Colorado Lawmakers Approve Three Measures to Clarify Regulations on Recreational Marijuana Sales

Among numerous regulatory provisions included in the three measures passed by Colorado lawmakers today and yesterday, medical marijuana dispensaries will get a head start on applying for a recreational business license – a 9 month moratorium will be placed on individuals applstate-flag-coloradoying who aren’t currently running a dispensary. In addition, penalties for minors will be reduced to be analogous to a minor in possession of alcohol, and marijuana sales to tourists will be explicitly legal, though their purchase limit would be lowered to a quarter of an ounce, rather than an ounce.

The House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee approved House Bill 1317 with a 6-5 vote. Among other provisions, the measure would converts the medical marijuana enforcement division to the marijuana enforcement division and would give division the authority to regulate medical marijuana as well as recreational marijuana. The measure also requires that an individual running a marijuana retail outlet be a resident, and clarifies that tourists be legally authorized to purchase, possess and consume marijuana. The measure now moves to the House Committee on Finance. Continue reading

Half of Young Christians Support Legalizing Marijuana

A new poll, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PPRI), has found that half of all self-identified Christians aged 18-29 support legalizing marijuana. 50% support such a move, with 44% in opposition – 6% are undecross for Christian Formationcided. The widespread support among this group of individuals is a clear example of the changing times – only 22% of Christian seniors support legalization.

“While most religious Americans overall continue to oppose the legalization of marijuana, the generational sea change on this issue is also shifting the ground inside churches,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of PPRI, “Christian young adults are twice as likely as Christian senior adults to say both that marijuana should be legal and that using marijuana is morally acceptable.”

One of the most surprising findings of the poll, was that young Christians were more likely than the general public to view marijuana use as being morally acceptable – 52% compared to 49%.

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Brazil Supreme Court to Review Constitutionality of Drug War

Last week seven former ministers of justice in Brazil submitted a petition to the country’s Supreme Court dws_Brazil_Flag_1024x1024eclaring that criminalizing individuals for personal drug use is entirely unconstitutional. The former justices served between the years of 1995 and 2010.

The Brazil Supreme Court will now begin reviewing whether or not what the former justices are saying is legally correct- at least in their opinion. If the Court decides that the illegality of personal drug use has no constitutional basis, it would set precedent across the country that would decriminalize the personal possession of all drugs – something that’s had hugely positive effects in Portugal.

In the petition, the former justices called the drug war “failed”, stating that “treating a user as a citizen, by offering them structured treatment through harm-reducing policies, is more effective than stigmatizing them as a criminal.”

TheJointBlog

Activists Seek to Decriminalize Marijuana in Kansas City

In large part due to the efforts of Show-Me Cannabis, a non-profit, pro-legalization reform group working oshow-me-cannabis-regulation-missouri-smcrut of Missouri, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen recently voted 22-3 in favor of a measure to deprioritize marijuana possession. Now the group is taking aim at another major Missouri city – Kansas City. The organization is calling upon its widespread base of supporters to contact elected officials in the city, namely the city council and mayor, urging them to support decriminalizing the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana.

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Maine Lawmakers to Hold Public Hearing on Legalization Measure

On Friday, May 3rd, Maine’s Joint Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will be holding the firstlegalize_cannabis public hearing on LD 1229, the Marijuana Regulation Act. If passed, the measure would legalize the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, as well as the private cultivation of up to 6 plants. In addition, it would direct the state to license and regulate retail outlets which would sell marijuana to adults in the state – the measure would also allow farmers to begin cultivating hemp. Continue reading

Harvard Law School Offers Seminar on “Tax Planning for Marijuana Dealers”

As marijuana legalization – whether for medical or recreational purposes – becomes more mainstream, more people are realizing that the conflict between state and federal law is nothing short of a cluHarvardsterfuck, which results in confusing tax issues for those who are distributing marijuana legally under state law – such as medical marijuana dispensaries in California. Harvard professors have started to take note, recently offering a tax seminar that explicitly covered how to handle taxes – specifically obtaining tax deductions – even if you’re running a federally illegal marijuana business.

The seminar was presented yesterday, April 24th, by Professor Benjamin Leff of American University’s Law School. Professor Leff was presenting information from a paper he authored, titled, Tax Planning for Marijuana Dealers.

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Tennessee County Grand Jury Calls on State to Legalize Marijuana

The Hamilton County, Tennessee, Grand Jury has recommended that the state’s legislature legalize the possession of marijuana.

“In order to reduce the number of cases heard by the Grand Jury, and reduce the number of cases proceeding to 528320_583619288329957_1189393277_nCriminal Court, the State Legislature should consider legalizing the possession of a small amount of marijuana, which is not packaged for resale”, stated Judge Rebecca Stern in a recent report released by the panel.

If politicians in Tennessee take this advice to heart, and legalize marijuana, not only would it free up courts, it would free up police resources and manpower to focus on violent criminals, rather than persecuting people for possessing and consuming a non-lethal plant – this will simultaneously free up prison space, and will bring the state much needed tax revenue, if retail sales are also legalized.

Currently in Tennessee, possessing a half an ounce or less of marijuana is punishable by up to a year in prison – anything over half an ounce is considered distribution, and carries a prison sentence of up to 6 years.

TheJointBlog

Oregon Senate Passes Two Bills To Reduce Penalties For Marijuana On Same Day

Today, Oregon’s full Senate voted in favor of two measures which would significantly reduce the penalties associated with possessing, and even manufacturing marijuana. The Senate voted 22-7 to approve Senate Bill 40, andjilly-bean-medical-marijuana-weed-strain-thcf-jillybeanweed voted 18-11 to approve Senate Bill 82. Both measures now head to the state’s House of Representatives for consideration.

If Senate Bill 40 becomes law, some of the primary changes would be:

    • Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana would be reduced to a Class B violation, punishable by a fine of $260 (currently it’s a misdemeanor that carries with it a fine of $1,000).

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    Medical Marijuana Proving Helpful in Treating Epileptic Children

    Medical marijuana may be one of, if not the best medicine for children with epilepsy – though unfortunately studies are few and far between, given its federal illegality. Epilepsy is a severe disorder that leads to potentially hundreds of seizures a day, which often has a permanent effect on the psychological capability and welfare of those who have the disorder – it can also be intensely difficult for the parents, both financially and emotionally.

    In a report published today by the Washington Post, a pair of families are examined which have found relief for their children through the use of medical marijuana, in one instance dropping one of the child’s seizure rates from 300-400 seizures a day, down to 0.

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    New York Legislature Expected to Legalize Medical Marijuana, Governor Has “Open Mind”

    For years advocates have been fighting to allow those who can benefit from it to use marijuana legally for medical purposes in the State of New York – those efforts may finally be paying off. Recently New York’s Assembly Health Committee approved a measure to legalize medical marijuana, establishing state licensed dispensaries, and medical-marijuana-prescription-bottlauthorizing qualified patients, who become licensed through the state, to legally possess, consume and purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. The measure is expected to pass the full House.

    Once it passes the House, it will head to the Senate – the farthest a medical marijuana bill has ever made it in New York. In a recent press conference the prime sponsor of the bill, Senator Diane Savino, stated that there are 38 senators planning to vote for the measure. It needs 31 to advance. Continue reading