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Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Editorial: Buying The Constitution

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 16 Jul 2015 - Big Money, Not Popular Demand, Is What Drives the Marijuana Proposal The haphazard signature-gathering effort by backers of a marijuana-legalization ballot issue suggests something other than a grass-roots clamor to bring legalized pot to Ohio.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: Evergreen State Oversupply

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 16 Jul 2015 - Bust season is in full swing, with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office serving warrants on parcels suspected of harboring marijuana grows in the northeastern corner of the county, near Weitchpec. Sheriff's Lt. Wayne Hanson says it's all part of the yearly, decades-old eradication measures the county takes, and says there are about 20 law enforcement personnel involved, including officers from the county drug task force, the National Guard, Fish and Wildlife and CAMP.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CO: Column: Rep. Jonathan Singer, Jack's Bill and Tabor

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 16 Jul 2015 - When I interviewed Rep. Jonathan Singer last October, he was gearing up for the 2015 legislative session. It adjourned in May, and I decided to check in and find out more about what happened this time around. "It's fascinating how marijuana has threaded its way through Colorado's legislative tapestry, and it's an interesting thread," Singer, who represents House District 11, said last week at a local coffee shop. A non-user, Singer was one of only two legislators who supported Amendment 64 before its passage and has become a proponent and advocate of making legal cannabis work in Colorado.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AZ: Column: BYOM?

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/16/2015 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 16 Jul 2015 - Colorado Is Giving Businesses Another Way to Bring Marijuana to the Table Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and attorney Brian Vicente are two of the champions of the 2012 Amendment 64 (The Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act) which legalized and regulated the use and sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: Oakland's Problem With Rogue Dispensaries

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 07:00
East Bay Express, 15 Jul 2015 - The City's Lax Attitude Toward Medical Cannabis Makes It Difficult to Shut Down Illegal Clubs. The City of Oakland is renowned for pioneering cannabis regulations and its policies have served as a model in the 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana. But Oakland's recent attempt to close an unpermitted dispensary that has flouted city laws and avoided paying thousands of dollars in permit fees has exposed a problem: The city's tolerance of medical marijuana use has made it tough for code enforcement to regulate rogue dispensaries.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: El Chapo Escapes from Mexican Prison, Obama Commutes 46 Drug Sentences, More (7/13/15)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 21:10

More marijuana reform initiatives get filed, Wisconsin's governor modifies a food stamp drug test bill to make screening mandatory, the world's wealthiest drug lord breaks out of prison, and more. ;

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Florida Legalization Initiatives Filed. At least two marijuana legalization initiatives have been filed with the secretary of state this month. One would direct revenues generated by legalization to pay teacher salaries. Neither appears to be a serious, well-financed effort. They will need 680,000 valid voter signatures to make the 2016 ballot.

South Dakota Decriminalization Initiative Filed. A group of activists has filed an initiative to decriminalize the possession of an ounce of less of weed in the state. The effort is being led by South Dakotans Against Prohibition, and is being portrayed as providing protections to medical marijuana patients as well as recreational users. A medical marijuana initiative in the state is already in the signature gathering phase.

New Synthetic Drugs

DC Mayor Signs Into Law Bill With Harsh Civil Penalties for Selling Synthetics. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) last Friday signed into law a bill that imposes harsh penalties on retail outlets selling synthetic marijuana. The legislation gives the DC Metro Police immediate authority to close businesses found selling the drugs and gives the mayor the power to impose a $10,000 fine.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Governor Modifies Food Stamp Drug Test Bill, Removes "Reasonable Suspicion" Requirement. Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed his state budget into law Sunday, but not before making two changes in the part of the law that authorizes drug testing of food stamp recipients. The testing was limited to people whom state workers had "reasonable suspicion" were using drugs, but Walker removed that language, saying there shouldn't be limits on who it can drug test. That means the law will almost certainly face a constitutional challenge since similar suspicionless, mandatory drug testing laws have been overturned by the federal courts. Walker also removed language that would have provided free drug treatment to people who tested positive. He officially announced today that he is seeking the GOP presidential nomination.

Sentencing

Obama Commutes Sentences for 46 Drug Offenders. President Obama announced today he has granted clemency to dozens of federal inmates, the vast majority of them sentenced under draconian crack cocaine laws. More than 30,000 federal prisoners have applied for clemency since the Obama administration issued a call for them to do so last year. Click on the title link for our feature story on this.

