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Thread: Hardrock69's Reefhead Madness Thread

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...se-say-experts

    Decriminalise drug use, say experts after six-year study

    Advisors say no serious rise in consumption is likely if possession of small amounts of controlled drugs is allowed




    A six-year study of Britain's drug laws by leading scientists, police officers, academics and experts has concluded it is time to introduce decriminalisation.

    The report by the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), an independent advisory body, says possession of small amounts of controlled drugs should no longer be a criminal offence and concludes the move will not lead to a significant increase in use.

    The experts say the criminal sanctions imposed on the 42,000 people sentenced each year for possession of all drugs – and the 160,000 given cannabis warnings – should be replaced with simple civil penalties such as a fine, attendance at a drug awareness session or a referral to a drug treatment programme.

    They also say that imposing minimal or no sanctions on those growing cannabis for personal use could go some way to undermining the burgeoning illicit cannabis factories controlled by organised crime.

    But their report rejects any more radical move to legalisation, saying that allowing the legal sale of drugs such as heroin or cocaine could cause more damage than the existing drugs trade.

    The commission is chaired by Dame Ruth Runciman with a membership that includes the former head of the British Medical Research Council, Prof Colin Blakemore, and the former chief inspector of constabulary, David Blakey.

    The report says their analysis of the evidence shows that existing drugs policies struggle to make an impact and, in some cases, may make the problem worse.

    The work of the commission is the first major independent report on drugs policy since the influential Police Foundation report 12 years ago called for an end to the jailing of those possessing cannabis.

    The UKDPC's membership also includes Prof John Strang, head of the National Addictions Centre, Prof Alan Maynard, a specialist in health economics, and Lady Ilora Finlay, a past president of the Royal Society of Medicine.

    The report says that although levels of illicit drug use in Britain have declined in recent years, they are still much higher than in many other countries. The UK has 2,000 drug-related deaths each year and more than 380,000 problem drug users.

    The 173-page report concludes: "Taking drugs does not always cause problems, but this is rarely acknowledged by policymakers. In fact most users do not experience significant problems, and there is some evidence that drug use can have benefits in some circumstances."

    The commission's radical critique says the current UK approach is simplistic in seeing all drug use as problematic, fails to recognise that entrenched drug problems are linked to inequality and social exclusion, and that separating drugs from alcohol and tobacco use makes it more difficult to tackle the full range of an individual's substance use.

    It says the £3bn a year spent tackling illegal drugs is not based on any evidence of what works, with much of the money wasted on policies that are not cost-effective.

    It argues that even large-scale seizures by the police often have little or no sustained impact on the supply of drugs; that Just Say No campaigns in schools sometimes actually lead to more young people using drugs; and that pushing some users to become abstinent too quickly can lead to a greater chance of relapse or overdose and death.

    The commission argues a fresh approach based on the available evidence should be tested. Its main proposals include:

    • Changing drug laws so that possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use would be a civil rather than criminal offence. This would start with cannabis and, if an evaluation showed no substantial negative impacts, move on to other drugs. The experience of Portugal and the Czech Republic shows that drug use would not increase and resources can be directed to treating addiction and tackling organised crime.

    • Reviewing sentencing practice so that those caught growing below a specified low volume of cannabis plants faced no, or only minimal, sanctions. But the production and supply of most drugs should remain illegal.

    • Reviewing the level of penalties applied against those involved in production and supply, as there is little evidence to show that the clear upward drift in the length of prison sentences in recent years has proved a deterrent or had any long-term impact on drug supply in Britain.

    • Reviewing the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act so that technical decisions about the classification of individual drugs are no longer taken by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) or politicians but instead by an independent body with parliamentary oversight.

    • Setting up a cross-party forum including the three main political party leaders to forge the political consensus needed to push through such a radical change in approach.

    Blakemore said: "Medicine has moved past the age when we treated disease on the basis of hunches and received wisdom. The overwhelming consensus now is that it is unethical, inefficient and dangerous to use untested and unvalidated methods of treatment and prevention. It is time that policy on illicit drug use starts taking evidence seriously as well."

    Blakey, who is also a former president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said the current approach of police taking action against people using drugs was expensive and did not appear to bring much benefit. "When other countries have reduced sanctions for low-level drug users, they have found it possible to keep a lid on drug use while helping people with drug problems to get into treatment," the former chief constable said. "But at the same time, we need to continue to bear down on those producing and supplying illicit drugs. This is particularly important for those spreading misery in local communities."

    Runciman said government programmes had done much to reduce the damage caused by the drug problem over the past 30 years, with needle exchanges reducing HIV among injecting drug users and treatment programmes which had helped many to rebuild their lives. The commission's chair said: "Those programmes are supported by evidence, but much of the rest of drug policy does not have an adequate evidence base. We spend billions of pounds every year without being sure of what difference much of it makes."

    The home secretary, Theresa May, last month ruled out any moves towards decriminalisation, saying it would lead to further problems.

    She told MPs she considered cannabis a gateway drug: "People can die as a result of taking drugs, and significant mental health problems can arise as a result of taking drugs."



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    Voters in Massachusetts to consider ballot measure on medical marijuana

    http://www.masslive.com/politics/ind...ts_to_con.html

    By Dan Ring, The Republican
    on October 28, 2012 at 5:00 AM, updated October 28, 2012 at 5:03 AM

    Four years after Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to decriminalize a small quantity of marijuana, advocates are promoting a measure on next month's ballot that would go a step farther by legalizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.

    If approved by voters, Question 3 on the ballot would allow people who have certain illnesses, including cancer, glaucoma and Parkinson's disease, to legally obtain marijuana as therapy for their symptoms. Eligible people would need to obtain a certificate from a physician to buy marijuana at centers that would be established for the first time in the state.

    In 1996, California voters approved a ballot law, making the state the first to approve the use of medical marijuana. Since then, 16 other states and the District of Columbia have adopted medical marijuana laws, including Connecticut in June.

    In 2008, about 65 percent of voters in Massachusetts approved a law that replaced criminal penalties for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana with a civil fine of $100, about the same as getting a traffic ticket.

    A series of polls have shown that voters will probably approve the medical marijuana measure.

    Opponents, including doctors, parents and law-enforcement officials, said they fear that legalizing medical marijuana would make it more available in general and easier for teenagers to abuse. They warned that medical marijuana is illegal under federal law and that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is leading a crackdown on medical pot stores in California, where about 1,000 operate in Los Angeles alone.

    Dr. James B. Broadhurst, a Worcester doctor with a family practice who also treats people with addictions, said approval of the ballot question would be a tragedy for the state.

    Broadhurst cited statistics from Colorado, which legalized medical marijuana in 2000, showing that drug violations reported by Colorado’s kindergarten to grade12 schools have increased 45% in the past four years while the combined number of all other violations has dropped.

    Broadhurst said the proposed law contains a major loophole that could allow any patient to get marijuana for virtually any reason. According to the measure, a physician could prescribe a 60-day supply of marijuana to a patient with a "debilitating medical condition," including a broad category defined as "other conditions." Broadhurst said the allowance for "other conditions" is a loophole that clears the way for widespread abuse.

    He said that the measure goes too far in establishing marijuana stores around the state. The law would permit up to 35 nonprofit dispensaries or treatment centers around the state, including at least one and not more than five in each county.

    "I'm very concerned that this law would be bad for Massachusetts," said Broadhurst, the chairman of the Vote No on Question 3 coalition, which has created a website to educate people. "It will create many more problems than it will solve."

    Supporters of the ballot question are backed by some big out-of-state money. Noted marijuana supporter Peter B. Lewis , the non-executive chairman of insurance giant Progressive Corp., has now contributed $1.022 million, including $525,000 last year, to the Committee for Compassionate Medicine, the organization leading the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Massachusetts. The committee has spent about $1 million in the effort to approve the ballot question.

    Jennifer Manley, spokeswoman for the committee, emphasized the benefits of marijuana for people who suffer from debilitating diseases.

    She also said the proposed Massachusetts law contains some safeguards and controls that are absent in other states. She said it would be the safest marijuana law in the country.

    Matthew Allen, executive director of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, said that unlike California, a potential patient in Massachusetts would need to have a "bona fide" relationship with a physician to obtain medical marijuana.

    Before people can obain medical marijuana, they would need a written recommendation from a physician and also a registration card from the state Department of Public Health, he said.

    The measure, which would become law on Jan. 1, requires the public health department to write high levels of regulations for medical pot within 120 days after passage, he said.

    But until those regulations are complete, the measure also allows for a doctor's written recommendation to constitute a registration card for a patient, he said. In the period before the regulations are written, a person is likely to still be arrested if possessing more than an ounce of pot, but the recommendation could be used as a defense in court.

    The measure contains enough protections to prevent marijuana from becoming any more available than it already is for youths, Allen said.

