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Marijuana industry prepares for 2014, but is Colorado ready?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, September, 2nd 2013 by THCFinder
colorado-prepeares-for-mjboomIn four months, adults in Colorado will be able to walk into a store, plunk down cash and leave with a drug that used to land people in prison.
 
No one, though, is sure what the future holds.
 
Will the new industry damage the state's reputation, grow the drug culture, spread marijuana into neighboring states, intoxicate young people and spur more crime? Or will it bring an unrecognizable change, produce needed tax revenue, drive a stake in marijuana's black market and extinguish unnecessary prosecutions?
 
"It's like being sucked into a black hole. What is going to be on the other side? No one knows," said Ry Prichard, part-owner of a hash oil company, TC Labs.
 
During the first week of January, when the first stores are expected to open in Denver, the world's media will probably descend on Colorado to document the occasion.
 
Lines that form in the state for everything from new doughnut shops to ski sales are expected to wrap around businesses as customers queue up for the first buds.
 
"You are going to have the international media here for New Year's Eve, and they are not coming for the fireworks," said Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown. "Then there is going to be a photo that moves across the wire that is going to portray Denver one way or another. That is going to define Denver. It will be an image changer. There is no doubt."
 
Rolling Stone magazine recently called Denver "America's undisputed stoner capital" with two Jerry Garcia-themed bars, the same number of medical marijuana dispensaries as liquor stores and, of course, the Mile High nickname.
 
A grower told the magazine that the Platte River Valley running through the city has the highest concentration of marijuana on the planet.
 

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Legalize/Decriminalize Marijuana, Canadians Say

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, September, 2nd 2013 by THCFinder
canadians-want-it-legalizedThe Canadian public strongly supports reforming the country’s marijuana laws, according to a new Forum Research poll. The survey found that 69% either want to see marijuana legalized, taxed, and regulated or see the possession of small amounts decriminalized.
 
The poll comes just weeks after Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau called for legalization, bringing new life to the long-running debate on pot policy north of the border. It also comes just a week after Canadian police chiefs called for decriminalization, although they didn’t want to use that word, instead preferring to say they wanted a “ticketing option.”
 
Support for legalization was slightly higher (36%) than for decriminalization (34%), but the combined support for pot law reform was far ahead of support for the status quo (15%) or increasing marijuana penalties (13%). Only 3% were undecided.
 
Among political parties, support was strongest among self-described Liberals (76%), followed by New Democrats (72%), and even 61% of Conservatives. The Conservative government of Prime Minister Steven Harper has positioned itself as the party of cracking down on marijuana, but the ministers might want to check in with their base.
 
The poll also asked respondents whether Trudeau’s recent admission that he had smoked pot while a Member of Parliament would affect their vote. Nearly two-thirds (63%) said it did not matter, while one in five (21%) said they would be less likely to vote for him. Conversely, 14% said they would be more likely to vote for him.
 

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These States Are Most Likely To Legalize Weed Next

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sat, August, 31st 2013 by THCFinder
states-to-legalize-weed-nextAttorney General Eric Holder gave a green light on Thursday to two states whose efforts to legalize marijuana had been locked in by legal uncertainty for more than nine months. With that announcement, Colorado and Washington -- both of which passed pro-pot initiatives at the polls last November -- can now proceed with establishing a framework for the taxation and regulation of legal weed for adults.
 
The administration's decision holds clear and immediate implications for the two states, both of which had been hesitant to act too quickly over concerns that the government might decide to enforce federal law, which still considers marijuana an illegal substance.
 
But the move also, and perhaps more importantly, throws open the gates for other states to pursue similar pot legalization efforts, so long as they include "strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems." Experts on both sides of the issue have already said they expect to see movement come quickly.
 
A similar pattern held for medical marijuana. The movement made steady progress up until 2009, when the Obama administration announced it would allow states to implement medical pot laws without federal interference. That promise turned out to be heavily footnoted, but the pledge itself ushered in a flood of ballot and legislative activity that burst the medical marijuana dam over the next four years. Thursday's announcement can be expected to do the same.
 
Public support for legal pot has surged in recent years at both state and national levels, with a majority of U.S. voters now in favor. This suggests that legalization would be most viable in states that allow citizen ballot initiatives. State lawmakers could also potentially take the reins on legalizing cannabis as the issue becomes more mainstream, however, like they did in New Jersey in 2010 with the passage of a bill approving medical marijuana.
 

