Archive for the ‘Legalization’

Michigan Considers Medical Marijuana Dispensaries03.06.13

The medical marijuana industry could save the U.S. billions and generate billions in jobs and taxes.

The medical marijuana industry could save the U.S. billions and generate billions in jobs and taxes.

The Michigan House of Representatives is considering a bill that would allow the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. The Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act comes on the heels of a Michigan Supreme Court decision that ruled that the transfer of medical marijuana between patients that takes place in dispensaries is not included in the original Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2008.

Mike Callton (R-Nashville) said dispensaries are necessary in order for patients to have safe access to medicine.

“Frankly, the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling necessitated this legislation,” Callton said in a press release. “Now there are only two limited ways someone can access medical marijuana: grow their own, or contract with a caregiver. Therefore, we need to allow for provisioning centers or patients will continue to suffer. The more educated people become about this issue, the more they understand the pressing need before us.”

Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patient’s Rights Association, an advocacy group for medical marijuana patients, said the bill’s aim is to clear up the gray areas that are present in the original MMMA.

“What we saw were dispensaries popping up unregulated without rules, and that created conflict within communities,” Schneider said. “Without provisioning centers, medical marijuana is being distributed in our neighborhoods, in our parks, in parking lots … wherever people can meet, it’s being distributed.”

Allen Park was one community that conflicted with the illegal setup of dispensaries within city limits. In September, Allen Park police raided and shut down two dispensaries that were operating in the city. The new bill before the state House of Representatives would allow for cities such as Allen Park to zone or regulate the operation of provisioning centers.

“If it’s a legal business and it’s licensed to operate, then from my standpoint I don’t have a problem with that,” said Allen Park interim Police Chief James Wilkewicz. “(Dispensaries) would want to be registered (with the city) like all the other businesses are, so we know what’s going on at that location for public safety purposes — whether it be police or fire or whatever else.”

Ultimately, under the new bill cities are allowed to permit or deny dispensaries in the community, so it will be up to residents to decide.

“I would liken it a lot to cities that may operate adult entertainment clubs,” Wilkewicz said. “.… Not all citizens are on board with things like that, but what’s the actual impact for public safety? Sometimes, if it’s not a well-run facility there’s a lot of public safety impact, and other times if it is a well-run facility there’s no public safety impact.”

Source: http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2013/03/06/news/doc5136175ab1568106621464.txt

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Snoop Dogg Lights Up During Interview02.10.13

SnoopDoggpot660

 

Snoop Dogg continues to advocate for marijuana legalization and mainstream use.  Music fans who turned out to BMI’s annual pre-Grammy Awards “How I Wrote That Song” discussion got a little more than they expected thanks to Snoop Dogg — a contact high.

The rapper smoked marijuana during Saturday’s panel discussion, lighting up a large, Kush-filled blunt on stage at The Roxy. He briefly passed it off to B.o.B before methodically reducing it to ash over a 15-minute period. The panel also included Busta Rhymes and songwriters Luke Laird and Evan Bogart, all of whom abstained — at least on stage.

Fittingly, the conversation eventually turned to Snoop’s groundbreaking work on “The Chronic.”

Laird recalled growing up at the end of a dirt road in a small town of 700 in rural Pennsylvania. Yet Snoop’s work with Dr. Dre still infiltrated his world and that of all the other country kids around him.

“Let me just say, the album everyone was listening to was `The Chronic,”‘ Laird said, noting how surreal it was to be sitting on stage with Snoop.

With acoustic guitar in hand, he played a bit of his Blake Shelton hit “Hillbilly Bone” in its original form: a rap song. The Nashville-based songwriter had everyone bobbing their heads to the beat.

“Now I feel like more than ever you see these influences crossing genres,” Laird said.

