Posts Tagged ‘elections 2012’
by Lauren Fox, US News & World Report
President Barack Obama touted a progressive attitude on medical marijuana on the campaign trail, but since taking office, Obama’s administration has hardened its stance and supporters of the drug are crying foul on the flip-flop.
“I think the basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors, I think that’s entirely appropriate,” Obama said. “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.”
But the numbers tell another story.
Since October 2009, Americans for Safe Access, a group committed to legalizing medical marijuana, estimates the Justice Department has carried out 170 raids on dispensaries and cultivation facilities in nine states.
“Every time a dispensary is shut down, there are literally hundreds of people waking up that day wondering where they will get their medication,” saysKris Hermes, the spokesperson for the Americans for Safe Access.
Hermes says he’s confident that the number of raids since the president took office is actually around 200.
“He’s broadened his attack,” Hermes says. “Until Obama was elected, George W. Bush had the most aggressive posture toward medical marijuana…he’s been even more aggressive than his predecessor.”
Americans for Safe Access estimates that during the entire eight years of the Bush administration, roughly 200 raids were carried out, something Hermes says the Obama administration has accomplished in less than four years.
Asked why the Obama administration had been so aggressive in pursuing federal drug law violations involving medical marijuana, the DOJ told Whispers, “Sorry, we do not have statistics to support [that accusation].”
Pro-marijuana groups say Obama has expanded the attack on medical marijuana from DOJ to a wide array of other federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, which has lead dozens of audits of medical marijuana businesses. The IRS has also aggressively penalized medical marijuana businesses for selling an illegal drug by requiring the businesses to pay federal taxes on gross income, not net income, eliminating the tax break most businesses receive from deducting payroll costs.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development released a memo in 2011that allows public housing agencies to evict tenants who use medical marijuana. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also issued a memo in September banning the commercial sale of firearms to medical marijuana patients.
There are 16 states and the District of Columbia that have their own medical marijuana laws.
And experts say U.S. attorneys’ threats against local and state officials who enact medical marijuana laws in their states have even slowed down the implementation of new laws in Arizona, Montana, Rhode Island, and Washington.
“It’s a weaselly threat, but it has scared a few governors,” says Bill Piper, the director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, a group committed to finding alternatives to current drug laws. “The intensity and multi-agency assault is far worse than the Bush administration and the Clinton administration.”
Last night the three main proponents of the three main legalization initiatives being put forth in California, agreed on a Statement of Unity that if any campaign gets a cash infusion from an angel investors, that they will all support the other campaign 100%. Below is the statement for review. I think it is a great step in the right direction, and it is good to see everyone play nice in the sandbox. I hope that if a miracle happens, and an angel investor does take up this cause, that the other camps will unify behind that action and step aside until signatures are gathered.
So here we have it Big Money Players. It is like shopping for freedom. You choose the direction and you have our community’s unwavering support. You drop the coin and we will create the quan. Just select the initiative you believe is the best option, and we will fall in line. I promise.
SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!! I LOVE CANNABIS!!!! Let’s make it legal for adults in 2012. Be a hero….
Statement of Unity
Recognizing that to allow these oppressive prohibitionist laws to remain in place any longer would be a travesty of justice, we have come together in the spirit of unity to offer a challenge.
All three of the legalization initiatives trying to make it on to the ballot in November recognize that time is short.
It will take an expensive signature gathering campaign for any of these initiatives to qualify for the November ballot.
We invite any freedom loving American with some serious assets to take a look at all three of our initiatives.
Choose the one that you are willing to finance.
The other two initiatives will support the one you choose 100% to ensure a victory in 2012.
Steve Collett, Treasurer, RMLW
Bill Panzer, Proponent, RCPA
Buddy Duzy,Treasurer, CCHHI
Every parent’s hope is to have a healthy, happy baby. And no matter how much parents would love a child who has a serious chronic or genetic disease, they hope their baby would not have one of those problems. These children, through no guilt of their own, create havoc in families, disrupt the lives of their siblings and realistically are often sent away and housed in warehouses because their care is beyond the family’s abiity to cope.
Science and medicine have given us a way to determine these characteristics early in the pregnancy. This advance is part of science medical march. If not for modern medicine I wouldn’t be here now. I was born a blue baby and needed transfusions at birth. Thank you 20th century medicine. I had a hernia, an appendectomy, then another hernia. All of these operations were available only beginning in the last century. For the hundreds of thousands of years before, we were in the hands of God, or some said the Devil when we were afflicted.
When I was a child I saw people behind Coke bottle glasses using their last vestiges of sight before they went blind from cataracts. I had the same problem a few years ago, but my biological eye lenses were replaced with hinged lenses that give me better sight than I had before the cataracts. Thank you 21st century science. Now we have the chance to determine whether the fetus is healthy. When they suffer from debilitating problems they can be terminated in favor of a child that will not face a life of insurmountable difficulties, pain, or one cut short while other children are blossoming.
In the monotheistic tradition believers have always tried to think of God as just but benevolent, wanting the best for people. Religious people pray for happiness, health, deliverance from war, weather, accidents, pain, disease and pestilence. The one time God toyed with people, with Job and his family, He was tricked into his actions by a mocking angel. This was not his best moment. People hope for God’s mercy and justice.
On the other hand, people think of disaster as the work of the Devil. He is associated with disease, war, hate, pain, and suffering. So the question might come up when a person preaches for disease and burden rather than joy and growth, just who is he speaking for?
I’ve had it up to my nostrils with the putrid odor of Republican hypocrites; anti-gay voting closeted representatives like Larry Craig, super-rich candidates like Romney talking about opportunity. Now Santorum, who has been defined correctly on Google, is trying to claim to be God’s candidate. How does he know? Did someone claiming to be God speak to him while he was brushing his teeth? Did the voice beam through his hair dryer?
What all this is getting to is Santorum’s recent comments regarding free pre-natal care…
He said on Face the Nation, “The bottom line is that a lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions.” He singled out amniocentesis, a procedure in which amniotic fluid is extracted to examine chromosomes and check for birth defects.”
If Santorum had his way poor women would be denied this prenatal care. Women who can afford it will get the care even without coverage. However, poor women, who must choose between necessities and medical care are unlikely to get the recommended tests. So, for the most part, the burden of special needs children will fall on the poor. Does Santorum at least offer them support for the burden he would impose on them? Healthcare, financial assistance, a caring government. No he says- Let God care for them.
Santorum’s thought processes and the natural outcomes of his rhetoric would cause individuals and society pain and suffering, heartbreak and loss. He claims to represent God, but he advocates policies that please the Devil.
Santorum is a man deceived by the Devil into thinking he is doing God’s work. His brain is writhing now as if being consumed by worms and maggots. He needs an exorcism.
by Dawson Bell, The Detroit Free Press
Detroiters could vote as soon as August to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, following a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling Friday that found the city’s election commission acted improperly when it blocked the vote in 2010.
A 2-1 majority of the appeals court panel said the Detroit Election Commission did not have the authority to thwart the proposal by Coalition for a Safer Detroit, which had collected sufficient petition signatures to force a vote. The commission’s decision was backed by Wayne County Circuit Court.
Coalition leader Tim Beck called Friday “a great day for voters rights” and predicted Detroiters would approve the marijuana measure.
Under the proposal, possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by an adult could not be prosecuted under city ordinance. Possession by someone other than a medical marijuana patient would remain illegal under state law.
Officials could ask the state Supreme Court to review the decision.
Anti-drug war crusader gets closer to goal of decriminalizing pot in Detroit
Tim Beck, a longtime soldier in the war against the war on drugs, said collecting signatures in summer 2010 to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Detroit was “incredibly easy.”
Using those petitions to actually put the issue before city voters, not so much.
But on Friday, Beck and the Coalition for a Safer Detroit may have finally gotten what they wanted when the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a decision by the Detroit Election Commission to deny the proposal a spot on the ballot.
The commission and a Wayne County judge said the proposal conflicted with state drug laws and, therefore, could not be put to a referendum. A 2-1 majority of the appeals panel said city officials lacked authority to make that determination.
“It was outside the authority of (city officials) to consider the substance and effect of the initiative, and defendants have a clear legal duty to place the matter on the ballot,” the court panel majority wrote.
Judges Henry Saad and Elizabeth Gleicher said Michigan courts have found repeatedly that any alleged conflicts between ballot proposals and existing laws are to be decided after a proposal has been approved by voters.
