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Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Medical Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 07:00
The Marietta Times, 24 Mar 2014 - What Will Ohio Voters Say If the Issue Is on the Ballot? Medical marijuana proponents are continuing efforts to bring legalization of the drug to Ohio voters in November. Libertarian candidate for governor Charlie Earl announced his endorsement for the "Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment" earlier this month, and John Pardee, president of the Ohio Rights Group that's pushing to get the amendment on the ballot, praised Earl for his support in a recent news release.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Group Targets City Of Summer Marijuana Vote

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 03/23/2014 - 07:00
The Macomb Daily, 23 Mar 2014 - Marijuana proponents are gearing up to get pot decriminalization proposals on ballots in about a dozen cities statewide this year, including one in Macomb County. The effort comes after the Safer Michigan Coalition successfully passed similar proposals last year in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US: Pot Industry Gets A Push From The Right

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 03/23/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar 2014 - WASHINGTON - Hoping to get pot legalized in Nevada, an investment firm specializing in the fastgrowing marijuana industry invited the ballot initiative's backers to pitch 150 financiers at a Las Vegas symposium. Within 10 minutes, they raised $150,000.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Pro-Marijuana Group Targets Utica

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:00
The Macomb Daily, 22 Mar 2014 - Marijuana proponents are gearing up to get pot decriminalization proposals on ballots in about a dozen cities statewide this year, including one in Macomb County. The effort comes after the Safer Michigan Coalition successfully passed similar proposals last year in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: House Panel Oks Bill To Legalize Pot For Seizures

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 21 Mar 2014 - TALLAHASSEE - With several legislators saying they were deeply troubled by the bill, the House Budget Committee unanimously approved legislation Thursday aimed at decriminalizing the possession of lowgrade marijuana for use in treating seizures. The so-called "Charlotte's Web" measure (CS/HB 843) is getting the blessing of Republican leaders in the Legislature, with many seeing it as potentially blunting a ballot measure in November that would go much further and legalize medical marijuana in Florida.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AZ: Column: War Against Weed Is Lost All That's Left Is Shouting

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 07:00
Daily Courier, 21 Mar 2014 - In Arizona, a referendum to legalize is moving toward inclusion on a statewide ballot in 2016. Also, a bill to end felony sentencing for minor possession cases has been introduced in the Arizona House and may move forward. Based on current public opinion - a Gallup poll in October found 58 percent of Americans say it should be legalized - it's only a matter of time before it is. After decades of evidence that prohibition doesn't work, it's time to end the weed war.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: Cities Planning Ahead For Legalized Pot

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 20 Mar 2014 - Grow House Regulation and Other Concerns Crop Up As Medical Marijuana Vote Looms Several South Florida cities are preparing for the day when Florida legalizes marijuana for medical use. No matter that the ballot initiative won't go before voters until November: Pembroke Park recently became among the first to consider how to regulate growhouses.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CO: Column: 'A New Leaf' Chronicles the Demise of

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 20 Mar 2014 - If A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition sometimes reads as if it were being written as history was unfolding, that's because it was. Journalists Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian began working on A New Leaf as the cannabis reform movement was gaining momentum. "I'm from upstate New York, and I traveled to California," Martin said during a recent interview. "I had never been to Venice Beach. I opened the car door and smelled marijuana and asked how they were able to have it. They said it was legal there. It was immediately the kind of federal-state clash that attracted me. It was illegal in most places and legal in California."
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: Reverse Course

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 20 Mar 2014 - Now that weed is legal is Colorado, will they let people out of jail? - -X. Khan Not so much, but a little. Just last week, the Colorado Court of Appeals said people whose cases were under appeal when Amendment 64 took effect in December 2012 are eligible to have their convictions reversed. So, if you got arrested in Colorado for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana sometime in 2012, you could appeal your sentence. Although, if you had less than an ounce, you are probably out of jail by now.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Will Oregon Have Three Marijuana Initiatives This Year? [FEATURE]

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 18:42

Oregonians going to the polls this November could have the chance to vote twice to legalize marijuana, or maybe even three times. Two separate legalization initiative campaigns are underway there, and both have a good shot at actually making it onto the ballot. And one of those campaigns also includes a constitutional amendment that could also make the ballot.

