Recreational Marijuana Legalization In California Set For Vote
Recreational Marijuana Legalization In California Set For Vote
Marijuana Legalization In Colorado Six-Month Status Report – Drug Policy Alliance
Global: More Than 80 Cities Worldwide To Protest Drug War On June 26 | Hemp News
Citizens Take to the Streets on June 26 to Protest Current Drug Policies and to Call for an End to the Senseless Criminalization of Drug Users
Read the Rest of thevia Global: More Than 80 Cities Worldwide To Protest Drug War On June 26 | Hemp News.
Colorado Recreational Marijuana Sales Exceed $5 Million In First Week
Colorado Recreational Cannabis Tax – November 2013 – Nugs.com
In November of 2012 Coloradans made history by becoming the first of two states to legalize Cannabis for all responsible adults 21 years of age or older. On the Fifth of November in 2013 Colorado made the final leap forward and allowed its citizens to vote on a proposed tax for the recreational cannabis industry. The citizens spoke, the vote was passed, and there are now “proper” tax laws in place which will ensure that all regulatory agencies receive the necessary funding to properly carry out their enforcement duties. This is all outstanding news, that is, if you work for one of governing bodies. The tax percentage that was agreed upon totals 25% from the state with a proposed 3.5% city tax from the City of Denver (5% in Boulder). If dispensary owners decide to pass all of the taxes along to the consumer it means that the price per ounce will go up nearly 30% and consumers could pay upwards of $300+ for an ounce of premium cannabis. The biggest fear is that these hefty taxes will only fuel an already rampant black market. Chances are recreational consumers are not going to be too pleased when a red card wielding patient approaches the counter at the other end of a dispensary and pays almost $100 less per ounce for the same product. In actuality, a $55 doctor’s visit for a red card could conceivably pay for itself in just one visit to a medical dispensary, depending on the amount of medicine the patients uses. Once recreational users catch wind of this the medical industry will continue to flourish due to its lower taxes and the recreational industry (and in essence Colorado schools) will continue to spiral downward. No money for regulation might result in improper enforcement which could potentially have a negative effect on Colorado citizens.
So what is the solution to this poorly thought out tax plan? There is really no way to tell until things are implemented in January, 2014. The only way that I can see this working effectively is if OPC owners (the growers) and Collective owners agree to each take a 5% price cut (10% total) which will leave a 15% tax for the consumer to take on, a fair compromise which will leave prices at a reasonable rate and allow the recreational industry to blossom. As an industry worker I understand the need for taxation in order to fund these agencies, but I am also a realist who deals with cannabis consumers daily. Although this tax was hurriedly passed by the public, which as an outsider gives the façade of a cannabis community that is willing to play ball, there is a good chance that many of the voters are not cannabis consumers themselves, and solely voted due to the fact that they saw the potential figures to be earned by Colorado Public Schools. As for our shop, we are gearing up to open our medicinal doors to the general public in January like many others across Denver and Colorado. To be brutally honest we will survive no matter what. If recreational flourishes then that is great. If recreational falls through then we have a whole slew of new patients who are simply tired of paying recreational prices. At the end of the day it will be the consumer (likely tourists) who will determine the fate of the recreational industry. I honestly feel that it would be foolish for Colorado cannabis users who are over the age of 21 not to obtain a “Red Card”, even if only for the obvious monetary savings.
Ohio resolution wants to put recreational marijuana on the ballot – The Stoned Society
Resolution J.R.6 could possibly legalize marijuana for recreational use in Ohio. That is, if it passes the Ohio House and Senate and the voters back the resolution on the ballot. To do so, it requires your help.
Resolution J.R.6 would establish a taxed and regulated system that would take marijuana of the criminal market, legalize it for adults aged 21 and older, and tax and regulate it similarly to alcohol. It has received a hearing earlier in 2013, but has since then not received a date for the second hearing.
There are 2 things you can do to help: call your representatives to support J.R.6. or contact them by using the from supplied by the Marijuana Policy Project.
TSA Policy on Medical Marijuana Is Murky But May Be Easing – ABC News
Travelers with prescription pot are receiving an unofficially relaxed response from TSA agents, according to recent reports.
