Post-Dispatch Endorses Missouri Marijuana Legalization Initiative
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, November, 28th 2014 by THCFinder
Earlier this month, the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch — the newspaper with the largest circulation in the state of Missouri — ran a staff editorial endorsing the idea of cannabis legalization and the initiative we turned in to the Secretary of State, in particular.
This endorsement is yet another sign of how this issue has moved into the mainstream, even in a right-leaning state such as Missouri. It also signifies how seriously we are now taken by the state’s gatekeepers, which has not always been the case.
In fact, until recently, few newspapers in the country were willing to support the idea of legalization, let alone a specific initiative. For example, although the Denver Post had supported legalizing possession and use of cannabis prior to 2012, they urged readers to vote against Colorado’s Amendment 64. The paper feared it would lead to a clash with the federal government and did not want the state to become home to a major cannabis industry.
By contrast, the Post-Dispatch welcomes such an industry in Missouri as a much needed boost to our economy:
More than Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Washington, D.C., Missouri has a strong history with hemp agricultural production, having been a leader in the industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The ongoing research in the state on using biomass for energy could well benefit from an introduction of hemp crops to the state. Life science research into agricultural hybrids and advanced drug applications could find new and more effective ways to use marijuana for medical purposes. And there might be no other state in the nation that could benefit more from a new tax on the sales of legal pot that could fund various state needs, such as Missouri’s underfunded schools.
The editorial also notes that legalizing cannabis could do a great deal to improve race relations in the state, particularly in the Saint Louis area:
A ground-breaking 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that blacks in the U.S. are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites despite similar usage rates. The disparity in the city of St. Louis in that study was a whopping 18 to 1.
This mirrors the problems found in north St. Louis County, where state racial profiling numbers all across the region show that blacks are stopped by police at a significantly higher percentage than whites, and searched for contraband more, even though, the statistics say, the hit rate for drugs or other contraband is higher among the white drivers who are pulled over.
The result? Too many young black men and women in prison for offenses that wouldn’t lead to prison for middle-class whites. Missouri’s prisons are overcrowded and in the last couple of decades have eaten up a higher percentage of the state’s budget while schools have received less, percentage-wise.
One arrest for smoking dope unleashes a domino effect that contributes significantly to the state of distressed communities.
Finally, the editors note that legalization is one of the few issues that can transcend party lines in this divided state. Democrats have traditionally supported cannabis law reform more than Republicans, but the issue appeals to the fiscally conservative and limited government values of the Republican Party, as well.
While the Star did not do an editorial endorsement, they did run a good opinion piece covering Neill Franklin and Ira Glasser’s presentations at the UMKC law school on November 13. As perhaps the most-read newspaper in the state of Kansas, a favorable nod from the Star signals that even the bright red Sunflower State is feeling the pressure of prohibition reform thanks to Show-Me Cannabis’ work in Missouri and Colorado’s Amendment 64.
We continue to discuss possible changes to our initiative and will likely file subsequent drafts after assessing comments from attorneys, scientific polling data, and your feedback. Although the specifics are not yell fully settled, we will move forward with the broadest possible reform that we believe will pass at the ballot box on November 8, 2016.
California Attorney General: Marijuana Legalization Is Inevitable
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 20th 2014 by THCFinder
Marijuana legalization in California is long overdue. California had the chance to legalize marijuana during the 2010 Election, however, the initiative failed. Since then, there have been many reasons that marijuana legalization efforts haven’t happened in California. The main ones I always point out is that California will be by far the most expensive state to run a successful campaign in, and there are too many competing efforts each election cycle. Unless everyone works together, marijuana legalization will be very hard to achieve in California.
But despite the reasons that California hasn’t legalized yet, many believe that legalization is inevitable. This is a view that is even shared by California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Per Buzz Feed:
California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a rising star in the Democratic Party, says she’s “not opposed” to her state legalizing marijuana.
“I am not opposed to the legalization of marijuana. I’m the top cop, and so I have to look at it from a law enforcement perspective and a public safety perspective,” Harris told BuzzFeed News in an interview in Washington, D.C. “I think we are fortunate to have Colorado and Washington be in front of us on this and figuring out the details of what it looks like when it’s legalized.”
“We’re watching it happen right before our eyes in Colorado and Washington. I don’t think it’s gonna take too long to figure this out,” Harris said. “I think there’s a certain inevitability about it.”
I really, really hope that California legalizes marijuana during the 2016 Election, or even better, during the next legislative session. If the California Legislature legalized marijuana, it would save a ton of money, time, and effort for the reform community, and would give California’s Legislature influence over the process. Until California legalizes marijuana, it will always be seen as a ‘top prize’ for marijuana activists.
Will Guatemala Legalize Marijuana In 2015?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, November, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
One of my favorite places I’ve ever visited is Guatemala. I went there on a ten day missionary trip in 2009, and it’s a trip that will forever be in my heart. The people there were so nice and the country was so beautiful. I love fresh fruit, and I’m not that tall, and there’s fresh fruit everywhere there and everyone’s my height. But despite it’s beauty and amazing citizens, Guatemala is very poor. Guatemala is also plagued by the same problems that come with marijuana prohibition that other countries in Latin and South America face. Cartel operations are all over the place, and there’s a lot of misery as a result.
