Medical Marijuana

Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative Makes the Ballot!

January 31st, 2014 9 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Monday brought welcoming news to seriously ill patients in Florida: The Florida Supreme Court declared the medical marijuana constitutional initiative fit for November’s ballot! If passed, this initiative will allow individuals with debilitating conditions to use marijuana if their doctor recommends it. Since this initiative would amend the state’s constitution, it needs 60% support to pass. Please make sure you are registered to vote now, so that your voice will count come November.

Last week, the state confirmed that the campaign, United for Care, had submitted enough valid signatures to make the ballot. The only hurdle left before officially making the ballot was surviving the legal challenge brought by Attorney General Pam Bondi. Bondi argued the summary of the measure (which was written by its proponents) didn’t accurately explain what the initiative would do. She also claimed the measure violated Florida’s requirement that ballot questions be limited to a single subject. The Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, disagreed.

The Florida Legislature has refused to act on the numerous medical marijuana proposals brought before it by medical marijuana champions. This November, you have the opportunity to bypass the legislature by voting “yes” on medical marijuana, but only if you’re registered to vote. Finally, please be sure to spread the word to your friends and family in Florida.

 

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Tax and Regulate

Missouri Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana Introduced

January 31st, 2014 13 Comments Kate Zawidzki
Chris Kelly
Rep. Chris Kelly

On Wednesday, Rep. Chris Kelly introduced HB 1659, which would end the prohibition of marijuana in Missouri. The bill, similar to the law currently in effect in Colorado, would allow adults to possess, use, and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana with no penalty. It would also set up a taxed and regulated market for marijuana cultivation and sale.

Marijuana prohibition has been just as ineffective, inefficient, and problematic as alcohol prohibition. Poll after poll after poll has shown that Americans are ready for a new, more sensible approach. By regulating adult use, the state can replace the underground market, and let law enforcement focus on serious crime. It’s time for a better approach in the Show Me State. If you are a Missouri residentplease support Rep. Kelly’s efforts and ask your senator and representative to end the destruction caused by marijuana prohibition in Missouri.

Meanwhile, another bill has also been introduced and represents a step in the right direction. Sen. Jolie Justus introduced SB 491, which would establish a new class of low-level offense for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Individuals would not be forced to spend time in jail, and fines would be limited from their current levels.

 

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Tax and Regulate

New York Times Editorial Backs MPP’s NFL Petition

January 31st, 2014 No Comments Morgan Fox

On Thursday, the editorial board of The New York TimesNew-York-Times-Logo tackled the  issue of NFL players being punished for marijuana use, as highlighted by MPP’s billboards around MetLife Stadium this week:

In the lead-up to the Super Bowl, in which it so happens both teams hail from states that recently legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, pressure is mounting on the league to reconsider its ban. A group called the Marijuana Policy Project has even bought space on five billboards in New Jersey, where the game will take place on Sunday, asking why the league disallows a substance that, the group says, is less harmful than alcohol.

It’s a fair question. Marijuana isn’t a performance-enhancing drug, for starters, and more than 20 states have legalized it for medical purposes. The league would merely be catching up to contemporary practice by creating a medical exception.

As public opinion and state laws move away from strict prohibition, it’s reasonable for the NFL to do the same and let its players deal with their injuries as they — and their private doctors — see fit.

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Prohibition

Project SAM Responds to Super Bowl Billboards, MPP Fires Back

January 31st, 2014 No Comments Morgan Fox

After seeing the massive popularity of  the billboards MPP posted near the stadium where the Super Bowl will take place that emphasize the objective safety of marijuana compared to alcohol, Project SAM decided to insert their outdated message into the conversation.

In response, MPP decided to let viewers know the truth about marijuana in a language even SAM can understand.

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Prohibition

Super Bowl Ads Call on NFL to Stop Punishing Players for Marijuana

January 29th, 2014 12 Comments Morgan Fox

UPDATE: MPP posted new billboards in response to anti-marijuana billboards posted near the Super Bowl.

On Tuesday, MPP unveiled a series of billboards surrounding MetLife Stadium, site of the upcoming Super Bowl, that have been getting a lot of attention. These ads highlight the fact that marijuana is objectively safer than both alcohol and football, and call on the NFL to stop punishing players for using the safer option.

This is especially noteworthy this year, as the two teams playing in the Super Bowl are the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, both of whose home states made marijuana legal for adults in 2012.

Here’s a pictureBillboard of one of the ads from the ground, and you can view the rest on our website.

On Wednesday, MPP’s Mason Tvert presented a Change.org petition calling on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to get rid of the policy of punishing players for using marijuana. The petition currently has more than 12,000 signatures.