[image:1 align:right]Oregon very nearly joined Colorado and Washington in legalizing it in 2012, when the underfunded Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) got more than 47% of the vote. Prospects have only gotten brighter since then. A recent poll showed solid majorities for a specific tax and regulate question (58%) and for a generic legalization question (64%).

And even sectors of the state's political establishment have suggested that legalization is an idea whose time has come. Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) urged the legislature to pass a bill that would put its version of a legalization initiative before the voters. That bill died when the session ran out, but it garnered some support in Salem.

This year, one initiative campaign, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act campaign, a double-pronged effort led by the controversial but persevering medical marijuana entrepreneur Paul Stanford, who put OCTA on the ballot in 2012, is already well into the signature-gathering process, while the other, led by New Approach Oregon, is awaiting resolution of a legal challenge to its ballot language and chomping at the bit for petitioners to hit the streets.

The clock is ticking. Initiative petitioners have until July 3 to hand in the 87,213 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The bar for the constitutional amendment is set higher, at 116,284 valid voter signatures.

The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) and the Oregon Cannabis Amendment (OCA) are both Stanford creations. OCTA would create a commission to regulate marijuana cultivation, processing, and sales, while the OCA would amend the state constitution to remove both criminal and civil sanctions for "the private personal use, possession or production of cannabis." The OCA would allow the state to reasonably regulate and tax marijuana commerce if it decided to.

[image:2 align:left caption:true]"We started gathering in early September, and we're well on the way now," said Stanford. "It's all a matter of money, and we've got some. And we've got time -- until July 3. We can easily get the rest of the way by then. We will be on the ballot."

The 2014 version of OCTA has some changes from the 2012 version. Gone is the historical preamble, which took up a quarter of the original OCTA, and which was derided by opponents. The new OCTA also adds limits for personal cultivation and possession, but generous ones: 24 ounces and 24 plants.

"We got 47% allowing people to grow and possess unlimited amounts for personal use, but people want limits," said Stanford. "Our limits are the same as those the legislature passed for medical patients in 2005."

The new OCTA retains the idea of marijuana commission to oversee legal commerce, but it has given authority over all appointments to that commission to the governor. The 2012 version had a majority of commission members elected by license marijuana business owners, a feature that left it open to charges it was creating a regulatory body captive to the industry it was supposed to regulate.

"The media portrayed this as akin to putting Philip Morris in charge of regulating the tobacco industry," Stanford explained. "So we put back to all appointed by the governor."

OCTA can win this year, and OCTA could have won in 2012 if it could have attracted sufficient funding, Stanford argued.

"In Washington, they spent $7 million; in Colorado, they spent $4 million; here in Oregon, we spent also half a million, and we only lost by 112,000 votes," he said. "Another $200,000 probably would have done it. It's the inverse law of cannabis reform funding -- the better an initiative is for the people and the planet, the less funding it gets from major funders."

While OCTA is getting some outside financial help this year -- Texas head shop owner Michael Kleinman's Foundation for Constitutional Protection has kicked in $97,000 so far, and Stanford said he hoped to announce a new funder this week -- it's gotten no support from big money groups like the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project, or Graham Boyd, the man with access to the funds of the late Peter Lewis.

[image:3 align:right]New Approach Oregon's Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act and its near-identical placeholder companion, the Control, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana and Hemp Act of 2014 has, the group says, access to funding to get on the ballot, but it faces an obstacle of a different sort -- a legal challenge to its ballot language that has delayed signature gathering. That's largely the reason for the second version of the initiative; it is so far unchallenged, and if the first one is blocked by the state Supreme Court, signature gathering can then begin on the second.

"We're just waiting for our ballot title to get finalized, then we gather signatures," said Anthony Johnson, campaign manager for New Approach Oregon. "We expect the challenge to be done by the first of May, and our signature-gathering firm has assured us that if we are collecting by the first of May, we will have plenty of time to get on the ballot," he said.

