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.
Bill legalizing marijuana to be introduced in Pa.
Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, February, 1st 2013 by THCFinder
Pennsylvania will soon have the chance to go the route of Colorado and Washington.
State Sen. Daylin Leach has proposed legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Pennsylvania. The Democratic senator, who represents Montgomery and Delaware counties, cited safety concerns, crime and potential tax revenues as reasons for bringing the proposal, which comes in the wake of votes to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington.
“We would never, in a rational society, starting from scratch, have the policy we have now,” Leach said in an interview Monday. Prohibition, he added, creates a black market in which buyers don’t know what they’re getting — which can lead to especially harmful outcomes if the marijuana is laced with other, more dangerous drugs, such as PCP.
In addition, he argued that there is no reason to punish people who make bad health decisions.
“These are people who have done nothing to anybody, except they have decided to ingest an intoxicant,” Leach said.
However, even if pot were to become legal in Pennsylvania, Penn students wouldn’t have free reign to smoke. Marijuana usage is prohibited by University policy — and would remain so under the change.
“Regardless of state laws, institutions that receive federal funding (such as financial aid) must adhere to federal laws,” Julie Lyzinski, director for the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives, said in an email. Because using marijuana is banned by federal law, “regardless of Pennsylvania law, marijuana will remain illegal and against University policy at Penn.”
Read more: http://www.thedp.com
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