Meanwhile, discontent is apparently brewing over rapper Snoop Dogg‘s conversion to the Niyabinghi branch of Rastafarianism. This, you may recall, involved a name change to Snoop Lion – allegedly at the behest of a Rastafarian high priest – the growing of dreadlocks, a musical shift to reggae and the announcement that he was actually reincarnation of Bob Marley. Now, alas, the Jamaican Rasta community seems to suspect that all this was a publicity stunt rather a genuine spiritual conversion. Bunny Wailer, last surviving member of Bob Marley’s original band, has accused him of “outright fraudulent use of Rastafari Community’s personalities and symbolism” and claimed he has failed to meet “contractual, moral and verbal commitments”. The snappily named Ethio-Africa Diaspora Union Millennium Council, or Rasta Millennium Council has sent seven pages of demands to him. Among other things, it wants money and “moral support”, a public apology, an assurance that Snoop will stop calling himself Lion, and threatens to sue him if it doesn’t get them. “Smoking weed and loving Bob Marley and reggae music is not what defines the Rastafari Indigenous Culture,” it protests.

Lost in Showbiz doesn’t know what to believe. It wouldn’t claim to be an expert on the minutae of Rastafari. It did once cast an eye over The Holy Piby, one of the most important foundational texts of the religion, but gave up midway through chapter one of its Fourth Book when it appeared to start prophesying that a rooster would walk on the moon. Nevertheless, an examination of his recent activities does suggest that the Rasta Millennium Council might have a point: thus far, Snoop does seem to have largely concentrated on the whole smoking-weed aspect of Rastafari. This week it was reported that, as coach of the Orange County Junior All America Football League, he was planning to read his eight- and nine-year-old charges a book called Just a Plant: A Child’s Story of Marijuana. “It’s not that I would ever push weed on our kids, but if they wanted to, I would love to show them how,” he explained, nothing if not a blue-sky thinker in the world of sports training.

But on the other hand, film director Eli Roth, who went to Jamaica with Snoop Lion/Dogg has come to the rapper’s defence. “Look,” he opened, “I’m a fake rasta: I only own one Musical Youth album and I only listen to Pass the Dutchie.” Yes, that certainly seems like the kind of remark that’ll go a long way towards convincing the outraged members of the Millennium Council that everyone concerned isn’t just taking the piss out of their religion. Do carry on. “Snoop is for sure for real,” he added. “He really loves [Bob Marley] … he wants to have a message of positivity … he’s written a song about fruit juice.”

Posted in Legalization, News and Updates, Politics, Religion, Uncategorizedwith No Comments →

World’s Largest Medical Pot Dispensary, Wins Battle To Avoid Shutdown01.09.13

Medical marijuana is gaining understanding and acceptance across the U.S.

Medical marijuana is gaining understanding and acceptance across the U.S.

A federal magistrate on Monday ruled that the Harborside Health Center located in Oakland and San Jose, Calif., can continue to operate, despite a bid by federal prosecutors to shut it down. Harborside is widely considered the world’s largest medical cannabis dispensary.

The ruling comes as the latest move in a larger battle over the fate of medical marijuana dispensaries in California, where shops operating in full compliance with state law have come under pressure from the federal government.

Harborside’s landlords have called on the court to order an immediate halt of cannabis sales at their properties in Oakland and San Jose on the grounds that the activity is illegal under federal law. Meanwhile, the city of Oakland, which last year received more than $1 million in tax revenue from Harborside, has filed suit against the federal prosecutors to challenge the forfeiture action.

Chief Federal Magistrate Maria-Elena James ruled that it is the role of the government — not Harborside’s landlords — to determine whether the business should be shut down for its alleged violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

Landlords “are attempting to use a procedural rule in a civil forfeiture proceeding to bring what amounts to an enforcement action … against Harborside,” the 17-page ruling said. “This is a measure which the Government — the entity charged with enforcing the statute — has elected not to pursue.”

Judge James also declined to grant a motion from the City of Oakland to immediately prohibit the federal government’s legal efforts to close Harborside. A hearing is scheduled later this month to hear further arguments in the City of Oakland’s lawsuit.

Medical cannabis is currently legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia, but U.S. prosecutors have argued federal law — which forbids the substance — should take precedence.

Harborside’s lawyer, Henry Wykowski, underscored the importance of Monday’s decision.

“We are gratified that Judge James listened to and analyzed the parties’ arguments so thoroughly and has now rendered an opinion that will ensure Harborside has the right to present its case to a jury,” Wykowski said in a press release on Harborside’s website. “Despite the government’s efforts to shortcut the case, Harborside will now be able to fully defend itself at trial. That is all we had asked, and the court has now agreed. The stage is now set for a jury trial on the underlying issues of the litigation, which will probably take place in about one year.”