Now that 20 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and two have given recreational use the green light, the Transportation Security Administration’s adherence to federal law makes for a somewhat grey and sticky situation at airports.
“Whether or not marijuana is considered ‘medical marijuana’ under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law and federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana,” the agency states on its website.
But whether the herbs in question will be turned over to local authorities is at the discretion of the TSA, and historically responses have varied on a case-by-case basis.
Irvin Rosenfeld had been prescribed medical marijuana for 19 years when he was prevented from boarding a flight in 2001, according to a lawsuit he filed against the airline.
More recently, those who have presented prescription identification in certain states have been allowed to travel without issue, according to an official with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.
“I’m delighted to hear that because I think it shows that TSA primarily is acting as it was intended when it was established, to protect all of us when we travel on the airlines and to thwart terrorists. It is not supposed to be an anti-drug agency,” Keith Stroup, an attorney and founder of NORML told Lawyers.com.
“What nobody feels 100 percent comfortable with is it’s a grey zone you’re going through. It’s technically still illegal even though they aren’t enforcing it very strongly,” Stroup added.
When ABC News requested comment on whether the agency will be officially revising its policy, the TSA responded with the following statement:
“TSA’s screening procedures, which are governed by federal law, are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. If during the security screening procedures an officer discovers a item that may violate the law, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement. Law enforcement officials will determine whether to initiate a criminal investigation. TSA’s focus is on terrorism and security threats to the aircraft and its passengers.”
Swiss Say Yes to Marijuana
Swiss citizens 18 and older can now carry up to 10 grams of marijuana without fear of arrest. If caught, the penalty is the equivalent of $110. Switzerland’s new decrim law went into effect on Oct. 1. In the past, more then 30,000 low-level marijuana arrests were being made each year. Four cantons, or states Fribourg, Geneva, Neuchatel, Vaud already allow individuals to grow up to four cannabis plants. Switzerland joins the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and the Czech Republic as the sixth nation in Europe to decriminalize marijuana.
How to regulate pot when it’s legal, CNN
(CNN) — It’s becoming a cliché: The tide is turning in the debate over cannabis. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, publicly reversed his position and now supports medical cannabis. Republican Gov. Chris Christie just expanded New Jersey’s medicinal marijuana laws. In the past month, New Hampshire and Illinois have become the 19th and 20th states to approve medical marijuana.
But the debate over medical marijuana obscures the more fundamental issue of our failed war on pot and the path to smart legalization.
I had an opportunity to explore the full range of perspectives in the marijuana debate at the recent 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. What I learned can be simply stated: Nationwide cannabis legalization is coming and smart regulation is the key to its success.
At the convention, held in San Francisco, I listened to and spoke with respected leaders of the opposition to cannabis legalization, who are mostly specialized in the treatment of substance use disorders.
The Bay Area is a proving ground for California’s liberal medical marijuana laws. Amanda Reiman, policy manager for the California branch of the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance, took me on a tour of local cannabis dispensaries. And Oaksterdam University invited me to speak at their makeshift headquarters — their previous location was closed after a DEA raid last year — where classes are offered on all things cannabis.
The dispensaries are largely self-regulated, yet all facilities are immaculate, security is tight, and members of the staff are knowledgeable about the science of cannabis. Surely not all points of access are as well-run as these dispensaries, but they could be. And only with legalization and regulation can we expect that they would be.
Most legalization advocates and opponents share concerns about underage pot use, an opposition to incarcerating users, and a recognition that marijuana is less harmful to adults than alcohol.
Most agree public opinion has shifted in favor of cannabis legalization, although the two groups have strongly divergent feelings about the change. A minority of advocates call for America to “free the weed” with few restrictions, while opponents at the American Psychiatric Association fear that legalization would lead to “a nation of drunken stoners” after an anticipated rise in adolescent use of this and other drugs.
The substance abuse treatment community has legitimate concerns, and recreational cannabis should not be legalized — for minors.
If national polls are correct, and wisdom prevails, then America is rapidly moving toward legal cannabis for adults. We must stop arguing about the right of consenting adults to consume a relatively safe recreational drug, and discuss how — rather than whether — cannabis should be properly regulated by the federal government.
