Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Marijuana Officially Legal for Adults in Oregon Today

July 1st, 2015 1 Comment Robert Capecchi

Last November, 56% of Oregon voters approved Measure 91 — choosing to regulate marijuana like alcohol and allowing adults to use, possess, and cultivate it. Today, legal protections for adult possession, use, and cultivation official take effect!

As of 12:01 a.m., individuals 21 or older may possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to four plants in their household.10995393_10152839035666816_1877561359108028132_n Adults may also gift up to an ounce of marijuana to other adults. The state is setting up regulations that will govern the production and sale of marijuana, so access is currently limited to home cultivation. However, the state is considering legislation that will allow medical dispensaries to sell limited quantities of marijuana to any adult 21 and older starting this October.

Measure 91 resembles ballot measures that have removed penalties for adults’ possession and use of marijuana in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. Colorado and Washington have implemented effective public health and safety regulatory structures governing the production and sale of marijuana, and Alaska and Oregon are in the process of doing the same. In the meantime, ask your state representative and senator to support legislation that will more quickly take the marijuana market from criminal actors.

None of this would be possible without the good and hard work of the New Approach Oregon campaign, their volunteers, and, of course, the voters of Oregon. For more information about Measure 91, please see our summary.

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Tax and Regulate

Rhode Island Legislators Recess, May Vote on Marijuana Regulation Bill If They Reconvene This Fall

June 26th, 2015 No Comments Morgan Fox

On Thursday night, the Rhode Island legislature was called into recess with many bills still awaiting final approval. There is talk from legislative leaders about calling the legislature back in September or October to address these important issues. Considering its overwhelming public support, we believe the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act should be one of the proposals considered when lawmakers return to Providence. But we need you to make this happen.

If you are a Rhode Island resident, please email your lawmakers and ask them to consider the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act if they reconvene this fall.

Colorado and Washington already treat marijuana like alcohol, and Alaska and Oregon are implementing similar programs. At least five states are considering ballot questions replacing prohibition with regulation in 2016, including neighboring Massachusetts. Rhode Island can and should be a regional leader by taking control of their marijuana market as soon as possible.

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Tax and Regulate

Rhode Island Billboard Urges Lawmakers Considering New Stadium to Make Marijuana Legal

May 8th, 2015 1 Comment Morgan Fox

Earlier this week, Regulate Rhode Island unveiled a billboard aimed at encouraging legislators to pass a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana in the state.

The “Field of Dreams”-themed ad features stadium lights shining on two young professionals standing among a small field of marijuana plants, and it reads, “If we build it, they will come… It’s time to establish a regulated marijuana market in Rhode Island.” You can view the image here: http://bit.ly/1ztvnI0

Legislators are currently considering S 510/H 5777, the “Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act,” which would end marijuana prohibition in Rhode Island and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. They are also considering using taxpayer funds to build a new stadium, also in the hopes of bringing jobs and other financial benefits to the area.

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Texas Marijuana Bills Moving Forward

May 7th, 2015 8 Comments Morgan Fox

It has been a good week for marijuana policy reform in the Lone Star State.

On Monday, the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence approved HB 507, a bill that removes the threat of arrest, jail time, and a criminal record for possession of small amounts of marijuana — replacing them with a civil fine of up to $250. The measure will now advance to the Calendars Committee to be scheduled for a vote by the Texas House.Seal_of_Texas.svg

Last night, the same committee approved a bill that would end marijuana prohibition in the state by a vote of 5-2. HB 2165, introduced in March by Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), would strike references to marijuana offenses from Texas statutes, resulting in marijuana being treated similarly to other legal crops.
Under current Texas law, individuals found with less than two ounces of marijuana can be arrested, jailed for up to six months, and fined up to $2,000.
According to FBI data, there were 72,150 arrests or citations issued for marijuana-related offenses in Texas in 2012, 97% of which were for simple possession. That same year, nearly 90% of all burglaries, including home invasions, and 88% of all motor vehicle thefts went unsolved.

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Tax and Regulate

Colorado Governor Starts to Come Around on Regulated Marijuana

April 29th, 2015 6 Comments Morgan Fox
People Power: John W. Hickenlooper
Gov. John Hickenlooper

After fighting against the passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado and  publicly questioning the wisdom of voters in the years since his state made marijuana legal for adults, it appears the Gov. John Hickenlooper is finally realizing that regulating marijuana was a good idea.

The Denver Post reports:

And now this headline — “Colorado Gov.: Pot is ‘not as vexing as we thought it was going to be’ (video)” — tied to “Opening Bell” host Maria Bartiromo’s interview with Hickenlooper at the Milken Institute Global Conference, which runs through today.

“It’s all those young people coming, and they look at marijuana and say, ‘Hey we can drink whiskey, why can’t we have a legalized system with marijuana?’ If you look back it’s turned out to not be as vexing as some of the people like myself — I opposed the original vote, didn’t think it was a good idea. Now the voters spoke so we’re trying to make it work, and I think we are.[“]

Colorado-rooted legalization advocate Mason Tvert said he welcomes the governor’s new turn.

“It’s great to see the governor recognizes that regulating marijuana is working in Colorado and that it has many benefits,” said Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Polls show more voters support the law now than did when it was approved, and it appears he might be part of that late majority.

“Just about everyone who takes an objective look at what is happening in Colorado agrees that things are going quite well.”

You can watch the video at Fox Business News.

Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com

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Tax and Regulate

Unified Coalition Files Arizona Initiative to Regulate Marijuana in 2016

April 17th, 2015 15 Comments Morgan Fox

The ballot initiative campaign to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona is officially underway! 

11138549_384476455065413_4683620496115184291_n.jpgThe Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona filed an initiative with the Secretary of State’s Office this afternoon that, if approved by voters in November 2016, would legalize marijuana for adults and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

In summary, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would:

–       allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess and privately consume and grow limited amounts of marijuana (it will remain illegal to consume marijuana in public);

–       create a system in which licensed businesses can produce and sell marijuana to adults and establish a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, and sale of marijuana;

–       provide local governments with the authority to regulate and prohibit marijuana businesses; and

–       establish a 15% tax on adult marijuana sales in addition to standard sales taxes.

Once the Secretary of State approves the initiative, the campaign must collect 150,642 signatures from registered Arizona voters in order to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Far more will be needed to ensure enough of the signatures are valid, so the campaign will need as much help as it can get.

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Tax and Regulate

Alaska Senate Kills Proposed Ban on Concentrates

March 31st, 2015 4 Comments Morgan Fox

In a decisive 14-6 decision on Monday, Alaska senators voted down an ill-advised amendment that would have banned extracts, edibles, and concentrates in 2017.

During yesterday’s debate, our opponents continued to insist that voters did not know what they were voting for in November — despite the fact that they received overwhelming testimony to the contrary during committee hearings.BW State Seal 205x205 Over the weekend, hundreds of supporters called and emailed their elected officials, and their voices were heard loud and clear.

Without licensed and regulated businesses producing marijuana extracts and edibles, the criminal market would continue to thrive. Without tested and clearly packaged concentrates, patients would suffer. Senators finally got the message. Your respectful and articulate comments changed minds.

But we still have a lot of work ahead of us. SB 30 now heads to the Alaska House of Representatives, where it will undergo another series of committee hearings. Stay tuned for further updates, and we’ll let you know when your voice is needed.

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Tax and Regulate

Rhode Island Legislature Considering Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol

March 25th, 2015 8 Comments Morgan Fox

Earlier this month, a bill to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol was introduced in the Rhode Island legislature.

The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, introduced by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Cranston) and Rep. Scott Slater (D-Providence),  would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow one mature marijuana plant in an enclosed, locked space. It would create a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities and direct the Department of Business Regulation to create rules regulating security, labeling, and health and safety requirements. It would also establish wholesale excise taxes at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store, as well as a special sales tax on retail sales to consumers.

Huffington Post reports:

 A 2014 poll found 52 percent in favor of changing marijuana laws, mirroring national trends. This is the fourth year that legislation to regulate and tax recreational marijuana has been introduced. It’s unclear whether state lawmakers will support the new measure.

Legalized marijuana would boost the state treasury by $58 million a year in taxes, the Marijuana Policy Project projected.

“We want Rhode Island to be a leader on the East CoastRegulate_RI_Release_Logo.png and become an early adopter in order to get a competitive edge in the regional market to maximize job creation, tax revenue, and business growth in our state,” Jared Moffat, director of the marijuana policy reform group Regulate Rhode Island, told The Huffington Post.

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Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maine Filed Today

March 24th, 2015 16 Comments Morgan Fox

A statewide ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol was filed Tuesday with the Maine Secretary of State.

The leader of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, David Boyer of Falmouth, submitted the language along with the signatures of five registered Maine voters who support the measure, as required by state law.regulate ME The five signers were State Rep. Diane Russell of Portland; local farmer and former Republican State Rep. Aaron Libby of Waterboro; Androscoggin County Commissioner and Lewiston School Board Member Matt Roy; Rev. Deane Perkins of Belfast; and Sherry DaBiere, a York-based real estate agent and grandmother.

Under the proposed initiative, adults 21 years of age and older would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes, and possess the marijuana produced by those plants. The measure would establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, product-manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities.  Marijuana would be subject to a 10% sales tax in addition to the standard sales tax, and revenue generated by marijuana sales would be allocated public education.

The Maine Secretary of State has 15 days to review the initiative application and either reject it, accept it, or provide revisions to the proposed measure. Once it is approved, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will have until the end of January 2016 to collect the approximately 62,000 signatures of registered Maine voters that are needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

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Tax and Regulate

Nevada Assembly Misses Historic Opportunity to End Marijuana Prohibition

March 13th, 2015 4 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Earlier today, the Nevada Assembly missed its last opportunity to vote on Initiative Petition 1, which proposes legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and over. Since the legislature did not approvenevada-welcome the measure itself, the measure will appear on the ballot for the 2016 general election. This inaction means Nevadans will have to wait until late next year for the chance to end their state’s destructive and costly prohibition of marijuana.

Please “like” Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada on Facebook so that the campaign can keep you posted as the ballot initiative campaign gets underway. While polls show strong public support, we can’t take victory for granted. We’ll need your help to get the word out and run a strong campaign.

As many in Colorado and Washington have already learned, legalization allows adults who prefer a substance that is safer than alcohol avoid arrest, jail, and damaged futures. The Initiative to Tax and Regulate Marijuana also affords greater access for seriously ill patients, because patients who suffer from conditions that are not currently included in the state medical marijuana program — such as Alzheimer’s disease — lack legal protections. And, of course, legalization saves scarce law enforcement resources for serious crime, while providing revenue to the state.

But while the Nevada Legislature missed this opportunity, history continues to move forward, and Nevada voters will have the final say come November 8, 2016. Please stay tuned for more updates.

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