Voters take up marijuana laws in 6 states this election
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, November, 1st 2012 by THCFinder
LOWELL, Mass. - Karen Hawkes was just 38 when a stroke robbed her of almost everything.
Hawkes, from the seaside community of Rowley just north of Boston, was forced to abandon her law-enforcement career. Chronic pain made it difficult to care for her two young children.
Pharmaceutical painkillers left her mind foggy following that 2006 stroke, but Hawkes eventually discovered something that eased her pain and allowed her to function: marijuana.
Rowley, and many others who suffer from chronic pain, are paying close attention to the Nov. 6 election, when six states, including Massachusetts, will vote on ballot initiatives related to marijuana use.
In Massachusetts, Ballot Question 3 seeks to make the state the 17th in the nation to allow marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes. No state has legalized marijuana, but that could soon change.
Polls suggest Washington could be the first state to wholly legalize marijuana. Voters will be asked to make the drug available for sale to people 21 and over at state-licensed marijuana stores.
In Colorado, a ballot measure seeks to legalize limited possession of marijuana. The measure would allow people to grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes and also legalize marijuana sales at regulated retail stores.
Similar legalization is on the ballot in Oregon, but support for that measure lags in the polls.
Voters in Arkansas, meanwhile, will decide if marijuana can be used for medical purposes. Montana is considering a measure that would tighten its existing medical marijuana law.
Read more: http://www.sgvtribune.com
Can Colorado create a legal market for marijuana?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 1st 2012 by THCFinder
Back in 1932, Colorado voters took to the polls and approved Amendment 7, a bill that legalized alcohol consumption and ended prohibition.
Now, 80 years later, the state is weighing Amendment 64, a voter proposition that would similarly legalize marijuana.
Colorado voters aren’t alone: Oregon and Washington will take up similar measures on Tuesday. If any of the three voter propositions succeed, they would put the an American state left of the Netherlands on marijuana policy – and upend the economics of a contraband market.
“It would be unprecedented,” said Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University whose research focuses on marijuana legalization. “If one of these things passed, the United States would be right out there in the front of the liberal reform movement for drugs.”
This isn’t the first time that a marijuana legalization effort has landed on a state ballot. In 2010, a similar proposal landed on a California ballot. Proposition 19 would have legalized the purchase and consumption of marijuana in the state.
Proposition 19 failed by a seven-point margin. Legal marijuana advocates say they learned lessons from that first state ballot, lessons that helped them land three new ballot initiatives in 2012.
“Proposition 19 definitely pushed the issue into the mainstream, and got people thinking about it,” said Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It taught us that the most effective message is one that shows prohibition doesn’t work, that it comes at a cost to communities and taxpayers.”
Seventeen states had efforts to land a marijuana legalization proposition on the ballot in 2012. Three of those – in Oregon, Washington and Colorado – succeeded.
In those states, both sides are now pitching voters on what it would mean to go beyond decriminalization. Marijuana sales and production would become a legal, regulated commodity.
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