    The ballot question includes "other conditions," because it is needed to cover certain illnesses or diseases that are not specified in the proposed law, Allen said.

    The committee has featured a video of Lorraine E. Kerz, of Greenfield, who said that marijuana helped her son deal with anxiety and the side effects of chemotherapy before he died of cancer in 2008. Her son, Silas R. Bennett, used marijuana as a medicine to ease severe nausea and pain before he died at age 29 from cancer, said Kerz, one of the original signers of the petition for the proposed ballot question.

    "Marijuana not only relieved his nausea and gave him back his appetite, it also helped alleviate the anxiety and despair he was feeling at the time," Kerz said.

    In another key control, Manley said the measure calls for the state Department of Public Health to register qualifying patients, caregivers and centers that dispense marijuana. People who work at dispensaries would also need to register with the state.

    She said the law would not require private insurance companies or government programs to reimburse for medical marijuana.

  4. #124
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    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2079908.html

    There are a LOT of links in the report below. IF you want to see what they are talking about in detail, just go to the original page....
    Amendment 64 Poll: Colorado 'Set To Legalize Marijuana' On Election Day, PPP Survey Says

    Posted: 11/05/2012 8:11 pm EST Updated: 11/05/2012 8:24 pm EST

    With just hours before polling places open for Election Day, advocates for the legalization of marijuana in Colorado got some good news from Public Policy Polling about the popularity of Amendment 64, a ballot measure which seeks to regulate marijuana like alcohol, on Monday.

    According to PPP, 52 percent of voters support Amendment 64 while only 44 percent are opposed to the measure leaving the state "set to legalize marijuana tomorrow," PPP's Tom Jensen writes about the results of their latest survey.

    PPP also found that of the 1,096 likely Colorado voters, 56 percent favored the legalization of marijuana in general, while only 39 percent said the drug should remain illegal.

    This is the highest percentage of support that PPP has found since they began surveying the issue of marijuana legalization. Back in September, PPP found 47 percent in favor of A64 and 38 percent against with 49 percent in favor of marijuana being legal, in general.

    The highest support ever polled was from a June Rasmussen survey of 500 likely Colorado voters which showed 61 percent were in favor of legalizing marijuana if it is regulated the way that alcohol and cigarettes are currently regulated.

    Voters in Colorado, Oregon and Washington are all considering measures that would effectively end marijuana prohibition in their respective states. Marijuana legalization has become an issue that defies the stereotypes of party lines, garnering the support of key progressives and conservatives in Colorado, Washington and Oregon. And although all three states have pot initiatives on their ballots, Colorado and Washington's pot ballot measures appear to be quite popular with voters, according to recent polling.

    If marijuana is legalized in Colorado under Amendment 64 it would be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco. It would give state and local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 and older. According to the Associated Press, analysts project that that tax revenue could generate somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year in the state. An economist whose study was funded by a pro-pot group projects as much as a $60 million boost by 2017.

    However, the big unknown still is if the federal government would allow a regulated marijuana market to take shape. Attorney General Eric Holder, who was a vocal opponent of California's legalization initiative in 2010 saying he would "vigorously enforce" federal marijuana prohibition, has continued to remain silent on the issue this year.

    In September, Holder was urged by by nine former heads of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to take a stand against marijuana legalization again. "To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives," the nine said in the letter to holder obtained by Reuters.

    Earlier this month those same DEA drug warriors joined by former directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy on a teleconference call to put additional pressure on Holder to speak out against Colorado's marijuana measure as well as similar initiatives on the ballot in Washington state and Oregon.

    The drug warriors say that states that legalize marijuana for recreational use will trigger a "Constitutional showdown" with the federal government.

    In a report published Sunday by NBC News, President Obama's former senior drug policy advisor said that if the marijuana initiatives pass, a war will be incited between the federal government and the states that pass them. "Once these sates actually try to implement these laws, we will sen an effort by the feds to shut it down," Sabet said.

    But proponents of the legislation say they don't foresee federal agents interfering in states that have legalized cannabis, citing the federal government's silence on the issue this election cycle.

    With Election Day less than 24 hours away, the DOJ has yet to formally announce its enforcement intentions regarding the ballot measures that, if passed, could end marijuana prohibition in each state. The clearest statement from the DOJ came from Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who said his office's stance on the issue would be "the same as it's always been." During a recent appearance on "60 Minutes" Cole elaborated, "We're going to take a look at whether or not there are dangers to the community from the sale of marijuana and we're going to go after those dangers," Reuters reported.



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    Time to wake and bake

    Sent from my GS2, bitches
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    Colorado

    Amendment 64 amends the state constitution to allow the personal use and sale of recreational marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. Tax revenues go to school construction and the state's general fund.
    Votes Percent
    Yes 1,125,349 54%
    No 964,267 46%
    60% reporting


    Oregon

    Measure 80, endorsed by Willie Nelson, legalizes the personal use and sale of marijuana by adults. Tax proceeds go to the state's general fund and drug treatment.
    Yes 549,617 45%
    No 679,571 55%
    56% reporting


    Washington

    Initiative 502 legalizes it — but only for people over the age of 21. And sorry green thumbs: personal cultivation without a license is still illegal.
    Yes 1,030,005 55%
    No 827,539 45%
    50% reporting


    Massachusetts

    Question 3 follows the lead of neighboring Rhode Island, which has been bogarting all the medical marijuana in Narragansett Bay since 2006.
    Yes 1,739,027 63%
    No 1,005,938 37%
    92% reporting


    Arkansas

    Issue 5 makes the state the first in the south to approve medical marijuana.
    For 461,658 48%
    Against 494,867 52%
    89% reporting


    Montana

    Initiative 124 is a total buzzkill: it ratifies restrictions on medical marijuana that the state's legislature put in place in 2011.
    For 108,764 57%
    Against 82,213 43%
    28% reporting
    Last edited by Hardrock69; 11-07-2012 at 02:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy View Post
    Hippie.
    Ahh you know you love me.

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    Cities are beginning to take matters into their own hands.

    Several years ago, Breckenridge, CO removed criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of pot, around the same time as several other cities in CO did.

    Now it seems Michigan has taken that step. Detroit is flying the friendly skies!!!!

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...d-Rapids-Flint


    November 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm
    Pot laws eased in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Flint

    By Christine MacDonald and Darren A. Nichols
    The Detroit News


    Detroit — Final tabulations of Tuesday's elections show that city voters overwhelmingly approved a proposal to decriminalize marijuana.

    With all precincts reporting, the measure passed 65-35 percent. It will allow adults older than 21 to possess less than an ounce of marijuana on personal property without criminal prosecution.

    "This is no surprise," said Tim Beck, chairman of the Coalition for a Safer Detroit. "We knew we were going to win."

    "I truly believe that the city will not use its resources to prosecute small time marijuana users. There is no upside."

    Sgt. Eren Stephens, the Detroit Police Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday that the department had no comment on Proposal M's passage.

    "We will be guided by the city of Detroit's law department," Stephens said.

    A call to a spokesman for Mayor Dave Bing wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

    The effort came the same day that ballot measures relaxing laws on marijuana won approval statewide and nationwide.

    In Grand Rapids, voters made marijuana possession a civil infraction punishable by a fine — rather than a misdemeanor that carried possible jail time — 59-41 percent. In Flint, allowing possession of less than an ounce for those older than 19 was leading 57-43 percent with 95 percent of precincts reporting.

    Nationally, voters in Colorado and Washington became the first states to approve recreational use of the drug, setting up a potential showdown with federal authorities.

    Federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug and some local officials have been reluctant to allow local law to supersede federal regulations — as backers of a 2008 medical pot initiative in Michigan know well.

    Statewide voters approved that measure in 2008, but much of that law is still being fought in court. Beck said Detroit users still could be charged under state law, but those charges would have to be heard in circuit court rather than local ones.

    The Detroit initiative already survived one court challenge, when a judge this spring allowed it on the ballot after city officials protested that state law makes pot illegal.

    The measure was one of six to pass in Detroit.
    Last edited by Hardrock69; 11-07-2012 at 05:55 PM.

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    Well.....just as I said somewhere in all this mess.....once CO and WA legalized pot.....the other states are going to go for it as well....and now they are not going to wait for the voters to introduce referendums in 2014:

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/11/14/st...-island-and-ma

    State Legislators in Rhode Island and Maine Are Announcing Marijuana Legalization Bills Tomorrow

    Nov. 14, 2012 11:20 am

    State legislators in Rhode Island and Maine will announce bills tomorrow to legalize recreational marijuana, a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project announced today.

    Rhode Island Rep. Edith Ajello and Maine Rep. Diane Russell will hold a conference call tomorrow with the Marijuana Policy Project to announce the legislation.

