Prohibition

Marijuana Now Legal In D.C.

February 26th, 2015 24 Comments » Morgan Fox

Just after midnight last night, a law making marijuana legal for adults quietly went into effect in the Nation’s Capital.2015.02.25 - Front page - DC Takes Effect copy

Initiative 71, which was approved 70-30 by D.C. voters in November, allows adults 21 years of age or older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana; grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes (of which no more than three can be flowering at a time) and possess the yield of those plants in the location where it was grown; and transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults 21 years of age or older. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public.

Certain members of Congress attempted to halt implementation of this law, even going so far as to threaten D.C. leaders with arrest. Others offered their support, asserting that the District is well within its legal rights to stop punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.

MPP will continue to work with the D.C. Council to pass legislation regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol.

“We are hopeful that Congress will not stand in the way of D.C.’s efforts to regulate and tax marijuana,” said Robert Capecchi, MPP’s Deputy Director of State Policies. “Members of the District Council are clearly interested in adopting such a system, and they appear ready to move forward if Congress doesn’t interfere.”

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Tax and Regulate, Video

The Sky Hasn’t Fallen in Alaska

February 26th, 2015 15 Comments » Mason Tvert
Marijuana officially became legal for adults in Alaska New logo 3a copyas the legalization initiative approved by voters in November took effect on February 24. As we (and state lawmakers) expected, the sky did not fall in The Last Frontier, which is now the third state in the nation to allow adult marijuana use.

Under Ballot Measure 2, it is legal for 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes, and possess the yield of those plants in the location where it was grown. It also creates a system of regulated marijuana cultivation and sales — which the state legislature is currently in the process of developing — that will allow for licensed businesses to sell marijuana to adults. 
The Marijuana Policy Project was the largest backer of the campaign in support of Ballot Measure 2, and we are now working with state and local activists, organizations, and officials to implement the best possible regulatory system. MPP also used “legalization day” as an opportunity to introduce its Consume Responsibly campaign to Alaska. The initial effort entailed ads on the side of city buses in Anchorage reminding adult marijuana consumers that, “With great marijuana laws comes great responsibility.”
KTUU reports:

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Research, Tax and Regulate

Majority of Coloradans Want to Keep Marijuana Legal

February 25th, 2015 2 Comments » Morgan Fox

Echoing results from last September, a new poll shows that an even greater percentage of Coloradans are happy with their marijuana laws.

From Denver Post:

More than 13 months after recreational pot sales first started in Colorado, residents of the state still support marijuana legalization by a definitive margin, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday.

When asked, “Do you still support or oppose this law?” 58 percent of respondents said they support the pot-legalizing Amendment 64 while 38 percent said they oppose it. Men support legalization (63 percent) more than women (53 percent). And among the 18-34 age demographic, of course, there was more support of legal pot (82 percent) than among voters 55 and older (50 percent against).

The new numbers show a certain kind of progress for legal marijuana in Colorado. In the 2012 election, Amendment 64 passed 54.8 percent to 45.1 percent, and a December 2014 poll by The Denver Post found that more than 90 percent of the respondents who voted in the 2012 election said they would vote the same way today.

 

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Research

Study Shows Marijuana 114 Times Less Deadly Than Alcohol

February 25th, 2015 19 Comments » Morgan Fox

A study recently published in Scientific ReportsSCReports compared the risk of death associated with a number of drugs, including marijuana. The results added even more evidence proving that marijuana is far safer than legal alcohol.

The Washington Post reports:

Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly-used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.

And all the way at the bottom of the list? Weed — roughly 114 times less deadly than booze, according to the authors, who ran calculations that compared lethal doses of a given substance with the amount that a typical person uses. Marijuana is also the only drug studied that posed low mortality risk to its users.

These findings reinforce drug safety rankings developed 10 years ago under a slightly different methodology. So in that respect, the study is more of a reaffirmation of previous findings than anything else. But given the current national and international debates over the legal status of marijuana and the risks associated with its use, the study arrives at a good time.

Given the relative risks associated with marijuana and alcohol, the authors recommend “risk management prioritization towards alcohol and tobacco rather than illicit drugs.” And they say that when it comes to marijuana, the low amounts of risk associated with the drug “suggest a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach.”

In other words, individuals and organizations up in arms over marijuana legalization could have a greater impact on the health and well-being of this country by shifting their attention to alcohol and cigarettes. It takes extraordinary chutzpah to rail against the dangers of marijuana use by day and then go home to unwind with a glass of far more lethal stuff in the evening.

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Prohibition

Jamaican Parliament Approves Decriminalizing Marijuana

February 25th, 2015 3 Comments » Morgan Fox

The Parliament of Jamaicajamaica flag adopted a law on Tuesday that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana and created a new agency that will regulate the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana. Now that the measure has been approved in the House and Senate, Governor-general Patrick Allen is expected to sign the measure into law.