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Marijuana For Recreational Use Now Legal In Colorado: Hickenlooper Signs Amendment 64 Into State Constitution12.11.12

Marijuana for recreational use is now legal in Colorado.

Today, Governor John Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order making an “official declaration of the vote” related to Amendment 64. The declaration formalizes A64 as part of Colorado’s state constitution and makes legal the personal use, possession and limited home-growing of marijuana under Colorado law for adults aged 21 and older.

“Voters were loud and clear on Election Day,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “We will begin working immediately with the General Assembly and state agencies to implement Amendment 64.”

Hickenlooper also created a marijuana task force that will aid in the implementation of Amendment 64 in Colorado. At the end of November when the creation of the task force was just announced, the governor’s spokesman, Eric Brown, described that that the task force will work “to identify the policy, legal and procedural issues that need to be resolved related to Amendment 64,” The Denver Post reported.

The task force is co-chared by Jack Finlaw, Hickenlooper’s chief legal counsel and Barbra Brohl, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. Click here for a full list of all 24 members.

Amendment 64 was approved 55-45 in November’s election and its passage was due in large part to the efforts of Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s co-director Mason Tvert who responded to Hickenlooper’s signing in a statement. “This is a truly historic day,” Tvert said. “From this day forward, adults in Colorado will no longer be punished for the simple use and possession of marijuana. We applaud Gov. Hickenlooper for issuing this declaration in a timely fashion, so that adult possession arrests end across the state immediately.”

Tvert added: “We look forward to working with the governor’s office and many other stakeholders on the implementation of Amendment 64. We are certain that this will be a successful endeavor and Colorado will become a model for other states to follow.”

Via statement, Hickenlooper’s office outlines the goals and mission of the task force:

Issues that will be addressed include: the need to amend current state and local laws regarding the possession, sale, distribution or transfer of marijuana and marijuana products to conform them to Amendment 64’s decriminalization provisions; the need for new regulations for such things as security requirements for marijuana establishments and for labeling requirements; education regarding long-term health effects of marijuana use and harmful effects of marijuana use by those under the age of 18; and the impact of Amendment 64 on employers and employees and the Colorado economy. The Task Force will also work to reconcile Colorado and federal laws such that the new laws and regulations do not subject Colorado state and local governments and state and local government employees to prosecution by the federal government.All meetings of the Task Force and any working groups will be open to the public. The Task Force will also endeavor to solicit public comment as part of its consideration of the policy, legal and procedural issues that need to be resolved to implement Amendment 64.

“Task Force members are charged with finding practical and pragmatic solutions to the challenges of implementing Amendment 64 while at all times respecting the diverse perspectives that each member will bring to the work of the task force,” the Executive Order says. “The Task Force shall respect the will of the voters of Colorado and shall not engage in a debate of the merits of marijuana legalization or Amendment 64.”

The Task Force will hold its first meeting at noon Dec. 17 in the Department of Revenue Gaming Conference Room, 17301 W. Colfax Ave., Suite 135, in Golden.

“As we move forward now with implementation of Amendment 64, we will try to maintain as much flexibility as possible to accommodate the federal government’s position on the amendment,” Hickenlooper said in a statement.

It has already been more than a month since the passage of historic measures in Colorado and Washington which legalized the recreational use of marijuana. On Dec. 6, Washington’s Initiative 502 — which legalized marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 and over in that state — became law.

A64 allows adults 21 and older to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana from specialty marijuana dispensaries and grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes. Possession is limited to up to an ounce for personal use, but selling marijuana without a license, purchasing marijuana from a party who is not licensed as well as public use of marijuana will remain illegal.

Before A64 officially became law, some local prosecutors already reacted to the voters’ passage of the amendment by dropping marijuana possession cases. Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey as well as Boulder County DA Stan Garnett announced that their offices would drop possession prosecutions for adults for less than an ounce of marijuana as well as for possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

The federal government’s enforcement intent on marijuana law remains unclear. Attorney General Eric Holder, who was a vocal opponent of California’s legalization initiative in 2010 saying he would “vigorously enforce” federal marijuana prohibition, remained silent on the issue during the election cycle and has continued to remain silent now that the measures have passed in Colorado and Washington.

