Ending Marijuana Prohibition in 2013
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, January, 30th 2013 by THCFinder
Unless people have been hiding under a rock this past couple months, they know that more than 55 percent of voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana on November 6. As a result, many people have grand expectations of how we're going to get closer to ending marijuana prohibition in the U.S. this year.
Here is what I think we can reasonably accomplish by the end of 2013:
1. Decriminalize Marijuana in Vermont: Gov. Pete Shumlin (D), a strong supporter of decriminalizing marijuana, partially campaigned on the issue and easily won re-election on November 6 with 58% of the vote. The Vermont Llegislature is poised to pass the bill he wants, so this legislation could become law by this summer.
2. Legalize Medical Marijuana in New Hampshire: Incoming Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) is a strong supporter of medical marijuana, so we expect her to sign a medical marijuana bill similar to those vetoed by former Gov. John Lynch (D) in 2009 and 2012.
3. Build Support for Legalization in the Rhode Island Legislature: We successfully legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized marijuana possession in Rhode Island in 2009 and 2012, respectively. There is now considerable momentum to tax and regulate (T&R) marijuana like alcohol, so we need to ensure that Rhode Island's state legislature becomes the first to do so.
4. Increase Support for Legalization in California, Maine, and Oregon: There will be a sincere effort to pass T&R bills through the legislatures in these three states. Should they fall short, MPP and its allies will pursue statewide ballot initiatives in November 2016, at which time all three will be expected to pass.
5. Build Our Base of Support Online: People have said that the Internet is marijuana legalization's best friend, and this could not have been more evident than it was last year. Campaigns mobilized their supporters, organizations raised funds, and the public was able to follow the progress in real time. Prohibitionists, who have depended on the government for its largess for years, are now at a disadvantage. Private citizens simply do not want to donate to them, and most information about marijuana is now reaching the public without being run through their filter.
6. Continue the Steady Drumbeat in the Media: National and local media outlets are covering the marijuana issue more than ever before. Communicating to voters through news coverage is the most cost-efficient way to increase public support for ending marijuana prohibition, so we need to keep the issue in the spotlight.
7. Build Support for Medical Marijuana in Congress: There are already approximately 185 members of the U.S. House who want to stop the U.S. Justice Department from spending taxpayer money on raiding medical marijuana businesses in the 18 states (and DC) where medical marijuana is legal. We want to reach 218 votes on this amendment, thereby ensuring the amendment's transfer to the U.S. Senate for an up-or-down vote.
8. Build Support for Ending Marijuana Prohibition in Congress: Last year, the first-ever bill to end the federal government's prohibition of marijuana attracted 21 sponsors. Our goal is to expand the number of sponsors to more than two-dozen during the 2013-2014 election season.
Looking outside our borders, we're also seeing progress in Colombia, Uruguay, and Chile, which have all been steadily moving away from marijuana prohibition. Although this is good news, most members of the U.S. Congress do not care much about what South American countries think on marijuana policy, so we should temper the wonderful developments south of the U.S. border with limited expectations of what will happen in our nation's capital.
Ultimately, the U.S. is the primary exporter of prohibition around the world. If we can solve the problem here, the rest of the world will have far more freedom to conduct their own experiments with regulating marijuana.
Will States Lead the Way to Legalizing Marijuana Nationwide?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, January, 28th 2013 by THCFinder
When citizens of Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana in November they created a conflict, because pot remains illegal under federal law and anyone who lights up is committing a federal crime and could theoretically still be arrested for it. After Colorado passed the referendum, Governor John Hickenlooper said the implementation of the law in his state would be a “complicated process” and he warned residents not to “break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”
While it seems unlikely that the federal government will make much of an effort to arrest pot users in Colorado or Washington—Obama has said he has “bigger fish to fry”— the tension between federal and state laws on marijuana remains. Just last week, an appeals court rejected a suit that sought to lower the classification of medical marijuana under federal drug laws.
That court ruling threw the issue back to Congress and the Drug Enforcement Agency, which should start a serious reconsideration of national policy toward marijuana. The federal government should start by reclassifying medical marijuana, legalizing it outright, or at least dialing down the penalties. And it should begin to have the sort of serious discussion about legalizing recreational marijuana that is now occurring in the states.
Read more: http://ideas.time.com/
Marijuana Legalization Would Promote Drug Use, DEA Contends
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, January, 23rd 2013 by THCFinder
WASHINGTON -- Recent state efforts to legalize marijuana pose a challenge for the Drug Enforcement Administration because they would increase marijuana's availability and promote drug use, the DEA said in a filing released Wednesday.
"Recently, efforts to legalize marijuana have increased. Keeping marijuana illegal reduces its availability and lessens willingness to use it," the DEA said in a financial statement for fiscal year 2012 made public on Wednesday. "Legalizing marijuana would increase accessibility and encourage promotion and acceptance of drug use."
The Justice Department is currently weighing how to respond to the legalization of recreational marijuana in the states of Colorado and Washington. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has acknowledged the country is "in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana," while President Barack Obama said pot users in Washington and Colorado would not be a priority for federal drug enforcement.
The DEA eradicated over 10.3 million marijuana plants in fiscal year 2009 and 10.3 million in fiscal year 2010, according to DEA data. That number has risen nearly every year since fiscal year 2004, when the DEA eradicated just over 3.2 million plants. Numbers aren't yet available for fiscal year 2011 or fiscal year 2012, but the department had 13,867 kilograms of marijuana in evidence at the end of September and disposed of 4,614 kilograms of the substance over the course of the year.
Despite Polls, Uruguay Government Wants to Legalize Weed
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, January, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
Usually, you would expect middle-aged politicians, President Obama, for instance, to oppose, or at least ignore, proposals to get marijuana legalized, right?
Well, that's no longer the case in tiny Uruguay, where many parliamentarians are aggressively pushing for a law that will get pot fully legalized at the national level.
Lawmakers in Uruguay are insisting that this law should be passed, in spite of a recent poll that suggested that most of the country's citizens are against the legalization of the plant. The politicians say they support legalization because it's the best way to fight addiction and drug-related crime.
"There is no real alternative," Uruguayan Senator Sebastian Sabini told ABC/Univision. "In Uruguay it's clear that illegal drug consumption has increased in the last 50 years with prohibition, even as we improved the quality of repressive aspects," added the senator, whose party, The Frente Amplio, has a comfortable majority in Uruguay's parliament.
The proposal would enable Uruguayans to buy up to 40 grams of weed per month from state-authorized distributors, enough for roughly 80 joints. If passed in its current form, the marijuana law would also create a National Institute of Cannabis, which would invest profits from pot sales in crime prevention and anti-addiction programs.
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