International

Chapo Guzman Breaks Out of Mexican Prison. In a huge embarrassment to the Mexican government, imprisoned Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman tunneled his way to freedom out of the Almoloya de Juarez maximum security prison west of Mexico City Saturday night. This is the second time Guzman has broken out of a Mexican prison. In 2001, he escaped from another high-security prison and wasn't recaptured until last year. Guzman is likely the world's wealthiest drug trafficker. His cartel is responsible for tens of thousands of killings in Mexico's drug war in the past few years.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Pot Initiative Signatures In Doubt

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 07/12/2015 - 07:00
Dayton Daily News, 12 Jul 2015 - Validity Rates Fall Short in Major Metro Areas. An Ohio marijuana legalization issue may fall initially short of the number of signatures required to qualify for the fall ballot. Spot checks by The Dispatch with the Franklin County Board of Elections and boards in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo showed an overall validity rate of less than 42 percent so far for signatures submitted by ResponsibleOhio, the organization pushing a for-profit plan to legalize marijuana for personal and medicinal use. None of the five boards contacted is done with the validation process, which must be completed by July 16.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AZ: San Luis Council Oks Medical Pot Dispensary

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 07/10/2015 - 07:00
The Sun, 10 Jul 2015 - SAN LUIS, Ariz. - Having gained the city council's approval this week, a medical marijuana dispensary could open sometime in 2016, pending the OK from the state. Finding no legal reasons to block the venture, the San Luis City Council on Wednesday approved two conditional use permits sought by Choice Cannabis, one to operate the dispensary on Archibald Street, next to the border, and the second to cultivate marijuana in an industrial building located along Highway 95 on the city's north side.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Don't Let That Deal Go Down

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 09 Jul 2015 - Organized Labor Helped Cannabis Evolve From a Movement to a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry. Now, Organized Labor Is Working to Ensure It Keeps a Piece of the Action. Cannabis was good to Debby Goldsberry. The time she spent in the late 1980s and early '90s following the Grateful Dead on tour, passing out photocopied fliers that agitated for marijuana legalization, led to a high-paying career. After California legalized medical cannabis in 1996, Goldsberry cofounded one of the state's first major marijuana businesses, Berkeley Patients Group.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: Chile Decriminalization Vote, Miami Beach Decriminalizes, CDC Heroin Warning, More (7/8/15)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 20:01

A bill decriminalizing marijuana possession and allowing personal cultivation is moving in Chile, a bill regulating the medical marijuana industry is moving in California, the CDC issues another warning about heroin, Miami Beach is the latest South Florida community to decriminalize, and more.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Montana Legalization and Medical Marijuana Initiatives Filed. Two separate marijuana reform initiatives have been filed with the secretary of state's office recently. They are ballot issues #7 and #8 on the official website. Ballot Issue #7 is the legalization initiative, submitted by a Glendive man who says he plans to bicycle the state to gather signatures. Ballot Issue #8 is the medical marijuana initiative. Both initiatives are now being reviewed by legislative services and must be okayed before signature gathering can begin.

Miami Beach Decriminalizes Possession. Miami Beach city commissioners voted unanimously today to approve an ordinance to fine those caught with small amounts of marijuana instead of arresting and jailing them. Under the ordinance, police will have the option of issuing a $100 ticket to people caught with less than 20 grams, but could still arrest them at the officer's discretion. Miami-Dade County recently passed decriminalization, and Palm Beach is considering a similar move.

Medical Marijuana

California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Advances. The Assembly Business and Professions Committee approved the medical marijuana regulation bill, Senate Bill 643, on Tuesday. The bill provides a statewide regulatory framework for the industry, and has already passed out of the Senate.

Opiates

CDC Again Sounds Alarm on Rising Heroin Use. In a report released Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that heroin use in the US has grown at "an alarming rate," with overdose deaths doubling between 2011 and 2013. Heroin use is up among multiple demographic groups, but the biggest increases were among white people, women, and people with higher incomes and private insurance. "Heroin use is increasing at an alarming rate in many parts of society, driven by both the prescription opioid epidemic and cheaper, more available heroin," CDC Director Tom Frieden said. "To reverse this trend we need an all-of-society response -- to improve opioid prescribing practices to prevent addiction, expand access to effective treatment for those who are addicted, increase use of naloxone to reverse overdoses, and work with law enforcement partners like DEA to reduce the supply of heroin."

