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Caribbean countries start looking at marijuana legalization

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, September, 15th 2013 by THCFinder
caribbean-countries-look-at-legalizationSan Juan, Sep 15 (EFE).- The small economies of the Caribbean are beginning to examine the legalization, or at least the decriminalization, of the consumption and possession of marijuana, with Puerto Rico leading the pack now that next week the Senate will begin studying the issue.
 
A heated debate has arisen in Puerto Rico in recent weeks about the possible decriminalization of possessing small quantities of cannabis, as well as over legalizing its sale and consumption for medical purposes.
 
Local radio and television talk shows are constantly dealing with the matter and more and more local figures from different spheres are openly admitting that they have used pot and are calling for making the law more flexible.
 
"Let's leave hypocrisy behind," said Miguel Pereira, the senator from Puerto Rico's governing party who presented the proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of pot, which is believed may be more heavily consumed on the island than tobacco.
 
Also, voices have emerged from the university and business spheres supporting the initiative, many of them arguing that criminal penalties for pot consumption have destroyed the academic and professional careers of thousands of young people.San Juan, Sep 15 (EFE).- The small economies of the Caribbean are beginning to examine the legalization, or at least the decriminalization, of the consumption and possession of marijuana, with Puerto Rico leading the pack now that next week the Senate will begin studying the issue.
 
A heated debate has arisen in Puerto Rico in recent weeks about the possible decriminalization of possessing small quantities of cannabis, as well as over legalizing its sale and consumption for medical purposes.
 
Local radio and television talk shows are constantly dealing with the matter and more and more local figures from different spheres are openly admitting that they have used pot and are calling for making the law more flexible.
 
"Let's leave hypocrisy behind," said Miguel Pereira, the senator from Puerto Rico's governing party who presented the proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of pot, which is believed may be more heavily consumed on the island than tobacco.
 
Also, voices have emerged from the university and business spheres supporting the initiative, many of them arguing that criminal penalties for pot consumption have destroyed the academic and professional careers of thousands of young people.
 

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Vt. gov says marijuana will be legal some day

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, September, 13th 2013 by THCFinder
vt-legal-cannabisMONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says he thinks marijuana should be legalized in the state, but not right now.
 
He says he believes that legalizing and taxing marijuana is the direction the country is headed and ‘‘Vermont should be a part of that conversation.’’
 
But he says he’s not willing to do that now.
 
Shumlin made the comments Wednesday after being asked about the topic during his weekly news conference.
 
Last month the U.S Justice Department said it would not sue to block laws in Colorado and Washington state that allow for recreational use of marijuana.
 
On July 1, Vermont decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
 

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D.C. councilman to introduce bill legalizing marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, September, 11th 2013 by THCFinder
bill-to-legalize-marijuanaLegalized pot in the nation's capital is no pipe dream.
 
D.C. councilman David Grosso plans to introduce legislation Sept. 17 that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the city — with a dance with Mary Jane possibly replacing the played-out Potomac two-step.
 
"If we're going to have alcohol legal in this country, I don't see any reason why we couldn't have marijuana legal," Grosso said — bluntly.
 
The bill will outline a plan for regulating and taxing marijuana sales and create licensing requirements for the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, Grosso told The Washington Times.
 
It will also reportedly enable pot smokers to grow small amount of cannabis on their property.
 
Grosso, who is still working on the bill, thinks a few attempts might be needed before the legislation passes, but hopes this first round will spark a debate.
 
"The motivation for decriminalization simply has been the issue of the war on drugs and the disproportionate impact on African-American youths getting criminal records," Wells told The Washington Times.
 

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Marijuana Policy Project Plans For Legalization In 10 States

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, September, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
pushing-for-mj-legalizationIn the wake of the Department of Justice's decision to allow Washington and Colorado to regulate marijuana laws without federal intervention, reform group Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) announced a lofty goal Monday to get legalization on the ballot in 10 states by 2017.
 
