LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - Marijuana isn't the kind of thing one expects
to be asked about on a trip to a county administrative building. But
folks outside an Arapahoe County building on a recent afternoon were
surprisingly receptive to two men gathering signatures to petition a
pot question onto ballots next year.
The petition, circulating for months, asks whether Colorado should be
the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Activists
backing the measure say they've far cleared the 86,000 signature
threshold to make ballots, and could have petitions to state officials
for approval by the end of the year.
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On Sept. 21, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(ATF) responded to confusion in the federal firearms licensing
community about whether medical marijuana patients can apply for gun
Its letter refers to the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Controlled
Substances Act of 1970. An unlawful user or addict to controlled
substances is prohibited from purchasing firearms or ammunition.
Furthermore, presenting a medical marijuana card is "reasonable cause
to believe" that the transferee is an unlawful user or addict.
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SALISBURY -- After debate during this year's General Assembly session
failed to garner enough votes to pass medical marijuana legislation,
it is unclear where the issue will fall during the upcoming 2012 session.
While debate was passionate this year, actions during the past eight
months including a federal crackdown on dispensaries, inconsistencies
in federal versus state's rights and Gov. Martin O'Malley's decision
to focus on accumulating enough votes for legislation he considers key
could impact the upcoming medical marijuana debates.
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The Government Spends Roughly $14 Billion Per Year On Prohibition
Legalizing the illegal substance marijuana has been a hot topic for
the past decade. A synthetic weed, K2, drug cartels and an increase
in potency have put pressure on the government to construct a plan
for legalization. Conversely, negative health associations and some
law enforcement groups have put pressure on the government to
continue the criminalization.
Today it is the top cash crop in the world, worth $35 billion,
beating out such staples as wheat and corn combined, according to an
article on abc.com. In 2007, 14.4 million Americans ages 12 and older
used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed,
according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
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A new marijuana-legalization campaign with deep pockets and prominent
supporters is poised to force the state Legislature to vote on the
issue or send it to the 2012 ballot.
Marijuana legalization in Washington has been an activist's pipe
dream for decades, but a new campaign with deep pockets and prominent
supporters is poised to force the state Legislature to vote on the
issue or send it to the 2012 presidential ballot.
The group, New Approach Washington, is the strongest mainstream
campaign to date. Since former federal prosecutor John McKay backed
the campaign this summer, supporters with impressive resumes emerged,
from wealthy investment analysts and businessmen to white-shoe
attorneys and, this week, philanthropist Harriet Bullitt.
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Now Three Years Old, Michigan's Medical Marijuana Law Is Still
Getting Sorted Out
Marijuana has twice played a role in bringing significant changes to
the life of Barb Agro.
The first time was a blessing.
A former police dispatcher, the 71-year-old great-grandmother from
Lake Orion suffers from arthritis in both of her knees.
"It's really bad," she says.
Because she's allergic to aspirin, she used Tylenol to ease the pain
for years. "But the amount I had to take was so much," she says. "I
worried about it damaging my kidneys."
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Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl officially asked the city's legal
department Friday to create an ordinance that would eliminate the
possibility of jail time for anyone caught possessing less than 10
grams of marijuana.
The current law states that anyone found to possess between 2.5 and 10
grams of marijuana could be ticketed, fined up to $1,500 and jailed
for potentially as long as six months.
"I do not want young people in Evanston who do not have access to
high-powered attorneys to have arrest records for possessing less than
10 grams," Tisdahl said in an email to the Chicago Tribune. "I want
them to have jobs. A ticket and a fine will suffice."
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Medicinal Pot Ruling Rocks Dispensary Community; Mass Meeting in
The Michigan Court of Appeals last week delivered an opinion that
rocked the state's medical marijuana community.
In a 3-0 ruling, the court decreed that patient-to-patient sales are
That decision, for the time being at least, effectively annihilates
the foundation used by many of the estimated 300 to 400 businesses
that have been providing pot to registered patients, putting
dispensary owners and their employees in immediate jeopardy.
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A team of lawmakers, doctors, law enforcement officials and patient
advocates will spend the next few months creating a plan and drafting
state legislation for medical marijuana to be legalized for use by
seriously ill patients.
The work group, which began meeting Wednesday and is chaired by Dr.
Joshua Sharfstein, state secretary of health and mental hygiene, was
created by legislation passed during the 2011 General Assembly session
to develop a model program for medical marijuana use in the state.
Under legislation proposed earlier this year to legalize medicinal use
of the drug, physicians could prescribe marijuana to long-term
patients -- such as those suffering from cancer -- for whom
conventional treatments haven't worked, and the state health
department would have regulated and licensed producers and
dispensaries. Sharfstein opposed those provisions in favor of further
study, arguing in March that more specific rules were needed on which
doctors could prescribe the drug and under what conditions.
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Lawmakers didn't say whether they will proceed with
legislation to legalize marijuana after advocates for such law
dominated a four-hour Statehouse hearing last week.
Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, who proposed a study of the issue this
year, told the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Committee that she
had no agenda other than to "start talking about this."
She said the idea for the study came from her "experience sitting in
court as an attorney" and "looking at young kids pleading to minor
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Indiana, though thoroughly conservative, might see changes in its
marijuana policy if Thursday's presentation on decriminalizing and
legalizing medical marijuana had any effect on legislatures.
