GOP Congressman Introduces ‘Respect State Marijuana Laws Act’


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Rep. Dana Rohrabacher

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday that would resolve the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws and allow states to determine their own marijuana policies.

The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act exempts individuals and entities from certain provisions of the Controlled Substances Act if they are acting in compliance with state marijuana laws. This is the third time Rohrabacher has introduced the bill. Twenty of his colleagues in the House, including seven Republicans, co-sponsored the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015, which was introduced in the 114th Congress.

“The call for federal marijuana policy reform is growing louder and louder,” said Don Murphy, MPP director of conservative outreach. “Congress needs to listen to their constituents and to state lawmakers, most of whom agree marijuana policy is an issue best left to the states. This is a bipartisan solution that ought to find support on both sides of the aisle.”

 

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Obama Thinks Marijuana Should Be Legal, Still Has Time for Pardons


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In an interview with Rolling Stone published Nov. 29, President Barack Obama spoke candidly about how he thinks marijuana should be treated:

You can now buy marijuana legally on the entire West Coast. So why are we still waging the War on Drugs? It is a colossal failure. Why are we still dancing around the subject and making marijuana equivalent to a Schedule I drug?

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Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse. And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it. Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict but are done either legislatively or through the DEA. As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.

[Laughs] What about you? Are you gonna get on the cutting edge?
Look, I am now very much in lame-duck status. And I will have the opportunity as a private citizen to describe where I think we need to go. But in light of these referenda passing, including in California, I’ve already said, and as I think I mentioned on Bill Maher’s show, where he asked me about the same issue, that it is untenable over the long term for the Justice Department or the DEA to be enforcing a patchwork of laws, where something that’s legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another. So this is a debate that is now ripe, much in the same way that we ended up making progress on same-sex marriage. There’s something to this whole states-being-laboratories-of-democracy and an evolutionary approach. You now have about a fifth of the country where this is legal.

Lame duck or not, there are still more than 40 days for Pres. Obama to grant pardons or commute sentences for those convicted of federal marijuana violations. Please contact the White House and ask the president to use his remaining time in office to restore justice for the victims of marijuana prohibition.

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Four States End Marijuana Prohibition


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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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Election Day Voter Guides


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Today is the day! This is the biggest election in marijuana policy reform history, but even if you can’t vote on a legalization or medical marijuana ballot initiative today, you could play an important part to make future progress possible in your state.logo-mpp-286-mpp-and-we-change-laws

Before you vote, please check out MPP’s voter guides if you live in the following places:

Delaware

District of Columbia

Illinois

Nebraska

New Hampshire

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Vermont

And don’t forget to tell your friends in Arizona, Arkansas, California, FloridaMaine, Massachusetts, MontanaNevada, and North Dakota to vote YES on their respective marijuana initiatives!

 

 

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California Campaign Ramps Up Support With New Ad Campaign


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On Tuesday, the campaign supporting the initiative to tax and regulate marijuana in California began running ads throughout the state urging voters to back Proposition 64.logo

Yes on 64 announced the ads in a press release this week:

The ads — in a straightforward, fact-based way – highlight for California voters Proposition 64’s comprehensive approach to marijuana decriminalization, its toughest-in the-nation safeguards for families and local communities and its funding of important youth and job training programs.

To view the new ads, go to www.Yeson64.org 

“Californians overwhelmingly support replacing marijuana criminalization with a smarter, safer approach,” said Brian Brokaw, Campaign Manager for Yes on Proposition 64. “Proposition 64 is the most comprehensive, thoughtful marijuana policy in the nation and reflects the input of the hundreds of organizations and experts – and these ads are designed to straightforwardly communicate the vast safeguards and benefits of Proposition 64 to every voter in the state.” Read the rest of this entry »

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MPP Announces Oct. 5 Money Bomb to End Marijuana Prohibition in Five States This Election Day


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This week, we are announcing our “5 on 5” money bomb campaign to see all five recreational marijuana initiatives pass this Election Day.
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On one side of the scale: Marijuana prohibition contributes to a racist criminal justice system, creates massive profits for drug cartels, and prevents police from investigating real crimes.

