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Photo: The Wow Report
Dennis Peron is co-author of Prop 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California.

​The man who opened the very first “pot club” in the United States for medical marijuana users is coming to Ashland, Oregon Tuesday night to speak in favor of legalizing cannabis.

Dennis Peron, known as the “father of medical marijuana,” is lending his support to full legalization in Oregon, reports John Darling of the Southern Oregon Mail Tribune.
Peron, 64, of San Francisco, was co-author and a major backer of California’s successful 1996 medical marijuana ballot measure, the first in the United States.
Peron is famed for his statement, “All use of marijuana is medical use.”
The passage of medical marijuana laws changed the image of cannabis from something used by “long-hair, hippie crazy” people to a drug of middle class people, Peron said.
“It helped make [marijuana use]more benevolent,” he said. “We turned the tide.”
Peron said the thrust of his work now is ballot measures to normalize marijuana distribution, so “you can get it at Walgreen’s” at affordable prices.

Photo: NORML
Seattle Hempfest crowd at 2009’s event enjoys the beautiful setting and good vibes at Myrtle Edwards Park

​With unprecedented Pacific Northwest activity on the cannabis law reform front, and at the request of Hempfest supporters, the world’s largest marijuana event, Seattle Hempfest, is launching a new membership campaign to promote cannabis education and social networking throughout the year.

Prospective members are invited to the February 20 kickoff at Columbia City Theater in Seattle, the first of many events to socialize and discuss the latest in pot reform with local activists, attorneys and cannabusiness entrepreneurs.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
7:30 pm – 11 pm
4916 Rainier Avenue, South
Seattle, WA 98118
$25 and up membership purchase gains entry to this and all year-round Hempfest events
(21 and over)

Photo: Flickr / Westword
New Mexico: Land of Enchantment. And, well, taxing the sick.

​New Mexico’s Legislature has been looking mighty hungrily at the state’s medical marijuana program as a source of tax revenue. But according the state’s Tax and Revenue Department, such a tax could cause patients to turn to the black market.

A 25 percent excise tax on medical marijuana could potentially raise about $1.2 million for the state, according to the Legislative Finance Committee’s fiscal impact report on Sen. John Sapien’s bill, SB 56, reports Marjorie Childress at The New Mexico Independent.
The analysis estimated a typical patient spends $6,256 annually on medical marijuana, and would pay about $1,564 in excise tax per year.

Photo: Courtesy Andreas Fuhrmann/Record Searchlight
From left, Jason Ramey, 30, Travis Stock, 31, and Garrett Houchins, 30, picked up their medical marijuana from the Red Bluff Police Department on Wednesday.

​Three California men Wednesday picked up their medical marijuana from the Red Bluff Police Department, where it had been since being seized in an October raid.

Garret Houchins and Jason Ramey, both 30, and Travis Stock, 31, along with another man, Corey Perkiss, were growing 11 plants at Stock’s home, reports The Redding Record Searchlight.
They were arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale, processing marijuana and conspiracy.

Photo: Daniel Beaman Photography
Kush House dispensary in Venice Beach. Hundreds of pot shops, including all 14 in Venice, will be forced to shut down under L.A.’s new dispensary law.

​With the Los Angeles City Council expected this week to give final approval to a new law which would result in hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries being forced to close, some are wondering exactly how the city will enforce the crackdown.

Last week, L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who thinks the city is overreacting to the dispensaries, quizzed city officials on how they plan to shut down the pot shops that aren’t among the fortunate 140 allowed under the new law, reports Frank Stoltze of KPCC.

Photo: alapoet
Seattleites protest marijuana laws in the annual Marijuana March, May 2008.

​As promised, Seattle’s new city attorney is dismissing marijuana possession cases.

By the end of January, more than 25 people charged with possession could be off the hook, reports Linda Brill at KING 5 News.
Even if you are arrested for marijuana in Seattle, it’s more than likely you won’t be prosecuted.
During his campaign for city attorney, Pete Holmes promised he would dismiss marijuana possession cases brought by his predecessor, former City Attorney Pete Carr. Despite an initiative passed by Seattle voters a few years ago, Carr’s office had continued to vigorously prosecute many cannabis cases.

Photo: alapoet
Signage at the Seattle Marijuana March, Washington. A solid majority of Washingtonians support legalization, according to a new poll.

​A solid majority, 56 percent, of Washingtonians believe legalizing marijuana is a “good idea,” according to a new poll.
The poll of 500 adults in the state, conducted for Seattle TV station KING 5 by SurveyUSA, asked respondents: “State lawmakers are considering making marijuana possession legal. Do you think legalizing marijuana is a good idea? Or a bad idea?”
Thirty-six percent of respondents described legalizing pot as a “bad idea,” while eight percent weren’t sure. The poll had a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

Photo: Britney McIntosh, The Commercial Appeal
Congressman Steve Cohen: “This is an issue that’s important. It’s a freedom issue. It’s an intelligence issue.”

​Let’s face it: Not many members of Congress will ever be caught sharing the stage with Cheech and Chong.

Then again, Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen isn’t very typical. The two-term Democratic Congressman from Memphis headlined the Marijuana Policy Project‘s 15th annual gala Wednesday night, where the famed stoner comedy duo of Cheech & Chong won a lifetime “Trailblazer” award for helping move marijuana into the mainstream.
“Most of my colleagues didn’t want to be here and aren’t here. Maybe that says something about my political judgment,” joked Cohen to a few hundred people at the $250-per-plate dinner, reports Ben Evans of The Associated Press.
Cohen, a longtime advocate for legalizing medical marijuana, also argues that the government is wasting billions of dollars and wrecking lives and families with its draconian punishments for minor drug offenses.
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