Appeals Judge Jane Markey dissented, saying it is “not within the constitutional authority” of voters to adopt an ordinance that conflicts with state law.
Voters in two other Michigan cities — Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo — have adopted local ordinances to decriminalize or de-emphasize the prosecution of adults possessing small amounts of marijuana.
The proposal for Detroit would amend the city code to decriminalize the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana by an adult. It would not change state law, which says possession by someone other than a medical marijuana patient is illegal.
A triumphant Beck said Friday that the Election Commission’s decision to deny ballot access and Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Sapala’s affirmation of that decision was “total hocus-pocus.” The coalition used professional petition circulators to collect more than 7,000 signatures to qualify the issue for the ballot, Beck said.
“We did everything right. Every I was dotted, every T, crossed,” he said.
Timothy Knowlton, an attorney who represented the group in the appeal, said the city could seek a review at the state Supreme Court level or send the issue back to the Election Commission for a hearing on the ballot proposal’s language.
The City of Detroit lawyer who argued the case did not return a call for comment Friday.
Reactions to the idea of the ballot issue were mixed among Detroiters.
Jonathan Kinloch, 40, a resident of Midtown in Detroit and host of a radio show on WDTK-AM (1400), said he would vote no on a marijuana referendum.
“Marijuana is already being abused, and Detroit is already challenged with drug abuse,” he said. “We have alcohol abuse. We have prescription-drug abuse. There’s nothing good that will come from legalizing marijuana.
“But I support the citizens’ right to decide this. I definitely don’t feel it should be kept off the ballot. I have no problem leading the charge against this.”
On Friday night, Kinloch hosted Beck on his show and the two “got hot and heavy, and our callers got hot and heavy, too” in arguing the issue, Kinloch said.
Aislinn Scofield, an Indian Village resident who moved to Detroit in 2011, said her vote on the issue would depend on how it’s worded.
“I guess part of me says, ‘We have all these debt problems. Maybe we should just legalize it and tax it,’ ” she said. “I, myself, am not a marijuana user, but I see people who handle it extremely well. I know people who’ve had cancer treatments and it helped them a lot.”
Joe Romano, 63, of Detroit, who is retired, said people should get the right to vote on the issue.
“It’s not like it would cost more to hold the election. It’s just another line on the ballot. But how much did the city spend trying to keep it off the ballot?”
Also, Romano noted, the amount of marijuana involved in the proposed ballot issue is small.
“We’re not talking about drug dealers,” he said. “It’s just arresting someone with less than an ounce. What’s the point?”
Meanwhile, a campaign began in January to put a constitutional amendment on Michigan’s November ballot that would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana statewide by those 21 and older. Supporters hope to gather 332,000 signatures by July.
by Jonathin Kaminsky, The Seattle Times
OLYMPIA, Wash. —
An initiative seeking to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana will be decided by voters, Washington state lawmakers said Thursday.
If passed, Initiative 502 would make Washington the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. It would place the state at odds with federal law, which bans marijuana use of all kinds.
Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, who chairs the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee that was considering the initiative, said the Legislature would not act on it, meaning it will instead automatically appear on the November ballot.
“We will have more opportunities on the campaign trail this year to discuss this issue,” Hunt said.
Because the measure proposes new taxes on marijuana production and consumption, the Legislature would need a two-thirds majority to pass it.
The initiative was certified by the secretary of state’s office last month after pro-legalization campaigners turned in more than the 241,153 necessary valid signatures.
The measure would create a system of state-licensed growers, processors and stores, and impose a 25 percent excise tax at each stage. People ages 21 and older could buy up to an ounce of dried marijuana, one pound of marijuana-infused product in solid form, such as brownies, or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids.
Speaking at a joint House and Senate work session Thursday, backers of the measure said it would allow the state to regulate marijuana use, raise tax revenues and squeeze the powerful drug cartels controlling the black market.
“Locking people up and putting handcuffs on them is not the way to resolve our society’s issues with regard to marijuana,” said John McKay, a former U.S. attorney for Seattle who has become an outspoken advocate for marijuana legalization.
Charles Mandigo, the former head of the Seattle FBI office, also spoke in favor of the measure.
“It is the money, not the drugs, that drive these criminal organizations and street gangs,” Mandigo said. “Take away the money and you take away the criminal element.”
McKay and Mandigo conceded that getting criminals out of the marijuana business would take time.
Opponents said legalization would likely increase marijuana use by teenagers, and they questioned whether criminal gangs would be seriously impacted.
“There is a thriving industry in place,” said Steve Freng, a federal official helping coordinate Washington state’s drug prevention and treatment efforts. “It’s silly to think the cartels will simply pack up and leave the state with their tails between their legs.”
Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza argued that it would be better to instead pressure the federal government to change marijuana’s designation from a Schedule One to a Schedule Two drug, meaning it would still be classified as having a high potential for abuse but would also be recognized as having legitimate medical uses.
“If we start with the pharmaceutical end and move forward from there, I think what a great start we’ve already done,” Snaza said.
Some medical marijuana advocates oppose the initiative because it would place a limit on motorists’ TCH levels – 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood – that they say doesn’t accurately measure impairment. THC is the active ingredient of cannabis.
Such concerns are overblown, said Dr. Kim Thorburn, Spokane County’s former top public health official, who favors the initiative.
“In order to be stopped for impaired driving you have to show impairment,” she said. “This is not a concern for medical marijuana users and has been kind of a red herring that has been raised.”
Activists in a handful of other states, including California, Oregon and Montana, are attempting to get the legalization of recreational marijuana use on the ballot, though none has yet secured the necessary signatures.
Colorado legalization activists were about 2,500 signatures shy of getting an initiative on that state’s ballot as of last week. Their deadline is Feb. 15.
Washington is among 16 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized the medical use of marijuana.
Last night Rick Santorum swept elections in the states of Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota. This made only one thing clear: Republicans don’t want to elect Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney President. The voter turnout was low in all three states, indicating that the party base is generally unenthused about the primaries.
But I think America is really fortunate to have the free entertainment and circus of idiocy that is the Republican primaries. Every day the campaign brings me new joy and love for life. Rather than dreading the news I get on my local Pacifica radio station that usually sets me off into either anger or depression, I awaken fresh and eagerly awaiting the next explosive remarks by this cast of clowns.
Just imagine Mitt Romney on a golf course in an argument with his golf buddy over just who won the Super Bowl in ’99. He says “Betcha $10,000 Chip” and his buddy says “I’ll take you up on it, Mittens.”
You really just can’t blame him for saying that publicly at the debate because that might not be out of the ordinary with the people he hangs with. However, Romney was deemed unqualified by the evangelical bigot committee to be President because he was a Mormon, which these people, some of whom talk in tongues, consider a cult.
I don’t think Mormonism is a cult. In fact I am rather intrigued with Mormonism and am thinking of forming my own Mormon sect based on my own revelations, which I received on Mount Tamalpais (just north of San Francisco).
It was a golden sunset and I was listening to the radio and there was a serious discussion of Mormonism while I was watching the sunset. One of the revelations I had from this radio program was that when you reach a certain degree of Mormonism you and your spouse will go beyond heaven and be given your own planet. It was then that I realized that Mormonism had a lot of attractions.
At first, I felt it would be pretty cool to be the God of my very own planet, but then I started having some reservations. There are a lot of planets out there. Would I get placed on some planet in some distant galaxy or would I get placed on a planet in the center of things? And then, just where is the center of things? If I get my own planet are there going to be people on it? It would be no fun being a God without other people around. I mean would I even get animals? Animals don’t even speak English.
But I digress. What I want to know very sincerely is, has Romney paid enough to the church to get a good planet? Does his 10% tithe to the Mormon Church instead of the government buy him a good planet filled with English speaking animals and other people to socialize with? Does he get just the family rate or family and friends?
But I digress again. Ron Paul published or didn’t publish a publication which he didn’t read, had no control over, didn’t see or wasn’t aware of which was totally racist. Then he appeared in front of a Confederate Flag, said the South was right– and they were, very right, extreme right! SO right that they were fascists. Although I like his foreign policy and some of his internal policies ideas, this guy is a racist pig, I sort of imagine him being attacked by someone inspired by the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, holding him down and tattooing his chest with “I am a racist pig.”
