Colo., Wash. await federal marijuana response
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, November, 9th 2012 by THCFinder
DENVER (AP) — Two states that approved recreational use of marijuana are waiting to hear how the federal government intends respond to the measures.
The governor of Colorado said he planned to talk by phone with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about the measures that contradict federal law banning the use of pot.
Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., already allow marijuana use by people with certain medical conditions. Still, federal drug law outlaws use of the drug in all circumstances.
Voters in Colorado and Washington pushed the limits even further when they approved ballot measures Tuesday allowing adults over 21 to possess small amounts of marijuana under state regulation and taxation.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has said Colorado will respect the will of voters but added that he was awaiting word from the U.S. Department of Justice on how to proceed.
"In a situation like this, where our law is at loggerheads with federal law, my primary job is to listen first," the governor said.
Hickenlooper opposed the ballot measure and has downplayed the likelihood of a commercial marijuana market materializing in Colorado.
"Based on federal law, if it's still illegal under federal law, I can't imagine that 7-Eleven is ever going to sell it," he said.
Marijuana advocates hope the federal government maintains its current posture of mostly ignoring states that flout federal law by allowing medical use under certain circumstances.
The U.S. government has cracked down during the past two years on more than 500 marijuana dispensaries in several states, but no one has faced federal prosecution for personal use.
"It would certainly be a travesty if the Obama administration used its power to impose marijuana prohibition upon a state whose people have declared, through the democratic process, that they want it to end," said Brian Vicente, co-author of Colorado's marijuana measure.
Colorados vote to legalize marijuana fires up doubters
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 8th 2012 by THCFinder
Don’t be surprised if a friend or relative soon announces a trip to Colorado.
It is pretty there. Rocky Mountains, old mining towns, ski resorts. Oh, and the state Tuesday became one of the first two in the country to legalize recreational marijuana.
Supposedly, you will soon be able to go into a store and buy pot like it’s a bag of 15-bean soup mix.
Denver could become like Amsterdam in the Netherlands. But then, so perhaps could the first farming town past Goodland, Kan., on Interstate 70. Just no canals. Maybe some irrigation.
Colorado’s Amendment 64 passed Tuesday with 53 percent approval. The new law allows anyone over 21 to go into a specialty retail store and buy up to an ounce of marijuana. Supporters in the state danced in the streets when the results became final.
They’re probably dancing elsewhere, too.
“You know people are going to drive to Colorado from Kansas City and a whole bunch of other places,” Larry Townsend told The Star on Wednesday.
He’s the sheriff of Wallace County in Kansas, right on the Colorado border. Don’t count him among the dancers.
“They will buy where it’s legal and as soon as they leave the state it’s going to be a crime. It’s going to be a terrible mess.”
Coulter deVries, a Kansas City lawyer who supports the legalization of marijuana, acknowledges that residents of other states will probably go to Colorado to stock up on pot, but he thinks what voters did there is a good thing. The new law also allows residents to grow up to six marijuana plants.
“Look, a lot of people smoke pot, and it’s ridiculous to throw them in jail when they get caught with it,” deVries said.
Colorado, Washington Legalize Recreational Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, November, 7th 2012 by THCFinder
Colorado and Washington passed referendums legalizing marijuana for recreational use, becoming the first states in the country to legalize the drug, according to ABC News.
ABC News projects that a similar measure in Oregon failed to garner enough support to pass.
The initiatives would allow marijuana to be cultivated and for special stores to sell up to an ounce to individuals 21 and older.
In Colorado specifically, the Amendment 64 makes changes to state law to allow for commercial production and sale. Newsweek reported that business – including big tobacco – has been gearing up for the change.
"It's unprecedented," Jonathan Caulkins, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, told The Denver Post. He said the change would put Colorado to the left of the Netherlands when it comes to marijuana policy.
It could also impact Mexico.
A report found that legalizing marijuana would cut the cartels' income by $1.37 billion, or 23 percent of its $6 billion in sales in the United States. Legalization in Colorado potentially represents a similar decline.
The big question now is what is the federal government going to do? Will they finally step up and recognize what the people want? We hope so!
Marijuana legalization on the ballot
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, November, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- On Tuesday, voters in three Western states are casting their ballots on an unorthodox way of raising tax revenue: marijuana legalization.
Colorado, Oregon and Washington each have statewide measures to legalize cannabis for recreational use, in the hope that it stimulates the economy and fills state coffers.
"Whatever state votes to legalize, they'll have become the first state to cross the legalization Rubicon anywhere in the U.S.," said Allen St. Pierre, spokesman for NORML, which advocates for the reform of marijuana laws.
Analysts of the legalization issue say that Washington's Initiative 502, to legalize and regulate marijuana for people aged 21 and older, has the best chance of passing. They say it proposes a relatively heavy taxation on the drug, which might make it appealing to budget hawks.
The Washington referendum calls for a 25% tax rate imposed on the product three times: when the grower sells it to the processor, when the processor sells it to the retailer, and when the retailer sells it to the customer.
It's not clear exactly how much tax revenue legalization would bring in. Estimates for the Washington measure run as high as $500 million -- a figure analysts say is overstated.
Why Mexico Is Rooting for U.S. Pot Legalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, November, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
Mexico and the U.S. are tightly entwined economically -- and this is as true of the illegal economy as the legal one. If popular ballot measures to legalize marijuana in Colorado, Washington and Oregon pass on November 6, a respected Mexican think tank says that it will hit the cartels where it hurts: In the pocketbook, to the tune of several billion dollars. While tough police and military operations on both sides of the border have largely failed to slow the cartels, legalization would be "the biggest structural shock suffered by drug trafficking in Mexico since the massive arrival of cocaine in the late eighties," the researchers wrote.
The report from the Mexican Center for Competitiveness (IMCO) (in Spanish) is based on an earlier study by the RAND Corporation, which determined that a 2010 ballot proposal could cut the income of Mexican drug dealers by 20%. The updated research suggests that cartels earn $6 billion each year from marijuana sales in the United States. If Washington, the state most likely to pass its ballot measure, does so, IMCO reports it will cut the cartels' income by $1.37 billion, or about 23% of their revenue (though some cartels will be hit harder than others). Legalization in Oregon and Colorado would result in similar declines.
This would happen, the report assumes, because the infrastructure created by these ballot initiatives would result in cheaper and higher-quality domestic production of marijuana, which would also have less far to travel to reach its customers. That would drive Mexican pot purveyors, who face the costly challenge of crossing the border with their goods, at least partly out of the market.
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