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UN Drug Agencies Fret Over Uruguay Marijuana Vote

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sat, August, 3rd 2013 by THCFinder
issues-after-legalizing-mjWednesday night’s vote in the Uruguayan chamber of deputies to approve a state-run marijuana commerce would make the South American nation the first to create legal pot markets, and that’s making United Nations anti-drug bureaucracies nervous. Both the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued statements Thursday fretting about the vote.
 
Uruguay hasn’t legalized the marijuana market yet—that will require a vote in the Uruguayan Senate this fall—but the Vienna-based UN organs aren’t waiting. Charged with enforcing the global drug prohibition regime, and its legal backbone, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and successor treaties, the INCB and UNODC are raising the alarm about the apparent looming breach of the treaty.
 
“The INCB has noted with concern a draft law under consideration in Uruguay which, if adopted, would permit the sale of cannabis herb for non-medical use,” INCB head Dr. Raymond Yans said in a statement. “Such a law would be in complete contravention to the provisions of the international drug control treaties, in particular the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, to which Uruguay is a party.”
 
The INCB said it had always “aimed at maintaining a dialogue with the government of Uruguay” and complained that Montevideo wasn’t paying attention to it. “The Board regrets that the government of Uruguay refused to receive an INCB mission before the draft law was submitted to parliament,” Yans said.
 
The statement further urged Uruguayan leaders “to ensure that the country remains fully compliant with international law which limits the use of narcotic drugs, including cannabis, exclusively to medical and scientific purposes” and warned that legalization ” might have serious consequences for the health and welfare of the population and for the prevention of cannabis abuse among the youth.”
 

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Nevadans won't consider marijuana legalization measure until 2016

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, August, 2nd 2013 by THCFinder
nv-mj-legalizationARSON CITY — Nevada tokers won’t get a chance before the November 2016 election to join their friends in Colorado and Washington and vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults.
 
Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project in Denver, said the potential lack of campaign funds likely will prevent his organization from launching a petition drive to put a marijuana legalization ballot question before voters next year. By waiting until 2016, he said the organization believes there is even a greater likelihood that voters will back legal marijuana.
 
Still Tvert predicted a ballot question to treat marijuana like alcohol would pass if it were on next year’s ballot. He pointed to a poll his organization commissioned earlier this year that found 54 percent of Nevadans support legalizing marijuana.
 
Until the passage of marijuana legalization measures in Colorado and Washington in November, Nevada had been the state that the Marijuana Policy Project eyed as the first that would legalize marijuana.
 
The organization secured 39 percent of the vote in 2002 when it first put before state voters a proposal to legalize marijuana for adults. It tried again in 2006, and 44 percent of voters backed legal marijuana.
 
Gathering petitions and fending off legal challenges can cost more than $1 million.
 
“Given the costs, is it worth trying in 2014 and getting 49.9 percent of the votes when if we wait until 2016 and get well over 50 percent?” asked Tvert, who worked on the campaign in Colorado last year.
 
He expects that by 2017 as many as seven states will have legal marijuana. Rhode Island, Alaska, Maryland and Hawaii could be the next states legalizing pot, he added.
 
“We are seeing growing public support,” Tvert said.
 

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Lawmakers in Uruguay Vote to Legalize Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, August, 2nd 2013 by THCFinder
legalized-mj-in-uruguayRIO DE JANEIRO — Uruguay’s lower house late Wednesday night approved a sweeping bill to legalize marijuana, opening the way for the authorities to create one of Latin America’s most ambitious nationwide endeavors in overhauling drug policy.
 
Following hours of debate, legislators in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, voted 50 to 46 in favor of the legislation, which now goes to the Senate, where lawmakers have assured President José Mujica that they have a comfortable majority to approve it. Mr. Mujica supports the bill, arguing that it is needed to redirect police resources toward fighting street crime and smugglers involved in trafficking other types of drugs.
 
“This is a very innovative bill, with the state deciding to regulate the entire chain of production, distribution and access to the substance,” said Laura Blanco, president of Uruguay’s Cannabis Studies Association. She said the bill sent an “encouraging” sign to other Latin American nations, as political leaders in parts of the region debate whether to follow Uruguay’s example.
 

