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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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Pa. governor hopeful wants legal marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, July, 16th 2013 by THCFinder
legalize-mmj-now-pa
 
A Democratic challenger to Governor Tom Corbett says Pennsylvania should reform its marijuana laws.
 
John Hanger said medicinal marijuana should be permitted, and penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana should be reduced to a summary offense similar to a traffic ticket by 2015.
 
He said Pennsylvania should regulate and tax marijuana use by 2017.
 
Hanger announced his plan during a news conference at the state Capitol.
 
He said Pennsylvania is spending $325 million a year prosecuting non-violent people for possessing marijuana, when regulating and taxing marijuana could bring the state at least $24 million a year.
 
Hanger was secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection for three years under Governor Ed Rendell. He is among a field of Democrats seeking the gubernatorial nomination next year.
 
The other candidates are U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, former Revenue secretary Tom Wolf, former DEP secretary Kathleen McGinty, Lebanon County commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, and Mechanicsburg minister Max Myers. State Treasurer Rob McCord is also exploring a bid.
 

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Legalized marijuana prompts new question: What about hash?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, July, 15th 2013 by THCFinder
hash-hashhishSEATTLE — Jim Andersen has a 40-year history with hashish, the concentrated cannabis sometimes referred to as the cognac of the marijuana world.
 
When he served in the Air Force in Southeast Asia, he said he smuggled it home in his boots. When he was in grad school in California, he made it with a centrifuge in a lab after hours.
 
So when Washington was on the verge of legalizing the sale of taxed pot last fall, Andersen decided to move back to his home state and turn his hobby into a full-time, legitimate paycheck — a business that would supply state-licensed, recreational marijuana stores with high-quality hash oil.
 
"Every major culture that has marijuana associated with it has hash associated with it as well," said Andersen, whose company, XTracted, already has two Seattle locations serving medical marijuana dispensaries. He said his business would help prevent such pot extracts from ending up on the black market.
 
Substance abuse experts are concerned that such increasingly popular, extremely potent and potentially dangerous pot extracts will be sold, and that state regulators' interpretation of the recreational marijuana law will allow people to buy vastly more hash than they need for personal use.
 
That, they fear, will increase the chances that some of it will end up in the black market out of state.
 

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