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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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Effort to legalize cannabis in Ohio up in smoke

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, August, 14th 2013 by THCFinder
ohio-medical-marijuanaCOLUMBUS, Ohio -- An effort to put a constitutional amendment before voters that would make marijuana legal for adult use and clear the way for a hemp industry in Ohio suffered a setback today when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine rejected the group’s summary language for the ballot.
 
DeWine rejected a petition for the proposed End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012, citing four defects. In DeWine’s view, the language did not present a “fair and truthful” summary of the proposed amendment to Ohio’s Constitution.
 
The summary is intended to provide a short, concise version of a proposed constitutional amendment for use when supporters of the amendment gather signatures needed to get the amendment on the ballot.
 
Proponents of the amendment, the political action committee Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis, can submit corrected language to the attorney general. But before they do so, they will have to gather new signatures of registered voters.
 

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Legalizing Weed Could Save Endangered Chimps

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, August, 13th 2013 by THCFinder
legalize-weed-save-the-chimps
Marijuana and the protection of endangered species are rarely things we mention in the same conversation, never mind the same sentence. However, a growing problem in Nigeria suggests that it might be time to start.
 
Despite mounting scientific evidence to the contrary, marijuana is still classified as a narcotic drug by most world governments. Forbidden to grow this plant or to purchase it from growers legally, those who wish to take advantage of its physical and emotional benefits are forced into the black market.
 
Depending on who you ask, the illegal sale of marijuana generates between $10 and $120 billion in revenue a year. It’s no wonder criminals are willing to risk life and limb to grow, even if it means jail time or worse. Desperate for money, illegal marijuana growers have taken to Nigeria’s forests, a move that threatens resident wildlife.
 
The Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee is considered the most threatened of the four subspecies and is listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Unfortunately for this threatened chimp, its home happens to be the very forests that marijuana growers are clear-cutting in order to meet the black market demand for weed.
 
During a 2012 survey, researchers participating in The Southwest/Niger Delta Forest Project found that half of the deforestation occurring in these reserves from 2010 to 2012 appeared to be the result of cannabis cultivation.
 
“Demand for the marijuana product is soaring,” Rachel Ashegbofe Ikemeh, Coordinator and Principal Investigator of the The Southwest/Niger Delta Forest Project, told Mongabay.com. “Profits from marijuana crops can come in within 6 – 8 months of planting, fetching 2 – 3 times more money than could be gotten from cultivating other food crop…”
 
This is a side-effect of marijuana prohibition that you won’t hear on the radio or in a politician’s speech. But it’s important to consider. Keeping cannabis illegal, despite widespread public approval for recreational weed, or at the very least decriminalization, is taking its toll on the planet, not to mention our economy and culture.
 

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Alaska, Rhode Island Will Legalize Marijuana Next

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, August, 13th 2013 by THCFinder
legalizing-mmjAs support for marijuana legalization continues to grow, Rob Kampia, the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, believes that momentum will drive two more states to follow Colorado and Washington in legalizing recreational weed in 2014.
 
In a recent interview with Reason, Kampia made several legal pot predictions.
 
"I think the next state to legalize will be Alaska, through a ballot initiative that we're running in August of 2014," Kampia said to Reason. "Through state legislatures, I think the first state is going to be Rhode Island."
 
Kampia went on to predict that many other states will also be voting on marijuana legalization on the same day in 2016, including: California, Nevada, Arizona, Maine and possibly Massachusetts.
 
Alaska and Rhode Island both appear to be poised for legalization. In Alaska, Public Policy Polling recently surveyed voters and found that 54 percent are currently in favor of legal weed.
 
Rhode Island decriminalized less than an ounce of marijuana back in April and a separate bill rolled out this year would legalize marijuana for recreational use. A survey last year conducted for the Marijuana Policy Project by Public Policy Polling found that 52 percent of Rhode Islanders would support treating weed no differently than alcohol.
 
Kampia's final, and perhaps boldest, prediction was that federal marijuana law would finally change before the end of the decade. "My prediction, changing federal law will be 2019," Kampia said. "But we're going to have to deal with a lot of difficult states after 2019, like Mississippi and Alabama."
 

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Lawmakers In Mexico City To Consider Legalizing Cannabis Next Month

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, August, 9th 2013 by THCFinder
mexico-legalizeMexico City’s Federal District City Council, and Mayor Miguel Mancera, announced recently that talks will begin in September regarding the potential reformation of Mexico City’s cannabis policies.
 
According to the announcement, lawmakers in September will debate the health, economic and security aspects of cannabis, including the possibility of legalizing the substance for medicinal, or even recreational uses.
 
One of the changes lawmakers will consider is legislation announced in June - to be filed in September – which would legalize the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis, as well as private home cultivation.
 
“We will be very responsible in this debate,” stated Manuel Granados, chair of the city council’s governance committee, “In Mexico City we agree on replacing criminal policies with health policies. We are ready to hold this debate and, at the right time, to legislate”.
 

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New Poll Shows Americans Want Legal Weed, Even If They Don't Smoke It

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, August, 8th 2013 by THCFinder
legalize-marijuana
After vicious debate over the position marijuana is to take in our society, it's time we set the record straight. In particular, it's high time we dispel a growing fear that our younger generation has increasingly used — and more terrifyingly — abused, marijuana. 
 
In reality, a recently released Gallup poll has found that "Even as Americans' support for legalizing marijuana has doubled, and more than 20 states have loosened marijuana restrictions in various ways … [there is] relatively little increase in the percentage of U.S. adults who say they have tried marijuana. 38% percent of Americans admit to having tried marijuana, compared with 34% in 1999 and 33% in 1985." As the majority of young adults who tried marijuana in the 1970s replace older Americans who never did try the drug, the rate of total Americans who have ever tried the drug has increased only slightly, regardless of the fears of a much older generation.
 
Actually, those who fear the loss of this generation's purity should take a look back at their own cultural history, when marijuana usage skyrocketed in the 1970s, rising from 4% in 1969 to 12% in 1973 and 24% in 1977.
 
Since its peak at 56% of young experimenting adults in 1977, marijuana use among young adults has actually followed a slow, but noticeable, decline. In fact, marijuana usage coincidentally jumped the same time President Nixon declared the United States "War on Drugs" in 1971.
 
Interestingly, though the general rate of use has been the same, the demographic patterns for Americans' past experimentation with marijuana and current use have changed. Gender use has evened out, with 8% of men and 6% of women saying they smoke pot. More liberals (49%) have tried marijuana than moderates (40%) and conservatives (32%). Likely the most stereotyped and shocking of drug demographics is that "There are relatively minor differences in marijuana use by race — between whites and nonwhites — and by education. There are no income-related differences among those who say they have tried marijuana, but lower-income Americans are the most likely to say they currently use it."
 

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