International

Chilean House Approves Decriminalization, Personal Cultivation Bill. The lower house of the Chilean congress has approved a measure that would decriminalize possession of marijuana for personal use of up to 10 grams and allow people to grow up to six plants of their own. Now, the bill must be reviewed by a health committee before the lower house votes again on its specific elements. The bill would then go to the upper chamber.

Poll: BC Residents Say Legalize It! A new Insights West poll has support for marijuana legalization at 67% among adult residents. Support was even higher among young adults, with the 18-to-34 age bracket coming in at 72%. Click the link for more details.

Canadian Electronic Music Festival in Doubt After Offering Pill Testing Services. Just yesterday, we noted that the Evolve Music and Awareness Festival set for this weekend in Nova Scotia had taken the ground-breaking harm reduction step of offering pill testing services for attendees. But now there's a hitch: As a result of the pill testing plan, his insurance company underwriters have pulled its liability insurance, and now the festival may not be able to go on at all. Organizers are looking at their options.

Moroccan Head of State Rejects Legalizing Marijuana Cultivation. Head of state Abdelilah Benkirane said Tuesday his government will not allow the legalization of cannabis cultivation, and that those who claim differently are selling "illusions" to the country's hash farmers. Morocco is one of the world's leading hash producers. Opposition parties have called for the legalization of cultivation.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AZ: Edu: Legal Marijuana Bodes Well For Students, Local

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Arizona Daily Wildcat, 08 Jul 2015 - Last week, Oregon's new law legalizing recreational marijuana came into effect, -making it the fourth state to legalize, following Alaska, Washington and Colorado. Recreational marijuana is also legal in the District of Columbia. Thousands of Oregonian growers, dispensary owners and marijuana enthusiasts gathered at the Weed the People event to celebrate what many called a historic moment. The main impetus for the event was a result of people seeing green-and I'm not talking about marijuana. As free doobies were passed around the event, so were business cards among the "ganjapreneurs" who gathered there to network. These eager capitalists are hoping to be ahead of the market when retail cannabis sales begin, likely next fall.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: Iran Drug Executions Increasing, Feinstein Pressed on MedMJ, OH Pot Politics, More (7/7/15)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 21:45

Midwest marijuana legalization initiatives make news, Sen. Feinstein feels some heat, some European countries keep giving Iran anti-drug aid despite a rising number of executions, California's governor signs a bill barring discrimination against medical marijuana patients in organ transplants, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Michigan Greens Endorse MILegalize Initiative. The Green Party of Michigan has endorsed the more grassroots of two competing Michigan legalization initiatives, the MILegalize initiative sponsored by the Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee. The Greens say they like the "craft beer" model in the initiative, as opposed to the "industrial" model adopted by the other active Michigan initiative this year.

ResponsibleOhio "Fresh Start Act" Initiative Certified by Attorney General. ResponsibleOhio, the same people bringing you the controversial "monopoly" marijuana legalization initiative, are also moving forward with an initiative that would expunge the criminal records of people with past marijuana convictions. Their Fresh Start Act initiative has been certified by Attorney General Mike DeWine. It must now be approved by the Ohio Ballot Board for review before signature gathering can begin. It is aiming at the 2016 election.

UFCW Endorses ResponsibleOhio Initiative. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) said Monday it is supporting the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative. The UFCW has been organizing industry workers in medical marijuana and legal marijuana states for some years now.

Medical Marijuana

Senator Feinstein Gets Petition Demanding She Get on Board With Marijuana Reform. Marijuana reform advocates led by the Drug Policy Alliance today delivered a petition with 10,000 signatures from people "fed up with Feinstein's well-documented opposition to medical marijuana" to her San Francisco office. They want her to chance her stance. "California has allowed access to medical marijuana for 20 years and the vast majority of Californians support this," said DPA's Amanda Reiman. "It is disappointing that Sen. Feinstein continues to be a lone voice of opposition from California when it comes to supporting medical marijuana patients."

California Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Bill. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed Assembly Bill 258, which will bar doctors and hospitals from denying organ transplants to medical marijuana patients solely because they use it. Some patients have been denied life-saving organ transplants in the past. The new law goes into effect January 1.

Drug Testing

Connecticut Court Says Urine Drug Testing Rules Don't Apply to Hair Testing. In upholding the dismissal of a man who was fired after a hair follicle drug test came back positive, a state Superior Court judge ruled that regulations that restrict urine drug testing do not apply to hair drug tests, which can detect drug use for months into the past. The court conceded that the disparate protections offered against urine and hair drug testing create a "seemingly irrational inconsistency," but that "the task of changing the law lies with the legislature and not with the judiciary."