    MPP says that "similar proposals will be submitted in at least two other states — Vermont and Massachusetts." A ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana passed in Massachusetts last week with more than 60 percent of the vote. Maine voters voted to expand the state's 1999 medical marijuana law in 2009 to include dispensaries. The Rhode Island legislature decriminalized marijuana earlier this year, and has had medical marijuana since 2006.

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    http://seattletimes.com/html/nationw...marijuana.html

    Marijuana law introduced to Uruguay congress

    Uruguay is one step closer to turning the government into the country's leading pot dealer.

    BY PABLO FERNANDEZ

    Associated Press
    MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay —

    Uruguay is one step closer to turning the government into the country's leading pot dealer.

    The proposal formally introduced to Congress on Thursday would create a National Cannabis Institute with the power to license people and companies to produce marijuana for recreational, medical or industrial uses.

    It also would allow anyone to grow as many as to six pot plants and produce up to 480 grams (17 ounces) of marijuana in their own homes.

    People could join clubs of up to 15 marijuana users who together could grow up to 90 plants and stockpile 7,200 grams of marijuana a year. The identity of buyers would remain protected by law.

    Ruling party Deputy Sebastian Sabini says the proposals now in committee are likely to pass Congress by year's end.



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    Police protecting citizens! Effective government at work!

    Seattle Police Department publishes how-to guide for smoking pot legally

    http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2012/1...se-in-seattle/

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    This opens the door for us. Now we don't have to worry about pissing off the neighbours anymore. We just have to get rid of our Conservative government...

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    What's interesting is we have two states that have legalized a substance that is still illegal under federal law. This really is a case of states challenging the federal government saying we are going to go our own way. More of this needs to happen. It was always intended for the states to have most the power to govern their own affairs. Now the only question is how are the feds going to behave on the matter?

    Talk to anyone who works in an emergency room or law enforcement. They will tell you pot causes far less problems than alcohol does.
    Last edited by Nitro Express; 11-16-2012 at 02:44 AM.
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    When alcohol Prohibition fell, it was in the same manner. One by one, individual states stood up to the Feds and decided they were not going to enforce Prohibition anymore. That left the Feds with no choice but to cave in.

    In other news, 11 years ago Portugal decriminalized ALL drugs. What happened? As of July, 2011, drug abuse was down by over half.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain...f-in-portugal/

    7/05/2011 @ 3:09PM
    Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal

    Drug warriors often contend that drug use would skyrocket if we were to legalize or decriminalize drugs in the United States. Fortunately, we have a real-world example of the actual effects of ending the violent, expensive War on Drugs and replacing it with a system of treatment for problem users and addicts.

    Ten years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs: Link
    One decade after this unprecedented experiment, drug abuse is down by half: Link

    Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal’s decision 10 years ago to decriminalise drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.

    “There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

    The number of addicts considered “problematic” — those who repeatedly use “hard” drugs and intravenous users — had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.

    Other factors had also played their part however, Goulao, a medical doctor added.

    “This development can not only be attributed to decriminalisation but to a confluence of treatment and risk reduction policies.”
    Many of these innovative treatment procedures would not have emerged if addicts had continued to be arrested and locked up rather than treated by medical experts and psychologists. Currently 40,000 people in Portugal are being treated for drug abuse. This is a far cheaper, far more humane way to tackle the problem. Rather than locking up 100,000 criminals, the Portuguese are working to cure 40,000 patients and fine-tuning a whole new canon of drug treatment knowledge at the same time.

    None of this is possible when waging a war.

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    http://nationalcannabiscoalition.com...cannabis-laws/

    Members of Congress Urge Feds to Respect State Cannabis Laws
    by Anthony Johnson November 21, 2012

    Following the historic victories by cannabis legalization proponents in both Washington State and Colorado, prominent members of Congress have signed onto a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Michele Leonhart, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency, urging the federal government to respect the will of the voters and allow the states to implement their laws regulating marijuana without federal interference. Cannabis law reformers, prohibitionists, politicians and policy makers are all waiting to see how the federal government responds to the two marijuana legalization measures. How the Obama Administration reacts will have a big impact upon how activists and reform-minded politicians craft measures that will end cannabis prohibition in upcoming states in the upcoming 2014 and 2016 elections.

    While drug law reformers have been disappointed with the Obama Administration the last four years, there are some reasons for optimism about positive changes for reform in President Obama’s second term. Hopefully, President Obama will revert back to his earlier political days, before he started laughing off questions about ending prohibition after getting elected president.

    The Obama Administration’s silence regarding their position on state legalization measures on this year’s ballot, despite lobbying from prohibitionists that urged the federal government to strongly oppose the state measures as well as the silence since the election is a positive sign. This silence was a 180 degree turn-around from 2010 when Attorney General Eric Holder warned California about the consequences of legalizing marijuana when the Sunshine State’s voters were contemplating whether to pass Prop 19. The stance of the federal government was one of the reasons the legalization measure suffered a narrow defeat. The federal government could have issued sweeping, dire warnings, before and after November 6th, but none have occurred thus far, despite the posturing of some prohibitionists. According to the Drug Policy Alliance’s Ethan Nadelmann at the Missouri Cannabis Law Reform Conference on November, the Obama Administration had whispered at fund raisers that they would be more progressive on drug law reform in a second term. While some are calling for a positive statement from the Obama Administration, even from President Obama himself, thus far, the silence is golden.

    Also, the fact that that Colorado is a swing state and cannot be taken for granted by the Democratic Party gives me hope that the Obama Administration will be much better in the second term. Marijuana legalization received 55% of the vote in the Centennial State, compared to the 51% President Obama garnered. Unlike the “blue” West Coast states of Washington, Oregon and California, Colorado is a “purple” state that could swing to the Republicans in 2016 if the Democrats are seen as violating the will of their voters. I personally believe that politics always matter and that the cannabis law reform community is fortunate that the good people in the swing state of Colorado decided they were done with the failed and harmful consequences of cannabis prohibition.

    Winning creates momentum and a bandwagon effect. The fact that the St. Louis Cardinals have won 11 World Series titles compared to the lone championship by my beloved Kansas City Royals (though you can never take away the magical 1985 season from us), causes many people in my home state of Missouri to join Cardinals Nation instead of joining me as a suffering fan of the Royals. Now that two states have demonstrated that cannabis legalization can win convincingly, and even earn more votes than an incumbent president cruising to an Electoral College landslide, politicians have already been emboldened across the country. Not only have members of Congress sent a letter to the federal government urging respect of state marijuana laws, but elected officials in Maine and Rhode Island have already voiced their intention of sponsoring legalization measures in the upcoming legislative session. The brave legislators of Maine and Rhode Island will soon have company as more politicians realize that sensibly reforming our nation’s marijuana laws isn’t a political liability, but will actually benefit them politically in most areas of the country. Don’t be surprised to see legislation ending cannabis prohibition is introduced in Vermont, Massachusetts, California and Oregon as well. Republican Senator Rand Paul, not a supporter of cannabis legalization like his Congressman father Ron, has even stated that the Republican Party should be consistent of their support of states’ rights and adhere to the will of states that choose to end cannabis prohibition within their borders.

    We are living in an extraordinary time for cannabis law reform. We have a huge opportunity, but we must seize upon it. We need to support organizations pushing for positive change across the country as well as politicians trusting us with their political livelihood. We won two major battles this November, but major battles are up ahead. We are the change we have been waiting for and if we keep moving forward, we shall soon be free.

    Full text of the letter sent to the Attorney General and DEA Administrator:

    Dear Attorney General Holder and Administrator Leonhart:

    We are writing to urge federal law enforcement to consider carefully the recent decisions by the people of Colorado and Washington to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults. Under the new laws, each state will establish a comprehensive regulatory scheme governing the production, sale and personal use of marijuana. We believe that it would be a mistake for the federal government to focus enforcement action on individuals whose actions are in compliance with state law.

    We are concerned that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continue to threaten individuals and businesses acting within the scope of their states’ laws on the medicinal use of marijuana despite formal guidance on exercising prosecutorial discretion. These actions contradict assurances made by DOJ in 2009 that the Department would not prioritize criminal charges against those who act in compliance with state law. It is also a poor use of limited federal resources. We hope your agencies will not take a similar approach with regard to individuals and businesses who comply with Colorado’s and Washington’s new laws, each of which were approved with overwhelming public support.

    As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once observed, states are the laboratories of democracy. The people of Colorado and Washington have decided that marijuana ought to be regulated much like alcohol, with strong and efficient regulation of production, retail sales, and distribution, coupled with strict laws against underage use and driving while intoxicated. The voters chose to eliminate the illegal marijuana market controlled by cartels and criminals and recognized the disproportionate impact that marijuana prohibition has on minorities. These states have chosen to move from drug policy that spends millions of dollars turning ordinary Americans into criminals toward one that will tightly regulate the use of marijuana while raising tax revenue to support cash-strapped state and local governments. We believe this approach embraces the goals of existing federal marijuana law: to stop international trafficking, deter domestic organized criminal organizations, stop violence associated with the drug trade and protect children.

