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Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Editorial: Restrictions Won't Do

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:00
The Chico News & Review, 12 Feb 2015 - It's no wonder local medical cannabis advocates are filing a lawsuit against Butte County to overturn Measure A. Back when county officials first started hammering out an ordinance to regulate growing, the effort involved parties from both sides of the issue. But the supes interfered and put further restrictions on what we viewed as a solid compromise-one this paper advocated for during the midterm elections. The outcome of the election made it very clear that the citizens of Butte County want restrictions, but what the voters aren't "getting" is that people-whether pot profiteers, including the cartel growers, or those who truly use the herb medicinally-aren't going to stop growing cannabis. Marijuana prohibition is and always will be a losing battle. People have always found a way to either grow or buy pot, and they always will. Restrictions won't do much good, either. That's in large part because local governments do not have the funding to enforce them. And to us, the large amount of cash currently allocated to that effort-nearly $450,000 at the county level-seems like a huge waste of resources.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: A Growing Problem

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:00
The Chico News & Review, 12 Feb 2015 - Medi-Pot Advocates File Lawsuit Protesting Butte County's New Cultivation Law A few years ago, Anne Murphy of Chico had accepted that her disease would eventually put her in a wheelchair. In 2005, she'd been diagnosed with primary-progressive multiple sclerosis, a form of the degenerative illness that doesn't go into remission, and Murphy's body had steadily weakened to the verge of complete immobilization.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OH: Official: Pot Farm Would Hurt City

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 08:00
Dayton Daily News, 11 Feb 2015 - Middletown Grow Site, Hamilton Ban on Sales Debated. City officials and residents say building an indoor facility to grow pot in Middletown would hurt economic development and the community's image.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: New Pot Bill Filed In House

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 08:00
Sun-Sentinel, 11 Feb 2015 - Measure Targets Concerns of Law Enforcement A medical marijuana bill that addresses the concerns of law enforcement was filed Tuesday in the state House. Unlike a Senate bill on the subject, the House measure would limit marijuana treatment to HIV/ AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, ALS, Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis or an illness which a doctor estimates will kill the patient within a year. It also bans smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM: Drug Czar Confirmed; ME, OH Pot Initiatives Get Going; WY Asset Forfeiture Reform, More (2/10/15)

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 22:51

2016 marijuana legalization initiative efforts are taking first steps in Maine and Ohio, Alaska lawmakers try to deal with implementing legalization there, Wyoming passes a bill ending civil asset forfeiture reform, CBD medical marijuana bills are moving in Virginia, we have a new drug czar, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Alaska Lawmakers Continue to Struggle With Implementing Legalization. The Senate Judiciary Committee is now considering a new version of its bill to implement marijuana legalization after an earlier version was criticized for only providing a defense in court for marijuana possession instead of legalizing it outright, as voters envisioned when they passed the legalization initiative last fall. The new version simply removes marijuana, hash, and hash oil from the state's controlled substances laws. Use of marijuana would still be illegal in some circumstances, including while driving and on ski lifts. The committee was set to take up the bill today.

Maine Group Submits Legalization Initiative for 2016. One of the groups interested in putting a legalization initiative on the 2016 ballot has filed its initiative with the secretary of state's office. Legalize Maine is first off the blocks in the state and claims it will make Maine "the first state with a home grown group leading the charge to have local people and small farmers benefit from legalizing marijuana." Legalize Maine's initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana outside of their homes, require that 40% of cultivation licenses go to small-scale farmers, and allow marijuana social clubs, where people could buy and use the drug. It would also tax marijuana sales at 10%, a higher rate than the one that applies to prepared food, lodging and liquor. The Washington, DC-based Marijuana Policy Project is also looking at a legalization initiative in the state. Initiatives will need some 61,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Ohio Legalization Group in First Phase of Initiative Signature-Gathering. Responsible Ohio has released summary petition language for its proposed 2016 legalization initiative. The group now needs to file 1,000 valid voter signatures with the attorney general's office for this first phase of the initiative process. The group's plan is for 10 sites in the state to be allowed to grow marijuana commercially. The marijuana would then be quality-tested and distributed to state-regulated dispensaries (for patients) and retail marijuana stores. Marijuana would be taxed at 15%. There appears to be no provision for home cultivation. If approved for general circulation, the petition would need 305,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

