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Ballot Initiatives

US OK: Initiative Petition to Ask Oklahoma Voters to Legalize

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 07:00
The Oklahoman, 12 Apr 2016 - Oklahoma voters would be asked to legalize medical marijuana under an initiative petition filed Monday with the secretary of state's office. It calls for the state Health Department to regulate the dispensing of marijuana to people with a doctor-signed license to obtain it.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Marijuana Profit Is New California Gold Rush

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 12 Apr 2016 - ADELANTO, Calif. - After decades of thriving in legally hazy backyards and basements, California's most notorious crop, marijuana, is emerging from the underground into a decidedly capitalist era. Under a new state law, marijuana businesses will be allowed to turn a profit - which has been forbidden since 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis - and limits on the number of plants farmers can grow will be eliminated.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: VT Pot Bill Hits Wall in House, Brit Poll Has Near Majority for Pot Legalization, More... (4/11/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 04/11/2016 - 19:40

Ted Cruz takes a states' rights line on marijuana policy, a Vermont House committee has amended the pot legalization bill beyond recognition, a counterculture icon dies, a new poll has plurality support for marijuana legalization in Great Britain, and more. 

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

In Colorado, Ted Cruz Says He Would Leave State's Pot Law Alone. The Republican presidential contender told the Denver Post ahead of last Saturday's GOP caucus that as president, he would not interfere with Colorado's marijuana legalization even though he personally opposes legalization. "I think on the question of marijuana legalization, we should leave it to the states," he said. "If it were me personally, voting on it in the state of Texas, I would vote against it. The people of Colorado have made a different decision. I respect that decision." Cruz won the Colorado caucus.  

Arkansas Attorney General Rejects Legalization Initiative. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize pot. The initiative would legalize the use, possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana, but will have to go back to the drawing board to come up with language that is not ambiguous. Any initiative in Arkansas this year will need 85,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Vermont Legalization Bill Hits Wall in House. The fate of the legalization bill, Senate Bill 241, is at best uncertain after the House Judiciary Committee first refused to pass even a watered-down version of it last Friday, then amended it to delete legalization and expand funding for anti-drug campaigns, provide police with more drugged driving resources, and ban potential dangerous methods of concentrating the drug. While the Judiciary's version of the bill bears little resemblance to the version passed by the Senate, it does leave the door open for Senate supporters to re-insert the deleted language if the amended version passes the House. But it is not at all clear that a majority of House members would vote for that.

Medical Marijuana

Louisiana Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced. State Rep. Ted James (D-Baton Rouge) has filed House Bill 1112, which would expand the scope of medical marijuana in the state. The state passed a restrictive medical marijuana bill last, but there has been little progress made on producing medical marijuana in the state. James' s bill would allow for the commercial production of medical marijuana and allow patients to petition state agencies to expand qualifying conditions for use of the medicine. The bill also seeks to ease the regulatory burden on marijuana by cutting state agencies out of some of the regulatory process.

Ohio Attorney Generals Okays 2nd Medical Marijuana Initiative. Attorney General Mike DeWine has certified the petition summary for a medical marijuana and industrial hemp initiative from Legalize Ohio 2016. Now, the initiative goes to the Ohio Ballot Board to determine whether it is one issue or two. Another initiative, backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, has already been approved for signature gathering. Initiatives will need 305,000 valid voter signatures by early July to qualify for the November ballot.

International

Poll: Plurality of Britons Support Marijuana Legalization. A new poll from The Independent has support for legalization at 47%, with 39% opposed. The poll asked whether respondents supported a plan for licensing the sale of marijuana through shops that has been adopted by the Liberal Democrats.

No More Mr. Nice. Welsh counterculture icon Howard Marks, widely known as "Mr. Nice," has died of stomach cancer at age 70. Marks smuggled marijuana in the 1970s and 1980s before being arrested and imprisoned in the United States. His 1996 memoir, "Mr. Nice," brought him to broader public attention, and he continued to campaign for marijuana legalization until his death. 

Guatemala Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed. Deputy Alvaro Velasquez has introduced a bill that would legalize and regulate the use, possession, cultivation, distribution, and commercialization of marijuana. The bill would legalize the weed for people 18 and over and regulation would be in the hands of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance.  Velasquez is a member of the National Convergence Front, whose presidential candidate, TV comedian Jimmy Morales, won the 2015 election.

