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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for the legalization of marijuana.

Herring said Saturday that Virginia should start decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and eventually legalize the drug.

The Democratic attorney general said criminal prosecutions are costly to the state and local governments and disproportionately affect African Americans.

Herring made the remarks in an op-ed in the Daily Press and in comments to reporters at a Democratic fundraiser in Richmond.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill to legalize marijuana in Delaware has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The House Revenue and Finance Committee voted Wednesday after a two-hour hearing to send the bill to the full House.

The legislation calls for a state-licensed industry that would create jobs while padding state coffers with licensing fees and taxes.

The bill calls for state government to collect a 15% tax on retail sales price of marijuana, as well as licensing fees.

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As Delaware looks at legalizing recreational marijuana a divide has opened up among supporters.

The measure current would not allow people to grow their own.

And it only legalizes consumption and possession of up to one hour for those who are least 21 years of age.

But WBOC reports that Sam Chick, a vape shop owner and a member of Delcanna which supports legalizationcomplained that this would hand the business over to a “very profitable monopoly to a select few.”

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous says marijuana should be fully legalized, and people who live in areas that have been the most negatively affected by the nation's drug laws should get preference for jobs in the industry.

Jealous spoke Friday at the National Cannabis Policy Summit in Washington, D.C.

He has made full marijuana legalization for adults a part of his criminal justice reform plan to improve public safety and reduce the prison population.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A hearing is scheduled on a measure to put the legalization of marijuana on the ballot for voters to decide in November.

The hearing in the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled for Tuesday.

Both houses of the General Assembly would need to pass the bill by a three-fifths majority to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

It would make possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 and over. It also would require the state to establish regulations and taxation for a legal cannabis market.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of a task force studying issues surrounding the possible legalization of recreational marijuana in Delaware are meeting to discuss a final report about their work.

The panel's scheduled meeting Wednesday comes one week after a vote by members to release a report failed, then was declared by the co-chair to be nonbinding and not required.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A task force studying issues surrounding marijuana legalization in Delaware is set to issue its final report.

Members of the panel, which was established after a legalization bill stalled in the General Assembly last year, were scheduled to vote Wednesday on a final report summarizing their findings and recommendations.

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A legislative taskforce is expected to vote at the end of the month on whether the state should ease its laws regarding the recreational use of marijuana.

Co-chair Representative Helene Keeley told the Wilmington News Journal that she believed there should be enough votes for the recommendations to pass.

Those recommendations range from allowing local governments to enact regulations and requiring a tracking system for seed to sale to banning products resembling candy or cartoon characters and police funding and training.

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Governor John Carney and Delaware lawmakers got an earful from opponents of marijuana legalization at a roundtable in Wilmington yesterday.

The Jeffrey Horvath, executive director of the Delaware Police Chiefs Council, told the lawmakers that he had recently made a trip to Colorado which has legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

He said he found that there has been an increase in hospital visits and accused the state officials there of hiding the negative effects of legalization.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers are introducing legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use.

Supporters are scheduled to talk about the measure on Monday.

One measure would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and regulate its production and sale similarly to alcohol.

Another bill would enact taxes on non-medical marijuana.

The General Assembly decriminalized marijuana in 2014. People caught with less than 10 grams are now issued a $100 ticket. The fine increases to $500 for repeat offenses.

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A new public opinion finds that 61 percent of Delawareans support legalizing the use of marijuana.

The survey by the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication also found that there was also a majority that support the death penalty for murder, Obamacare and increasing the minimum wage.

WBOC reports that Representative John Carney who is running for governor supports the current decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana but takes a wait and see position on legalization.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Passage of legislation aimed at allowing first offenders to escape conviction for misdemeanor marijuana offenses is prompting calls for formal legalization from a conservative Republican senator and gubernatorial candidate.
Sen. Colin Bonini, R-Dover, said Senate passage Thursday of a bill allowing probation before judgment for first offenders removes the last vestiges of holding people criminally accountable for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Advocates for the legalization of marijuana and other changes to U.S. drug laws are getting together for a four-day conference in the Washington area.

The 2015 International Drug Policy Reform Conference is being hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance. It's being held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

The group is also planning to lobby Congress on Wednesday, urging lawmakers to pass bills that would make it easier for states to change their marijuana laws and decrease penalties for people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.

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Fifty-Six percent of Delawareans support legalization of marijuana.

That’s according to a new poll by the University of Delaware.

Just 39 percent opposed legalization.

The survey found that only those over the age of 60 were strongly opposed to legalization.

Paul Brewer, the political communications professor at the University of Delaware who supervised the poll told the Wilmington News Journal that the number suggest that there is strong support for legalization in the First State.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is set to vote Friday on whether to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Sen. Robert Zirkin's bill would replace criminal penalties for pot possession with a $100 civil fine. Juveniles caught with the drug would also have to appear before a judge and possibly undergo treatment. Under an amendment from Sen. Christopher Shank, the same penalty would also apply to adults caught a third time.

Criminal penalties would remain intact for anyone carrying more than about one-third of an ounce of pot.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Police and prosecutor objections to this year's marijuana decriminalization bills apparently aren't getting far with the Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee.

In the bills' first hearing on Tuesday, committee members sparred with police chiefs who want to keep the drug illegal. Sen. Christopher Shank advised one chief to find a compromise - to decide what features a bill would need to avoid hindering law enforcement - because the drug war isn't working.