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Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- August 1, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 20:39

The New York Times isn't done talking about marijuana, a House committee hears about stoned driving, you can comment now on Maryland's draft medical marijuana regulations, federal asset forfeiture and overdose prevention bills get introduced, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New York Times Has a Week's Worth of Legalization Editorials. The Times's editorial last Sunday calling for the end of federal marijuana prohibition, Repeal Prohibition, Again, was only the beginning. Throughout this week, the "newspaper of record" has kept at it -- and there's still more to come. The other editorials printed so far are Let States Decide on Marijuana, The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests, The Federal Marijuana Ban is Rooted in Myth and Xenophobia, and What Science Says About Marijuana. Still to come are editorials addressing track records and regulation. There is also a blog post providing background on the Times's decision to endorse legalization.

House Holds Hearing on Stoned Driving. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing yesterday on driving under the influence of marijuana, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Operating While Stoned," but the upshot was that the federal government has very little information about stoned driving and little basis for setting a legal limit for marijuana impairment. "No one is arguing that [driving while high is] a good idea, but the fact of the matter is that we don't have a lot of data," said Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly. "[Public policy has] got to be based on science, and we need more of it." Researchers testifying before the committee agreed. Click on the hearing link to watch the whole thing.

Washington Attorney General Intervenes in I-502 Lawsuits. Attorney General Bob Ferguson yesterday moved to intervene in three marijuana lawsuits filed against the cities of Wenatchee and Fife, which have passed local ordinances barring the operation of retail marijuana outlets. An opinion released by Ferguson in January concluded that I-502 does not bar localities from banning such businesses, so it appears he will be siding with the localities.

More Michigan Towns to Vote on Marijuana Reform Measures. Three more Michigan communities have joined the list of towns and cities that will vote on municipal legalization measures. Saginaw, Clare, and Harrison all have measures that have qualified for the ballot. In Saginaw, up to an ounce would be legalized; in Clare and Harrison, up to 2.5 ounces. More than a dozen Michigan communities are expected to vote on reform measures in November.

Portland, Oregon, Moves to Tax Marijuana Before It's Even Legal. The city of Portland has created a marijuana advisory committee in anticipation of voters legalizing marijuana statewide in November. The committee is discussing where to allow pot shops, but it is also moving to create a city sales tax -- and it has to do that before the November election because the language of the New Approach Oregon initiative does not allow cities to impose taxes beyond the state tax it imposes. The thinking is that if a tax is passed before the election, it can be grandfathered in.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Medical Marijuana Draft Regulations are Now Available -- And You Have Until Tuesday to Comment. Maryland's medical marijuana commission has released draft regulations for cultivators and physicians. The Marijuana Policy Project has some problems with them, including calls for an "unnecessary" training course on medical marijuana for all certifying physicians, mandatory drug testing for patients, and a requirement that doctors specify dosage and strain type. These are draft regulations, but the period for comment on the draft ends Tuesday. Interested parties can email the commission to register their comments.

Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act Picks Up New Cosponsor. House Resolution 4498, the Legitimate Use of Medical Marijuana Act, has picked up a fourth cosponsor, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The bill, sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), would move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act and block the act from being used against medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

Sentencing

Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014 Picks Up New Cosponsor. Senate Bill 1410, the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014, has picked up its 31st cosponsor, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). The bill would allow judges in some cases to sentence without regard to mandatory minimums, reduce mandatory minimums, and allow people sentenced for crack offenses after the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act went into effect to seek sentence reductions.

Harm Reduction

Senator Jack Reed Introduces Overdose Prevention Act. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and four Democratic cosponsors today introduced the Overdose Prevention Act, which would expand overdose prevention services and providing funding for access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone. The bill is not yet up on the congressional web site.

Asset Forfeiture

Rep. Tim Walberg Introduces Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) has filed House Resolution 5212, the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act. The bill would raise the standard of proof necessary for the government to seize property and reinstate due process so the government is required to  prove a property owner's involvement in criminal activity. This is the second asset forfeiture reform bill filed in as many weeks. Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) filed the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) ACT, Senate Bill 2644, which would require the government to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property it wishes to forfeit is connected with a crime.

