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California Attorney General: Marijuana Legalization Is Inevitable

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 20th 2014 by THCFinder
legalization-is-ineveitableMarijuana legalization in California is long overdue. California had the chance to legalize marijuana during the 2010 Election, however, the initiative failed. Since then, there have been many reasons that marijuana legalization efforts haven’t happened in California. The main ones I always point out is that California will be by far the most expensive state to run a successful campaign in, and there are too many competing efforts each election cycle. Unless everyone works together, marijuana legalization will be very hard to achieve in California.
 
But despite the reasons that California hasn’t legalized yet, many believe that legalization is inevitable. This is a view that is even shared by California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Per Buzz Feed:
 
California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a rising star in the Democratic Party, says she’s “not opposed” to her state legalizing marijuana.
 
“I am not opposed to the legalization of marijuana. I’m the top cop, and so I have to look at it from a law enforcement perspective and a public safety perspective,” Harris told BuzzFeed News in an interview in Washington, D.C. “I think we are fortunate to have Colorado and Washington be in front of us on this and figuring out the details of what it looks like when it’s legalized.”
 
“We’re watching it happen right before our eyes in Colorado and Washington. I don’t think it’s gonna take too long to figure this out,” Harris said. “I think there’s a certain inevitability about it.”
 
I really, really hope that California legalizes marijuana during the 2016 Election, or even better, during the next legislative session. If the California Legislature legalized marijuana, it would save a ton of money, time, and effort for the reform community, and would give California’s Legislature influence over the process. Until California legalizes marijuana, it will always be seen as a ‘top prize’ for marijuana activists.
 

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Will Guatemala Legalize Marijuana In 2015?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, November, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
guatemalan-mj-legalizationOne of my favorite places I’ve ever visited is Guatemala. I went there on a ten day missionary trip in 2009, and it’s a trip that will forever be in my heart. The people there were so nice and the country was so beautiful. I love fresh fruit, and I’m not that tall, and there’s fresh fruit everywhere there and everyone’s my height. But despite it’s beauty and amazing citizens, Guatemala is very poor. Guatemala is also plagued by the same problems that come with marijuana prohibition that other countries in Latin and South America face. Cartel operations are all over the place, and there’s a lot of misery as a result.
 
It’s time that Guatemala changed it’s marijuana policies to help defeat cartels, and help improve the economics of the country. It sounds like 2015 might be the year for that. Per teleSUR:
 
In an exclusive interview with teleSUR, Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina said that his government would follow the example of Uruguay by taking a decision on legalizing marijuana in early 2015.
 
Guatemala would greatly benefit from marijuana legalization. Like I said, there is a strong cartel presence in the country, and legalizing marijuana would no doubt hurt those cartels. Jobs are very much needed in Guatemala, and a booming marijuana industry would bring many jobs no doubt. Local economies in Guatemala would thrive. The climate in Guatemala is ripe for marijuana farms, which would instantly make Guatemala a leader in the global marijuana market.
 

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Initiative To Legalize Marijuana Moves Forward In Arkansas

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
arkansas-mj-legalizationColorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. have all legalized marijuana. Within the next two years, more that a dozen states could join that list. One of those states may be Arkansas, where a marijuana legalization initiative campaign is underway. The Arkansas Attorney General recently approved the ballot tile for the initiative, which is a big first step. Per KATV:
 
A group is spearheading a campaign to create a new constitutional amendment in Arkansas that would legalize marijuana – both for medicinal and recreational purposes. The group got approval from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office on the wording of their ballot title last week – now the group awaits approval the Secretary of State’s office on the wording of their petition instructions.
 
Fred Porter, co-author of the Arkansas Hemp & Marijuana Amendment is probably the last person you think would be pushing for marijuana legalization. Porter is pastor at the Sabbath Day Church of God in Hot Springs, as well as vice president of Arkansas CALM, the Citizen’s Alliance for the Legalization of Marijuana.
 
“We want it regulated, we want it made available and we think we have the very best amendment out there to do that,” said Porter.
 
It’s rapidly becoming easier to make a list of states that won’t legalize marijuana by 2016, rather than a list of states that may succeed in reforming their marijuana laws. I’ll be reaching out to the Arkansas campaign to see if they need help spreading their message. If you live in Arkansas, please do everything you can to help by volunteering and contributing to the campaign in anyway that you can.
 

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Rhode Island For Legal Cannabis

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
rhode-island-for-legal-cannabisNew England really isn’t on the map when it comes to cannabis. Some of the states allow medical marijuana while others are still pretty short when it comes to even talking about the topic (i.e. New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan won’t even acknowledge press when questioned about the plant). Portland, Maine has even legalized the use of the plant, letting those who live there and those who visit the chance to smoke pot legally. But the ever-so-small state of Rhode Island is on it’s way to really putting New England on the map with an initiative to legalize cannabis in the state in 2015.
 
