Category: GOVERNMENT

Hope For Industrial Hemp? Group Of Senators Seeking Legislative Sanity

According to Washington, D.C. Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, a group of bipartisan Senators, led by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D), have filed legislation seeking to exempt industrial hemp (which, in effect, is very low potent cannabis) from the Controlled Substances Act (which, concerning cannabis specifically, is largely directed at prohibiting recreational and therapeutic use of the herb). Update: You can help advocate for this bill’s passage here. One of the most indefensible aspects of modern Cannabis Prohibition is the federal government’s continued opposition to allowing American farmers and consumers […]

Marijuana Law Reform Makes Governing Magazine Cover

As more and more public, economic and political attention is being cast towards cannabis legalization during the failed policy’s 75th birthday week, these apparently are the years of sober public policy writing examining what an end to Cannabis Prohibition is possibly going to look like with tax lawyer Patrick Ogelsby’s cover article in State Tax Notes last year, Rand Corporation/Kleinman/Caulkins’ book ‘Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know — 2012’ and now a cover piece in the magazine we policy wonks live to read…Governing Magazine. The Governing writer touches upon what […]

When A Governor Calls And Asks For Support To Reform Marijuana Laws…

…you provide it! I want to relate to NORML supporters my recent call with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, his support for major cannabis law reforms and his wont as a re-elected governor to become a national spokesperson for cannabis law reforms before the Congress and Executive branches. Many of us have worked for too many years (decades!) to arrive at this juncture in the Cannabis Prohibition epoch when elected policymakers now contact pro-cannabis law reform organizations proactively for financial help, and to affirm their support for legal reforms. Therefore, I […]

Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Approved for Fall Ballot in Springfield, MO

Residents of Springfield, Missouri will likely be voting on a marijuana decriminalization measure this fall. Initiative proponents, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, submitted their final round of signatures to the city clerk in the past week and received word yesterday that they have met the required threshold of signatures for qualification. On Thursday afternoon, the Springfield City Clerk confirmed the petition has officially qualified with at least 2,132 certified signatures. The petition now moves to the City Council, which has the opportunity to enact the measure into law as written or place […]

Cannabis Prohibition Now Seventy-Five Years Old

Infamously, America’s federally created Cannabis Prohibition marks its seventy-fifth anniversary this August 2, 2012. The so-called ‘great failed social experiment’ of Alcohol Prohibition of the 1920s barely lasted a dozen years in effect. Rightly, it took a constitutional amendment to both ban and restore alcohol products to the free market. Is there a similar constitutional amendment for cannabis products in 1937? No, of course not. And that is where the sophistry, hypocrisy and duplicity begin regarding America’s modern cannabis policy of vilifying, arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating cannabis consumers, cultivators and […]

The Daily Caller: “Regulations, Not Criminal Prohibition, Best Address Concerns Regarding Cannabis”

Last week Charles Stimson, a senior legal fellow at the Washington, DC think tank The Heritage Foundation, took to the opinion pages of the conservative-leaning DC publication, The Daily Caller, to opine “why we shouldn’t legalize marijuana.” Stimson’s commentary predictably contained various inaccuracies and outright falsehoods — including the unfounded allegations that marijuana use inspires violence, that the areas around medicinal cannabis clubs have experienced “exponential increases in crime rates,” (A recently published UCLA study and several others eviscerate this claim.) and that the daily consumption of alcohol “has been […]

Poll: Support for Marijuana Legalization Initiative Growing in Washington

New polling data from SurveyUSA shows growing support for Washington State’s marijuana legalization initiative, I-502. The new survey found that 55 percent approve of the initiative, with just 32 percent opposed and 13 percent undecided. The poll was conducted from July 16th through 17th and involved 600 likely voters. You can read more about the SurveyUSA poll here. This is a significant upward swing in support for I-502, previous polling in June had only 50% of voters supporting Initiative 502 to 37% opposed. The Seattle Times is also reporting that […]

Congressional Lawmakers Reintroduce Truth In Trials Act

A bipartisan coalition of Congressional lawmakers yesterday reintroduced federal legislation to provide state-authorized medical marijuana patients and their providers with an affirmative defense from federal prosecution. The legislation, H.R. 6134 –- The Truth in Trials Act (Read the text of the bill here.) –- would allow certain federal defendants the opportunity to “introduce evidence (at trial) demonstrating that the marijuana-related activities for which the person stands accused were performed in compliance with state law regarding the medical use of marijuana.” It states, “It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution […]

And Then There Were Three: Oregon to Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November

The Oregon secretary of state’s office completed the legalization trifecta this afternoon when they announced the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 (OCTA) officially qualified for the November ballot. Oregon now joins Washington and Colorado on the list of states whose voters will have the opportunity to end cannabis prohibition this fall. Supporters ended up turning in 88,887 valid signatures, slightly over 1,000 more than required for qualification. The initiative will appear on the Oregon ballot as “Measure 80.” According to the campaign, Measure 80 would “regulate cannabis (marijuana) for […]

Feds Target Harborside Health Center — California’s Largest, Most Prominent Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Many of California’s most prominent and well-respected medical cannabis dispensaries and related facilities — including Oaksterdam University, Berkeley Patients Group, and Harborside Health Center (HHC) — flourished under the George W. Bush administration. But they’ll be lucky to survive President Barack Obama’s first term. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors targeted Harborside Health Center in Oakland, as well as its sister facility in San Jose, for closure and civil asset forfeiture. In court papers filed by the US Attorney for the northern district of California, Melinda Haag, the federal government alleges that […]