Marijuana Officially Decriminalized in California

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sat, January, 1st 2011 by THCFinder
The Legalize marijuana push may have fallen at the last in November 2010, but that doesn't mean the laws regarding recreational cannabis in California are not going through wholesale changes.
For instance 2011 see's a change in the legal status of marijuana possession up to one ounce or 28 grams. 
Being caught with up to an ounce of marijuana moves from misdemeanor to infraction, with a maximum penalty of $100 and no jail time.
As an infraction, violations will not appear on a criminal record. 


Marijuana Possession in California Equal to Parking Ticket

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, December, 30th 2010 by THCFinder

Starting this Saturday, January 1, the penalty for possession with as much as an ounce of marijuana in California will be same as if you had received a parking ticket.

Proponents of legalized marijuana say the relaxed state law is simply a sign that attitudes are changing. With possession being put on the same level as a parking ticket, it is going to be more difficult to make major crimes out of selling, distributing or growing marijuana, said Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University, an Oakland school that specializes in marijuana issues.


Possession of an ounce of marijuana has been a misdemeanor crime punishable with a $100 fine. Under the new state law, the fine is the same but the charge is downgraded to an infraction.

State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, introduced the bill making the change. He said the state could no longer afford to go after people who had committed a crime that carries the same punishment as parking tickets.

Carla Lowe, founder of Citizens against Legalized Marijuana, said the change was the worst new law passed by lawmakers in 2010.

“I believe this has knocked out one of the key pillars of prevention to help kids say we’re not doing drugs,” she said.

Law enforcement groups have also come out against the law, but it has gotten support from some law enforcement officials.

“I think it’s a good thing because it is calling the offense what it has always been, which is an infraction,” said San Mateo District Attorney Jim Fox.

According to the California attorney general, there were an estimated 78,500 arrests in 2008 and 74,000 in 2007 for felony and misdemeanor related charges associated to marijuana.

In November, California pushed a vote for legalizing the use of marijuana under Proposition 19 that would have legalized the plant. There were 53% voting against to 46% voting “yes” in defeat of the “Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act”.


Marijuana Legalization Push Gets Voice On Capitol Hill

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, December, 12th 2010 by THCFinder


The cannabis industry has flexed its muscles in 15 states where it's legal to smoke marijuana for medical purposes. Now the industry is ready to go to work in Washington. A new trade group called the National Cannabis Industry Association is an attempt to bring together sellers, growers and manufacturers and to promote pot on Capitol Hill. "Our intent is to be the go-to organization in Washington for this industry," said Aaron Smith, the group's executive director.




For the past five years, Smith worked as the California director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "There's been a lot of enthusiasm. It's pretty clear that the medical marijuana industry is becoming recognized more and more by the mainstream as a fully legitimate part of the economy." Even though California voters last month rejected a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for all adults, it was just a matter of time before the drug was fully legalized.

"Legalization is looking inevitable," he said. "It didn't happen in 2010, but it's likely to happen in 2012. It's going to be relatively soon we're going to see states move from medical marijuana into broader legal markets. And the federal government needs to catch up. Frequently the American people are ahead of the Congress." But Smith will have a hard time finding many marijuana advocates in Congress. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 400-4 to back a resolution sponsored by California Republican Rep. Wally Herger that calls on authorities to get tougher with those who cultivate marijuana on federal land.


New Jersey reaches medical marijuana agreement

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sat, December, 4th 2010 by THCFinder

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) -- New Jersey moved on Friday to implement a law legalizing medical use of marijuana for critically ill patients.

An agreement between Republican Governor Chris Christie and the law's Democratic sponsor is designed to avoid the fraud and the criminal use of the drug which critics say have affected some 15 other U.S. states where it has been legalized.

The accord resolves a dispute that delayed implementation.

In a change to previous regulations, the agreement allows for six treatment centers -- up from two originally proposed by Christie -- that would be allowed to dispense and grow medical marijuana. Home delivery and satellite locations for the centers will not be permitted.

It also stipulates certain "debilitating conditions" for which medical marijuana can be prescribed but only after conventional therapies have been exhausted.

The agreement preserves an earlier proposal that prescribed marijuana should have a maximum 10 percent of THC, the main substance in the cannabis plant that affects mental function.

It also requires physicians to have an ongoing relationship with the patient for whom the drug is prescribed.

