College launches research institute devoted to pot
Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
ARCATA, Calif. — A public university located in one of California's prime pot-growing regions has formed an academic institute devoted to marijuana.
The Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research at Humboldt State University plans to sponsor scholarly lectures and coordinate research among 11 faculty members from fields such as economics, geography, politics, psychology and sociology.
The Times-Standard of Eureka reports (http://bit.ly/V5H8zy) that one professor is studying recent campaigns to legalize marijuana, while another is investigating the environmental effects of pot cultivation.
"If anyone is going to have a marijuana institute, it really should be Humboldt State," economist Erick Eschker, the institute's co-chair, told the newspaper. Eschker is studying the connection between marijuana production and employment in the county.
The institute is probably the first dedicated to examining marijuana through the lens of multiple disciplines, according to sociologist Josh Meisel, who is leading the enterprise with Eschker. Humboldt faculty started discussing the idea in 2010 when California was preparing to vote on a bitterly contested ballot proposition that would have treated marijuana like alcohol.
"With these public discussions, there were a lot more questions than there were answers," Meisel said, adding that he and other faculty became interested in applying academic rigor to the economic, health and legal issues raised in eventually unsuccessful campaign.
Now that voters in Colorado and Washington have done what California would not, passing marijuana legalization measures this month, the institute has even more reason to exist. Politics professor Jason Plume is giving a lecture on the marijuana reform movement on Tuesday night, one of seven public talks the institute plans to host this year.
Washington Dispensary Owners Against Marijuana Legalization
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, November, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
As voters in Washington state this month legalized marijuana for recreational use, they overrode the concerted lobbying of a conspicuous interest group: The dispensaries that already had the right to sell marijuana for medical use, and who now risk relinquishing that lucrative marketplace to new competitors.
Though one might assume that legalization would be opposed primarily by law enforcement and social conservatives, nearly all of the money donated to fight the ballot measure in Washington came not from such groups but rather from the existing medical marijuana industry, according to state campaign contribution filings.
The main group formed to oppose the legalization ballot measure, "No on I-502," was directed by Steve Sarich, a patients' rights advocate who runs a local dispensary or "access point," as he calls it. He says neither he nor his campaign's contributors opposed the measure for financial reasons. "There may be a few that are making some money," he told HuffPost Monday, "but most of them are just paying the rent."
The "No on I-502" campaign has argued that the ballot measure inappropriately makes marijuana users vulnerable to prosecution under the initiative's DUID ("Driving Under the Influence of Drugs") provision -- an assertion that others have challenged.
But some involved in the fight suggest a more direct motive for the opposition: Those who already have the right to sell marijuana in Washington -- the medical use industry -- were reluctant to surrender the market to a new crop of competitors, a development likely to send prices plummeting while generating as much as $606 million in tax revenue next year, according to widely cited estimates.
"Clearly these are just folks who are trying to keep the status quo in place because it's working for them right now," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "Charging $150 to $400 for an ounce of marijuana is only possible under prohibition. You just can't get that much money for dried vegetable matter if the product is actually legal."
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
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