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Gov. Gregoire's federal marijuana petition welcome, if overdue

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, December, 5th 2011 by THCFinder
WASHINGTON and Rhode Island Govs. Chris Gregoire and Lincoln Chafee have petitioned the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana so it can be prescribed and sold in pharmacies.
 
Anything that moves the medical marijuana issue along and advances public understanding of its therapeutic value is a plus. There was high hope that the Obama administration would reclassify marijuana and provide safe access to qualifying patients across the country. At the very least, the expectation was that the administration would leave 16 medical-marijuana states, including Washington, alone. Instead, the federal government has been a stubborn, unhelpful player
 
Gregoire wins points for sticking her neck out. She and Chafee are the first governors to take this step. But she should have done so sooner. Reclassifying would be a big first step, but the federal process could take years. Still, medical marijuana advocates are impressed with the enormous amount of time and effort put into the exhaustive petition.
 
But why didn't Gregoire have a petition ready to go last year? Medical-marijuana legislation became the disaster of the 2011 session. The governor was scared off by the federal government into vetoing most of the bill, leaving a confused mess.
 
It appears the governor was genuinely worried that state workers would get in trouble with the federal government, which bans marijuana. An overreaction. The U.S. Attorney's Office surely has more important things to focus on.
 
Washington voters said years ago they wanted patients with AIDS, cancer and similar diseases to have access to cannabis to ease pain and nausea.
 
As often happens, the initiative was foggy. It did not make clear how patients were supposed to get marijuana.
 
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, attempted to take the mystery out of it with a bill last year to bring the cannabis network into the open. Now, Kohl-Welles is working on a new bill.
 
The governor should find a way to support the senator, who keeps pushing to bring needed clarity to cities and counties that want to regulate medical-marijuana "access points" and impose sensible zoning around them.
 

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Legalizing medical marijuana in Wis. proposed

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, November, 30th 2011 by THCFinder
November 30, 2011 (MADISON, Wis.) -- Proponents of legalizing medical marijuana in Wisconsin will try again to change the law, even though the proposal stands little chance of passing the Legislature.
 
Proponents planned a Wednesday news conference to announce the latest proposal, to be introduced by Democratic state Rep. Mark Pocan of Madison and state Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Waunakee.
 
The bill was last attempted when Democrats controlled the Legislature in 2010, but it couldn't find enough support then to pass. Now Republicans control both the Senate and Assembly and it's unlikely to win favor this time around either.
 
Backers of legalizing medical marijuana say it will help the chronically ill deal with pain. But opponents including the Wisconsin Medical Society have said there are better and more effective alternatives.
 
 

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Copenhagen Votes to Legalize It

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, November, 21st 2011 by THCFinder
Now we know why the Botwin family on Weeds spent three years in Copenhagen. The city council voted Thursday to legalize marijuana in the Danish capitol. "We don't want an Amsterdam model," says Mikkel Warming. "We're thinking of perhaps 30 to 40 public sales houses. Who is it better for youngsters to buy marijuana from? A drug pusher, who wants them to use more, who wants them to buy hard drugs, or a civil servant?"
 
Warming added: "We want a way to make it legal to import or grow marijuana."
 
The council voted 39-9 to develop a plan of action. The proposal would have to be approved by the Danish Parliament.
 
Marijuana is already openly sold on Pusher Street in the city's counterculture hub, Christiania.
 
Meanwhile, the Dutch government has announced its plans to bar tourists from the country's popular coffeeshops. If this is enacted, especially in Amsterdam, and Denmark allows legalization, global stoners will have a new favorite pot-travel destination.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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