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Oregon Legislators Propose A Marijuana Sales Tax

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 11th 2015 by THCFinder

oregon marijuanaThe term ‘sales tax’ is largely considered to be taboo in Oregon politics. Oregon is rare in that it doesn’t have a sales tax, and any time any politician talks about creating a sales tax in Oregon, they are usually committing political suicide. Oregon hasn’t had a sales tax in a very long time, and lots and lots of polling has shown that citizens don’t want it. Oregon politicians have realized that people don’t want a sales tax, and have largely left the issue alone. That is, unless it involves marijuana.

The Oregon Legislature wants to create a sales tax specially for recreational marijuana. These politicians have tried very hard to pretty up their proposal by calling it a ‘point of sale’ tax, but it’s obviously a sales tax. Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which specifically stated that taxing would be left to the state, not to municipalities, and that the tax rate would be a flat $35 per ounce tax. For some reason Oregon politicians don’t want to respect the will of the voters, and instead are wanting to allow up to a 3% local sales tax on marijuana, and a 17% state sales tax. Per Oregon Live:

Legislative negotiators have tentatively agreed on a sweeping marijuana deal that could produce a 20 percent sales tax on recreational sales of pot.

Under the deal — which is still subject to change — the state could collect a 17 percent tax while localities could collect up to 3 percent.

The deal to allow local taxes is aimed at ending a standoff with cities and counties over just how much power they have to prohibit retail sales of both recreational and medical marijuana.

Oregon voters don’t want a sales tax, on marijuana or anything else. Oregon voters passed Measure 91 which specifically gave taxing powers to the state alone, had a clear tax rate of $35 per ounce of flower, stated no less than three times that the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program should remain in tact as it was before the 2014 Election, and only allowed bans on recreational marijuana sales if it was approved by voters. What happened? Why is the Oregon Legislature pushing their own version of recreational marijuana legalization, especially considering the fact that they had the chance to pass their own version before the 2014 Election and refused to do so?

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/oregon-legislators-propose-a-marijuana-sales-tax/


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Cannabusiness: Budding Pot Industry Is Boosting Denver's Housing Market

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 11th 2015 by THCFinder

According to a Real Estate Special Report by CNN Money, the housing market in Denver is absolutely on fire—and it's due to Colorado's legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012. 

"Home prices have shot up by double-digits, inventory has fallen dramatically and multiple offers with bidding wars have become common," the report stated. "In March, Denver experienced the second-largest jump in annual home prices at 10 percent, just behind San Francisco, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index."

CNN Money pointed out that pot isn't the only force driving the market, but legalization has created massive job growth, bringing a flood of people to the area.

"The pot industry is creating jobs we didn't have before," Kelly Moye, a Re/Max real estate agent in Denver, explained. "It's brand new, it adds a whole new factor to the area; you have real estate needs, housing needs, job needs." 

Of course the boom isn't great for everyone. First-time buyers and those trying to avoid the skyrocketing prices face stiff market competition. Denver's normal housing market has around 24,000 listings—but according to Moye, right now, there are only around 4,000. 

Moye predicts that the market has room to run for five to seven years, "barring any major economic disasters."

Source:http://www.hightimes.com/read/cannabusiness-budding-pot-industry-boosting-denvers-housing-market


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7 States Where Medical Marijuana Is Legal But Barely Accessible

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 10th 2015 by THCFinder

With New York State beginning to accept applications for medical marijuana providers last week, criticism of the hyper-strict program negotiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been plentiful. Hinged on concerns about arbitrary regulations and insufficient patient access, advocates for medical marijuana access worry the program will be too small and restrictive to be effective.

However, New York is not the only state facing hurdles in implementing medical marijuana laws. In states across the country, legislators are struggling to enact the regulations necessary for legalized medical marijuana programs to function properly, leaving patients with long wait times and a slew of confusing procedures. Here are seven other states that are struggling to translate their marijuana legalization laws as they exist on paper into the real world.
 

Massachusetts

In 2012, Massachusetts's voters approved via ballot initiative the legalization of medical marijuana and state-regulated dispensaries, but overcomplicated licensing procedures allowed not a single dispensary to open. Two dozen lawsuits followed a two-and-a-half-year wait for the law to be enforced.


