Uruguay On The Verge Of Becoming The First Country In The World To Legalize Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, December, 3rd 2013 by THCFinder
Uruguayan Senate to Vote Next Week on President Mujica’s Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana
Next week, the Uruguayan Senate will vote on a bill that would make their country the first in the world to legally regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adults. The bill was approved in the House of Representatives in July with 50 out of 96 votes. The Senate vote will most likely take place on Tuesday, December 10. Once approved in Senate, Uruguay will have 120 days to write the regulations before implementing the law.
The marijuana legalization proposal was put forward by President José Mujica in June 2012 as part of a comprehensive package aimed at fighting crime and public insecurity. After a year and a half of studying the issue, engaging in political debate, redrafting the bill, and the emergence of a public campaign in favor of the proposal, Uruguay’s parliament is set to approve the measure this year.
“It’s about time that we see a country bravely break with the failed prohibitionist model and try an innovative, more compassionate, and smarter approach. By approving this measure, Uruguay will represent a concrete advance in line with growing opposition to the drug war in Latin America and throughout the world,” said Hannah Hetzer, who is based out of Montevideo, Uruguay, as the Policy Manager of the Americas for the Drug Policy Alliance.
The Uruguayan proposal has also gained attention abroad over the past year, as momentum has built throughout the U.S., Latin America and elsewhere for broad drug policy reforms. In November 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first political jurisdictions anywhere in the world to approve the legal regulation of marijuana. In August, the White House announced that the federal government will not interfere with state marijuana laws – as long as a number of stipulations are adhered to, such as preventing distribution to minors.
“Last year, Colorado and Washington; this year, Uruguay; and next year, Oregon and hopefully more states as well,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “We still have a long way to go but who would have believed, just five years ago, that legalizing marijuana would have become a mainstream political reality both in the United States and abroad?!”
The Uruguayan bill allows four forms of access to marijuana: medical marijuana through the Ministry of Public Health, domestic cultivation of 6 plants, membership clubs similar to those found in Spain, and licensed sale in pharmacies. It also prohibits sales to minors, driving under the influence, and all forms of advertising.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Legalize Vs Decriminalize - How do you feel?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, December, 2nd 2013 by THCFinder
There are a lot of people that want marijuana to be legalized. But what most people don't really understand is the weight that legalizing marijuana comes with. While most view it as a very positive change, there are others that are skeptical and believe that legalization may be bad news for pot smokers everywhere. There is a huge difference between decriminalization and legalization and there are pros and cons to each of them.
Decriminalization would allow for people to still get tickets and such if caught with it but not arrested. Basically, it means that we wouldn't be criminals. People wouldn't go to jail for smoking a joint. Smokers would still have to take precautions but we would be able to control the majority of the marijuana, much like it is now. The perfect example is California. They have it pretty much perfect. While the plant isn't illegal there, they haven't made it legal either. There are dispensaries and doctors write prescriptions for people to be able to medicate the best way that they see possible.
Legalization poses a large problem, which we are already starting to see take form in some of the states that have been less harsh with the laws. The biggest concern that stoners have about legalizing fully is the fact that the government might release standard marijuana, much like generic sugar. It'll be a generalized strain. There will be no differences in tastes, looks, or quality. You will always get the same weed. Since breeding higher quality plants is a living for some people, a standard strain of marijuana could destroy a lot of lives. Not only that, but some patients need more or less THC/CBD in order to feel better. If the strain of bud is just general, some patients may continue to suffer. However, being able to smoke whenever and where ever could be awesome for stoners everywhere. Never having to hide our smoking habits again? Sign me up!
Phoenix lawmaker pushes for full legalization of marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Sat, November, 30th 2013 by THCFinder
PHOENIX -- Saying legislation is better than a voter initiative, the Number 2 Democrat in the state House wants colleagues to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
Rep. Ruben Gallego of Phoenix pointed out that proponents of making marijuana legal for adults are gearing up to put the issue on the 2016 ballot. And Gallego said he believes that Arizona voters, who approved the drug for medical use three years ago, may be ready to take the next step.
But Gallego warned that anything adopted by voters is pretty much cemented into place: The Arizona Constitution sharply limits lawmakers from tinkering with anything approved at the ballot, even if they find major flaws.
So Gallego is proposing to have the issue debated through the legislative process, with the idea that lawmakers are better suited to coming up with a comprehensive plan -- and one without unforeseen problems -- than outsiders circulating petitions.
The head of the House Judiciary Committee, through which Gallego's measure would have to pass, acknowledged that attitudes about marijuana in Arizona are becoming more liberal. In fact, Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, said voters might even approve a legalization measure at the ballot.
