Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Rhode Island House Judiciary concludes testimony on taxing and regulating marijuana

February 27th, 2013 6 Comments Kate Zawidzki

The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee convened this evening to take testimony on H 5274, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Edith Ajello, would end Rhode Island’s marijuana prohibition, replacing it with a system in which marijuana is taxed, regulated, and sold in a manner similar to alcohol.  This is now the third session in a row that the Marijuana Policy Project has teamed with legislative champions like House Judiciary Chair Edith Ajello, community advocates, and allied policy organizations to make the case that marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, a far more dangerous substance. And for the third year in a row, I was so honored to be in Providence to participate.

Members of the Coalition for Marijuana Regulation testify in support of H 5274
Members of the Coalition for Marijuana Regulation testify in support of H 5274

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Research, Tax and Regulate

Majority of Californians Want to End Marijuana Prohibition

February 27th, 2013 4 Comments Kate Zawidzki

According to a California Field Poll released on Wednesday, the majority of Golden State voters are in favor of legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol for recreational use.  The Sacramento Bee expounded on the poll, which also stated that an even larger percentage of those polled oppose the federal crackdown on medical marijuana businesses. This sentiment was similar across party lines.

Richard Lee

Marijuana reform activists were optimistic after learning of the results. Richard Lee, the chief proponent of Proposition 19, the ballot measure that attempted to make marijuana legal for adults in California in 2010, told the Bee:

“I think it shows that [marijuana legalization and regulation is] going to win in 2016, and it’s just a matter of writing the best law that we can.”

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Court Upholds Temporary Ban on Florida Welfare Drug Testing

February 26th, 2013 17 Comments Morgan Fox

Earlier today, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that temporarily halted the enforcement of a Florida law requiring that all welfare recipients be drug testedUrine Sample in order to receive benefits.

We have addressed this issue in the past on this blog, and it is good to see the 11th Circuit supporting the lower court’s decision. Drug testing in this fashion is an invasion of privacy, and in most cases ends up costing the taxpayers far more than is saved by denying benefits to the very few people who test positive.

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Medical Marijuana, Prohibition

UPDATE: Florida Medical Marijuana Patient Raided Hours After Being Mentioned in Newspaper

February 26th, 2013 18 Comments Morgan Fox
Cathy Jordan

Yesterday, the Miami Herald published an article discussing a recent poll that shows a majority of Florida voters support medical marijuana. The article specifically mentioned the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act and talked about how it could affect the gubernatorial race in 2014.

Apparently, certain folks in law enforcement didn’t like what they saw. Read the rest of this entry »

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Medical Marijuana, Research

Florida Poll Shows Popular Medical Marijuana Measure Could Determine Governor’s Race

February 26th, 2013 20 Comments Morgan Fox

According to a recent poll conducted by Hamilton Campaigns on behalf of People United for Medical Marijuana, PUFMM sign70% of Florida voters support a plan to mend the state constitution to allow the medical use of marijuana.

Those are great numbers, but analysts say that this level of support could actually have an impact on the gubernatorial race in Florida if it makes the ballot in 2014!  Read the rest of this entry »

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Medical Marijuana

Prominent New Hampshire Newspapers Back Medical Marijuana Bill

February 26th, 2013 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

This past Sunday, New Hampshire’s Sentinel Source positively highlighted the state’s proposed medical marijuana legislation, House Bill 573. The editorial board points out that the “well-crafted,” 30-page bill removes the ambiguities with which reform opponents often take issue. The proposal stipulates that prior to receiving a medical marijuana recommendation, qualifying patients must first try other forms of relief, and it sets strict rules about the financial relationships between recommending doctors and treatment centers, the total of which is capped at five. Read the rest of this entry »

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Medical Marijuana, Research

Kentucky Poll Finds Majority Support for Medical Marijuana, Industrial Hemp

February 25th, 2013 2 Comments Morgan Fox

A Courier-Journal Bluegrass Poll conducted last week KY Pollfound that 60% of registered Kentucky voters support making marijuana legal for medical use. Only 31% were opposed. A bill to make medical marijuana legal for certain qualifying conditions and ensure safe access for patients, S.B. 11, was introduced this session by Sen. Perry Clark.

In addition, 65% of those polled support making production of industrial hemp legal in the state. There is also a bill being considered that would allow farmers in Kentucky to cultivate hemp and take advantage of this versatile agricultural commodity.

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Tax and Regulate

Making Marijuana Legal is #2 Issue in Rhode Island

February 25th, 2013 1 Comment Morgan Fox

The news blog GoLocalProv just ranked the bills being considered in the Rhode Island General Assembly as the “most likely to have a swift and immediate impact on residents throughout the Ocean State and the ones most likely to take up the majority of the General Assembly’s time.”

Naturally, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, or H 5274, came in at Number 2 on the list! Read the rest of this entry »

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Medical Marijuana

North Carolina Rep. Thinks Public Engagement Is Harassment

February 22nd, 2013 11 Comments Kate Zawidzki

As you might have read or heard, a state representative in North Carolina killed a medical marijuana bill yesterday because he felt he and his colleagues were being “harassed” based on the volume of emails and calls they were receiving in support of the legislation.

This is unacceptable. Our democratic process depends on citizens reaching out to their elected representatives to let them know where their constituents stand on the issues. Not only is this type of civic engagement appropriate, it should be encouraged. If anything, such a high volume of calls and emails in support of the medical marijuana bill should be considered a sign that this is an issue worthy of public debate.

Please send a message to Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam asking him to apologize for Paul 'Skip' Stamequating calls and emails from constituents to being “harassed,” and requesting that he call for a hearing regarding medical marijuana. 

Despite what Rep. Stam said, elected officials need to hear from their constituents. This is a perfect opportunity to let him know that, so please take action today.

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Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire Looks At Medical Marijuana Legislation

February 22nd, 2013 2 Comments Kate Zawidzki

New Hampshire lawmakers met Thursday to discuss medical marijuana legislation. The House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs heard four hours of testimony from supporters of H.B. 573, a bill that would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to obtain and use medical marijuana upon receiving recommendations from their doctors. The bill permits up to five centers to dispense marijuana to patients, and it states that patients would be allowed to grow small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

A subcommittee will now examine the proposal, and on March 5, the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs will meet for a vote. A similar bill passed with bipartisan support in both legislative bodies in 2012, but it was vetoed by then Governor John Lynch. Gov. Maggie Hassan has expressed support for medical marijuana legislation.

To read more about the proceedings, check out WMUR-TV’s coverage on the topic.

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