Legalize marijuana, reduce national debt

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, August, 23rd 2011 by THCFinder
Let me preface this by saying this, I am in no way an admission or advocation of illicit drug use, but come on guys, just legalize it already.
From a purely economic standpoint, the legalization of marijuana could drastically help us reduce the national debt and it is a growing market that will bring in more and more profit throughout the years.
Harvard economics professor Jeffery Miron said that replacing the current prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation would save the U.S. $7.7 billion a year in State and Federal costs of maintaining prohibition.
It would also generate anywhere between $2.4-6.2 billion annually from taxes alone.  Not to mention the fact that if the industry is privatized, it would create — or rather legalize —many jobs.
The money procured through this industry currently is illegal and while it may find its way back into the system, it is most likely staying within the drug industry.
Crime rates will also fall with the legalization. While there is no correlation between marijuana use and crime, there is crime surrounding the industry. Whether it’s a disgruntled customer or a hotheaded competitor, there have been episodes of violence that can be attributed to the illegal distribution of the cannabis plant.
With the drug industrialized, there would be laws and regulations that prevent these drastic measures from being taken.
With all the money we as tax payers are pouring into the system, we should be more aware of what that money is doing.
Eighty-eight percent of marijuana-related arrests are made for possession of less than one ounce.  This means that these are people who are smoking on their own to deal with their personal issues, not hardened criminals trying to get you and your kids hooked.


51% of Colorado Voters think Marijuana Should be Legal

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, August, 12th 2011 by THCFinder
A narrow majority of registered voters in Colorado think marijuana should be legal according to the latest PPP poll and the voters of the state may soon have a chance to make that a reality. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol is currently gathering signatures to put a marijuana legalization measure on the ballot in 2012. From the Poll:
Do you think marijuana usage should be legal  or illegal?
Legal ………… 51%
Illegal………… 38%
Not sure ……. 11%
Not surprisingly the break down of support for legalizing the use of marijuana in Colorado is nearly identical to the patterns we have seen nationally. Support for legalizing the usage of marijuana is strongest among very liberal voters (82%), Democrats (65%) and voters under 30 (71%). While the least amount of support comes from very conservative voters (28%), Republicans (31%) and senior citizens (36%).
One very interesting piece of information from the cross tabs is that individuals who voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election overwhelmingly think marijuana should be legal by a margin of 68 percent legal – 21 percent illegal. In the Colorado, at least, President Obama’s stance on both recreational and medicinal marijuana use is radically out of line with his base.
While majority support for marijuana legalization is a good sign for this Colorado campaign, it should be noted that in 2010 the California marijuana legalization measure, Proposition 19, was ahead in early polling but ended up losing narrowly on election day. This Colorado effort  should  be in slightly better shape than Prop 19 was because they are trying to put the issue on the ballot in a Presidential Election year. Presidential elections tend to see much higher turn out among young voters, who strongly support legalization.


Majority of Americans Ready to Legalize Marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Tue, August, 9th 2011 by THCFinder
As was the case last year, most respondents believe the “War on Drugs” has been a failure.
Many Americans continue to believe that marijuana should be legalized, but are not supportive of making other drugs readily available, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,003 American adults, 55 per cent of respondents support the legalization of marijuana, while 40 per cent oppose it.
The groups that are the most supportive of making cannabis legal in the U.S. are Democrats (63%), Independents (61%), Men (57%) and respondents aged 35-to-54 (57%).
However, only 10 per cent of Americans support legalizing ecstasy. Smaller proportions of respondents would consent to the legalization of powder cocaine (9%), heroin (8%), methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (7%), and crack cocaine (7%).
Across the country, 64 per cent of respondents believe America has a serious drug abuse problem that affects the entire United States, while one-in-five (20%) perceive a drug abuse problem that is confined to specific areas and people. One-in-twenty Americans (5%) think America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.
Only nine per cent of respondents believe the “War on Drugs”—the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade—has been a success, while two thirds (67%) deem it a failure.
The survey shows a country that is concerned about the effects of drugs, and at the same time deeply disappointed with the efforts of the U.S. government to deal with the drug trade.
However, as has been outlined in Angus Reid Public Opinion surveys conducted in 2009 and 2010, a majority of Americans are calling for the legalization of marijuana. Cannabis is definitely not seen as a substance that is as harmful as other illegal drugs, as evidenced in the minuscule level of support for the legalization of cocaine or heroin.
Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)


