N.H.: Study commission proposes legalization framework


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After you vote tomorrow, you are welcome to attend a marijuana legalization debate at New England College in Henniker!

Last week, New Hampshire’s study commission on marijuana legalization published its final report. The commission did not take a position on legalization, but it did make 54 recommendations to the legislature, including the following:

  • Marijuana should be referred to as cannabis in any future legislation.
  • If cannabis is legalized for adults’ use, limited home cultivation should be allowed.
  • If cannabis is legalized, a Cannabis Commission should be created to license and regulate cannabis cultivators, testing labs, product manufacturers, and retail stores.

You can read the full report here. Overall, this is a much more useful report than we originally expected from the study commission, which was stacked with prohibitionists. Although it does contain some problematic language, the report will help to inform the legislature about the issue when it convenes in January.

We expect that your calendars are already marked for Election Day tomorrow. If you are available tomorrow evening after you vote, you’re welcome to join me and other panelists for a cannabis legalization debate at New England College.

WHAT: Debate: Should New Hampshire Legalize Cannabis?

WHERE: New England College, Simon Center Great Room, 98 Bridge Street, Henniker

WHEN: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHO: Six panelists including Richard Van Wickler, Superintendent of Cheshire County Department of Corrections, Kate Frey, vice-president of advocacy at New Futures, and MPP’s New England Political Director Matt Simon

Finally, please click here to learn where candidates on your ballot stand on marijuana policy! Then, please share this information with your family and friends and remind them to vote on November 6!

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Huckabee, Clinton, Sanders Improving Positions on Marijuana


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MPP has upgraded Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in its report card-style voter guide to the 2016 major party presidential candidates. The voter guide can be viewed online at http:// mpp.org/president.

More changes could follow the Republican candidate debate scheduled to take place Wednesday in Boulder, Colorado, where the candidates are likely to discuss the state’s laws that regulate marijuana for adult and medical use.

From The Hill:

huckabee
Mike Huckabee (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

“This idea of recreational marijuana, let’s let Colorado have at it for a few years and let’s see how that works out for them,” Huckabee told a local Iowa television station earlier this month. “I’ve been to Amsterdam a few times; I don’t want us to look like Amsterdam. And a lot of people in Colorado aren’t liking the way that’s headed either.

“I’m willing to let states operate under the 10th Amendment,” the former Arkansas governor added. “I’m willing for the states — if they think that marijuana and the legalization of it is a great thing — I’m willing for them to experiment and find out. And if it works and it turns out that the presence of recreational marijuana makes them a more prosperous state … well heck, we may just all want to reach out there and grab that.”

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Marijuana Policy at the Democratic Presidential Debate


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Last night, the first Democratic Party national presidential debates took place, and as expected, the issue of marijuana policy was addressed. Bernie Sanders stood out by becoming the first mainstream, major party presidential candidate to publicly support regulating marijuana.

CNN has the video:

After hearing these responses, MPP has updated our Presidential Report Card and upgraded Bernie Sanders to “A”, elevating him above Rand Paul to the head of the class. Hillary Clinton was also upgraded to “B” for her support of medical marijuana.

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GOP Presidential Hopefuls Debate Marijuana Policy


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Last week, Republican presidential candidates were asked about their positions on marijuana policy reform. While most of them responded that they would let states determine their own policies, they also stated their opposition to making marijuana legal for adults and revealed their serious misunderstandings of the relative harms of marijuana compared to alcohol and other drugs.

Here is the portion of the debate concerning marijuana policy:

Vice‘s coverage included some great comments from MPP’s Dan Riffle:

Riffle added that he was disappointed that “scientifically incorrect” information mentioned during the debate was not challenged, particularly Christie’s assertion that marijuana is a gateway drug.

“It’s troubling to have presidential candidates to be so misinformed on marijuana,” said Riffle. “The Institute of Medicine, the nation’s foremost authority on science, medicine, and health, has said there’s absolutely nothing about the physiological properties of marijuana that leads people to use other drugs.”

Riffle noted that he agrees with former Hewlett-Packard executive Carly Fiorina’s comment during the debate that young people are being misled “when we tell them that marijuana is just like having a beer,” but not for the reasons she implied.

“It’s not like having a beer,” he said. “It’s safer. And there’s an abundance of medical and scientific research that has shown this.”

Click here to see MPP’s guide to the 2016 presidential candidates.

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Rob Kampia: Public Reaction to Obama’s YouTube Comment on Drug Legalization Shows Progress


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From the Huffington Post:

In watching the evolving hubbub around President Obama’s statement about drug legalization on Youtube on January 27, when he said, “I think this is an entirely legitimate topic for debate, [but] I am not in favor of legalization,” I’m reminded of December 7, 1993.

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Candidate for Oregon Governor Says “It Might Be” a Good Idea to Tax and Regulate Marijuana


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In a live televised debate Wednesday night between Oregon’s two Democratic candidates for governor, one — former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury — said he thinks “it might be” a good idea to legalize and tax marijuana like we do alcohol. While his complete statement didn’t come off as a whole-hearted endorsement for marijuana policy reform, Bradbury’s answer was much more promising than that of his opponent, former Gov. John Kitzhaber, who said plainly, “I do not support legalizing marijuana or taxing it as a form of income to support schools and other important public services.” Read the rest of this entry »

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