House snuffs out bill to legalize marijuana in Hawaii
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, February, 13th 2013 by THCFinder
A bill that would have legalized marijuana in Hawaii has died in the state House.
House judiciary committee Chairman Karl Rhoads said Tuesday that he decided to kill the bill after learning from House leadership that the initiative does not have enough votes to pass the House.
Key lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House supported the measure, including the speaker and the majority leader.
Pamela Lichty, head of the Hawaii Drug Policy Action Group, says the organization is disappointed with the outcome but will continue to advocate for marijuana decriminalization through other measures.
She says that the fact that there were more than 20 marijuana-related bills introduced this year is a sign of public support for the initiative.
She says the organization plans to continue to advocate for bills related to medical marijuana, which is legal in Hawaii.
The proposal that failed Tuesday would have legalized marijuana for recreational use for people aged 21 or older. It can’t be revived until future sessions.
The initiative ignited an outpouring of public testimony that reflected sharply divided public opinion.
At a public hearing on the bill, law enforcement officials told Hawaii lawmakers that marijuana is a dangerous drug.
They said the societal costs of legalizing weed aren’t worth the risks of allowing marijuana culture to proliferate.
Read more: http://www.staradvertiser.com
State Rep. Jeff Irwin to introduce bill to decriminalize marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, February, 11th 2013 by THCFinder
State Representative Jeff Irwin says it's high time to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use in Michigan.
The Ann Arbor Democrat plans to introduce a bill in the state House of Representatives that would lessen the penalty for using marijuana recreationally. He says the state wastes hundreds of millions of dollars by "running marijuana users through the court system and doing so at great cost to our state and at great cost to those individuals and their futures."
Irwin says many legislators are privately supportive of decriminalization, but may shy away from supporting a proposal publicly. Still he says public opinion may change their minds.
A poll released last year by the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ showed Michigan voters were about evenly split on legalizing recreational marijuana.
Pot is already decriminalized several cities including in Detroit and Grand Rapids.
Should Marijuana Be Legalized and Taxed?
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, February, 8th 2013 by THCFinder
It is time again to end a useless prohibition, according to two legislators who have proposed legalizing marijuana.
Rep. Edith Ajello and Sen. Donna Nesselbush announced Wednesday they have proposed legislation to legalize marijuana possession in Rhode Island for adults age 21 and older. Pot would be regulated and taxed similar to alcohol under their proposal. The legislation follows last year's decriminalization of marijuana possession in Rhode Island, due to go into effect this spring.
“It is time for Rhode Island to put the failed policy of marijuana prohibition behind us and adopt a more sensible approach just as our nation did with alcohol 80 years ago,” Ajello said in a prelease. “Regulating marijuana like alcohol will take marijuana sales off the street and put them in the hands of legitimate businesses that would face real disincentives for selling to minors. These new businesses will also create jobs and generate much-needed new tax revenue.”
Under the Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act, Rhode Islanders over 21 would be permitted ton have up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to three marijuana plants in their homes.
Read more: http://middletown.patch.com
Two House Dems say Legalize Recreational Marijuana
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, February, 6th 2013 by THCFinder
When voters in Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use last November, some wondered how the new statewide statutes would square with federal law, which still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
But Rep. Jared Polis, D-Col., believes that a legal confrontation can be avoided: on Tuesday, along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., he introduced a bill legalizing marijuana and regulating it under the renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, and Firearms.
The "Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act" would charge the renamed bureau with regulating marijuana as it does alcohol and tobacco. States would still be allowed to ban marijuana production and it would remain illegal to transport marijuana to a state where such a ban exists.
"This legislation doesn't force any state to legalize marijuana, but Colorado and the 18 other jurisdictions that have chosen to allow marijuana for medical or recreational use deserve the certainty of knowing that federal agents won't raid state-legal businesses," said Polis in a press release. "Congress should simply allow states to regulate marijuana as they see fit and stop wasting federal tax dollars on the failed drug war."
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com
Mexicos president opposes legalizing marijuana, calls it a gateway drug
Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, February, 6th 2013 by THCFinder
More than 12,000 people were murdered last year in the Mexican drug war, The Washington Post’s Nick Miroff reported, a figure that’s been largely unchanged over the past three years. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has vowed to cut down on the violence, and he recently talked with the German news magazine Der Spiegel about his priorities.
SPIEGEL: Some U.S. states have relaxed the prohibition of marijuana. Doesn’t that deprive the drug war of its credibility?
Peña Nieto: It should at least encourage a debate. I’m opposed to legalizing marijuana because it acts as a gateway drug.
[What it means: Marijuana may or may not be a gateway drug. Legalization may or may not bankrupt the cartels. But here Peña Nieto is reinforcing earlier statements by his administration that legalization in the United States may undermine efforts to stop the flow of marijuana across the border.
Shortly after Colorado and Washington voted to legalize the drug, Peña Nieto’s top adviser, Luis Videgaray, told a radio station in Mexico: “Obviously, we can’t handle a product that is illegal in Mexico, trying to stop its transfer to the United States, when in the United States ... it now has a different status,”.
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com
Democrats seek to give states say over marijuana, levy tax
Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, February, 5th 2013 by THCFinder
(Reuters) - The states would be free to decide whether to legalize marijuana without running afoul of federal law but would require purchasers to pay federal taxes on its sale under legislation being proposed by two Democratic lawmakers.
The proposed bills in the House of Representatives aim to offer a new federal policy toward pot, amid a growing movement to legalize it for personal use, whether recreational or medical.
Representatives Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado, both Democrats, planned to introduce the legislation on Tuesday.
One bill would end a federal ban on marijuana and give states jurisdiction over its use and regulate it in a similar way to alcohol sales, while the other would levy a federal tax, the congressmen said in a statement.
The Democrats' bills likely face a hurdle in the House where Republicans hold a majority and control what legislation moves forward. A similar, bipartisan effort by other representatives failed to gain traction in 2011.
Washington state and Colorado voted to legalize the drug in 2012 but now face questions on how to implement their laws while U.S. authorities still consider pot illegal. Illinois is also considering acting on the issue.
Eighteen states, including California and Oregon, plus the nation's capital city already allow sales for medical use to help certain patients cope with pain and other chronic conditions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws.
Last year's votes have buoyed those who support easing access to the drug, which U.S. health officials say is the most commonly used illegal drug. Polls show most Americans support legalizing pot.
Critics say that despite widespread use and acceptance, the drug carries health risks, especially for youth. They question whether the drug, derived from the cannabis plant and usually smoked, has benefits for medical use.
Advocates on both sides of the issue are waiting anxiously to see how federal authorities will act as Washington state and Colorado move forward.
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