Law Enforcement

Justice Department Report Scolds DEA for Leaving Student in Cell for Five Days. A Justice Department report on the detention of San Diego student Daniel Chong, who was left unattended in a holding cell for five days at a DEA office there, has concluded that the DEA did not take simple measures to ensure that detainees are not forgotten. The report also slammed the agency for having the same agents who left Chong in the cell conduct the investigation into how it happened. Chong earlier received a $1.4 million payout from the DEA to settle a lawsuit he brought against the agency.

International

Russian Drug Agency Proposes Giving Social Benefits to Recovering Drug Users. In something of a surprise move, the Russian Federal Drug Control Service has proposed providing free housing, food subsidies, and home health care to help recovering drug users progress in their rehabilitation. The bill would add drug addicts to a list of categories of people considered socially vulnerable, such as senior citizens and people with disabilities. The proposal has drawn harsh criticism from opponents, who argue that it would encourage drug use.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NM: Editorial: Petition Blunder Warrants Refresher Course

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 01 Aug 2014 - This screw-up is enough to make one wonder: What were they smoking? When it came to calculating the number of valid petition signatures needed to ask Albuquerque voters if they want to reduce penalties in the city for possessing small amounts of marijuana, the numbers didn't add up. And no one caught it until it was too late. The City Clerk's Office miscalculated the number and the Legal Department approved it. Petitioners didn't question it or do the math themselves.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: OPED: Implementing A Medical Marijuana Law Is Key

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 01 Aug 2014 - Despite polls showing that eight out of 10 Floridians are for it, one of the most controversial and talked-about issues this November election is medical marijuana. This is my first time saying this in a public forum but here it is: I'm for it too. I, like most voters, believe that if a doctor recommends a course of treatment to a patient - whether it's an exercise regime, a multivitamin, a new diet, or marijuana - that patient should be able to follow their doctor's orders without having to fear being arrested. Period.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US WA: Pot Smoking Tickets Issued Unevenly

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
Spokesman-Review, 01 Aug 2014 - SEATTLE - Yes, you can buy pot. You can smoke pot. You can possess pot here in the Evergreen State. You just can't do those things in public, smelling up parks and annoying pedestrians. If you're caught, the police will write you a ticket. Especially if you're black. Or homeless. And have the bad judgment to light up in the downtown core. And the bad luck to come upon one police officer in particular.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: OPED: Voters Must Know The Facts About Medical Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 01 Aug 2014 - Despite polls showing that eight out of ten Floridians are for it, one of the most controversial and talked about issues this November election is medical marijuana. This is my first time saying this in a public forum but here it is: I'm for it too. I, like most voters, believe that if a doctor recommends a course of treatment to a patient -- whether it's an exercise regime, a multivitamin, a new diet, or marijuana -- that patient should be able to follow their doctors orders without having to fear being arrested. Period.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- July 31, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 20:24

One study finds that Colorado is doing just fine with marijuana legalization, another finds that kids aren't smoking more pot in medical marijuana states, there's trouble in Albuquerque, Detroit police go on yet another well-publicized mass drug sweep, Marc Emery vows revenge, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Brookings Institution Report Finds Colorado's Legalization is Succeeding. The Brookings Institution's Center for Effective Public Management today released a report on how well Colorado is managing marijuana legalization. The title of the report, "Colorado's Rollout of Legal Marijuana is Succeeding," pretty much spells it out. "The state has met challenging statutory and constitutional deadlines for the construction and launch of a legal, regulatory, and tax apparatus for its new policy," according to the report authored by John Hudak, a Brookings fellow in Governance Studies. "In doing so, it has made intelligent decisions about regulatory needs, the structure of distribution, prevention of illegal diversion, and other vital aspects of its new market. It has made those decisions in concert with a wide variety of stakeholders in the state." Click on the link to read the full report.