"We've received pledges of a million dollars to get us on the ballot, and we expect to have time to gather the necessary signatures," he continued. While Johnson declined to get more specific about funding sources, he did say that "our funding team has always included the Drug Policy Alliance, as well as other national funders."

The New Approach initiative would legalize the personal possession of up to eight ounces and allow for the cultivation of four plants. And instead of a marijuana commission, it would rely on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to regulate marijuana commerce, with a tax set at $35 an ounce.

Both Oregon initiative campaigns appear to be well-positioned to make the ballot this year, and that makes it one of the most likely to join the ranks of the legalization states this year. Alaska should get there first -- voters there go to the polls on their legalization initiative in August -- and Washington, DC, where signature-gathering for a legalization initiative should get underway shortly, is the other locale likely to go in 2014. That looks like it for this year, but at least in Oregon, they could do it twice, or even thrice on one ballot. And both campaigns say they will vote for any initiative that legalizes marijuana.

"If he makes the ballot, we will support any measure that improves the status quo," said Johnson.

"Or course I'll be voting for New Approach Oregon, and I encourage everyone else to," said Stanford.

That's the spirit.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Oak Park, Hazel Park Among Cities Statewide Targeted

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:00
Morning Sun, 19 Mar 2014 - Marijuana proponents are gearing up to get pot decriminalization proposals on ballots in about a dozen cities statewide this year, including Hazel Park and Oak Park in Oakland County. The effort comes after the Safer Michigan Coalition successfully passed similar proposals last year in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CO: Column: Palmer Lake Talks Pot, Cu Says No To Research

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 19 Mar 2014 - Remaking Palmer Lake Last year, Palmer Lake citizens pulled together a petition that repealed an initial ordinance opting out of recreational marijuana stores, and instead scheduled a vote on the issue for April 1, 2014. However, the ballot question is not binding for town council, leaving open the possibility that councilors could decide to continue to opt out of recreational stores.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- March 18, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 20:56

Federal drug prosecutions are declining, marijuana legalization moves forward in the Northeast, Pennsylvania counties pay for taking babies away from mothers over false positive drug tests, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New Hampshire Legalization Bill Moves Forward. A bill to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol has passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee after the committee adopted an amendment to simplify the tax structure and improve regulations. House Bill 492 then got a "no pass" from the committee, but now goes to the House floor for a second vote. The House already approved the bill in January, after overturning a similarly negative recommendation from the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. If it passes the House again, it then goes to the Senate.

New Jersey Legalization Initiative Bill Introduced. Assemblymen Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton) and Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Plains) have introduced Assembly Bill 2842, a bill that, if approved by the legislature and signed by the governor, would put the decision on whether to legalize marijuana in the hands of the voters. The bill would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and related paraphernalia. It does not address taxation or allow for commercial sales.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill. The House Monday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would make Maryland a full-fledged medical marijuana state. House Bill 1321 now moves to the Senate.

Drug Testing

Pennsylvania County Pays for Taking Baby from Birth Mother Over False Positive Drug Test. Lawrence County Children and Youth Services has settled, for $160,000, a lawsuit filed by a woman whose child was taken away following a false positive opiate test apparently caused by pasta salad. It's not the first time, either. Last July, Jameson Hospital and Lawrence County Children and Youth Services agreed to pay $143,500 to settle a similar lawsuit filed by a woman whose infant was taken by a false positive drug test apparently caused by consumption of a poppy seed bagel. A third local case is also pending. Last week, another woman Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, saying a false positive drug test apparently spurred by poppy seeds in farmer's market bread resulted in an Allegheny County Children Youth and Families investigation of her family.

Drug Policy

Maine Hearing Sees Criticism of Governor's Law Enforcement-Heavy Drug Policy. The legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Monday heard strong criticism of Gov. Paul LePage's (R) recently announced plan to address drug problems in the state by ratcheting up law enforcement. Throughout the hearing on Legislative Document 1811, speakers also highlighted the need to balance new enforcement with drug treatment programs and additional funding for the state's corrections system.

