A Ballot Push to Legalize Marijuana, With Alcohol as the Role Model
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, January, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
I firmly believe that the majority of Americans are ready to legalize marijuana. The American people understand the medicinal benefits of a plant that does so much good and we are all tired of seeing people thrown into jail for this nonsense.
Proponents of marijuana have argued for years that the drug is safer than alcohol, both to individuals and society. But a ballot proposal to legalize possession of marijuana in small amounts in Colorado, likely to be on the November ballot, is putting the two intoxicants back into the same sentence, urging voters to “regulate marijuana like alcohol,” as the ballot proposition’s title puts it.
Given alcohol’s long and checkered history — the tens of thousands of deaths each year; the social ravages of alcoholism — backers of the pro-marijuana measure concede there is a risk of looking as if they have cozied up too much, or are comparable, to old demon rum.
“Why add another vice, right?” said Mason Tvert, a co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which has led the ballot drive. “But we’re not adding a vice — we’re providing an alternative.”
The goal of legalization, Mr. Tvert added, is not to make access to marijuana easier, but rather, “to make our communities safer by regulating this substance, taking it out of the underground market, controlling it and better keeping it away from young people.”
Poll shows Washington voters split on legalizing marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, January, 5th 2012 by THCFinder
The numbers are close but overall people still are in favor for legalization!
Washington voters appear split on the prospect of marijuana legalization as the issue heads to the state Legislature next week.
A new Elway Research poll released Wednesday shows the softest support yet for Initiative 502, which would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana sales, with 48 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed. The margin of error is 5 percentage points.
Other polls, both statewide and nationwide, have shown rising enthusiasm for legalization. A KING-TV/Survey USA poll in November, asking about specific provisions in I-502, found 57 percent approval and strong support among baby boomers.
The recent Elway poll, asking more general questions about legalization, found the strongest support among younger and more educated voters. But pollster Stuart Elway said he found support had weakened since his poll in July, when 54 percent endorsed legalization.
"If you're a supporter, it's going the wrong way," he said.
The I-502 campaign, called New Approach Washington, turned in more than 341,000 signatures last month — far more than the number of valid signatures required to send the initiative to the Legislature in January. If lawmakers balk, the initiative would head to the November general-election ballot, giving Washington voters their first chance to vote on legalization.
California Celebrates 1 Year of Decriminalized Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, January, 4th 2012 by THCFinder
1 down and many more to come unless we can get Marijuana legalized like it should be!
SACRAMENTO, CA -- On January 1, 2011, a law passed by the California State Legislature and signed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger went into effect that removed criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, making the violation a civil citation similar to a parking ticket. Supporters of the law argued that it would remove some of the financial burden associated with arresting people for marijuana possession, while lessening the damage done by having a criminal record. Advocates now eagerly await the release of arrest data, as well as state expenditures on marijuana enforcement and prosecution, to determine if the state is adequately following the law.
“Serious unintended consequences have surfaced as a result of this mischaracterization [marijuana possession being a misdemeanor as opposed to a civil infraction],” said Sen. Mark Leno, the bill’s sponsor, during debate on the bill in 2010. “As the number of misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests have surged in recent years, reaching 61,388 in 2008, the burden[s] placed on the courts by these low level offenses are just too much to bear at a time when resources are shrinking and caseloads are growing. Defendants may demand an entire jury trial — including the costs of jury selection, defense, and court time — for a penalty of only $100."
If California has effectively implemented this law, arrests for marijuana possession should be much lower than in 2010, as should the amount of resources spent on arresting and prosecuting marijuana violations. Conclusive data has not yet been made available.
"We welcome the one year anniversary of the full decriminalization of possession of up to 28.5 grams of marijuana in California and view this legislative victory as much needed change,” said Robert Capecchi, a legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project. “In 2009, the clearance rate for violent crimes committed in California was a mere 43.7%. By removing non-violent possession of a small amount of marijuana from the criminal realm, California law enforcement is better able to focus their limited resources on policing and prosecuting crimes of violence, as well as those committed against private property. However, the Marijuana Policy Project fully understands that the brave men and women of California law enforcement will be much better equipped to keep the citizens of the Golden State secure in their persons and property once the state removes its prohibition on marijuana and taxes and regulates the substance like alcohol."
