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It's high time to legalize pot, N.J. prosecutors say

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, March, 31st 2014 by THCFinder
nj-legalize-weed
Proponents of legalizing marijuana in New Jersey received a boost from an unlikely source — the very people who prosecute pot users.
 
The New Jersey State Municipal Prosecutors Association in Hamilton, N.J., has come out in favor of legalizing possession of marijuana. The support of the prosecutors association comes as two bills were introduced this month in the New Jersey State Legislature and as polls show a majority of Americans favor legalization.
 
One of the bills, introduced March 10, calls for a referendum asking voters to legalize the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. Assemblymen Reed Gusciora, a Democrat from Trenton, N.J., who also is municipal prosecutor in Lawrence Township, N.J., and Michael Patrick Carroll, a Republican from Morris Township, N.J., are its sponsors.
 
"If it were up to me, I would make all quantities legal," Carroll said. "Why should the government be in the business of criminalizing marijuana? All it does is create administrative Al Capones and puts the power in the hands of gangsters."
 
From the government's perspective, Carroll said legalizing marijuana would be a huge benefit. Government could save money by hiring fewer police and parole officers.
 

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Poll: Majority Of California Voters Support Marijuana Legalization

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, March, 28th 2014 by THCFinder
cal-legalizationCalifornia was a pioneer in marijuana politics when it placed Proposition 19 on the California ballot during the 2010 Election. Unfortunately, that initiative failed on election day. I was very sad when legalization didn’t make the ballot in 2012 in California, and it appears that sadness will continue through 2014. Hopefully national organizations and local activists can all get on the same page for 2016.
 
A poll was released recently which found that a slim majority of California voters support marijuana legalization. Below is more info about the poll, which was conducted by PPIC Statewide Survey:
 
As proponents of marijuana legalization consider another ballot measure, Californians are currently divided on legalizing marijuana: 49 percent say it should be legal, 47 percent say it should not be legal. Among likely voters, a slim majority (53%) say marijuana should be legal, and 44 percent say it should be illegal. Last September, 52 percent of adults and 60 percent of likely voters said it should be legal. Slim majorities of adults said it should be illegal in March 2012 and September 2011 (51% each). In 2010, California adults were divided (September 2010: 47% yes, 49% no; May 2010: 48% yes, 49% no). In a February Pew Research Center survey of adults nationwide, 54 percent said legal, 42 percent said illegal.
 
Majorities of independents (60%) and Democrats (57%) say marijuana should be legal; 62 percent of Republicans say it should be illegal. Blacks (63%) and whites (57%) say it should be legal, a majority of Latinos say it should be illegal (60%), and Asians are divided (44% yes, 48% no). Younger Californians are much more likely than adults age 35 and older to say it should be legal (64% 18 to 34, 39% 35 to 54, 47% 55 and older). There is majority support for legalizing marijuana in the San Francisco Bay Area (59%) and the Inland Empire (52%), while Central Valley residents are divided (50% yes, 49% no), and majorities of Orange/San Diego (55%) and Los Angeles (52%) residents are opposed.
 
I was surprised that a majority of Latinos support marijuana prohibition, considering how much they are affected by it. Minorities, Latino or otherwise, are more likely to be a victim of marijuana prohibition. Hopefully people see these results, and do more to educate the Latino population in California.
 

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Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Doesn't Increase Crime

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, March, 27th 2014 by THCFinder
mj-legalization-doesnt-increase-crimeAn argument that marijuana reform opponents almost always cling to is that legalizing marijuana (recreational and medical) will lead to more crime. It’s an argument that has been used since the dawn of reefer madness. I actually had someone e-mail me recently to tell me that when people smoke marijuana, they will do whatever they can to get more, including assaulting people and robbing them of their money. I had to explain to the person that we are talking about marijuana, not meth. I didn’t receive a response.
 
According to a study released yesterday, legalizing medical marijuana does not increase violent crime. The study was conducted by PLOS One. The study relied on U.S. state panel data, and analyzed the association between state medical marijuana laws and state crime rates collected by the FBI. The concluded the following:
 
Results did not indicate a crime exacerbating effect of medical marijuana laws on any of the Part I offenses. Alternatively, state medical marijuana laws may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates…
 
I wonder if Kevin Sabet and his friends saw this? It’s going to be very hard for them to try to spin this study in a way that favors their opposition to medical marijuana reform. People like Kevin Sabet want to throw you in rehab for using medical marijuana. That’s going to be a lot harder as the truth continues to slap them in the face.
 

