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Colorado to offer one-day tax holiday on marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Fri, June, 5th 2015 by THCFinder

Colorado will repeal sales taxes on marijuana Sept. 16, thanks to a quirk in its constitution.

The one-time-only holiday from the 10 percent state sales tax on recreational pot is likely to generate buzz in the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana.

The little-noticed provision is part of a larger bill that Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law Thursday that includes a ballot initiative in November and a permanent tax cut on recreational pot sales in 2017.

"This fiscal glitch that we have with the constitution ... that's part of the magic of living in Colorado," the Democratic governor said.

The impetus is the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, a measure championed by conservatives. The constitutional provision requires voters to approve new taxes based on estimates of collections and state spending. If the actual amount exceeds the estimates, refunds are necessary.

Colorado isn't collecting more pot taxes than expected — actually, the amount is far less than projections — but total state spending exceeded initial estimates because of the improving economy.

"This is only a first-year problem," said Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, who authored House Bill 1367. "We'll never have this problem again."

When triggered, TABOR also requires the tax rate to be cut to zero. State lawmakers agreed to eliminate the sales tax for one day to meet the constitutional obligations and then restore it. The tax holiday is expected to cost the state about $100,000 in revenue. The bigger price tag — $3.6 million — is what the state anticipates losing in revenue for a one-day elimination of the 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales from cultivators to retailers.

Read More:http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28252221/colorado-offer-one-day-tax-holiday-marijuana


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'Breaking Bad' Copycat Gets Slap on Wrist for Home Pot Farm

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 4th 2015 by THCFinder

High school chemistry teacher Susan McKay turned her plush seven-bedroom home into a mini cannabis farm, she testified, because she was overwhelmed by personal tragedy after one son committed suicide and another was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

Sound familiar? Although McKay’s TV counterpart Walter White produced crystal meth to make ends meet, the 58-year-old teacher decided to stick with a gentler operation. She had been running her pot farm for the last several years in her country house in north Wales.

According to the Mirror, she bemoaned her decision to grow pot, saying it was based on “bad judgment.”

The real-life "Breaking Bad" operation was discovered after McKay’s other son Michael, 27, was stopped for driving without headlights while on his way to his mother’s home. The police smelled and found pot in the car, so they decided to search McKay's house as well.  

For her growing area, McKay used three large bedrooms that were equipped with black tents, silver foil, ventilation tubes and one bathroom for drying. Her house is surrounded by high walls and CCTV, which she said was because of her dogs.

After her arrest—but prior to her trial at the end of May—McKay was allowed to continue working at the high school.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/breaking-bad-copycat-gets-slap-wrist-home-pot-farm


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Religious Cannabis Already Being Put to the Test in Rhode Island

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 3rd 2015 by THCFinder

While mainstream America waits to see if the drug enforcement agents will kick down the door of Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis and drop the hammer down on those attending its inaugural ceremony later this summer, recent reports indicate that reefer rituals are already being conducted in Rhode Island, and police are, for the most part, keeping their distance.

Earlier last month, members of The Healing Church gathered at the Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence, the pulse of religious freedom, to attend a worship service where cannabis use is sacramental. The organization managed to obtain a permit to hold church services on federal property, with the understanding that U.S. Park Rangers would likely be positioned along the sidelines to ensure none of the members actually smoked weed. 

To ward off the potential of an unsavory encounter with Uncle Sam’s henchmen, the group, which consisted of around 15 people, employed the use of various cannabis concoctions to skate by the government’s pesky “no smoking” rule. Alan Gordon, a representative for the church, who does not use the term “marijuana,” said that parishioners were anointed with cannabis oil and also consumed a fermented beverage originating from India called Bhang.

“Unlike the Indiana Church, we are sincere Judeo-Christian Bible-thumpers, who see "kaneh-bos" in Hebrew as the same plant as modern cannabis,” Gordon told HIGH TIMES. “We have express federal, state and city recognition of our religious right.”

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/religious-cannabis-already-being-put-test-rhode-island


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Congress Voting On Numerous Amendments To Reign In Troubled DEA

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 3rd 2015 by THCFinder
 
drug enforcement agency dea

(via Wikipedia.com)

As the U.S. House of Representatives considers the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill today and tomorrow, legislators could vote on at least seven amendments designed to reduce the power of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and cut its budget.

