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Marijuana’s future in the United States remains a hot topic as Super Tuesday approaches. Formerly dismissed by virtually every presidential candidate, supporting pot legalization now seems a prerequisite for any
Democratic hopeful. The level of support varies, however, with some candidates preferring giving states the right to choose, while others are pledging to legalize marijuana through executive action if need be.

Before you submit your ballot for the March 3 count, read the past and present pot opinions of the eight Democratic contenders below.

Two new studies on marijuana consumption and acceptance show changing landscapes in public support of states’ rights and a stark admission on workplace use.

One recent study was commissioned by Marijuana Majority, an organization that works to spotlight marijuana as a growing mainstream issue. The survey questioned 1,500 participants about their ideas on marijuana consumer rights, finding 76 percent of participants across the political spectrum (Democrat, Republican and anything in between) believed the federal government should let states implement their own laws regarding marijuana.

Grijalva.House.Gov

Arizona’s marijuana-legalization ballot initiative, Proposition 205, has been endorsed by the Arizona Democratic Party and several other notable groups and politicians.

Voters will decide the fate of the proposition on November 8. If it’s approved, adults 21 and older could legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana, grow six live plants at home (unless a landlord says no), and buy cannabis products at a limited system of retail cannabis shops like those in the states of Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia has adopted a bold pro-marijuana platform that could have an effect on Arizona’s upcoming legalization vote.

With heavy input from Bernie Sanders supporters, the draft of the platform document was publicized earlier this month and showed a heavy lean to the left wing of the party. Regarding marijuana, the draft suggested a move toward the type of legal tolerance that polls show most Americans want.

There wasn’t much talk of marijuana inside the arena at this year’s Democratic National Convention.

The industry was all over Philly.

The following is excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

Marijuana wasn’t often mentioned in the Democratic National Convention’s official program.

Unofficially, it was the “star.” A trade association had a party. MPP had a fundraiser. Marchers carried a 51-foot joint.

At Marijuana.com, Tom Angell (@TomAngell) unearthed the Tim Kaine quote, “I actually kind of like this option of the states as labs and they can experiment [with legalizing]and we can see what happens.” NORML revised its rating on the vice presidential candidate from F to C. (Last week, I referred to MPP ratings for presidential candidates as NORML ratings. I regret the error.)

Marijuana Business Daily interviews former U.S. deputy attorney general James Cole, whose eight-point 2013 memo gave the industry confidence that it could grow without federal prosecution. “It wasn’t really intended to be a huge policy shift as much as reacting to the situation and trying to use some common sense,” he said.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) wants more lawmakers to support legalization.

Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank (D) said heroin and crystal meth should be legalized. “We should outlaw a drug if it is likely to make you mistreat others. People don’t hit other people in the head because they’re on heroin; they hit other people in the head because they need to get money to buy heroin.”

The New Yorker profiles Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate and a legalization supporter. He said he would not use cannabis as president.

Quartz introduces us to Tick Segerblom (D), a dogged cannabis supporter in the Nevada State Senate.

The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeals Board said cannabis sellers can’t receive federal trademark protection.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) decriminalized possession, making the state the third largest after New York and California to do so.

About half of the 100 Oregon communities that don’t allow REC businesses will vote on whether to lift their bans in November.

Ohio legislators knew that the provision in the state’s MED law to guarantee 15% of business licenses might be unconstitutional but they kept it in to win votes, the AP reports.

Florida billionaire Carol Jenkins Barnett, a Publix supermarket heir, donated $800,000 to oppose the state’s MED initiative.

A Los Angeles county ballot initiative that proposed a pot tax to benefit the homeless has been shelved. Canna Law Blog dives into the business climate in L.A, one of the world’s largest cannabis markets.

The DEA compared home grows to “meth houses.”

Italian lawmakers are beginning to debate legalization. Opponents include Pope Francis. The Italian military grows MED for the country.

Democrats have adopted a platform that their members are trumpeting as the “most progressive platform in party history” — and when it comes to marijuana, Dems aren’t just blowing smoke. The Party of the Donkey has taken a position on marijuana that no major political party in the United States has taken before.

The preliminary draft of the platform, released on July 1 by theDemocratic National Convention Committee, asserts that states should be “laboratories of democracy on the issue of marijuana.”

It goes on to say states that wish to decriminalize marijuana should be allowed to do so.

California’s dominant political party is saying yes to drugs.

The California Democratic Party’s executive board met in Long Beach over the weekend. It voted to endorse a number of ballot measures, including the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which is headed for your vote in November.

The initiative would legalize holding up to an ounce of weed for those older than 21 — no doctor’s note necessary.

If Republicans in Nevada want to hold on to their seats as well as control the way cannabis is regulated in the future in the state, they’d better legalize this session.
That’s the message from state Sen. Tick Segerblom, a Democrat from Las Vegas, who says Republicans – who control both the state House and Senate – need to get with the times.

Mikel Weisser.


The first member of the U.S. House of Representatives who publicly admits to “dabbing” could be Arizona Democrat Mikel Weisser.
The odds may be slim of this occurring since Weisser’s facing off against incumbent Republican Paul Gosar in expansive and conservative Congressional District 4, which includes Kingman, Prescott and part of Maricopa County. He’s a former plumber and middle-school teacher, an ultra-leftie, and the current leader of Safer Arizona, a group that tried unsuccessfully to get a cannabis-legalization measure on the ballot this year.
Weisser brings a plethora of personal experience to the national debate over loosened marijuana laws — in fact, when we last met him, he brought it in an Altoid tin. More at the Phoenix New Times.

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