Tag Archives | Marijuana Legalization

UN: Colorado, Washington Pot Legalization Must Stop

Colorado and Washington – which voted to legalize marijuana in November – haven’t started (legal) sales of the drug yet and already the measures appear on precarious ground. There have been ambiguous signals from the Obama administration as to a future federal response and a public letter signed by former DEA chiefs demands the new state laws be quashed. Now, the United Nations is piling on.

The International Narcotics Control Board, a UN body charged with implementation of international drug treaties, has issued a demand to the U.S. government to “ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory,” the Seattle Times reports.  Specifically, drug liberalization laws in Washington and Colorado violate international drug agreements, the board contends. Attorney-General Eric Holder says he is continuing to review the Washington and Colorado laws as he works to formulate a response.

In an unrelated editorial, Daniel Wolfe of the Open Society Foundations, has compiled a list of “the 5 Ways the UN’s Drug Watchdog Fails on Health and Human Rights,” which was published yesterday at The Huffington Post.… Read the rest

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Best Job Of The Future: Marijuana Consultant For The Government

If becoming a drone operator is too dystopian, consider this. In U.S. states which have newly legalized pot, experts on its growth and consumption are needed for public service, NBC News reports:

The job description requests an unlikely mix of skills: five years of regulatory experience, with a law degree preferred, and extensive knowledge of all things marijuana. But that didn’t stop dozens of people from turning out to find out about becoming Washington state’s official marijuana consultant.

As officials figure out how to regulate the state’s newly legal marijuana, they’re hiring an adviser to fill in the gaps: how cannabis is best grown, dried, tested, labeled, packaged, regulated and cooked into brownies.

The board has advertised for consulting services in four categories. The first is “product and industry knowledge” and requires “at least three years of consulting experience relating to the knowledge of the cannabis industry, including  product growth, harvesting, packaging, product infusion and product safety.”

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Unions Hoping Marijuana Industry Becomes Major Employer

When organized labor unions campaign on behalf of legal marijuana growing and distribution, you know that America is way past the tipping point. Molly Redden reports for The New Republic:

Early one morning in April, DEA and IRS agents and U.S. marshals raided several Oakland properties owned by Richard Lee, then the leading figure of California’s medical-marijuana industry. At Oaksterdam University, Lee’s multistory business school for marijuana workers, agents went in with power saws, a sledgehammer, and a small battering ram, and walked out with file drawers and bags full of loose documents. At Lee’s dispensary down the block, they heaped live cannabis plants into trash bags. Word got out, and soon hundreds of protesters surrounded Oaksterdam, screaming “Fuck you, pigs!” at the officers. Some of the agitators milled around all day, hoisting signs, blocking the road, and, yes, smoking pot.

A more sober cohort also joined the protest—officials from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5.

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Washington State and Colorado Join the Fray: Cannabis Legalized

via chycho

The big news from last night is not that the lesser of two evils won the US presidential elections, but that “Washington and Colorado voters legalized recreational use of marijuana.”

“’It’s very monumental,’ said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a Washington-based group that advocates legalization. ‘No state has ever done this. Technically, marijuana isn’t even legal in Amsterdam.’”

Under the measures, “personal possession of up to an ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana would be legal for anyone at least 21 years of age. They also will permit cannabis to be legally sold and taxed at state-licensed stores in a system modeled after a regime many states have in place for alcohol sales.”

In addition, the cultivation of up to six plants for personal use will be legal in Colorado while still remaining illegal in Washington State.… Read the rest

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Kansas Jury Refuses To Recognize Marijuana Laws

This has happened before in parts of the country where you might not expect it and seems to be a growing trend which the government would rather you not know about. Via Reason, a Kansas defense attorney recounts the turn of events:

I had a jury trial this morning on level 3 possession with intent MJ, level 4 possession drug paraphernalia and level 10 no drug tax stamp.

During voir dire, my almost all white, middle-class, middle-aged jury went into full rebellion against the prosecutor stating that they wouldn’t convict even if the client’s guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt — almost all of them! They felt marijuana should be legalized, what he does with it is his own business and that the jails are already full of people for this silly charge.

Then, when the potential jurors found out that the State wanted him to pay taxes on illegal drugs, they went nuts.

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Three States to Vote on Marijuana Legalization: What Happens Then?


Colorado, Oregon and Washington are all rolling out ballot measures that could legalize the use of marijuana, be it for medical or recreational purposes. Rolling Stone writer Julian Brookes has written a cogent piece on what the likely consequences will be. Will wins in any of the states be enough of a tipping point to enable politicians to discuss federal legalization without committing career suicide? I wouldn’t count on it:

But don’t expect too much there. Last year, Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul introduced the first-ever federal legalization bill. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon; another Frank bill, the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, which would leave enforcement of medical pot to the states, has been kicking around the Hill since 1997, but has never made it to a vote. “Congress is several years behind the general public on this,” says Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and a co-sponsor of both bills.

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Ten Years Of Legalization Has Cut Portugal’s Drug Abuse Rate In Half

Time to trade swords for plowshares in the War on Drugs? Forbes writes:

Drug warriors often contend that drug use would skyrocket if we were to legalize or decriminalize drugs in the United States. Fortunately, we have a real-world example of the actual effects of ending the violent, expensive War on Drugs and replacing it with a system of treatment for problem users and addicts.

Ten years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs. One decade after this unprecedented experiment, drug abuse is down by half.

“There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

The number of addicts considered “problematic” — those who repeatedly use “hard” drugs and intravenous users — had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.

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Colombia To Legalize Marijuana And Cocaine

 South America continues to lead the way in forging a more enlightened approach? Drug trafficking will remain criminal, but citizens will be allowed to grow their own. Via the Global Post:

Colombia has decriminalized cocaine and marijuana, saying that people cannot be jailed for possessing the drugs for personal use. Anyone caught with less 20 grams of marijuana or one gram of cocaine for personal use will not be prosecuted or detained, but could be required to receive treatment, depending on their level of intoxication.

Colombia is also moving toward legalizing drug crops. The country’s House of Representatives in May passed the first draft of a bill that would decriminalize growing illegal drug plants, allowing residents to grow coca plants, marijuana plants and opium poppies. But representative Hugo Velasquez Jaramillo was quick to note that although the plants would be legalized, “the processing and trafficking of drugs would remain subject to criminal sentencing.”

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TV Ad Campaign: Weed Is Safer Than Booze

Rocky Mountain HighAn obvious message to some, perhaps, but there are still those who need help believing that reefer madness is a myth. Tricia Escobedo and Jim Spellman report for CNN:

A Colorado advocacy group is spending thousands of dollars to convince people that smoking pot is safer than drinking alcohol. It’s an attempt by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to rally support for a vote in November that would legalize the drug for recreational use. Colorado legalized marijuana for medical use in 2000.

Last Friday, the group aired an advertisement on a local Denver channel during daytime programming encouraging people to “start your conversation about marijuana.” The 30-second spot features a young woman typing a message to her mother on her laptop, explaining that after spending her college years drinking heavily, she now prefers marijuana because “it’s less harmful … I don’t get hung-over and honestly I feel safer around marijuana users.” The marketing campaign aims to “break down the stereotype about who the typical marijuana user is,” explained the campaign’s co-director, Mason Tvert.

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Pro-Marijuana TV Advertisements Run In Colorado

This coming fall, Colorado residents will vote on whether to legalize possession and cultivation of marijuana statewide, via the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is running a series of television ads urging legalization -- their first spot, in honor of Mother's Day, encourages young adults to let their parents know that they prefer pot:
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