Georgia Libertarian Party Endorses Marijuana Legalization. The Libertarian Party of Georgia says "legalize it." In a Wednesday press release, the party came out four-square for legalization. "Georgia voters should be allowed to vote on the issue", said state party chair Doug Craig. "If the voters were allowed to vote we believe they would vote to legalize. Rights should never be determined by popular vote, but polling gives us a good indication on where the public stands on the issue. As Libertarians, we support giving the public the freedom to choose. Lawmakers should study the issue and allow public input into forming a better policy that stops treating otherwise law abiding citizens as criminals."

Albuquerque Decriminalization Initiative Up in the Air After City Messes Up Signature Requirements. What a mess! The city of Albuquerque told initiative organizers they needed 11,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot, so to ensure that they had a comfortable cushion, organizers turned in 16,000 signatures. Then, two days after signatures were handed in, the city said it had made a mistake, and organizers needed 14,000 signatures to qualify. The measure could still qualify, but if it comes up with more than 11,000 valid signatures, but less than the 14,000 needed to make the ballot, look for legal action.

East Lansing, Michigan, Decriminalization Initiative Campaign Turns in Signatures. The Coalition for a Safer East Lansing turned in about 2,300 signatures for its decriminalization initiative Tuesday. If they end up with enough valid signatures to qualify, the measure will go on the ballot in November. Similar efforts are afoot in more than a dozen other Michigan towns and cities.

Medical Marijuana

National Bureau of Economic Research Report Finds Medical Marijuana Has Not Led to More Teen Use. The finding comes in the working paper Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use. "Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalization of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana among high school students. In fact, estimates from our preferred specification are small, consistently negative, and are never statistically distinguishable from zero," the authors said.

Drug Policy

Broad Coalition Forms to Highlight Plight of Drug War's Youngest Victims. More than 80 civil rights, immigration, criminal justice, racial justice, human rights, libertarian and religious organizations are joined by notable figures such as Michelle Alexander in calling for an end to the war on drugs in the name of protecting children both in Latin America and here in the United States. They have all signed on to a letter of support for new policies. The signatories -- which include the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Center for Constitutional Rights, Institute of the Black World, Presente.org, Students for Liberty, United We Dream, William C. Velasquez Institute, and the Working Families Organization -- are notable for their diversity in cause and focus, yet have come together around the issue of the drug war's impact on youth, at home and abroad. Click here for a full list of supporters.

Law Enforcement

Detroit Police in Yet Another Militarized Drug Blitz. In the latest in a series of mass raids under the rubric of "Operation Restore Order," heavily armored Detroit Police SWAT teams and other officers targeted the Ninth Precinct on the city's east side today. More than a hundred police were involved. The first house they hit had no drugs, the second contained some weapons and drug paraphernalia, the third resulted in the seizure of a couple dozen crack rocks.

One Seattle Police Officer Wrote 80% of Marijuana Tickets; Now, He's Off the Streets. One police officer who apparently doesn't think much of Washington's marijuana legalization law -- he wrote snide remarks on some of the tickets -- is responsible for a whopping 80% of all public pot smoking tickets written by the Seattle Police in the last six months. In one instance, Officer Randy Jokela used a coin toss to decide whom he would cite. He has been assigned to other duties while the department's Office of Professional Accountability investigates.

International

Marc Emery Vows Political Revenge on Canadian Conservatives. Out of prison in the US, but still stuck in an American deportation center awaiting his return to Canada, "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery is vowing political revenge on Canada's Conservatives. He has served nearly five years in federal prison for selling marijuana seeds after the Conservatives allowed him to be extradited from Canada. "My own government betrayed me and I'm going to wreak an appropriate amount of political revenge when I get home and campaign against the Conservative government," Emery said. "The whole thing is nonsense. I should never have been turned over to the US government," said the fervent Liberal supporter. Canadian elections are next year.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares 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: OPED: Marijuana Is Not A Harmless Drug

