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Legalization

Legalize Or To Not Legalize

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, October, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
legalize-weedWhen one begins to ponder the thought of cannabis legalization, it seems like a really good idea. Right? No more going to jail for possessing a plant, people will be able to make hemp products, and sick people will feel better with the help of a natural medicine. The economy will benefit, new jobs would be created, and the states would make bank from the tax revenue. But as more states pass initiatives in order to legalize, it seems like there are more laws put in place to prevent us from enjoying the cannabis plant. So is legalization something that we can expect to see in our lifetime?
 
It is highly likely that we will see the legalization of cannabis in the near future, in the majority if not all of the states. Legalization meaning that the plant will, by law, be allowed. But if the laws say we can have it and city ordinances say that we can't, is that really legalization? Many stoners fret over the fact that some states are putting bans on edibles, while others are banning the cannabis concentrates. The legal state of Washington is trying to make it illegal to have cannabis in the car, trying to mimics the open-container laws regarding alcohol, even though the two substances don't even exist in the same form. But with the way that things are going, the legalization of the plant does, in fact, seem likely. Will we benefit from it? That's kind of hard to say at the moment, seeing as how these bans are just now beginning to pass and make an impact.
 
Another worry of the modern day stoners; sub standard strains. With the allowance of marijuana, the mom-and-pop operations are flourishing. However, we all know what happened the last time mom-and-pop stores were doing well. This multi-billion dollar company named Wal-Mart showed up and put them all out of business. Imagine a Weed Wal-Mart, where eventually, it would be the only place that would carry cannabis and related products, at cheap prices but with a small percentage of THC, as compared to the high content of the buds that are grown today. The weed would not be as lovely and the smaller scale stores would surely go out of business, taken over by a corporation that will ruin the locality of the cannabis community.
 
Substandard bud would mean a hit for both medical and recreational users. Medical users wouldn't be able to get the high doses of THC that they might need, say for cancer. Recreational users wouldn't be able to flex on Instagram as much... Or get as stoned as they usually do. Of course, we may never even see that happen if the lawmakers keep giving us a little and taking back a lot. It's hard to tell where cannabis legalization will go from here. But just keep things like this in mind while we fight for at least some generalized acceptance of the cannabis plant.

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Australia On It's Way To Legal Bud

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, October, 7th 2014 by THCFinder
australia-on-its-way-to-legalizing-weedUraguay legalized cannabis, at rock bottom prices, to help control the black market and illegal drug trade. Although their program isn't solid, it's working and people seem to be following suit. While the down under continent won't be fully legalizing the use of the plant, Australian support for legal medical cannabis is growing and there is a bill going before the federal Parliament next month that will push legal medical cannabis in to effect in the country.
 
The bill will be introduced this month by the chairman of the Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, Richard Di Natale. Prime Minister Tony Abbott also endorsed medical marijuana publicly last month, according to SMH. "I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates," Abbott said in a letter written to Alan Jones, a radio host. "If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose and is being administered safely, there should be no question of its legality."
 
After witnessing the suffering of a 24 year old cancer patient, the NSW Government agreed to perform clinical trials for medical marijuana use. The young patient uses cannabis to cope with the disease and Premier Mike Baird was influenced by the toughness and resilience of someone so sick and still so supportive of what is believed to be a cure for cancer. These clinical trials must be presented to the Therapeutic Goods Administration in order for medical marijuana to be approved in Australia.
 
If the bill gets approval, the federal government would oversee the production as well as the distribution of cannabis. Patients with chronic pain and illnesses would be able to access this lifesaving medicine. The federal government already oversees such production of opiates for patients. Di Natale's bill encompasses the regulation and and processing of cannabis, as well as coordinating who is allowed to grow as well as maintaining the quality of the weed.

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Marijuana legalization effort begins in California

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, September, 25th 2014 by THCFinder
california-mj-legalizationSAN FRANCISCO -- A national marijuana advocacy group took steps Wednesday to begin raising money for a campaign to legalize recreational pot use in California in 2016, a move with potential to add a dose of extra excitement to the presidential election year.
 
