United States: Statewide campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan kicking off in Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton, Ann Arbor Political Reporter

Photo by Ryan Stanton A grass-roots group operating under the name Repeal Today For A Safer Michigan 2012 is hoping to put the question to voters in November 2012.

A draft version of the petition obtained by seeks to amend the Michigan Constitution to make pot legal for people 21 and older.

It reads as follows:

A Petition to amend the Michigan Constitution Article 1, to add:

Article 1 Section 28. Repeal of Marihuana Prohibition.

For persons at least 21 years of age who are not incarcerated, marihuana cultivation, possession, bodily internal possession, sale, acquisition, transfer, delivery, transportation, religious, medical or personal use, or possession or use of paraphernalia shall not be prohibited, abridged, or penalized in any manner; nor subject to civil forfeiture; provided that no person shall be allowed to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by any substance.

Kestenbaum said he hadn't thought much about whether such a proposal would pass, but he doesn't discount it considering the medical marijuana initiative won voter approval in 2008.

"I think this is going to be very interesting," he said. "I'm intrigued."

California: Legislative Analyst's Office: Pot initiative could be profitable for state

By Capitol Television News Service (CTNS)

United States: Legalizing Marijuana

Re: "Reefer Madness"(Op-Ed, Nov. 7)

By NEILL FRANKLIN, NY Times Op-Ed Contributor

There is a truth that must be heard! The Obama administration's crackdown on state medical marijuana laws, as Ethan Nadelmann pointed out, does not make "any sense in terms of public safety, health or fiscal policy." Medical marijuana is consistently supported by more than 70 percent of voters. A recent Gallup poll shows that more Americans now want to legalize marijuana altogether than support continued prohibition on adult use.

In an earlier era it may have been a smart move for politicians to act "tough on drugs" and stay far away from legalization. But today, many voters recognize that our prohibition laws don’t do anything to reduce drug use but do create a black market where cartels and gangs use violence to protect their profits.

While some fear that legalization would lead to increased use, those who want to use marijuana are probably already doing so under our ineffective prohibition laws. And when we stop wasting so many resources on locking people up, perhaps we can fund real public education and health efforts of the sort that have led to dramatic reductions in tobacco use over the last few decades — all without having to put handcuffs on anyone.

California: New Initiative Makes Pot Legal for Everyone


Ben Deci, FOX40 News

There is a truth that must be heard! It's the next big salvo in the push to legalize pot; petition takers are out now, getting signatures for an initiative to appear on next November's ballot.

The people who wrote this initiative say they are against minors and motorists using pot, and people at work too. But they also say you have to make one type of marijuana legal for everyone.

"The fact is if you smoked a bail there just isn't any possibility of a psycho-active effect," said Steve Kubby, one of those who drafted the ballot initiative.

United States: Marijuana legalization support at record high

There is a truth that must be heard!(CBS News) - Never before have more Americans believed legalizing marijuana was the right course for the country.

In a new Gallup poll, 50 percent of respondents in a nationwide survey said they believed it was time to make pot legal. About 46 percent came out against it.

Support for legalizing marijuana tended to be stronger among younger, more liberal groups, according to Gallup. Legalization received 62 approval among those aged 18 to 29, but got only 31 percent approval among those 65 and older. Liberals were twice as likely as conservatives to favor legalizing marijuana.

In a release, Gallup writes: "When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana, in 1969, 12 percent of Americans favored it, while 84 percent were opposed. Support remained in the mid-20s in Gallup measures from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but has crept up since, passing 30 percent in 2000 and 40 percent in 2009 before reaching the 50 percent level in this year's Oct. 6-9 annual Crime survey."

If the steady climb in public support for marijuana legalization continues at its current pace, politicians will soon have to address the laws that fly in the face of that movement in opinion.

Asia: China Censors Little Black Book Of Marijuana; Release Delayed

Communist Bosses Won't Even Allow Book Inside The Country

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Special to Hemp News

There is a truth that must be heard! The worldwide release of an American book on cannabis has been delayed, due to the refusal of the communist government of China to allow its binding on Chinese soil, according to the publisher.

The Little Black Book of Marijuana, by yours truly, Toke of the Town editor Steve Elliott, was scheduled for availability on August 1, but that printing schedule was thrown off after the totalitarian Chinese government decided the book was "too controversial" to even allow the printed pages inside the tightly-run dictatorship.