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 31 Jul 2014 - MARIJUANA IS NOT A HARMLESS DRUG Marijuana has now been legalized or decriminalized in 17 states and the District of Columbia, with Maryland joining the list just last week. Ballot measures to loosen rules on marijuana use could come to a vote this year in at least five states. Twenty-one states already allow marijuana for medical use.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: Column: Support For Marijuana Will Influence Elections

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 31 Jul 2014 - Forget about Rick Scott and Charlie Crist duking it out over who makes the better governor. It's the fight over marijuana legalization that serves as the backdrop for the elections in Florida this fall. With polls showing more than 60 percent of voters support the legalization of medical marijuana, Florida may soon venture into the weeds by joining 23 other states and the District of Columbia in passing laws that make different varieties of pot partially legal.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NM: GOP Leader Gets Pot Petition Copies

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 31 Jul 2014 - SANTA FE - The fight over decriminalizing marijuana in Santa Fe is heating up, even though it's still not clear whether a petition drive to get the issue before voters will be successful. ProgressNow New Mexico is crying foul over a Republican Party leader using a public records request to obtain copies of pot decriminalization petitions from the city clerk's office.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: Addicted To Pot?

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 31 Jul 2014 - I smoke pot every day. Am I addicted? - -Robert How would I know? How much pot do you smoke every day? More than a joint or two? How is your personal life? Are you relatively "successful"? Do you behave like a responsible adult?
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OK: Marijuana Petition In Pryor

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 07:00
Pryor Daily Times, 31 Jul 2014 - Pryor Times - Prohibition does not work. This is the mantra of the Oklahoma Coalition Against Prohibition, which is circulating a petition to decriminalize medical marijuana. The organization assisted another advocacy group who set up a petition table in Pryor last weekend.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Medical Marijuana Update

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 22:00

A pair of federal bills get filed, California's medical marijuana wars continue, Florida looks set to pass medical marijuana this fall, pressure is rising for New York to get its program up and running, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

Last Thursday, US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) filed a medical marijuana amendment to Senate Bill 2569, the "Bring Jobs Home Act." It would explicitly allow states to pass medical marijuana laws despite the provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The amendment would also bar prosecutions of patients and doctors for engaging in medical marijuana activities in states where it is legal.

On Monday, a Pennsylvania Republican filed a bill to allow low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana. Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) introduced a bill that would exempt low-THC, high-CBD marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act. The bill is the Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act (House Resolution 5226).

Arizona

On Tuesday, a fired University of Arizona medical marijuana researcher lost her appeal. Dr. Sue Sisley, the University of Arizona researcher whose pending study of medical marijuana to treat PTSD among veterans was halted when she was fired last month, has lost an appeal to regain her job. Sisley is now looking for a new academic home to pursue the research.

California

On Tuesday, police in Redding raided the Planet Herb Collective. They arrested two women running the collective, which they said was operating in violation of a local ordinance banning them. The two women face charges of criminal conspiracy and sale of marijuana.

Also on Tuesday, the Cathedral City council voted to permit dispensaries. The council voted 3-2 to allow three dispensaries to open. Cathedral City becomes the second Coachella Valley community to allow dispensaries; Palm Springs is the other.

Also on Tuesday, Riverside County supervisors voted to approve draft regulations penalizing medical marijuana grows. People growing fewer than a dozen plants in unincorporated areas of the county would be charged with an infraction and hit with fines, while people growing more than 12 plants would face a misdemeanor charge and six months in jail.

Florida

On Monday, a Quinnipiac University poll found overwhelming support for medical marijuana. The poll had support at 88%. Floridians will vote on a medical marijuana initiative in November.

Minnesota

Last Thursday, the state named a medical marijuana director. The state Department of Health has named department employee Michelle Larson the first-ever director of the Office of Medical Cannabis. She is charged with managing the office's staff and creating and implementing administrative policies for things like an application process for a manufacturer and a patient registry. The state's law limits medical marijuana to eight specified diseases or conditions and does not allow for the use of smoked marijuana.

