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RI lawmakers to look at decriminalizing pot

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, May, 24th 2011 by THCFinder
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Adults caught carrying an ounce or less of marijuana would face a $150 fine instead of criminal penalties under a bill to decriminalize pot up for review in Rhode Island's legislature.
 
The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
 
Marijuana possession is a civil, not criminal, violation in more than a dozen states. Supporters of the Rhode Island bill say softer penalties for marijuana possession will give police and prosecutors time to focus on more serious crime.
 
If the bill passes, it will still be a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana and to smoke pot in schools and jails, among other places.
 

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Medical Marijuana May Soon Be Easier To Get in Canada

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, April, 15th 2011 by THCFinder
The Canadian government was reviewing its options on Wednesday after a judge said it may have to rewrite the country's medical marijuana laws to make it easier for patients to obtain the drug.
 
Marijuana growing, possession and distribution are illegal in Canada, but the government was ordered by the courts a decade ago to allow its use for medical purposes by people who have a doctor's approval.
 
An Ontario judge sided this week with a man who wants the drug for medical purposes, and argued his rights were violated because he was forced to raise it illegally when he was unable to find a doctor willing to prescribe it.
 
The government appears to be using a shortage of doctors willing to support the drug for medical purposes as a way to limit patient access to it, Ontario Superior Court justice Donald Taliano ruled on Monday.
 
"Rather than promote health, the regulations have the opposite effect. Rather than promote effective drug control the regulations drive the critically ill to the black market," Taliano wrote in the 109-page ruling.
 

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Officials worry medical cannabis will go recreational

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, April, 5th 2011 by THCFinder
PHOENIX -- As Arizona's medical marijuana program moves toward a launching point, the challenge is to keep it "medical."
 
Dr. Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said it would not take much to turn the legal program, approved by voters last November, into a recreational pot program.
 
"Thirty physicians who had really reckless care and writing certifications very quickly could turn this into a recreational program in probably a year," said Humble.
 
Despite the best efforts of the state, Humble said, "There will be recreational users that end up getting into the system... The evidence suggests that no state has been able to achieve a truly medical marijuana program."
 
He said the state will look for doctors writing lots of prescriptions for certain types of patients -- "people in their 20s and 30s in chronic pain, near universities."
 
Lisa Wynn is executive director of the Arizona Medical Board, which will review complaints about doctors who might have overstepped the law.
 
"I don't believe any physician needs to worry about getting in trouble if they're recommending marijuana for their patients as long as they're following the guidelines that are set up in the rules," said Wynn.
 

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Marijuana legalization bill dies in Olympia

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, April, 4th 2011 by THCFinder
A bill that would legalize marijuana in Washington state - something every state legislator from Seattle, as well as the city’s mayor, city attorney and several City Councilmembers say they support – is officially dead in Olympia.
 
House Bill 1550 didn’t advance out of the relevant committees by Friday evening – a key cutoff date during the 2011 Legislature.
 
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle would legalize marijuana, have its sale regulated by the state Liquor Control Board and impose a tax of 15 percent per gram on cannabis. Supporters say it would bring in hundreds of millions of dollars for a state government staring at a deficit of at least $5 billion for the next two years. A contingent of Seattle officials testified for the bill last month.
 
But actually passing a legalized pot bill was always going to be a hard sell. Technically, the measure could be incorporated into a budget bill in the final weeks of the session, but that seems highly unlikely.
A bill in the state Senate that would’ve legalized marijuana died earlier in the session.
 
The Seattle Times editorial board recently said marijuana should be legalized and there’s a chance voters will get a chance to weigh in on the matter soon. Sponsors of a measure that would legalize marijuana use by people 18 and older are collecting signatures to try to get an initiative before the people this fall. To qualify for the November ballot, initiative sponsors need to get the signatures of more than 241,000 registered voters by July 8. Last year a similar effort fell short by about 50,000 signatures.
 

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Harris Poll: East Bests the West for Medical Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, April, 1st 2011 by THCFinder
Eight in ten respondents within the "East" to a Harris poll released yesterday said that they “strongly support” or “somewhat support” legalizing medical cannabis. In another upward trend 50 percent said they agreed with fully legal, recreational marijuana. This was the highest overall support in any region and breaks with popular stereotypes. Still, this surge has been clear in some recent local polling. Last year saw Pennsylvania supporting medical marijuana at 80 percent and New Jersey at 86 percent.
 
The more interesting aspect of the new Harris poll is that it went in-depth on the issue.
 
When asked about the consequences of legalized pot 41% thought the overall crime rate would decrease and 44% thought that we would spend less money on prisons. A striking 75% of the respondents from all regions agreed that if prohibition were to end then we would see significant tax revenue generated from cannabis.
 

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Poll: Majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, March, 31st 2011 by THCFinder
Legalizing marijuana use has been a debate that waxes and wanes in various political climates but has always remained a hot issue with smoking embers. However, a recent poll finds most Americans support legalizing the drug.
 
 
Several states have legalized it for medical purposes and some have considered legalizing it in a broader sense. Three quarters of Americans surveyed said they support legalization of marijuana for medical treatment (74 percent) with almost half saying they strongly support it (48 percent).
 
However, the Harris Poll conducted in late February also found that a significant amount of Americans say they oppose the legalization of medical marijuana in their state (18 percent), and even fewer--7 percent--said they are not sure what they think about the issue.
 
Despite widespread approval of cannabis for medical use, lighting up a doobie for recreational purposes is far less agreeable. Two in five supported legalizing marijuana for recreational use in their state (42 percent) and half opposed it (49 percent). Some 7 percent said they were unsure and 2 percent declined to answer.
 

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