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Ballot Initiatives

US FL: OPED: Misinformation and Fear Infiltrate Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 11 Aug 2014 - When I asked my oncologist why she wasn't more familiar with alternatives to chemotherapy and radiation to treat breast cancer, she said she was too busy to learn about natural, holistic therapies. They certainly don't teach them in medical school.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US FL: OPED: Medical Community Opposes Amendment

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Mon, 08/11/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 11 Aug 2014 - Congratulations to the Florida Medical Association for passing a resolution on July 27 to oppose Amendment 2. The FMA is the latest member of the medical community to come out overwhelmingly in opposition to allowing people to buy marijuana in stores across the state based on a recommendation - not a prescription - from a doctor. It continues to baffle me that despite this strong opposition from doctors that the media reporting on this issue are not covering this angle. After all, Amendment 2 is a medical issue, or at least that is how it is advertised.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US OK: OPED: Cannabis Policy Puts Citizens In Crosshairs

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 07:00
Tulsa World, 10 Aug 2014 - As a longtime practicing attorney engaged in criminal defense, I have handled hundreds of marijuana-related cases in city, state and federal courts throughout Oklahoma, and nationally. I have witnessed the damaging effects to individual liberty and a multitude of barriers to legitimate employment from its classification as a Schedule I controlled substance.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US UT: Cities Take Aim At Legal Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Herald, 09 Aug 2014 - PROVO -- City mayors and a county commissioner were recently warned of the impacts the cities and county may have if recreational marijuana was ever made legal in Utah. On Thursday night at a meeting of the Utah County Council of Governments, a monthly meeting of county and city leaders, the county's Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment made a brief presentation informing the leaders of what has happened in cities and states that have already moved forward with legalizing pot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Is Marijuana Legalization Good For Hazel Park

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 07:00
The Oakland Press, 09 Aug 2014 - When Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012, nobody knew exactly how would it affect the state's economy. But when the numbers starting coming in, it turned out that pot legalization proved to be a good source of revenue for the state. One report said Colorado expected about $184 million in tax revenues in the first 18 months since the law passed.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- August 8, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 19:15

Things get slow in the dog days of summer, but there's still news from the legal marijuana states, California continues to grapple with regulating medical marijuana, and a couple of items from Britain suggest change could be in the air there. Let's get to it:

Marijuana Policy

[image:1 align:right caption:true]ACLU of Washington Joins Fight Against Local Marijuana Store Bans. The ACLU of Washington announced today that it is representing three state-licensed marijuana business owners who have filed a lawsuit challenging the city of Fife's ban on marijuana operations. The business owners and the ACLU argue that local bans violate I-502, the voter initiative that legalized marijuana in the state. You can view the ACLU's pleadings in the case here.

Colorado Health Department Says Teen Marijuana Use Is Down Since Dispensaries Came, Voters Approved Legalization. An annual survey of teen drug use in the state has found that marijuana use has been declining since hundreds of medical marijuana outlets opened in the state in 2009 and since the state legalized adult marijuana use and sales in late 2012. Current use among Colorado teens dropped from 24.8% in 2009 to 20% in 2013. Meanwhile, nationally, teen current use has increased, from 20.8% in 2009 to 23.4% last year.

Wichita Decriminalization Initiative Campaign Comes Up Short on Signatures. There will be no popular vote on decriminalization in Wichita this year. Election officials said that campaigners didn't have enough valid voter signatures to qualify. Although they handed in about 3,500 signatures and only needed 2,928, they still came up 180 valid voter signatures short. They say they will now press the city council to act on decriminalization.

Medical Marijuana

California Statewide Regulation Bill Goes to Assembly Appropriations Committee Next Week. The Assembly Appropriations will examine Senate Bill 1262, the law enforcement- and local government-backed bill to regulate the state's medical marijuana industry next Wednesday. That's the last day the committee meets this session. The bill has already passed the Senate, but must pass the Assembly by month's end or it dies. The bill link above may not represent the latest changes to it; new updates are expected today. The bill has divided the state's medical marijuana community, with some groups supporting it as is and some demanding changes to make it friendlier to patients and the industry.

