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The Wicomico County NAACP Branch says it’s concerned about a proposal that would make consuming marijuana in public a criminal offense.

The measure has been proposed by Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis and Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes.

Possession of 10 ounces of marijuana or less has been decriminalized under state law.

Lewis compares the issue with law regarding alcohol possession in an automobile.

But local NAACP Branch President Mary Ashanti said she worries that it will lead to more people with criminal arrests for non-violent offenses.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia is moving toward decriminalizing simple possession of marijuana.

The state House on Monday passed a decriminalization bill with bipartisan support. The state Senate is expected to pass its own version shortly.

Gov. Ralph Northam has signaled his support for the measure. If passed, the legislation would scrap criminal charges for possessing marijuana and replace them with small fines.

Supporters have argued the measure is needed in part because African Americans are disproportionately charged with drug crimes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Advocates dressed in black stood Wednesday at the base of the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial to voice their support of marijuana legalization, repeating a variation of, “the time is now,” in each of their statements. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, along with Marijuana Justice and RISE for Youth, a campaign committed to promoting alternatives to youth incarceration, held a press conference promoting House Bill 1507, patroned by Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William.

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Delaware lawmakers are set convene this year's legislative session, facing several unresolved issues carried over from last year.

Among the issues expected to be discussed in the session starting Tuesday are Democratic proposals for more gun control restrictions, and a proposal to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Reinstating the death penalty and raising Delaware's minimum wage to $15 an hour also were ideas that were floated last year.

Meanwhile, revenue projections have increased by more than $200 million since September.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis says if his deputies find you consuming marijuana in a public space you will be arrested.

That’s the stance he took last night at a county council meeting adding that his deputies would not be simply issuing a civil infraction.

Lewis noted that while less than 10 grams of marijuana in a car has been decriminalized he said he wanted to tighten up the law making it comparable to arrests for drinking and driving.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Farmers are wrapping up the first industrial hemp season in Virginia since the passage of the 2018 federal Farm Bill.

Industrial hemp is poised to be a fast growing sector of agriculture in Virginia. Hemp advocacy group Vote Hemp estimates 2017 retail sales of hemp products neared $820 million nationally and will continue to climb.

Growers, agricultural officials, and politicians are all coming to the table to discuss the future of cannabis, and even the legalization of marijuana in Virginia.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have given final approval to bill expanding Delaware's decriminalization of simple possession of marijuana to juveniles.

Lawmakers voted 34-to-7 for the bill Sunday, the last day of this year's legislative session.

The measure now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney for his signature.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware senators are set to vote on a bill expanding the decriminalization of simple possession of marijuana to juveniles.

Possessing an ounce or less of marijuana is currently a civil violation for anyone over 21 but a criminal misdemeanor for those under 18.

Nineteen and 20-year-olds currently are subject to a civil violation for a first offense but misdemeanor charges for a second or subsequent offense.

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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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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers are again proposing to legalize marijuana in Delaware, an idea still opposed by Democratic Gov. John Carney.

Sponsors of a bill unveiled Thursday say it is aimed at eliminating the black market for pot by establishing a state-licensed industry that would create jobs while padding state coffers with licensing fees and taxes.

A similar bill failed last year amid opposition from the law enforcement and business communities.

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A video of an arrest of a teen by New Castle County Police apparently shows the boy being punched in the head.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that authorities are now reviewing the recording.

The paper reports that the officers say the arrest was the result of a drug-dealing investigation in which the 16-year old resembled one of the suspects.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's top prosecutor has filed a rarely used legal petition intended to vacate 3,778 convictions for possession of marijuana.

In an unusual "Maryland v Maryland" filing in state court, State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby says the legal effort is necessary to "right an extraordinary wrong." The petition, if granted, would acknowledge an error of fact in the cases and wipe out the pot possession convictions.

Mosby says in the Tuesday filing that the "sordid history of marijuana prohibition lies in ethnic and racial bigotry."

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's acting police leader says officers will continue making arrests for pot possession, hours after the city's top prosecutor says her office will no longer prosecute such cases.