"Our printer is located in Hong Kong, with binderies in mainland China," production manager Ginny Reynolds of Peter Pauper Press explained to me Friday morning. "Usually it's no problem to move printed books from Hong Kong to China for binding.

"However, Chinese censorship is extremely tight," Reynolds told Toke of the Town. "Any content deemed 'sensitive' or 'controversial' by their standards is banned."

Steve Elliott: "You can always tell a totalitarian dictatorship, because they're afraid of the truth."

"We have the same problem with our books on sexuality," she told me. "The printer has to arrange for binding in Hong Kong, and facilities there are limited and overbooked in the summer season.

On The Money: Medical Marijuana Controversy

By CBS 13 Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Marijuana is no medical marvel — that's according to a new federal ruling generating plenty of controversy across California.

The Drug Enforcement Administration decree states that "marijuana has no currently accepted medical use" – in other words, this bud is not for you.

Yet in California you can easily get pizza, brownies, even cannabis cookies because medical marijuana is incredibly edible and of course, smokable. And all you need is a medical marijuana card – it's easy to get – but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has ruled that “marijuana lacks accepted safety for medical use under supervision.”

"I’m here to disagree with the DEA," said Shane Randall, a medical marijuana patient at Alternative Medical Source (AMS) in Fair Oaks.

He told CBS 13, "I'm a type one diabetic. I also have auto-immune disease. I've been using medicinal marijuana for 5 years now."

United States: Gary Johnson: Face reality, legalize pot

Editor's note: Gary Johnson is a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination and served as governor of New Mexico from 1994-2003.

By Gary Johnson, Special to CNN

There is a truth that must be heard! (CNN) -- In 2002, I became aware of a woman who had already served more than six years of a 25-year prison sentence. Her crime? She was addicted to codeine, and she had fraudulently written herself more than 100 prescriptions for Tylenol III.

It seemed to me that this woman had already served far too much time in prison -- in fact, more than a person would likely serve if convicted of second-degree murder -- so I used my authority as governor of New Mexico to release her.

United States: Members Of Congress Introduce First Federal Measure Since 1937 To Legalize The Adult Use Of Marijuana

By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Members Of Congress Introduce First Federal Measure Since 1937 To Legalize The Adult Use Of Marijuana House lawmakers introduced legislation in Congress today to end the federal criminalization of the personal use of marijuana.

The bipartisan measure, HR 2306 – entitled the 'Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011' and sponsored by Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank and Texas Republican Ron Paul along with Reps. Cohen (D-TN), Conyers (D-MI), Polis (D-CO), and Lee (D-CA) – prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess marijuana by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Under present law, all varieties of the marijuana plant are defined as illicit Schedule I controlled substances, defined as possessing 'a high potential for abuse,’ and ‘no currently accepted medical use in treatment.'

Said Rep. Frank, "Criminally prosecuting adults for making the choice to smoke marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources and an intrusion on personal freedom. I do not advocate urging people to smoke marijuana, neither do I urge them to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke tobacco, but in none of these cases do I think prohibition enforced by criminal sanctions is good public policy."

United States: Marijuana legalization: Read eight initiatives filed for 2012 Colorado ballot consideration

By Michael Roberts, Westword

There is a truth that must be heard! Sensible Colorado's Brian Vicente has been talking about a 2012 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adult use here since at least this November 2009 post.

But his effort to accomplish this feat is one step closer to reality now that he's submitted eight variations on a legalization measure to the state's title-setting review board. Read them below.

"They all have the same basic framework," says Vicente about the documents, which were filed last week. "Essentially, what we're looking to do is regulate marijuana sales in a similar way that alcohol is regulated statewide. That way, adults 21 and over can purchase marijuana in regulated, state-licensed businesses where they have to show an ID before it can be purchased."

Among the main selling points, he continues, is that "it would free up law enforcement resources for far more important purposes -- and it would also produce a fair amount of tax revenue for the state."

Press Release: News Conference - OCTA 2012 Petition Approved for Circulation

View Larger Map

Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Petitions Approved for Circulation Press Release: News Conference

When: Monday, March 28th, 10 AM

Where: 2712 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland, OR 97232

Who: Paul Stanford, Chief Petitioner & Treasurer
Jennifer Alexander, Campaign Manager

Washington: 'Grammas for Ganja' Advocates Marijuana to be Accepted in Workforce


There is a truth that must be heard! SEATTLE -- A group called "Grammas For Ganja" is fighting to not only have marijuana legalized but for users to be a part of the workforce without the fear of getting fired.