 (This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org"s lobbying arm, the 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: OPED: Marijuana Pipe Dreams And The Election

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 04/11/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 11 Apr 2016 - There is a wise old adage which reads, "Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it." That message certainly applies to the proposed initiatives on the ballot later this year to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in California. Voters in California passed Proposition 215 almost 20 years ago, and only recently has this state established a viable method for making this product available for those who have a legitimate medical need. Recreational use, however, is an entirely different matter.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US ME: Maine Judge Revives Referendum To Legalize Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 04/09/2016 - 07:00
Foster's Daily Democrat, 09 Apr 2016 - PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A judge on Friday gave a victory to supporters of a referendum aimed at legalizing marijuana by overruling a decision by election officials to reject thousands of signatures. The same judge who upheld Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap's decision to reject a casino referendum proposal because of invalid signatures on Thursday revived the campaign to put the proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use on the November ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: California's First Marijuana Czar

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 04/09/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 09 Apr 2016 - Lori Ajax Will Oversee the State's First System for Regulating Medical Cannabis. but She Faces a Moving Target. SACRAMENTO - Lori Ajax has two years to set up California's first system to license, regulate and tax medical marijuana. Gov. Jerry Brown recently appointed the Republican to become the first chief of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: VT Legalization Bill Hits Bump, MedMJ Bills Killed in NE, SC, More... (4/8/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Fri, 04/08/2016 - 21:13

A Vermont House committee has changed the tax and regulate marijuana legalization bill into a two-plant cultivation decriminalization bill, medical marijuana bills get snuffed in Nebraska and South Carolina, interest in asset forfeiture reform continues, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DEA to Review Marijuana Classification. The DEA will decide whether to reclassify marijuana "in the first half of 2016," the agency said in a letter to US senators. The agency was responding to a 2015 letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and seven other Democratic senators, who urged the federal government to make it easier to study marijuana 's medical benefits. Marijuana is currently placed in Schedule I, along with heroin and LSD, as a drug with a high abuse potential and no medical uses.

California Report Calls for Strict Rules on Growers, Drivers. The Public Policy Institute of California has released a report calling for tight regulatory oversight of legal marijuana cultivation, sales, and distribution as well as highlighting the need to ensure that drivers are not impaired. "California should err on the side of more restrictive regulation," said report co-author Patrick Murphy. But California NORML disagrees, saying that "restrictive regulations will only divert business to California's robust unregulated gray market."

Maine Court Rules in Favor of Legalization Initiative on Signatures Issue. A Kennebec County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that the state may have improperly invalidated thousands of petition signatures because it rejected petitions without actually reviewing all of them. The secretary of state's office must now review all the disputed petitions and place the measure on the November ballot if it finds enough signatures were gathered. The state had invalidated more than 17,000 voter signatures because it said the notary's signatures on the petitions didn't match the signature it had on file. That was enough to disqualify the initiative.

Vermont House Committee Changes Legalization Bill to Cultivation Decrim Bill. The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday dramatically rewrote Senate Bill 241, turning the tax and regulate legalization bill into one that would only decriminalize the cultivation of up to two marijuana plants. Committee Chair Rep. Maxine Grad (D-Moretown) said it became clear that she didn't have the votes to pass the Senate version. If the new House version passes, it would have to be reconciled with the Senate version. The Senate legalization bill had no provision for home cultivation.

Medical Marijuana

Nebraska Medical Marijuana Bill Killed. The bill, LB 643, failed Tuesday night when it was filibustered on the second round of consideration and sponsor Sen. Tommy Garrett (D-Bellevue) fell three votes short of ending the filibuster.

South Carolina Senate Committee Kills Medical Marijuana Bill. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted 7-4 Thursday to kill Senate Bill 672, the Medical Marijuana Program Act. "This is a bad idea. It's a pathway to recreational usage," said Sen. Mike Fair (R-Greenville).

Asset Forfeiture

Alaska House Committee Rewrites Asset Forfeiture Bill. The House Judiciary Committee has approved a stripped-down civil asset forfeiture bill. The originally broad-ranging bill has now been reduced to only abolishing non-criminal forfeitures, and now heads to the House Finance Committee. The Judiciary Committee said it will work on a broader reform bill for the next session, but wanted to get something passed this year.

Delaware Bill to End Civil Asset Forfeiture Filed. A bipartisan group of legislators Wednesday filed a bill to end civil asset forfeiture in the state. "In America, the government should not be able to take your property unless they can prove you did something wrong," Sen. Colin Bonini, (R-Dover) said at a news conference.