Ohio medical marijuana possible for 2012 ballot

Category: Legalization | Posted on Mon, August, 1st 2011 by THCFinder
Efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio are moving ahead, with a group submitting signatures to Attorney General Mike DeWine's office. And that could launch the petition collection process in time for the November 2012 ballot, the Associated Press reports.
Backers of the “Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment” submitted 2,143 signatures summarizing the proposed amendment, which would allow those with qualifying illnesses to possess up to 3.5 ounces of marijuana, the news service reported. DeWine's office must validate at least 1,000 of those signatures and certify that the summary language is a fair representation of the amendment.
Should summary language be approved, backers must then begin collecting at least 385,245 valid signatures to make it to next year's ballot. Supporters say a win would open doors to medical treatment, while opponents worry it will create an enforcement problem.
State lawmakers in Indiana also are studying whether the state should decriminalize the use of marijuana or create a program that would allow people to use the drug to relieve pain.


Could New York State Legalize Medical Marijuana?

Category: Legalization | Posted on Fri, July, 29th 2011 by THCFinder
State Senator Diane J. Savino (a Democrat representing Sunset Park, Coney Island, Bensonhurst and part of Staten Island) doesn't want New York to fall behind the Garden State.
Now that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has green-lighted his state’s medical marijuana program—stalled for over a year after it was signed into law by his predecessor—she has co-sponsored medical marijuana legislation in Albany, drawing on her own experience of losing both parents to cancer.
We spoke to her over the phone about what medical marijuana in New York would look like, when we should expect a corner Canna-bakery, and whether she'd take a blunt, bong, bowl or brownie.
If this legislation passes, will Brooklyn look like Berkeley?
No, I think one of the arguments is that the California model has been still problematic. We don’t need to replicate what’s out in California. Like I said earlier, there are 21 states that have adopted this. We should look at the best practices and adopt them here in New York. This bill that Senator Duane introduced and I’m co-sponsoring, we would have the most conservative medical marijuana program in the country.
What does that mean?
The plan that would be designed under this particular bill would have the most restrictions on the distribution, on who would have access to it, how it gets dispensed, how often it gets dispensed. It’s far more restrictive than other states.
So you’re planning on restricting the amount of dispensaries? Are you zoning it to particular neighborhoods?
It would be restricted: who gets to manufacture it, how it gets delivered, the transfer of it, and the transportation of it. There would be a very conservative approach to it, much different than California’s.
What about who actually writes the prescriptions? Would it be any doctor?
Obviously we wouldn’t want dentists prescribing it. There has to be some connection between the underlying medical condition and the physician who’s prescribing it.


Indiana panel to consider proposal to legalize marijuana

Category: Legalization | Posted on Thu, July, 28th 2011 by THCFinder
Would you like some irony with that baggie of medical marijuana? Well, like it or not, you’re getting some. Medical marijuana has been legal for a decade or so in various U.S. states but it wasn’t until the Ogden memo of 2009 that it really took off.
That was the memo from the Department of Justice that states and medical marijuana providers took to mean the feds would stand down and look the other way as long as medical marijuana patients and providers were in clear compliance with state laws.
Then somebody at the Department of Justice apparently decided that maybe it wasn’t cool for the feds to look the other way as states began flaunting their defiance of the Controlled Substances Act, and medical marijuana states got a raft of new letters from new DOJ attorneys, culminating in the Cole memo which said that state laws are not a defense when it comes to breaking federal laws.
So, on the one hand you have the Department of Justice essentially launching the medical marijuana boom with a memo that seemed to spell out the fact that the nation’s top law enforcement agency would respect state law and pretty much stay out of medical marijuana. Then, on the other hand you have that same agency saying “Now, wait a minute, that’s not what we meant at all.”
“It is very disappointing that the Obama Administration has backed off significantly from what they promised. (Attorney General Eric) Holder was very clear earlier that the Ogden memo applied to entities such as dispensaries and not just to patients,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policy for the Marijuana Policy Project, in Washington, D.C.



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