They're next: Alaska fumes over marijuana legalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, April, 22nd 2014 by THCFinder
Colorado has been a test case for marijuana legalization in recent months. Yes, it could prove to be an economic boom. But voters already have remorse over the legislation: new polling reveals that majorities are not eager to mar Colorado’s “wholesome” image, or replace it with something more, uh, cosmic.
Alaska, where the legalization issue will appear on an public ballot this fall, faces similar concerns.
The interest group “Big Marijuana-Big Mistake-Vote No on 2” is registered with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, and demand that “Ballot Measure 2,” which would legalize weed, be defeated. The group’s treasurer Deborah Williams, a youth counselor, calls the measure “extreme” and is annoyed by cute marijuana ads in Colorado that mask serious health concerns.
“She also questions whether Alaskans would be OK knowing that potent marijuana products like hash oil, wax, crumble and shatter would be legal under the proposed initiative,” writes Alaska News reporter Suzanna Caldwell, citing the street names of the stuff.
Ms. Williams has competition from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, funded by the Marijuana Policy Project, a national interest group which has drawn 45,000 signatures to a pro-weed petition. While Colorado and Washington state sort out legalization complexities, Ms. Williams hopes Alaska will hold off on big decisions.
“What do we want our state to look like? Right now, the costs far outweigh the benefits,” she asks.
Study: Marijuana legalization doesn't increase crime
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, April, 16th 2014 by THCFinder
Three months after Colorado residents legalized recreational marijuana with the passage of Amendment 64 in Nov. 2012, Sheriff Tom Allman of Mendocio County, Calif. – a haven for marijuana growers – warned that an onslaught of crime was headed toward Colorado.
“Thugs put on masks, they come to your house, they kick in your door. They point guns at you and say, ‘Give me your marijuana, give me your money,’” Allman told a Denver TV station in February. His state became the first to legalize marijuana for medical use in 1996; Colorado followed suit in 2000.
But a new report contends that fourteen years later, even after Colorado legalized the sale of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use on Jan. 1 of this year, violent and property crime rates in the city are actually falling.
According to data from the Denver Police Department, violent crime (including homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) fell by 6.9% in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013. Property crime (including burglary, larceny, auto theft, theft from motor vehicle and arson) dropped by 11.1%.
THE CYCLE, 4/10/14, 5:31 PM ET
Time for politicians to get on board with pot
A study looking at the legalization of medical marijuana nationwide, published late last month in the journal PLOS ONE, found that the trend holds: Not only does medical marijuana legalization not correlate with an uptick in crime, researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas argue it may actually reduce it.
Using statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report and controlling for variables like the unemployment and poverty rates; per capita income; age of residents; proportion of residents with college degree; number of police officers and prisoners; and even beer consumption, researchers analyzed data from all 50 states between 1990 and 2006. (California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996; in the decade that followed, 10 states followed suit. Today that number is up to 20 states, plus the District of Columbia.) They wrote:
“The central finding gleaned from the present study was that MML (medical marijuana legalization) is not predictive of higher crime rates and may be related to reductions in rates of homicide and assault. Interestingly, robbery and burglary rates were unaffected by medicinal marijuana legislation, which runs counter to the claim that dispensaries and grow houses lead to an increase in victimization due to the opportunity structures linked to the amount of drugs and cash that are present.”
The study drew a link between marijuana and alcohol use, surmising that the legalization of pot could cause the number of alcohol-fueled crimes to decline.
“While it is important to remain cautious when interpreting these findings as evidence that MML reduces crime, these results do fall in line with recent evidence and they conform to the longstanding notion that marijuana legalization may lead to a reduction in alcohol use due to individuals substituting marijuana for alcohol. Given the relationship between alcohol and violent crime, it may turn out that substituting marijuana for alcohol leads to minor reductions in violent crimes that can be detected at the state level.”
The pro-legalization group Norml cited a 2002 study by David Boyum and Mark Kleiman arguing that regulating marijuana on the same terms as alcohol “would tend to reduce crime.”
Read more: http://www.msnbc.com
Chris Christie says he opposes bill to legalize marijuana in NJ
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, April, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
FAIRFIELD — Weeks after a state senator introduced a bill that would make the sale and possession of marijuana legal in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie emphasized today that he is opposed to any effort to legalize pot in the state.
"I'm not going to do that on my watch," the Republican governor told a crowd of about 500 people — including dozens of students — at Winston Churchill Elementary School. "I'm just not. I don't think it’s the right thing to do for our state."
Last month, state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) introduced legislation that would regulate the growth, possession, and sale of recreational marijuana with an aim toward stemming the illegal drug market and provide new tax revenue.
"It's time to update our archaic drug laws and get real about the detrimental effects they are having on the lives of residents here in New Jersey," Scutari said at the time.
A Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released today shows that nearly 60 percent of New Jersey adults say alcohol and tobacco pose a greater hazard than marijuana. Still, the poll also reveals that residents are split on whether to legalize pot, with about 48 percent in favor of making it lawful to buy a small amount and 47 percent opposed to it.
Christie — a possible candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination — has long said he is against legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana because it will send "the wrong message" to children.
Read more: http://www.nj.com
Maryland House Votes To Decriminalize Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, April, 7th 2014 by THCFinder
A measure to decriminalize cannabis possession has passed through the Maryland House of Representatives in a decisive vote. The proposal would remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis.
Earlier this month Maryland’s Senate voted to approve the same measure, though the measure will go back to the Senate for one final vote given it was amended in the House Judiciary Committee. The House version, as with the Senate version, would make the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis a $100 ticket. However, the House version would make a second offense $250, and subsequent offenses $500; it would also call for drug rehab for those under 21.
Floor amendments were introduced to retain a misdemeanor conviction for those consuming in public, to reduce the possession limit to 5 grams, to double the fines and to retain criminal penalties for minors; all four were rejected.
Once approve by the Senate – which is expected Monday – the measure will go to Maryland’s governor for consideration.
Guatemalan President Will Present Plan To Legalize Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, April, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said Wednesday his country could present a plan before year’s end to legalize the production of marijuana and opium poppies. His comments came in an interview with Reuters.
Perez, a conservative and former general, has been a harsh critic of the US-led war on drugs in Latin America, repeatedly denouncing such policies at international forums. He has alsopreviously mentioned the possibility of moving to legalize marijuana and opium production, but has yet to put forward a concrete plan to do so.
But a presidential commission has been studying the issue of reforms in the country’s drug laws, and Perez told Reuters he expected the commission to make its recommendations by October and that the measures could be presented by year’s end. That could include a bill to legalize drugs, particularly marijuana, Perez said.
“The other thing we’re exploring… is the legalization of the poppy plantations on the border with Mexico, so they’re controlled and sold for medicinal ends,” Perez said. “These two things could be steps taken on a legal basis.”
While Afghanistan is by far the world’s largest opium producer, accounting for nearly 90% of global production, poppies are also grown in the Western hemisphere — in Mexico and Colombia, as well as Guatemala. Western hemisphere opium accounts for most of the heroin consumed in the United States.
Perez is keeping a careful eye on his northern neighbor, too. Mexico decriminalized drug possession in 2009, but has been loath to take further steps to end the drug war there, although there are now proposals afoot to legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, Mexican drug trafficking organizations, under pressure in their home country, have expanded their operations in Guatemala and other Central American nations.
It's high time to legalize pot, N.J. prosecutors say
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, March, 31st 2014 by THCFinder
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.
Read more: http://www.usatoday.com
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