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Bill in Mass. would legalize medical marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, June, 28th 2011 by THCFinder
BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
 
Sen. Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst and Brookline Rep. Frank Smizik are co-sponsoring the bill. They say it would establish a registration process for patients suffering from chronic or debilitating illnesses, such as cancer or AIDS.
 
A physician would need to confirm the condition in writing for a patient to receive marijuana from one of the 19 dispensaries planned under the bill.
 
Patients and dispensaries would be registered with the Department of Public Health, which would regulate the process.
 
Sufferers of chronic illness showed overwhelming support for the bill Tuesday at a hearing of the Legislature’s public health committee.
 
Medical marijuana is legal in 16 states, including Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine.
 

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National Review on the Frank-Paul Bill to End Federal Ban of Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, June, 27th 2011 by THCFinder
What would change is that states — if they so chose — could legalize pot that is grown, sold, and consumed within their own borders. The Supreme Court has said that the federal government may regulate not only interstate commerce, but any activity that has a “substantial effect” on interstate commerce. It has further asserted that pot that is never even sold, but grown for personal consumption and never crosses state lines, can in aggregate have such an effect and therefore may be regulated. But the Court has not said, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith wrongly asserted, that Congress must regulate so comprehensively.
 
In addition to bringing federal pot laws in line with the Constitution and allowing states to pass reasonable marijuana policies, this law would eliminate the frightening discrepancies between state and federal policies regarding “medical marijuana.” In a society under the rule of law, a citizen should be able to predict whether the government will deem his actions illegal. And yet in California and Montana, businesses that sell medical marijuana — an activity that is explicitly sanctioned by state law — have been raided by federal law-enforcement officers.
 
Public opinion is such that fully ending the drug war is not within the realm of political possibility. Returning marijuana policy to the states, however, is a workable idea, and it would mark an excellent first step toward real reform.
 
It is a bit discouraging to me that even in a country where the flagship conservative publication is vocally in support of ending the war on drugs, the fact remains that it is politically a pipe-dream at this point. An end to the federal ban on marijuana is an excellent first step, however imperfect it may be.
 

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Should states have the right to legalize marijuana?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, June, 23rd 2011 by THCFinder
PHOENIX - A new bill being introduced on Capitol Hill would give states the choice to legalize marijuana.
 
If passed, the bill would limit federal enforcement of the marijuana ban to trafficking across state lines.
 
That means people could grow, sell and use marijuana in states that approved it without fear of federal prosecution.
 
It would also clear the way for Arizona’s current medical marijuana law.
 
Where do you stand on this issue? Should states have the right to legalize marijuana?
 

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Former U.S. attorney in Seattle heads coalition pushing to legalize pot

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, June, 22nd 2011 by THCFinder
A high-powered coalition of public figures led by a former U.S. attorney and the Seattle city attorney is launching a drive to legalize marijuana in Washington state, The Seattle Times reports.
 
The group, which includes the state chapter of the ACLU and travel guide Rick Steves, aims to gather more than 240,000 signatures to put the initiative before the Legislature.
 
Former U.S. attorney John McKay, who led federal anti-drug efforts in the state before he was fired by the Bush administration, says he hopes the initiative will help "shame Congress" into ending the federal ban on pot.
 
He says current law is "stupid" and has created a black market exploited by international cartels and crime rings, The Times reports.
 
"A lot of Americans smoke pot, and they're willing to pay for it," McKay says. "I think prohibition is a dumb policy, and there are a lot of line federal prosecutors who share the view that the policy is suspect."
 
City Attorney Pete Holmes says taxing sales of marijuana would bring in at least $215 milion a year to the state.
 
Some states have decriminalized pot and others have allowed the use of medical marijuana, but none has outright legalized it.
 

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It's time Iowa legalized use of medical marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, June, 21st 2011 by THCFinder
With the Vermont governor's signing of a bill this month to legalize medical marijuana, eight states have now approved the sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes. But today in Iowa, a person who is found to possess even small amounts of marijuana that they might use for bona fide medical problems is subject to arrest and time in jail -- not to mention the costly legal expense to hire an attorney, take time off from work and possible jeopardy to a career.
 
In February of this year, our Board of Pharmacy in Iowa voted unanimously to officially recognize the medical value of marijuana and further recommended that the Legislature re-categorize it to Schedule II, giving physicians the right to prescribe it. And while the members of the Board of Pharmacy could have made the change in schedule themselves, they chose to delegate the controversial matter to our Legislature.
 
With medical marijuana we can tax the industry and control the quality and purity of the product -- making it safer and more predictable for those whose doctors have chosen to prescribe it for them.
 
The time has come for the Iowa Legislature to approve the use of marijuana for legal medical purposes. Debate continues about how effective marijuana is for certain disease states. Regardless of your view on marijuana for so-called "recreational" purposes, people with medical problems that respond to marijuana should not be kept waiting. Those who now use it to treat real medical problems should not have to fear facing arrest.
 
Let physicians and their patients decide.
 

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Poll: One-Third of Texans Favor Legalizing Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, June, 15th 2011 by THCFinder
Thirty-three percent of likely voters and the same percentage of all Texans support legalizing and marijuana, according to a new poll conducted by University of Texas researchers and sponsored by the Texas Lyceum.
 
“One-third is more support than I would have predicted for it,” pollster and UT-Austin professor Darren Shaw told KUT News. “It either says something about the subtlety of opinion in Texas, or it says something about how significant the budget crunch is now.”
 
Possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is currently a Class B Misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, according to the an analysis by the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws.  A bill that would have lowered that fine to $500 died in committee during the regular legislative session.
 
Shaw says that while support for higher income taxes and other traditional sources of government revenue remains low, there appears to be growing popularity for so-called "sin taxes," such as excises on gambling, alcohol and tobacco.
 
The percentage of Texans who said they support some expansion to gambling increased to 59 percent this year, compared to 50 percent in the 2010 edition of the survey.
 

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