Medical Marijuana

Virginia House Approves CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. The House of Delegates today approved House Bill 1445 on a vote of 98-1. Similar legislation has already passed the Senate. The bills would allow for the use of cannabis oil for children suffering medical conditions that bring on life-threatening seizures.

Hemp

Southern Oregon Farmer Gets First Hemp License. Edgar Winter, an Eagle Point farmer, has obtained the state's first license to produce industrial hemp and says he and a nonprofit group intend to plant 25 acres in hemp this spring. That's if they can get the seeds, which requires the approval of the DEA. Stay tuned.

Asset Forfeiture

Wyoming House Passes Bill Ending Civil Asset Forfeiture. A bill requiring that an individual be convicted of a drug felony before his property could be seized passed the House yesterday. Senate File 14 passed the Senate earlier in the session. It's the first bill to make it through the state legislature this year. No word yet on if the governor plans to sign or veto it.

Harm Reduction

Lives Saved By Miracle Drug Naloxone Pass 300 in North Carolina. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition has received a report of the 300th state drug overdose reversed by the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone. In the past year and a half, the coalition has distributed more than 7,300 naloxone kits through a network of staff, consultants, and volunteers. The coalition has also been instrumental in getting law enforcement on board with naloxone. Nine departments in the state currently carry naloxone.

Law Enforcement

Missouri Activists File Lawsuits Against Drug Task Forces. Show Me Cannabis has filed lawsuits against three Missouri drug task forces, accusing them of failing to comply with the state's Sunshine Law. "Missouri's drug task forces, who are trusted to enforce the law, routinely act as though they are themselves above it," plaintiff Aaron Malin said. "The citizens of Missouri have a fundamental right to know what their government is doing on their behalf, and that is why the Sunshine Law was enacted. Missouri's drug task forces have repeatedly ignored their legal obligations, and today we are taking them to court to force them to follow the law." Read the complaint and related documents here.

Drug Policy

Michael Botticelli Confirmed as Drug Czar. The Senate last night confirmed acting drug czar Michael Botticelli as the new head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He had served as the office's deputy director and before that, he spent nearly two decades overseeing substance abuse programs for the state of Massachusetts. "Michael Botticelli represents, in many ways, a significant improvement on all his predecessors as drug czar," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "It's not just that he comes from a public health background but that he seems truly committed to advancing more science-based and compassionate drug policies where the politics allow. What he most needs to do now is shed the political blinders that impel him both to defend marijuana prohibition and close his eyes to highly successful harm reduction measures abroad."

International

British Parliamentary Conference Will Discuss Drug Policy Alternatives. A conference next month hosted by the parliament's House of Commons Home Affairs Committee will discuss alternatives to Britain's much criticized drug laws and how to influence the looming international debate on drugs. It will feature a leading Liberal Democrat, officials from Mexico's foreign ministry, and harsh critics of the drug war status quo, including Danny Kushlick of Transform, and former Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs head Prof. David Nutt.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: OPED: GOP Should Not Ignore Millennials' Pot Views

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 08:00
The Palm Beach Post, 10 Feb 2015 - Despite the stereotypical image of the stoner who is so lacking in motivation he can't get off the couch, a look at recent elections shows that marijuana actually does motivate people - to vote. And the phenomenon is most profound among millennials, as illustrated in the presidential swing state of Florida in November. Those who want to see a Republican in the White House should take note: Millennials could be the deciding vote in 2016, and marijuana law reform could be a key issue.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: Council Cancels Marijuana Hearing

