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Citizens Initiative Underway To Legalize Cannabis In The European Union

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, February, 20th 2014 by THCFinder
eu-cannabisA citizens initiative to legalize cannabis in the European Union is underway, with advocates needing to collect 1 million signatures from 7 member states within a 12 month period.
 
Advocates of the initiative – which was approved by the government in November – officially began their signature gathering campaign this week. If advocates are successful in gathering enough signatures, the measure would be put to a vote next year.
 
According to the group behind the initiative (Weed Like to Talk), it “aims at making the EU [European Union] adopt a common policy on the control and regulation of cannabis production, use and sale.”
 
In addition to legalizing cannabis possession, the proposal would legalize cannabis cultivation, as well as cannabis retail outlets.
 
The effort marks one of the most far-reaching attempts at cannabis law reform in European history.
 

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Next Five States Predicted To Legalize

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, February, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
states-legalizing-marijuana
2014 is going to be a big year for cannabis. There are a lot of states that are beginning to rethink their marijuana laws and are beginning to disregard the pressure from anti-cannabis protestors. With Colorado still making a large sum of money due to the legalization of cannabis, other states are pushing lawmakers to follow in the rocky state's steps. Who is predicted to be next in the great race for cannabis legalization?
 
- Alaska
While being a conservative state, Alaska has a not just a history of openness with cannabis but a very libertarian perspective on things. Marijuana will be on the ballot August 19th and citizens will be able to vote on whether they want legalization or to continue prohibition. The Alaskan ballot states that people over 21 can legally possess an ounce of marijuana, grow up to six plants (three in the flowering stage), as well as allow manufacture, sale, and possession of the plant.
 
- California
California has tried to put legalization through once already in 2010 but it failed. In the last three years, cannabis approval has snowballed, showing in a recent poll that 56% of respondents approve of cannabis legalization. In order to get the proposition on the ballot, Californians need to gather 500,000 valid signatures by February 24th. If this doesn't happen, the measure will continue to gain support and hopefully pass in 2016.
 
- Massachusetts
The state has passed medical laws but hasn't implemented them as of right now. Activists think that again, 2016 is the year that this state will probably see legalization of cannabis. 58% of registered voters polled by MassCann and NORML support the Massachusetts cannabis legalization idea.
 
- Oregon
A legalization ballot was presented in 2012 but failed, with almost 54% saying no to marijuana legalization. But when voters were asked again, 57% said that they would vote yes to legalize in 2014. In fact, this change happened a mere six months after the measure failed to be approved. The sudden increase in support comes from the details included in the ballot. The first time around, people were allowed to cultivate unlimited amounts of cannabis. Now, they are working on specified limits for citizens to be able to consume and grow.
 
- Washington DC
The District Of Columbia is the nation's capitol and home to the government that claims our favorite plant should still be illegal. However, the city seems to be pretty cannabis friendly, as the city council unanimously voted in January to decriminalize the plant, making the possession of under an ounce as harsh as getting a parking ticket. Voters in DC were polled and it seems as if they favor legalizing marijuana 63% to 34%.

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Feds Take First Step Towards Hemp Legalization

Category: Legalization | Posted on Wed, February, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
hemp-legalizationYesterday was a big day for hemp advocates. A new farm bill was passed by Congress yesterday, which includes a provision that would allow universities and state agriculture departments to establish hemp programs. The farm bill just needs to be signed by the President now. It’s not a full on legalization of hemp, but it clears a major first hurdle to doing so. I’m confident that once hemp is researched, and grown industrially without issues, full legalization will come sooner than later.
 
“Oregonians have made it clear that they believe industrial hemp should be treated as an agricultural commodity, not a drug,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who helped author the amendment, told The Oregonian in a statement. ”By including language easing restrictions on industrial hemp in states where it is legal, Congress sends an important message that we are ready to examine hemp in a more appropriate way.”
 
Ten states have already passed state level laws legalizing hemp cultivation, but federal law has kept most of those efforts from moving forward. The states include Colorado, Washington, California, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia. I’d imagine once programs are rolled out at universities and via state departments, more states will jump on board.
 
Hemp is one of the most versatile plants on the planet. It can make anything from clothing to medicine. A lot of opponents will use weak arguments against hemp, such as ‘it looks like marijuana, and people can hide marijuana plants in the hemp.’ Arguments like this clearly illustrate just how uneducated hemp opponents are, as cross pollination would ruin the marijuana, and marijuana looks bushy, while hemp plants are tall and skinny.
 

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Hawaii: 66 Percent Of Voters Back Legalizing Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, February, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
hawaii-mmjHawaii voters overwhelmingly support legalizing and regulating the adult use of cannabis, according to just-released statewide survey data by QMark Research and commissioned by the Hawaii Drug Policy Action Group.
 
Sixty-six percent of respondents said they endorsed legalizing cannabis, an increase of nine points since pollsters last posed the question in 2012.
 
Seventy-seven percent of respondents separately said that jail time is an inappropriate sanction for those found to be in violation of the state’s existing marijuana possession laws. Under present law, possessing any amount of cannabis for non-medical purposes in Hawaii is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
 
Eight-five percent of those polled also backed the establishment of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries. Hawaii lawmakers legalized the possession and cultivation of medicinal cannabis by state-qualified patients in 2000, but did not provide for dispensaries.
 
Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, Maine, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, DC now have licensed medical cannabis dispensaries up and running. (California dispensaries are not licensed by the state.) Similar dispensary outlets are in the process of opening in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Oregon.
 
Summaries of various pending bills to liberalize Hawaii’s marijuana policies are available online here and here.
 
The QMark poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.
 

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Effort Launched In Maryland To Legalize Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, January, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
maryland-marijuanaAdvocates of a proposal to legalize recreational cannabis launched their effort today in Maryland, calling cannabis prohibition an utter failure, and noting that the public’s support for the issue is growing rapidly.
 
“Continuation of the current policy is continuation of failure,” said Senator Jamie Raskin, a constitutional law professor and one of the sponsors of the new proposal. “It’s part of a conversation that is taking place across the country and across the world.”
 
Advocates have formed a new group, called the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland, which includes advocates groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, and lawmakers such as Delegate Sheila Hixson, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
 
The proposal has been drafted, but has not yet been officially introduced in the state’s legislature. According to advocates, the measure will legalize the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis for those 21 and older, and will established state-licensed retail outlets to distribute cannabis.
 
A poll released in November by Goucher College found that 51% of those in Maryland support legalizing recreational cannabis, with just 41% opposed.
 

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Alaska Might Become The Third State To Legalize Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, January, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
alaska-mj-legalizationThe Campaign to Regulate Marijuana In Alaska turned in roughly 46,000 signatures this week to put marijuana legalization on the 2014 ballot. At least 30,169 of those signatures would have to be valid in order for the initiative to gain ballot access. That’s not an unheard of validation rate, but then again it’s not exactly low either. It should be enough to get approval, but only time will tell.
 
If the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana in Alaska gets past the validation hurdle, Alaska voters would get the chance to make Alaska the third state to legalize marijuana, joining Colorado and Washington State. There are many other states trying to be lucky number three, however, since Alaska’s primary is in August, it would get the chance to vote before other states that also get marijuana legalization on the ballot.
 
Alaska has a great shot at winning on Election Day, since demographics are very friendly up there for marijuana reform. Alaska has the youngest population of any state by far, and younger voters are much more likely to support marijuana legalization. From what I’ve been told by friends that have lived in Alaska, the attitude up there is ripe for reform. Below is a summary of the initiative, taken from the campaign’s website:
 

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