According to a new poll administered by the respected Reason Foundation, 72% of Americans believe that the federal government should not arrest people who use cannabis in states that have voted to legalize it, such as Colorado and Washington. On top of this, 68% feel that the federal government should leave growers alone in these states, and 64% oppose the feds going after those who are selling legally under state law.
The poll, which asked a plethora of questions, most unrelated to cannabis reform, found that 53% believe that cannabis should be treated the same as alcohol.
The poll surveyed 1,000 adults, and has a 3.8% margin of error.
California’s Harborside Health Center, featured on Discovery Channel’s Weed Wars and boasted as the largest medical cannabis safe access point in the country, has release a Dr. Seuss inspired video, titled The Haag.
The video, which was sent out in a press release, uses Dr. Seuss style animation and rhyming to summarize the current travesty of our medical cannabis policies, as well as the attacks on Harborside’s clinic, which has faced continual attempts to be shut down. The title is in reference to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, who has been one of the guiding forces in attempting to close the dispensary.
“We could’ve made a documentary that showed how stressed out and worried we are, how petrified our families are, not to mention our employees…Being in the cross-hairs of the feds is scary as hell. But one of the powerful lessons that cannabis has to teach us, one of the healing properties of the plant, is the sense of humor that it brings out in us–the childlike quality that should be a part of our adult lives and is often lost in our modern and hectic world. Cannabis can help restore this and that is the spirit in which ‘The Haag’ was made”, said Dr. Andrew DeAngelo, Director of Harborside, in the press release.
Arizona’s first medical cannabis dispensary, Arizona Organix, will host an open house for the public on February 2nd. A tour will be offered, and being a qualified patient isn’t necessary.
The Glendale access point, opened just a couple months back, is hoping to teach the public about the benefits of medical cannabis, show how it’s helping patients in the state, and display how a legal access point is run. In a state where there’s still substantial controversy over cannabis, even for medicinal use, an access point opening their doors to the public is likely to help break through a lot of stigmas.
Arizona Organix is requiring that people RSVP for a tour, though there’s no limit on participants.
Arizona Organix Open House Information: AZ Organix, 5301 W. Glendale Ave. February 2nd, 8 A.M. to 10 A.M. Must RSVP to 623-937-2752 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Barely over two weeks ago San Diego mayor Bob Filner made national headlines, and caught the praise of cannabis reform advocates across the nation, when he ordered an end to the attacks on safe access points within the city.
It turns out, the first-term mayor was either blowing hot air out of his ass, or quickly fell to political or monetary pressure.
The mayor has quickly backed down on this promise, and took part in a joint statement with the city attorney and city council president, telling individuals not to open medical cannabis dispensaries. This statements comes around the same time as the city’s council voted unanimously to continue civil actions against access points in the city.
New Mexico Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) wants the people of his state to be given the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis.
The senator plans to construct a resolution that would be voted on within the state’s legislature, that would be sent to the 2014 general election ballot if it were to pass both the house and the senate.
“Permits to produce it, permits to sell it – all those could be revenue streams for local and state government…..We’re also destroying a lot of lives in the process as we send people to jail or prosecute them,” said Ortiz y Pino on the issue.
As reported by the Salt Lake City Tribune, Roman Juarez-Sanchez of Compton, California, is facing life in prison for over 4,200 cannabis plants found on U.S. Forest land in Iron County, Utah. His sentencing is set for April 1st.
Two other individuals have pleaded guilty to manufacturing/cultivating a controlled substance, and Juarez-Sanchez faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.
The DEA, who are clearly proud of themselves that a man faces life in prison for growing a non-lethal part of nature, called the bust a “victory”.
The legislation, sponsored by a handful of bipartisan legislators, would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, as well as a limited number of home-grown plants – as long as you’re 21 or older.
In addition, HB 492 would allow for licensed facilities to manufacture cannabis, which would be sold through licensed and regulated retail stores. You can read the entirety of the text here.
In an 8-4 vote, the Los Angeles City Council has put a measure further regulating medical marijuana dispensaries to a vote of the people – the vote will take place May 21st, 2013.
The measure, which is an accumulation of much-discussion amongst the council, comes after a back-and-forth from the council that’s left people confused, and unsure of how to move forward.
If passed, the bill would drop the number of dispensaries, which is currently around 1,000, to roughly 130. In addition, it would ban locations from operating within 1,000 feet of a school, or 600 feet from certain public places like libraries (huh?). In addition, it slightly increases the cost to obtain a medical cannabis business license.
The news comes with two other initiatives already headed for the ballot, and as activists are attempting to get a statewide initiative on the 2014 ballot to expand upon California’s current medical cannabis policy.
In a recently released report, Canada’s Liberal Party has put forth their reasoning for why the country should legalize cannabis, while also laying out important pointers in assuring that the system works:
The legal status quo for the criminal regulation of marijuana continues to endanger Canadians by generating significant resources for gang-related violent criminal activity and weapons smuggling – a reality which could be very easily confronted by the regulation and legitimization of Canada’s marijuana industry.
Hammering the nail on the head, the report lays out two vital things to consider when it comes to legally regulated cannabis; the quality must be top-notch, and the price must be cheap. Otherwise the black-market, which has grown increasingly dangerous and leads to the direct enrichment of criminal organizations, will win.
During the current legislative session Washington State legislators will be considering House Bill 1084, being referred to as the Ric Smith Memorial Act. The name is in honor of the recently deceased activist, who many saw as a hero within the cannabis reform movement.
The core function of this legislation is bringing defined arrest protection for medical cannabis patients in the state.
With the passage of Initiative 502 in November, some may see this as unnecessary, but in reality it’s big, long-overdo step forward for patient protection. Under I-502, portions of which took effect on December 6th, 2012, patients (as well as anyone 21 or older) now have arrest protection for possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. The quandary lies in the fact that under Washington State law, an individual can possess up to 16 ounces, as well as grow up to 15 plants, with a valid authorization.