And Gingrich, the serial cheater who crusaded against Bill Clinton’s infidelity as he had a relationships with multiple women, somehow has the right to be offended by a question about it. None of these people have a clue that as they veer further and further to the right they become more and more unelectable. This leaves the voting public only two choices: Obama or a write-in candidate (Me).
Now I haven’t been pushing my campaign recently because I have been waiting to see what would happen in the Republican Party. If this does become a brokered convention I would be an extreme dark horse for the party. In fact, some people would say invisible. But I could lead it in a different direction, towards the oblivion it deserves… more ramblings later.
Courtesy fo KTVZ
SALEM, Ore. – Adults caught with even small amounts of marijuana face new, steep fines of up to $5,000 under a bill introduced Friday in Oregon’s abbreviated legislative session, backers of a move to decriminalize personal marijuana use said Wednesday.
HB 4167 would raise the maximum fine for simple possession of under one ounce from $1,000 to $5,000 for a single offense.
The policy is misguided, say backers of Initiative Petition 24, a Citizens’ Initiative that would eliminate criminal penalties for the personal use of marijuana by adults.
“Oregonians know that it’s a waste of time and scarce resources to investigate and punish adults for personal marijuana use,” says IP-24 Chief Petitioner Robert Wolfe. “We want our tax dollars spent fighting real crime that hurts real people.
“It’s the same message voters sent the Legislature in 1998, the last time lawmakers tried to ‘get tough’ on marijuana.”
Supporters of IP-24 have gathered 25,000 signatures, including 10,000 from the past two weeks alone. IP-24 is sponsored by Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement, which defeated past attempts to enhance marijuana penalties and aided in the passage of the Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Act in 1998.
“Back in 1998, voters in every single Oregon county rejected that legislative effort to increase penalties for marijuana use. Now, 14 years later, here they come again. With our measure, Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement seeks to put an end to this wasteful policy of prohibition once and for all.” said Wolfe.
“Just as we did in 1998, we will be glad to ask voters to weigh in on whether or not law enforcement should continue to focus time and attention on punishing Oregon adults for their personal choices. We believe they will agree it’s time to end prohibition.”
IP-24 is a brief constitutional amendment that permits adults 21 and over to possess and produce marijuana for personal use. It does not allow driving under the influence or any other activity that endangers children or public safety. It does not require employers to accommodate or employ people who use marijuana.
The measure would permit the Legislature to further regulate marijuana, and delays implementation for six months to allow them to do so.
IP-24 sponsors need about 117,000 valid signatures on petitions by mid-July, and are on track to get 185,000 signatures to ensure they exceed that requirement. For more information on the campaign, please visit www.endprohibitionagain.com.
Questioned by Mitch Richards, Show-Me Cannabis Regualtion
Show-Me Cannabis Regulation Press Release: Rick Santorum denies medical choice is protected under the 9th Amendment
by John Payne
Show-Me Cannabis Regulation volunteer Mitch Richards asked Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum about the medical rights of Missourians to use and regulate cannabis under state law on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 at a Santorum campaign rally at Grace Bible Church in Columbia, Missouri. In response, Santorum merely said, “It’s an illegal drug…the government has the right to outlaw certain drugs if they’re dangerous”, dismissing the argument that the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution reserves the rights to medical choice to the people (video available at www.youtube.com/showmecanregulate).
The text of the Show-Me Cannabis Regulation initiative includes Section 13, stating that “Pursuant to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the People of Missouri hereby repudiate and challenge federal cannabis prohibitions that conflict with this Act.”
John Payne, campaign director for the Show-Me Cannabis Regulation initiative, responded, “Richards’ question exposes an obvious hypocrisy in Santorum’s positions on health care and federalism. If states have the right to determine their own medical policies, then they must also have the right to determine their own policies on medical cannabis.”
Dave Roland, director of litigation at the Freedom Center of Missouri, noted further that, “The Ninth Amendment stands for the idea that the rights spelled out in the text of our Constitution are just a few examples plucked from a great field of freedoms that Americans are supposed to enjoy. Properly understood, the Ninth Amendment establishes a presumption that people should be able to act as they see fit, so long as they are not causing harm to anyone else. It is a tragedy that courts and politicians have neglected this principle for so long.”
The Show-Me Cannabis Regulation initiative seeks to regulate and tax cannabis and hemp like alcohol in Missouri through an amendment to the Missouri Constitution. Show-Me Cannabis Regulation seeks to engage Missourians in a serious, public discussion of the issues associated with marijuana consumption, including medical use, industrial hemp, public safety, and economics. SMCR represents individuals and organizations who believe that the status quo prohibition policy has failed, and regulation of cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol would better control the production, distribution, and consumption of cannabis than the current criminal market system does.
by Adam Cohen, Time Magazine
The drive to legalize marijuana has long been a fringe cause, associated with hard-core libertarians and college-age stoners. But it could go mainstream in a big way in this November’s election, when Washington could become the first state to legalize recreational pot use. If it does — or if voters in any of several other states do — this year could be a turning point in the nation’s treatment of marijuana.
The idea that a majority of voters could support legalizing marijuana may seem far out — but the polls say otherwise. In many states, the prolegalization and antilegalization camps are roughly equal in size. In a poll of Washington state voters released last month, supporters of the legalization referendum outnumbered opponents: 48% vs. 45%. And Washington probably won’t be the only state voting on marijuana this year. In Colorado, supporters last week fell about 3,000 signatures short of getting a legalization measure on the ballot — but the law gave them 15 days to collect the rest, and it seems likely they will. Activists are also collecting signatures in other states, including California, Michigan and Montana.
For years, the debate over marijuana has been focused on a narrower question: medical marijuana. The argument that cancer patients and others with chronic pain should be able to alleviate it by using marijuana has been prevailing in state after state. Today, 16 states — including Washington and Colorado — and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
Recently, the action has shifted to recreational marijuana use. Washington’s referendum would treat pot much like alcohol, so the sale of marijuana would be restricted to people over 21. The new law would give the Liquor Control Board the authority to license marijuana farms, and marijuana tax revenues would be directed to health and drug-abuse prevention programs.
But other states’ proposed laws are more laissez-faire. Colorado would legalize marijuana so that, as its supporters put it, cannabis would be regulated like “grapes, tomatoes or other harmless botanical plants.” Montana’s amendment focuses on decriminalizing marijuana but leaves it to the legislature to work out the details.
Supporters argue that legalization is long overdue. They argue that it is no more harmful than alcohol or tobacco — and that in a free country people should be able to decide on their own whether to use it. They also argue that, as a practical matter, laws against marijuana have been no more successful than Prohibition was against alcohol — and that, similarly, it has given criminals a monopoly on distributing and selling it. Legalization, they say, would reduce the number of people in prison, and it would shift revenue from drug syndicates to government in the form of tax receipts.
Not surprisingly, the legalization drives have drawn heated opposition. Critics argue that marijuana is harmful and addictive — and that it is often a gateway drug, leading to cocaine or heroin. They say stoned drivers would be a menace on the roads. And they warn that if it were legalized and readily available, marijuana use could soar. (The University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future” survey reported that daily marijuana use is already at a 30-year high among high school seniors, even as alcohol use has been declining.) The anticamp also argues that marijuana is stronger than it was decades ago — from two to 10 times stronger, some experts say. (Other experts dispute the figures.)
If Washington or some other state legalizes marijuana, that would not settle the matter. It would still be a controlled substance under federal law. And the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause says that when federal and state laws clash, federal law trumps. As a practical matter, though, the federal government does not have the resources to police everyday use of marijuana. If states begin to legalize it, the federal government might be hard-pressed to justify diverting limited Drug Enforcement Agency resources away from heroin cartels toward small-time pot smokers.
It is hard to handicap this year’s voting, but one possibility is this: marijuana legalization could lose in Washington and Colorado in November, but recreational use could nonetheless be headed toward legalization in many states in the not-too-distant future. Support for legalization has been rising steadily, from just 12% in 1970 to 31% in 2001 to 50% today, with young people (ages 18-29) the most in favor (62%) and older people (ages 50-64) the least (49%).
In strictly political terms, this is a powerful combination: fast-growing support and solid majorities among the young, who represent where the electorate is headed. (Support for gay marriage polls similarly — which is why it is becoming law in more states.) In a few years, the national discussion may well turn from whether to legalize marijuana to how to do it in the most prudent way.
by Alex Dobuzinskis, Reuters
(Reuters) – Efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use are gaining momentum in Washington state and Colorado, despite fierce opposition from the federal government and a decades-long cultural battle over America’s most commonly used illicit drug.