Law Enforcement

Federal Drug Prosecutions Declining. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse reports that the monthly count of federal prosecutions for narcotics/drugs offenses has reached its lowest level since May 2000. The latest available data from the Justice Department show there were 1,487 new prosecutions in this category in January 2014, down 7.8% from the previous month and down 11.5% from the year before. The number observed during the most recent six month period appears to be the lowest seen since the end of the Reagan Administration.

New Synthetic Drugs

Minnesota Synthetic Drug Bills Moving. Bills that would grant the Board of Pharmacy the cease and desist authority to prevent the sale of synthetic drugs are moving forward in the Minnesota Legislature. House File 2446 has passed two committees and is now being heard in the Judiciary Finance and Policy Committee In the Senate, a companion bill was heard in the Health, Human Services and Housing Committee and passed on a voice vote. It now moves on to the Judiciary Committee.

International

Mexican Anti-Cartel Vigilantes Now Complain Government is Persecuting Them. Vigilante groups in the western state of Michoacan who rose up against the Knights Templar cartel with the tacit approval of the Mexican government now say they are being persecuted not only by criminals, but also by the government. The vigilantes complained publicly Sunday, a day after the Mexican government said it was going to "put a stop" to them. The government had bruited plans to fold them into a rural security force, but now no longer seems to need them.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AK: Agencies Say Alaska's Pot Law Could Cost $7m to

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
The Herald, 18 Mar 2014 - ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A regulatory system and enforcement involving legalized marijuana could cost Alaska $3.7 million to $7 million, according to a report by eight state agencies. Alaskans will consider a pot legalization measure on the Aug. 19 primary ballot then would have nine months to prepare for legalization if voters say yes.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OR: Just Saying 'No'

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
The Register-Guard, 18 Mar 2014 - Local Governments Eye Moratoriums on Medical Pot With a May 1 deadline looming, several Lane County local governments are springing into action to discuss and possibly enact moratoriums on new medical marijuana retailers, known as "dispensaries."
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Pot Activists Prepare For New Campaigns In Michigan

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 03/18/2014 - 07:00
Detroit Free Press, 18 Mar 2014 - Political organizers behind Michigan's string of victories in local ballot proposals on marijuana said they will soon launch campaigns in as many as a dozen other communities. After wins in cities as large as Detroit and as small as Ferndale, organizers said they will start gathering signatures April 1 for proposals in Hazel Park, Oak Park, Utica, East Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, Port Huron and several other communities yet to be decided.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- March 17, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 20:51

Alaska state agencies complain that legalization will cost money (and they want some of it), Vermont cops complain the governor is soft on pot, federal prosecutors complain about reforming mandatory minimums, and more. Let's get to it:

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

California Cannabis Hemp Initiative Dead for 2014. The number of active marijuana legalization initiatives in California has dropped to one after the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative failed to qualify for the ballot by its signature-gathering deadline. That leaves only the Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act, which, barring a miracle, isn't going to make the ballot, either. It needs 504,000 valid voter signatures by April 18, but only has 10,000. The big money is waiting for 2016 in California.

FBI Refuses to Do Washington State Marijuana Industry Background Checks. The FBI is refusing to do criminal history background checks on people applying for legal marijuana licenses in Washington state, even though it has done such checks in Colorado. The agency has balked for the past year at requests from state officials, and refused to tell the Associated Press why. The state has issued three licenses so far; for those, they relied on background checks by the Washington State Patrol, which would catch in-state criminal convictions, but might miss out-of-state ones.

Alaska Agencies Claim Legalization Will Cost Millions. In a new report, Alaska state agencies said that if the marijuana legalization initiative passes there, it will cost the state between $3.7 million and $7 million to implement and enforce the new law. Included in that figure are law enforcement requests for "at least three additional Alaska State Trooper positions to target the illegal diversion and exportation of marijuana lawfully cultivated in Alaska" and nearly $1.5 million for a media campaign to warn of stoned driving and training for troopers to recognize when a driver is high. The report doesn't address increased tax revenues from legalization.

Vermont Cops Accuse Governor of Being Soft on Pot. The Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police, Vermont Sheriffs Association and the Vermont Police Association said in a press release Friday that they are united against efforts for marijuana legalization and that, while they have previously expressed concern about Gov. Peter Shumlin's (D) "tolerance of marijuana," their concerns had been ignored. They also called marijuana "a gateway drug."