    While we recognize that other states have chosen a different path, and further understand that the federal government has an important role to play in protecting against interstate shipments of marijuana leaving Colorado or Washington, we ask that your Departments take no enforcement against anyone who acts in compliance with the laws of Colorado, Washington and any other states that choose to regulate access to marijuana for medicinal or personal use. The voters of these states chose, by a substantial margin, to forge a new and effective policy with respect to marijuana. The tide of public opinion is changing, both at the ballot box and in state legislatures across the country. We believe that the collective judgement of voters and state lawmakers must be respected. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
    The letter was signed by Steve Cohen, Jared Polis, Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter, Barney Frank, Earl Blumenauer, Jerrold Nadler, Adam Smith, Sam Barr, Jim Moran, Chellie Pingree, Jan Schakowsky, Barbara Lee, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Honda, Raul Grijalva, Robert C. “Bobby” Scott and John Conyers, Jr. Please be sure to support all of these legislators. I am lucky enough to be represented by Earl Blumenaur and I have let his office know that I appreciate that he stands up for sensible cannabis law reform and the will of the voters.

    Last edited by Hardrock69; 11-22-2012 at 12:09 AM.

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    http://blog.norml.org/2012/11/26/two...8NORML+Blog%29

    Two of the Largest American Newspapers Opine in Favor of Allowing States to Legalize Marijuana

    by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director November 26, 2012

    In the wake of the historic votes for marijuana law reform on November 6th, there has been a renewed focus on the topic and a shift in tone amongst the mainstream media. While previously, many outlets have either covered our efforts with a wink and a nod (or didn’t cover them at all), now that two states have called for the end of marijuana prohibition, reporters are rushing to cover the story. Along the way it seems they are also getting a crash course education in the concepts of civil liberties, federalism, and the disasters of our country’s prohibition on cannabis. Many are beginning to wake up to the reality that we have long identified: cannabis prohibition is a failed policy that has destructive effects on our society and these effects can be remedied by legalization and regulation.

    Look no further for a sign of the changing times than editorials featured this weekend by two of the United States’ largest newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Both papers featured columns from their staff opining in favor of marijuana law reform. It seems the days of traditionally conservative editorial boards writing against cannabis law reforms may be coming to an end.

    There is a seismic shift happening in the national consciousness on marijuana policy in response to the legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington, we are winning new converts by the day and those previously afraid to speak out are now doing so with passion and vigor. This recent influx of mainstream media outlets jumping on board with reform is just the beginning of the avalanche of change that is to come.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...-pot-a-chance/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...9ee_story.html

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    Here is the official .pdf of the Executive Order signed by the governor of Colorado legalizing reefers:

    http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite...&ssbinary=true

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    If enough people want it bad enough they get it. Grassroots movements are very powerful. If potheads can organize and do it, we should be able to do it on bigger and more important things like banking reform. The problem is the average person doesn't understand or care about banking. They understand lighting up a bong though. LOL!

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    It's a bad drug if it caused the afterschool special above to happen.
    The acting's awful and it actually glorified use.
    Reality tv's not so bad after seeing that, is it?
    Hey Jackass! You need to [Register] or log in to view signatures on ROTHARMY.COM!

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    The next 7 states most likely to legalize pot:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...e-pot-20121218

    Oregon
    Cali
    Nevada
    Alaska
    Maine
    Vermont
    Rhode Island

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    U.S. Marijuana Laws Ricochet Through Latin America

    http://world.time.com/2013/01/07/u-s...latin-america/

    President Obama has yet to deliver a clear response to the November decision by Colorado and Washington to legalize recreational marijuana use — asked whether the government would enforce Federal laws that override the verdict of those states’ referenda, he answered simply that he has “bigger fish to fry”. But leaders from across Latin America responded within days of the Colorado and Washington vote, demanding a review of drug-war policies that have mired the region in violence. Latin American decision-makers are now openly questioning why they should continue to sacrifice police andsoldiers to enforce drug laws when legal markets for marijuana now exist in the United States.

    “Everyone is asking, what sense does it make to keep up such an intense confrontation, which has cost Mexico so much, by trying to keep this substance from going to a country where it’s already regulated and permitted?” says Fernando Belaunzarán, a congressman from Mexico’s opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party who introduced a marijuana legalization measure in the legislature a week after U.S. elections. The measure, Belaunzarán tells TIME, is modeled on the Washington State law, and would put the federal government in charge of marijuana production, regulation and sales. The congressman said he expects the lower house to convene public hearings on marijuana legalization by May 2013.

    Belaunzarán joins a growing list of Latin American leaders calling for a change in the drug war paradigm — one that considers drug decriminalization and legalization as alternatives to the U.S.-led prohibitionist model, the enforcement of which has helped turn swaths of Latin American into the world’s most violent regions. Shortly after U.S. elections, former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, along with the presidents of Honduras, Belize and Costa Rica, said the United Nations General Assembly should hold a special session the drug prohibition by 2015. They also called on the Organization of American States to study the impact of current drug policy on the region. That OAS review, well underway, is expected in June.

    A major concern centers on drug cartels. Estimates of Mexican cartel profits from marijuana sales to the U.S. vary from $2 billion to $20 billion annually. And recent studies suggest that the Colorado and Washington pot laws could dent cartel profits by up to 30% given the probable emergence of cheaper, U.S.-produced marijuana. That loss of revenue, and therefore of power, could generate more violence in the region, experts fear. But the notion that drug cartels would suffer mammoth losses remains an open question. It also underestimates the growing sophistication of Mexican criminal groups.

    Mexican cartels have diversified their criminal portfolios with impressive speed since 2006, when Calderon began deploying the army against them. Besides marijuana profits, cartels generate an estimated $15 billion annually from human trafficking, preying on Central and South American migrants making their way north toward the United States. Criminal gangs are also increasingly relying on Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil behemoth, for added income. Oil theft has surged in recent years, netting cartels roughly$500 million annually, according to Mexican studies. And the methamphetamine market represents another opportunity to supplement any revenue lost to marijuana sales. Cartels have responded to a recent drop in U.S. meth production by flooding the market with the synthetic drug, producing it on mass scale in northern Guatemala.

    “The (U.S.) marijuana laws will have absolutely no impact on criminal group’s balance sheets,” Edgardo Buscaglia, an organized-crime expert and senior scholar at Columbia University, tells TIME. “They have diversified their criminal activity with astounding efficiency, just like any legal enterprise.”

    Whether the U.S. laws will undercut cartels at all remains to be seen, but no impact is likely to be felt any time soon. Still, the Washington and Colorado referendum results have reshaped the drug-war debate in Latin America, emboldening regional leaders to press for a global discussion on drug policy, organized through the U.N., aimed at changing drug-war tactics.

    (MORE: Uruguay’s Plan to Legalize Marijuana Sales: Should the Rest of the World Follow?)
    Until now, the U.N. has ignored those calls, but there are signs it may soon take up the matter, according to former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who, with the former presidents of Mexico and Colombia, launched the hemispheric debate on drug decriminalization in 2009. That year he wrote an open letter criticizing the current drug war and calling on the region to discuss alternative strategies. “Members of the U.N. agree we need to revisit the subject, but the problem is that sectors within the U.N. that deal specifically with drugs are very conservative,” Cardoso tells TIME. “In my meetings at the U.N., I noticed that the pressure to unite a U.N. assembly specifically dedicated to discussing the subject is mounting. And that’s important.”

    Global drug policy is unlikely to change soon. But decriminalization advocates see encouraging signs. In just a few months, they point out, the Marijuana legalization discussion has reached levels of urgency and legitimacy never seen before. Marijuana legalization, they point out, is now a political reality throughout the hemisphere. They are also encouraged by President Obama, whorecently framed the marijuana conflict between state and federal law as one to be resolved, instead of simply dismissing state law. “It’s time the world discuss a new paradigm to confront drugs,” says Belaunzarán. “In Latin America it’s already happening. And the U.S. is applying it de facto because states are already regulating marijuana.”

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    http://www.theweedblog.com/ny-govern...state-address/

    NY Governor Cuomo Makes Passionate Call For Marijuana Policy Reform In State Of The State Address

    Today in his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo made a passionate call for reforming New York’s marijuana possession laws in order to reduce unlawful, biased, and costly arrests. The governor noted the discrepancy in the law between public and private possession of small amounts of marijuana, and proposed standardizing penalties for possession.

    In his prepared written statement, the governor referenced the original intent of the marijuana possession law from 1977: “The legislature finds that arrests, criminal prosecutions, and criminal penalties are inappropriate for people who possess small quantities of marihuana for personal use. Every year, this process needlessly scars thousands of lives and wastes millions of dollars in law enforcement resources, while detracting from the prosecution of serious crime.”