It’s time that Guatemala changed it’s marijuana policies to help defeat cartels, and help improve the economics of the country. It sounds like 2015 might be the year for that. Per teleSUR:
In an exclusive interview with teleSUR, Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina said that his government would follow the example of Uruguay by taking a decision on legalizing marijuana in early 2015.
Guatemala would greatly benefit from marijuana legalization. Like I said, there is a strong cartel presence in the country, and legalizing marijuana would no doubt hurt those cartels. Jobs are very much needed in Guatemala, and a booming marijuana industry would bring many jobs no doubt. Local economies in Guatemala would thrive. The climate in Guatemala is ripe for marijuana farms, which would instantly make Guatemala a leader in the global marijuana market.
Rhode Island For Legal Cannabis
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
New England really isn’t on the map when it comes to cannabis. Some of the states allow medical marijuana while others are still pretty short when it comes to even talking about the topic (i.e. New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan won’t even acknowledge press when questioned about the plant). Portland, Maine has even legalized the use of the plant, letting those who live there and those who visit the chance to smoke pot legally. But the ever-so-small state of Rhode Island is on it’s way to really putting New England on the map with an initiative to legalize cannabis in the state in 2015.
Even though Portland managed to pass the legalization ballot, I’d say about 75% of stoners thought that the news headlines were talking about Portland, Oregon. I can’t tell you how many people gave me trouble for posting a photo of Maine when that measure passed, telling me “that’s not what Oregon looks like”. Portland, Maine just got a little bit confused with Portland, Oregon. Understandable but two totally different places! Rhode Island now currently allows medical marijuana and plans to open up more dispensaries over the course of 2015.
Regulate Rhode Island is putting together a coalition of citizens as well as organizations that will make the push in 2015 to become the fifth state to fully legalize cannabis. Marijuana prohibition is on its way out and Rhode Island hopes to be one of the next states in 2015 to pass laws taxing and regulating the plant. Jared Moffat of Regulate Rhode Island, said that at least five more states will probably legalize by 2016. “Americans are fed up with wasteful and ineffective laws that punish adults for using a less harmful substance than alcohol. The results are particularly encouraging since voter turnout during a midterm election is typically smaller, older, and more conservative. Clearly, support for ending marijuana prohibition spans the political and ideological spectrums.”
With the help of social media, smaller elections are becoming an outlet for the youth to voice their opinions. Since the younger people are the ones that are more apt to support cannabis legalization, our opinions matter. Rhode Island residents are urged to push for legalization with the Regulate Rhode Island group. With the help of the internet and the support of thousands of cannabis users across the globe, this tiny New England state has high hopes for becoming one of the next states that will legalize cannabis.
Initiative To Legalize Marijuana Moves Forward In Arkansas
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. have all legalized marijuana. Within the next two years, more that a dozen states could join that list. One of those states may be Arkansas, where a marijuana legalization initiative campaign is underway. The Arkansas Attorney General recently approved the ballot tile for the initiative, which is a big first step. Per KATV:
A group is spearheading a campaign to create a new constitutional amendment in Arkansas that would legalize marijuana – both for medicinal and recreational purposes. The group got approval from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office on the wording of their ballot title last week – now the group awaits approval the Secretary of State’s office on the wording of their petition instructions.
Fred Porter, co-author of the Arkansas Hemp & Marijuana Amendment is probably the last person you think would be pushing for marijuana legalization. Porter is pastor at the Sabbath Day Church of God in Hot Springs, as well as vice president of Arkansas CALM, the Citizen’s Alliance for the Legalization of Marijuana.
“We want it regulated, we want it made available and we think we have the very best amendment out there to do that,” said Porter.
It’s rapidly becoming easier to make a list of states that won’t legalize marijuana by 2016, rather than a list of states that may succeed in reforming their marijuana laws. I’ll be reaching out to the Arkansas campaign to see if they need help spreading their message. If you live in Arkansas, please do everything you can to help by volunteering and contributing to the campaign in anyway that you can.
Congress should allow D.C.'s marijuana legalization to stand
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, November, 7th 2014 by THCFinder
D.C. VOTERS, as expected, gave overwhelming approval to a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana and, as expected, there were immediate rumblings from Capitol Hill of plans to block its implementation. We did not favor passage of Initiative 71, but we do believe in democracy and self-government. Congress should recognize how inappropriate it would be to interfere with the District on this local issue.
Within hours of Tuesday’s passage of a measure that would make it permissible for adults in the District to possess as much as 2 ounces of marijuana, Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) signaled his interest in preventing the law from going into effect. “I will consider using all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action,” said Mr. Harris, who previously tried to upend the District’s decriminalization of marijuana. Mr. Harris said his interest stems from concerns about the possible impact of legalization on adolescent drug use, yet he has shown little interest in the welfare of teenagers who reside in states that have moved to legalize the drug.
The District, because of its unique relation to Congress, is an easy stalking horse for members to advance agendas that would be unpalatable in most jurisdictions. And the Democratic-majority city’s always-tenuous relationship with the Hill became even more precarious with the Republican sweep of the midterm elections.
There are, nonetheless, some hopeful signs that Congress might respect D.C. rights on this matter. The GOP-controlled House went on record this year as opposing the use of funds to prevent states from implementing laws that authorize the use, distribution and possession of medical marijuana. Rand Paul (Ky.), the ranking Republican on the Senate committee with oversight of the District, has said that D.C. voters, not Congress, should decide this issue. “I’m not for having the federal government get involved,” he told Roll Call.
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com
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