New York

Last Thursday, a poster child for medical marijuana died without her medicine. Nine-year-old Anna Conte, whose family has been at the center of the Empire State medical marijuana debate, has died without ever gaining access to marijuana medicines that may have alleviated her condition. Conte suffered from Dravet Syndrome, which caused her to suffer hundreds of crippling seizures every day. The state passed a medical marijuana law last month, but it won't go into effect for another year and a half.

On Wednesday, Gov. Cuomo told the state Health Department to hurry up with medical marijuana. Impelled by the deaths of two children with epileptic seizure disorders whose conditions could be alleviated with medical marijuana, Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to the Department of Health urging it to find ways to "accelerate the process for this specific dire population." Cuomo added that he looked forward "to any progress you can make for the children of our state living with epilepsy."

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- July 30, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 19:53

Marijuana arrests are up in a third of the states, the drug czar's office responds to the New York Times, Dr. Carl Hart wins a literary award, Philly narcs get busted, and more. Let's get to it:

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

ONDCP Responds to New York Times Call to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition. In a Monday night blog post, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP -- the drug czar's office) responded to the New York Times's Sunday editorial calling for the end of federal marijuana prohibition. "Marijuana legalization is not the silver bullet solution," ONDCP proclaimed. "The New York Times editorial team failed to mention a cascade of public health problems associated with the increased availability of marijuana," the blog post reads. "While law enforcement will always play an important role in combating violent crime associated with the drug trade, the Obama Administration approaches substance use as a public health issue, not merely a criminal justice problem." Click on the link to read the whole post.

NORML PAC Endorses Constance Johnson for US Senate in Oklahoma. NORML PAC, the campaign and lobbying arm of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has endorsed state Sen. Constance Johnson (D) for the US Senate in Oklahoma. Johnson has been an advocate for medical marijuana and marijuana legalization and, this year, has been leading a petition drive to put legalization on the November ballot. "I'm incredibly thankful for NORML's endorsement, " said Sen. Johnson. "After years of stonewalling in the state legislature, I'm taking this fight to the people. It's time for the people of Oklahoma to speak on this issue." The Democratic primary is August 26.

Marijuana Arrests Up in Many States. Although annual marijuana arrests nationwide declined by 3.3% between 2008 and 2012, they increased in at least 17 states, according to a report published by NORML, Marijuana in the States 2012: Analysis and Detailed Data on Marijuana Use and Arrests. South Carolina and the District of Columbia saw the biggest increases, but DC has just decriminalized marijuana possession, so that should change soon. Marijuana arrests accounted for two-thirds of more of all drug arrests in five states: Nebraska (74.1%), New Hampshire (72%), Montana (70.3%), Wyoming (68.7%) and Wisconsin (67.1%).

Alaska Legalization Campaign Unveils News Bus Ads. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol In Alaska unveiled a series of bus ads yesterday in Anchorage that highlight the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol. The ads will appear throughout the week on city buses.

National Cannabis Industry Association Announces Food Safety Program for Edibles Makers and Responsible Selling Program for Retailers. The National Cannabis Industry Association will hold a ServSafe Food Safety training for edibles makers and a responsible selling program for budtenders in Denver next month. Click on the link to register.

Medical Marijuana

New York Governor Tells Health Department to Hurry Up with Medical Marijuana. Impelled by the deaths of two children with epileptic seizure disorders whose conditions could be alleviated with medical marijuana, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today sent a letter to the Department of Health urging it to find ways to "accelerate the process for this specific dire population." Cuomo added that he looked forward "to any progress you can make for the children of our state living with epilepsy."

Fired University of Arizona Medical Marijuana Researcher Loses Appeal. Dr. Sue Sisley, the University of Arizona researcher whose pending study of medical marijuana to treat PTSD among veterans was halted when she was fired last month, has lost an appeal to regain her job. Sisley is now looking for a new academic home to pursue the research.

Law Enforcement

Six Philadelphia Narcs Charged in Corruption Probe. The long-running scandal around Philadelphia's out-of-control narcotics units took another twist today when federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against six of them, including robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and drug dealing. They are accused of shaking down drug dealers and stealing hundreds of thousands in cash and drugs over a six-year period. Federal prosecutors asked that they be held without bail, given their violent histories.

