New bill to legalize marijuana could be on MO 2012 ballot
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, November, 15th 2011 by THCFinder
Legalizing the illegal substance marijuana has been a hot topic for the past decade. A synthetic weed, K2, drug cartels and an increase in potency have put pressure on the government to construct a plan for legalization. Conversely, negative health associations and some law enforcement groups have put pressure on the government to continue the criminalization.
Today it is the top cash crop in the world, worth $35 billion, beating out such staples as wheat and corn combined, according to an article on abc.com. In 2007, 14.4 million Americans ages 12 and older used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Fourteen states have decriminalized cannabis and 17 have medical marijuana programs, including Washington, D.C. States are coming up quickly with their own view on the drug in order to appease the public, according to medicalmarijuana.procon.org.
In the federal sector, on June 23, 2011, a bill to fully legalize marijuana was introduced in the House by Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Barney Frank, D-Mass. The bill would remove marijuana from the controlled substances list.
The government has denied medical marijuana has any medical benefits, but they hold the patent for the medical use of the plant. U.S. Patent 6630507 is titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants,” an indication that the government recognizes the possible medical benefits in the drug.
According to Scott Lauher, MU National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws co-director, there are numerous positive effects to legalizing marijuana, but the main reason is because prohibition just doesn’t work.
The government spends nearly $14 billion each year on prohibition, according to the Marijuana Policy Project on Capitol Hill. In just two years time that would provide America with enough money to secure all loose nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union. Five-hundred and thirty economists agree the government is sitting aside, watching millions of dollars be wasted on marijuana prohibition.
If marijuana was legalized and taxed, Missouri alone could potentially collect $15.6 million dollars in tax revenues in one year, according to an article on cnnmoney.com. The state and federal governments are not only able to obtain funds through taxes, but from other sources as well.
Not only are there economists backing up the plans, but the country becoming more in favor of legalization than it was in the past. In a Gallup poll released in September 2011, 50 percent of Americans are now in support of legalization and regulation of the marijuana trade. When the ability to petition the government through the White House’s official government website become live, the marijuana legalization petition was the first to post. Eighteen thousand signatures were received in just one day to decriminalize the widely-used drug.
Local lawyer Dan Viets has dealt with marijuana cases for the past 25 years and has proposed the two Initiative petitions relating to cannibas approved for circulation for the 2012 Missouri ballot.
Missouri Approves Marijuana Legalization Initiatives
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, November, 9th 2011 by THCFinder
Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced Monday that two initiatives for marijuana legalization measures have been approved for circulation. Both were filed by attorney Dan Viets, a long-time marijuana legalization advocated and a member of the national NORML Legal Committee and board of directors.
Viets and Missouri NORML chapters have aligned themselves with other marijuana legalization advocates and supporters as Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, a reference to Missouri's nickname as the "Show Me" state.
The two measures are identical, except that one would amend the state constitution and the other would amend state law.
The initiatives call for marijuana legalization for persons 21 and over, a process for licensing marijuana establishments, and the lifting of criminal justice system sanctions against people imprisoned or under state supervision for non-violent marijuana offenses that would no longer be illegal and the expunging of all criminal records for such offenses. The initiatives would also allow for the use of marijuana for medical reasons by minors and allow the legislature to enact a tax of $100 a pound on retail marijuana sales.
The initiatives now move on to the signature-gathering phase. To qualify for the November 2012 ballot, the constitutional amendment initiative must obtain the signatures of a number of registered voters equal to 8% of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's race from six of the state's nine congressional districts. The requirements for the statutory amendment are slightly looser; it needs the signatures of 5% of the voters in those districts. Signatures must be turned in by May 6, 2012.
If marijuana legalization makes the ballot in Missouri next year, the state is likely to join Washington and Colorado in taking the issue before the voters. Efforts in those two states are the most advanced and likely to make the ballot, although there is possibility that similar efforts could make the ballot in California and Oregon.
Florida Medical Marijuana Referendum Petition a Bit Low on Signatures: 646,889 More Needed
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, November, 3rd 2011 by THCFinder
If you want to see a medical marijuana referendum on the 2012 ballot, you'll have to say a prayer that House Joint Resolution 353 passes through the Legislature -- it's currently in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee -- or you're going to have to be one of 646,889 more Floridians to sign the People United for Medical Marijuana petition.
PUFMM has scored 29,922 of the 676,811 valid signatures needed by February 1 to land on the ballot, which means they're about 4.4 percent of the way there.