The Marijuana Policy Project filed paperwork with the California secretary of state's office registering a campaign committee to start accepting and spending contributions for a pot legalization initiative on the November 2016 state ballot, the group said.
 
The measure would be similar to those passed in 2012 by voters in Colorado and Washington, the first U.S. states to legalize commercial sales of marijuana to all adults over 21.
 
California, long the national leader in illegal marijuana production and home to a thriving, largely unregulated medical marijuana industry, is one of the 21 other states that currently allow marijuana use only for medical reasons. The drug remains illegal under federal law.
 
"Marijuana prohibition has had an enormously detrimental impact on California communities. It's been ineffective, wasteful and counterproductive. It's time for a more responsible approach," Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia said. "Regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol just makes sense."
 
The Washington, D.C.-based group also has established campaign committees to back legalization measures in Arizona, Massachusetts and Nevada in 2016.
 
Voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia will weigh in on marijuana legalization in November.
 
In 2010, California voters rejected a ballot initiative seeking to legalize recreational pot. The measure, just like the medical marijuana law the state approved in 1996, was the first of its kind. But along with opposition from law enforcement and elected officials, Proposition 19 faced unexpected resistance from medical marijuana users and outlaw growers in the state's so-called Emerald Triangle who worried legalization would lead to plummeting marijuana prices.
 
Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Mason Tvert predicted no such divisions would surface this time around.
 
Citing his group's experience in Colorado and the advantage of aiming for a presidential election year when voter turnout is higher, Tvert said legalization supporters would use the next two years to build a broad-based coalition and craft ballot language that addresses concerns of particular constituencies.
 
"Obviously, it's a whole different landscape in California, where it will cost probably as much or more to just get on the ballot as it did to run a winning campaign after getting on the ballot in Colorado," he said.
 
League of California Cities lobbyist Tim Cromartie, whose group opposed the state's 2010 pot legalization initiative and until this year fought legislative efforts to give the state greater oversight of medical marijuana, said Wednesday that it was too soon to say what kind of opposition, if any, would greet a 2016 campaign.
 
Lynne Lyman, California director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said her group expects to play a major role in the legalization effort and already has started raising money. Lyman said the goal is to have an initiative written by next summer. She estimated that a pro-legalization campaign would cost $8 million to $12 million.

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Legalizing Marijuana Could Yield Over $3 Billion In Tax Revenue Per Year

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, September, 24th 2014 by THCFinder

The marijuana industry, legal and black market, is enormous. I have read reports that the marijuana industry in California is over 1 billion dollars a year. That’s billion, with a b. And to be honest, I personally think that’s a low ball estimate. The marijuana industry nationwide is multiple billions of dollars. How many billions? No one knows for sure. I think it’s easily tens of billions, but could be even hundreds of billions. We won’t know for sure until marijuana is legalized nationwide, which according to United States Representative Earl Blumenauer, could happen in the next five years.

A recent study was released by Nerd Wallet, which estimated the tax revenue from such a move to be around 3 billion dollars annually. There’s a lot of factors that go into such a calculation. For starters, what would marijuana be taxed at? It’s logical to conclude that different states would have different tax rates. For instance, Oregon is going to have considerably lower taxes if/when Measure 91 passes this November compared to Washington and Colorado. Other states could be lower than Oregon, while other states could potentially be higher than Washington. Only time will tell. NORML had the following to say about Nerd Wallet’s study:

Based on existing market projections, California would gain the largest amount of annual tax revenue ($519,287,052) were commercial cannabis production and sales to be legalized for adults. Other top tax revenue generating states include: New York ($248,103,676), Florida ($183,408,640), Texas ($166,303,963), and Illinois ($126,107,360).

Washington, which began allowing retail cannabis sales this summer, is estimated to reap some $119,000,000 in annual tax revenue, according to the study’s projections. Colorado, which has allowed retail cannabis sales since January 1, 2014, is estimated to gain some $78,000,000 in annual revenue.

