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All Posts Tagged: Legalization

It isn’t just about marijuana in Colorado; hemp farming also is taking off

There will be no lines around the block. There will be no TV news crews nosing in for interviews. There will be no pot-puffing customers celebrating their newfound freedom.

But the dawn of legal hemp in Colorado, which begins Saturday, is as significant — if not more so — as were the first sales of recreational marijuana two months ago.
Saturday marks the first day farmers interested in growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes or for research and development can register with the Colorado Department of Agriculture to do so legally.
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Recreational Marijuana Legalization Makes It to Official Ballot in Alaska

Legalizing recreational marijuana had made it to the official ballot in Alaska as confirmed by Mead Treadwell, the state’s lieutenant governor. The recreational marijuana initiative petition 13PSUM notice of proper filing was posted on the government of Alaska’s website. The proposition would be put on the election ballot for the Primary Election on August 19, 2014.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, the body behind the initiative submitted 45,000 signatures by Jan. 8, while the minimum requirement was 30, 000. 36, 000 signatures have already been validated.

Campaign spokesman Taylor Bickford said in a statement, “A bipartisan tidal wave of public support for regulating marijuana like alcohol in Alaska has pushed this issue onto the ballot and we will be running an aggressive campaign designed to build on that momentum.”

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Marijuana taxes to fund school building

Proposition AA to legalize recreational marijuana passed statewide in Colorado in November 2013, and set excise and sales taxes for retail marijuana sales. Although El Paso County and Colorado Springs have voted to ban retail establishments within the county and city, local schools will still get a financial benefit from recreational legalization.

The Building Excellent Schools Today Act was passed in 2008 to assist districts statewide and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind in Colorado Springs with grants and bond guarantees to replace, upgrade or repair classroom buildings. The Colorado Department of Education estimates districts in the state are behind by about $18 billion in deferred maintenance expenses and deficient buildings’ replacement costs statewide.

The first $40 million garnered each year by recreational cannabis excise taxes are earmarked for the BEST fund (as mandated in Amendment 64). School districts, charter schools and CSDB can apply each year to help pay for capital expenses. In the 2013 grant year, Peyton District 23-JT received $174,000 to upgrade the HVAC and security systems at the elementary school. In 2012, Calhan District RJ-1 received more than $1 million for safety and security upgrades.

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Legalize marijuana group sets up shop in Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — One group is hoping to change marijuana laws in Texas. The Marijuana Policy Project helped to pass Colorado’s recreational marijuana laws back in 2012, and now they’re setting up shop here in Austin.

The Marijuana Policy Project says they’re giving themselves five years to legalize marijuana in Texas. They’ve already helped pass similar laws in 19 other states, and now they’re bringing that same game plan to The Lone Star State.

“People in Texas think that change is impossible,” said Rob Kampia, The Marijuana Project’s executive director. “When I say our plan is five years, they’re sometimes surprised that it’s such a short term plan, but I think its completely reasonable.”

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The Epilepsy Foundation supports Alabama bill that would legalize medical marijuana oil

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) –

A national foundation announced support for laws that would make CBD, an oil derived from marijuana, legal for people suffering from seizures.

The Epilepsy Foundation announced its support for bills and laws like Carly’s Law Feb. 20. Dustin Chandler, Carly’s father, said the backing from the Epilepsy Foundation is “huge.” He’s hoping the new support will help Carly’s Law get out of the Alabama Senate and move the Alabama House.

Chandler said he’s fighting not only for his daughter Carly but for hundreds of other parents who have to watch their children take a cocktail of drugs to control their seizures.

“We have got children that suffer that need help,” said Chandler.

With support from the Epilepsy Foundation, Chandler said he feels progress in Montgomery may move a little faster.

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Will Marijuana’s Decriminalization Ruin This Company?

Bob Dylan once sang, “Oh, the times they are a-changin’.” While these lyrics are not directly tied to marijuana — although Mr. Dylan has certainly written many on the subject — they are certainly apt when you consider America’s attitude toward pot. Could changing attitudes present a risk to correctional companies?