Harm Reduction

Maryland Congressman Calls for Price Cuts on Opiate Overdose Reversal Drug. US Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is accusing the maker of the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone of "taking advantage of the citizens of Maryland" by overcharging for the drug. On Tuesday, Cummings wrote a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) urging him to reach a deal with the company to reduce the cost of the drug. "I believe the State of Maryland is being overcharged for a critical drug called naloxone that is used by first responders and medical personnel to reverse the life-threatening effects of heroin and other opioid overdoses, and I urge you to make sure that the company charging these prices is not allowed to continue taking advantage of the citizens of Maryland," Cummings wrote. Other states have managed to get discounts from Amphastar Pharmaceuticals after getting aggressive with the company.

Law Enforcement

Massachusetts SWAT Teams Increasingly Used for Minor Drug Raids. Documents made public today by the ACLU of Massachusetts show that SWAT teams in the state are increasingly used to undertake small-time drug raids. The ACLU filed suit against the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council to force it to reveal the records. The records show that of 79 SWAT deployments between 2012 and 2014, 21 were for drug-related search warrants, but that only five resulted in any mention of drug seizures. "The drug hauls are not exactly Pablo Escobar-levels of seriousness," said ACLU's Kate Crockford, referring to the notorious Colombian drug lord. "In one case they found some pills. In another case they found some marijuana. It's important for local communities who pay those police department salaries to understand what's really going on here," she said.

International

Canadian Electronic Music Festival Organizers Will Offer Free Pill Testing. The Evolve Festival in Nova Scotia is set for this coming weekend, and beginning Friday, people arriving at the festival can submit small samples of their stashes to have them tested. Festival organizers say the move is an effort to reduce harm and overdoses.

European Countries Continue to Fund Iran's Drug War Despite Rampant Resort to Death Penalty. Iran Human Rights reports that nearly 400 people have been executed for drug offenses in Iran this year, accounting for nearly two thirds of all executions. That's not stopping the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and some European countries from continuing to fund Iran's anti-drug efforts. France has provided over a million dollars' worth of aid to the Anti-Narcotics Police, while Germany has contributed more than five million to UNODC projects to train and equip the police. Faced with pressure from campaigners such as the British nonprofit Reprieve, other European countries, including Denmark and Great Britain, have stopped such aid. "Even as Iran's execution rate skyrockets, European nations like France and Germany continue to fund brutal raids by the Iranian police which routinely send people to death row for nonviolent offenses. 7 out of 10 people hanged in Iran this year have been caught in these type of operations, but European funders and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime continue to turn a blind eye, and are even considering a new funding deal," said Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve's death penalty team. "It is an untenable hypocrisy for European countries and the UNODC to claim they oppose the death penalty in all circumstances while enabling and encouraging it overseas. If their commitments on the death penalty are to count for anything, they should impose effective and transparent conditions to ensure their aid does not lead to executions."

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Ohio Effort to Have Old Pot Crimes Expunged Takes Next

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 07 Jul 2015 - COLUMBUS (AP) - The group working to get a marijuana legalization issue on Ohio's fall ballot has passed the next step in a separate effort to have some related crimes expunged. Responsible-Ohio says its "Fresh Start Act" calls for reviewing and expunging criminal records for people with previous marijuana convictions if their actions would no longer be considered illegal under the legalization amendment.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Area Vexed By Mishmash Of Pot Rules

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 05 Jul 2015 - From Yuba County officials' perspective, there is a bit of a domino effect that comes into play when talking about regulating medical marijuana cultivation. The notion is growers were pushed out of Butte County and into Yuba when the former enacted tighter growing regulations and when voters last year
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CO: Denver Campaign Would Allow Marijuana Use In Bars

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 07:00
The Sun, 04 Jul 2015 - DENVER (AP) - Beer? Wine? Or weed? A campaign is underway to ask Denver voters about allowing marijuana consumption in bars and other places that only allow people over 21. Activists who campaigned for recreational pot legalization in Colorado have launched a petition drive to allow what they call "limited social marijuana consumption" at bars.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: Denver Activists Want Pot Social Clubs, Vancouver Cannabis Day Clashes, More (7/2/15)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 22:16

Marijuana legalization comes with some additional sentencing reforms in Oregon, Denver activists roll out a pot social club initiative, Louisiana becomes the latest medical marijuana state, Vancouver cannabis clashes, and more. 

