Washington, DC — Legislators in a number of states are pushing forward measures to delay the enactment of voter-initiated marijuana laws.
NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri strongly criticized the delays, calling them “an affront to the democratic process.” He added: “Voters have lived with the failings of marijuana prohibition for far too long already. Lawmakers have a responsibility to abide by the will of the voters and to do so in a timely manner.”
In Arkansas, House lawmakers are moving forward with legislation, House Bill 1026, to postpone the deadline for establishing the state’s new medical marijuana program by 60 days. Fifty-three percent of voters approved Issue 6 on Election Day, which called on lawmakers to regulate the production and dispensing of medical cannabis within 120 days. Separate legislation also seeks to delay the deadline for regulators to begin accepting applications for cultivation and dispensary licenses from June 1, 2017 to July 1, 2017.
In Maine, leading House and Senate lawmakers have endorsed emergency legislation, LD 88, to delay retail marijuana sales by at least three months.
In North Dakota, lawmakers are similarly seeking emergency legislation, Senate Bill 2154, to postpone the deadline for the enactment of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act. Sixty-four percent of voters backed the measure, which gave lawmakers a 90-day window to regulate the distribution of medical marijuana.
Massachusetts‘ lawmakers previously enacted legislation imposing a six-month delay on the licensed production and retail sales of marijuana.
Press Inquiries Contact:
NORML Executive Director