Vt. gov says marijuana will be legal some day
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, September, 13th 2013 by THCFinder
MONTPELIER, 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.
Read more: http://www.boston.com
D.C. councilman to introduce bill legalizing marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, September, 11th 2013 by THCFinder
Legalized 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.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com
Marijuana Policy Project Plans For Legalization In 10 States
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, September, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
In 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.”
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Measure To Legalize Medical Marijuana Filed In Puerto Rico
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, September, 9th 2013 by THCFinder
Lawmakers 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.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Will Pennsylvania legalize marijuana?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Sun, September, 8th 2013 by THCFinder
Millersville 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.
Read more: http://lancasteronline.com
Louisianians Favor Marijuana Legalization
Category: Legalization | Posted on Sat, September, 7th 2013 by THCFinder
NEW ORLEANS, LA — Fifty-three percent of Louisiana voters favor making marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and regulating its sales, according to a July 2013 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling.
“People understand that criminalizing marijuana has wasted public funds, has not made anyone safer, and that marijuana is not the danger it was thought to be,” said Marjorie R. Esman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “Despite last session’s failure to pass a bill to reform marijuana sentencing, House Bill 103, marijuana law reform is coming to Louisiana. Voters in this state are in agreement with the rest of America that marijuana should be taxed and regulated,” Esman said.
Public Policy Polling surveyed a representative sampling of Louisiana registered voters to gauge Louisianans’ views on medical marijuana use, reforming marijuana sentencing laws and legalizing marijuana. A majority, 53%, said they support taxing and regulating marijuana. Only 37% were opposed to legalization, while 10% weren’t sure. Louisianans across the state were in support, with every region supporting the measure by at least 50%. Moreover, of those voters identifying themselves as “very conservative,” 51% said they would support this measure. The survey shows 65% support for allowing seriously or terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana.
During the last legislative session, the ACLU supported one of the state’s first pieces of reform legislation, HB 103, introduced by Representative Austin Badon of New Orleans. The bill would have reduced sentences for marijuana possession and made it more difficult for simple marijuana possession to be used under the Habitual Offender laws. And, according to the state Department of Corrections, it would have saved the state of Louisiana more than $70 million annually or 10% of the DOC’s $700 million budget.
“This new poll also shows that a majority of Louisiana voters think it’s time to change the state’s outdated and overly harsh marijuana sentencing laws,” said Esman. “The ACLU stands with the 59% of Louisianans who oppose long prison sentences, and 64% who oppose a sentence of life without parole for a marijuana offense.”
Read more: http://www.thedailychronic.net
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