Category: policy

The Challenge for the New Generation of Legalizers

I was recently asked, following a lecture I had given, what the next generation of legalization advocates could do to move legalization forward, and to leave their mark on the legalization movement. The question was intriguing, and caused me to revisit in my mind the areas of public policy in which marijuana smokers continue to be treated unfairly, even in states that have legalized marijuana, and to consider why these problems remain so difficult for us to correct. I have discussed in previous columns the continuing problems we face as […]

Nevada: Voters To Decide In 2016 On Statewide Measure Regulating Marijuana Sales

Nevada voters will decide next November on ballot language that seeks to regulate the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. It states, “The People of the State of Nevada find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older, and its cultivation and sale should be regulated similar to other businesses.”

Big Brouhaha in DC as Legalization is Phased-In

The new marijuana laws recently approved by the voters of the District of Columbia (Initiative 71) by nearly 70 percent took effect last week, following a 30-day period in which the US Congress had the opportunity to override the provision, but our opponents did not have the votes. So it is now perfectly legal in the District of Columbia to possess up to two ounces of marijuana; to cultivate up to six plants in the home, not more than three of which may be flowering; and to give away, but […]

Demanding “Perfect Legalization” is a Formula for Defeat

You don’t have to look too hard to see marijuana legalization efforts in several states that have a good chance of being approved by the voters in 2016. But many of those efforts are mired-down with competing proposals and competing proponents that could easily undermine the ability of supporters in those states to actually change public policy and end prohibition. The inability to accept compromise in the interest of building a winning coalition threatens to turn some of these political opportunities into losing efforts. And that would be a disaster. […]

Legalization Wins In 3 States! Only Florida Medical Use Falls Short

The election results were overwhelmingly positive for marijuana smokers last night, with full-legalization proposals being approved in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia. And even the one losing initiative, the medical-use proposal in Florida, won the approval of a significant majority of the voters. Measure 91 in Oregon In a convincing victory, Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which legalizes the use and cultivation of marijuana by those 21 and older and establishes a system of licensing, taxing and regulating marijuana sales under the auspices of the Oregon Liquor Control […]

Federal District Court Judge Asks: Should Federal Law Classify Cannabis As One Of The Nation’s Most Dangerous Drugs?

Testimony regarding the constitutionality of the federal statute designating marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance will be taken on Monday, October 27 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in the case of United States v. Pickard, et. al., No. 2:11-CR-0449-KJM. This is the first time in recent memory that a federal judge has granted an evidentiary hearing on a motion challenging the statute which classifies cannabis to be one of the most dangerous illicit substances in the nation.

The Legalization Movement Can’t Be Stopped

The political and cultural victories for the marijuana legalization movement continue to accumulate as new developments lead us closer to the ultimate goal of full legalization. Just in the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen the powerful, unambiguous endorsement of full legalization by the most influential newspaper in America: The New York Times. That endorsement was followed by a series of six follow-up editorials explaining in more detail precisely why the Times decided to join the fight to end prohibition. Additionally, The Brookings Institution, a highly respected Washington, DC think […]