On Thursday, the legislature's Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy
Study committee heard numerous testimonies from policy and medical
experts as to the benefits of marijuana and the negatives of complete
prohibition. The hearing was streamed live on the Indiana government
website for public viewing and The Exponent watched.
Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, prompted the committee hearing, and
began with a short presentation on her concerns with Indiana's
"draconian" marijuana laws. Her concerns ranged from the industrial
use of hemp to the legalization of medicinal marijuana. She questioned
the impact of legal repercussions that come with prohibiting marijuana.
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When a first-time offender is caught in West Lafayette with a small
amount of marijuana, he is given a citation and a court date. Though
technically arrested, rarely is the person booked into the Tippecanoe
County Jail, police Chief Jason Dombkowski said.
Last year, in Tippecanoe County courts, marijuana accounted for only 4
percent of higher-felony drug cases -- 8 out of 156, Prosecutor Pat
"There's this urban street myth that people in the Department of
Correction, the only thing they've done is smoked a joint," Harrington
said. "It's more fiction than reality.
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DENVER - For years now, some veterans groups and marijuana advocates
have argued that the therapeutic benefits of the drug can help soothe
the psychological wounds of battle. But with only anecdotal evidence
as support, their claims have yet to gain widespread acceptance in
Now, however, researchers are seeking federal approval for what is
believed to be the first study to examine the effects of marijuana on
veterans with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.
The proposal, from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic
Studies in Santa Cruz, Calif., and a researcher at the University of
Arizona College of Medicine, would look at the potential benefits of
cannabis by examining 50 combat veterans who suffer from the
condition and have not responded to other treatment.
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One of the defining moments of the latest war on medical marijuana in
Arizona came last month when Gilbert SWAT officers raided the home of
a patient suspected of having a single ounce of weed.
Ross Taylor's not only a bona fide, card-holding patient under the
law, he also is the owner of the Cannabis Screening Centers, a
business that hooks up people with doctors willing to recommend the
use of marijuana.
He's a marijuana advocate, and he's a professional in what, since
November, has been a legal industry. In April, he spoke about his
business before the Gilbert Planning and Zoning Department. On June
9, he was in the process of moving into his new home in south
Gilbert, near Higley and Riggs roads. He'd taken title to the home a
day earlier; online records show that it was sold on June 8 for $262,200.
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Downtown Will Host a Huge, Open-Air Cannabis Expo on Labor Day
Organizers expect up to 30,000 cannabis fans to flood into Frank H.
Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall on September 3-4 for the
International Cannabis and Hemp Expo 2011. Tickets for the event just
went on sale for $18, and if everything goes as planned, will include
access to three entertainment stages, three hundred to four hundred
industry vendors, dozens of food trucks, guest celebrities, experts,
and politicians from the movement.
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In his Coloradoan July 2 Soapbox, Ray Martinez made many disparaging
claims about medical marijuana centers in order to bolster his
attempt to ban MMCs from Fort Collins. Too bad that none of his
assertions are supported by facts.
Acting police Chief Jerry Schiager reported no medical marijuana
business "surge in crime," and no increase in 911 calls (1). The
ordinance regulating MMCs, passed by Fort Collins' City Council, is
stricter than the state requires (2) In fact, state regulators track
every gram of medicine produced by MMCs "from seed to sale"
preventing any diversion to "the new black market" (3) as Martinez claims.
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U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, a Democrat from Newton whose district includes
Taunton, has partnered with a Republican congressman from Texas to
introduce legislation that would make marijuana criminalization the
business of state governments.
Frank and Libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul introduced HR 2306 on
Thursday in Washington, D.C. The bill doesn't necessarily legalize
marijuana but takes it off a list of federally controlled substances
and lets states decide how to regulate it.
The bill would also eliminate federally provided marijuana-specific
penalties in the Controlled Substances Act.
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Although This New Bill Is Largely Symbolic, the Fact That It's Being
Introduced, and Other Small Victories of Late, Bode Well for a Change
in Tone on This Discussion.
It's been forty years since President Nixon declared a "war on drugs."
And we're not winning.
In local communities, Black and Latino men are being singled out
unfairly and fed into the prison system for minor drug offenses; in
Mexico, an unspeakably brutal drug war continues with no signs of
cessation; sick people continue to be denied legal access to medical
marijuana that could ease their pain.
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Adults Could Buy Up to an Ounce of Pot
SEATTLE -- A new push to legalize marijuana for recreational use in
Washington is carefully calibrated to what voters will support -- and
to what will keep state workers from getting into trouble with federal
agents, activists said Wednesday after filing the initiative.
The measure, backed by former Seattle U.S. Attorney John McKay,
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel-guide entrepreneur Rick
Steves, calls for legalizing up to an ounce of pot to be sold and
taxed at state-licensed stores.
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The Expensive, Unjust War on Drugs Brings a House Liberal and
Ron Paul and Barney Frank have teamed up again (after their successful
joint HuffPo editorial of 2010) to introduce legislation legalizing
marijuana. Not decriminalizing it, but actually totally legalizing it.
Wouldn't that be wild?
It is being billed as "bipartisan legislation" but obviously Ron Paul is
the only Republican co-sponsor. According to the Marijuana Policy
Project: "The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress
to end federal marijuana prohibition."
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