America’s mellowing out on marijuana
A recent CNN poll found that support for legalizing marijuana is soaring, with 55% of respondents supporting the legal use. This poll isn’t an outlier; the results are consistent with other marijuana-related surveys. In short, people are becoming more comfortable with marijuana usage. Matter of fact, the survey notes that in 1987, 70% of respondents viewed smoking pot as morally wrong, today that number is 35%.

It’s important to note the wording of this question. This question references the legalization of marijuana, something that has been enacted by very few legislatures. Many states have taken a mini-step: decriminalization. Although the words legalization and decriminalization sound similar, they are very different: Legalization is the formal process of making something legal; decriminalization is to punish offenses by means other than prison.

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The mythology of marijuana

Over the course of my 52-year professional career as a forensic pathologist and medicolegal consultant, I have been involved in numerous civil and criminal lawsuits dealing with various kinds of drugs — prescription, over-the-counter and illicit. Some of these cases have been quite significant, including a few that have been the subject of congressional hearings.

Product liability and medical malpractice lawsuits involving drugs frequently result in multimillion-dollar verdicts. In other instances, the determination of which drugs may have led to someone’s death may provide the evidentiary basis for charging the provider with homicide.

Occasionally, some questions and doubts remain among medical practitioners as to the effectiveness of a particular drug and when it should be prescribed. However, almost all drug-related issues of this sort eventually get resolved. Some dangerous drugs have been removed from the marketplace, while others have been modified. Many times, pharmaceutical companies have been obliged to issue more definitive warnings about potential adverse drug reactions. There have been few long-lingering debates of a highly contentious, emotional nature.

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Can Marijuana Kill You?

A recent headline reads: “Can Marijuana Kill You? German Scientists Say Yes.” The article focuses on a study of two (count ’em, two!) young men who died while they had detectable levels of THC in their blood. I take a lot of pleasure in this kind of melodrama. If prohibitionists are stooping this low, we must really be frightening them. (It’s not completely pharmacologically ridiculous. Marijuana does increase heart rate. In fact, it can jack up heart rate almost as much as an espresso or energy drink. Maybe if you already had a weak heart and a coffee and a bong hit, well, something might happen.)

But I want to point out that we should actually expect literally thousands of reports like this. We should hear about lots of people who have heart attacks on the same day that they commune with the plant. It’s not because cannabis causes heart attacks. It’s simple chance.

I hate for my first blog as Chair of The Executive Board to be this nerdy, but I’ve been teaching statistics for more than 20 years. If that doesn’t make me a nerd, I’m not sure what would. But given how many people use cannabis daily and how many heart attacks occur in the United States, it’s actually a miracle that we haven’t heard about this kind of thing before. We also should expect to hear it a lot more often.

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Jerry Brown Afraid Marijuana Legalization Will Make Too Many Potheads

California Governor Jerry Brown is afraid that widespread marijuana legalization could lead to the creation of too many “potheads.” California has had a medical marijuana program since 1996 and it was one of the first states to pursue such a program. More expansive programs have been adopted by states such as Colorado and Washington in recent years however and this has reignited the debate regarding the legal status of marijuana overall. Advocates have been calling for a broader legalization of the drug beyond the medical uses that are permitted by programs such as the one in California. Colorado and Washington have taken a step in that direction but it is still not full legalization.

Brown was confronted with the question regarding marijuana during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program on Sunday. Brown was on the program to discuss running for a fourth term as California governor, but host David Gregory posed the marijuana question. He asked Brown if the programs in states like Colorado and Washington made him consider the possibility of legalized recreational use in California. Brown replied that the world is a dangerous and competitive place in an economic sense and questioned whether a state could remain great if too many people were getting stoned.

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The 7 States Slamming the Door on Legalized Marijuana

Colorado’s newly legal recreational marijuana industry is creating quite a buzz – particularly when it comes to visions of a new tax revenue stream for cash-strapped states. With the Centennial State’s successful rollout, it seemed certain that others, in addition to Washington state, would follow.

But, there are major headwinds that may keep the budding industry from spreading across the nation – one of which is that state governors are coming out against recreational pot, despite its revenue-producing potential.

Too risky?
Shortly after Colorado’s new law took effect on January 1, governors of other states began weighing in on the subject. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley stated in a radio interview several weeks ago that he is “not much in favor of” legalizing pot for recreational use, citing concerns about drug abuse.

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