Tag Archives | Pot

How Pot Became Legal in Colorado and Washington

Picture: "Lots of Marijuana" Cannabis Training University (CC)

Looks like the “counterculture” shoe is on the other foot. Pot is going mainstream. Here’s how it happened:

Via Christian Science Monitor:

In the late-1980s heyday of the anti-drug “Just Say No” campaign, a man calling himself “Jerry” appeared on a Seattle talk radio show to criticize U.S. marijuana laws.

An esteemed businessman, he hid his identity because he didn’t want to offend customers who — like so many in those days — viewed marijuana as a villain in the ever-raging “war on drugs.”

Now, a quarter century later, “Jerry” is one of the main forces behind Washington state’s successful initiative to legalize pot for adults over 21. And he no longer fears putting his name to the cause: He’s Rick Steves, the travel guru known for his popular guidebooks.

“It’s amazing where we’ve come,” says Steves of the legalization measures Washington and Colorado voters approved last month.

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Hear Beloved Children’s Poet Shel Silverstein Sings about Weed, STDs and Masochistic Babies

I grew up reading Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends. It was a major part of my childhood. What I didn't know at the time was that good old Shel had another side...an adult side...although in retrospect the freaky beard and bare feet should've given it away. The cartoonist/writer worked for Playboy in the sixties, documenting his trips to Fire Island, Haight-Ashbury and other places with a reputation for the risque. He also had a pretty serious career as a singer/songwriter who wasn't afraid to tackle topics like pot ("The Smoke-off") and venereal disease ("Don't Give a Dose to the One You Love Most") in a light-hearted, oddball way. His album Freakin at the Freakers Ball is a prime example of Silverstein's bawdier side, featuring tracks like "I Got Stoned and I Missed It" and "Masochistic Baby". Here's a few tracks from Freakin at the Freaker's Ball. RIP, Shel, you are missed.
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“In Colorado, Pot Got 50,000 More Votes Than Obama”

Picture: Torbe Bjorn Hansen (CC)

“The people have spoken, the bastards” – Dick Tuck

A dillema has arisen in America, a country which can rightly claim to be one of the greatest democratic nations in the world.

“The Justice Department has a big decision to make” reports Carrie Johnson for NPR in relation to the fact a clear majority of people have voted in favour of the decriminalisation of cannabis. The article contains this silver bullet of truth, perfect for your average potheaded activist:

“on Election Day, more voters in Colorado and Washington cast their ballots for marijuana legalization than for President Obama”.

It’s a good extensive article which summarises the political power play now at work in the belly of the democratic machine. However it ends with the line: “Justice Department […] officials are reviewing the initiatives and […] for now, nothing has changed”. Read/listen to the full report here: Will U.S.Read the rest

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House Introduces Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Industry

Photo: Plazak (CC)

Photo: Plazak (CC)

The House is doing what it can to protect the medical marijuana dispensaries with a bill that has been proposed to allow the marijuana industry to act as any other legal buisness, including expense deduction on federal tax returns and would make both businesses and patients “immune to federal prosecution if they are acting in compliance with local marijuana laws.” Via AlterNet:

Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA), Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced legislation to the House on Wednesday aimed at ensuring the medical marijuana industry is treated like any other business.

The legislation was supported by Republican Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (CA) and Ron Paul (TX).

The Small Business Tax Equity Act, introduced by Stark, authorizes medical marijuana dispensaries to take the full range of business expense deductions on their federal tax returns, like other legal businesses are allowed to.

“Our tax code undercuts legal medical marijuana dispensaries by preventing them from taking all the deductions allowed for other small businesses,” Stark stated.

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Will Big Pharma Take Over The American Market For Medical Marijuana?

MedMarjIf the hundreds of uses for cannabis doesn’t plead the case for its legalization, the money made from its medical industry just might do it. The Washington Independent reports:

The American Independent has previously reported on the growing corporatization of the incipient medical marijuana industry at a time when medical marijuana dispensaries scrabble to hold on to their businesses in the face of a multi-pronged federal crackdown. But there are signs afoot that it just may become ever more corporate if a Big Pharma push to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to recognize a cannabis-derived drug is successful.

Last week, British prescription drug manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals announced a licensing agreement with drug giant Novartis, maker of Ritalin and Excedrin, to begin selling GW’s drug Sativex in markets across Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Middle East. The medication is already available in Britain, where it’s produced and marketed by Bayer, and in Canada and Spain.

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Dutch Government Pushes Tourist Ban In Cannabis Coffeeshops

If you’d like to experience Amsterdam’s famous coffee shops, I suggest booking your flight soon. From Reuters:

The Dutch government said on Wednesday it wanted to ban tourists from buying cannabis in “coffee shops,” where hash is on sale legally, as part of a national crackdown on drug use.

The government, which took office last month, has agreed to limit the sale of cannabis to Dutch residents to curb crime linked to its production and trading.

The Netherlands has one of Europe’s most liberal soft drug policies and its coffee shops are a popular tourist attraction, especially in Amsterdam and border cities near Belgium and Germany.

But some cities near the border with Belgium have clamped down on drug tourism, and the Dutch minister for security and justice confirmed Wednesday a wider crackdown after coalition parties agreed to push for a ban in September.

[Continues at Reuters]

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