General

Martha Stewart: “Of course I know how to roll a joint”

June 25th, 2013 5 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Arts and crafts business magnate Martha Stewart has joined a growing tide of influential celebrities willing to open up about their personal marijuana use. In a June 12 interview with Andy Cohen, Stewart candidly responded to the question: “Do you know how to roll a joint?”

martha snoop
Martha Stewart with Snoop Lion

Stewart first told a story about her drive to the interview, during which she spotted the passengers of a neighboring car smoking “sloppy joints.” She then said, “Of course I know how to roll a joint.”

Read more



General

Miley Cyrus: “Alcohol is way more dangerous than marijuana”

June 19th, 2013 6 Comments Kate Zawidzki

MileyCyrus_Facebook

 

Former Disney pop star Miley Cyrus recently offered her two cents on alcohol and marijuana use. In her June 18 interview with Rolling Stone, the 20-year-old singer said, “I think alcohol is way more dangerous than marijuana. People can be mad at me for saying that, but I don’t care. I’ve seen a lot of people spiral down with alcohol, but I’ve never seen that happen with weed. As long as it isn’t illegal, there are far more dangerous things.”

Cyrus also stated that “it’s legal in the state of California.” While Miley is right that marijuana is safer than alcohol, she is mistaken about the Sunshine State’s cannabis laws. Recreational use is still prohibited, and possession of an ounce or more can lead to arrest.

Read more



General

Alaska OKs Ballot Initiative Application to Legalize Marijuana for Adults

June 19th, 2013 12 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Following the approval of a ballot initiative application on Friday, it seems that Alaska may be the next state to legalize marijuana for adults.

LtGovenor Mead Treadwell
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell

On June 14, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell certified a ballot initiative application that would put the question of whether to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol up to state voters. In order to appear on next year’s ballot, the initiative must receive 30,169 signatures from qualified voters.

The proposal would create state-regulated marijuana stores, cultivation facilities, and the option for Alaska’s legislature to create a Marijuana Control Board tasked with overseeing the industry. It would also allow adults to grow up to six marijuana plants.

Petition sponsor Tim Hinterberger stated that advocates hope to finish collecting signatures by January in order to get the petition on the primary ballot.

If the proposal passes, it would help to clear up Alaskans’ confusion over some of the nation’s most contradictory marijuana laws. In 1975, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that possession of less than four ounces in the home was protected from criminal sanctions by the state constitution’s right to privacy. However, in 2006, the legislature passed a bill criminalizing the possession of even small amounts of marijuana. Meanwhile, the state is one of 18 that allows patients to access medical marijuana.

Mason Tvert, a spokesman for MPP, is quoted in the Huffington Post as saying that this proposal is not a “blanket protection for marijuana possession… In order to have a system where individuals can go to the store, buy an ounce of marijuana, drive home, and enjoy it at home, it is necessary to make up to an ounce of marijuana entirely legal.”

Read more



General, Uncategorized

MPP’s Newest Board Member

June 12th, 2013 9 Comments Kate Zawidzki

MPP's Newest Board Member, Troy DaytonMPP is happy to announce that Troy Dayton will be joining our board of directors later this month! He will serve a three-year term, during which time he will help guide the overall direction of the organization. Troy will be replacing Richard Miller, Ph.D., who has served since 2010 and done an outstanding job.

Troy Dayton was one of MPP’s first volunteers when MPP was founded in 1995. Since then, he has raised over $1 million to support MPP’s work — which is the second-largest sum of money that anyone has raised for MPP.

He also co-founded Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the National Cannabis Industry Association. And Troy made national headlines when he organized religious leaders to endorse MPP’s ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Nevada.

Troy is currently the CEO of The ArcView Group, which was the focus of a recent cover story in “Fortune” magazine. He is quoted often in major media outlets on the topic of marijuana legalization.

The final results showed that Troy secured over 75% of the popular vote from MPP’s members, with Michael Kirshner (16.8%) and Jason Fien (7.1%) placing second and third in the voting.

Read more



General, Uncategorized

Nevada Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Dispensary Bill

May 30th, 2013 2 Comments Kate Zawidzki
101013_segerblom_376
Sen. Tick Segerblom

Yesterday, the Nevada Senate passed SB 374, which would allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and growers in the state. Sponsored by Sen. Tick Segerblom, the bill received a 17-4 vote — well above the 2/3 votes needed to advance the bill to the Assembly. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn by early Tuesday morning, so time is running short.