Washington Legislature Approves Sale of Hash and Hash Oil. The state legislature has approved a bill that would legalize the sale of hashish and hash oil at state-licensed marijuana retail outlets.House Bill 2304 now goes to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee (D).

Medical Marijuana

HHS Gives Go-Ahead for MAPS PTSD Research Study. The federal Department of Health and Human Services granted permission Thursday for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to purchase research-grade marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for its planned study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD. MAPS notes that this is the first time in the 22 years it has been trying to start marijuana drug research that it has actually won permission to purchase marijuana from NIDA. It's not quite a done deal yet, though; the DEA still as to approve. MAPS said it was "optimistic" DEA would do so.

Florida Poll Shows Strong Support for Initiative. A University of North Florida poll released Monday has the state's medical marijuana amendment initiative well-positioned to win in November. The initiative has already qualified for the ballot. The poll had 74% of registered voters planning to vote for it. Because it is a constitutional amendment, it will need 60% approval to pass.

Iowa Poll Has Support for Medical Marijuana at 81%. In a new Quinnipiac Poll, 81% of Iowa voters said they would support "allowing adults in Iowa to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it." Even among Republicans, 68% agreed. That's in sharp contrast to a recent Iowa Poll that had only 59% supporting "legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes."

Michigan Chamber of Commerce Wants No Jobless Benefits for Fired Medical Marijuana Users. Michigan's leading business group is urging the state appeals court to rule out jobless benefits for people who are fired for using medical marijuana. The move comes as the court weighs the cases of people who sought benefits after being fired for using medical marijuana. Lower court judges have ruled in favor of the workers, who argued that they shouldn't be denied benefits after losing their jobs for using marijuana legally under state law.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Initiative Has 15% of Necessary Signatures. A signature-gathering campaign to put medical marijuana on the November ballot has collected about 15% of the signatures needed to qualify, Arkansans for Compassionate Care said on Thursday. The initiative is one of two gathering signatures this year. It has until July 7 to hand in 62,000 qualified signatures, and has about 10,000 so far.

Nevada Board of Health Approves Dispensary Regulations. The Board of Health gave its approval Friday to rules to regulate new dispensaries. The next and final step is approval by a legislative commission on March 28. A 2013 law allowing dispensaries goes into effect April 1. But even then, there will be a 45-day notice announcing the date applications will be accepted. Once the application period opens, there will only be a 10-day window for accepting them. After the application period closes, the state must make a decision on each application within 90 days of receiving it. And then dispensaries have to grow their supply. Maybe by year's end…

Drug Policy

House Passes Bill to Force President to Enforce Federal Drug Laws. The Republican-controlled US House last week passed the Enforce the Law Act (House Resolution 4138), which would allow Congress to sue the president for failing to execute federal laws. While the bill is a broad attack on the Obama administration, one key supporter, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), singled out the "selective non-enforcement" of part of the Controlled Substance Act in medical marijuana and legal marijuana states as a major concern. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the bill was "dead on arrival" in the Senate.

Law Enforcement

Nevada County Settles Up in Interstate-80 Cash Seizure Cases. Humboldt County, Nevada, where sheriff's deputies developed a habit of stopping travelers on I-80 and seizing their cash through threats of arrest or impoundment even though no drugs were found, has settled a lawsuit over the practice. Two men from whom thousands of dollars were taken sued and have won their money back and attorneys' fees. The county District Attorney's Office also said Friday it had launched an internal review of the county's "forfeiture program," but that it had seen no evidence of illegal stops or other wrongdoing on the part of Sheriff Ed Kilgore or his deputies. The lawsuits claimed the cash seizures were part of a pattern of stopping drivers for speeding as a pretext for drug busts in violation of the Constitution.

Illinois Bill to Ban Kratom Filed. Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) has filed a bill to outlaw kratom, a Southeast Asian herb with psychoactive properties. The plant is not banned federally, although the DEA has it on its list of "drugs of concern." Indiana is the only state so far to have criminalized it, designating its active ingredients as controlled substances. The Illinois bill is House Bill 5526.