Colorado and Washington are the only two states that are currently generating tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales. Those revenues keep climbing, with no end in sight. Below is an infographic from Nerd Wallet that gives a state-by-state breakdown:

legalizing marijuana tax revenue by stateSource: http://www.theweedblog.com/


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Washington, D.C., Voters Strongly Support Marijuana Legalization

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, September, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
wa-dc-mmj-legalizationWashington, D.C., voters appear to be ready to legalize marijuana, according to a new poll that puts support at 65 percent.
 
The NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll's finding that district voters support legalization by amost a 2-1 margin “is the highest support ever for a marijuana legalization ballot initiative,” Adam Eidinger, chair of D.C. Cannabis Campaign, the group backing the legalization measure, said in a statement. “It vindicates the work of this campaign so far, but we still have more work to do turning out the vote come Election Day.”
 
On Nov. 4, D.C. voters will decide Initiative 71, which would legalize adult marijuana use, possession of up to two ounces, and home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants for personal use. The sale of marijuana would remain illegal. The D.C. Council is considering a separate bill that would allow the regulation and taxation of marijuana.
 
The new poll suggests D.C. will join Washington state and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana. Just days before Washington state voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, Public Policy Polling found 53 percent support for the measure. The day before Colorado voters approved marijuana for recreational use by adults, PPP found 52 percent support.
 
“Voters are relating to the message that legalization will end D.C.’s rampant discrimination when it comes marijuana enforcement," said Dr. Malik Burnett, D.C. Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement.
 
According to the Washington Lawyers' Committee, arrest statistics from 2009 to 2011 revealed that nine out of 10 people arrested for drugs in Washington were black, though blacks make up just slightly more than half of the city's population. Yet government surveys show that blacks are no more likely than whites to use the drug.
 
A marijuana activist criticized The Washington Post for editorializing against legalization.
 
"At the very moment this Washington Post poll was in the field, the paper's own editorial board was circulating a 'Reefer Madness'-style, error-laden screed urging D.C. voters to reject legalization," Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell told The Huffington Post. A Sunday Post editorial urged D.C. voters to "reject the rush to marijuana."
 
"It looks like that didn't work," Angell said of the editorial. "No matter how hard prohibitionists try to spread scare stories about legalization, poll after poll confirms that this is a mainstream issue supported by a growing majority of the public."
 

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New York Could Legalize Recreational Marijuana In 2015

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, September, 16th 2014 by THCFinder
legalize-mj-by-2015The state of New York could legalize marijuana for recreational use as early as 2015.
 
State Sen. Liz Krueger (D) will reintroduce the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act during the next legislative session, which begins in January, her office confirmed to The Huffington Post on Monday.
 
"We're definitely introducing the bill next session," Brad Usher, Krueger's chief of staff, told HuffPost. "We've received a variety of feedback since we first introduced it last December and we're working on amending it, so we're looking to see what we can learn from Colorado and Washington when we reintroduce it."
 
Krueger's bill would permit the opening of retail marijuana dispensaries, which would be regulated by the State Liquor Authority. The bill would establish an excise tax on all marijuana sales, and adults would legally be able to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants at home for personal use. Krueger introduced a similar bill in 2013 that also aimed to legalize the possession, use and sale of limited amounts of recreational marijuana, but the bill never made it out of committee.
 
Usher said that many of the changes to the measure for reintroduction in 2015 relate to how the tax is structured, as well as clarifying who would be able to work in the state's marijuana industry.
 
New York is not a referendum state, which means that if next year's measure gets through the legislature and is signed into law, it will immediately go into effect and will not require a vote by New Yorkers. Colorado and Washington, both of which legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, did so through voter-approved ballot measures.
 
"In some ways, not having a referendum makes it harder," Usher said. "With referendum, you only need 50.1 percent support to win, but getting a bill through to law will probably require broader support to address the risk-averse character of some elected officials."
 
One such official might be Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who has not made it clear whether he would support a bill that legalizes marijuana for recreational use. In January, Cuomo said that Colorado-style legalization in New York is "a nonstarter for me."
 
Earlier this summer, New York became the 23rd state in the country to legalize medical marijuana. Moreover, the state decriminalized the possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana more than 30 years ago. Even so, New York, and especially New York City, remain plagued by an inordinate number of low-level marijuana arrests.
 

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