International

British Liberal Democrats Will End Jail for Drug Possession, Nick Clegg Says. Liberal Democratic Party leader Nick Clegg has said that if the Lib Dems win the next election, they will move to abolish prison sentences for simple drug possession, even for Class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Half of the people currently being jailed for drug possession in Britain are being held for marijuana offenses. This call for effective decriminalization puts Clegg and the Lib Dems at odds with their governing coalition senior partners, the Tories. Meanwhile, the Home Office is currently undertaking a review of British drug policy.

British Government to Provide Foil to Heroin Users to Encourage Smoking Rather Than Injecting. In a harm reduction move, Britain will begin providing free foil to heroin users to encourage them to smoke the drug instead of injecting it. Injection drug users are more likely to contract blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. The move was approved last year by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which said it could also help move addicts toward recovery.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US NM: Pot Petition Signature Drive Comes Up Short

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 08 Aug 2014 - Supporters: City Clerk's Office 'Arbitrarily' Disqualified Names The petition drive to reduce marijuana penalties failed to collect enough valid signatures to trigger an election on the issue, according to figures released by the Albuquerque City Clerk's Office.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: Editorial: High Times In D.C.

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 08 Aug 2014 - A November Referendum Could Make the District a Farm Territory Washington's corridors of power may soon reek of something more pungent than mendacity. D.C. voters will decide on Nov. 4 whether the nation's capital will join several jurisdictions across American to legalize marijuana.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- August 7, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 19:56

The legalization debate packed 'em in in Anchorage, California's medical marijuana regulation bill is going down to the wire, Massachusetts has a new substance abuse law, China executes two for drugs, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Alaska Legalization Debate Draws Big Crowd. The Wilda Marston Theatre in Anchorage was packed last night as supporters and opponents of the legalization initiative, Ballot Measure 2, duked it out. Click on the link to get the flavor of the debate.

NJ Weedman Becomes a Newspaper Columnist. Longtime New Jersey marijuana activist Ed Forchion, better known as the NJ Weedman, is about to get a new platform. He announced today that he now has a new gig: columnist for the The Trentonian newspaper, where he will produce the "Cannabis Column."

Lewiston, Maine, Initiative Campaign to Turn in Signatures Tomorrow. Citizens for a Safer Maine, the organizers of the Lewiston initiative to legalize marijuana possession for adults, will turn in more than 1,250 signatures tomorrow. They need 859 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. They will also hold a media availability at 11:00am in front of city hall.

Poll Finds Strong Support for Marijuana Reform in Pennsylvania. A new poll from Keystone Analytics has strong support for marijuana reform, with 47% supporting medical marijuana and another 22% saying they supported legalization for any reason. Only 27% thought marijuana should remain illegal for all purposes. The poll has a +/- 4.4% margin of error.

Medical Marijuana

California Still Struggling with Statewide Regulation Bill. The clock is ticking on Senate Bill 1262, the last effort to regulate medical marijuana statewide still alive in the legislature. It needs to pass before month's end or it dies, but the marijuana community itself is divided over it, and it's not clear that the interests of lawmakers, law enforcement, cities and counties, and the medical marijuana industry can all be aligned. As of now, the most recent version of the bill is still supported by the police chiefs and Americans for Safe Access. But California NORML, the Drug Policy Alliance and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition oppose it unless it's amended. Click on the title link for more details.

Prescription Opiates

Massachusetts Governor Signs Substance Abuse Bill. Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has signed into law Senate Bill 2142, which expands access to drug treatment by requiring insurers to pay for up to 14 days of inpatient care and bars them from requiring prior authorization. The bill also allows the public health commissioner to classify a drug as "dangerous" for up to a year, effectively banning its use in the state, and it creates a commission to come up with substitutes for opiates. And it has new reporting requirements on overdose deaths, infants born exposed to drugs, and for the state's prescription monitoring program. The bill is a response to increases in opiate addiction and overdose deaths in the state. But it contains no provisions explicitly protecting access to opiates for patients suffering from chronic pain.