"MPP will work with local and national allies to pass voter initiatives in at least five states and bills in five state legislatures to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with systems in which marijuana is regulated and taxed like alcohol," wrote MPP in a statement sent to The Huffington Post.
 
Though both Colorado and Washington voters approved legalizing marijuana for recreational use in November, the Obama administration's nine-month delay in announcing whether it would allow the legislation to proceed without federal intervention left action on the new laws stagnant. But with Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement, other states may now step forward with similar legislation.
 
The Huffington Post reported:
 
But the move also, and perhaps more importantly, throws open the gates for other states to pursue similar pot legalization efforts, so long as they include "strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems." Experts on both sides of the issue have already said they expect to see movement come quickly.
 
MPP has taken the announcement as a green light to help move similar legalization laws forward in other states. The group has rolled out a plan for its legalization efforts in 2014, 2016 and 2017, indicating attempts at bills or initiatives in 10 states.
 
“Most Americans are tired of seeing their tax dollars used to arrest and prosecute adults for using a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol,” said MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia in the statement. “Voters and state legislators are ready for change, and the federal government appears to be ready, as well.”
 

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Measure To Legalize Medical Marijuana Filed In Puerto Rico

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, September, 9th 2013 by THCFinder
puerto-rico-mj-legalizationLawmakers in Puerto Rico have filed a proposal aimed at legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana; the measure will be debated by the legislature in the coming days and weeks.
 
The measure – which is sponsored by State Reps. Jose Baez and Carlos Vargas – would allow authorized patients to possess cannabis, and purchase it through state-licensed clinics. Patients who can’t afford to purchase their medicine through clinics could apply for a special permit to cultivate their own cannabis at home.
 
“Treating this strictly as something that should be punished has clearly not worked,” says Representative Vargas.
 
Earlier this year a proposal was filed in Puerto Rico to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes; the bill, although it started an important conversation, never advanced, and currently sits in committee.
 
This new proposal, which is strictly for medical purposes, is something that advocates believe lawmakers will be much more willing to accept.
 
Those in Puerto Rico who support medical cannabis legalization should be contacting their lawmakers, urging them to support this new proposal.
 

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Will Pennsylvania legalize marijuana?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, September, 8th 2013 by THCFinder
pa-mmj-moving-forwardMillersville University students, in a recent survey, estimated that a whopping 93 percent of their college peers smoke marijuana.
 
An on-campus drug-abuse counselor, however, believes the real number is closer to the national statistics, which indicate that one-quarter of students use pot.
 
Counselor John Baltzer does believe the students' "false consensus" signifies a growing acceptance here of marijuana use that stretches beyond college campuses.
 
"In my time, (society) wouldn't serve, hire or respect 'long-haired, dope-smoking hippies,' " Baltzer said. "Now, weed use is accepted in a great deal of our society.
 
"Attitudes about pot and its use have changed a great deal over the last five years or so."
 
And locals can expect the pendulum to swing even further in that direction, Baltzer predicted.
 
"Even in a state like Pennsylvania," he said.
 
Feds pull back on enforcement
 
A recent memo from the U.S. Department of Justice is being called, by pot advocates, a major victory. In the memo, the DOJ outlines a limited pullback on federal enforcement of marijuana laws, saying it will not interfere with new state laws in Colorado and Washington that permit recreational use.
 
That could affect an estimated 23 other states that have reformed pot laws and several others that are considering doing so. Pennsylvania falls into the latter category, with a pair of current senate bills introduced in April by state Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat who represents parts of Montgomery and Delaware counties.
 
Senate Bill 528, or the "Regulate Marijuana Act," and Senate Bill 770, which would permit medicinal use, have yet to come up for votes.
 
And the federal memo won't automatically change that, as some pot advocates are expecting. Local lawmakers and law-enforcement officials certainly aren't convinced.
 
"I am not aware of — nor would I support — any serious efforts to overturn Pennsylvania's drug laws," state Sen. Lloyd Smucker, a West Lampeter Republican, said Wednesday.
 

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