Acting Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said Tuesday that Baltimore's officers will keep making arrests for illegal marijuana possession under the law. He says they will only stop doing so if Maryland's legislature ever changes the law to make all possession legal.

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GOOCHLAND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Republican has drawn criticism for a tweet suggesting he could gun down pro-marijuana protesters who stormed Rep. Andy Harris' Capitol Hill office and assaulted the congressman.

Goochland County supervisor Manuel Alvarez Jr. tweeted Tuesday: "With one reload, I can take 34 of them."

Local Democratic Party committee co-chair Tina Winkler told The Washington Post she asked Alvarez to tone down his "rage tweets" a few weeks ago, saying "that kind of politics" isn't welcome in Goochland.

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For those who were convicted of violating Delaware’s old marijuana laws there could be some relief.

Legislation has been introduced that would erase the records of those who were convicted of using or possessing less than an ounce.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the law would be wipe out those convictions before December 18th 2015 when the new law took effect.

Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle said it was a matter of equity.

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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) - 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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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would allow people charged for the first time with possession of marijuana to later have the charge expunged.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the vote Monday on Republican Sen. Tommy Norment's bill was 38-2.

Norment previously said he was in favor of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana but opted not to introduce a bill that went that far, saying he didn't think it could pass.

He said the bill that advanced Monday "makes a substantial step forward."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A key panel in the Virginia state House has rejected a proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the panel voted 7-1 against the measure Wednesday, likely dooming any chance of Virginia joining the growing list of states to decriminalize or legalize the drug.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment is pushing legislation that would lessen penalties for a first marijuana-related offense.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - As lawmakers consider whether to legalize recreational marijuana use, some law enforcement officials are suggesting new steps to ensure that marijuana users in Delaware don't have guns.

William Bryson, chairman of the Delaware Police Chiefs Council, told a state panel Wednesday that marijuana users should be required to have a driver's license endorsement indicating that they use pot.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia lawmaker says he's working on a bill to decriminalize marijuana.
 
The Virginian-Pilot reported Monday that Senate majority leader Tommy Norment does not support full legalization of the drug. But the Republican said possessing it would be a civil offense subject to a ticket or a fine.
 
Norment's comments followed the release of a State Crime Commission study that said decriminalizing marijuana would prevent more than 10,000 arrests every year in Virginia.
 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State officials are meeting to discuss the possibility of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Virginia.

The Virginia State Crime Commission is hosting a meeting Monday in Richmond. Commission staff will present the findings of a study on the subject, and then the public will be allowed to comment.

People who wish to speak must sign up in advance and will be limited to three minutes each.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state task force is continuing to examine issues surrounding legalized recreational use of marijuana.

While eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana, each has done so through referendum, which Delaware does not allow. That leaves the possibility that Delaware could be the first state to implement legalization through the legislative process.

But members of the task force, which holds its second meeting Wednesday, say several issues need to be addressed before pot is legalized.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The first legal crop of marijuana has started to grow in Maryland. And industry officials say products should be available in medical marijuana dispensaries by 2018.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that at least two licensed cultivators have marijuana plants growing. They are ForwardGro in Anne Arundel County and Curio Wellness in Baltimore County.

The cannabis seeds have been planted four years after Maryland legalized the plant for medical use. Since then, nearly 20 companies have been cleared to grow, process and sell the plant.

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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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Governor John Carney will be meeting with opponents of marijuana legalization on June 1stas Delaware lawmakers consider allowing those 21 and older to buy one ounce from stores around the state of Delaware.

The legislation would also allow cultivation facilities businesses that convert the weed into edibles, liquids and ointments.

The meeting will take place on the campus of Delaware Technical Community College – the same site where he met with supporters of legalization.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia State Crime Commission plans to study whether marijuana should be decriminalized in the Old Dominion.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the commission's executive committee agreed Wednesday to study the issue this year.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment requested the study last year.

Legislation to decriminalize marijuana have failed in past legislative sessions.

Candidates running for governor this year in both parties have called for decriminalizing the drug.

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