    Today, marijuana possession is the number one arrest in New York City. The governor cited the harmful outcomes of these arrests – racial disparities, stigma, fiscal waste, criminalization - and called on the legislature to act: ”It’s not fair, it’s not right. It must end, and it must end now.”

    A powerful statewide coalition of community groups, faith and civil rights leaders, parents and young people applauded the Governor’s strong leadership in tackling this issue.

    “We cannot have the same laws applied differently to different groups of people when the dividing line is race,” said gabriel sayegh, New York state director for the Drug Policy Alliance. “The governor’s proposal is an essential step towards bringing greater fairness and equity to both our drug laws and policing practices in our state. The criminalization of our young people must end — the legislature must now act now to pass the governor’s bill.”

    Last year, Governor Cuomo introduced similar legislation to reform the law, but it the Senate refused to act – despite the fact that the reform proposal was supported by law enforcement leaders throughout the state, including Commissioner Ray Kelly, all five City district attorneys, Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard, and many others.

    “I hope Senator Skelos and the entire legislature heard Governor Cuomo loud and clear when he said it’s time to end marijuana arrests that ‘stigmatize and criminalize’ young people of color, which have been one of the leading consequences of stop and frisk,” said Alfredo Carrasquillo, VOCAL-NY’s Civil Rights Organizer. “Governor Cuomo’s right that these arrests mean more than a night in jail – they can have lasting effects on a person’s access to jobs, housing and a better future.”

    “With stop and frisk and needless criminalization, too many of our young people are swept up in the criminal justice system. Governor Cuomo’s reform proposal is a critical step towards a brighter future for our youth,” said Kyung Ji Kate Rhee of Center for NuLeadership. “Instead of wasting money on these arrests, we should be investing in community development and resources that are far more effective at guiding our youth in the choices they make towards fulfilling their best potential.”

    The need for reform is abundantly clear: In the last 15 years, over 600,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession, mostly in New York City. More than 50,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in the City in 2011 alone, far exceeding the total marijuana arrests from 1981-1995. Most of those arrested, nearly 85%, are Black and Latino, mostly young men – despite federal government data on drug use showing that whites use marijuana at higher rates. The costs of these arrests to taxpayers is at least $75 million a year. Last year, the New York City Council passed a resolution calling on Albany to act. Governor Cuomo’s proposal would end tens of thousands of racially biased and unlawful marijuana possession.

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    http://www.theweedblog.com/federal-j...can-stay-open/

    Federal Judge Says Nation’s Medical Cannabis Model, Harborside Health Center, Can Stay Open

    U.S. District Court Denies Landlord Injunctions In Oakland And San Jose

    Oakland, Calif. – On Monday, January 7, Chief Federal Magistrate Maria-Elena James ruled in favor of Harborside Health Center (HHC), and denied motions by Harborside’s landlords asking the court to order an immediate halt of cannabis sales at their properties. In a highly significant, 17-page opinion released today, Judge James also declined to grant a motion from the City of Oakland to immediately enjoin the federal government’s legal efforts to close Harborside, but scheduled a hearing later this month to hear further arguments in the City of Oakland’s lawsuit.

    “We are grateful that Judge James carefully considered the facts and arguments in the Harborside case, and decided to grant us our day in court,” said HHC Executive Director Steve DeAngelo. “We have always believed that a Bay Area jury will recognize the value that Harborside brings to the community, and refuse to allow the federal government to seize the properties where we are located. We look forward to proving our case in front of a jury, and continue to believe we will prevail. In the meantime, we ask the Department of Justice to immediately freeze enforcement actions against Harborside and any other cannabis providers acting in full compliance with state law. Our nation’s law enforcement officers should concentrate on real crime.”

    In addition, the court found that entering injunctions against Harborside would not be an appropriate means of preventing illegal use of the property and that “there is nothing… indicating that Harborside’s continued operation compromises the existence, value, or title of either the Oakland or San Jose Property.” The court ruling stated, “Any argument about the urgency of stopping Harborside’s activities rings hollow.”

    Harborside’s lead attorney, Henry Wykowski, commented, “We are gratified that Judge James listened to and analyzed the parties’ arguments so thoroughly and has now rendered an opinion that will ensure Harborside has the right to present its case to a jury. Despite the government’s efforts to shortcut the case, Harborside will now be able to fully defend itself at trial. That is all we had asked, and the court has now agreed. The stage is now set for a jury trial on the underlying issues of the litigation, which will probably take place in about one year.”

    Notably, in response to initial federal forfeiture actions, HHC attorneys cited the statute of limitations, as Harborside has been in business for over six years. All other claimants in these proceedings, including the City of Oakland, have adopted this defense.

    ***

    About Harborside Health Center:

    Harborside Health Center is the nation’s largest not-for-profit model medical cannabis dispensary with locations in Oakland and San Jose, California. The collective was co-founded in 2006 by national cannabis leader Steve DeAngelo, and serves approximately 100,000 registered patients. A landmark facility, HHC offers patients free holistic health services, lab-tested medicine, a low-income care package program, substance misuse support and education, while strictly complying with state and local laws regarding medical cannabis. For more details, visit the Oakland medical cannabis dispensary online at http://www.harborsidehealthcenter.com/.



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    http://www.theweedblog.com/pennsylva...nians-approve/

    Pennsylvania Senator Prefiles Cannabis Legalization Bill, Pennsylvanians Approve


    Last week, state Senator from Montgomery County Daylin Leach announced his intentions to file legislation that would legalize the adult use of marijuana, in a way similar to the laws recently approved in Colorado and Washington.

    “I acknowledge that it may take a while, but like same-sex marriage,” stated Sen. Leach, “this will inevitably happen. Demographics and exposure will in time defeat irrational fears, old wives tales and bad science. This bill furthers the discussion, which hastens the day.”

    This legislation, if approved, would help halt the arrest of thousands of Pennsylvanians annually. Since 2006, 24,685 arrests were made for just marijuana possession at a cost of over 300 million dollars to the state’s taxpayers.

    “It is time for Pennsylvania to be a leader in jettisoning this modern-day prohibition, and ending a policy that has been so destructive, costly, and anti-scientific,” Sen. Leach declared.

    Pennsylvania has long been considered a bellwether state, so to see the issue at least being entertained in the state legislature can only be a positive sign of things to come. Let’s hope other elected officials in Pennsylvania join with state Senator Leach to support these sensible reforms.

    If NORML’s Take Action Center is anything to go by, the citizens of the Keystone State want it. In just the first 24 hours of going live, Pennsylvanians sent over 900 emails and letters to their elected officials urging them to support this legislation.

    If you live in Pennsylvania and want to join in the call for marijuana legalization, simply click here and you can easily send a prewritten email or letter to your elected officials telling them it is time to support legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana, not criminalize it.

    PENNSYLVANIANS: Click here to contact your representatives in favor of this bill today!

    Don’t live in Pennsylvania? There is already marijuana reform legislation filed in ten other states, with many more sure to follow in the coming days. Be sure to keep checking NORML’s Take Action Center to see if your state is one of them and to contact your officials!

    Together, we can NORMLIZE CONGRESS. Together, we will legalize marijuana.


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    LINKY
    For Investors, Marijuana Remains a Cloudy Bet
    By Tim Sprinkle | The Exchange – Fri, Jan 11, 2013 1:52 PM EST

    It’s hard to deny the appeal of investing in legal cannabis. After all, how often do you get the chance to participate in a bona fide gold rush, with an ever-shifting market, few established players and consumer demand that is all but waiting to explode?

    The recent, historical approval of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington state adds a brand-new element to the business. For investors, the smell of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is in the air. And who doesn’t want to add “drug kingpin” to their resume?

    “Cannabis is really already a structured and mature market, it just exists in the black market,” says Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech (TRTC), a startup that manufactures hydroponic growing systems. “It’s moving to the white market, or at least the gray market, but we still didn’t have to make the market, it already exists. We’re just taking it out of the hands of the cartels and putting it in the hands of legitimate business.”

    And the upside potential is huge.

    “It’s an industry that has a lot of problems, but that’s part of the opportunity,” explains Brendan Kennedy of Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private equity firm that’s focused on legal cannabis. “The companies are immature, the managers are unprofessional, it’s highly fragmented, there are no standards, the branding and marketing bar is very low and there are no established players. There are not even any Wall Street analysts that study this industry yet.”

    Bigger than corn

    Still, despite these problems, the sector has annual revenues in the neighborhood of $40 billion, which Kennedy says makes the cannabis market even bigger than corn. “How many people trade corn as a commodity?" he asks. "How many sub-industries are focused on corn? There will be a desk at Goldman where you have analysts studying cannabis. It’s going to happen and it’s going to happen faster than anyone thinks.”