The Associated Press reports:
The act makes possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana a petty offense that could result in a ticket but not in a criminal record. Cultivation of five or fewer plants on any premises will be permitted. And tourists who are prescribed medical marijuana abroad will soon be able to apply for permits authorizing them to legally buy small amounts of Jamaican weed, or “ganja” as it is known locally.
Passage of the law also marks a victory for religious freedom:
In addition, adherents of the homegrown Rastafari spiritual movement can now freely use marijuana for sacramental purposes for the first time on the tropical island where the faith was founded in the 1930s.

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Medical Marijuana

West Virginia Senate Leaders Introduce Medical Marijuana Bill

February 24th, 2015 7 Comments » Kate Zawidzki

The West Virginia House has considered medical marijuana bills in recent years, but such bills had not been introduced in the Senate. Yesterday, that situation changed in a big way, as a bipartisan group of three Senate leaders introduced a bill that would make medical marijuana legal for seriously ill West Virginians. An identical bill, HB 2909, was introduced today in the House.

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Sen. Mitch Carmichael

SB 546, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael (R-Ripley), Senate Minority Leader Jeffrey Kessler (D-Glen Dale), and Senate Majority Whip Daniel Hall (R-Oceana), has been introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources. The bill would allow qualifying patients to cultivate up to 12 mature plants and possess up to six ounces. It would also allow for the creation of state-regulated dispensaries that would serve the needs of patients.

HB 2909, which mirrors SB 546, is sponsored in the House by Delegate Stephen Skinner (D-Shepherdstown) and a bipartisan group of 10 co-sponsors.

If you are a West Virginia resident, please ask your lawmakers to support these compassionate bills. 

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Marijuana Legal In Alaska Today!

February 24th, 2015 2 Comments » Morgan Fox

Marijuana is officially legal in Alaska today!

Ballot Measure 2, which was approved by 53% of Alaska voters in November, allows adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes, and possess the yield of those plants in the location where it was grown. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public.

Proponents of Ballot Measure 2 held a news conference in Anchorage today to discuss the implementation of the law, as well as the launch of an ad campaign in the state capital that encourages adults who choose to use marijuana to “consume responsibly.” The ads, which will appear on the sides of Anchorage city buses for the next two weeks, read, “With great marijuana laws comes great responsibility.”AK CR Bus Ad 1 - 800x187

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Congressmen Introduce Bills to Regulate and Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol at the Federal Level

February 20th, 2015 30 Comments » Morgan Fox

U.S. Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced separate bills Friday that would regulate marijuana like alcohol and tax it at the federal level, respectively.

Rep. Polis’s bill would replace the federal government’sUS_Capitol_west_side current marijuana prohibition model with a regulatory model similar to the one in place for alcohol. States would decide their own marijuana laws, and a federal regulatory process would be created for states that choose to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use. Rep. Blumenauer’s bill would tax marijuana at the federal level.

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Prohibition

Boycott Holiday Inn!

February 20th, 2015 11 Comments » Morgan Fox

Yesterday, a Holiday Inn hotel operator in Colorado and a national anti-marijuana organization filed a federal lawsuit intended to shut down all of Colorado’s legal marijuana retail stores and cultivation facilities.

MPP is encouraging everyone who supports legalizing and regulating marijuana to (1) join us in a nationwide boycott of Holiday Inn hotels until the suit is withdrawn, and (2) sign our Change.org petition urging the hotel operator to withdraw it.Holiday_Inn_Graphics_-_FINAL

The people spearheading this effort were warriors in the Reagan administration’s Justice Department during the “Just Say No” era, and now they’re trying to turn back the clock 30 years in Colorado. At their press conference, the attorney who filed the lawsuit said they want everyone in Colorado who grows or sells marijuana for adult use to go to prison (yes, they actually said “prison”).

These guys aren’t messing around, and neither are we. Help us send businesses the message that they will face consequences if they join the fight to maintain marijuana prohibition.

Sign our petition calling on the Holiday Inn operator to drop its misguided lawsuit, boycott Holiday Inn until the suit gets dropped, and encourage your friends and relatives to do the same.

 

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Medical Marijuana

North Dakota House Votes Down Medical Marijuana Bill

February 19th, 2015 7 Comments » Morgan Fox

From the Grand Forks Herald:

House lawmakers scrapped a bill Wednesday aimed at making North Dakota the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana, saying it was premature and carried too many risks that outweighed the potential benefits.

House Bill 1430 failed 26-67, with one member absent.

The bipartisan bill would have allowed patients and caregivers to possess a certain amount of cannabis or products such as cannabis oils, beverages, vapors and pills, for medical use.

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Rep. Robin Weisz

Rep. Robin Weisz, a member of the House Human Services Committee that recommended 8-3 against passing the amended bill, commended the parents who gave emotional testimony about how they hoped medical cannabis would relieve the pain and seizures of their children suffering from debilitating and terminal conditions.

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