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Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana To Be Taxed In Arizona

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, January, 28th 2011 by THCFinder

Arizona soon will be taxing a new product medical marijuana. The tax on medical marijuana will be the same as taxing any other product in the state, whether it be candy or furniture. That’s a 6.6 percent state tax and between 2 percent and 3 percent for cities, said Anthony Forschino, assistant director of the state Department of Revenue. Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in November, making the state the 15th in the nation to pass such a law.

 

 

 

The measure will allow patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other chronic or debilitating diseases to buy 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks or grow a limited number of plants themselves if they live 25 miles from a dispensary. Patients could begin buying pot with a doctor’s recommendation in the state this summer. Pot shops will have to get a sales tax license just like any other business, and the department will monitor whether they are paying taxes, as it does with all other stores, Forschino said. Attorney General Tom Horne, who opposed the medical marijuana measure, said now that it has been approved, it should not be exempt from taxes even though it may benefit patients with chronic, debilitating diseases.

“You go to the store, you buy things that are hopefully 100 percent beneficial, and it gets taxed because it’s a revenue source,” he said. “This is no different than anything else.” Horne estimates that the state stands to receive $40 million annually in revenues from taxing medical marijuana. Those hoping to open dispensaries this summer will have to compete for just 124 spots, and the state Department of Health Services expects up to thousands of applications. Dispensary hopefuls will have to pay up to $5,000 to apply for a license and meet many other requirements. Finalized rules that dispensaries must follow will come out at the end of March after a public comment period.


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Colorado: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Not Associated With Increased Crime

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, January, 28th 2011 by THCFinder

An analysis of Denver crime statistics for 2010 contradicts claims that the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries are associated with elevated incidences of criminal activity.

According to a Denver Post story published this week: "A Denver police analysis completed late last year of areas around dispensaries showed that the number of crimes in those pockets dropped in the first nine months of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009. The drop, 8.2 percent, was marginally less than the city's overall drop in crime of 8.8 percent, according to police."

A separate Denver Post analysis of citywide crime crimes committed in the first 11 months of 2010 found that "some Denver neighborhoods with the highest concentration of dispensaries per capita saw a bigger decrease in crimes than did some neighborhoods with no dispensaries."

Over 800 state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries presently operate in Colorado. The highest concentration of these facilities is in Denver.

Previous analyses have also failed to find any association between the proliferation of medical cannabis dispensaries and elevated crime rates. For example, a 2010 review by the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper reported, "[P]olice have yet to find a correlation between the city's approximately 175 pot shops and increased crime."

A similar 2009 review of Los Angeles crime data also failed to establish a positive link between medical marijuana facilities and crime.

(Source)


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Medical Marijuana Effort Takes A Step Back

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 27th 2011 by THCFinder

Efforts to establish a medical marijuana program in Iowa took a step backwards at the statehouse Wednesday. A House subcommittee approved legislation that strengthens language classifying marijuana as a schedule one drug, which is defined as a substance having no proven or acceptable medical use and a high potential for abuse. Representative Tom Sands, a Republican from Wapello, says the bill also makes it clear that the legislature has authority over the issue. “I do not support medical marijuana. I know there are those individuals out there that believe that it has helped them. I have no personal knowledge whether it has or has not helped them. Maybe it is up to medical professionals and the Board of Pharmacy to change our mind that we’re wrong,” Sands said.

 

 

 

Sands says any decisions about marijuana should be made by the legislature. “It’s quite often a gateway drug, especially for some of our younger people and more vulnerable…that it leads them into more hallucinogenic type drugs that do far more damage,” Sands said. The Executive Officer of the Iowa Board of Pharmacy says the board agrees that any decisions about marijuana should be made by the legislature. Terry Witkowski says they never intended to establish a medicinal program.