Officials in Washington state on Friday said an initiative to legalize pot has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in November. In Colorado, officials are likely this week to make a similar determination about an initiative there.
Supporters are prepared to possibly spend millions of dollars ahead of the November ballot, when they hope a strong voter turnout, particularly among youth, for the U.S. presidential election will aid their cause.
“Whether it’s make or break depends on what public opinion does after 2012, but in terms of voter turnout this is the best year to do it,” said Alison Holcomb, director of New Approach Washington, the initiative’s sponsor.
While 16 states, including Washington and Colorado, along with the nation’s capital, now allow marijuana use for medical purposes, cannabis remains an illegal narcotic under U.S. law – and public opinion is sharply divided on the merits of full legalization.
California voters turned back a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2010, in part because of concerns about how production and sale of the drug would be regulated.
Since then, the U.S. Department of Justice has cracked down on medical cannabis operations in California, Washington state and elsewhere, raiding dispensaries and growing operations and threatening landlords with prosecution.
“Our highest priority are the folks that violate both state and federal law,” said Rusty Payne, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration. “There are places that have made a lot of money who claim to be nonprofit, and they have faced both local and federal scrutiny.”
Undeterred, supporters of the Washington state initiative say it represents the “grown-up” approach to legalization.
Sales would only be allowed to adults 21 and older through marijuana-only stores licensed by the state Liquor Control Board, which would also oversee production and processing of the drug. Laws on drunken driving would be amended to include maximum blood content thresholds for THC, the main psychoactive element in pot plants.
Colorado already has a robust regulatory system for medical marijuana that includes a registry of over 80,000 card-carrying patients and rules governing how physicians and distributors operate. Here, too, legalization advocates are stressing a rational regulatory approach.
“Voters aren’t being asked to imagine as much as they are in other states, they have seen that marijuana can be regulated and it doesn’t result in significant problems,” said Mason Tvert, co-director of the Colorado-based Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.
Organizers of the Washington effort have collected over $1.1 million in campaign funds, with $250,000 of that coming from Progressive Insurance chairman Peter Lewis, public disclosure records show.
Loren Collingwood, senior researcher for the nonpartisan Washington Poll run by the University of Washington, said the initiative could pass, but that backers must spend between $2 million and $4 million to run a competitive campaign.
A poll done by the university in October found 48 percent of Washington residents support the idea of pot legalization, but that was not tied to any particular initiative.
“If young voters turn out in droves like they did in 2008 or even start to approach those numbers … then I think this will pass, but they very well may not,” Collingwood said.
Pot legalization supporters have argued for decades that prohibition has failed to curb pot use, and that the policy enriches drug cartels, hurts casual users and deprives governments of a potentially lucrative source of tax revenue.
Now, they see momentum on their side, pointing to an October Gallup Poll that found a record 50 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana use, up from 36 percent five years before.
The poll also found 62 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 back legalization, and that the young are driving the shift in attitudes.
“There’s a set of factors that suggest both the Washington and Colorado initiates have a better chance of winning than any of the initiatives that have happened before,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
“But that said, even with a majority of likely voters in both states saying they favor legal marijuana, we know in the final stretch there’s always a small percentage that get nervous or scared off or fearful of change,” he said.
Opponents of legalization, meanwhile, say it would simply promote the use of a sometimes-addictive drug that has been linked to short-term memory loss and other behavioral problems such as lack of motivation.
Legalization “is not good for states and citizens who live in those states, and it’s certainly not good for the outlook of children who live in those states,” said Calivina Fay, head of the Florida-based Drug Free America Foundation.
One study published in 2011 by researchers with the University of Colorado Denver found 39 out of 80 teens in a Denver substance abuse program had at least once obtained pot from someone with a medical marijuana license.
For supporters of legalization, the medical marijuana trade has been a mixed blessing. Critics say dispensaries, in addition to serving the truly sick, supply recreational users who have no real medical problems despite claims of backaches or pain.
In Washington state, about 30 or 40 cities have passed moratoriums on collective medical marijuana gardens allowed under state law, said Jim Doherty, legal consultant for the Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington. Some residents see medical marijuana sales as a nuisance, he said.
Meanwhile, Seattle has over 100 medical marijuana shops, said City Attorney Peter Holmes, who supports full legalization.
“Right now in Seattle, we’re feeling that it’s a bit unfair that we are being tolerant of medical marijuana users, when other localities are not, because we tend to become suppliers for the whole state rather than our own citizens,” Holmes said.
Holcomb, the director of the Washington state initiative campaign, acknowledged some voters view a large share of medical pot users as illicit recreational tokers. But she said her campaign will turn the argument around, when it seeks to convince voters full legalization is good for the state.
“You’re ending that hypocrisy and restoring respect for the law,” she said.
(Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Jonathan Weber)
So the Cannadome idea is gonna happen, kinda….meaning there will be a debate, but none of the groups will pull their effort if a vote is taken. That was completely expected. What was unexpected was the cowardice rejection by one of the campaigns. “Like Wine” proponents have refused to participate. Here is what Like Wine proponent, Steve Kubby had to say:
RMLW will not be attending any more activist debates. We believe that while this proposed debate may sound good in theory , in reality it will only ensure further fractionalization of the movement. In our view, activists are not addressing the issue of the voters outside the cause, that is the soccer moms, both the Republican and Democratic socially conservative women that voted against 19. -Steve Kubby
So there we have it. The lead proponent of Like Wine stating they do not want to be a part of the process of allowing those pesky “activists” to examine and question their efforts. Instead, they trust that they are right, and they will do what they want to do, and could give a shit about what the cannabis community thinks about it….They DO NOT want your opinion. They could care less. They want no feedback. They do not believe they should have to stand up and debate their initiative. They are right. We are all wrong…stupid activists and their stupid debates. What is funny is that Steve believes he can swing the soccer mom vote.
But this has been the problem with the RMLW effort from the beginning….the people involved. I do not necessarily think they have a horrible initiative, but when your spokespeople are a man who said he made a lozenge to cure Bird Flu, and a militant Canadian asshole who threatens and/or annoys everyone he speaks to, there is a fucking problem. In a campaign that is sure to be won or lost on messaging, RMLW sends the Goof Troop out to speak on behalf of cannabis users. Great.
It is no wonder they do not have the juice to show up for the debate. I have a great deal of respect for Judge James Gray, also a proponent of Like Wine; but I will have to say that from a “birds of a feather” standpoint, it is troubling that he would allow for his campaign to be represented by such poor ambassadors. For a minute I thought they had succeeded in controlling the message, as Kubby was silent for a period, at least in public and the press. But he has now begun to creep back in, so I imagine it should get interesting real quick. While Steve Kubby is undoubtedly a smart guy, one never knows what will come shooting out of his mouth at any moment. I love it, personally; but for a very public campaign on a very contentious issue, his random outburst potential I would find disturbing if I were thinking about funding the effort.
While it is disappointing that RMLW has chose to not participate, it is not completely unexpected. The RMLW campaign has been walking back their participation all week, as the discussion unfolded. Their lead spokesmodel is a CANADIAN, named DMV. He stated early on, “None of the more respectable people want anything to do with you or the cannadome.” I assured them I would have nothing to do with it, so now the reason is not because it is MY cannadome, but because they feel these “activist debates will further fractionalize the movement.” WHATEVER….why not just say “We are not coming because we do not have the juice to stand face to face with the community and debate our initiative.” That is the reality.
It is sad really, but NOT TO WORRY! We have been assured that the RMLW initiative will be debated. There WILL be a person assigned to be the proponent for this effort, as all of the real proponents have turned their back on the idea of an open and adult conversation about the four different initiatives. So, while the ACTUAL proponents will not be there, a qualified individual who knows the RMLW initiative will be there to help people understand what it is, and what it does. Obviously one of the real proponents would be better, but it is good to know that the organizers will still work to represent their side of the equation.
I am excited….Cannadome is scheduled for February 16th, 2012 at the MillValley Community Center at 6:30 pm. I am looking forward to it. That is ALSO medical marijuana week, and there are a number of cool things planned I hear. AND…Obama is in town that day too, so we can all go protest in the day, and discuss cannabis freedom by night. I am SO excited.