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Long shot: California may yet vote on marijuana legalization in 2014

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, March, 27th 2014 by THCFinder
2014-legal-ca-marijuana
A California initiative that has failed once this year to collect enough signatures to put recreational marijuana on the ballot in November has been resurrected … but its future looks grim.
 
On Monday, California’s Secretary of State approved language for the “Marijuana Legalization. Initiative Statute”:
 
Legalizes under state law marijuana and hemp use, possession, cultivation, transportation, or distribution. Requires case-by-case review for persons currently charged with or convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses, for possible sentence modification, amnesty, or immediate release from prison, jail, parole, or probation. Requires case-by-case review of applications to erase records of these charges or convictions. Requires Legislature to adopt laws to license and tax commercial marijuana sales. Allows doctors to approve or recommend marijuana for patients, regardless of age. Limits testing for marijuana for employment or insurance purposes. Bars state/local aid to enforce federal marijuana laws.
 
The sponsor of the initiative’s earlier incarnation, Berton Duzy, tried and fail in February to turn in enough signatures. On the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative website, he stated:
 
CCHI did not qualify for the ballot, but is entering a pledge drive phase to attempt to qualify for 2014. CCHI is the legalization vision of Jack Herer and allows more freedom for Cannabis patients, users, and providers than any other proposed law.
 
Taking a cold look at the prospects for this revised version or any of the competing version of legalization initiatives to hit the ballot this year is the LA Weekly:
 
CCHI has nowhere near the $3 million in cash it takes to get professional signature gatherers on the streets. Duzy said the group has less than $100,000 on-hand.
 
“We’ll have to have a million dollars to get it done by paid professionals by April 18, the last day to qualify, the last day to turn in signatures to make it to 2014,” he told us. “If we didn’t raise the money, then we could still try to qualify for 2016.”
 
The last proposed initiative apparently standing, the Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act, is also looking at April 18, with basically none of that $3 million or so it would take to make the ballot.
 
Backer Dave Hodges told us, “We’re still looking for a miracle.”
 

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New Jersey senator to introduce marijuana legalization bill

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, March, 24th 2014 by THCFinder
nj-pushing-legalizationCLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J. (PIX11) – Union County State Senator Nicholas Scutari will introduce legislation Monday that will make the case for legalizing and taxing marijuana in New Jersey.
He plans to model the bill after Washington state and Colorado, which took in $2 million in the first month of sales alone and would tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol.
 
In a press release Scutari said, “anybody that looks at the facts, knows that the war on marijuana has been a miserable failure. We’re not delusional about how simple the effort would be, but I think from a standpoint of moving this state and this country forward on its archaic drug laws, I think it’s a step in the right direction.”
 
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, more than 22,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in New Jersey in 2010.
 
A minor possession conviction for people can have long-term implications under New Jersey’s current cannabis policy and the group says its a waste of law enforcement resources and taxpayer money.
 
It also seems the Garden State’s opinion is growing strong.
 
A poll released by Lake Research Partners in June found that 59 percent of New Jersey voters support legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis.
 
More recently, a Gallup poll released in October found that 58% of Americans are in favor of legalization.
 
But as long as Governor Chris Christie remains in office,  the bills chances of getting signed into law are very slim.
 
The governor has repeatedly said he would allow legalization or even decriminalization of marijuana because it sends the wrong message to kids.
 

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Alabama lawmakers approve medical marijuana measure

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, March, 21st 2014 by THCFinder
approving-mmj-measure(Reuters) - A medical marijuana bill unanimously passed both the Alabama House and Senate on Thursday and is headed to the desk of Gov. Robert Bentley, who has said he will sign it into law.
 
The measure makes it legal to possess only a prescribed medical grade extract known as CBD or cannabidiol, which is non-intoxicating.
 
The U.S. Congress in 1972 deemed the oil to have no accepted medical use and banned it.
 
However, some studies have shown it to be useful in treating a number of conditions, including seizures, and it has been legalized for use in 20 states, according to the Medical Marijuana ProCon website.
 
Called Carly's Law, the bill in Alabama originated to help control violent seizures suffered by a toddler with a severe neurological disorder.
 
The girl's family won the backing of Republican state Rep. Mike Ball, sponsor of the bill, and the governor, who has indicated his support.
 
The bill includes $1 million in funding for a neurology research project into cannabidiol oil at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
 
"UAB will undertake research into the mechanisms underlying cannabidiol to learn more about its function and effect on seizures," said David Standaert, chairman of the university's Department of Neurology.
 
The extract is low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound that gives users the feeling of being high.
 

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