Sentencing

Some Federal Prosecutors Oppose Eliminating Mandatory Minimums. Attorney General Holder's move to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for most drug offenders is running into flak from some prosecutors, The Washington Post reported Thursday. They complained that "tough sentencing policies provide a critical tool to dismantle drug networks by getting cooperation from lower-level defendants and building cases that move up the criminal chain of command." The prosecutors spoke out at a hearing of the US Sentencing Commission where Holder endorsed changing federal sentencing guidelines to reduce drug sentences in most cases.

International

NGOs to Address Inter-American Human Rights Commission on Drug Policy and Human Rights. For the first time, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission has granted an audience to hemispheric civil society groups to address the impact of the war on drugs on human rights in the Americas. The audience will take place in Washington, DC, on March 25. Click on the link to see the impressive list of organizations that will participate.

Jamaican Rastas Want Legal Marijuana Monopoly. The newly formed Westmoreland Hemp and Ganja Farmers Association said licenses to grow and sell marijuana upon legalization should be limited to Rastafarians and other poor people, who have been victimized for decades for cultivating the herb. "We will not stand by and watch anybody outside of Rastafari and grassroots people take over this product. And we make no apology," association President Ras Iyah V declared during his address at the launch of the organisation at the MXIII Lawn in Negril on Sunday night. "We are saying this loud and clear to the Government, we are saying it to society, and we are saying it to the international community. Otherwise, we will take to the streets and turn Jamaica upside down -- and we make no apology. Because we not going take baton lick and brutality and all of a sudden now when the legalization aspect come, a some rich people come tek it ova -- people who used to scoff and scorn at the very mention of the herb name ganja," he added. "The WHGFA's objectives are to make sure that those who have paid the price -- who have been going to jail, going to prison, getting the baton licks, who have been planting the herb and it get cut down by police and soldiers, and yet have been persistent with this product -- that the rights of these individuals are protected."

Mexico Moves to Rein In Anti-Cartel Vigilantes. Leery of having created a Frankenstein monster, Mexican authorities moved last week to put anti-cartel vigilante groups on notice that their illegal tactics will no longer be tolerated. Locals who saw the vigilantes as saviors from cartel extortion and threats now complain of similar behavior from the vigilantes, and the government says it now no longer needs them. Several vigilante leaders have been arrested on murder and other charges.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AZ: Promoters Promise High Revenue From Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 07:00
Kingman Daily Miner, 17 Mar 2014 - Two Marijuana Measures on the Table in Arizona KINGMAN - Backers of two marijuana initiatives - one that would reduce the penalty for possession of the weed from a felony to a civil fine and another that would fully legalize recreational use for Arizonans 21 years or older - are in the process of gathering the necessary signatures needed to place them on November's ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NH: OPED: Why N.H. Should Follow Colorado And Legalize Pot

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 03/16/2014 - 07:00
Foster's Daily Democrat, 16 Mar 2014 - On Jan. 1, thousands of Coloradans eagerly lined up to make their first legal purchase of recreational marijuana. Amendment 64, a ballot measure that passed in 2012 with 55 percent of Colorado voters in favor, legalized the recreational use of marijuana and permitted adults aged 21 years or older to purchase up to an ounce. The law also places the onus of regulating the manufacture, distribution and sale of marijuana on the state government. This unprecedented experiment in governmental regulation of weed is still in its infancy, but all signs are indicating that what's good for pot enthusiasts is good for government - and more than likely good for society.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CO: Colorado Appeals Court Says Marijuana Law Can Be Used

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 14 Mar 2014 - DENVER - A Colorado law that allows adults to legally possess and use marijuana may now allow some people found guilty of minor marijuana crimes to challenge their convictions in court, a state appeals court ruled on Thursday. The decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals stemmed from a 2010 drug case in which a woman from the mountains west of Denver was convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana and a concentrated form of the drug - both of which are now legal under a 2012 ballot measure approved by Colorado voters. Her lawyers argued that the legal landscape had shifted since she was charged and that her marijuana convictions should thus be thrown out.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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