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 10 Feb 2015 - City Attorney General Saw Risk of Violating Congressional Ban The D.C. Council abandoned plans to hold a hearing on how to tax and regulate marijuana Monday after the District's new attorney general warned that it could subject city lawmakers and their staff members to fines and even jail time.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US PA: Column: Marijuana Legalization Could Unlock Votes for

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 02/09/2015 - 08:00
Daily Review, 09 Feb 2015 - Despite the stereotypical image of the stoner who is so lacking in motivation he can't get off the couch, a look at recent elections shows that marijuana actually does motivate people - to vote. And the phenomenon is most profound among millennials, as illustrated in the presidential swing state of Florida last November. Those who want to see a Republican in the White House should take note - millennials could be the deciding vote in 2016, and marijuana law reform could be a key issue.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US IL: Column: Pot Emporium Opens Former Stoner's

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 02/09/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Tribune, 09 Feb 2015 - The prospect of medical marijuana for sale in your Illinois neighborhood may seem unreal. But for a truly mind-blowing experience, even without trying the wares, consider a glimpse at the next step on the legalization continuum: its sale for recreational use.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Resident Wants Term Limits, Pot Decriminalized

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 08:00
The Oakland Press, 08 Feb 2015 - Peter Trzos submits proposals to city government A Keego Harbor resident is working to change the city's charter with two new ballot proposals. One involves setting limits for how long a city council member can serve on the council and the other decriminalizes marijuana.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: City Officials in D.C. Find Gap in Pot Law

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 08 Feb 2015 - One Word Could Help the District Around a Congressional Action WASHINGTON - Last fall, voters in the District of Columbia chose to join a handful of states in legalizing the production and possession of small amounts of marijuana. But unlike in the states, the free will of district voters - no matter how overwhelmingly expressed - is never the end of the story.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: District of Columbia Sees Loophole in Congress's Move

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 08:00
New York Times, 08 Feb 2015 - WASHINGTON - Last fall, voters in the District of Columbia chose to join a handful of states in legalizing the growth and possession of small amounts of marijuana. But unlike in the states, the free will of district voters - no matter how overwhelmingly expressed - is never the end of the story. Congressional Republicans believe they have successfully nullified the law. But officials here, seizing on a single word in the congressional legislation designed to scuttle the policy, beg to differ, setting up one of the most closely watched collisions between the two Washingtons in years.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NM: House Committee Votes 7-1 to Table Bill Legalizing Pot

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 02/07/2015 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 07 Feb 2015 - Backers of Proposal Vow to Keep Trying SANTA FE - New Mexico appears unlikely - at least for now - to join four other Western states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, after a House committee on Friday voted down a proposal to regulate and tax the drug.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US AK: Marijuana Crime Bill Delayed Until Next Week

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 02/05/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 05 Feb 2015 - JUNEAU - A controversial bill dealing with the gray areas in Alaska's criminal code created by the voter initiative to legalize marijuana won't return to committees until next week. Legislative aides working on the bill said additional time is needed to make sure the rewrite of the legislation is acceptable. The initial bill was panned by officials and marijuana legalization advocates.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Column: Zimmerman's Victory Lapse

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 08:00
Anderson Valley Advertiser, 04 Feb 2015 - Professional reformers, longtime activists, and stakeholders in the marijuana industry attended an invitation-only meeting at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland January 9 to discuss plans for a marijuana 'legalization' initiative to be on the ballot in California in 2016. The invitations came from the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR), a group led by Dale Sky Jones that was formed after the defeat of a legalization measure in 2010, and the Drug Policy Alliance, represented by lobbyist Jim Gonzales
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CO: Column: The State Of Pot Politics In Colorado

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 08:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 04 Feb 2015 - Quiet on local RMJ front At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, you can hear talks about both the politics of pot and the deal with fermented foods, all because the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art love a good brain dump. Noted local chef Aaron Retka will handle the funky stuff at ChitChat2015: Pot Politics & Fermented Foods, while activist Mark Slaugh will do the rest.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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