But Farnsworth said he's still opposed to the idea. And he said just because it might be approved at the poll is no reason for him and others who don't want marijuana legalized to vote to support it at the Capitol.
Gallego, who said he's never tried marijuana, said one reason to legalize the drug is purely economic: the costs to the state of jailing people for marijuana possession.
He acknowledged that a 1996 voter-approved measure generally allows first- and second-time offenders to escape incarceration. But Gallego said prosecutors use the fact that someone had marijuana when arrested for something to boost their prison sentence.
He also said that those with marijuana possession convictions face other problems, like becoming ineligible for federal Pell grants and federally backed student loans.
Read more: http://www.cvbugle.com
Mass. activists push to fully legalize marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, November, 29th 2013 by THCFinder
BOSTON — Pro-marijuana activists in Massachusetts have already succeeded in paving the way for dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries and decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug.
Now many of those same activists have set their sights on the full legalization of marijuana for adults, effectively putting the drug on a par with alcohol and cigarettes.
And those activists — as they have in the past — are again hoping to make their case directly to voters.
The group Bay State Repeal says it's planning to put the proposal on the state's 2016 ballot. The group is first planning to test different versions of the measure by placing nonbinding referendum questions on next year's ballot in about a dozen state representative districts.
Those nonbinding questions are intended to gauge voter support for possible variations of the final, binding question.
Bill Downing, a member of Bay State Repeal, said the state should legalize marijuana for many reasons, especially since the use of marijuana no longer carries the stigma it once did and many people smoke the drug despite laws against it.
"That's the problem with the marijuana laws," Downing said. "There's no moral impact anymore because the laws don't reflect our common values."
The activists have some reason to be hopeful. Not only have Massachusetts voters twice supported past efforts to ease restrictions on marijuana, but other states and cities have also recently moved toward lifting prohibitions on the drug.
Last year, voters made Washington and Colorado the first states to legalize the sale of taxed marijuana to adults over 21 at state-licensed stores.
This month, voters in Portland, Maine, overwhelmingly passed a question making it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to 2½ ounces of pot but not purchase, sell or use it in public.
Read more: http://bostonherald.com
Maine fails to legalize marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Sat, November, 23rd 2013 by THCFinder
An effort to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Maine has failed in the state’s Legislative Council, which vets bills before they can be introduced for consideration.
The bill would have legalized, taxed, and regulated the use of marijuana in the state, but it failed to gather majority support in the council. The final vote was 5-5, and the bill will not be considered again until 2015.
The tabling of the bill comes after Portland, Maine, became the first city on the East Coast to officially legalize the drug earlier this month.
"Portland had spoken so loudly that it's a shame that Legislative Council didn't listen to them," said Democratic state Rep. Diane Russell, who introduced the bill, to the Portland Daily Sun. About 81 percent of votes in Russell’s district voted for Portland’s initiative to legalize pot, which passed easily citywide with 70 percent support overall.
If Russell’s measure had passed its initial vote, it would’ve been brought up for consideration during the state’s four-month second legislative session that begins on January 1. Under Maine’s constitution, this session is reserved for emergency and budget-related bills, and according to one of the council’s nay votes, there is simply not enough time to debate and analyze such an important proposal.
"We're going into a short session [in January], and for Portlanders and Mainers this short session is exactly four months, and for a bill that is this complex and this big, I did not feel it had the time to have the stakeholders come together," said Democratic state Senator Justin Alfond, whose district is also located in Portland, to the Daily Sun.
Supporters of the bill, including Marijuana Policy Project Political Director David Boyer, told the Huffington Post it’s disappointing to see Alfond vote against a bill his constituents overwhelmingly support.
Read more: http://rt.com
Half of Wisconsin voters support marijuana legalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, November, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
In two states last year, voters legalized recreational marijuana. One of those states, Colorado, is similar politically to Wisconsin.
And yet, few among Wisconsin’s political class appear to take pot legalization seriously. If anything, it is dismissed as a wacky western idea that has no place in the heartland.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke seemed amused when asked what she thought about cannabis legalization several weeks ago.
“I don’t think that’s where the people of Wisconsin are at,” said Burke, who has indicated she could support legalizing medical marijuana.
Gary Storck, an activist with the Madison chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), pointed out in a letter-to-the-editor that the most recent statewide poll by the Marquette University Law School showed that roughly half of Wisconsin’s registered voters support full legalization of the drug.
Specifically, 49.7 percent supported legalization, 44.9 percent opposed and 4.7 percent didn’t know.
Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, the chief sponsor in the Assembly of a bill to set up a system for medical marijuana, said she is not sure where she stands on full legalization.
“I think there are pros and cons to it,” she said.
Read more: http://host.madison.com
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