The DEA has existed for more than 40 years, but little attention has been given to the role the agency has played in fueling mass incarceration, racial disparities and other problems exacerbated by the drug war. Congress has rarely scrutinized the agency, its actions or its budget, instead deferring to DEA administrators on how best to deal with drug-related issues.

That all has changed recently after a series of scandals that sparked several hearings in the House and Senate and forced the resignation of the DEA’s beleaguered head, Administrator Michele Leonhart.

“There’s unprecedented support on both sides of the aisle for ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states set their own drug policies based on science, compassion, health, and human rights,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “The more the DEA blocks sensible reforms the more they will see their agency’s power and budget come under deeper scrutiny.”

The Drug Policy Alliance recently released a new report, The Scandal-Ridden DEA: Everything You Need to Know. The report and a comprehensive set of background resources about our campaign to rein in the DEA are available at: www.drugpolicy.org/DEA

Read More:http://www.theweedblog.com/congress-voting-on-numerous-amendments-to-reign-in-troubled-dea/


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Over $1.2 Million In Recreational Marijuana Sold Daily In Washington State

Category: News | Posted on Tue, June, 2nd 2015 by THCFinder

washington legal marijuana salesLegal recreational marijuana sales started in Washington in July 2014. The start of legal recreational marijuana sales was slow, with only a handful of stores opening. There are still less than half of the recreational marijuana stores open that were expected to, but the sales numbers keep climbing. According to the latest numbers out of Washington, Washington’s legal recreational marijuana industry is sell over one million dollars worth of recreational marijuana everyday. Per The Joint Blog:

There’s over $1 million in recreational cannabis sold each day in Washington State among the 142 outlets that are reporting sales figures, according to the Liquor Control Board (LCB).

According to the LCB (which will be renamed theLiquor and Cannabis Board on July 24th), there are 161 licensed recreational cannabis outlets throughout Washington State, with 142 reporting sales. On average, there is $1,243,926 in recreational cannabis sold each day, which results in roughly $311,000 in daily tax revenue. In total, there has been $205,917,611 in cannabis sold since legal sales began July 1st of 2014. This has resulted in $51,479,403 in taxes for the state.

With only 142 recreational stores open, and over 300 licenses allocated, I’d expect that number to continue to climb in the future. Even if current trends held steady, that would work out to roughly 438 million dollars worth of recreational marijuana sold per year. That’s a huge industry by any measure. One so large that other states should take notice, and try to follow in Washington’s footsteps, albeit with a better version of legalization compared to Washington’s model.

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/over-1-2-million-in-recreational-marijuana-daily-in-washington-state/


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Lawmakers brace for marijuana vote-a-rama

Category: News | Posted on Tue, June, 2nd 2015 by THCFinder

Lawmakers are prepping for what could turn into a marijuana vote-a-rama Wednesday, sources say.

Pot advocates expect lawmakers to introduce at least half a dozen marijuana-related appropriations amendments that would roll back the Justice Department’s authority to enforce drug laws around the country.

The marijuana amendments would handicap the Department of Justice (DOJ) in its fight with states over the enforcement of local pot laws.

 

“The politics have continued to shift in favor of marijuana law reform,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority.

 

"For a long time, lawmakers treated marijuana as a third-rail issue that was too dangerous to touch,” he added. "But now that polling shows a growing majority of voters supports ending prohibition, more and more elected officials are starting to realize that demonstrating leadership on this issue has political benefits instead of harms.”

The marijuana amendments come as part of the Justice Department’s funding bill, which dictates the terms in which the agency can use the money.

Pot advocates are making a big push in advance of the vote to rally lawmakers to their side.

The Justice Department would be prohibited from using federal funds to interfere with states’ medical marijuana laws under an amendment expected from the California delegation — Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R) and Sam Farr (D).

The measure was approved by Congress for the first time in 2014 but it must be renewed each year when the DOJ’s spending bill expires.

Read More:http://thehill.com/regulation/legislation/243632-lawmakers-pushing-for-marijuana-vote-a-rama


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