International

China Executes Two South Korean Drug Traffickers. Two South Korean citizens were executed for drug trafficking in China yesterday. They were killed after being found guilty in Intermediate People's Court in Baishan, Jilin Province of smuggling about 30 pounds of amphetamines. The two men were the first South Koreans executed in China in a decade. Along with Iran, China is one of the world's leading executioners of drug offenders.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Marijuana State Laws Will Still Be Enforced

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Tribune, 07 Aug 2014 - Advocate: 'I Just Think Voters Spoke on It. I Figured It Was Going to Pass.' Hazel Park and Oak Park voters who expected legalized marijuana after Tuesday's vote may face some disappointment. The two marijuana decriminalization ballot measures passed by voters are most likely a statement rather than a full-on legalization.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: Pot Legalization On Ballot For DC Voters In November

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 07 Aug 2014 - Sale of Marijuana Would Remain Illegal D.C. residents will vote on legalizing the recreational use and possession of marijuana when they head to the polls in November. The D.C. Board of Elections voted unanimously Wednesday to allow the ballot initiative to go before voters.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: City Voters To Decide On Marijuana Use In November

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 07 Aug 2014 - D.C. residents will vote in November on whether to legalize marijuana use in the nation's capital after elections officials decided Wednesday to place the question on the ballot. The three-member D.C. Board of Elections voted unanimously Wednesday morning to approve the ballot initiative, certifying that activists gathered the tens of thousands of voter signatures necessary to qualify for the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US DC: Marijuana Legalization To Be On Ballot

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 07 Aug 2014 - District of Columbia residents will vote in November on whether to legalize marijuana, the Board of Elections said Wednesday. Officials said more than 27,000 signatures submitted by advocates in favor of the initiative were valid. The measure would allow adults to possess and cultivate, though not sell, limited amounts of the drug. The issue seems likely to set off a confrontation with Congress. Representative Andy Harris, Republican of Maryland, led an effort to block the District of Columbia's law decriminalizing some marijuana possession, which took effect last month. - --- MAP posted-by: Matt
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US CA: Costa Mesa Council Rejects Pot Law

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 07 Aug 2014 - Proposal on Marijuana Dispensaries Fails to Gain Enough Votes for the Nov. 4 Ballot. It was called an excellent law, possibly one of the best in California. But such sentiment didn't sway the Costa Mesa City Council enough to put a medical marijuana proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- August 6, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 19:31

DC will vote on legalizing marijuana possession and cultivation, two more Michigan towns vote to decriminalize, Maine's governor unveils a plan to force people with drug felonies to undergo drug tests before getting welfare benefits, an Austrian marijuana legalization initiative gets underway, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

DC Marijuana Initiative Makes November Ballot. The DC Board of Elections today officially certified for the November ballot an initiative that will legalize the cultivation and possession of small amounts of marijuana. DC now joins Alaska and Oregon in voting on marijuana legalization. The campaign needed some 23,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. It had turned in more than twice that number of raw signatures.

Advocates Launch Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana. The Marijuana Policy Project has formed the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana in a bid to influence the legalization debate there. The state legislature has authorized a study of the issue, but the coalition has been formed "to make sure we get the entire state talking about the potential benefits of marijuana regulation." [Editor's Note: The web site in the title link doesn't appear to be live yet, but should be soon.]

Two Detroit Suburbs Vote to Decriminalize Pot Possession. Residents of the Detroit suburbs of Hazel Park and Oak Park voted Tuesday to approve municipal charter amendments decriminalizing the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Nine other Michigan cities, including Detroit, have done the same since 2010. Another dozen or so will likely vote on similar initiatives this fall.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Veteran Sues Employer for Wrongful Firing. A veteran and licensed physician's assistant who is enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program is suing Presbyterian Health Care Services after being fired for testing positive for marijuana. When she provided them with her state-issued medical marijuana card, they informed her that they did not recognize it and that her termination would stand. The lawsuit has just been filed in state court for violation of the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NM Statute § 28-1-7).

