Medical marijuana proponents in New York renew push for legalization
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, November, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
ALBANY — Medical marijuana could blunt the pain of New York’s budget crunch.
Proponents of pot as a medicine have renewed their push for legalization, arguing that licensing fees and taxes could generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in new revenues for the cash-strapped state.
“There is a huge amount of revenue here,” said state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) who hopes to make New York the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana.
The high-minded talk comes as the state is reeling from Hurricane Sandy bills — and as the pot industry has hired one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Albany to define the issue as a budding financial opportunity.
“It has real economic impact,” said Patrick McCarthy, of the firm Patricia Lynch Associates.
The firm controlled by Pat Lynch, a former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hired by Colorado-based marijuana company, Gaia Plant Based Medicine, to press lawmakers and Gov. Cuomo.
But the governor has offered only toking opposition.
“I understand the benefits, but there are also risks, and I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point,” Cuomo said earlier this year, even as he warned that Hurricane Sandy could add $1 billion to the state’s budget deficit this year alone.
Cuomo said more research is needed to prove that legalizing medical marijuana will help people with problems such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, yet not increase drug abuse and criminal activity.
And the state’s influential Conservative Party called legalization of medical marijuana “a horrible idea.”
“It sends a wrong message to the youth of the state, and that’s more important than any amount of revenue the state would take in,” said party Chairman Mike Long.
The movement to legalize the once-demonized plant for medical use has spread like a weed in recent years.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com
Colorado's pot-legalizing Amendment 64 moves a step forward to becoming law today
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, November, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
The marijuana-legalizing Amendment 64 moves a step closer to becoming Colorado law today.
County clerks from across the state by the end of today must have submitted their certified vote totals for the fall election.
State law sets out a timetable giving Secretary of State Scott Gessler until Dec. 6 to certify the totals. Then, Gov. John Hickenlooper has 30 days to formally sign off.
“We’ll review the canvass board reports from each of the counties and then tabulate all of the results from the counties and issue the certified results,” said Rich Coolidge, a spokesman for Gessler. “Most of them will come in today.”
Amendment 64, which legalizes small amounts of recreational pot for personal use, takes effect upon Hickenlooper’s signature. Under the law, anyone 21 and older may possess up to an ounce of pot, and can smoke it in a private place without violating state law.
The ballot measure also establishes a system of marijuana stores, regulation and potential taxation, but those portions phase in over the next several years.
The Boulder and Denver district attorneys have already ended simple marijuana-possession prosecutions, although Weld and Larimer prosecutors say they will consider each prosecution on a case-by-case basis.
Because marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, state officials are struggling to reconcile the conflicting laws. Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers have both said they will support the state law because it passed with broad voter support, but have cautioned that implementing the law may be difficult.
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