Search Results: election 2012 (221)

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LEAP

Nine States and Localities Vote for More Sensible Drug Laws
In a historic night for drug law reformers, on Tuesday, Colorado and Washington voters passed measures legalizing and regulating marijuana, Massachusetts became the 18th state to allow medical marijuana and six localities voted to modernize policies on marijuana.
“I cannot tell you how happy I am that after 40 years of the racist, destructive exercise in futility that is the war on drugs, my home state of Washington has now put us on a different path,” said Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief who is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

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Examiner.com

New tool enables patients, advocates to make informed choices by reviewing voting record of elected officials
The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) on Thursday launched a new website — VoteMedicalMarijuana.org — that provides patients and their supporters with the tools they need to make informed decisions about the candidates in their districts. The new website will give visitors a pass/fail “grade” for how their Member of Congress has voted on medical marijuana since 1997.

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From Our Corner
With 241,153 valid signatures required, it appears very likely marijuana legalization measure I-502 will make the ballot with 355,000 signatures reportedly in the can.

​Sponsors of a ballot initiative which would legalize marijuana in Washington state say they have enough signatures — more than 355,000 — to make the ballot in November 2012.

New Approach Washington, sponsors of Initiative 502, said they have made plans to bring in petitions on 10 a.m. on December 29 at the state Elections Division office at 520 Union Sreet near the State Capitol in Olympia, reports David Ammons at From Our Cornerthe Washington Secretary of State’s website.
I-502 would authorize the state Liquor Control Board to regulate and tax cannabis for those 21 and older. Licensed production, limited possession, delivery, distribution and sale of marijuana in accordance with the provisions of the law would be allowed.

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Kalamazoo Gazette

​Michigan is undergoing a groundswell of activism for a statewide vote on the legalization of marijuana, and voters could get a chance to have their say in November 2012.

There’s a strong popular will toward reforming the cannabis laws statewide, according to Kalamazoo defense attorney Louis Stocking, who ran the petition drive for that city’s successful citywide vote Tuesday to make enforcing the marijuana laws the lowest priority of police, reports Paula M. Davis at the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Following Michigan’s approval of medical marijuana in 2008, Tuesday’s ballot measure in Kalamazoo was “a way of keeping the tidal wave going,” Stocking sasid.

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Ohio Patient Network

​Ohioans could grow and use marijuana for medicinal purposes under a state constitutional amendment voters may get the chance to consider in 2012.

The Ohio Alternative Treatment Act recently cleared initial hurdles to allow supporters to start getting more than 385,000 signatures required to place the issue on the November 2012 general election ballot, reports Evan Bevins at The Marietta Times.
The amendment would allow medical practitioners in a “bona fide practitioner-patient relationship” to recommend marijuana for qualifying medical conditions including cancer, AIDS, Parkinsson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and other diseases, conditions or treatments that produce severe nausea, pain or muscle spasms.

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By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent
California NORML estimates that there are somewhere between 750,000 to 1.25 million  medical marijuana patients registered in California. If President Obama and his Justice Department have their way, that’s a potential of a million or more new criminals to go after. Hell, most of us have given our names and addresses to the California Health Department. That should cut down on some of the bureaucratic bullshit in finding us.
We weren’t hiding. That was supposed to be the point.

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Graphic: Ride It Like You Stole It!

​The Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012 is now filed with the California Attorney General for title and summary, according to The Committee to Repeal Cannabis Prohibition.

The act would allow adults to legally possess up to three pounds of cannabis and grow a 10×10-foot garden. The California Department of Public Health would be in charge of administering the commercial production of marijuana.
The RCPA 2012 would repeal all criminal prohibitions on cannabis-related conduct for adults while mandating strict rules against contributing to the delinquency of minors and driving while impaired.

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Photo: Democracy Now
Jon Walker, FireDogLake: “…Massachusetts is a strong candidate for becoming one of the first states to embrace legalization”

​”If you want to win, you can do it here in Massachusetts”

~ Bill Downing, MassCann
Voters in Massachusetts appear to be ready to legalize marijuana in 2012, according to an analysis of the votes on local cannabis legalization advisory ballot questions on Tuesday.

Massachusetts allows for citizens to put non-binding local “public policy questions” on the ballot, reports Jon Walker at FireDogLake. And voters in several precincts weighed in this year on whether their local representatives should “vote in favor of legislation that would allow the state to regulate and tax marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.”
More than 150,000 votes were cast on the marijuana issue across Massachusetts in districts containing about 8.5 percent of the total vote.

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Photo: Loretta Nall
Loretta Nall: “We plan to keep fighting”

​Alabama is the last state many would expect to legalize medical marijuana; after all, the Heart of Dixie isn’t exactly known for its liberal ways.

But one determined group of Southerners there exemplifies the rebel stubbornness for which the state is famous — by refusing to give up their fight for the safe, legal, medicinal use of cannabis.
The brave efforts of Alabamians for Compassionate Care (ACC), ably led by legendary libertarian and former gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall, have arguably made the state a good bet to be the first former member of the Confederacy to get a medical marijuana law.
For the past several years in a row, ACC has, against all odds, gotten a bill onto the floor of the Alabama Legislature, and 2010 is no exception. House Bill 642, the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act is expected to come before the House Judiciary Committee later this month.
Toke of the Town got a chance to chat with Nall about the state of medical marijuana in Alabama.
United-States-Marijuana-Flag--70678.jpegadmin | Toke of the Town

Here’s your daily dose of cannabis news from the newsletter WeedWeek:

On a conference call with reporters this week, Bill Piper, the Drug Policy Alliance’s Senior Director of National Affairs, discussed the nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R) for U.S. Attorney General:

“Civil rights groups point out that Sen. Sessions has been one of the Senate’s most extreme voices on issues affecting immigrants, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, Women and the LGBT community. He has a long record of obstructing civil rights.

