Tax and Regulate

Maine Initiative Recount Wasting Time and Taxpayer Money

December 8th, 2016 1 Comment » Marijuana Policy Project

Last week, the group opposing the successful initiative to make marijuana legal in Maine moved forward with a recount, despite the cost to the taxpayer and the very slim chances of overturning Question 1.yes1

“We respectfully ask the No on 1 Campaign to follow the lead of the No on 2 Campaign and withdraw their recount request,” said David Boyer, Campaign Manager for the Yes on 1 Campaign. “There is no evidence that a recount would change the result of Question 1. At the same time, $500,000 would be wasted on the process of recounting ballots. That’s half a million taxpayer dollars that should be spent on heating homes and funding schools.”

The most recent statewide recount in Maine was the 2010 Oxford Casino initiative, when the opposition campaign demanded a recount. The Yes campaign won the original vote by 4,723 votes, and after roughly 20% of the recount was complete, the margin of victory actually increased.

Not satisfied with simply wasting taxpayer money, the prohibitionists couldn’t even be bothered to show up to the first day of counting with the legally required number of people to count the votes!

David Boyer, campaign manager for Yes on 1, said volunteers with his campaign pitched in to count for the “No” side to keep the process going on Monday and Tuesday.

“That is, quite frankly, silly. The whole point is to ensure the integrity of the vote and they can’t be bothered to do that,” he said. “What are we doing here?”

Boyer said the No on 1 campaign’s “lack of organization is costing taxpayers more money because it’s going slower.”

 

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Delaware Activist Training Event in Wilmington on Dec. 10

December 8th, 2016 No Comments Maggie Ellinger-Locke
When the Delaware Legislature’s 2017 session begins on January 10, reformers expect lawmakers to take a serious look at ending cannabis prohibition. In order to move this important issue forward, we need to grow our team of effective advocates. That’s where you come in!dcpc_logo_348
Please join the Marijuana Policy Project on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Wilmington Public Library for an activist training to sharpen your citizen lobbying skills! RSVPs are not required, but they are appreciated — you can do so here.
We have lots to talk about, including the contents of the proposed legislation and how the legislative process works. We will also discuss messaging and offer tips on communicating with your lawmakers. Come and sharpen your skills as an organizer.
The library is located in downtown Wilmington. Please join us this Saturday at:
Wilmington Public Library
DuPont Room (Second Floor)
10 E 10th Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

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MPP to Host Events in Michigan to Explore 2018 Initiative to Regulate Marijuana

November 16th, 2016 1 Comment » Marijuana Policy Project
2000px-seal_of_michigan-svgThis year, MPP was instrumental in passing a number of marijuana policy reform initiatives around the country. We are very interested in bringing our expertise to Michigan for a November 2018 initiative. We’d like to team up with local advocates and make Michigan the first in the Midwest to replace prohibition with sensible regulation.
In mid-December, MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia and Director of State Policies Karen O’Keefe will hold public forums in three major Michigan cities to hear from local advocates, and to discuss what it’ll take to legalize marijuana in the Great Lakes State.
Thursday, Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m.
Grand Rapids Community College
 
Friday, Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.
The Om of Medicine, Ann Arbor
 
Saturday, Dec. 17, 2:00 p.m.
University of Michigan Detroit Center, downtown Detroit
Please spread the word to other sensible Michiganders. Together, we can consign marijuana prohibition to the dustbin of history!

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Denver Approves Groundbreaking Social Use Initiative

November 15th, 2016 4 Comments » Marijuana Policy Project

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-53-11-amDenver voters have approved a ballot initiative to allow social cannabis use in certain private businesses. Initiated Ordinance 300 (I-300) was too close to call on Election Day, but once all the ballots were counted, it ended up receiving a solid 53.5% of the vote.

I-300 creates a pilot program for permitting private establishments to allow adult cannabis consumption in designated areas. The city will only issue permits to establishments that have received formal support from their officially recognized neighborhood organization or business-improvement district, and recipients will be required to follow a number of guidelines. A full description of I-300 is available on the Yes on 300 campaign’s website.

The passage of I-300 is generating a ton of media attention around the country and abroad.

Mashable reports:

“This is a groundbreaking law that reflects the shift taking place in the public attitudes toward marijuana,” Mason Tvert, Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Mashable.

“By allowing adults to use marijuana in certain private establishments, we can reduce the chances that they are going to use it in public, like on the street or in the park. This is a community-focused measure that ensures neighborhoods will have the final say over what is and is not allowed,” Tvert said.

“We believe this will allow communities and businesses to test the waters to see what works, then move forward with the best plans possible. We are hopeful this will produce a system that can serve as a model for other cities and towns in Colorado and throughout the nation,” Tvert told Mashable.

