Effort Launched In Maryland To Legalize Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, January, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
Advocates of a proposal to legalize recreational cannabis launched their effort today in Maryland, calling cannabis prohibition an utter failure, and noting that the public’s support for the issue is growing rapidly.
“Continuation of the current policy is continuation of failure,” said Senator Jamie Raskin, a constitutional law professor and one of the sponsors of the new proposal. “It’s part of a conversation that is taking place across the country and across the world.”
Advocates have formed a new group, called the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland, which includes advocates groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, and lawmakers such as Delegate Sheila Hixson, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The proposal has been drafted, but has not yet been officially introduced in the state’s legislature. According to advocates, the measure will legalize the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis for those 21 and older, and will established state-licensed retail outlets to distribute cannabis.
A poll released in November by Goucher College found that 51% of those in Maryland support legalizing recreational cannabis, with just 41% opposed.
Alaska Might Become The Third State To Legalize Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, January, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana In Alaska turned in roughly 46,000 signatures this week to put marijuana legalization on the 2014 ballot. At least 30,169 of those signatures would have to be valid in order for the initiative to gain ballot access. That’s not an unheard of validation rate, but then again it’s not exactly low either. It should be enough to get approval, but only time will tell.
If the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana in Alaska gets past the validation hurdle, Alaska voters would get the chance to make Alaska the third state to legalize marijuana, joining Colorado and Washington State. There are many other states trying to be lucky number three, however, since Alaska’s primary is in August, it would get the chance to vote before other states that also get marijuana legalization on the ballot.
Alaska has a great shot at winning on Election Day, since demographics are very friendly up there for marijuana reform. Alaska has the youngest population of any state by far, and younger voters are much more likely to support marijuana legalization. From what I’ve been told by friends that have lived in Alaska, the attitude up there is ripe for reform. Below is a summary of the initiative, taken from the campaign’s website:
New York Next For Legalization?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, January, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
The state of New York has been under the watchful eye of the stoner community for a while, since the battle for legal cannabis has been going back and forth here for a while now. The governor is currently drawing up plans for a legalization bill that would make NY the third (or fourth depending on how you take Portland, ME) place in the US to legalize the plant.
Andrew Cuomo, the current Democratic governor in NY is working on allowing the plant to be used for medical purposes, in hospitals all over the state. Although the plant will be allowed for medical purposes, it's not expected that NY follow Colorado in the recreational aspect, keeping the plant only for medical benefits. Of course, we all know that that's how the process begins. Decriminalization, medical legalization, recreational legalization. Plus, the patients that really need the plant will have access to a natural, less dangerous kind of medicine.
If passed, cannabis would be used in twenty hospitals statewide to treat serious illnesses such as cancer and glaucoma. Even the proposition of this measure is shocking, considering that New York has one of the highest possession charge rates, charging 450,000 people between the years of 2002 and 2012. That's a lot of people in trouble just for possessing marijuana.
The most worried about aspect of the cannabis legalization is driving while under the influence, as there's a great deal of controversy on this subject. Of course, it seems that no one wants to spotlight the studies that are being released. Specifically one titled "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption", done by two gentlemen in November of 2011, shows that a higher marijuana consumption rate among adults led to a decrease in alcohol related traffic incidents in states that have allowed medical marijuana. This study alone should be enough to convince people that there is a definitely higher level of safety when it comes to driving while under the influence of marijuana. However, there have been others done to prove that driving while stoned is as dangerous as driving while taking allergy medicines.
It is looking like New York will be the next state to permit medical marijuana. As said above, this is definitely a step in the right direction and can only bring a positive change in this state. Patients will now get the medicine that they need in order to feel/get better and we will be one step closer to marijuana legalization in every state in the country.
Alaska Marijuana Legalization Campaign Has More Than Enough Signatures
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, December, 24th 2013 by THCFinder
The ‘Campaign to Regulate Marijuana’ in Alaska looks like they have more than enough signatures to qualify a marijuana legalization initiative for the 2014 election. Alaska’s state election laws require 31,169 valid signatures to qualify an initiative for the ballot. The Alaska legalization campaign has 44,845 signatures according a media report out of Alaska.