“In the area of drug policy reform, Sen. Sessions is a drug war dinosaur. His has nearly singlehandedly blocked bipartisan sentencing reform in the Senate. Sessions has been critical of the Obama Justice Department’s guidelines around sentencing that were designed to limit harsh sentences, and he has criticized the Justice Department’s use of consent decrees that force local police departments to address police brutality, racial profiling and other civil rights issues. He opposes giving formerly incarcerated individuals the right to vote. 
“He recently described marijuana as a dangerous drug and said that, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” He has criticized the Obama administration for respecting state marijuana laws. 
“If confirmed as U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions could escalate the failed war on drugs. He will likely use his position to oppose any kind of sentencing or criminal justice reform…He could also undo the Cole Memo which provided guidance to U.S. attorneys instructing them to generally not raid marijuana dispensaries in states where it is legal.
“The war on drugs could also be a weapon that Sessions and the Trump administration use to spy on, investigate incarcerate or deport immigrants and other targeted groups. Already, President-elect Trump has said he wants to aggressively deport any immigrant who commits any offense, no matter how minor, including drug offenses…Senator Sessions could not only escalate the war on immigration and the war on drugs, he could combine them.

“He was deemed unfit to be a Federal judge in 1986 and I believe he will be deemed unfit to be U.S. Attorney General when the Senate looks at his history and record during confirmation hearings next year.”

Following Piper, representatives from LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, theCouncil on American-Islamic Relations, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and the Cato Institute—“massive, massive privacy concerns” – each discussed what Attorney General Sessions could mean for criminal justice and civil liberties.

As Piper writes in a blog post, it isn’t clear how state-legal marijuana businesses would be affected if Sessions wins confirmation:

“No one knows for sure what exactly to expect, but we should assume the worst. His administration, which looks set to be staffed by drug-war extremists, could go after state marijuana laws. Instead of just opposing sentencing reform, they could push for new mandatory minimums. They might demonize drugs and drug sellers to build support for mass deportations and a wall. Trump’s law-and-order rhetoric could fundamentally alter the political environment, nationally and locally.”
Piper adds:
“We need to pace ourselves, choose our battles carefully, be strategic, and perhaps most importantly, keep our morale up. We need to find ways of supporting each other…
“It’s especially important that we find ways to create division among Republicans, who now hold Congress and the White House. The more they disagree, the less they can get done. Two areas that stand out for us are marijuana and sentencing reform. We have enough Republican support on both these issues that we might be able to create dissent within the GOP if Trump tries to do something bad in these areas…
The rise of Trump and Trumpism has put a national spotlight on white supremacy and misogyny. Everywhere, people are now organizing against hate. Drug policy reformers should be part of that fight.

We can start by taking a hard look at our movement and the marijuana industry we have created. If groups draft legalization laws that  ignore racial justice, we need to call them out. If dispensaries, marijuana magazines or other marijuana businesses objectify and demean women to sell their products, or if they exclude people of color, we need to call them out. It is long past time to clean up our own house.”

The Christian Science Monitor tries to parse how or if AG Sessions will go after the industry. So does The Hill. “Pot policy in the U.S. is up in the air,” Brookings Institution scholar John Hudak tells the NYTimes.

Cannabis business lawyer Hilary Bricken shares her views at Above the Law. More from LAist, andMarijuana.com.

Pro-pot activist and journalist Tom Angell told Buzzfeed, “From a political lens, I think reversing course on [marijuana]and trying to shut down broadly popular state laws, that’s going to be a huge distraction from all the other things they care a lot more about,” Angell said. “It’s a fight that they don’t want to pick.”

To put this differently, unlike going after undocumented immigrants or Muslims, an attempt to crush the legal marijuana industry would likely have political consequences for a Republican administration.

If Sessions doesn’t realize it already, he’ll soon learn that gutting the REC and MED industry would require opposing state Legislatures in Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and going against the will of voters in states including Florida, Arkansas, Nevada, Colorado, Montana and North Dakota. It would mean killing tens of thousands of jobs, and perhaps prosecuting White, media-savvy, cannabis executives, who can afford good lawyers.

Trump did not make a return to prohibition central to his campaign — his support for MED has beenrelatively consistent – and for a president who wants to win re-election, it’s hard to see much if any upside for him in a widespread crackdown. Given these uncertainties, there is a case for the industry to keep its head-down and hope President Trump has other priorities.

There is also a case for action.

In important respects, the marijuana industry is a marginalized community. But unlike other marginalized groups, marijuana is also a thriving industry, one expected to generate more than $6 billion in revenue this year.

During the Obama years, the marijuana industry has obtained the resources and geographic scope to make the Sessions confirmation a fiercely contested battle, and perhaps even defeat him. To do so, Republican Senators, especially those from legal states, need to understand that a vote for Sessions will cast a long shadow over their political futures.

For more than two years, cannabis executives have been telling me that this industry isn’t just about getting high and getting rich, that it’s rooted in struggles for health and justice. The Sessions nomination is the test of that commitment. If industry leaders don’t fight when other groups –including those that include colleagues, friends and customers — appear far more vulnerable, it’s hard to see how this industry stands for anything except its own enrichment. If the industry doesn’t fight now, who will stand up for it if political realities shift and legal cannabis emerges as a primary target?

The cannabis industry is indebted to countless Americans whose lives have been ruined by the war on drugs. Honoring their sacrifice demands a full-throated, and generously-funded, campaign against the Sessions nomination.
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