    Of course, the reality is that marijuana remains very much an illegal product in the eyes of the federal government, despite the rulings in Colorado and Washington and the fact that it's legal for medicinal purposes in more than a dozen other states. As an investment, it doesn’t get much riskier than that.

    “The first thing I would point out to a prospective investor is that these companies are still breaking federal law,” says Irvin Rosenfeld, a South Florida-based stockbroker and author of the pro medical marijuana book, “My Medicine.”

    “While Obama has said that the federal government has bigger fish to fry," Rosenfeld continues, "that hasn’t stopped the feds from going into states like California and telling dispensary owners that their tax dedications are disallowed, or the DEA from shutting down dispensaries that are near schools or parks.”

    Money to Burn?

    But that’s not to say there isn’t money being made in cannabis. The key, says Privateer’s Kennedy, is being very, very careful.

    “We avoid all public companies in this space,” he says, “as that’s not something that interests us at all. And many of the reasons these companies are public is they couldn’t raise private money. We’re mostly interested in businesses that serve growers and dispensaries, and then consumer products -- entities that serve the legal consumer market.”

    Privateer, which holds no investments in cannabis growing or distribution operations and is in the process of closing a $7 million round of funding, is focused on mainstream brands, such as the marijuana review site Leafly.com, which it bought last year when the site's revenues were effectively zero. Leafly.com finished 2012 with about $400,000 in revenues and is forecast to reach $1 million by the end of this year.

    “It was the perfect company for us,” Kennedy says. “It has that mainstream look and feel. So you could be a 30-year-old professional or a 40-year-old soccer mom or a baby boomer and could embrace that brand.”

    Troy Dayton, CEO of The ArcView Group, a venture-funding network for legal cannabis companies, is likewise focused on ancillary marijuana businesses such as point-of-sale systems, inventory-tracking services and even insurance. The key for him is finding a business that has mainstream counterparts that are not yet involved in the cannabis sector.

    “I think staffing is an area where we’re not seeing much action but I see huge opportunity,” Dayton says. “For example, trimming has notoriously been an ad hoc sort of thing that’s time consuming and difficult. But as the industry professionalizes, it would be great to be able to outsource that kind of work to a team that’s already together and knows what it’s doing. But a lot of the regular staffing companies aren’t into the idiosyncrasies of this industry yet, and may be staying out of it for reputational reasons, so that’s an opening.”

    The public option

    For retail investors, however, the pickings are still slim. THCBiz.com only has 16 publicly traded companies on its list of cannabis related companies, all of which trade OTC or on the pink sheets and represent a range of ancillary industries like grow-room hardware, lighting, pharmaceuticals and general business services. Only a handful report any sort of financial information or give potential investors insights into their business prospects.

    That is slowly changing, however. Terra Tech, for example, has been fully reporting since day one and is shooting for an American Exchange or Nasdaq listing in the next 24 months. And the company's CEO, who also owns Blum, a marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif., says he has been able to recently secure funding for his venture via more traditional means: investment bank Midtown Partners in New York.

    Cannabis investing may still be the Wild West, but at least some law and order is starting to come to the industry.


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    http://www.theweedblog.com/state-law...hol-in-hawaii/


    House Speaker Souki Will Introduce Bill To Establish A Legal Market For Businesses To Cultivate And Sell Marijuana To Adults 21 And Older

    HONOLULU - Newly elected State House Speaker Joseph Souki (D-8) is scheduled to introduce a bill today to remove penalties for private adult marijuana possession and establish a system in which the cultivation and sale of marijuana would be regulated and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol. House Bill 150, the Personal Use of Marijuana Act, is the first of several anticipated bills on marijuana legalization this legislative session.

    “Regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol takes marijuana sales out of the hands of criminals and puts them behind the counter in legitimate businesses that will generate significant new revenue for Hawaii,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications at the Marijuana Policy Project. “Law enforcement resources should be focused on preventing and responding to serious crimes rather than enforcing antiquated marijuana prohibition laws.”

    If passed, H.B. 150 would allow adults 21 years of age and older to privately possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to cultivate a limited number of marijuana plants in a secure and locked location. The bill would also authorize the state to license marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities. Public marijuana use, driving under the influence of marijuana, and use by individuals under the age of 21 would remain illegal.

    A QMark Research poll released earlier this month found 57% of Hawaii voters believe marijuana should be regulated, taxed, and legal for adults. According to an economic analysis performed by University of Hawaii economist David Nixon, the state would generate $20 million per year in new tax revenue and criminal justice savings.

    “In Hawaii, as across the nation, arrests for marijuana possession are one of the most common ways that individuals get caught up in the criminal justice system, at great social and economic cost,” said ACLU of Hawaii executive director Vanessa Chong in a release announcing the poll and economic analysis. “These studies provide important, updated facts for the Hawaii community as we consider new directions.”

    In November 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington approved ballot initiatives to make marijuana legal for adults and establish systems in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. Similar proposals are expected to be introduced this year by lawmakers in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


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    http://swampland.time.com/2013/02/06...arijuana-laws/

    Driven by a groundswell of public opinion, Colorado and Washington State last November became the first states in the U.S. to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. That wave of support, it now seems clear, has echoed through the U.S. Congress, which on Tuesday formally questioned the federal government’s prohibitionist drug policy in the form of marijuana-reform bills.

    Representatives Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, and Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, introduced two separate bills that would drastically change U.S. marijuana laws by addressing what they say are the human and fiscal costs associated with marijuana-related arrests.

    It’s not the first time marijuana-reform bills have been introduced in Congress, but Tuesday’s measures are considered historic in scope and give further momentum to a marijuana-legalization movement that has surged recently from Colorado to Washington to Latin America.

    The Polis bill, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, would call on the federal government to regulate marijuana much like it does alcohol. Under the measure, cannabis growers would have to obtain a federal permit in states that legalize the drug. The bill does not force any state to legalize pot, but it does allow states that approve recreational- and medical-marijuana regulatory systems to operate without the fear of crackdowns from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The measure would also transfer authority to regulate marijuana from the DEA to a renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms.

    “In my short time in Congress, and certainly over the last few decades, Americans have increasingly come to the conclusion that the drug war is a failed policy,” said Polis. “While substance abuse is a real problem we need to address, we need to address it increasingly as a public-health issue more than a criminal issue.”

    The Blumenauer bill, meanwhile, would create a taxation framework for pot similar to that in place for tobacco and alcohol. The Marijuana Tax Equity Act would impose an excise tax of 50% on the “first sale” of marijuana, from growers to processors or retailers. The measure would also tax pot producers $1,000 annually and other marijuana-related businesses $500. Blumenauer said imposing such a tax would help lower the national deficit while providing funds for drug-treatment centers and law-enforcement units.

    “There is an opportunity for us to make, at a minimum, a $100 billion difference over the next 10 years,” said Blumenauer.

    There were 1.5 million drug arrests made in the U.S. in 2011, according to the FBI. Of those arrests, over 660,000 were for possession of marijuana. The enforcement of federal marijuana laws, including incarceration, costs at least $5.5 billion annually, according to a study by the Cato Institute. In New York State alone, the estimated cost of marijuana-related arrests surpasses $75 million every year, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit that supports drug-policy reform.

    Passage of the two bills remains a long shot, according to analysts, but Blumenauer said the measures are just the beginning of a congressional push to reform what he calls “antiquated, ineffective and, in some cases, nonsensical federal policies and laws.” Blumenauer pointed to a growing swell of support for marijuana-reform measures among his colleagues on Capitol Hill.

    In December, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, said he intends to hold hearings on the conflicts between state and federal marijuana laws. And Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, is soon expected to introduce a measure that would allow states to establish pot policies without federal interference.

    “These are the first two of what will probably be eight, 10 bills or more,” said Blumenauer, referring to Tuesday’s measures. Added Polis: “There is growing support within the Democratic caucus and also within the Republican caucus for re-examining the future of the drug war.”

    The sudden flurry of federal action on cannabis comes as national polls highlight an outpouring of support for marijuana legalization in recent years. A Gallup poll in October showed that a record high 50% of Americans believe marijuana should be legal. By contrast, just over 30% of Americans held the same view in 2000. Support for medical marijuana is even stronger. A 2012 Gallup poll indicated that 70% of Americans believe it should be legal for a doctor to prescribe pot to reduce pain and suffering.

    “Congress is frequently a lagging indicator for public opinion,” said Polis. “Public opinion is that it should be up to states and local governments how to deal with marijuana — it’s just a question of how we’re going to catch up, not if.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardrock69 View Post
    The next 7 states most likely to legalize pot:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...e-pot-20121218

    Oregon
    Cali
    Nevada
    Alaska
    Maine
    Vermont
    Rhode Island
    Not so sure about Nevada. They would probably have to do a major study to prove that stoners will actually gamble when they're baked before they would legalize it. Now if it were psychedelics that were up for a vote, those would probably pass easily in Nevada, because all the colored lights and bells & whistles would be something to trip on.
    Hey Jackass! You need to [Register] or log in to view signatures on ROTHARMY.COM!