Drug Testing

Maine Governor Announces Plan to Drug Test Convicted Drug Felons Who Apply for Welfare. Gov. Paul LePage (R) announced today that the state will start forcing people with drug felonies to undergo and pass drug tests before they can apply for or receive welfare benefits. The move is authorized under a 2011 law that had never been implemented. LePage and legislative allies had tried to pass a bill mandating drug testing for all welfare recipients, but failed. LePage is making welfare his signature issue as he runs for re-election. Both of LePage's opponents in the governor's race, Democrat Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler, also said they support testing for drug felons.

International

Austrian Marijuana Legalization Initiative Campaign Gets Underway. The group Legalize! Austria today filed a parliamentary citizen's initiative to remove marijuana from the scope of the Austrian Narcotics Act, which would effectively legalize it. The measure calls for marijuana to be sold, taxed, and regulated through licensed distributors, with an exception for personal cultivation.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

DC Marijuana Initiative Makes November Ballot

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 17:53

The DC Board of Elections today officially certified for the November ballot an initiative that will legalize the cultivation and possession of small amounts of  marijuana. DC now joins Alaska and Oregon in voting on marijuana legalization this fall.

[image:1 align:right]The board certified Ballot Initiative 71, sponsored by the DC Cannabis Campaign. The campaign needed some 23,800 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. It had turned in more than twice that number of raw signatures.

The initiative will allow adults 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants -- with no more than three being mature -- in their private residences. Adults will also be allowed to give away up to an ounce of marijuana, but any sales would still be criminal. The initiative will also remove penalties for using and selling marijuana paraphernalia.

Because DC law forbids taxation through the initiative process, the initiative does not create a system of taxed and regulated marijuana sales. If the initiative passes, it will be up to the DC city council to take the final steps toward full-blown legal marijuana commerce in the nation's capital.

"It is clear from the number of signatures the campaign was able to submit that the citizens of the district would like to have a say in reforming the marijuana laws of the District," said Dr. Malik Burnett, vice-chair of the DC Cannabis Campaign and the DC Policy Manager for Drug Policy Action, the lobbying and campaign arm of the Drug Policy Alliance. "The policies of prohibition in the District have been borne on the backs of black and brown men for decades, by voting YES on 71, District residents can put an end to this failed policy."

"This initiative comes at a great time and in a great place," said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. "The District has one of the country's highest rates of racial disparities in arrest and is right at Congress's doorstep, where more and more political leaders from both sides of the aisle are beginning to follow their constituents in recognizing that drug policy reform is one of the most effective ways to address the problems of our current criminal justice system."

According to an ACLU report released last year, Washington, DC has the highest arrest rate for marijuana possession in the country, with blacks more than eight times as likely as white to be arrested, despite similar rates of use.

Led by longtime DC political activist Adam Eidinger, the DC Cannabis Campaign counted on support of local citizens, Drug Policy Action, and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps to come up with the money to make the ballot. Now, it's on to winning in November.

Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Cities Approve Legal Marijuana

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 07:00
The Daily Tribune, 06 Aug 2014 - Voters in the cities of Hazel Park and Oak Park passed similar ordinance amendments that will allow for individuals ages 21 and older to legally use, possess or transfer less than one ounce of marijuana on private property. The Hazel Park ballot measure passed with 763 "yes" votes and 460 "no" votes with all precincts reporting. The Oak Park ballot measure passed with 2,161 "yes" votes and 1,913 "no" votes with all precincts reporting.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Marijuana Decriminalization Among Ballot Proposals

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 07:00
The Oakland Press, 06 Aug 2014 - Voters in the cities of Hazel Park and Oak Park passed similar ordinance amendments that will allow for individuals ages 21 and older to legally use, possess or transfer less than 1-ounce of marijuana on private property. The Hazel Park ballot measure passed with 763 "yes" votes and 460 "no" votes with all precincts reporting. The Oak Park ballot measure passed with 2,161 "yes" votes and 1,913 "no" votes with all precincts reporting.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

US MI: Hazel Park, Oak Park Approve Pot Proposals

Ballot Initiatives (MAP) - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 07:00
Detroit Free Press, 06 Aug 2014 - Voters said yes to decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana in Hazel Park and Oak Park today, according to unofficial election results. The measure would allow the use, possession or transfer of less than 1 ounce of marijuana on private property not used by the public by a person who is at least 21 years old.
Categories: Ballot Initiatives