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Oregon Governor Signs Legalization Implementation Law, Includes Sentencing Reform. Gov. Kathleen Brown Tuesday signed into law House Bill 3400, an omnibus bill designed to implement the Measure 91 legalization initiative approved by voters last November. In addition to implementing legalization, the new law reduces most marijuana felonies to misdemeanors or lesser felonies with significantly reduced sentences. These changes allow eligible persons with prior marijuana convictions to have their convictions set aside, sentences reduced, and records sealed. Click on the link for more details.

Denver Public Consumption Initiative Rolls Out. Some of the same folks who brought marijuana legalization to Colorado are now rolling out a Denver municipal initiative that would allow for limited public consumption of the weed. City officials today approved the final language for the measure, which would allow social use in businesses that choose to allow it. The initiative needs 4,700 valid voter signatures by September to qualify for the November ballot. Click on the link to read the initiative.

Medical Marijuana

Louisiana Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) Monday signed into law Senate Bill 143, which allows doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical use. The law foresees an extensive regulatory process to select and supervise a state-authorized grower and 10 licensed distributors, but some advocates are concerned that the prescribing language will make the law meaningless. The DEA will pull prescribing privileges from doctors who prescribe marijuana, which is why other states say doctors can recommend it. The bill originally called for recommendations, but the language was changed at the behest of social conservative groups in the state.

Drug Policy

Jim Webb Talks Serious Drug Policy Reform. The former Navy secretary and US senator from Virginia formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination today. Earlier this week, speaking before the National Sheriff's Association Conference, Webb suggested he supported decriminalizing drug use. "Just as in mental health issues, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to put someone in jail when they have a disease, when they have an illness, a physical illness," Webb said Tuesday. "There've got to be better ways for us to approach the issues of drug use in America. We didn't make cigarettes illegal," said Webb. "We just got the information out there and educated people about the potential harm."

International

After City Vows Crackdown, Clashes Mar Vancouver's Cannabis Day. The pro-pot event organized by Vancouver's first couple of cannabis, Marc and Jodie Emery, had gone on peacefully for two decades, attracting thousands to downtown Vancouver to celebrate the herb. But this year, the city tried to block the event, and when Cannabis Day rolled around, police were out in force. When they tried to arrest someone for allegedly selling pot to minors, a fracas broke out, with police deploying pepper spray and physical force. Four people ended up being arrested, and angry crowd trailed police down the street, blocking an intersection. "I’ve never seen the cops act so violent," said Jeremiah Vandermeer, a Cannabis Day organizer and editor-in-chief of Cannabis Culture magazine. "I’m shocked and appalled. This is horrifying behavior from the police, I’ve never seen anything like this," Vandermeer said. 

 (This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: New Pot Initiative Sought

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 02 Jul 2015 - Opponents to Yuba County's marijuana cultivation ordinance have filed paperwork with election officials seeking a voter initiative to create a new ordinance. Representatives of a group calling itself the Progressive Business Alliance filed a notice of intent to circulate petitions for an initiative, along with the proposed initiative itself. It would put before voters a less restrictive ordinance than that approved by county supervisors in March.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: OR Legalizes, Miami Decriminalizes, CT Defelonizes, More (7/1/15)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 20:33

New laws went into effect today, legalizing pot in Oregon, legalizing medical marijuana in Minnesota, legalizing CBD cannabis oil in Wyoming, Miami decriminalizes pot possession, and more. 

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Marijuana is Now Legal in Oregon. The Measure 91 marijuana legalization initiative approved by Oregon voters last November went into effect as of 12:01 a.m Pacific Time today. That means that people 21 and over can now legally possess up to eight ounces of weed at home and grow up to four plants. Only one ounce may be possessed in public. Public consumption remains illegal. But you won't be able to go to the marijuana store just yet. Sales are currently set to begin next year, although there is a chance the legislature could act to move up that date. 

Washington Governor Signs Marijuana Reform Bill Into Law. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) Tuesday signed into law a bill that rejiggers parts of the state's marijuana legalization plan. The new law replaces the existing three-tier tax structure and replaces it with a 37% retail tax. The law also directs the state to share pot tax revenues only with cities and counties that allow sales in a bid to encourage them to do so.

