Proposal would put legalized marijuana on Missouri ballot
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, November, 7th 2014 by THCFinder
JEFFERSON CITY – Supporters of legalized marijuana are getting an early start on an initiative that could put the issue to a public vote on Missouri's 2016 ballot.
A pro-marijuana initiative was the first item submitted to the secretary of state's office on the first day possible to propose measures for the next general election. By Thursday, it was posted online for public comment.
The proposed constitutional amendment would make it legal to produce, sell and use marijuana in Missouri for people age 21 and older. The goal is to tax and regulate marijuana in a similar way as alcohol, said Columbia attorney Dan Viets, who submitted the measure.
The Missouri initiative comes after voters on Tuesday approved legalized marijuana in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. Recreational use of marijuana already is legal in Colorado and Washington state.
Before a petition can be circulated for signatures in Missouri, it must receive approval from the secretary of state and attorney general and get a financial estimate from the state auditor. The petition summary prepared by the secretary of state's office then could face legal challenges, and supporters would have until May 2016 to collect the roughly 165,000 signatures of registered voters needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.
Although some Missouri cities already have passed local ordinances decriminalizing marijuana possession, it remains a state crime punishable by up to a year in prison to possess up to 35 grams. A state criminal code revision set to take effect in 2017 would remove the possibility of jail time for first-time offenders convicted of possessing less than 10 grams.
The proposed initiative would invalidate those laws and require a state license to produce, deliver and sell marijuana, which could be taxed at 25 percent of its price. The tax revenues would be divided among pension plans for law enforcement officers and firefighters, K-12 schools, substance abuse programs, military veterans' services, college scholarships and local governments.
Viets is criminal defense lawyer who is chairman of Show-Me Cannibas and secretary of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He is a longtime critic of Missouri's criminal marijuana laws.
"The vast majority of people who use marijuana are adults who use it responsibly. They do not deserve to be treated like criminals," Viets said. "We squander millions of tax dollars persecuting and prosecuting marijuana smokers, and we lose tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue."
Read more: http://www.news-leader.com
Legal toking still months away despite pot votes in Alaska, Oregon
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 6th 2014 by THCFinder
(Reuters) - Voters in the blue state of Oregon and red state of Alaska have joined the fledgling green column of the U.S. political map by choosing to legalize recreational marijuana, but supporters are not at liberty to light up or buy their cannabis just yet.
Ballot measures approved in both states on Tuesday will take months to go into effect, with pot enthusiasts in Oregon having to wait until next summer to legally indulge and neither state likely to make marijuana available for commercial sales before 2016.
"Anyone who is driving down the freeway and lights up a doobie and waives at an officer is going to get a ticket," Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, spokesman for the defeated "vote no" campaign in Oregon, told Reuters.
The Oregon and Alaska measures will legalize recreational marijuana possession and usher in state-licensed retail pot shops similar to those that opened this year in Washington state and Colorado, which became the first to allow cannabis use for pleasure under 2012 voter initiatives.
District of Columbia voters on Tuesday approved legalization of marijuana possession but not its sale.
Supporters pointed to the outcome as a sign of growing acceptance of marijuana consumption as part of the American mainstream, with advocates of liberalized pot laws looking to California as their next battleground in 2016.
"In 2016 we're going to push the ball forward in several states until we end prohibition," said Leland Berger, a Portland attorney who helped write the new Oregon law.
But nothing changes immediately on the ground in Oregon or Alaska. The newly passed Alaska law is expected to go into effect next February, while Oregon pot smokers will have to wait until July 2015. Retail outlets are not expected to open in either state until the following year.
"Nothing will change for us in the interim, as marijuana possession has been a very low law enforcement priority for a long time," Portland police spokesman Peter Simpson said.
Legalization opponents in both states said they would push state legislators for tighter rules, including measures aimed at keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and to bar advertising that would appeal to youngsters.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com
Will Ohio pass marijuana legalization laws?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 6th 2014 by THCFinder
Tuesday's election broadened marijuana legalization laws in some states, making it easier to get and even grow.
Pot is still illegal in Ohio but there is a growing number of people approve of it for medicinal purposes and there may come a day when you're asked to vote on it.
More marijuana shops will be popping up across the country, and as more states decriminalize marijuana, Ohio may be positioned to make it legal here according to marijuana advocates.
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states now legalized it for recreational use.
Alaska and Oregon approved it in Tuesday's election. District of Columbia voters overwhelmingly approved legalizing recreational-purpose marijuana that will be subject to Congressional review.
All of these moves give hope to the Ohio Rights Group, an organization that is trying to get marijuana legalized in Ohio.
ORG currently has one hundred thousand signatures but needs 385,000 to get it on the Ohio ballot. Pardee thinks that it could happen by next years election because he says public opinion is changing.
Theresa Daniello believes in the science behind the endocannabinoid system, a part of the brain that affects both the nervous system and organs. She says it's why medical marijuana is thought to help so many different health problems. And Daniello has personal experience.
It's also why she dedicates her life to educating healthcare professionals and lobbies to get compassionate use legislation passed in Ohio. She represents 45 families of children with devastating seizure disorders. Such as Dravet Syndrome, a condition that causes children to experience several potentially deadly seizures daily.
Many parents are moving to legal states like Colorado to access cannabis oil, or CBD, because in some cases it reduces the seizures. Daniello thinks parents should not have to leave the state to get medicine.
She also believes Ohio is primed to consider legalization, at least medicinally. Some people see that as a potential economic benefit.
Voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., legalized recreational marijuana Tuesday. But without the support of the U.S. Congress, any of the new, voter-approved pot shops may not be able to survive a drug war-era tax code that already threatens many businesses in Colorado and Washington state. That means some of the profits may go up in smoke.
