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Marijuana group kicks off petition drive for Oregon legalization initiatives

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, September, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
oregon-mmj-push-legalizationVolunteers and paid petitioners have started gathering signatures for two 2014 initiatives that would work in concert to legalize and tax marijuana in Oregon.
 
Initiative 21 is a constitutional amendment that would end criminal penalties for marijuana and give adult Oregonians permission to grow and use cannabis for recreational purposes.
 
Initiative 22, also know at the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2014, would create a commission to regulate how marijuana would be grown, sold and taxed in the state.
 
Both initiatives gathered more than 5,000 signatures over two days at the the ninth annual Hempstalk Festival in Portland, according to HEMP in Oregon. The group called the kick off to its petition drive a strong start.
 
"Marijuana prohibition does not work and is expensive to maintain," HEMP in Oregon Director Paul Stanford said in the release. "We must move forward on a better path for hemp and marijuana in Oregon."
 
Some Oregon lawmakers like Rep. Phil Barnhart, D-Eugene, have reached a similar conclusion about prohibition's effectiveness and are pushing party leadership to form a bicameral committee to look at marijuana legalization's impacts on revenue, judicial and healthcare in Oregon.
 

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Legal marijuana: Will most states head that way?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, September, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
states-legal-mmj-recreationalIs it possible that most US states will legalize marijuana for recreational use?
 
Already, Washington State and Colorado are working out detailed regulations for such use after voters last year approved the possession and consumption of personal amounts of pot. And 20 states, plus the District of Columbia, have allowed marijuana for medicinal purposes.
 
It's been 17 years since California voters shocked the world by allowing doctors to write prescriptions for pot and almost exactly 31 years since Ronald Reagan assured the nation that "we're going to win the war" on marijuana and other illicit drugs.
 
RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz
 
Now this summer, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled that it will mostly leave to states the responsibility to regulate individuals' use of pot. And a majority of Americans – 52 percent, according to the Pew Research Center, now agree with that ubiquitous reggae plea: "Le-ga-lize it."
 
Yes, people are still being arrested for selling, even consuming, outlawed street drugs, and many members of society are still troubled by, among other things, new psychoactive compounds like the club drug "Molly," which has been blamed for several recent deaths.
 
And specifically regarding marijuana, the federal government still categorizes it as more harmful than cocaine.
 

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Denver council passes historic retail marijuana rules and regulations

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, September, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
colorado-mj-rulesDenver City Council Monday night passed a historic bill that sets the rules and regulations for the retail marijuana industry in the state's largest city.
 
Most other big municipalities around Colorado have taken a time-out from setting their own regulations with many opting out to see how Denver's system will work. Denver also was the first to take on medical marijuana regulations.
 
"The whole world is watching, not just the country," said Councilman Charlie Brown, who led the council committee on the issue. "There will be some changes. It is a work in progress. We did what we could, but this is a huge unknown."
 
Brown said he wants to hold another meeting with Denver's police chief, the manager of parks and recreation and some municipal judges to talk about how to enforce the laws against public marijuana consumption.
 
Several council members were upset after a free marijuana giveaway Sept. 9 in Denver's Civic Center park that included public pot smoking, which is against the law. No one was arrested or cited for the violations.
 
"When people are blatantly flaunting our laws and putting it in our face, that is not what we want for the city," Brown said.
 
Now, he said, it is up to Congress to pass legislation that will allow a normal banking relationship within this industry. He cited a bill being sponsored by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden.
 

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Uruguay May Become First Country to Legalize Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, September, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
urguay-marijuana-legalizationUruguay is poised to become the first nation to legalize and regulate the production, sale and consumption of marijuana. This would place Uruguay in the vanguard of countries with liberal drug policies, surpassing even The Netherlands, where recreational drugs are illegal but a policy of tolerance is in place.
 
The bill, which was passed by Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies and will be taken up by the Senate, attempts to answer the questions that inevitably arise when debating drug policy: How will marijuana be regulated? Who will grow it? How can the country avoid cannabis tourism?
 
The Uruguayan government offers specific proposals for how to manage a legal market for marijuana.The government supports the marijuana bill and says it was designed to resolve issues particular to Uruguay. But the model the bill proposes will undoubtedly be studied by other countries that grapple with similar questions.
 
There is a contradiction in Uruguayan law, the secretary-general of the country's National Committee on Drugs, said: Consumption of marijuana has been legal, but its production and sale are not.
 
The other proposals in the marijuana bill treat the use of weed as a health issue and make a distinction between dangerous drug traffickers and consumers.
 
The same debates about marijuana that exist in the United States -- about medicinal properties, recreational use, the impact on the justice system -- have been happening in Uruguay for a long time, Calzada said. The decision to push legislation to overhaul its drug policies did not come overnight.
 
"We have reflected on our problems," Calzada said, and the government felt that Uruguay's tradition of tolerance and equality merited action on the marijuana issue.
 

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Caribbean countries start looking at marijuana legalization

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, September, 15th 2013 by THCFinder
caribbean-countries-look-at-legalizationSan Juan, Sep 15 (EFE).- The small economies of the Caribbean are beginning to examine the legalization, or at least the decriminalization, of the consumption and possession of marijuana, with Puerto Rico leading the pack now that next week the Senate will begin studying the issue.
 
A heated debate has arisen in Puerto Rico in recent weeks about the possible decriminalization of possessing small quantities of cannabis, as well as over legalizing its sale and consumption for medical purposes.
 
Local radio and television talk shows are constantly dealing with the matter and more and more local figures from different spheres are openly admitting that they have used pot and are calling for making the law more flexible.
 
"Let's leave hypocrisy behind," said Miguel Pereira, the senator from Puerto Rico's governing party who presented the proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of pot, which is believed may be more heavily consumed on the island than tobacco.
 
Also, voices have emerged from the university and business spheres supporting the initiative, many of them arguing that criminal penalties for pot consumption have destroyed the academic and professional careers of thousands of young people.San Juan, Sep 15 (EFE).- The small economies of the Caribbean are beginning to examine the legalization, or at least the decriminalization, of the consumption and possession of marijuana, with Puerto Rico leading the pack now that next week the Senate will begin studying the issue.
 
A heated debate has arisen in Puerto Rico in recent weeks about the possible decriminalization of possessing small quantities of cannabis, as well as over legalizing its sale and consumption for medical purposes.
 
Local radio and television talk shows are constantly dealing with the matter and more and more local figures from different spheres are openly admitting that they have used pot and are calling for making the law more flexible.
 
"Let's leave hypocrisy behind," said Miguel Pereira, the senator from Puerto Rico's governing party who presented the proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of pot, which is believed may be more heavily consumed on the island than tobacco.
 
Also, voices have emerged from the university and business spheres supporting the initiative, many of them arguing that criminal penalties for pot consumption have destroyed the academic and professional careers of thousands of young people.
 

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Vt. gov says marijuana will be legal some day

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, September, 13th 2013 by THCFinder
vt-legal-cannabisMONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he thinks marijuana should be legalized in the state, but not right now.
 
He says he believes that legalizing and taxing marijuana is the direction the country is headed and ‘‘Vermont should be a part of that conversation.’’
 
But he says he’s not willing to do that now.
 
Shumlin made the comments Wednesday after being asked about the topic during his weekly news conference.
 
Last month the U.S Justice Department said it would not sue to block laws in Colorado and Washington state that allow for recreational use of marijuana.
 
On July 1, Vermont decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
 

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