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Oregon 2014 Marijuana Legalization Initiative Likely

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, August, 30th 2013 by THCFinder
mj-legalization-for-oregon-2014Oregon activists organized as New Approach Oregon will try to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the November 2014 ballot, the leader of the group told the Willamette Week this week. The move comes after an effort in the legislature to put the issue before voters didn’t bear fruit.
 
“Our coalition is moving forward with a legalization measure to end cannabis prohibition in Oregon in the 2014 election,” said New Approach Oregon director Anthony Johnson.
 
Johnson said the Oregonians were working with Drug Policy Alliance(DPA), a move that should help with funding. Fundraising was a key shortcoming of the failed 2012 marijuana legalization Measure 80 initiative campaign headed by Paul Stanford.
 
Stanford filed two new initiatives in June, but it’s not clear if he’s going to move forward with them.
 
“DPA will help us draft the measure that we’ll move forward in 2014,” Johnson said.
 
The move comes after New Approach Oregon, DPA and a group of Oregon political insiders were unable to move House Bill 3371. Lawmakers could have referred that marijuana legalization bill to the voters, but declined to do so
 

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Should marijuana be legalized in Texas?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, August, 26th 2013 by THCFinder
texas-mmjIn 2012, two states, Colorado and Washington, passed laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. For many years, pro-marijuana groups have promoted and encouraged legalizing it in every state, claiming it harms no one and it can only benefit humans. Should Texas also legalize it for recreational and medicinal use?
 
Medical research about marijuana’s effects on the human body suggests mixed and inconclusive results. Because of its chemical compounds, some studies show marijuana’s positive health benefits for relieving pain and reducing discomfort. However, other studies suggest it produces injury to health, including psychotic disorders and dull apathy in users.
 
As modern society slowly accepts marijuana use, some states allow doctor prescriptions for medical marijuana. Cancer patients and people with terminal illness use it to soothe pain and stimulate appetite. Rather than patients suffering and agonizing with intensive pain, marijuana use relieves and lightens it.
 
People who have glaucoma, a serious eye disease, benefit from smoking marijuana. It reduces the intraocular pressure on the eyeball, giving an individual comfort and relief. However, recent research suggests that users must inhale marijuana smoke every three hours for effective treatment, leading doctors to conclude that treating glaucoma with marijuana stands as a poor choice.
 
While other recreational drugs have questionable value for humans, marijuana has some consumer advantages and practical utility. Not only does it remain inexpensive to grow, but also businesses can make clothing, produce paper products, and extract dermal medicine oil from it. It can replace more expensive goods, substitute for traditional medicine, and provide cost-effective products.
 
Legalized marijuana supporters, who view the issue as simple economics, claim the government can tax the product to raise funds, bringing local and federal economic relief. This act would raise millions, perhaps billions, of dollars quickly for government spending, investing in social programs, repairing the nation’s roads and bridges, helping the unemployed, disabled, homeless, and poor people. Clever government leaders can quickly transform poverty, penury, and debt to wealth, affluence and solvency.
 

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Pennsylvania should end ban on marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, August, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
end-the-ban-on-marijuanaThe time has come to end the prohibition of marijuana in Pennsylvania.
 
Hundreds of thousands of marijuana smokers across the commonwealth face serious penalties for something which many (myself included) believe should not be a crime. A person in Pennsylvania who is caught with 30 grams of marijuana or less faces up to 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. If you get caught with 31 grams, suddenly that’s a potential penalty of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
 
Growers and dealers face even worse penalties: between two and 10 years in prison and a $5,000-$100,000 fine with a felony on their record. These laws are enforced with zeal across the commonwealth, with tens of thousands of people arrested every year, many of whom are convicted and serve time. There is a better way for our society to deal with the cultivation, distribution, possession and use of cannabis than prohibition.
 
Ever since marijuana was made illegal, things have only gotten worse. The ban was sold to Americans as a moral imperative and something that would produce positive results in society. These results included success in preventing people from wanting to use marijuana, being able to get it or being able to sell it. In every single one of those categories, prohibition has failed.
 
Attempting to ban the cultivation or sale of cannabis is an exercise in futility because it’s incredibly easy to grow. With only very minimal extra training, it’s easy to grow very high-quality cannabis, and in significant quantity. More importantly, people really like it. Demand has gone up, supply has skyrocketed and misinformation abounds. As a result, millions of people have had their lives ruined by jail time, fines, confiscation of property or money and lack of legal access to marijuana for its legitimate medical uses. The prohibition of marijuana has caused more harm than the marijuana itself ever could.
 

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