In a rare move for a company which sells alcoholic beverages, Budweiser sponsored an all-day concert yesterday – donating portions of their beer sales – to benefit Arkansas for Compassionate Care, a nonprofit organization working to put a medical cannabis legalization initiative on the Arkansas ballot next year – a similar initiative was narrowly defeated, finishing with 49% of the vote, in last year’s election.
By Johnny Green, TheWeedBlog.com
The marijuana activist organization ‘Fire It Up Kansas’ is back in the headlines, announcing that they are launching a billboard campaign to push for legalizing marijuana. The first billboard is being placed near the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, and more are expected to pop up soon. Currently under Kansas law, possession of any amount of marijuana (first offense) is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Any subsequent offense is a misdemeanor or felony (up to the judge), punishable by 10-42 months in jail/prison, and a $100,000 fine.
The voters of Lansing, Michigan (the state’s capital) have approve an initiative to legalize the possession, use and transfer of up to an ounce of cannabis, and the voters of Ferndale and Jackson have both approved initiatives decriminalizing cannabis possession, reducing the charge from an arrestable offense, to a simple ticket.
The Lansing initiative, as well as the Ferndale initiative, were approved overwhelmingly, with the proposals garnering roughly 64% and 72% of the vote. Voters in Jackson also brought forth a clear victory for cannabis law reform, approving decriminalization with 62% of the vote.
In a huge victory for the cannabis reform movement, the voters of Portland, Maine, have approved an initiative (Question 1) to legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. The proposal passed with roughly 70% of the vote.
Once this initiative takes effect, Portland’s cannabis policies will become one of the most lenient in the nation; by comparison, Washington and Colorado legalized just 1 ounce – the possession of 2.5 ounces remains a crime in both states (in Washington, it remains a felony).
By Phillip Smith, StoptheDrugWar.org
State and local elections Tuesday will see voters in Colorado, three Michigan cities, and Portland, Maine, deciding on marijuana policy reform questions. In Colorado, voters will decide whether to approve taxation of the legal marijuana industry, while in Michigan and Portland, voters will decide on decriminalization and legalization, respectively.
In Colorado, Proposition AA would impose a 15% excise tax on wholesale recreational marijuana transactions, as well as an additional 10% sales tax at the retail level. The measure is expected to pass despite the opposition of some vocal segments of the state’s marijuana community.
United for Care, a nonprofit organization – led by John Morgan, a former Obama fundraiser – which is working to legalize medicinal cannabis in the State of Florida through the initiative process, has officially garnered over 200,000 signatures to place their initiative on the 2014 ballot, in barely over 3 months of gathering.
By Johnny Green, TheWeedBlog.com
Yesterday an initiative to legalize cannabis was filed in Oregon. Here’s an update on that effort.
Oregon’s marijuana legalization efforts have been well documented by media outlets around the country. As I’ve said many times, Oregon should have joined Colorado and Washington in 2012, but national donors dropped the ball for one reason or another on Measure 80. I have stated over and over that if Oregon had a better initiative on the ballot, even without national campaign donors, it would have passed. Or, if national donors had donated even 1/5 what Colorado and Washington had to work with, it would have passed. Even with no money, and a poorly written initiative, we were within 3 percentage points of victory.
A new initiative to legalize cannabis, titled the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act of 2014, has been filed in the State of California. The proposal would legalize the possession, distribution, transfer and sell of cannabis for adults 21 and older.
This initiative, and the group behind it, is different than that of the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative, which was approved for circulation last month by the state’s attorney general. Both initiatives are aiming for the 2014 general election ballot.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has approved an initiative to legalize medical cannabis, which is aiming for the 2014 ballot.
Advocates of the proposal – which was submitted by Arkansans for Compassionate Care – are now clear to begin gathering the 62,507 valid signatures required to put the initiative to a vote next year.
Advocates in Alaska are hard at work on an initiative to legalize cannabis, with the goal of putting the proposal to a vote in November, 2014. The group is on track to meet this goal, and has collected nearly 30,000 signatures in less than 4 months, the initiative’s spokesman Timothy Hinterberger tells us. The group is required to submit 30,000 valid signatures by January to make the ballot.
Given that not all signatures will be valid (those not from registered Alaska voter), the group has set a goal of 45,000 signatures by December 1st (a self-imposed deadline, as they officially have until January), a goal they’re on track to make.