Alaska Legalizes Recreational Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, November, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
It took longer to count the votes compared to Oregon and Washington D.C., but the result was the same – Alaska voters legalized marijuana. The victory was declared in the early morning hours today, capping off a stellar Election Day for marijuana reform. Even in Florida, where a medical marijuana initiative failed, there was still an overwhelming majority result in favor of the initiative (just not enough to pass the required 60% hurdle). Anyone who said that pursuing marijuana reform in 2014 because it would hurt 2016’s chances should be very happy today to be wrong. 2016 has never looked better due to the momentum that was built from the victories in D.C., Oregon, and Alaska. Below is a reaction from Tom Angell, the head of Marijuana Majority:
“Now that it’s been shown that putting marijuana legalization on the ballot can succeed even in midterms, we can expect to see a huge surge of additional states voting to end prohibition during the 2016 presidential election. And because the issue has been proven to be mainstream as far as voters are concerned, we may even see lawmakers in several states jumping ahead to legalize marijuana legislatively in the meantime.”
And from my friends at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:
Alaska’s Measure 2, an initiative to allow adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six plants, passed tonight in a close race. This measure will establish, license and regulate retail stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturers and testing facilities so consumers will always know that what they’re getting is safe, will allow police to focus on violent crime and will ensure that profits benefit the government, not drug cartels. Driving under the influence and public consumption will remain illegal and employers may restrict their employees’ use and localities can ban marijuana establishments though not private possession or cultivation.
The other measure to legalize, regulate and control marijuana on the ballot tonight, Measure 91 in Oregon, passed easily earlier tonight. This makes Oregon and Alaska the third and fourth states to legalize marijuana, after Colorado and Washington and caps off a wonderful night for drug policy reformists that included DC legalizing possession of marijuana and California defelonizing low-level nonviolent drug possession.
“This is a historic day for public safety and for civil rights,” said Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper (Ret.). “Clearly, the people demand change, and their leaders would be wise to follow.”
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit of cops, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials who want to end the war on drugs.
What a great day to be an Alaskan, and an American in general. Four legal states, and a District of Columbia as the cherry on top. Has anyone seen Kevin Sabet? How’s he feeling today? Someone bring that man a kleenex!
Guam Legalizes Medical Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, November, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
According to multiple sources, Guam is going to legalize medical marijuana. with 50 of 58 precincts counted, medical marijuana is winning in Guam by a margin of 56% to 44%. It’s a great day for the patients of Guam, who will soon have a new way to medicate that is much safer than pharmaceutical drugs. Under Guam’s new law, a patient can possess an “adequate supply” of medical marijuana. This is defined as three months, but what the true amount will be will be determined by The Department of Public Health and Social Services.
Here’s a statement from Tom Angell, Founder of Marijuana Majority:
“The marijuana majority is a truly global phenomenon. People all across the world are ready to move beyond failed prohibition laws, especially when seriously ill patients are criminalized just for following their doctors’ recommendations. With these election results, U.S. territories stretching from Guam — where America’s day begins near the International Date Line — to Hawaii and Alaska have sensible laws that let patients use marijuana without fear of arrest. And this is just the beginning of a very big day. It’s likely that we’ll see other important marijuana reforms enacted today as election results come in from races across the U.S.”
There are still a lot of details to be worked out for Guam’s new law, almost all of which will be determined by The Department of Public Health and Social Services. This is the first victory for the 2014 Election, with hopefully more soon to follow. Florida will also be voting on medical marijuana. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. will be voting on marijuana legalization, and a handful of municipalities will be voting on marijuana reform as well.
If you haven’t voted yet, please do so, as every race is close!
Colorado Gov. Says Legalization Was "Reckless"
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, October, 29th 2014 by THCFinder
The whole entire point of democracy is that the people get to vote on ideas that some have proposed… Right? Politicians are supposed to be the voice of the people, not the voice of their own opinions. And while these days, all politicians just seem to be doing whatever they feel like doing, leaving us normal people in the dust, wondering how did these people get in to office?! We unfortunately elected them. The people who keep cannabis illegal? A lot of them are paid handsomely to back laws keeping the plant thriving on the black market. The worst is when a good law passes, say one that benefits the society as a whole, and politicians have to try to dampen the positivity.
The Governor of Colorado is one of those Debbie Downer politicians that seems to be trying to back peddle on the cannabis legalization initiative that Colorado passed. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat that is seeking re-election for a second term, was asked in a debate what he would tell other states that are considering cannabis legalization. His response was, “I would view it as reckless before we see what the consequences are. I think for us to do that without having all the data, there is not enough data, and to a certain extent you could say it was reckless. I’m not saying it was reckless because I’ll get quoted everywhere but if it were up to me, I wouldn’t have done it, right? I opposed it from the very beginning. In matter of fact, all right what the hell, I’ll say it was reckless.”
Colorado’s latest estimate on tax revenue (released last month) suggests that the state will receive $50 million a year just in taxes on the cannabis sales. With that money, the roads would be perfect, kids would get free school lunches, buildings could be renovated, and the entire state would be better off. But still, Hickenlooper thinks that other states should wait. He stands by his idea that the legalization was reckless, even though the state hasn’t seen any negative feedback from the legalization of the plant. Tobacco use has fallen, there haven’t been any more traffic accidents, and the state has had a huge influx of tourism as it becomes the United States’ own version of Amsterdam.
Politicians need to watch what they say about the cannabis industry, especially if they’re attempting to run for office again. With the majority of Americans backing the legalization movement, saying that the decision of the voters was “reckless” isn’t the best way (IMO) to get re-elected. Colorado has a huge opportunity to be a leader in the marijuana movement, both with the model of business and the way that the cannabis indulgers act!
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