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Oregon lawmakers consider legalizing, taxing marijuana as pot advocates ponder 2014 ballot initiative

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, March, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
SALEM -- State lawmakers scrounging for money for schools, mental health and public safety could find the solution to their funding woes to be green.
No, not more cold, hard cash, but pot. Legalize it and tax it. That's the plan under House Bill 3371, which is scheduled for an April 2 public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.
 
The bill would allow the production, processing and sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused products. Individuals 21 or older would be allowed to keep up to six mature marijuana plants and 24 ounces of marijuana at a time, the same amounts allowed under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.
 
Under the bill, the Oregon Health Authority would be charged with licensing marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers.
 
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission would oversee taxation of marijuana, according to the bill. Marijuana producers would be taxed $35 per ounce. The money would go to a "Cannabis Tax Account," with 40 percent of proceeds going to schools and 20 percent each to Oregon State Police, the general fund, and services for mental health, alcoholism and drugs.
 
The bill would go into effect July 1, 2014.
 

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Time to Legalize it

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, March, 17th 2013 by THCFinder


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Bills take aim at federal marijuana ban

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, March, 15th 2013 by THCFinder
WASHINGTON — A few House members have begun a broad effort to overturn a 43-year-old federal ban on marijuana and say they're prepared to keep up the pressure even if it takes years.
 
About 10 lawmakers, mostly liberal Democrats, are writing bills that will serve as legislative guideposts for the future if the GOP-controlled House, as expected, ignores their proposals during this Congress.
 
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said it's time to end the federal ban because 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana and many other states are exploring that option in response to growing public pressure.
 
"Maybe next year, maybe next Congress, but this is going to change. And the federal government will get out of the way," he said. "I'm very patient. I've been working on this one way or another for 40 years, and I think the likelihood of something happening in the next four or five years is greater than ever."
 

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Fed official in Seattle wants marijuana to remain illegal

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, March, 14th 2013 by THCFinder
If one locally based federal official is any indication, it’s not a slam-dunk that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will allow laws establishing state-controlled marijuana to fly under the federal drug enforcement radar.
 
Holder said last Wednesday that his decision and remarks on how the Department of Justice will respond to legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado would come “relatively soon.”
 
There’s been no word from Holder or his office yet, but federal drug officials have been speaking out more frequently (and negatively) about the new pot laws.
 
The director of the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program in Seattle – an arm of the Office of National Drug Control Policy that’s headed by “Drug Czar” and former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske – says legal marijuana is a mistake and medical marijuana laws are a “sham” and should be repealed.
 
“I think, from my perspective, that marijuana is a controlled substance, Schedule I, and it’s there (on that list) for a reason and until the science tells us otherwise that’s where it should remain,” said NW HIDTA Director Dave Rodriguez.
 
“I think medical marijuana is a sham. It has no basis in science,” he said, adding that there are alternatives to smoking marijuana that meet FDA rules for what can be considered medication. He also said medical marijuana rules cause too much confusion for officers in the field trying to enforce drug laws.
 

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Boulder County awaits state laws, rules on recreational-marijuana businesses

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, March, 14th 2013 by THCFinder
BOULDER -- Boulder County, which still is reviewing more than 40 applications from businesses seeking medical marijuana licenses, now faces uncertainties about what kinds of state laws and regulations might affect the county's ability to control businesses planning to grow or sell marijuana for recreational uses.
 
"We're looking to follow the will of the voters," said county commission chairwoman Cindy Domenico, referring to Colorado voters' November 2012 approval of Amendment 64, which allows individuals age 21 and older to possess, use, purchase or transport one ounce or less of marijuana.
 
However, Boulder County officials -- like their counterparts in county and municipal governments elsewhere in Colorado -- are waiting to see exactly what state laws and rules they'll have to follow, if those local governments decide to allow businesses to grow and sell recreational marijuana within their jurisdictions.
 

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Feds policy on Washingtons marijuana law still under wraps

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, March, 6th 2013 by THCFinder
At 7:13 a.m. Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont popped the question to federal Attorney General Eric Holder that so many in Colorado and Washington have been anxious about.
 
At a far-ranging Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Chairman Leahy asked Holder if he was prepared to announce the federal government’s response to new legal recreational marijuana laws in those two states.
 
Both states are moving ahead with implementing regulations, but could face lawsuits and prosecution from the federal government which considers all forms of marijuana a dangerous illegal drug.
 
Early risers in Colorado and Washington tuned into CSPAN did not get an answer.
 
Holder said he had “good conversations” with elected leaders in those states, including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
 
“We expect our ability to announce a policy relatively soon,” Holder said.
 
In what Leahy then called a bit of editorializing, he suggested Holder’s Department of Justice should pursue “more serious things than minor possession of marijuana.”
 

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