Many thanks to Scott Candell for picking up the ball and making this happen. I hope they can convince Like Wine to come to the table, as well. I was really looking forward to their presentation in context, and with people able to ask questions about it. Only time will tell…If you know the Like Wine folks, let them know you want them to be a part of the historic Cannadome debate. If they want the community to support them they should at least have the courtesy to attend an event that showcases their effortto the community….
On Thursday, January 18th, the Supreme Court of California issued an order granting review of the now infamous line of medical marijuana cases of Pack v. City of Long Beach, City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patient’s Health and Wellness Ctr., Inc., Traudt v. City of Dana Point, and People v. G3 Holistic. Unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise, this means that medical marijuana advocates can rejoice because local jurisdictions and lower courts cannot use the logic of Pack or Riverside as a vehicle to scuttle the regulatory processes that assure safe access to California’s medical cannabis patients. But what if the Supreme Court upholds Pack et al.?
Whether or not you believe that Pack and associated cases were erroneously decided, California’s model of medical cannabis distribution will always be unreliable as long as marijuana prohibition itself continues to exist. The Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act cleanly and effectively ends marijuana prohibition in California forcing local, state, and even the Federal government to reconcile with a new paradigm where cannabis related activities are not unlawful.
RCPA 2012 removes cannabis from California’s Schedule I and repeals every criminal statute related to marijuana. Cannabis related activities by adults such as use, possession, cultivation, transportation, and distribution will no longer be considered a crime or public offense. Individuals will be able to possess 3 pounds of processed bud and cultivate 100 sq. feet of plant canopy without any government interference whatsoever. If a person decides to exceed that threshold, there is no criminal penalty, but rather a permitting system to be developed by the newly created California Cannabis Commission.
Under this new paradigm, local jurisdictions will not be able to ban safe access of cannabis to adults. Pack, Riverside, District Attorney Cooley, City Attorney Huizar, local bans; they all become moot. Other bad court decisions that are currently on the books become irrelevant. California will no longer spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the implementations of prohibition. Instead, a net gain of hundreds of millions of dollars will pour into California’s coffers to be spent on education, preserving the environment, updating our infrastructure, and perhaps, funding universal healthcare. All criminal enforcement will be left to the Feds and the beast of prohibition will begin to die just as it did with alcohol.
We only have a few months left to gather the signatures we need to begin making this vision a reality. We need to generate over $1 million dollars and we need your help. Please show your support by visiting our website and making a donation of $100 or more (https://secure.blueutopia.com/repealcannabisprohibition/contribute/). Join RCPA2012 today and begin turning this Golden State green.
Joe Rogoway, Esq
JUST DO IT!
by David Sands, The Huffington Post
Michigan activists are kicking off a campaign Friday to amend the state constitution to legalize marijuana.
If passed, the proposed amendment would end the prohibition of the cultivation, use, sale and distribution of the cannabis plant for adults over the age of 21. It would not permit the use of marijuana while driving a motor vehicle.
Committee for a Safer Michigan, the Detroit-based group sponsoring the effort, believes the law would allow law enforcement officers to focus their resources on violent criminals and other public safety threats.
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, passed by voters in 2008, allows patients who register with the state to use the plant for medicinal purposes. But activists say Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s adversarial interpretation of the law helped spur the effort for full marijuana legalization.
Since taking office in 2011, Schuette has worked to shut down marijuana clinics, and to prosecute patients enrolled in the state marijuana registry.
A recall effort against Schuette is also underway. That measure would need 807,000 signatures by March to be placed on the November ballot.
The official announcement of the marijuana legalization campaign coincides with a major drug bust by Detroit Police on Thursday. Following a lead, police raided a warehouse on the city’s east side and seized 800 marijuana plants. A 37-year-old man is currently in police custody as a result of the bust, according to the department.
Anyone who’s following presidential politics has a general sense that some Republicans are okay on the marijuana issue, and most Republicans are terrible.
But please take two minutes to watch this MPP-produced video (below), which shows that …
- Ron Paul is obviously the best candidate. In fact, his views toward marijuana policy and the drug war are so much better than President Obama’s views that — if you’re a single-issue, drug-policy voter — you’d need to vote for Ron Paul.
- Newt Gingrich is actually worse than you might think.
- Mitt Romney, who is known for flip-flopping and being vague about a number of issues, is actually consistent about his views on the marijuana issue: He’s consistently bad. (In fact, we haven’t been able to find evidence that he has ever said or done anything
Mitt Romney, who is known for flip-flopping and being vague about a number of issues, is actually consistent about his views on the marijuana issue: He’s consistently bad. (In fact, we haven’t been able to find evidence that he has ever said or done anything good on our issue, ever.)
- Rick Perry is good.
Former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM) is also incredibly good on our issue, but he recently announced that he’s seeking the presidential nomination from the Libertarian Party, which we support.
So as we gear up for the big election season I cannot help but stare off towards Colorado with envy, as it looks like they will be able to mobilize the troops and get an initiative on the ballot for cannabis legalization. Here in California, the splintered masses begin the battle uphill in their quest to get one of three legalization efforts on the ballot. I did a survey over the last 10 days to see what the feel in the community was. Because I am cheap they will only allow me to see the first 100 responses, but there have been 125 total. Here are the results for the first 100 respondents:
What it does show is that the movement here in California (or at least on the warrior here) are divided in which direction to go. I just surveyed the legalization cannabis freedom efforts, as I refuse to acknowledge the medical regulation effort being put forward by ASA/UFCW right now; but more about that shortly.
To make matters more complex the Title and Summaries issued by the State of CA for all 3 legalization initiatives have the EXACT SAME TITLE. This is going to be the most confusing signature gathering season ever, and I do not think any of them have the real funding to make a valid effort; but I hope for a miracle. Because they are pulling the energy of the movement in search of the perfect, and to stroke the ego of some so and so, we have the madness that currently is the FUCK IT effort. Everyone of these campaigns knows that they are hopeless individually. So there are only a couple of choices.
Choice 1: Pick the best legalization initiative and go for it. I like the Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act. Many believe the world is not ready for the 19-year-old age limit. This could be worked out with public education, but that takes funding. If that is just too big of a hurdle then I think we should honor the great Jack Herer and push his California Cannabis Health and Hemp initiative. It sets the age at 21, but it also allows for 99 plants. I am all for that; some fear the world is not. My last choice would be Like Wine, and if there was consensus that this had the best chance of winning I could get behind it.
Choice 2: Combine Forces. The only way to really get voters to understand is to have all three available at once. ALL THREE FOR ME. You could cross promote and even possibly combine funding, but this would have to happen soon.
Choice 3: Save your money for 2016, or pray for a miracle? I hope some Richard Branson type decides they want to go for it and in the next couple of weeks decides to pony up a few million to make it happen. I think CA is the most important state for a legalization measure, and it would be embarrassing for CO to beat us to that punch. I hope some big wheel wants to take a gamble that we can get 50% + 1 lousy person of the vote to come out for legalization. The good thing about RCPA 2012 is that it encourages the 18-19 year old vote to get out, which could give us that +1. So while I hope for a miracle, if these fractured efforts cannot figure out how to work it out we may as well just save the funding to start a political machine geared towards our next real shot, which is likely 2016.
As for the medical regulation thing. I have spoken out pretty clearly about this and why I think it is a horrible idea. Do not be snookered on this one. I would bet this initiative loses by more than Prop. 19. The voter is more inclined to support legalization if it is framed by the fact that it would remove the abuses in the medical system. I think putting medical cannabis on trial on the national stage will be tragic and unfruitful exercise in hostility. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.
So right now I have not seen any valid effort of people to get it together. So I am on the FUCK IT bandwagon until further notice.
Courtesy of the Huffington Post
WASHINGTON — GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney repeatedly dodged questions about medical marijuana, refusing to engage activists who took to the campaign trail in New Hampshire to press him on the issue.
Asked by a member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy about his views on the drug war, Romney demurred, referring his questioner to his website.
“It’s a long … it’s a long question,” Romney said at a rally in Bedrock on Jan 9. “It deserves a full answer, and not just in a photo line like this.”
But neither the drug war nor drug policy is addressed on his website, mittromney.com.
At a town hall Laconia on Jan. 6, Romney was similarly evasive when asked whether he supports arresting medical marijuana patients.
“I’m in favor of having the law not allow illegal marijuana,” he said.
