Tommy Chong Speaks Out On Legalizing Marijuana In Michigan

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, September, 6th 2015 by THCFinder

michigan marijuana legalization milegalize“I support the legalization of marijuana and the smartest way to get this done in Michigan is the MILegalize proposal… Support MILegalize. I do.” Those words, uttered by motion picture actor, comedian and cultural icon Tommy Chong have been heard on Michigan’s radio airwaves as of September 1.

For now the spots are being broadcast only on station 98.5 WUPS. With a broadcast area covering central and northern Lower Peninsula, their signal reaches cities like Mount Pleasant, Houghton Lake and the Traverse area.

Air time for the WUPS radio spots was donated by Indoor Grower’s Edge, a chain of indoor gardening stores in the Cadillac/Big Rapids/Mt. Pleasant area. Chong’s participation was facilitated by ownership of BDT’s Pipe and Tobacco Shops.

“Without BDT’s and Indoor Grower’s Edge, this opportunity with WUPS would not have happened,” said MILegalize Board member Jamie Lowell. MILegalize is seeking corporate or private donations to launch these audio clips into other radio markets around Michigan.

“The best laws come from the people, not the politicians, and that’s why I support MILegalize,” Chong says in one commercial. In another he says, “Fund schools, fix roads, right-size our government. If these issues are important to you, MILegalize is the proposal for you.”

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Albuquerque City Council Members To File Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sat, September, 5th 2015 by THCFinder

new mexico marijuanaToday, Albuquerque city council members, Rey Garduño and Isaac Benton, filed a new bill to remove criminal sanctions pertaining to possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia from the city’s municipal codes. A companion resolution, also submitted today, would make marijuana possession violations the lowest priority for the Albuquerque Police Department.  The bill will be introduced on Wednesday, September 9 with consideration by the full council on September 21.

“Incarcerating people through this failed war on drugs for possessing a small amount of marijuana is creating criminals where none exist,” said Garduño, president of the Albuquerque city council.

Last fall, Garduño sponsored a similar measure that passed the council 5-4 on a party line vote. However, it was vetoed by Mayor Berry. Since then, Albuquerque residents voiced their support at the ballot box for decriminalizing marijuana. In November, voters in Santa Fe County and Bernalillo County voiced overwhelming support for marijuana decriminalization –  Bernalillo County voted 60 percent and Santa Fe County voted 73 percent in favor of statewide decriminalization.  More than 50 percent of Albuquerque voters in all nine city council districts voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

“Now there is clear evidence that Albuquerque voters support decriminalizing marijuana,” said Jessica Gelay, policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance. “The people have spoken. Mayor Berry should listen to his constituents and not veto this measure this time around.”

The proposed ordinance makes one ounce or less of marijuana and possession of any drug paraphernalia a civil infraction with a fine of $25. A civil infraction is not considered a criminal conviction. The ordinance also takes away the potential for jail time. Currently a person spends more than two weeks in jail for a first offense and 90 days for a subsequent offense.

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Legal Marijuana In Arizona Would Generate Over $60 Million In Taxes Annually, Study Predicts

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, September, 3rd 2015 by THCFinder

Arizona stands to generate more than $60 million in marijuana tax revenue annually, if voters decide to legalize and regulate the plant for adult recreational purposes in 2016. 

That's according to an independent analysis released Monday by Arizona's nonprofit Grand Canyon Institute. It found the state would rake in about $64 million per year from legal marijuana taxes, including $51 million that would go to K-12 education and all-day kindergarten programs in the state. That's significantly more than the $40 million in tax revenue for education backers of the ballot initiative projected last month -- a sum thatopponents of the measure lambasted as unrealistically high and a local newspaper characterized as "a lie" in an August op-ed.

But at least according to the GCI, a research organization focusing on Arizona's fiscal and tax issues -- one that describes itself as "a centrist think-thank led by a bipartisan group of former state lawmakers, economists, community leaders, and academicians" -- the advocates were being conservative in their estimates.

