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Graphic: www.thefreshscent.com

​It’s one of the favorite arguments of the prohibitionists: Smoking pot leads to “the hard stuff,” and that’s why pot should remain just as illegal as, say, heroin.

Trouble is, there’s almost no empirical evidence backing the so-called “gateway theory,” and a new study pokes another hole in the hoary old argument.
The study, based at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, evaluated the gateway theory using cross-national data regarding “consistency and associations of the order of initiation of drug use.”

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www.cdc.coop

​A Washington state marijuana activist group has publicly called out Attorney General Rob McKenna for his pot-hating ways.

Cannabis Defense Coalition (CDC), a nonprofit member cooperative focused on marijuana education and activism in Washington State, released a new poster which calls the “law and order” AG to task for trampling the rights of medical marijuana patients and recreational users.
“Attorney General Rob McKenna is one of the most vocal anti-marijuana zealots elected to public office in Washington State,” said Ben Livingston, CDC spokesman.
“His office is largely responsible for the 
ridiculous Department of Corrections policy on medical marijuana use by parolees,” Livingston said. “And he frequently takes time to spew federal anti-drug propaganda about marijuana’s increased potency being of such concern that we should ‘stay the course’ on the government’s war on marijuana.”

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Photo: Westword
Rob Corry: “The overall impact is going to be to harm people and cause human suffering”

​On Monday, the Denver City Council passed rules intended to regulate the city’s blossoming medical marijuana industry — and most members of the overflowing crowd weren’t happy with the results, reports Michael Roberts at Westword.

You should definitely count activist/attorney Rob Corry among those unhappy. Corry, who’d already threatened to file a lawsuit against Denver if the ordinance passed without significant change. Flash forward to Tuesday morning, when the council did exactly that — and Corry was quick to reemphasize his statement.
“If we can assemble an appropriate coalition of patients, caregivers, property owners and business owners, we will evaluate our legal options,” Corry said. “We’re obviously very disappointed by this unanimous smackdown of patients and our constitutional rights.”

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Graphic: S.F. Weekly
California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano: Leading the charge for legalization

​California’s landmark marijuana legalization bill, AB 390, was approved 4-3 by a committee of the State Assembly on Tuesday. This is the first time in United States history that a state legislature has ever passed — or even considered — a proposal to make marijuana legal, taxed, and regulated.

Authored by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-S.F.), the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act was approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee, which Ammiano chairs.
“This historic vote marks the formal beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition in the United States,” said Stephen Gutwillig, California state director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Making marijuana legal has now entered the public dialogue in a credible way.”

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CMMNJ.org
Good going, Garden State!

​It’s finally happening: Medical marijuana is coming to New Jersey.

Both the state General Assembly and the Senate approved a medical marijuana bill Monday, reports pressofatlanticcity.com.
The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Jon Corzine, who has already said he’d sign it.
Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) said the bill is meant to benefit seriously ill people.
“For some New Jerseyans suffering from chronic and terminal diseases, medical marijuana represents a small glimmer of hope for relief from their symptoms,” Whelen said.
The bill disallows anyone under the influence of medical marijuana from operating a motor vehicle.
Monday afternoon, a group of patients suffering from various debilitating diseases convened at the statehouse and urged legislators to make legal medical marijuana a reality in New Jersey. Nearly a dozen medical cannabis supporters sang songs and told stories at a pro-legalization news conference.

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photobucket.com
If you live in Washington, you may get a chance to vote on legalizing marijuana this November.

​Five marijuana activists have filed a ballot initiative that would legalize adult cannabis possession in Washington state.

Its sponsors include two Seattle lawyers as well as Vivian McPeak, director of the annual Seattle Hempfest, probably the largest marijuana gathering on the planet.
The group, calling itself Sensible Washington, said it is time that Washington’s state government stop wasting tax money on police, court and jail costs for people who use or grow marijuana.
Douglas Hiatt, a lawyer who represents medical marijuana patients, told The Associated Press after filing the initiative Monday that the bill would remove all state penalties for adult possession of marijuana.

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Photo: salem-news.com
An Oregon medical marijuana garden

​Medical marijuana advocates have turned in the first batch of signatures in a drive to place an initiative measure on Oregon’s November ballot to legalize cannabis dispensaries in the state.

Initiative 28 would create a system in which state-licensed cannabis growers would distribute their crops to dispensaries which would be regulated by the state health department, reports Brad Cain of The Associated Press.
Under I-28, medical marijuana patients with a doctor’s recommendation to use the herb could buy pot from the dispensaries, instead of having to find a personal grower/caretaker, figuring out how to grow pot themselves, or resorting to the black market.

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www.marijuanaconversation.org

​Replacing criminal sanctions for marijuana with a $100 civil fine is among the ideas up for discussion as the Washington Legislature begins its 60-day session Monday.

Travel show host Rick Steves and Washington lawmakers including Democratic State Rep. Brendan Williams of Olympia will take part in a panel discussion on the need to change state marijuana laws at 6:30 Tuesday evening in Olympia, reports Brad Shannon of The Olympian.
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles and State Rep. Mary Helen Roberts are also on the panel, which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) organized at the Capitol Theater.
The 30-minute informational video, “Marijuana: It’s Time For A Conversation,” hosted by Steves, will also be shown, according to the ACLU.

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Photo: Amanda Brown/The Star-Ledger
Sandy Faiola, of Asbury Park, and members of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey at a protest in August

​The New Jersey State Assembly has just approved a bill which legalizes medical marijuana in the Garden State.

The bill now goes to the State Senate for its approval later today, before the end of this lame duck session, and Gov. Jon Corzine is expected to sign it into law, reports Brian Thompson of NBC New York.
Monday afternoon, a group of patients suffering from various debilitating diseases convened at the statehouse and urged legislators to make legal medical marijuana a reality in New Jersey. Nearly a dozen medical cannabis supporters sang songs and told stories at a pro-legalization news conference.

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Image by Cooljuno 411

​On Tuesday, the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee will conduct a hearing and vote on A.B. 390, legislation that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

This will be the first time California’s legislature has ever considered repealing marijuana prohibition, which has been in place in the state since 1913, and the first time in United States history that any state legislative committee will vote on a proposal to make marijuana legal, taxed, and regulated.
A.B. 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, was authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), the chair of the committee.
A press conference led by Assemblyman Ammiano will follow the vote at about 10 a.m., outside the committee room.
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