Legalizing Marijuana in Washington State Takes Big Step Forward
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, January, 3rd 2012 by THCFinder
The group behind the effort to legalize marijuana use in Washington state submitted 341000 signatures to get their initiative on the ballot on Thursday. Out of those, they will need at least 241,153 valid signatures to qualify.
New Approach Washington are the backers who raised over a million dollars, with $250,000 of that coming from Peter Lewis, the Ex-CEO of progressive insurance who has become a cannabis philanthropist. Initiative 502 would create a regulated system of state-licensed growers, processors and outlets and at each stage, the state will collect a 25 percent excise tax. Those licensees, at each stage will cost $250, with a renewal fee of $1000.
I 502 also lays out rules that prohibit producers and processors from having any financial interest in retailers, similar to the rules for alcohol. Conveniently, the State Liquor Control Board will administer the program if the initiative passes. Anyone in the state over 21 years old would be able to buy up to an once of marijuana at a time, or a pound of cannabis products, such as brownies. The initiative also deals with marijuana-infused liquids, you can buy or possess up to 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids.
I 502 has some heavy supporters. Outside of the money donors, it is also backed by two former US Attorneys for Western Washington and Seattle City Attorney, and ex-head of the Seattle FBI office, Pete Holmes, the Washington state Democrats, an impressive array of heavy-hitting FORMER judges in both superior and municipal courts, and the King County Bar Association.
But on Thursday, as the signatures were being turned in, there was already a group of pro-marijuana activists protesting what they think is huge flaw in the initiatives. Opponents of the initiative, but NOT opponents of legalization of marijuana, take issue with the part of the initiative that would make it illegal for a motorist to have more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in their system. Medical marijuana activists say that that puts an unfair burden on patients who may have a high tolerance since they are using marijuana to control pain, and put them at a higher risk of a DUI arrests. Patients have expressed their fears that their driving privileges would be taken away, and some are planning their own initiative to counter I-502.
Statewide campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan kicking off in Ann Arbor
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, December, 30th 2011 by THCFinder
The push to legalize marijuana in Michigan is under way, and cannabis activists are planning to organize Thursday night outside a University of Michigan basketball game in Ann Arbor.
"We do have language written and petitions getting ready," T.J. Rice, a local supporter of the campaign, told AnnArbor.com on Wednesday afternoon.
A grass-roots group operating under the name Repeal Today For A Safer Michigan 2012 is hoping to put the question to voters in November 2012.
The push to legalize cannabis in Michigan is under way.
A draft version of the petition obtained by AnnArbor.com seeks to amend the Michigan Constitution to make pot legal for people 21 and older.
It reads as follows:
A Petition to amend the Michigan Constitution Article 1, to add:
Article 1 Section 28. Repeal of Marihuana Prohibition.
For persons at least 21 years of age who are not incarcerated, marihuana cultivation, possession, bodily internal possession, sale, acquisition, transfer, delivery, transportation, religious, medical or personal use, or possession or use of paraphernalia shall not be prohibited, abridged, or penalized in any manner; nor subject to civil forfeiture; provided that no person shall be allowed to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by any substance.
More than 322,600 signatures from registered voters in Michigan are needed to put that question on a statewide ballot.
Campaign volunteers are expected to meet at a medical marijuana dispensary on Ann Arbor's west side Thursday afternoon for a training session before they move across town to Crisler Arena, where U-M is taking on Penn State at 7:30 p.m.
Charmie Gholson, communications director for the campaign, said actual collection of signatures won't begin until the campaign officially kicks off in mid-January.
"We're not launching a media campaign until the 12th," said Gholson, co-owner and editor of the Midwest Cultivator and a former staff member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. "All we're doing is organizing volunteers. We're getting volunteers to sign up and say that they'd be willing to help the campaign."
The group also is recruiting volunteers through a website. The group plans to collect the signatures from January through early July.
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