Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Washington State Voters Support Taxing and Regulating Marijuana

January 18th, 2010 27 Comments Kate Zawidzki

A new poll released by Survey USA found that 54% of Washington voters support taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol, and selling the natural plant in state-run liquor stores. When asked broadly if voters “think legalizing marijuana is a good idea,” support was even higher at 56%.

Last month two Washington state legislators submitted a bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. A few days later Seattle Mayor-elect Mike McGinn came out publicly in support of ending marijuana prohibition in The Evergreen State.

A bill more likely to pass is the decriminalization bill introduced last year, which would turn possession of small amounts of marijuana into an infraction similar to a speeding ticket. The Washington State Bar Association has endorsed both bills.

Read more



Prohibition, Research

New UK Drug Adviser Said Marijuana Should Be Legal

January 15th, 2010 30 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Back in October, the British government fired its chief drug adviser, Prof. David Nutt, for saying that marijuana is less dangerous than many legal drugs and that British laws should be changed to reflect this reality. Many other members of the United Kingdom’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs resigned in protest

Then this week, Les Iversen, a former pharmacology professor at the University of Oxford, was announced as Nutt’s interim replacement as the council’s chairman. And guess what? He’s also said that the UK’s marijuana laws should change.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read more



Video

Aaron Smith On Historic Passage of Marijuana Bill by California Legislative Committee

January 14th, 2010 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

MPP California Policy Director Aaron Smith is seen here on CBS Sacramento talking about the passage of AB390 through the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee. This event marks the first time any legislative body has approved a bill to remove all penalties for adult use of marijuana, and to tax and regulate it like alcohol. 01/12/2010

Read more



Video

MPP’s Andrew Myers Discusses Medical Marijuana in Arizona on FOX

January 14th, 2010 1 Comment Kate Zawidzki

MPP Arizona spokesperson Andrew Myers discusses the initiative to put a medical marijuana bill on the ballot in 2010 with KSAZ Fox 10. This bill would allow medical marijuana patients to purchase medicine in state-licensed dispensaries. 01/14/2010

Read more



Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Victory in the Golden State

January 13th, 2010 43 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Yesterday, the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee voted 4-3 in favor of legislation that would make marijuana legal, taxed, and regulated throughout the state. Before the vote, committee members heard supportive testimony from me and the Drug Policy Alliance’s Stephen Gutwillig. Not surprisingly, A.B. 390’s opponents were mostly entrenched law enforcement officials who make their living waging war on marijuana consumers.

A.B. 390 isn’t likely to make it further this year due to a legislative deadline, but that shouldn’t diminish the historical significance of this vote. Marijuana has been illegal for nearly 100 years in California and it’s no small achievement for the first proposal to reform that arcane policy to be approved by a key legislative committee.

A.B. 390’s author, Asm. Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), is committed to introducing similar legislation again in the near future. And, the looming November ballot initiative is also likely to be giving California lawmakers a reason to prioritize the regulation of marijuana in California.

You can watch the full hearing here.

Read more



Medical Marijuana

New Jersey Becomes 14th State to Pass Medical Marijuana

January 12th, 2010 23 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Yesterday, the New Jersey state legislature passed a bill allowing seriously ill patients with certain qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana with their doctor’s recommendation. Gov. Jon Corzine has said he will sign the bill into law before he leaves office Jan. 19, at which point New Jersey will become the 14th state in the nation to stop treating sick and dying patients as criminals, simply because they try to relieve their conditions through marijuana.

This vote is the latest victory along the path to reforming our nation’s cruel and ineffective marijuana laws, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. Thirty-six states have yet to pass urgently needed medical marijuana laws that would treat patients with compassion and dignity. To find out how to contact legislators in those states, click here.

Read more



Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

California legislative committee to consider taxing and regulating marijuana

January 11th, 2010 61 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Tomorrow, I’ll be testifying before the California Assembly’s Committee on Public Safety during a hearing on A.B. 390 – legislation that would remove criminal penalties for personal adult marijuana use and tax and regulate its sales comparably to alcohol. After hearing testimony, the committee is very likely to vote on this landmark bill, which has been introduced by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), the committee’s chair.

Regardless of the outcome, tomorrow’s hearing will mark a historic milestone in the road toward bringing the era of prohibition to a close. This is the first time in U.S. history that any state legislative committee will be voting on making marijuana legal, taxed, and regulated – and we actually have a chance of winning!

California residents: Please take a few minutes today to call your assemblymembers in support of A.B 390. MPP’s online action center couldn’t make calling any easier: Just enter your information and you’ll be provided with a phone number for your assemblymember and a script to help guide you through your call.

Read more



Video

Kurt A. Gardinier on Press TV

January 11th, 2010 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

MPP Director of Communications Kurt A. Gardinier appears on Press TV to discuss changing attitudes in the general public regarding marijuana and the rising support for reform of marijuana laws. Apologies for the poor video quality. 01/03/2010

Read more



Video

Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws on KOLO

January 7th, 2010 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws chairman Dave Schwartz discusses the petition to put a measure that taxes and regulates marijuana like alcohol on the Nevada ballot in 2012. This initiative would allow persons 21 and over to possess and transport up to an ounce of marijuana, and would allow for commercial sales at licensed outlets. 01/06/2010

Read more



Video

MPP Nevada’s Dave Schwartz Supports Marijuana Tax Initiative on KTVN

January 7th, 2010 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

MPP Nevada’s Dave Schwartz appears on KTVN 2 CBS to speak about the benefits of taxing and regulating marijuana in N

evada and the new ballot initiative introduced to treat marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. 01/06/2010

Read more