A report released today by Dr. Jon Gettman shows that despite increasing support for ending marijuana prohibition, arrests for possession are actually increasing in some states. The report and other information can be found on Dr. Gettman’s new site, RegulatingCannabis.com.
From 2008 to 2012, seventeen state-level jurisdictions experienced an average annual increase in marijuana arrests, the report found. South Carolina (11.6 percent) and the District of Columbia (7.7 percent) experienced the highest overall percentage increase in arrests during this time period. By contrast, annual marijuana arrests fell nationwide by an average of 3.3 percent from 2008 to 2012.
Hopefully this will change as more states consider reforming their marijuana laws. The District of Columbia in particular should begin to see significant declines in marijuana arrests since a law removing criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce went into effect on July 17.
The good news: South Portland officials have informed us that we collected enough signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot that would make marijuana legal for adults. We also expect to qualify a similar measure in Lewiston next month.
The not-so-good (but not-too-bad) news: Getting on the ballot in York just got a little more difficult, and we need your help to do it. Last night, the town Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 against putting our measure on the ballot, which means we must collect 613 signatures within the next 30 days to get it on the November ballot.
There are two ways you can help us make this deadline:
1) Collect signatures — You don’t need to be a York resident to circulate a petition and putting in just a couple hours could make all the difference. Please contact Maine Political Director David Boyer at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a petition.
Passing the initiatives in South Portland, Lewiston, and York will build the public support we need to legalize marijuana for adults at the state level in 2016. So, even if you don’t live in these cities, I hope you will join us in supporting these important campaigns.
“Our laws should be based on facts, and it’s a fact that marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol,” said CRMLA Political Director Chris Rempert. “Countless government reports and scientific studies have concluded marijuana is less addictive than alcohol, less damaging to the body, and less likely to contribute to violent and reckless behavior. It is irrational to continue punishing adults for making the safer choice.”
GOP Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania introduced a bill today that would make CBD oil legal under federal law.
If passed, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014″ would allow states to permit patients suffering from epilepsy and related conditions to use an oil that is extremely low in THC but high in cannabidiol, or CBD. Under current federal law, any product made from marijuana is illegal.
It is great to see growing recognition of marijuana’s medical benefits, but this proposal would not help most of the seriously ill people who could benefit from them.