First, consider the four essential goals of marijuana regulation: keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors; reducing harm to adult users; preventing collateral harm to the public and getting the maximum economic benefit from legalization.
Our approach to federal regulation should synthesize the perspectives of both advocates and opponents of legalization. We should look to research on laws controlling alcohol, tobacco and gambling. We can also learn from Colorado and Washington, which have developed regulations for recreational cannabis, and the 18 other states — plus the District of Columbia — that have legalized medical marijuana.
We can achieve the essential goals of regulation if we:
• Require proper labeling of cannabis products, including the quantities of key ingredients like THC and CBD.
• Test cannabis products for contaminants and label accuracy.
• Require government supervision of all facilities involved in the production, distribution and sale of cannabis.
• Limit advertising, sales and public consumption of cannabis products the way we do with alcohol and/or tobacco.
• Ban cannabis packaging and advertising that targets or attracts underage users.
• Require child-resistant packaging for edible cannabis products.
• Impose penalties on adults who enable minors to get marijuana.
• Allow adults to grow a small number of cannabis plants for personal use.
• Prosecute cannabis-impaired driving with field sobriety tests.
• Continue restrictions on cannabis use by professionals and laborers when scientific evidence indicates that such use risks public safety.
• Empower states and municipalities to restrict the cannabis trade within their borders.
• Fund education of adults about the use and abuse of cannabis.
• Fund preventive youth education about the dangers of underage cannabis use.
• Fund treatment of adults and minors with cannabis use disorders.
• Tax all aspects of the cannabis trade at the highest rate that the free market will bear, using a portion of the proceeds to fund regulation, education and treatment.
Just as responsible fishermen support the conservation of marine ecosystems, even marijuana enthusiasts can offer smart ideas for the successful legalization of cannabis, the fiercest critics of pot legalization have legitimate concerns, particularly about pot’s effects on developing brains of young people. Advocates and opponents need to come together for an open-minded discussion about the regulation of marijuana in the United States.
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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Nathan.
No federal challenge to pot legalization in 2 states – CNN.com
Washington (CNN) — The Justice Department said it won’t challenge state laws that legalize marijuana and will focus federal enforcement on serious trafficking cases and keeping the drug away from children.
Attorney General Eric Holder, in a conference call Thursday morning, notified the governors of Colorado and Washington that the department, for now, will not seek to pre-empt those states’ laws, which followed voters’ approval of ballot measures that legalized recreational marijuana use.
Marijuana will remain illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. But a department memo to federal prosecutors tightened federal marijuana prosecution standards.
Under the new guidelines, federal prosecutors are required to focus on eight enforcement priorities, including preventing marijuana distribution to minors, preventing drugged driving, stopping drug trafficking by gangs and cartels and forbidding the cultivation of marijuana on public lands.
The guidelines, issued by Deputy Attorney General James Cole, have been months in the making and took on some urgency after citizens in Colorado and Washington approved the ballot measures last fall. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia allow some legal use of marijuana, primarily for medicinal purposes.
The attorney general told the Washington and Colorado governors that the Justice Department will work with the states to craft regulations that fall in line with the federal priorities, and reserves the right to try to block the laws if federal authorities find repeated violations.
The memo to prosecutors also seeks to address one common complaint from medicinal marijuana dispensaries in some states, which have been subject to raids by federal agents because they were deemed too big or profitable.
The size and profitability of marijuana businesses will still be a factor prosecutors can consider, but there also must be additional illegal activities for prosecutors to take action.
The new guidelines don’t change federal money laundering rules, meaning that some large banks may still be leery of doing business with marijuana producers and sellers. However, Justice Department officials said there is some leeway for banks to provide services to such businesses, so long as they don’t violate the eight priorities being assigned to federal prosecutors.
“We received good news this morning when Attorney General Eric Holder told the governor the federal government would not pre-empt Washington and Colorado as the states implement a highly regulated legalized market for marijuana,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement.
“We want to thank the attorney general for working with the states on this and for finding a way that allows our initiative to move forward while maintaining a commitment to fighting illegal drugs. This reflects a balanced approach by the federal government that respects the states’ interests in implementing these laws and recognizes the federal government’s role in fighting illegal drugs and criminal activity,” they said.