On the other side of the scale: Ending marijuana prohibition will create millions in tax revenues for local communities, thousands of new jobs, and greater access for veterans and other medical marijuana patients.
This election, we have a chance to DOUBLE the states that tax and regulate recreational marijuana.
Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada all have ballot initiatives that, if passed, will create a tidal wave of change.
Your pledge to donate “5 on 5” to your campaign of choice will give us the push we need to make legalization a reality across the country.
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California Medical Association Officially Endorses Marijuana Initiative


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On Monday, the California Medical Associationcma-logo announced that it was officially supporting the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which would make marijuana legal for adults in California and regulate it similarly to alcohol.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

CMA officials, in a statement released by the legalization campaign, which is funded by billionaire venture capitalist Sean Parker and supported by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said their rationale was twofold: Under a legal market, cannabis could be monitored, researched, regulated and mitigated to protect the public health; and improper diversion by healthy patients into the medical marijuana system could reduced. They stressed they do not encourage marijuana use and discourage smoking.

“The California Medical Association believes the Adult Use of Marijuana Act is a comprehensive and thoughtfully constructed measure that will allow state officials to better protect public health by clarifying the role of physicians, controlling and regulating marijuana use by responsible adults and keeping it out of the hands of children,” Dr. Steven Larson, CMA’s president, said in prepared remarks.

“Medical marijuana should be strictly regulated like medicine to ensure safe and appropriate use by patients with legitimate health conditions and adult-use marijuana should be regulated like alcohol. This measure – along with the recently-passed medical marijuana bills – will ensure the State of California does both – while keeping the public health and public interest as paramount concerns,” Larson added.

This is the second big statewide organization to endorse the AUMA in as many months. The California State NAACP announced its support for the measure back in January.
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California NAACP Endorses “Adult Use of Marijuana Act”


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NAACP_Logo_With_Cal_TagThe California State Conference of the NAACP formally endorsed the initiative to end marijuana prohibition in California known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). It is part of a growing coalition in support of the proposal, which would regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol in the state if approved by voters this November.

Alice Huffman, longtime president of the California NAACP, provided the following statement in a press release:

“Creating a legal, responsible and regulated framework for marijuana is a predominant civil rights issue and it’s long overdue. The current system is counterproductive, financially wasteful and racially biased, and the people of California have repeatedly called for it to be fixed.  This measure will ensure that California is not unjustly criminalizing responsible adults while also ensuring that our children are protected while the State receives hundreds of millions of new dollars for vital government and community-based programs.”

MPP announced its backing of the AUMA late last year, and it has established a committee to support the campaign.

 

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MPP to Support Newly Filed CA Legalization Initiative


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California voters are ready to end marijuana prohibition in 2016 and replace it with a more sensible system. That is exactly what the Adult Use of Marijuana Act will do, and that is why MPP is proud to support it.california-160550_640 We look forward to working with the initiative proponents and doing whatever we can to help pass this measure and make history in California next year.

Under the proposed initiative, marijuana will be regulated, taxed, and treated similarly to alcohol. Adults will no longer be punished simply for possessing it, and law enforcement officials will be able to spend more time addressing serious crimes. It will take marijuana sales out of the underground market and marijuana cultivation out of our national forests. The fact that it will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year is a huge bonus that will benefit all Californians.

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Ohio Issue 3 Defeat Will Not Impact 2016 Initiatives


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Last night, a controversial Ohio ballot initiative that would have regulated marijuana for adults was voted down by a relatively wide margin, marking the first time that a major state referendum to make marijuana legal for adults has failed since 2010.2000px-Seal_of_Ohio.svg However, the defeat of a marijuana-related ballot initiative in the Buckeye State will have no bearing on the outcomes of several marijuana-related initiatives expected to appear on state ballots next year.

A proposal to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it like alcohol has already qualified for the November 2016 ballot in Nevada, and similar measures are expected to qualify for the ballots in Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts. The measures do not include the widely unpopular “monopoly” language included in the 2015 Ohio initiative that limited the commercial cultivation of marijuana to only 10 predetermined producers. The 2016 initiatives are also expected to benefit significantly from heightened voter turnout during a presidential election.

MPP is supporting several of the 2016 initiative efforts. We neither supported nor opposed the Ohio initiative this year.

“It’s pretty obvious that the outcome in Ohio does not reflect where the nation stands or the direction in which it is heading when it comes to marijuana policy,” said MPP’s Mason Tvert. “It only reflects where Ohio voters stand on a specific and rather unique proposal in an off-year election. It will not have any bearing on the outcomes of the initiatives that we expect to appear on other states’ ballots in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

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