Despite the constitutional rights established in Article IV, Section 38 of the Nevada Constitution, the legislature failed to provide seriously ill patients with a way to obtain medical marijuana — other than growing it themselves or finding a volunteer to do so. SB 374 aims to fix that shortfall by authorizing and regulating producers and providers.

There are still several critical steps ahead for this bill. If you are a Nevada residentplease ask your assembly member to support SB 374.

Read more



General, Uncategorized

San Diego Mayor Urges Jurors to Ignore Federal Law

May 21st, 2013 14 Comments Kate Zawidzki

The Mayor of San Diego is encouraging jurors of an upcoming medical marijuana case to reject the prosecution’s argument, which rests on the fact that marijuana is banned at the federal level.

The feds arrested Ronnie Chang of San Marcos in 2009 for operating a medical marijuana dispensary. He is just one of the many Californians who have faced legal consequences for their state-sanctioned efforts to bring relief to patients.

Filner 2
Mayor Bob Filner

Mayor Bob Filner is outraged at Chang’s situation. “Someone should not be going through this stage of prosecution for trying to help people to have access to medical marijuana,” he told reporters.

A champion for civil rights and a former Freedom Rider, Mayor Filner wants jurors to send a message to the federal government this fall, when Chang’s trial is expected to begin.

“[I]t’s time, like with Prohibition, to step back and say this was a stupid thing to do…and juries ought to take the lead in saying that to the federal government.”

In a process known as “jury nullification,” Mayor Filner hopes that those selected to listen to Chang’s case will place their consciences above the evidence and acquit him of any wrong doing.

Let’s hope the jury heeds Mayor Filner’s bold cry for action.

Read more



General, Uncategorized

Texas Judge Spills the Beans

May 7th, 2013 10 Comments Mason Tvert

We often make the case that some law enforcement officials want to maintain marijuana prohibition because enforcing it provides them with job security and bigger budgets. This Texas Monthly article quotes a former Texas judge making that case for us while discussing his support for a bill that would reduce penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

Bryan-College Station Judge John Delaney reported that probation officers in Brazos County had told him that passage of the bill, with its removal of incarceration and therefore of probation, would devastate their offices. Why? Because almost half of the county’s misdemeanor probationers have been convicted of possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. “We live off our under-two-ounce misdemeanor guys. They pay the rent.” [MPP emphasis added]

Read more



General, Uncategorized

Decriminalization Bill Heads to Vermont House Floor

April 11th, 2013 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

After years of work, a bill that would stop the criminalization of Vermont’s marijuana users is headed to the floor of the Vermont House of Representatives. It could get a vote as early as Friday.

Willam Sorrell VT AG
VT Attorney General William Sorrell

Over the last week, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on both sides of the issue. Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn, and many others testified in support, and the committee listened. Yesterday, it voted 9-2 in favor of reform.

But the opposition is making their voices heard, too. Yesterday, several police are lobbying against this modest proposal to impose a civil fine — not possible jail time — on possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. It’s vital that lawmakers hear from the 63% of Vermonters who believe police have better things to do than to arrest and book marijuana users.

If you live in Vermont, please write your lawmakers today. Politely ask them to support reducing the penalty imposed on Vermonters who possess a substance that is safer than alcohol. Then, share this message with other sensible Vermonters so that they, too, can speak out for reform.

Read more



General, Uncategorized

Peeposition 64

April 3rd, 2013 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Congratulations to Liz Wohl, this year’s adult runner-up in the Denver Post Peeps diorama and sculpture contest. Wohl’s “Peeposition 64: Peeps’ Bake-Off” depicts Peeps responsibly enjoying the newly legalized marijuana in the comfort of their own home.

She says she thought about dressing her Peeps in tie-dye and dreadlocks, but “didn’t want to be cliche. It’s a nice house, they’re in compliance — they have their six plants,” says Wohl. She added a Gov. Peepenlooper to the party, complete with Goldfish crackers and Cheetos. Judges liked the topicality, details and humor of this one.

Winners of the Peeps dioramas.
(Photo: Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

Read more



General, Uncategorized

Oklahoma to Consider Lessening Marijuana Penalties

March 21st, 2013 6 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Cory Williams OK with child
Rep. Cory Williams
Oklahoma has some of the harshest penalties for marijuana possession in the nation. A second offense for possession of any amount of marijuana is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum of two years imprisonment and a maximum of 10.

Fortunately, legislation awaiting action on the House floor would introduce a dose of sanity. H.B. 1835, sponsored by Rep. Cory Williams (D-34), would make first and second offense possession of marijuana a misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses would remain a felony, but the possible jail time would be reduced to a maximum of five years. Read the rest of this entry »

Read more