 
Even though Portland managed to pass the legalization ballot, I’d say about 75% of stoners thought that the news headlines were talking about Portland, Oregon. I can’t tell you how many people gave me trouble for posting a photo of Maine when that measure passed, telling me “that’s not what Oregon looks like”. Portland, Maine just got a little bit confused with Portland, Oregon. Understandable but two totally different places! Rhode Island now currently allows medical marijuana and plans to open up more dispensaries over the course of 2015. 
 
 
Regulate Rhode Island is putting together a coalition of citizens as well as organizations that will make the push in 2015 to become the fifth state to fully legalize cannabis. Marijuana prohibition is on its way out and Rhode Island hopes to be one of the next states in 2015 to pass laws taxing and regulating the plant. Jared Moffat of Regulate Rhode Island, said that at least five more states will probably legalize by 2016. “Americans are fed up with wasteful and ineffective laws that punish adults for using a less harmful substance than alcohol. The results are particularly encouraging since voter turnout during a midterm election is typically smaller, older, and more conservative. Clearly, support for ending marijuana prohibition spans the political and ideological spectrums.”
 
 
With the help of social media, smaller elections are becoming an outlet for the youth to voice their opinions. Since the younger people are the ones that are more apt to support cannabis legalization, our opinions matter. Rhode Island residents are urged to push for legalization with the Regulate Rhode Island group. With the help of the internet and the support of thousands of cannabis users across the globe, this tiny New England state has high hopes for becoming one of the next states that will legalize cannabis.

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Proposal would put legalized marijuana on Missouri ballot

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, November, 7th 2014 by THCFinder
missouri-marijuana-proposalJEFFERSON CITY – Supporters of legalized marijuana are getting an early start on an initiative that could put the issue to a public vote on Missouri's 2016 ballot.
 
A pro-marijuana initiative was the first item submitted to the secretary of state's office on the first day possible to propose measures for the next general election. By Thursday, it was posted online for public comment.
 
The proposed constitutional amendment would make it legal to produce, sell and use marijuana in Missouri for people age 21 and older. The goal is to tax and regulate marijuana in a similar way as alcohol, said Columbia attorney Dan Viets, who submitted the measure.
 
The Missouri initiative comes after voters on Tuesday approved legalized marijuana in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. Recreational use of marijuana already is legal in Colorado and Washington state.
 
Before a petition can be circulated for signatures in Missouri, it must receive approval from the secretary of state and attorney general and get a financial estimate from the state auditor. The petition summary prepared by the secretary of state's office then could face legal challenges, and supporters would have until May 2016 to collect the roughly 165,000 signatures of registered voters needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.
 
Although some Missouri cities already have passed local ordinances decriminalizing marijuana possession, it remains a state crime punishable by up to a year in prison to possess up to 35 grams. A state criminal code revision set to take effect in 2017 would remove the possibility of jail time for first-time offenders convicted of possessing less than 10 grams.
 
The proposed initiative would invalidate those laws and require a state license to produce, deliver and sell marijuana, which could be taxed at 25 percent of its price. The tax revenues would be divided among pension plans for law enforcement officers and firefighters, K-12 schools, substance abuse programs, military veterans' services, college scholarships and local governments.
 
Viets is criminal defense lawyer who is chairman of Show-Me Cannibas and secretary of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He is a longtime critic of Missouri's criminal marijuana laws.
 
"The vast majority of people who use marijuana are adults who use it responsibly. They do not deserve to be treated like criminals," Viets said. "We squander millions of tax dollars persecuting and prosecuting marijuana smokers, and we lose tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue."
 

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Public Hearing For Vermont Marijuana Legalization Coming Up

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, November, 7th 2014 by THCFinder
vermont-mj-legalization-coming-soonVermont is on my list of states that could potentially legalize marijuana via the Legislature between now and 2016. So far, no state has ever legalized marijuana via its legislature, only via a citizen’s initiative. The RAND Corporation has been conducting a study on what marijuana legalization would look like in Vermont, and there is a public hearing scheduled for next week to discuss the issue. Via The Joint Blog:
 
Vermont Governor Peter Schumlin’s administration has announced that they’ll be holding a public hearing on November 12th as part of the state’s continuing examination of cannabis legalization.
 
According to a press release sent out by the administration, the hearing will “provide Vermonters with the ability to contribute comments for a legislatively-mandated study on the issues involved with possible legalization of marijuana production, distribution and possession in the State of Vermont.”
 
RAND’s Co-Director Beau Kilmer will be in attendance at the November 12th public hearing. The hearing is scheduled to take place from 3:30PM to 5:30PM, which can be watched via Vermont Interactive Technologies centers around the state. I’m very curious to see what is said at the hearing, especially from the public. With there now being four states with legalization on the books, along with Washington D.C., momentum has never been greater for reform.
 

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