Jeanne Black-Ferguson, 70, is not your typical grandma. She is front and center in the fight, not for herself, but for her grandkids.

"I think when Washington legalizes cannibas across the board we will become one of the wealthiest states in America!" she said. "If one in five are going to be impacted by the criminal justice system for cannibus which one of my five [grandchildren] will be? I already know two of them that are using the plant!"

Black-Ferguson thinks they should be able to use it and get a job. The issue however, it's not that simple.

"I've gone on four interviews in the past two weeks," says Maggie, who did want to give us her last name.

Maggie uses marijuana to ease the pain of a brain tumor. Her doctor's note means nothing to most employers.

Washington: Seattle Times Endorsing Marijuana Legalization Bill

By KING 5 News

Washington: Seattle Times Endorsing Marijuana Legalization Bill SEATTLE – The Seattle Times is endorsing a bill in the Washington state Legislature to legalize marijuana, in an editorial to be published this Sunday.

The paper is coming out in favor of House Bill 1550, which would make it legal to sell pot in liquor stores.

The editorial comes just days after Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said he has stopped prosecuting user-level possession cases.

Legalizing pot would be at odds with federal law and it goes against what most in law enforcement believe -- that pot is a dangerous drug. But the Times editorial board says legalization is really a pro-law enforcement move.

"If you legalize it, then the growers, the distributors, they become part of the regulated system where law enforcement has more control," said Kate Riley with The Seattle Times.


Oregon: Marijuana Initiative for 2012 Ballot

By Susan Gager, KEZI

Oregon: Marijuana Initiative for 2012 Ballot EUGENE, Ore. -- Just months ago, a marijuana dispensary measure failed on the ballot in Oregon. Now the push is on to legalize the drug across the board.

The creator of the new initiative wants marijuana to be taxed just like cigarettes and liquor. He and its supporters say it would generate millions for the state. But does it have any chance of passing? That depends on who you ask.

"I think that it's time for the nation to take the demonization out of marijuana," said Phillip Allen, family nurse practitioner.

That's what the director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation intends to do with a new initiative to get marijuana legalized in the state.

"It really does relieve a lot of pain and it can really help a lot of people," said Eliza Williams, student.

The executive director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation says if it were taxed like cigarettes and liquor, it could generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state's general fund.

"Alcohol revenue brings in about $75 million. It will create lots of new jobs, and create all these new industries. We think it'll create billions and billions of dollars in the long run," said Paul Stanford, Hemp & Cannabis Foundation Executive Director.

Oregon: Stanford Pushes To Legalize Cannabis

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Special to Hemp News

Oregon:Stanford Pushes To Legalize Cannabis If Paul Stanford has his way, cannabis will become legal in Oregon next year. The executive director of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF) is working to get a measure on the ballot in 2012 to legalize marijuana in the Beaver State.

Pot should be taxed like cigarettes and alcohol to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state, according to Stanford, who said cannabis would be regulated and sold to people over the age of 21, reports Joe Raineri at KATU.

"We want to regulate it so that businesses like bars and taverns that bar the admission of minors can offer that as a business," Stanford said.

According to Stanford, legal marijuana would bring a steady flow of cash for Oregon.

"Alcohol revenues bring in about $75 million," he said. "It will create lots of new jobs. It will create all these new industries. We think it will be billions and billions of dollars in the long run."

About 90 percent of the revenue brought in by legal marijuana would go to the state's general fund.

In order to get the measure on the ballot, Stanford needs to get nearly 90,000 signatures.

Washington: Bill Proposes to Sell Pot Through State Liquor Stores

By Joanna Nolasco, Seattle Times

There is a truth that must be heard! State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, is again proposing that the state legalize marijuana and regulate it much like alcohol.

House Bill 1550, filed Tuesday, proposes that pot be sold through state liquor stores to adults aged 21 and over, and that the state Liquor Control Board issue licenses to commercial growers.

Dickerson sponsored similar legislation in the previous legislative session, but the bill was voted down in the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

"We listened to the concerns of law enforcement, medical marijuana patients and others and made several important improvements" to the bill, Dickerson said in a statement. "Our new bill includes provisions for industrial hemp and allows the cultivation of cannabis for personal use, similar to home brewing and wine making."

