Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

New Proposal Would Tax and Regulate Marijuana in Nevada in 2012

January 6th, 2010 195 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Today, on the steps of the State Capitol Building in Carson City, Nevada, the group Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws unveiled the details of a proposed 2012 ballot initiative that would establish a taxed and regulated marijuana market in that state.

The campaign will need to collect 97,002 valid signatures by November 2010 in order to qualify for the November 2012 ballot. If the initiative were adopted, it would, in the words of NSML campaign manager Dave Schwartz, “give Nevada the best marijuana laws in the world.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Alcohol Is Straining U.K.’s Health Care System

January 4th, 2010 13 Comments Kate Zawidzki

A new report by the NHS Confederation and Royal College of Physicians says the United Kingdom’s drinking culture is straining their health care system. The U.K.’s taxpayer-funded medical system, the National Health Service, now spends 2.7 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) a year treating patients for alcohol-related problems—double the amount five years ago, the report said.

Any strain on the U.K.’s health care system caused by marijuana users was not mentioned. Maybe it’s because they’re not straining the system?  A 2006 study by the Canadian government concluded that the health care costs per alcohol user are eight times greater than the health care costs per marijuana user.

The new report also warns that about 10.5 million adults in Britain drink above sensible limits, and 1.1 million people have some form of alcohol addiction.  In contrast, dependence on marijuana is both rare and mild.  In a report commissioned by the White House, the Institute of Medicine concluded that, “Compared to most other drugs … dependence among marijuana users is relatively rare.”  So, why does the substance that’s far less toxic, harmful and addictive remain illegal?

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Marijuana No Longer Criminal in Colorado Ski Town

January 1st, 2010 42 Comments Kate Zawidzki

The new year brought new, sensible marijuana laws to the vibrant ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado.  In November, citizens voted by nearly a 3 to 1 margin to remove criminal and civil penalties for adults over 21 carrying up to an ounce of marijuana and smoking paraphernalia. The law takes effect today, January 1, 2010.

“There is no sense in criminalizing a substance that is far less toxic, less addictive, and less problematic than alcohol,” said Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado. “This is a huge step toward more a more sensible policy, in which adults are no longer punished for making the rational, safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol.”

The new law doesn’t change laws prohibiting use by minors, smoking in public, or driving under the influence. It also doesn’t allow for the possession or use of marijuana while skiing. While conflicts with state and federal law remain, this first and necessary step toward ending marijuana prohibition sends a strong message to lawmakers in Colorado and around the country.

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