Since PUFMM's last tally on October 29, 7,646 of the 29,922 signatures (25.5 percent) come from Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties.
The amendment to the Florida Constitution is fairly different from the one proposed in the House by Rep. Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth, as the language in the PUFMM petition seemingly offers less regulation than the one in the Legislature.
Instead of the handful of limits that would be imposed against potential patients -- as with HJR 353 -- the citizen petition provides a person would be eligible if they fit a certain list of medical conditions or "other diseases and conditions when recommended by a physician." We all know that anxiety you get when you're about to run out of weed.
PUFMM's petition also calls for the ability of the Legislature to enact a "general law" for patients to undergo some sort of registration, as well as regulations for the distribution and sale of medical marijuana. (Remember, Gov. Rick Scott doesn't like all those burdensome regulations.)
The final point in the petition allows the Legislature to craft laws regarding the use of motor vehicles, boats, and planes while under the influence of medical weed.
White House: No Legalization of Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, October, 31st 2011 by THCFinder
The government once again ignores the peoples requests and continues with the bullshit excuses for keeping marijuana illegal. What ever happned to "We the people"? At what point did our government forget that the people are supposed to decide what they want on a majority rule, not well the government doesn't like it so thats how it's going down. Somewhere they forgot that the people voted them into office and we are supposed to have a voice about our laws and country and this is what it has come down to again and again.
So, the legalize-marijuana crowd finally got a thoughtful answer from the White House — but not one it wanted.
After being ignored or quickly dismissed on multiple occasions, Americans who want to see marijuana legalized found a way to get the White House to take their question seriously. The White House “We the People” project lets anyone submit a petition requesting government action. If the petition gets enough signatures, the White House promises a policy response.
A petition calling for legalization and regulation of marijuana “in a matter similar to alcohol” quickly vaulted into the top position, receiving nearly 75,000 signatures. Four others making similar requests were in the top 10. A total of eight marijuana-related petitions each received more than 5,000 signatures. It turns out that the White House still does not support pot legalization.
Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, offered the official White House response on marijuana, saying the administration does not support legalization. He said that research finds that marijuana is associated with addiction, respiratory disease and cognitive impairment and that pot is ever more potent, possibly affecting still-developing brains of people in their 20s. He went on to say that the White House drug control strategy is “balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment” and “innovative law enforcement.”
Legalizing pot would cut gang violence: experts
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, October, 28th 2011 by THCFinder
VANCOUVER — A new coalition of high-profile health, academic and justice experts is mounting a campaign to legalize and regulate marijuana in British Columbia, arguing the policy change would reduce gang violence and convert criminal profits into new tax revenues.
The push comes as the federal Conservative government moves to pass polar opposite legislation, an omnibus crime bill aiming to toughen penalties for drug traffickers along with other law-and-order measures.
Calling itself Stop the Violence BC, the group released it first report Thursday and is pledging to issue further scientific research, poll results and hold public forums in an effort to pressure politicians towards its cause.
"To continue the criminalization of marijuana is, I think, completely out of tune with what's going on in society today," Ross Lander, a former B.C. Supreme Court judge for decades, said in an interview.
"The coalition's objects meet what I would personally want, that is stop the useless killings and the violence that attends this drug trade."
California Physicians Call for the Legalization of Cannabis
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, October, 27th 2011 by THCFinder
More and more support continues to come out for the medical marijuana industry, so why is the federal government the only ones not seeing what is going on?
October 26, 2011 — The California Medical Association (CMA) has adopted an official policy calling for the legalization and regulation of cannabis, which, it says, will facilitate wider clinical research on the drug.
"CMA may be the first organization of its kind to take this position, but we won't be the last. This was a carefully considered, deliberative decision made exclusively on medical and scientific grounds," said James T. Hay, MD, president of the CMA, in a release.
"As physicians, we need to have a better understanding about the benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis so we can provide the best care possible to our patients."
The CMA notes that clinicians in California, where cannabis is decriminalized, are often in a catch-22 situation. Under the decriminalization rules, they can only "recommend" the substance for medical purposes, but there are no processes in place to address this.
Dr. Paul Phinney
"We need to regulate cannabis so we know what we're recommending to our patients," Paul Phinney, MD, president-elect of the CMA, told Medscape Medical News.
"Plus, because it's still illegal on a federal level, physicians are left in an incredibly difficult legal position."
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