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STEVE ELLIOTT

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[Natural Society]

Legislators in Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts and North Dakota are pushing forward measures to delay the enactment of voter-initiated marijuana laws. National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Executive Director Erik Altieri strongly criticized the delays, calling them “an affront to the democratic process.”

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Erik Altieri, NORML:
“Voters have lived with the failings of marijuana prohibition for far too long already”
[Twitter]

“Voters have lived with the failings of marijuana prohibition for far too long already,” Altieri said. “Lawmakers have a responsibility to abide by the will of the voters and to do so in a timely manner.”

• 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. It 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 to July 1, 2017.

“Voters have lived with the failings of marijuana prohibition for far too long already,” Altieri said. “Lawmakers have a responsibility to abide by the will of the voters and to do so in a timely manner.”

• Maine: Leading House and Senate lawmakers have endorsed emergency legislation, LD 88, to delay retail marijuana sales by at least three months.

• Massachusetts lawmakers previously enacted legislation imposing a six-month delay on the licensed production and retail sales of marijuana.

• 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.

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