Drug Science

Dr. Carl Hart's "High Price" Wins Science Writing Award. Dr. Carl Hart, a neuroscientist and associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University (and Drug Policy Alliance board member), has been awarded the PEN/EO Wilson Literary Science Writing Award for his memoir, "High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society." Read our review of "High Price" here.

International

Medical Marijuana Civil Disobedience Action in Italy. Activists affiliated with the Italian Radical Party have engaged in civil disobedience over medical marijuana by planting seeds to grow specifically selected marijuana plants to treat patients with multiple sclerosis. The move is a result of frustration with the lack of effective access to medical marijuana in the country, where only 60 patients manage to obtain Dutch-produced medical marijuana through the Public Health Service. Click on the link for more details.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares 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 NM: City Goofs On Pot Penalty Reduction Drive

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 30 Jul 2014 - Backers Need More Signatures to Get Measure on Nov. 4 Ballot Securing a spot on the ballot for a proposal to reduce marijuana penalties just got tougher. City Attorney David Tourek said Tuesday that the city made a mistake in calculating the number of petition signatures required to trigger an election on the measure.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NM: Editorial: Know the Consequences of Letting Folks Get a

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 30 Jul 2014 - Consider it one of the unintended consequences of legalizing recreational marijuana: more homeless folks who show up because getting high isn't a crime. That's what has happened across the New Mexico state line in Colorado, where shelters like Urban Peak in Denver and Colorado Springs are reporting a surge in clients, and "of the new kids we're seeing, the majority are saying they're here because of the weed."
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Column: Cannabis Cup And Ballot Counts

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 07:00
Metro Times, 30 Jul 2014 - Michigan Moves Forward Well, we can chalk up another medical Cannabis Cup for the state of Michigan. Truth is, I was too busy to make it to Clio, although the Wyclef Jean show to cap it off would have been worth the trip on its own. At least I got to enjoy Lee DeVito's posts from the affair. I think he sent them in by carrier pigeon - an electronic pigeon.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Marijuana Advocates Submit Ballot Initiative

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 07:00
The Times Herald, 30 Jul 2014 - Clerk's Office Will Verify Signatures in Next Several Weeks Marijuana activists turned in a petition Tuesday with 1,681 signatures to the Port Huron City Clerk Office to get a proposal to decriminalize marijuana on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Edu: Student-Backed Marijuana Decriminalization

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 07:00
Central Michigan Life, 30 Jul 2014 - Mount Pleasant voters could see a student-backed proposition calling for the citywide decriminalization of marijuana on the November ballot. Student Advocates for Medical/Recreational Cannabis have procured enough petition signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. The registered student organization at Central Michigan University got all the necessary signatures a week shy of their deadline.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US: Legalizing Marijuana: U.S. Seeing a Profound Shift

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 29 Jul 2014 - More than a third of adults have smoked it - including the last three presidents. Dozens of songs and movies have been made about it. Marijuana is no longer whispered about, nor hidden in back rooms and basements. It has come into the open in American life despite decades of prohibition and laws treating the drug as more dangerous than meth and cocaine. When The New York Times' editorial board called this weekend for the U.S. government to end its ban on weed - and let states decide how to regulate it - the newspaper reflected what a majority of Americans have told pollsters: Marijuana should be legal. The status quo, according to advocates and even the president, has resulted in the disproportionate arrests of minorities and the poor. "The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast," the editorial said. "There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to FBI figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals."
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NM: Will Abq Get To Vote On Relaxed Pot Penalties?

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 29 Jul 2014 - Organizers 'Cautiously Optimistic' Enough Signatures Gathered to Get It on Ballot Even supporters acknowledge it could be close. The campaign to relax penalties for marijuana possession turned in more than 16,000 signatures to the Albuquerque city clerk Monday afternoon, giving the proposal a shot at landing on the Nov. 4 ballot. But it's no guarantee. City workers have 10 days to verify that at least 11,203 of the signatures are valid and from registered voters within city limits.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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