Read More: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/7-states-where-medical-marijuana-is-legal-but-barely-accessible-20150609


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Lawsuits Announced Against Washington’s Harmful Medical Marijuana Bill

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 10th 2015 by THCFinder

washington state medical marijuana raidsA team of attorneys will soon file a series of lawsuits to place an injunction on, and overturn Washington State’s Senate Bill 5052, a recently signed law that will drastically reduce the rights of medical cannabis patients in the state while closing dispensaries and establishing an illegal patient registry.

Signed by Governor Jay Inslee in AprilSenate Bill 5052 – which takes full effect in July, 2016 – will drastically reduce the amount of cannabis patients can possess and cultivate, making felons out of those who possess currently allowable limits. The measure will also lead to the closure of nearly every medical cannabis dispensary in the state, and will establish an illegal patient registry that is in clear violation of federal HIPAA laws.

The lawsuits will seek to place an immediate injunction on the new law, preventing it from taking effect while the group works to overturn it permanently.

The group of renowned attorneys who will be working on the lawsuits include Sensible Washington co-founders and longtime criminal defense attorneys Douglas Hiatt and Jeffrey Steinborn (who have 70 years combined legal experience), and attorney Aaron Pelley of Pelley Law LLC, among others.

Hiatt tells us that the group will be filing two to three separate lawsuits that will seek to fully dismantle the new law, in order to protect the rights that patients currently have, and to prevent the state from establishing the patient database.

They group plans to make a formal announcement in the coming days.

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/lawsuits-announced-against-washingtons-harmful-medical-marijuana-bill/


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Crooked Cops Busted Lying Under Oath During Marijuana Case

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 10th 2015 by THCFinder

Despite having the upper hand on the drug war, police departments across the country often insist on using dastardly practices to lock people up for marijuana—a substance that is now legal in some fashion in over half the states.

Fortunately, new technology has exposed some of the slithering antics of the law, making it harder for dirty cops to get away with conducting illegal shakedowns and falsifying evidence. This is a brutal lesson that several officers with the Chicago Police Department are now being forced to learn the hard way.

A report from The Chicago Tribune indicates that Cook County prosecutors have filed perjury charges against four veteran cops, three of which worked the narcotics division, for providing false testimony in a case last year in which marijuana was discovered during a traffic stop.

In 2014, four Chi-Town police officers swore under oath that the odor of marijuana is what provoked officer William Pruente to pull Joseph Sperling from his vehicle and initiate a search—leading to the discovery of almost a pound of pot in his backpack.

However, Sperling’s attorney nailed this testimony to the cross after entering video footage obtained from the cop’s cruiser cam that forced a fifth officer to admit, while on the stand, that all of her colleagues were lying.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/crooked-cops-busted-lying-under-oath-during-marijuana-case


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Some lawmakers worry medical marijuana could spur corruption

Category: News | Posted on Tue, June, 9th 2015 by THCFinder

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — As a majority of Louisiana lawmakers push forward with a proposed medical marijuana law, some are looking to the past — and not with nostalgia.

Some 15 years after former Gov. Edwin Edwards was convicted of bribery and extortion in a corruption scheme involving riverboat casino licenses, some lawmakers worry weaknesses in the medical marijuana proposal could lead to similar abuse.

"We're opening this up for corruptness," Rep. James Armes said before the House voted 70-29 in favor of Sen. Fred Mills' medical marijuana proposal. The bill, which Gov. Bobby Jindal says he will sign, is up for a final vote in the Senate this week after changes were made in the House.

Armes and a handful of lawmakers say that without safeguards, clout and influence peddling could play a role in who is granted a license to cultivate and distribute medical-grade pot.

Many of the guidelines governing the process haven't been written yet. That's because the bill directs state boards and agencies to develop those rules.

That puts power in the hands of state bureaucrats and politicians who will ultimately make the rules and issue licenses.

"I don't know if I trust some of these boards," said Armes, a Leesville Democrat who voted against the bill.

Read More:http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/2015/06/08/lawmakers-medical-marijuana/28682533/


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