Dickerson estimates that the measure could raise about $400 million each biennium through sales and licensing fees. The bill proposes to allocate 77 percent of revenue raised to health care and 20 percent to substance abuse and treatment.

Co-sponsors of the bill are: Reps. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland; Dave Upthegrove, D-Des Moines; Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle; Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo; Mary Helen Roberts, D-Lynnwood; Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle; Luis Moscoso, D-Mountlake Terrace; Deb Eddy, D-Kirkland; Tami Green, D-Lakewood; Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, and Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien.

Oregon: Marijuana Activists Make OCTA 2012 Official

By Bonnie King to Hemp News

Oregon: Marijuana Activists Make OCTA 2012 Official (SALEM, Ore.) - Paul Stanford, Executive Director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation walked 2200 signatures in to the Oregon Secretary of State's office on January 4th, 2011, officially sponsoring OCTA 2012- the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act. It could prove to be a historic turning point for a state well known for its grass roots movements.

Next, the signatures will be verified, and as long as 1000 are from registered Oregon voters, the Office of the Secretary of State will certify a ballot title with the Attorney General, proposing a statutory initiative for the 2012 General Election.

"If all goes as expected, activists will hit the streets in March," said Stanford. "We need to turn in about 140,000 more signatures, or 90,000 registered Oregon voters' signatures, by July 2012 to qualify for the ballot in November 2012."

Colorado: Medical Marijuana Advocates Call For Full Legalization

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Special to Hemp News

Colorado: Medical Marijuana Advocates Call For Full Legalization Medical marijuana advocates Wednesday evening called for the full legalization of marijuana in Colorado, saying that until cannabis is fully legal, it will always be stigmatized and patients will be subject to harassment.

"No patient is really safe until it is legalized for everyone," attorney Robert J. Corry told the patients and advocates at a meeting in Denver, reports Scot Kersgaard at The Colorado Independent.

Corry and other attorneys said law enforcement officials, lawmakers and other officials will never really act as if anyone has a right to use marijuana until it is made legal for all.

"They are treating patients like criminals instead of the sick people we are," said Laura Kriho of the Cannabis Therapy Institute.

Advocates said patient access is in jeopardy in Colorado because of rules that allow cities and counties to ban dispensaries, and because of patient fears that their medical marijuana records are not really confidential.

One attorney in particular brought the house down with her personal story of using medical marijuana.

Longmont lawyer Kristy Martinez described herself as a serious and successful attorney until one day a few years ago when her health took precedence over her law practice.

Washington: Seattle Hempfest 2010: Rick Steves - Cannabis Is a Civil Liberty

“A society has to make a choice: tolerate alternative lifestyles or build more prisons.” Rick Steves

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Washington: Seattle Hempfest 2010: Rick Steves - Cannabis Is a Civil Liberty In August, travel writer and activist extraordinaire, Rick Steves, spoke to the Seattle Hempfest Hemposium about the futile attempt to enforce a failed prohibition, Europe's successful and pragmatic harm reduction approach to marijuana and the basic non-apologetic stance of cannabis use as a civil liberty. “I believe, very strongly, that it is the responsible, adult, recreational, no apologies necessary, ‘it just makes my music more fun,’ recreational use of marijuana is a civil liberty," Steves explained.

United States: Unlikely Advocate: This is Rick Steves on Drugs

By Sarah Mirk, Blogtown

Unlikely Advocate: This is Rick Steves on Drugs As I reported last week, a national marijuana conference filled the luxury Governor Hotel with the sweet stench of pot smoke, including a kick-off speech from Representative Earl Blumenauer and a talk by none other than public television travel host Rick Steves! Who knew Rick Steves was a major advocate of drug law reform?

I sat down with Rick Steves last Friday to talk pot. Here's our quick Q&A on why changing marijuana laws is good for parents, good for Christians and good for society.

I bet people are surprised to find out you're a marijuana advocate.

In some people's minds, they have like whiplash. They say, "I didn't know you were involved in that." And I think that's funny because my persona, everything about me, is consistent. I think enjoying marijuana is perfectly consistent with being a good parent, a good citizen, a Christian or a person of faith, a creative individual who wants to embrace life and challenge themselves with creative adventures. All that's right in keeping with the someone who wants to enjoy a little marijuana.

I heard you were chosen the 2008 Lutheran of the Year. What does the church think about your marijuana advocacy?

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