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Research, Tax and Regulate

Rhode Island Poll Finds Strong Support for Ending Marijuana Prohibition

January 28th, 2014 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Earlier today, MPP released a new poll finding that a clear majority of Rhode Islanders support “changing Rhode Island law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol.” Fifty-three percent of Rhode Island voters favor marijuana policies similar to those in Colorado, where adults 21 and over can purchase marijuana from regulated stores; only 41% oppose this policy change. If you are a Rhode Island resident, please take a brief moment to call both your state representative and your state senator and ask them to support ending marijuana prohibition in 2014.

Over the past couple of years, it’s become apparent that marijuana prohibition is coming to an end. It is no longer a question of if Rhode Island will legalize marijuana for adults and regulate it like alcohol, but when. Passing legislation this session will allow the state to begin creating hundreds of much-needed jobs and realizing tens of millions in annual tax revenue. With the state facing a $150 million budget hole and Rhode Island having the highest unemployment rate in the nation, let your lawmakers know now is the time to end marijuana prohibition in the Ocean State.

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Tax and Regulate

Wisconsin Bill Introduced to Treat Marijuana Like Alcohol

January 28th, 2014 12 Comments Kate Zawidzki
Melissa Sargent
Rep. Sargent

Wisconsin State Representative Melissa Sargent (D – Madison) is asking her colleagues to sign on to her bill to replace Wisconsin’s marijuana prohibition with a system that regulates marijuana for adults’ use. If you are a Wisconsin resident, email your state representative and senator today and ask them to sign on as co-sponsors!

Rep. Sargent’s proposal is similar to the measures voters in Colorado and Washington overwhelmingly approved of in November 2012. The bill would allow individuals 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana. It would also create a system of regulated marijuana production and retail sales. This sensible approach to marijuana would let law enforcement focus on more serious crimes. It would also create thousands of new, legitimate jobs and raise millions of dollars in revenue for the state each year.

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Prohibition

Fire Michele Leonhart!

January 27th, 2014 9 Comments Kate Zawidzki

The DEA has gone rogue. First, an agent describes marijuana regulation in Washington and Colorado as “reckless and irresponsible,” contrary to the president’s assertion that it’s “important for it to go forward.” Now, DEA administrator Michele Leonhartalert_sidebar_MicheleLeonhart has criticized President Obama for, accurately, saying marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol to the consumer. In fact, the science says marijuana is dramatically safer than alcohol, for both the consumer and society.

It is unacceptable for our nation’s top drug cop to not understand the relative risks of America’s two most popular recreational drugs. That’s why we have started a Change.org petition calling on President Obama to fire Michele Leonhart and replace her with someone who will base decisions on science and evidence instead of politics and ideology.

This is the same person who once refused to answer the relatively simple question of whether marijuana is less harmful than heroin or crack cocaine. Her repeated refusal to recognize clear scientific evidence undermines the president’s mandate that “science and the scientific process guide decisions of [his] Administration.” She’s got to go.

Please sign our petition and share it with everyone you know!

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Tax and Regulate

Department of Justice to Create Marijuana Industry Banking Regulations

January 24th, 2014 6 Comments Morgan Fox
Holder 00
Attorney General Eric Holder

On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced his intent to craft regulations that would allow banking services for legitimate marijuana businesses throughout the country. Banks and credit card companies have been wary of working with marijuana businesses for fear of federal prosecution and loss of licensing, causing serious issues with public safety and hampering the growth of the industry. Advocates are hopeful that this statement directly from Holder, proposing regulations instead of guidance memos, signals a growing tolerance of marijuana policy reform among the states.

MPP’s Dan Riffle discussed the issues facing marijuana businesses on Marketplace on NPR this morning.

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Prohibition

Petition to Obama: Remove Marijuana From the Schedule of Drugs

January 22nd, 2014 18 Comments Kate Zawidzki

In a profile published this week by The New Yorker magazine, President Barack Obama acknowledged the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol for the consumer. Yet federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, a category the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers “the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules.” It’s time for that to change.

The Controlled Substances Act gives the executive branch, led by President Obama, alert_sidebar_ObamaPetition_v3the legal authority to remove marijuana from the DEA’s schedule of drugs. That authority should be exercised immediately.

Please sign our Change.org petition calling on President Obama to remove marijuana from the DEA’s schedule of drugs. Then share it widely with your friends and relatives, and encourage them to sign and share it, too.

The president clearly recognizes that marijuana is safer than alcohol — which is not a scheduled drug — so he should do everything he can to ensure our federal laws reflect that fact. Actions speak louder than words, and it’s time for the president to take action.

Sign our petition now and tell President Obama to remove marijuana from the DEA’s schedule of drugs. Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and it is time for our government to start treating it that way.

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