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Mexico could legalize marijuana in five years

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, July, 21st 2013 by THCFinder
mexico-legalize-cannabisSAN CRISTOBAL, Mexico - Mexico could legalize marijuana within the next five years, stripping brutal drug cartels of a major source of income, former President Vicente Fox said on Friday.
 
Fox, who battled the powerful cartels while president between 2000 and 2006, has since become a staunch advocate of reforming Mexico's drug laws, arguing that prohibition has helped create the criminal market that sustains the gangs.
 
Under his successor, Felipe Calderon, Mexico launched a military offensive to crush the cartels, but the violence spiraled instead, and more than 70,000 people have been killed in drug-related bloodletting since the start of 2007.
 
Legalization was the best way of ending the "butchery" of the drug gangs, Fox said as he hosted a conference in support of the measure in his home state of Guanajuato in central Mexico.
 
President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December, is opposed to legalization, but he has said that the decision by the US states of Washington and Colorado to legalize recreational marijuana use has given him a more open mind.
 
Asked by Reuters whether Mexico could legalize marijuana by the time Pena Nieto's term ends in 2018, Fox said:
 
"I think it's going to happen much sooner. Once California gets into this, Mexico is going to be obligated to speed up its decision process."
 
Previous bills to legalize marijuana in Mexico have failed to move forward and a majority of Mexicans oppose such a move.
 
California, which borders Mexico, rejected a 2010 measure to legalize cannabis, though medical marijuana is legal.
 
Plans are still underway to legalize recreational use of marijuana in California, and Tom Angell, a spokesman for Marijuana Majority, a US-based group in favour of cannabis reform, said the state was very likely to vote again by 2016.
 

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Portland voters to decide whether to legalize marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, July, 16th 2013 by THCFinder
portland-votersmmjPORTLAND — Proponents of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Maine’s largest city evoked the controversial George Zimmerman verdict during a Monday news conference in Portland and said laws against pot are used to unfairly target blacks.
 
“Our justice system is failing us,” said Regina Phillips, an executive board member of the Maine NAACP, during the event. “It does not treat people equally.”
 
The news conference was held to rally support for a proposed ordinance change that would decriminalize possession of the drug in Portland just hours before the city council effectively voted to place the ordinance amendment on the Nov. 5 citywide ballot.
 
Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator, was found not guilty of murder last week in the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. The high-profile case has been been protested by many civil rights groups as an example of racial inequality, first because Zimmerman was not initially charged in the shooting, and subsequently after a jury found him not guilty.
 
Zimmerman claimed self-defense in the case, but critics have pointed to the fact that Martin was unarmed and that police subsequently reported that there was no indication the teen was involved in criminal activity at the time of the shooting.
 
On Monday, legalization advocates recalled the flashpoint case and said the enforcement of anti-marijuana laws is another illustration of the criminal justice system targeting blacks.
 

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Legalizing Marijuana May Help Save the US Economy

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, July, 16th 2013 by THCFinder
legalize-mj-boost-the-economy
 
For his book "Too High to Fail," author Doug Fine took off to Mendocino, California, where growing marijuana is big business. A tolerant county sheriff sees pot as a source of much-needed revenue for his department and local government, even as the Obama administration sporadically swoops down on medical marijuana dispensaries.
 
Entering the gray zone of the green revolution in northern California, Fine documents an entrepreneurial spirit that represents a key feature of the stereotype of the American dream: risk and innovation in pursuit of monetary gain. Fine, however, repeatedly reminds us that these are investors with a mission: the full legalization of marijuana.
 
Given the passage of the recent statewide initiatives legalizing pot in Colorado and Washington State, Fine's exploration of the Mendocino model provides insight into what is very possibly in store for many states in America.
 
As Bill Maher noted of Fine's book, “Fine has written a well-researched book that uses the clever tactic of making the moral case for ending marijuana prohibition by burying it inside the economic case.”
 

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