“A pharmacy could not distribute marijuana because it’s an illegal drug federally and that would essentially put the pharmacy out of business,” Witkowski said. But a lobbyist for the Justice Reform Consortium says the Iowa Board of Pharmacy has already spoken on the issue.  Stephanie Fawkes Lee says after a series of public hearings in 2009 the board voted to recommend that marijuana be reclassified as a drug that does have medicinal value. “And the Board of Pharmacy took the time and used resources to go across the state and have people come and say yes we do use this for medical reasons,’” Fawkes Lee said. ”So, to have this bill introduced, it’s like calling those people liars. They were in pain, they have health issues and medical cannabis actually helps them.” Other supporters of medical marijuana are less concerned about the bill. Carl Olsen of Des Moines says it merely upholds existing law, and does not stop the Democratically controlled Senate from considering alternative legislation to reclassify the drug.


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Medical-marijuana advocates raise privacy concerns

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 27th 2011 by THCFinder

A lineup of medical-marijuana activists and business owners said today the state's proposed new rules for the cannabis industry threaten patient privacy.

 

Requirements that transactions at dispensaries be videotaped, purchases be documented and personal information be recorded could cause many of the state's more than 115,000 medical-marijuana patients to opt out of the system and return to buying pot on the street, advocates said. State officials say details of the purchases would be kept in a secure online database, but medical-marijuana advocates pointed to recent WikiLeaks disclosures as evidence that even guarded information can become public.

 

The advocates expressed their concerns this morning at the beginning of a two-day hearing on the rules, proposed by the state Revenue Department to regulate the thousands of medical-marijuana businesses that have sprung up in the last two years. About 30 advocates spoke during a public comment section of the hearing this morning.

 

"I am very concerned that many individuals ... will, due to the risk of having their information leaked, return to the black market," said Bruce Grainger, a dispensary owner who served on an advisory committee that helped craft some of the rules.



Read more: Denverpost.com


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Medical marijuana to be taxed in Arizona

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, January, 26th 2011 by THCFinder

PHOENIX - Arizona soon will be taxing a new product — medical marijuana.

 

The tax on medical marijuana will be the same as taxing any other product in the state, whether it be candy or furniture.

 

Anthony Forschino, assistant director of the state Department of Revenue, says that's a 6.6 percent state tax, and between 2 and 3 percent for cities.

 

Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in November, making the state the 15th in the nation to pass such a law.

 

The measure will allow patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other chronic or debilitating diseases to buy 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks or grow a limited number of plants themselves if they live 25 miles from a dispensary.

 

Patients could begin buying pot with a doctor's recommendation in the state this summer.

(Source)


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Delaware lawmakers hear case for medical marijuana

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, January, 26th 2011 by THCFinder

DOVER -- For years, talk show host Montel Williams has advocated the legalization of medical marijuana, which he uses to manage the debilitating pain of multiple sclerosis

 

On Tuesday, Williams appeared in Legislative Hall to endorse legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in Delaware, while keeping it more closely regulated than other states.

His visit corresponded with the introduction of Senate Bill 17, which would make it legal for patients with a state license and doctor's prescription to possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Williams urged lawmakers to put aside the decades-long debate about decriminalizing possessing, smoking and distributing marijuana and focus on the documented medical uses of the drug.

"Let's take the patients off the battlefield," Williams told the full House. "They're not the problem. They're not the criminals."

Senate Majority Whip Margaret Rose Henry's legislation -- named the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act -- would allow physicians to issue prescriptions to patients with a state-issued identification card to purchase marijuana from a not-for-profit dispensary in each county.

Marijuana prescriptions would be limited to people 21 years or older who have HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma or a chronic and debilitating disease. The bill would let patients designate a caregiver to pick up their medicine from a dispensary or "compassion center," which could only dispense three ounces to each patient every 14 days.

The proposed law would not allow marijuana to be grown at the home of a patient or caregiver. Eleven states currently allow home cultivation, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

With cannabis now legal for medicinal purposes in 15 states and the District of Columbia, Williams said, his celebrity lobbying "has been hijacked" by opportunists looking to turn marijuana into a cash crop. Many states, including New Jersey, are wrestling with how to control the sale and distribution of medical marijuana.

(Source)


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