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    Well, they go out of their way there to ensure you are drunk while you are playing cards, so why not add something else?

    = more cash for them

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    Pennsylvania Announces Legislation To Legalize Pot:

    http://www.theweedblog.com/press-con...-pennsylvania/

    State Senator Daylin Leach and Law Enforcement and Medical Advocates Discuss Marijuana Legalization Efforts in Pennsylvania
    Momentum Growing in States After Voters in Colorado and Washington State Legalized Marijuana in November
    WHO: * PA State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware)
    * Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
    * David Nathan, M.D., clinical associate professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, teaches psychiatry in Princeton, New Jersey
    WHAT: Press conference announcing introduction of Pennsylvania legislation to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol
    WHEN: Monday, February 11, 2013 at 2 p.m.
    WHERE: Capitol Media Center, Room 1 in the East Wing of the Capitol Building, Harrisburg
    Background
    In November, voters in Washington State and Colorado voted to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. Legislators in other states have announced plans to introduce similar legislation in their states. Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach is introducing a bill to tax and regulate marijuana in Pennsylvania. Senator Leach believes that ending marijuana prohibition will raise revenue for Pennsylvania and bring an end to a failed policy of prohibition. “This past November, the people of Washington State and Colorado voted to fully legalize marijuana,” said Leach. “It is time for Pennsylvania to be a leader in jettisoning this modern-day prohibition, and ending a policy that has been destructive, costly and anti-scientific.”
    Also present at the press conference will be Neill Franklin, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “Cops see the ineffectiveness and harms of marijuana prohibition up close, every day,” says Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop. “Keeping marijuana illegal doesn’t significantly reduce use, but it does give tax-free profits to violent gangs and cartels that control the black market. Now, thanks to Sen. Leach’s proposal, Pennsylvania has a chance to join Colorado and Washington in letting police focus on the job we signed up to do — keeping the public safe — instead of being distracted by chasing down marijuana users.”
    Dr. David Nathan believes that the criminalization of marijuana does little to limit its use and is inconsistent with the public health approach taken to similar substances. “Our nation can acknowledge the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana while still permitting their use,” says Nathan. “The only logically and morally consistent argument for marijuana prohibition necessitates the criminalization of all harmful recreational drugs, including alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. We can agree that such an infringement on personal freedoms is as impractical as it is un-American. The time has come to accept that our nation’s attitude toward marijuana has been misguided for generations and that the only rational approach to cannabis is to legalize, regulate and tax it.”


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    Shit, any drink I ever had in a Nevada casino was served in a 6 ounce glass and so goddamn watered down that I would have to drink at least 12 of them in an hour to get even the slightest buzz. And considering you don't get the attention of a waitress often enough for that, good luck getting drunk.

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    You musta been in a suckass casino. Every one I have been in (Vegas and Tunica, MS) the booze was just fine.

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    Field Of Dreams


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    http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbyi...n-capitol-hill

    Doors swing open for advocates of marijuana legalization on Capitol Hill
    By Kevin Bogardus - 02/10/13 06:00 AM ET

    Advocates for the legalization of marijuana plan to step up their political giving and lobbying efforts now that members of Congress are taking an interest in changing federal drug laws.

    The lobbyists say lawmakers who wouldn’t give them the time of day are suddenly interested in meeting with them and introducing legislation following the approval of ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington that legalized recreational use of the drug.

    “These were folks who wouldn't take a call five years ago and now they are calling us and telling us to get up there with our PAC money and our expertise,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “For those of us who have been at this for the past 20 years, it has been nice to see the warm turn.”

    Some pro-legalization groups are increasing their fundraising as lawmakers consider drug legislation. Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), said the group is planning more aggressive fundraising through its political action committee.

    “Our hope is to exceed what we have done in any previous cycle,” Fox said.

    The group is aiming to get more than $150,000 in contributions to its PAC for the 2014 election cycle — topping its previous record of more than $119,000 in donations for the 2006 campaign, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records.

    Further, the PAC is changing its name to the Marijuana Policy Project PAC, dropping a prior reference to medical marijuana. Fox, who also lobbies for the National Cannabis Industry Association, said the name change signals that a broader reform agenda is now on the table.

    “The ground has shifted and we now see members of Congress wanting to regulate marijuana like alcohol. The name change reflects that our activity on the federal level is no longer just about medical marijuana,” Fox said.

    But strategists looking to reform drug policies are choosing their battles carefully at the state level.

    In a Nov. 28, 2012, memo obtained by The Hill, Rob Kampia, MPP’s executive director, said Oregon should wait until 2016 to for a marijuana legalization ballot drive, when another presidential election would boost turnout among young voters.

    “Given that an initiative in November 2014 would be almost certain to lose, MPP would contribute no money toward a signature drive, paid staff, or advertising during the 2013-2014 cycle,” Kampia wrote to Oregon activists.

    Kampia said MPP is interested in passing an Oregon ballot initiative in 2016 and would contribute $700,000 to the effort.

    “There is going to be disagreement at times. That's par for the course. It's like any other issue advocacy group. We will agree on the objectives but we might disagree on how to get there,” said Roy Kaufmann, one of the activists who received the memo and is now MPP’s Oregon representative and agrees with waiting until 2016.

    Kaufmann was the campaign strategist for Measure 80 in Oregon, the marijuana legalization ballot effort that failed in 2012.

    “We can't tell our funders in good faith that they should fund a 2014 initiative. We are not saying it's impossible to win. We are just saying it's a completely unnecessary risk,” Fox said. "The only thing that can keep Oregon from winning this in 2016 is a loss in 2014."

    As the movement for marijuana legalization spreads, competition for fundraising dollars is likely to grow. A number of well-heeled donors have already opened their wallets for the cause.

    New Approach Washington, the main group that campaigned for legalization in that state, took in more than $6 million in contributions last election cycle.

    The prolific liberal donor Peter Lewis gave more than $2 million to New Approach Washington for their legalization campaign, according to state campaign finance records. Drug Policy Action — the 501(c)(4) affiliate of Drug Policy Alliance — contributed more than $1.6 million. George Soros sits on Drug Policy Alliance’s board of directors and was a major donor to Drug Policy Action in 2012.

    Lobbyists say the battle that is brewing over drug laws will be far-reaching and not confined to recreational use of marijuana.

    “You going to see reform on federal drug policy in general,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “It's not just about marijuana. It's about racial disparity, over-incarceration and saving money as well.”

    Capitol Hill has certainly taken notice.

    Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) each introduced separate bills this past week that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol. The two lawmakers also released a report on how to rethink federal marijuana policy.

    On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, plans to hold a hearing on marijuana policy this Congress.

    Drug laws are also getting a second look from the GOP, with Kentucky Republicans rallying behind industrial hemp. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced legislation this past week to exclude hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has backed that effort, saying he became convinced that hemp production would be good for his state after long discussions with the libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

    Lobbyists don’t expect a marijuana legalization bill will be on President Obama’s desk this Congress, but lawmakers know they will have to reconcile federal policy at some point with the legalization movement sweeping the states.

    “I often tell elected officials that if you are going to remain relevant in politics, you are going to have to move towards drug policy reform because that's where the younger voters are,” Piper said.

    One Democrat said he’s made a personal appeal to Obama — who has admitted to smoking marijuana as a teenager — for changes to federal policy.

    “I raised the issue myself with the president at the Democratic retreat [on Thursday]. … It should change,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), noting thousands of people are in jail for marijuana use.

    Cohen plans to introduce legislation to create a commission to study states where medical marijuana and marijuana have been legalized. Advocates believe the bill could attract White House support.

    “The commission gives the president some maneuvering room by affording him time and his administration acknowledges that public attitudes about this have changed,” St. Pierre said.

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    http://www.theweedblog.com/michigan-...ing-marijuana/

    Michigan Doctor Arrested, Charged For Recommending Marijuana

    In the latest move to curtail medical marijuana activities, the Michigan State Police on Tuesday arrested a prominent physician in central Michigan known for specializing in recommending medical marijuana. Dr. Edward Harwell was today charged with five criminal counts- two counts of making recommendations outside of the bona fide doctor-patient relationship and three counts of falsifying a medical record.

    Dr. Edward Harwell, owner of the Triple M Clinics was taken into custody by MSP officers on Tuesday, February 12 and was held overnight without bond at the Wexford County Jail. Charges were announced at his arraignment. Harwell’s bond was set at $20,000.

