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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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Could Oregon be First to End Cannabis Prohibition?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, March, 29th 2011 by THCFinder
(SALEM, Ore.) - About 30 volunteers rallied at the new office for the OCTA 2012 campaign on Portland's East side to meet, pick up packets and get outfitted for outreach early Monday. The Oregon Secretary of State's Election Division announced the approval of the petition, Initiative Number 9, for circulation and signature gathering on March 24th and the group lost no time in getting to work.
 
OCTA 2012 organizers have until July 7, 2012 to gather 90,000 registered voters' signatures to qualify for the November 6, 2012 ballot.
 
If passed, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 will regulate the legal sale of marijuana to adults through state-licensed stores, allow adults to grow their own, license Oregon farmers to grow marijuana for state-licensed stores and allow unlicensed Oregon farmers to grow cannabis hemp for fuel, fiber and food.
 
The state campaign committee is working to achieve ballot status in three ways: hiring paid petitioners, organizing volunteer petitioners and soliciting Oregon registered voters signatures online. 
 
Last November, a cannabis-related measure did not pass in Oregon. The difference between the two is substantial. Unlike OCTA 2012, Measure 74 was specifically regarding medical marijuana dispensaries- not legalization.
 
Paul Stanford, co-petitioner of OCTA 2012 says "there hasn't been anything like OCTA on the ballot, with the exception of California's measure last year, which was only slightly similar."
 
Organizers say that OCTA 2012 will raise $140 million a year for Oregon by taxing commercial cannabis sales to adults 21 years of age and older, and save an estimated $61.5 million as law enforcement, corrections and judicial attention can focus on violent crimes and theft.
 
"We estimate this will amount to $200 million a year more funding for state government. Ninety percent of the proceeds will go into the state general fund, 7% for drug treatment programs, one percent each for drug education in public schools, and two new state commissions to promote hemp biofuel and hemp fiber and food," Alexander said.
 

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New Irish politician calls for prostitution and cannabis to be legalized in Ireland

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, March, 25th 2011 by THCFinder
A new independent TD has argued that prostitution in Ireland should be legalized. He says it will benefit the welfare of the women working in the sex industry if the trade was not forced underground.
 
Wexford TD Mick Wallace discussed his views in an interview in this week's Hotpress magazine. He explained that there will always be a demand for the service of prostitutes and the demand could be regulated in some manner if it was legalized.
 
Speaking on RTE Radio One with John Murray Wallace said "There’s been prostitution on the planet since time began – and it’ll always be here…If you think, it’s a better scenario [than] where the girls work in very poor conditions, get very badly treated, and live in fear of the pimps that control them all the time.
 
“Plus, clients decide to use prostitutes that aren’t always in as healthy a state as they should be, because there’s no health controls on it… It doesn’t actually make sense to have it illegal…It’s going to exist anyway, [we should] get used to it… I think the girls would be exploited less through a legal system than through an illegal system."
 
Wallace also declared support for his fellow independent TD Luke 'Ming' Flanagan'. Ming was forced to quit smoking cannabis this week for fear that he would be arrested and would be unable to support his family.
 
Wallace said that cannabis being imported into Ireland is often sprayed with plastic to increase its weight. He gave this as an example of how unregulated drug imports were a health risk. He suggested if cannabis was legalized in Ireland the Revenue Commissioners could levy its sale and put the fund towards drug prevention programs.
 
He said "I’m not saying for a second that abuse of cannabis isn’t going to cause problems – [but] abuse of anything is going to cause problems.” He also insisted that although he has tried the drug he does not smoke it now. He said "I like a pint of Guinness and some nice red wine, that does me fine."
 

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Democratic Rep. Pushes for Amendment to Legalize Medical Marijuana in Florida

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, March, 11th 2011 by THCFinder
With a recent poll showing 57 percent of Floridians favoring legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, state Rep. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) has introduced a resolution to put an amendment on the 2012 ballot that would do just that. Clemens claims that the move could bring in $5 to $12 million a year in tax revenue for Florida, and he ultimately has an eye towards complete decriminalization of marijuana. Too bad the bill probably won't go anywhere.
 
Clemen's resolution would put a medical marijuana on the ballot as a constitutional amendment in 2012. Sixty percent of voters would have to approve of it to become law. 
 
Marijuana would only be legal if prescribed to patients with debilitating conditions, though critics point to Florida's out-of-control pill mill problem in which powerful pain pills are freely prescribed by shady doctors. 
 
Clemens retorts that while pain pill abuse kills up to six people a day in Florida, medical marijuana has never killed anyone. He also says that many recent laws passed to curb pill mills would also make sure that medical marijuana was not abused. 
 

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