Hickenlooper, who has been a vocal opponent of Amendment 64 but has said that he intends to respect the wishes of the voters, did have a phone call with Holder to discuss Colorado’s legalizing of marijuana and how the feds might respond, but the results of that call did not offer any insight into the Department of Justice’s stance on the marijuana measures in Colorado and Washington, according to The Associated Press.

Colorado U.S. Reps Diana DeGette, Jared Polis, Mike Coffman and Ed Perlmutter have already introduced legislation that would exempt any state that passes its own laws governing marijuana and/or medical marijuana from federal laws banning the sale, possession and use of small amounts of pot by adults called the Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act, The Colorado Independent reported.

If the Obama administration does decide to crackdown on legalized marijuana in Colorado — where more people voted for marijuana legalization than for the president’s reelection — the administration could face some serious political fallout with much of the same population of the Centennial State that handed him Colorado on election night.

Rumblings are beginning to surface about the Obama administration’s response to legalized marijuana in both Colorado and Washington. The New York Times reported last week that officials in the White House and Department of Justice are considering plans for legal action against the state voter-approved measures.

However many proponents of legalization say they don’t foresee federal agents interfering in states that have legalized cannabis, NBC News reported, citing the federal government’s silence on the issue this election cycle.

There is also the July report from GQ which stated that President Obama wants to “pivot” on the war on drugs during his second term. Marc Ambinder writes:

Don’t expect miracles. There is very little the president can do by himself. And pot-smokers shouldn’t expect the president to come out in favor of legalizing marijuana. But from his days as a state senator in Illinois, Obama has considered the Drug War to be a failure, a conflict that has exacerbated the problem of drug abuse, devastated entire communities, changed policing practices for the worse, and has led to a generation of young children, disproportionately black and minority, to grow up in dislocated homes, or in none at all.

Optimism about a second-term Obama administration that turns its stance around on marijuana might be difficult for some pot business owners who have seen the DOJ aggressively crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries in states like California and Colorado where hundreds of pot shops have been shuttered just since the beginning of 2012.

The passage of these measures in Colorado and Washington — as well as similar legalization measures that are expected to be announced in Rhode Island and Maine — may not signal a full-blown end to the decades-long drug war, but perhaps a truce is near. Neil Franklin, on a recent teleconference before the Thanksgiving holiday that was aimed at pressuring Obama and Holder to respect states’ rights on pot said he was cautiously optimistic about Obama’s reaction to states legalizing marijuana. “During his first term, President Obama really disappointed those of us who hoped he might follow through on his campaign pledges to respect state medical marijuana laws,” said Franklin, in a statement about the letter delivered to Holder on Tuesday. “Still, I’m hopeful that in his second term he’ll realize the political opportunity that exists to do the right thing.”

Source: www.ColoradoOrBust.com/denver

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Latest Marijuana News and Updates in Denver, Colorado11.27.12

Colorado Web Directory For Marijuana Shops

Dispensary information. Medical and recreational information. Pot laws and regulations. Marijuana tourism. For the latest information about the medical and recreational marijuana industry in Colorado, please visit www.ColoradoOrBust.com/contact

Colorado marijuana information

Colorado marijuana information all in one web site.

 Recreational marijuana legal in Colorado.

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Colorado marijuana-legalization measure raises question of pot tourism10.18.11

Colorado’s legalization of limited possession of marijuana — if voters approve it this November — would bring the attention of the nation to the state, both sides of the issue agreed Wednesday.

Where they disagreed, though, is whether that attention would be a good thing.

In a debate co-hosted by The Denver Post and 9News, Amendment 64 opponent Happy Haynes said the measure would attract illegal-drug dealers, hurt Colorado’s brand among businesses and bring in unwanted marijuana tourists. Proponent Betty Aldworth saw it differently, saying there is no evidence the measure would harm the state’s business climate and that any marijuana-motivated visitors would be welcome.

“Those are tourism dollars, are they not?” Aldworth asked.

Haynes said the state should be more discriminating.

“The idea that any dollars that we get are OK, I’m not in favor of swelling our state coffers … with money because people are getting high,” she said.

Amendment 64 would make legal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older and also allow adults to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. But it would also allow for specially licensed marijuana stores, which could sell to anyone 21 and older who presents “government-issued identification to determine the consumer’s age.”

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