"This is a reasonable and fair resolution that will keep implementation of the program on track without unnecessary delay," said Democratic Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, the primary sponsor of the law that was signed by former Governor Jon Corzine.

Governor Christie said the pact will speed relief for patients suffering serious illnesses.

"We are protecting the interests of all residents of New Jersey by preventing some of the abuses we have seen in other states," he said in a statement.




Prop. 19 pot measure 'very important' to voters

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, December, 2nd 2010 by THCFinder

A new survey about voter attitudes finds that a lot of Californians were interested in Proposition 19, the recently failed proposition to legalize and tax marijuana.

But the people most interested in it were opposed to it, according to a new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California.


According to the survey of 2,003 California voters who reported participating in the Nov. 2 election, 38 percent said they were most interested in Prop. 19, an enthusiasm level more than double that for any other proposition.


The problem for cannabis enthusiasts: 51 percent of those who said the outcome of Prop. 19 was "very important" voted no on it. Only 18 percent of those who found its outcome very important supported it. Others ranked it less highly.


"While it wasn't a vocal opposition, the opposition harkened back to what (former President Richard) Nixon called 'the silent majority,' " said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the opposition to Prop. 19. "It was very important to a small segment of the population but not to a lot of people."


However, when asked if they supported the legalization of marijuana, voters were equally split: 49 percent thought it should be legalized, and 49 percent thought it shouldn't.


"But there was some wariness about the way (Prop. 19) was written," said Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California. Overall, two-thirds of the voters said the wording on all the ballot initiatives was "too complicated or confusing," according to the survey.


Age differences

While the poll found that 60 percent of Latinos and 58 percent of voters between 35 and 54 opposed Prop. 19, it was supported by 62 percent of voters under 34 and 55 percent of independents.


"It's not a matter of if (marijuana is legalized), it is a matter of when," said Dan Newman, a consultant who advised sponsors of Prop. 19.


On another issue, while much pre-election pundit chatter nationally foreshadowed an "enthusiasm gap" among Democratic voters, that appears to be "less of the case in California," Baldassare said. An October poll from the University of Southern California found that 39 percent of GOP supporters ranked their enthusiasm a "10" on a scale of 1 to 10 compared with a finding that 35 percent of Democrats were that enthusiastic.


Wednesday's PPIC survey found that 46 percent of overall voters were "more enthusiastic" about voting this year. Republicans (54 percent) were more likely than Democrats (44 percent) or independents (40 percent) to feel catapulted to the polls.


Anticipating that gap, Democratic operatives in California tried to rally base supporters by warning them they would get smothered by the spending of GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who poured $144 million of her own money into her campaign.


"We stressed that when we went out to talk to funders and others - we needed them to step up," said Salazar, who also was a spokesman for an independent expenditure campaign that supported Gov.-elect Jerry Brown and was largely funded by labor organizations.


Baldassare attributed voter enthusiasm to the competitive gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races, provocative propositions, Whitman's record contributions and the continuing popularity President Obama enjoys in California - contrary to his national approval ratings. "People here wanted to support him," he said.


The poll found that 53 percent of Californians, including 54 percent of independent voters, approve of the way Obama is doing his job.

Read more:


CA Cities Bringing Cannabis Growing Into The Light

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, November, 21st 2010 by THCFinder

Cannabis growing even in a state like California is something that has remained in the shadows but that is going to have to change if legalization is ever to become a reality. There are cities in northern CA that are working to bring cannabis growing out into the open, like Oakland, Berkeley, and Eureka. On Monday, Oakland will begin the application process for four permits to run industrial scale marijuana farms within city limits. In Berkeley, a successful ballot measure to allow medical pot cultivation in industrial zones has would-be growers scrambling to score scarce real estate. Farther north, the Sonoma County wine country town of Sebastopol passed an ordinance Tuesday allowing for the creation of two large gardens for medical marijuana dispensaries, and two more “collective” gardens where patients could grow their own.




As can be imagined, the DEA is keeping a close eye on the situation but to what end remains to be seen. Oakland City Council member Rebecca Kaplan, who co sponsored that city’s cultivation ordinance, said the DEA had contacted her office but only to request copies of the regulations and background materials. She said the agency advised her that they were conducting research into the ways various cities were handling medical marijuana regulation. This is truly a real milestone in American history and the battle to legalize marijuana so with this we are one step closer to full blown legalization but should the DEA get involved then of course we can never guarantee what could happen.



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