Nebraska Asset Forfeiture Bill Stays Alive. A bill to restrict property seizures from people not convicted of a crime has won second-round approval after lawmakers amended it to address law enforcement concerns. The amendments will allow state law enforcement agencies to continue to participate in the Justice Department's Equitable Sharing program, which allows local police to end-run state laws that direct seized funds into the general fund or other specified funds. Under the federal program, the feds keep 20% and the local agency gets 80%. The bill is LB 1106.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: Another One Beats The Feds

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 07 Apr 2016 - If you needed more proof that boom times are here again for the medical cannabis industry - and here to stay - look no further than 15th Street in the Mission District. When Barack Obama was first elected in 2008, the California marijuana industry exploded. The president said medical marijuana would be left alone; people interpreted that to mean it was open season on weed. The Justice Department, which issued a memo in 2009 stating that "limited federal resources" shouldn't be used to bust cancer patients growing a handful of pot plants, as they were under Bush, only seemed to egg them on.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OR: Column: Colorado Has Ideas For Cannabis Laws

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 07:00
Portland Mercury, 07 Apr 2016 - Some Very, Very Stupid Ideas I HAVE BRUISES on my face this week. (No, not from Fight Club, which I really shouldn't even be talking about.) These bruises are from slapping my forehead repeatedly as I read what's up in the world of weed. Much as I have trouble comprehending anyone voting for a micro-fingered, angry tangerine wigman, I cannot grasp the logic behind some of the proposals that are happening in Colorado.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: Council Moves to Ban Private Marijuana Clubs in City

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 07:00
Washington Times, 06 Apr 2016 - District Split Over Legality of Drug In the latest twist in the District's struggles over legal marijuana, the D.C. Council Tuesday moved to permanently ban pot clubs in the city, just two months after the body approved a task force to study the issue.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Bill Targets Drug Use By Drivers

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 06 Apr 2016 - A New Device Would Allow Authorities to Test for Pot, Cocaine and Other Drugs During Traffic Stops. SACRAMENTO - With medical marijuana in widespread use and a ballot measure planned to legalize recreational pot in California, state officials Tuesday proposed using new technology to catch the increasing number of motorists who are driving while high.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: Thank Donald Trump If California Legalizes Weed

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 07:00
East Bay Express, 06 Apr 2016 - It Appears That Only One Flavor of Legalization Will Make the Ballot This November, and It Might Have a Strange Ally. For those wondering what's going to happen with the crowded field of proposals to legalize cannabis in California this year, look no further than an independent source of information with boots on the ground: paid signature-gatherers. Thousands of these mercenaries have fanned out across the Golden State this April, earning an estimated $2.50 per signature to help place pot legalization on the ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CT: Pot Proponents Push Legalization

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 07:00
Register Citizen, 06 Apr 2016 - University of Connecticut student Jennifer Purdon is not shy talking about what she termed Tuesday as her "daily use of cannabis." Purdon, who described herself as a double-major, honor student with a 3.6 Grade Point Average, said, "I just prefer it (marijuana) over alcohol."
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Group Gets Ok To Collect Signatures

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 04/05/2016 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 05 Apr 2016 - The Ohio Ballot Board recently certified Ohioans for Medical Marijuana's petition, allowing the group to begin collecting signatures. The group, backed by the Washington D.C.-based Medical Policy Project, needs to collect 305,591 valid signatures from Ohio voters by early July in order for the proposed amendment to be added to the November ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: Senate "Sham" Legalization Hearing, Legalizers Rally in Ann Arbor & DC, More... (4/4/16)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Mon, 04/04/2016 - 19:58

Marijuana legalization activists rallied in Ann Arbor and DC over the weekend, pot-related hearings take place in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the US Senate tomorrow, the California Assembly will take up supervised injection sites tomorrow, British pot arrests are down dramatically, and more.

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

Senate Legalization Foes to Hold Hearing Tomorrow. US Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will hold a hearing in the Caucus on International Narcotics Control titled "Is the Justice Department Adequately Protecting the Public from the Impact of State Recreational Marijuana Legalization." The only witnesses are foes of marijuana legalization, making it a "sham hearing" in the eyes of the Drug Policy Alliance. "These hearings are a one-sided sham with the deck stacked with witnesses who have a track record of vehemently opposing marijuana legalization," said DPA deputy director of national affairs,Michael Collins. "An honest evaluation of marijuana legalization would include the undeniable benefits of legalization like the massive drop in marijuana arrests, the billions in taxes, and the transition from an underground market to a regulated one. A more even-handed hearing would also address the destructive harms of marijuana prohibition."

On Eve of Hearing, Connecticut Governor Reiterates Opposition to Legalization. With a legislative informational hearing on legalizing marijuana set for Tuesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) made clear Monday that he remains opposed to the move. "I'm not a believer in it," he said. "I've done all the things I thought were necessary," referring to supporting the state's medical marijuana program and signing a decriminalization bill. "I think when you legalize marijuana, you're encouraging marijuana, and that's not the place I want to go."

DC Pot Activists Fire Up in Front of White House. Led by the DC Cannabis Campaign, hundreds of legalization supporters gathered in front of the White House Saturday afternoon to urge President Obama to reschedule marijuana. The event was held on 4/2 instead of 4/20 because "Obama has been a big zero" when it comes to leading the country out of pot prohibition, the activists said. At 4:20pm, people lit up in a civil disobedience action, but no arrests were forthcoming, although some citations were issued.