Romney has stated his opposition to medical cannabis in the past. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he said, “I don’t want marijuana to be used in our country. I’m not going to legalize marijuana.” He’s offered no in-depth discussions of the issue recently.
Marijuana policy doesn’t appear to be an issue Romney follows closely. Asked at a recent town hall in Petersborough for his view on industrializing hemp, the former Massachusetts governor answered, “I have no idea what industrialized hemp is.”
Advocates said they hope there’s a teaching moment to be had.
“So we’ve concluded that Mitt Romney is unaware of what industrialized hemp is,” the medical marijuana advocate who questioned Romney about hemp narrated on his video. “It’s an education, an uphill battle from here, but we have a starting point.”
In an article put out on the Huffington Post this week another poorly crafted strategy by the Weed Wars famous DeAngelo brothers was announced that confirms the desperation and lack of principle that their previous “I do not support legalization” bullshit alluded to. They are willing to say or do anything that will protect their own asses, regardless of if it destroys the world or not.
The article begins:
Medical marijuana activists have a message for President Obama: Defend us from the federal government’s crackdown, or else.
That seems as if we, as a group, somehow decided something. I am a medical marijuana activist and I can assure you I have no “or else” empty threat that includes the crazy shit these two are talking. So it is a bit disingenuous for the author, Lucia Graves, to make the reader believe that somehow we all are on board with these jaycats. Nothing could be further from the truth. I wouldn’t follow these dudes to the 5-o’clock free weed giveaway. So please, Ms. Graves, next time try the term “two nutjob activist brothers who run the world’s largest dispensary on the planet and are eligible for three death sentences according to the intro to their nationally televised show Weed Wars have a message for President Obama….” That is much more accurate and does not lump the rest of us level headed folks in with this insane hyperbole about all being Republicans for Ron Paul because we are “one issue voters.” What a shallow fucking existence, and one I will NEVER be a part of.
Here is what Stevie-D said that I found so disturbing:
“I will be voting in the Republican primary in California, and I will be voting for one of the candidates who supports our position on medical cannabis. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of other medical cannabis patients join me,” he told The Huffington Post. “There’s a real opening here for Republicans.”
A real opening? In California? You wanna put some money on that? You are basically promoting so much of what is wrong with our society as okay because at least some asshole promised to protect medical cannabis. Fuck the EPA. Fuck a woman’s right to choose. Fuck any regulation of business. End the Department of Education. End Medi-Care, Social Security, and any chance at single-payer health care. Fuck civil rights. Screw you all; every man for themselves and anything goes, just so long as you promise unequivocally to protect medical cannabis? HUH?
He goes on to state:
“Look, we are one-issue voters,” Steve DeAngelo said. “I’m not going to vote for anyone who thinks I’m a criminal and wants to put me in prison. I will vote for any one of the presidential candidates who will defend the rights of medical cannabis patients. If that person ends up being a Republican, I will vote for them. If they end up being a Democrat, I will vote for them.”
“We are one issue voters?” Are you fucking serious? Do you have a mouse in your pocket? Who is this “we?” You have seriously lost your mind if you think cannabis is the “one-issue” that makes or breaks your election, regardless of what the candidate thinks about the rest of our society. That is such a bullshit shallow statement I do not think I can even ever look at you as an even mildly decent human being again. It is so self-centered and crazy that is makes me want to scream.
And for the man who said “I do not believe in the legalization of cannabis for recreational use” on National TV, it is a bit odd for you to be all “who thinks I am a criminal and wants to put me in jail” when your statement basically says the same thing about all recreational, or adult enjoyable, users.
No, asshole…we are not one issue voters. First off, our lives and our major focus point are NOT more important than the sanctity of our nation or our planet. To disregard issues like human rights, civil rights, education, healthcare, income equality, fair practices, and any host of other SUPER IMPORTANT ISSUE facing our communities in the name of medical cannabis only is unacceptable. You can be a stupid one issue voter if you like, and you can end up with another George Bush shitting on the entire world for another 8 years. I am just not that big of an asshole to promote the Republican Party, just because one of them says he thinks people should be allowed to use medical pot. Mind you, Dr. Paul has NEVER said he supported cannabis, or medical cannabis, as good or positive things. He just said, as a freedom issue the Federal Government should not be involved, and it should be left up to the states. Newsflash: Leaving things up to the States in the long run will still result in many people going to prison. Not all States are cool like California, yo…..geez. One issue that is cool in my State, and fuck the rest of you losers.
But the now famous brother of the now famous Stevie-D, Andrew Deangelo could not let his brother’s hyperbolic bullshit stand on its own. He had to up the ante.
Here is what he said:
Andrew DeAngelo says he’d like to take it a step farther, mobilizing patients to “vote Republican, if that’s what it takes to get movement on our issue, to get the Feds off our back and to stop raiding places to stop doing these crazy things.
First off, Andy…this is California. If you think your 94,000 patients mobilized to vote Republican would even make a dent in the deep blue State of California I got a bridge in Florida to sell you. Now if you were talking all this shit from Colorado or New Mexico, definite swing states, you may have a better argument; but Obama won California before he was born in Kenya. LOL. Your idle threats and declarations of blind allegiance to whoever promises to love weed the most is just crazy talk. Also, remember…the last time a Republican was in office “these crazy things” were also happening.
I LOVE WEED MORE THAN ANYONE….but I am not even that blind to the rest of the world to declare it as the sole issue that we should base the future of our society on. I would not even call it the most important issue by far, even though my livelihood likely depends on it. I am not even sure it is a top 5 issue. Let me see….. Poverty, Education, Healthcare, War, and then maybe Drug Policy. The Republicans, including the Ron “say some crazy shit to get people to send money” Paul phenomena would be a disaster for this Nation. Obama has plenty of issues, but you are off your rocker if you think throwing the baby out with the bathwater is the best idea.
What is funnier is that you believe these public idle and super shallow threats that the world sees right through as evidence that our movement s nothing more than folks who care about weed, and weed only, are actually going to matter in any way whatsoever to Obama. Who they do matter to are the people reading, many who we will be asking to vote for cannabis reform in the future, because these one issue threatening statements clearly say that we are willing to sell everyone else’s issues down the river to save our own. That is bad policy. These statements say to the rest of these activists fighting for the many other causes that “Your issue is not as important as ours and we will ‘mobilize’ for candidates that will shit all over your issue, just to possibly, maybe, kind of have some sort of acceptance of our own only and most important issue.” Fuck you environmentalist. Fuck you women’s rights advocates. Fuck you immigration reform proponents. Fuck you Occupy. Fuck everyone except for “MEDICAL cannabis.” And not even to save all of cannabis, because we know the DeAngelos “do not support legalizing cannabis for recreational use.” So whichever candidate lies to them the best about “MEDICAL cannabis” is who they will be telling people to vote for regardless of if it would destroy the rest of the world. Super.
San Francisco ASA coordinator David Goldman had the MOST AWESOME STEMENT EVER at the end of the article:
“Obama risks many people, in California especially, sitting on their hands in the election,” said David Goldman, a core leadership group member with the San Francisco chapter of Americans for Safe Access. “But I would never vote for a Republican,” he added. “The Republican party is beyond hopeless.”
Yeah…What he said….
NOTE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD:
I AM NOT WITH THESE FUCKING “VOTE REPUBLICAN AGAINST LEGALIZATION FOR RECREATIONAL USE” ASSHOLES!!!! I HAVE NO IDEA WTF THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. MOST CANNABIS PEOPLE I KNOW ARE NOT ONE ISSUE VOTERS AND STILL CARE ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD. I AM SORRY FOR PEOPLE LIKE THIS AND I ASSURE YOU THEY DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME OR MOST OF MY COLLEAGUES.
Courtesy of The Huffington Post
CONCORD, N.H. — If Newt Gingrich needed a reminder that he wasn’t in Iowa anymore, it came rather quickly during his first appearance here Wednesday, when he was pressed on three separate occasions about the overreaches of federal drug policy.
During a town hall-style appearance in Concord, the former House Speaker said he had no interest in exploring drug decriminalization, arguing that such efforts haven’t worked in Europe. Contra Gingrich, however, Portugal has had some success with decriminalization initiatives.
Pushed a bit later on the incarceration rate related to petty drug crimes, Gingrich responded, “I think the best thing is to get young people not to do drugs and then you won’t be dealing with criminals that you just described.”