There’s of course still the verification process, which can be as low as 50% sometimes. But the deadline for the final signature turn-ins is not until January 21, so there’s still time to submit even more signatures. With so much momentum in Alaska, I’d expect out of state money to start rolling in at an increasing rate. If they don’t have the required valid signatures on hand yet, they should be the end of the deadline.
As I’ve said many times before, I think Alaska, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Maine have stellar chances for legalizing marijuana during 2014. Other states sound like their campaigns are either waiting until 2016, or in the case of California, have a lot of different initiatives gathering signatures. I hope California can get behind one solid effort. Only time will tell.
Should Missouri legalize marijuana?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, December, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Mo. (KSDK) - More than 200 people gathered Wednesday night at the St. Louis Ethical Society in Richmond Heights for a marijuana debate of a different kind.
This time, the discussion involved law enforcement. The National Narcotics Officers Coalition has never addressed marijuana proponent organization, Show Me Cannabis, until now.
Vice President of NNOC, Sgt. Jason Grellner, said Show Me Cannabis has recently been holding several town meeting about legalizing marijuana in Missouri and he felt it was time people heard the other side.
Show Me Cannabis is planning to poll voters in 2014 to see if there is enough support to putting marijuana legalization on the ballot next year.
Show Me Cannabis Executive Director John Payne and Sgt. Grellner faced off in a respectful, professional debate for 90 minutes -- which included questions from the audience.
When asked who won, St. Louis City resident Cecil King said, "It's probably about half and half, both arguments on both sides, very good. It's something both sides should get involved in and take a look at."
"They both want the same end, which is to stop the abuse of a drug, but they're coming at it in different directions," said St. Louis City Resident Mike Votaw.
Sgt. Grellner says he has no immediate plans to debate again with Show Me Cannabis.
As the Missouri marijuana debate continues, it is important to note, that Illinois will legalize medical marijuana in January.
Denver Prepares For 2014 Legalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, December, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
With January being the month that Denver will put their legalization bill in to effect, the state is scrambling to figure out where they're going to put the weed stores. The waiting list for permits grows a bit every day and people are beginning to get frustrated with how long the licenses seem to be taking. The list as of right now has over 100 businesses on it, all requesting to be a licensed marijuana shop. But unfortunately for Denver, there may be as little as five to ten shops opening when the bill goes in to effect.
The city and state are the ones obstructing the licensing of marijuana retailers, almost as if they're trying to stop the bill from passing just by being asinine. By delaying these documents, perhaps the governments hopes to deter people from even trying to obtain a permit, limiting the number of shops in the area. The government in Colorado is legitimately trying to stop democracy and it is 100% wrong, not to mention incredibly immature. Maybe they don't understand but the bill has passed and if the government decides that they will keep delaying permits, I'm sure that there will be some sort of rebellion from the citizens who voted to legalize.
The Mayor in Denver, Michael Hancock, has been anti-cannabis since day one. When asked by the Denver Post is he hated the idea of marijuana, Hancock replied "Yes" without a second of hesitation. He went on to say in this interview that he has "seen the devastation of the progression of marijuana to a harsher drug like crack cocaine and a lot of folks that have dealt with substance abuse - particularly with cocaine and crack cocaine - they started with marijuana." Long story short, Hancock is just long winding the gateway drug theory. His quote could easily have been used fifty years ago and the reasoning holds no water. People do crack cocaine because they said yes to the first time someone offered it to them. Marijuana did not hold a gun to those peoples' heads and say "You will do crack cocaine". No, that definitely did not happen.
Denver's absurdly childish response to the legalization of marijuana just shows that even when the plant is legal, there are still many hurdles that we'll have to jump over. We believe that the fight ends once the bills say it's legal but there's much more to it than that. Just because the law says it, doesn't mean that people will agree with it. Once the laws change, we will still have to change the minds of people like Michael Hancock and the other members of the Denver government that are dragging their feet with this. The fight for marijuana acceptance will never truly end, while legalization gets continuously closer, even though it's slow.
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