Chronicle AM -- August 5, 2014

Ballot Measures (STDW) - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 19:30

It's the slow season in Congress and at state houses, but it's the beginning of eradication season in the fields. Plus, the Oregon legalization initiative has raised a million bucks, the drug war racks up two more domestic deaths, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Oregon Legalization Campaign Has Raised A Million Dollars. The New Approach Oregon marijuana legalization initiative campaign has raised a million dollars so far, according to campaign finance documents. The initiative has qualified for the ballot, and will appear as Measure 91. The largest individual donations are $150,000 from Washington, DC, libertarian activist Philip Harvey and $100,000 from New York fragrance heir Henry van Ameringen. The initiative has also received substantial donations from the Drug Policy Alliance's campaign arm and from the estate of Progressive Insurance founder Peter Lewis.

NORML Founder Says Legalization Should Include Home Cultivation. In an essay-length blog post, NORML founder Keith Stroup made a strong case for allowing people to grow their own under legalization. "At NORML," he writes, "we have always supported the right of individuals to grow their own marijuana, as a logical option compared to purchasing it from licensed dispensaries. On one hand, growing your own just makes common sense. We can brew up to 100 gallons of home-brew beer in our basements under current law, even if very few Americans actually make their own beer. The same should be true for cultivating our own marijuana." Stroup stopped short of criticizing initiative organizers who don't include home growing, however, saying, "If it appears we can win these initiatives with a clause permitting personal cultivation, we should obviously include the provision; but if it appears the initiative might well fail if personal cultivation is included, we should pass the initiative now, and be prepared to come back and add personal cultivation when we have the political support to accomplish that."

California GOP Attorney General Candidate Says Legalize It. A leading candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination has called for marijuana legalization. "My position is it needs to be legalized," candidate Ron Gold told KCRA 3 in a one-on-one interview Monday. Incumbent attorney general, Democrat Kamala Harris didn't take the bait, but instead responded that it should be up to the people. "She believes that this is an evolving issue that requires that we monitor what is happening in Colorado and other states, and that ultimately, this should be up to a vote of the people," a Harris spokesman said.

Albuquerque City Council to Consider Decriminalization. The city council heard debate on a decriminalization measure Monday night and will vote on it on August 18. The measure would make possession of small amounts punishable by no more than a $25 fine. A decriminalization initiative is now in the signature-counting process, as well.

Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Issues Draft Rules for Medical Marijuana. The state Health Department has issued draft rules for applications and oversight for medical marijuana manufacturers. Public comment can be made by going here. The department will also host a public meeting for people interested in the manufacturing process.

Law Enforcement

The Year's 28th and 29th Drug War Deaths. A North Carolina man fleeing a DEA-instigated traffic stop in a drug investigation struck another vehicle head-on on a rain-slick highway last Friday night, killing both drivers. Fleeing driver Angel Santana, 52, and innocent motorist Tamar White, 55, become the 28th and 29th persons to die in US domestic drug law operations so far this year.

International

Colombian Army Eradicates Coca Plants. Colombian soldiers destroyed some 14,000 coca plants in Choco department over the weekend. They have also eradicated 45 acres of coca and confiscated 350 pounds of coca seeds and 225 pounds of coca leaves. Colombia says the drug trade in the region benefits leftist guerrillas of the FARC and the National Liberation Army.

Turkey Marijuana Eradication Operation Gets Underway. Turkish police have seized more than 200,000 marijuana plants and more than a thousand pounds of processed hash in operations in Diyarbakir province in southeastern Turkey. Turkey accuses the Kurdish rebel group PKK of dominating the drug trade in the region. Last year, the Turks destroyed more than 49 million plants in the region and confiscated 76 tons of hash.

Kashmir Marijuana Eradication Operation Gets Underway. Kashmir authorities have launched a marijuana eradication operation in Anantag district in South Kashmir. Authorities estimate that over 125 acres of marijuana is being cultivated in the valley and claim to have destroyed about 10% of it so far.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Ballot Initiatives
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