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Four States End Marijuana Prohibition

November 15th, 2016 7 Comments » Marijuana Policy Project

On Election Day, voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada declared an end to the war on marijuana in their states by approving initiatives to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol for adults. This historic event was by far the biggest victory for drug policy reform to date, and will help pave the way for progress around the country.recreational

There are now eight states where marijuana is legal for adults to possess and where cultivation and retail sales are regulated and taxed. Marijuana possession and cultivation are legal in the District of Columbia, but Congress has prevented the city from regulating the non-medical marijuana industry.

This means that marijuana is legal for 66.5 million Americans, or about 21% of the population.

Unfortunately, a similar initiative in Arizona is trailing while the final votes are being counted, but advocates are already preparing to continue the fight in the legislature and possibly at the ballot in coming years.

Support for ending marijuana prohibition is increasing across the nation, according to recent polls. Marijuana initiatives out-performed a number of successful politicians in some states as well. During President-elect Trump’s campaign, he voiced support for leaving marijuana policy up to the states. Advocates are hopeful that the next administration will support the will of the people and continue the federal policy of non-interference until Congress is able to pass meaningful marijuana policy reform.

 

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First Retail Marijuana Store Opens in Alaska

November 1st, 2016 No Comments Chris Lindsey
Alaska reached yet another historic milestone on Saturday, October 29, when the state’s first marijuana retailer opened in Valdez. This week, Fairbanks’ first marijuana stores open, while Anchorage’s first store is expected to open in early November.ak-seal
Some supporters have wondered why it has taken nearly two years for retail marijuana to become available after 53.2% of Alaska voters approved the legalization initiative on Nov 4, 2014. But, considering the decades of fighting against marijuana prohibition, what has happened in the last two years feels like incredibly rapid progress. We continue to work to ensure Measure 2 is faithfully and responsibly implemented — most recently by encouraging the Marijuana Control Board to move forward with establishing rules for cannabis cafĂ©s.

So far, the Marijuana Control Board has approved 48 marijuana retail business applications. Many other retail business applications remain under consideration, and the review process continues. For specifics on the state program, including a calendar with important benchmarks, frequently asked questions, the most recently proposed cannabis café regulations, and training videos for applicants, click here.

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Delaware Senate Majority Whip to Introduce Legalization Bill Next Session

October 18th, 2016 No Comments Maggie Ellinger-Locke
Last week during a meeting of the Medical Marijuana Act Oversight Committee, Senate Majority Whip Margaret Rose Henry — who sponsored Delaware’s medical bill — said she plans to file a bill to regulate cannabis like alcohol! You can read more of her statements in this Delaware Online article.

margaretrosehenry
Sen. Margaret Rose Henry

Congratulations to all the advocates who have helped get Delaware to this point and are celebrating this wonderful news across the state today.

But, the battle has barely begun. Having a champion as respected and effective as Sen. Henry is crucial, but unless we get a majority of the General Assembly on board, the bill will not succeed. If you are a Delaware resident, please ask your legislators to embrace reform and support the passage of this bill. And if Sen. Henry is your state senator, be sure to thank her for taking this important step.

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Nevada Culinary Union Endorses Question 2

October 11th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Nevada’s largest union, has endorsed Question 2, the Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol!

The Culinary Union represents more than 57,000 workers in the state, so this endorsement gives a tremendous boost to our efforts to end marijuana prohibition. 

Local 226 knows, as we do, that it is time to stop punishing adults who choose to use marijuana. They also know that passage of Question 2 will take marijuana out of the criminal market and place it in regulated businesses that will create well-paying jobs.

 

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Massachusetts Ads Featuring Former Cop Kick Off Final Weeks of Campaign

October 6th, 2016 2 Comments » Marijuana Policy Project

The campaign in support of Question 4 in Massachusetts began airing its first television ad this week. The 30-second spot, which can be viewed below, features former Tom Nolan, a retired Boston police lieutenant who is now an associate professor and program director of the criminal justice graduate program at Merrimack College.

In the newly released ad, Nolan discusses several of the controls on marijuana that would be created under Question 4, as well as the millions of dollars in revenue that would be generated each year by taxes on adult-use marijuana sales.

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Arizona Democratic Party Backs Legalization

October 6th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced a wide variety of political endorsements for Prop. 205, including several progressive, conservative, and libertarian individuals and organizations, at a news conference in front of the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday.azdemlogo

The Arizona Democratic Party officially endorsed Prop. 205, and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-3) became the second member of Arizona’s congressional delegation to throw his support behind the measure, joining Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-7). Prop. 205 also received endorsements from nearly a dozen state legislators, two members of the Tucson City Council, two members of the Tempe City Council, a member of the Maricopa City Council, as well as Las Adelitas Arizona, a Latina-focused civic engagement organization.

Prop. 205 also picked up several endorsements from the other side of the political spectrum, including the La Paz County Republican Committee, the Arizona Liberty Caucus, Arizona Libertarian Party Chairman Michael Kielsky, Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar Dr. Jeffrey Singer, and former Arizona Senate Majority Leader Dr. Tom Patterson, a past president of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians who served as chairman of the Goldwater Institute from 2000-2015.

A full list of endorsements is available here.

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