Wyoming Governor Creates Marijuana Task Force. Gov. Matt Mead (R) announced Tuesday that he is creating a council to assess the impact of marijuana use. The move comes as Wyoming activists plan a legalization initiative that could go before voters next year.

Miami Decriminalizes. The Miami-Dade County commission Tuesday approved an ordinance allowing police to issue $100 civil citations to people possessing up to 20 grams of pot. Police could still arrest them, though. Police officials said they will have to develop a policy on when a ticket is appropriate.

Medical Marijuana

Hawaii Governor Will Sign Dispensary Bill. Gov. David Ige (D) has released a list of bills he intends to veto, and the dispensary bill is not on it. That bill, House Bill 321, will initially allow up to 16 dispensaries, to be operated by eight medical marijuana businesses. It comes 15 years after the state became the first to legalize medical marijuana through the legislative process.

Medical Marijuana Now Legal in Minnesota—But You Can't Smoke It. The state's new medical marijuana law went into effect Wednesday, with people lining up at the Minnesota Medical Solutions clinic in downtown Minneapolis as it opened its doors shortly after midnight. The state's law is very restrictive and highly regulated, and does not allow for use of smokeable marijuana as medicine.

Wyoming CBD Cannabis Oil Law Goes Into Effect. A new law allowing seizure patients to use CBD cannabis oil went into effect Wednesday. But the state health department hasn't yet created patient registration cards, leaving patients uncertain about their legal status. The department says it is working on it. The measure was House Bill 32.

New Synthetic Drugs

DC City Council Passes Measure Toughening Synthetic Drug Penalties. The council Tuesday approved emergency legislation that allows DC Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier to shutter for four days any business caught selling synthetic drugs. The businesses could also face a $10,000 fine for a first offense and loss of their business licenses for a second one.

Sentencing

Connecticut Drug Sentencing Reforms Pass Legislature. The legislature gave final approval Monday to a bill that reduces most drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Under current law, drug possession can garner up to seven years in prison. A mandatory minimum two-year sentence for drug possession in a school zone is also being eliminated. The law will go into effect October 1. 

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Marijuana Is Now Legal in Oregon

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 18:56

This article was written in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.

The Measure 91 marijuana legalization initiative approved by Oregon voters last November went into effect as of 12:01 a.m Pacific Time today. 

[image:1 align:right]That means that people 21 and over can now legally possess up to eight ounces of weed at home and grow up to four plants. Only one ounce may be possessed in public. Public consumption remains illegal. 

But you won't be able to go to the marijuana store just yet. Sales are currently set to begin next year, although there is a chance the legislature could act to move up that date. 

Portland NORML is marking the occasion with a midnight seed giveaway in Portland. 

“While it becomes legal to possess and cultivate cannabis, there is no legal place in Oregon to buy marijuana itself or cannabis seeds and starts,” the group explaiend. “Portland NORML will educate the public and our partners will give away thousands of seeds and hundreds of pounds of marijuana this year so Washington State and the black market do not benefit from our new marijuana legality.”

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition hailed the new era in Oregon.

“Expending law enforcement resources by going after nonviolent marijuana users is a shameful waste of time and tax dollars, and a distraction from what’s really plaguing neighborhoods,” said LEAP executive director Lt. Neill Franklin (Ret'd). “Cops in Oregon can now get into doing their jobs; protecting communities and helping victims of violent crimes get justice.”

“Oregon still has more to do to ensure marijuana legalization is done properly; lawmakers and regulators are currently working to expunge the records of many non-violent marijuana offenders as well as develop proper regulations for taxes, concentrates, and labeling for consumer and child protection,” said former prosecutor Inge Fryklund, an Oregon resident, and board member LEAP. “We must promote honest and accurate public information along with sensible regulations. Oregon can and will be a model for future states looking to consider legalization in 2016 and beyond.”

Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana, and 23 states allow some form of access to medical marijuana. At least a half-dozen more states are likely to try to legalize it at the ballot box next year, and it could even happen this year in Ohio, where an initiative campaign has just handed in twice the number of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot. 

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Pot Legalization Backers Deliver Signatures June 30

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 01 Jul 2015 - COLUMBUS (AP) - A campaign to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use in Ohio began delivering hundreds of thousands of petition signatures in its effort to get the issue before voters. Organizers for Responsible Ohio said Tuesday they were submitting more than 695,000 signatures to Secretary of State Jon Husted. That's more than the roughly 306,000 needed to qualify for November's ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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