    Revealed in Court today were the details of the charges. On February 5, 2013, Harwell certified two undercover officers for use of medical marijuana without viewing any patient records nor performing a physical examination, according to the charges. Harwell certified another undercover on Tuesday, February 12 and was promptly arrested. Harwell is also accused of listing false medical conditions on the patient’s medical records. The prosecution is being handled by the Wexford County Prosecutor’s office.

    Judge Parsons read the following statements while announcing the charges: “…the defendant did unlawfully conspire combine confederate or agree together with a Rosalind K Swafford to verify severe and chronic pain as a specific diagnosis on a physician’s certification… which constituted the debilitating medical condition and did so without establishing a bona fide physician patient relationship and without establishing a factual basis to form the professional opinion that the person was likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the use of marijuana.”

    During the bond discussion, Judge Parsons also said, “These are very severe crimes; the abuse of medical use of medicine and prescription of medicines is a danger to the public and the court is therefore going to set a bond higher than usual.” Harwell, through his attorney, entered a Not Guilty plea to all charges.

    Harwell’s troubles began in June of 2010, when an article revealed he charged one price to certify patients with medical records and one price for those without them. A sting-style investigation by a local television news team documented the no-records certifications and then took it to their local legislator in November of 2010. That legislator was Republican Tonya Schuitmaker, who became a member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee in 2011 and is now the Senate’s President Pro Tempore. She is a former State Chairperson for ALEC, a think tank credited for generating some of the nation’s most conservative public policy.

    On August 30, 2012, the Attorney General filed a complaint against Dr. Harwell, alleging Harwell failed to maintain records, require proper documentation and “promotion for personal gain of an unnecessary drug” and “lack of good moral character”. The Complaint cites as evidence a former business manager, referred to as S.H., who retained legal counsel against Harwell; the news story;

    LARA subpoenaed the records of several patients that had received their certification from Dr. Harwell at a conference in Whitehall, Michigan, and at the Trpile M Clinics.; Harwell was unable to produce the records. He was accused of six counts: negligence, incompetence, lack of good moral character, promotion of a drug for personal gain, failure to maintain records and failure to respond to a subpoena. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website lists Harwell as having an open formal complaint filed against him. The complaint sought sanctions against Harwell’s license to practice, not criminal charges.

    Dr. Harwell is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit and is board certified in nuclear medicine and radiology, according to an online physician’s listing service. Another report lists him as a brain surgeon and a general practitioner. Wexford County is in the northern half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, near the ski resort and vacation haven of Traverse City. His practice is based out of Cadillac. The LARA complaint states Harwell also owned the Liberty Clinic in Ann Arbor, which has been shuttered for more than a year.

    Court proceedings today were recorded by Eric VanDussen, a journalist and videographer known to fight for the right to video medical marijuana court cases. VanDussen has in the past won approval from the Supreme Court of Michigan to record a very unwilling Court of Appeals. The video recording of today’s court proceedings against Dr. Harwell:



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    Baby steps. Progress is slow, but is still progress nonetheless.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_2687954.html

    Bloomberg: Marijuana Arrests In NYC Will Mean A Desk Appearance Ticket, Not A Night In Jail

    Posted: 02/14/2013 1:58 pm EST | Updated: 02/15/2013 11:20 am EST


    Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday that those arrested in New York City for possessing small amounts of marijuana will no longer have to spend a night in jail.

    The new measure, set to take effect next month, was announced during Bloomberg's State of the City speech. From the speech:

    But we know that there’s more we can do to keep New Yorkers, particularly young men, from ending up with a criminal record. Commissioner Kelly and I support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a violation, rather than a misdemeanor and we’ll work to help him pass it this year. But we won’t wait for that to happen.

    “Right now, those arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana are often held in custody overnight. We’re changing that. Effective next month, anyone presenting an ID and clearing a warrant check will be released directly from the precinct with a desk appearance ticket to return to court. It’s consistent with the law, it’s the right thing to do and it will allow us to target police resources where they’re needed most.
    Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed decriminalizing the possession of under 15 grams of marijuana.

    New York City is one of the highest rates of marijuana arrests in the world. From a report by the Drug Policy Alliance:
    In the last decade since Michael Bloomberg became mayor, the NYPD has made 400,038 lowest level marijuana possession arrests at a cost of $600 million dollars. Nearly 350,000 of the marijuana possession arrests made under Bloomberg are of overwhelmingly young Black and Latino men, despite the fact that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than young Blacks and Latinos.

    In the last five years, the NYPD under Bloomberg has made more marijuana arrests (2007 to 2011 = 227,093) than in the 24 years from 1978 through 2001 under Mayor Giuliani, Mayor Dinkins, and Mayor Koch combined (1978 to 2001 = 226,861).


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    http://news.yahoo.com/industrial-hem...150744491.html

    Industrial hemp bill passes Kentucky Senate
    Kentucky Senate passes bill allowing farmers to plant industrial hemp if federal ban lifted

    By Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press | Associated Press – Fri, Feb 15, 2013

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Industrial hemp's growth from the fringes to the political mainstream in Kentucky continued Thursday, with state Senate passage of a bill to strictly regulate the crop if the federal government lifts its current ban on the one-time agricultural staple in the Bluegrass state.

    The bill, which would license hemp growers if the crop gains a federal reprieve, cleared the Senate on a 31-6 vote as supporters promoted its potential to diversify Kentucky farms in an era when tobacco's influence has waned. They said hemp's comeback would create processing and manufacturing jobs in converting the plant into products that include paper, clothing, auto parts, biofuels, food and lotions.

    Sen. Paul Hornback, a tobacco farmer and the bill's lead sponsor, said Kentucky needs to be at the forefront of giving the versatile crop a chance if the federal ban is lifted. The Shelbyville Republican said he had heard recently from two companies interested in capitalizing on a hemp comeback in Kentucky, including a processing company in Canada looking to expand and offer production contracts to farmers.

    "Give us the opportunity," Hornback said. "Put us in a position in Kentucky to give us an opportunity to see how this works. I don't think anybody knows exactly what the economic impact's going to be in Kentucky. We don't know what the economic viability is going to be."

    The bill now heads to the House, where its prospects are much less certain.

    "I think it'll have a little tougher time here," House Speaker Greg Stumbo told reporters.

    Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said hemp supporters haven't yet proven there's a viable market for the crop that vanished from U.S. farms decades ago.

    "It's not that we're saying 'no,'" Stumbo said. "We're simply saying that the evidence doesn't show that there's enough of a market to override the concerns that the law enforcement community has."

    Law enforcement skeptics, including Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer, worry that officers will be unable to detect the difference between hemp and marijuana without costly lab tests. They worry marijuana growers would infiltrate hemp fields to plant small plots of pot. Supporters have tried to debunk that claim, saying growers would avoid hemp fields because the hemp would greatly diminish the potency of the marijuana.

    Republican Sen. Chris Girdler of Somerset, who opposed the bill, expressed doubts about hemp's economic potential. He said he hopes he's wrong and that hemp produces thousands of jobs if it makes a comeback, but added, "Unfortunately, I believe that growing a Chia Pet would have as much economic prosperity as the growing of hemp."

    U.S. retail sales of hemp products exceed $400 million per year, advocates say. Dozens of countries produce hemp, and most imported hemp is grown in Canada and Europe. Girdler said hemp producers there are supported by government subsidies, a claim disputed by national hemp advocates.

    State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who has championed efforts to re-establish hemp, hailed the Senate vote.

    "Today's bipartisan vote is the first step toward more opportunities for our farmers and jobs for Kentuckians," he said.

    Last year, Comer re-convened an industrial hemp commission that had been dormant for years. Hemp support gained momentum with endorsements from many of Kentucky's most powerful politicians, including Republican U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth, the state's lone Democrat in the congressional delegation, and Thomas Massie, a Republican.

    Comer has cautioned that hemp will remain absent from Kentucky until the federal government legalizes the crop.

    On Thursday, McConnell and Paul introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to allow the nation's farmers to grow industrial hemp. The measure, also sponsored by Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, both Democrats, would remove the crop from the list of controlled substances under federal law.

    The Kentucky senators said hemp packs the potential to boost the state's economy and generate new jobs, especially in rural communities.

    Paul made a pitch for hemp during a state Senate committee hearing on Monday. He even wore a shirt made of hemp fiber. Paul has said he would seek a federal waiver to allow for a resumption of hemp production in Kentucky if the federal legislation stalls.

    If the bill in Kentucky is approved by the full Legislature, the Bluegrass state would join eight others that have taken steps to allow commercial hemp production, despite the federal ban.

    Industrial hemp once thrived in Kentucky, but the leafy crop has been banned for decades since the federal government classified it as a controlled substance related to marijuana. Hemp has a negligible content of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.

    Under the Kentucky bill, the state agriculture department would license hemp growers and production would be subject to inspection. Growers would undergo criminal background checks. A production license would be valid for one year and a grower would be limited to 10 acres for each license.

    ___

    The legislation is Senate Bill 50.

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