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Florida Could Decide on Recreational Marijuana in 2016

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, September, 1st 2015 by THCFinder

While the Florida state legislature continues to talk in circles around the issue of pot reform, a legion of cannabis activists have come forward with a ballot initiative aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016.  Regulate Florida, an organization seeking to repeal prohibition in the Sunshine State, received word last week from state election officials that their master plan to put the issue of legal weed on the ballot in the next presidential election had been approved. 

This is big news for Florida voters who were already planning to head, full throttle, into the polls next year to cast a favorable ballot for United for Care’s proposal to establish a statewide medical marijuana program. Ultimately, as long as the forces behind Regulate Florida manage to collect the necessary 683,149 verified signatures, the voting population could likely be in a position to decide on whether they would prefer to legalize cannabis solely for medicinal purposes or go for broke, unleashing the herb altogether, by supporting a regulatory model that would allow cannabis to be sold in a manner similar to beer. 

Tallahassee attorney Bill Wohlsifer and longtime cannabis advocate Michael Minardi penned the proposal, aptly deemed the “Florida Cannabis Act,” in war dance against the state legislature, which has proved sufficiently inadequate at launching even the simplest CBD-only market, not to mention their complete disregard in 2015 for even considering the reform of marijuana laws.

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Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative Could Raise $40+ Million For Education

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, August, 21st 2015 by THCFinder

regulate marijuana like alcohol arizona 2016Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol estimate the measure would raise more than $40 million annually for education in Arizona. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol highlighted the potential revenue Wednesday by presenting the state with a jumbo-sized check during a “back-to-school” news conference in front of the state capitol.

“Our schools are in serious need of funding, and taxing marijuana would create a significant new revenue stream,” said State Sen. Martin Quezada, a member of the Pendergast Elementary School District Governing Board who spoke at the news conference. “Marijuana sales are going to keep taking place regardless of whether this initiative passes or fails. But only if it passes will they raise tens of millions of dollars each year for public education in Arizona.”

The proposed initiative would enact a 15% excise tax on marijuana sales from licensed retail stores to adults 21 years of age and older, which would be used to fund the implementation and enforcement of regulations. Of any additional tax revenue collected, 40% would be allocated to the Department of Education for school construction, maintenance, and operating costs, and 40% would be allocated to the Department of Education for full-day kindergarten programs.

“Generating revenue for our schools isn’t the only reason to pass this initiative, but it’s an important one,” said Lisa Olson, a Mesa teacher who participated in the news conference. “I support it because it will not only improve public education, but also public safety. Regulating marijuana would replace dealers on the streets with store clerks who ask for ID and only sell to adults.”

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The next 11 states to legalize marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, August, 19th 2015 by THCFinder

Marijuana prohibition is entering its 78th year. Colorado's marijuana law went into effect at the beginning of last year in the wake of changing attitudes. Compared to 1969, when only 12% supported legalizing pot, today a majority of Americans support legalizing recreational use of the drug.

It is legal to purchase marijuana in four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — as well as in the District of Columbia. Prior to the legalization, all of these states had already reduced the penalties for possession and use of small amounts of the drug or introduced policies permitting medical marijuana use. To identify the states most likely to legalize marijuana next, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 11 states where by law residents in possession of small amounts of the drug are not punishable by jail time, and medical marijuana use is permitted.

A large share of U.S. states, including all 11 on this list, have decriminalized marijuana at some point. The widely-referenced, but confusing term actually means a different thing depending on where it is being used. Not to be confused with legalization, states that have decriminalized marijuana have in some way reduced the penalties for for those caught with the substance. In most cases, this means the state will no longer prosecute or jail those caught with small amounts of the drug for personal use. In some cases, getting caught with a few grams of marijuana is as serious as a traffic infraction.

Other states that have decriminalized, however, still have relatively harsh penalties for possession. In Nevada, for example, the state no longer can assign jail time for those caught with a small amount of the drug, but violators can still be arrested, fined heavily, and charged with a misdemeanor.

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