A third resident of the “live free or die” state argued that the founding fathers had been far more lenient about marijuana than the current political class. “I think Jefferson or George Washington would have rather strongly discouraged you from growing marijuana and their techniques with dealing with it would have been rather more violent than our current government,” Gingrich replied.
On that last point, the record is a bit hazy. The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim, author of the book “This is Your Country on Drugs” said that during his research he found no evidence that the founding farmers smoked weed but that they grew hemp “for sure.”
“I couldn’t find much evidence for pot-smoking in America until the early 20th century, but in the 19th century it was a popular extract in patent medicines,” Grim said. Academic literature on the matter says much the same.
**UPDATES: Indiana is considering a medical initiative proposed in January 2012. California Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has added the Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act of 2012 in a hopes of reigning in the industry that has flourished there. 17 states are now considering medical marijuana bills: Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Ohio, Wisconsin, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampsire, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia and New York
Loved it or hated it, California’s Proposition 19 seems to have set off waves across the country that will shore up votes and swing the political tide in 2012. Pro-legalization Texas Congressman Ron Paul was an extremely close third in last nights Iowa Caucuses, four more states are mulling medical marijuana and there are now over 13 initiatives cycling through 8 states for all out legalization.
Some of these states are the usual suspects: California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado. On the other hand, Midwestern bellwether Missouri has a solid and organized campaign with favorable early polling.
Check out the list below, suggest additions and help out if you’re a local!
California: Medical state since 1996
The Golden State is once again looking at voting for legalization in 2012. Three separate initiatives are aiming for the ballot in 2012. What if more than one makes it? The one with the most votes wins.
Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012
This initiative takes its cue from those states that repealed alcohol prohibition before and after the 18th amendment. By 1966, all states had repealed their alcohol prohibition laws. Essentially, this initiative, if passed, will put enforcement of Federal marijuana laws 100% in the hands of the Feds. No state resources would go to enforce the Federal law.
California Cannabis Hemp and Health Initiative
This is the Jack Herer initiative, which as the late hemp legend intended it to be written, is short, vague and would legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use as well as the industrial cultivation of hemp, which is a non-psychoactive substance currently illegal to cultivate domestically but imported from abroad that, as Jack Herer famously espoused can replace petroleum plastics, fuels and a wide variety of products that contribute to global climate change.
Regulate Marijuana like Wine
This initiative takes its cue from the flourishing wine industry in California. Some estimates say that the marijuana industry (legal and illegal) is now larger than Hollywood films, California wine and agriculture combined. This initiative aims to not only make this massive industry legal but capitalize on the tax revenues on this mega-industry in an ailing state.
Oregon: Medical state since 1998
Like California, its neighbors to the North are also planning on voting for three separate legalization initiatives in November.
Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012
The OCTA as it has been dubbed, like the CCHHI 2012 would restore the industrial production of hemp in the State of Oregon. It also takes cues from Prop 19 by taxing marijuana sales and allocating portions of the revenues to drug treatment and education programs as well as green programs. It should be noted however, that the official website, to the detriment of the argument to re-legalize hemp production, erroneously defines hemp as “the seeds and stems of the marijuana plant,” rather than its own, non-psychoactive substance which happens to be in the cannabis family.
Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative
Also known as Petition #24 this is an amendment to the State’s constitution legalizing marijuana for adults over the age of 21 and puts regulation in the hands of the State legislature.
Sensible Oregon has not yet gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Similar to California RCPA, it intentionally is vague in its language as far as regulation but does the job by simply legalizing it.
Washington: Medical state since 1998
….and Washington makes three. The entire West Coast may have legal marijuana, hemp cultivation, or a combination of the two or maybe none of the above.
I-502 made national headlines last week when they successfully turned in the required amount of signatures to qualify for the Washington ballot. The initiative has many parallels with California’s Proposition 19 in 2010, which failed to pass with 46% of the vote. For instance, a vocal group with notable supporters Patients Against I-502 have many of the same issues with it as those within the California marijuana community who were against Prop 19.
Colorado: Medical state since 2000
Like California, Colorado has enjoyed the fruits of a flourishing medical marijuana industry. Unlike California, Colorado’s industry is allowed to be just that– an industry with for-profit dispensaries. There is a lot of money in Colorado and a lot of opportunity to be had, whether or not it is at the benefit of Colorado’s medical marijuana patients. Two initiatives are vying for the public vote, which since last March, have already created stark contrasts in their approaches.
Campaign to Legalize Marijuana Like Alcohol
Legalize Like Alcohol has officially turned in signatures qualifying it for the November ballot. Despite disputes with the Legalize 2012 camp, this campaign was able to gather enough signatures to be on the ballot. But, like Washington’s I-502 and California’s Proposition 19, it includes criminal penalties surrounding the use of marijuana by those under the age of 21 as well as adding a tax to recreation marijuana sales.
Safer’s Mason Tvert filed eight separate initiatives with minor differences to feel out the differences and create a winnable ballot initiative. Legalize 2012 touts their initiative as the “True Legalization” initiative, a blatant jab at Legalize Like Alcohol.
Missouri: Not a medical state
Show-Me Cannabis Regulation
Yes, you read that right. There is a legalization initiative now gathering signatures in Missouri. Just image how nervous the Prohibitionists are getting in neighboring Kansas, which shares its Western border with Colorado and Missouri to the east. Legalization has been gaining steam in Missouri, a Libertarian stronghold, for years as very gruesome and public SWAT raids on marijuana warrants sparked the legalization debate. The bill is very loosely based on the Jack Herer initiative (see California Cannabis Hemp and Health Initiative 2012) and is being backed by seasoned activists in Missouri including National NORML board-member Dan Viets, former SSDP coordinator Amber Langston (Campaign Director), organizer of the Joplin, MO Cannabis Revival Kelly Maddy and California’s Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal, whose organization Green Aid has taken an active role in Missouri marijuana politics.
Michigan: Medical state since 2008
Ballot Initiative to End Marijuana Prohibition
The Detroit-based campaign is still in the early signature-gathering stages of the campaign but is dedicated to getting the law on the ballot this year. Money may prove a challenge as Michigan’s newly-established medical marijuana industry has faced a staunch crackdown in the last couple years by local authorities. This initiative is touted as one being brought to the ballot from outside the marijuana community on the premise that the laws preventing marijuana use have become far more dangerous than the substance itself.
Nebraska, which is not a medical sate and Montana, a former medical state which recently shuttered its doors to the marijuana industry have smaller, quieter campaigns that are unlikely to collect enough ballot signatures to qualify.
by Ryan J. Stanton, AnnArbor.com
The push to legalize marijuana in Michigan is under way, and cannabis activists are planning to organize Thursday night outside a University of Michigan basketball game in Ann Arbor.
“We do have language written and petitions getting ready,” T.J. Rice, a local supporter of the campaign, told AnnArbor.com on Wednesday afternoon.
A grass-roots group operating under the name Repeal Today For A Safer Michigan 2012 is hoping to put the question to voters in November 2012.
A draft version of the petition obtained by AnnArbor.com seeks to amend the Michigan Constitution to make pot legal for people 21 and older.
It reads as follows:
A Petition to amend the Michigan Constitution Article 1, to add:
Article 1 Section 28. Repeal of Marihuana Prohibition.
For persons at least 21 years of age who are not incarcerated, marihuana cultivation, possession, bodily internal possession, sale, acquisition, transfer, delivery, transportation, religious, medical or personal use, or possession or use of paraphernalia shall not be prohibited, abridged, or penalized in any manner; nor subject to civil forfeiture; provided that no person shall be allowed to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by any substance.
More than 322,600 signatures from registered voters in Michigan are needed to put that question on a statewide ballot.
Campaign volunteers are expected to meet at a medical marijuana dispensary on Ann Arbor’s west side Thursday afternoon for a training session before they move across town to Crisler Arena, where U-M is taking on Penn State at 7:30 p.m.
Charmie Gholson, communications director for the campaign, said actual collection of signatures won’t begin until the campaign officially kicks off in mid-January.
“We’re not launching a media campaign until the 12th,” said Gholson, co-owner and editor of the Midwest Cultivator and a former staff member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “All we’re doing is organizing volunteers. We’re getting volunteers to sign up and say that they’d be willing to help the campaign.”
The group also is recruiting volunteers through a website. The group plans to collect the signatures from January through early July.
According to Rice, Detroit-based criminal defense attorney Matthew Abel, who specializes in marijuana cases, is assisting the group from a legal standpoint.
Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum said getting a constitutional amendment on the ballot in Michigan is “much more doable” than, for example, trying to recall a governor.
The signature requirement is 2.5 times higher for a governor recall, a hurdle that proved too big of a challenge for those working to recall Gov. Rick Snyder earlier this year.
“I would expect if they have enough people together on this, they probably could get it on the ballot,” Kestenbaum said of the marijuana legalization initiative.
“To do something like this, you would have to circulate it not just at the farmer’s market or something like that, but probably going door to door,” he said.
Kestenbaum said he hadn’t thought much about whether such a proposal would pass, but he doesn’t discount it considering the medical marijuana initiative won voter approval in 2008.
“I think this is going to be very interesting,” he said. “I’m intrigued.”
The legalization of medical marijuana in Michigan has been the subject of intense debate over the past few years as dispensaries have sprouted throughout the state. That includes several dispensaries in Ann Arbor, which caused city officials to spend considerable time crafting local medical marijuana ordinances.
But the future of dispensaries remains hazy.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who has issued formal opinions restricting medical marijuana and backed efforts to close dispensaries this year, has said he believes the state’s medical marijuana law has been hijacked by people who want to legalize the drug.
But supporters of legalization argue the current prohibition on marijuana has caused more problems than it’s solved, including making it easier for minors to obtain the drug.
“We are a coalition of Michigan parents, teachers, attorneys, physicians, health professionals, former law enforcers and many others with a wide range of backgrounds and beliefs,” the Safer Michigan site reads. “We believe police should stop enforcing marijuana prohibition and instead refocus their priorities to arrest violent criminals and other real threats to public safety.”
Gholson said it wasn’t the group’s intention to announce the campaign yet, but now that the news is out, she’s expecting some opposition, including from Schuette.
“We’re going to have some big guns pointed at us,” she said.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribeto AnnArbor.com’s email newsletters.
Editorial Staff, The Seattle Times
LAST February this page argued that prohibiting marijuana was causing far more harm than good, and that Washington should legalize it for adult use. We hold this view still, and have strong hopes for progress in 2012.
A year ago, dispensaries were open across the state providing edible and smokable cannabis to bona fide patients. For the most part these shops were orderly and peaceful, though whether they were legal was doubtful.
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, sponsored a bill for the state to legalize them, licensing growers and distributors. It was a good bill, and the Legislature passed it. But after U.S. attorneys in Seattle and Spokane warned that state employees who licensed marijuana would not be immune from federal prosecution, Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of the bill.
Her action, which we thought overkill, left things in chaos. Police shut down dispensaries in Spokane, arresting recalcitrant owners as drug dealers and forcing sick people onto the black market.
In Seattle, Tacoma and a few other cities, prosecutors have bravely allowed dispensaries to stay open. Seattle has more than 100 of them. The difference here is not the law, but the discretion of those who hold power.
Kohl-Welles is readying another medical-cannabis bill, and is negotiating with the governor’s office. Gregoire should take some risk on this. The science behind medical cannabis is clear, and public opinion is clear, too. In no state have federal authorities arrested state employees for doing their jobs.
To her credit, Gregoire does support medical use of marijuana, and has petitioned the federal government to allow it by reclassifying marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. This is a petition the Obama administration should grant.
Then, there is the matter of full legalization.
On Dec. 29, a group called New Approach Washington plans to turn in signatures on Initiative 502, a measure to legalize, regulate and tax the growing, processing and sale of marijuana in Washington, allowing it for adults in small amounts. I-502 gives legislators three options: pass it into law, let it go to the November ballot, or pass an alternative that would accompany it on the ballot.
Legislators should let it go to the ballot. The people are ready: On Nov. 28, a KING-5/Survey U.S.A. poll found that 57 percent of registered voters support legalizing the adult possession of 1 ounce.
Above everything here is federal law. Kohl-Welles’ bill, Gregoire’s petition and I-502 all ultimately amount to lobbying the federal government, either for forbearance or change. And on issues such as this, the most powerful lobby is the entire population.
Legalization: Bring it to a vote in 2012.
Choosing the next President of the United States begins in Iowa in mere weeks. For the cannabis culture, 25 million people in the United States, there is only one option: Ron Paul.
For 15 years Ron Paul has been introducing bills every year in Congress to legalize marijuana, legalize industrial hemp, allow medical marijuana defenses in federal court, and end the budget and office of the Drug Czar. Read more about Ron Paul’s stance on cannabis and the drug war here, here, here, and here.
In speeches and televised debates Ron Paul is not afraid to say he believes the US federal government should end the drug war and repeal all federal laws prohibiting the production and consumption of all drugs, certainly including marijuana.
Listen to Ron Paul speak for himself on the issue:
You’ll never meet a candidate for President of greater integrity and honesty. You’ll never meet a candidate for the most powerful office on earth who is more qualified and intelligent than Ron Paul. Look at the other options; would you prefer any of them instead?
His beliefs are that the US should withdraw all its troops from foreign shores, and that the US cannot police the world. He wants passionately to end the drug war and the surveillance state. He wants to get those who have committed non-violent drug offenses out of jails and into a productive existence in a better and freer America. He believes citizens are sovereign and that the government has become a dangerous police state.
Ron Paul believes in the people of America, the ordinary citizen, and his policies reflect a treasured commitment to liberty, individual freedom, the sovereignty of the individual – unlike the current President, who has embraced the cynical, corrupted cronyism of the elites.
And Ron Paul is an incredibly decent man. I have known about Ron Paul since I read about him in Reason magazine in 1980, and he has never betrayed my support of him or his belief in individual freedom, sound finances, the liberty of the people.
Jodie and I have been active supporters of Ron Paul for President since 2006. We were hosts of a show on Ron Paul radio, printed tens of thousands of Ron Paul For President 2008 hand-outs, brochures, posters, and stickers, made voter registration pavilions, put him on the cover of Cannabis Culture Magazine and made a RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT centerfold, and much more.
Photos of the Ron Paul pavilion we had set up in downtown Vancouver in 2007: view here on Facebook!
There is no man I believe in more on this whole planet more than Ron Paul.
It is with this urgency and passion I ask you to join with Ron Paul and his campaign for President. I want you to register to vote Republican so you can support him in the Republican Presidential nomination. All the other Republican candidates are lunatics or dangerously wrong for America. The Democrat candidate Barack Obama is a terrible punisher of our culture and must be defeated – but he must be defeated by Ron Paul, not the other NeoCon war hawks and prohibitionists who are running for the Republican nomination.
25 million of us in the US cannabis culture can make a difference. Ron Paul has campaign organizations in all 50 states; please sign up, volunteer, and give money to help this man save America. Ron Paul will win in Iowa. Then he will win in many of the primaries throughout the United States, but it will require huge amounts of money and an army of millions. You should Register Republican to vote for Ron Paul in the primary in your state.
I believe when Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination, he will choose former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson as his running mate. Governor Johnson is a wise and intelligent believer in liberty and an end to the drug war. He will make a worthy successor to Ron Paul should the great man die while in office.
Do not sit on the sidelines in this primary season. Do not let cynicism and indifference ruin our chances to change America profoundly for the better. In California last year, our culture was betrayed by traitors and prohibition-profiteers within our culture. If Proposition 19 had passed, millions of Californians would be growing and producing marijuana under state law, and the DEA and President Barack Obama would have been helpless to stop it – they couldn’t win a war against the biggest, most populated state in the nation. Now the situation in California is in crisis because of that treason and indifference within our culture during the Proposition 19 vote last November, and President Obama is now showing his vicious contempt for our people, as he does for all Americans.
The contrast between the integrity and principles and policies of liberty proposed by Ron Paul versus the surveillance, control, warfare prison punishment state espoused by Barack Obama and the other Republican candidates is stark. Please go to Ron Paul’s campaign website, sign up to help, and join with me and millions of other Ron Paul soldiers in ending the drug war and the cannabis prohibition. This primary season, there is only one man who can do it – who will do it – but he needs us to fulfill this mission.
When the fate of America and our cannabis culture were at stake in the critical time from December 2011 to November 2012, what will you tell your heirs and future generations you did when the need was greatest?
Ron Paul for President. 100% Yes. Join your state’s Ron Paul for president campaign now, and let’s get to work on the decisive battle ahead.
Marc Emery #40252-086
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P.O. BOX 5888
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