Weed, guns and catfish: 2017 brings new laws, big changes

Just because Congress ground to a virtual halt in 2016 doesn’t mean the country stopped making new laws.

From taxes to minimum wage to gun control, a broad range of changes is coming at the state level as Americans ring in 2017. And, as has been the trend lately, the new year will bring far broader legalization of marijuana.

It’s what The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, in a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence arguing against pot prohibitions, called an “unprecedented schism between state and federal law in regards to … cannabis statutes.” While that debate will play out anew as the Trump administration takes office with a law-and-order mandate, the “schism” grows wider in 2017.

Already, revelers in Massachusetts and California will have the legal option of pairing their New Year’s Eve champagne with a joint. Approved by voters in November, legal recreational pot use took effect on Dec. 15 in Massachusetts; legal personal use of the drug took effect in California shortly after voters approved it there, though retail sales are still months away from implementation. 

Nevada is set to legalize recreational pot on Jan. 1, and Maine will follow soon after.

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