Thousands Attend Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor. Pot lovers and legalizers gathered by the thousands on the University of Michigan's central campus Diag in the Midwest's largest annual celebration of cannabis culture. This was the 45th annual Hash Bash, and stoner icon Tommy Chong addressed the crowd, along with lesser luminaries. Activists were also out collecting signatures for a proposed statewide marijuana legalization initiative. Three people were arrested for marijuana possession.

Rhode Island Hearing on Marijuana Regulation and Policy Tuesday. State Attorney General Peter Kilmartin will host a forum on marijuana policy Tuesday at Brown University. Speakers include representatives from the city of Denver, the Washington state attorney general's office, and the Washington Institute on Public Policy, as well as Massachusetts state Sen. Jason Lewis (D), who chairs that state's Special Senate Committee on Marijuana.

Harm Reduction

California Assembly Hearing on Supervised Injection Sites Set for Tomorrow. The Assembly Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing on Assembly Bill 2495, which would allow localities to establish supervised drug consumption services and let drug users consume controlled substances there under public health supervision. The bill is sponsored by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton).

International

British Marijuana Arrests Down By Nearly Half Since 2010. Arrests are down 46%, warnings fell by 48%, and charges filed declined by 33% between 2010 and 2015, according to official data from police forces. Some forces admitted no longer targeting pot smokers, saying their officers had been "freed up" for "more important work."

Indian Opium Addicts Block Highway to Protest New Ban on Poppy Husk. Hundreds of people addicted to "doda post," as dried opium husk is known in the area, blocked a highway in Rajasthan to protest a ban on the trade that went into effect April 1. Police managed to clear the road, but demonstrations against the ban continued. One local doda user attempted to commit suicide, and his father, Himatram, said he and his son had been using doda for years. "This government banned doda while supplying liquor publicly," he said. "It is not justified." Doda users said authorities had begun "de-addiction" drives, but were supplying them with medications that were useless.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: Pot Activists See Win As Opportunity For Dialogue

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 04/04/2016 - 07:00
Washington Times, 04 Apr 2016 - Rally Pressures Obama to Deschedule Marijuana The local activists who helped legalize marijuana possession in the District were on the trail of bigger game Saturday, lighting up in front of the White House to protest the way federal laws classify the drug.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CO: Large Pot Business Push to Rename Stadium Seen As

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 04/04/2016 - 07:00
Washington Times, 04 Apr 2016 - DENVER - One of Colorado's top marijuana businesses wants to keep the "high" in the Denver Broncos' Mile High Stadium. Native Roots, which operates 14 medical and recreational dispensaries in Colorado, is prepared to make an offer for the naming rights of the NFL team's stadium, now called Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: A Pot Habit Can Make You A Loser

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 03 Apr 2016 - There's a new report out on longtime marijuana use. And it's bad news for habitual stoners. In summary: The more pot you smoke, the more apt you are to be a loser. And it's not so much that losers toke weed. It's that toking a lot of weed over several years turns someone into a loser. It's not really a chicken or egg thing.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US: Caught In The Haze Of Marijuana Laws

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
Washington Post, 03 Apr 2016 - A self-described Michigan "soccer mom" who had "every belonging" taken from her family in a drug raid has been cleared of all criminal charges, 19 months after heavily armed drug task force members ransacked her home and her business. But in many ways, her ordeal is only beginning. Annette Shattuck and her husband, Dale, had been facing felony charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession with intent to manufacture marijuana and maintaining a drug house. But last month, Michigan Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kelly threw out all criminal complaints filed against the Shattucks "on the grounds of entrapment by estoppel," according to court filings. Entrapment by estoppel occurs when a government official leads a defendant to think that their conduct is permissible under the law.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NV: OPED: Legal Pot - Bad For Nevada

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 04/02/2016 - 07:00
Elko Daily Free Press, 02 Apr 2016 - Out-of-state pot industry promoters are pouring millions of dollars into Nevada to legalize recreational marijuana in this state. To qualify for the ballot, these promoters raised nearly $800,000, with 60 percent from outside Nevada - given by pot industry corporate donors from California, Colorado, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Missouri, Massachusetts - and including $250,000 from the Washington D.C. pro pot lobby group, Marijuana Policy Project. Nevadans need to know what this initiative is NOT. This initiative is NOT a Nevada-based libertarian "live and let live" effort to permit limited "backyard marijuana grows." Instead, the initiative will require the Nevada Department of Taxation to be radically transformed into a massive bureaucracy and become the single most powerful agency in state government.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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