginia universities intend to prohibit marijuana on campus grounds after it becomes legal for recreational use for adults age 21 and older in the state.
Although the commonwealth will allow legal possession beginning in two weeks, the plant still is illegal at the federal level and a schedule I drug under the controlled substance act. If a university allows marijuana on campus, some universities worry it could threaten their federal funding.
A spokesperson from James Madison University told The Center Square the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices will continue to address incidents of marijuana on campus because use and possession are illegal under federal law.
Possessing marijuana in amounts of up to one ounce will be legal July 1, but sales will still be outlawed in Virginia until 2024. That means there will be no clear legal way to acquire marijuana or marijuana plants, despite possession itself being legal.
“Outside of the medical cannabis program, there remains no legal access to marijuana in Virginia,” Virginia NORML Executive Director Jenn Michelle Pedini told The Virginia Star.
RICHMOND, Virginia Simple possession of up to one ounce of marijuana will be legal in Virginia, effective July 1. On Wednesday, the Virginia General Assembly approved Governor Ralph Northam’s proposal to expedite legalization from 2024 to later this year. But legislators warned that doesn’t mean there will be a marijuana free-for-all.
Legislation that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Virginia jumped another hurdle Friday when lawmakers advanced the bill through the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee.
Senate Bill 1406, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, would legalize the recreational sale and use of marijuana for adults age 21 or older in the commonwealth. It narrowly advanced through the committee on an 8-7 vote with support from every Democrat and opposition from every Republican.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said Monday that he supports the legalization of Marijuana use for adults in the commonwealth.
“Legalizing marijuana will happen in Virginia,” the governor said during a briefing on Monday.
A bill that aims to reduce unnecessary and targeted traffic stops by limiting what police officers are lawfully allowed to pull drivers over for recently passed the General Assembly and is now awaiting a decision from the governor.
Nevertheless, law enforcement opposes the legislation on the grounds that it would hurt public safety and lead to more dangers while driving.
Sen. Kamala Harris, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, reportedly prosecuted nearly 2,000 people on marijuana-related charges during her time as California attorney general.
A total of 1,974 people were sent to state prisons for marijuana-related offenses during Harris’s 2011-2016 tenure as the Golden State’s lead prosecutor, the Washington Free Beacon reported.