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Found 6 results

  1. Polls and surveys conducted across the USA all agree that about 50% of the entire US population has used or enjoys marijuana. With marijuana selling anywhere from $5-$30 per gram, its no wonder that legalizing marijuana brings jobs and tax dollars out of the black market and into the regulated market. The prohibition of alcohol gave us Al Capone and the American Mafia, the prohibition of marijuana and other drugs gave us El Chapo and the Mexican Cartels. https://www.forbes.com/sites/civicnation/2018/05/11/how-providence-promise-is-building-a-college-going-culture-the-follow-your-dreams-tour/#6275595149f3
  2. A great article on the history of marijuana in Florida, showing how prohibition has failed.
  3. Daniela Drake, a graduate from the prestigious Stanford medical school, shares her experiences as a California "Pot Doctor" and how she was transformed from a skeptic to an avid supporter of medical cannabis. Like many doctor's involved in medical marijuana certifications, she has witnessed first-hand the cruelties and hypocrisy of marijuana prosecution, these experiences have compelled her to speak out. Michigan readers will resonate with her poignant story and will hopefully glean important lessons therein. Check out the article from the daily beast http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/10/how-a-doctor-came-to-believe-in-medical-marijuana.html
  4. Most Statewide Marijuana Initiatives Lead Solidly In Polls by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 14, 2012 Four of the six statewide marijuana initiatives appearing on the November 2012 ballot <http://norml.org/about/smoke-the-vote> are solidly favored among likely voters. Voters in six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, and Washington – will be deciding on marijuana-specific ballot measures this November. In Massachusetts, voters will decide on Question 3 <http://norml.org/news/2012/07/12/massachusetts-measure-to-legalize-state-sanctioned-distribution-of-medical-cannabis-approved-for-november-ballot> , a statewide proposal that seeks to allow for the physician-recommended possession and state-licensed distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Arkansas voters will decide <http://norml.org/news/2012/08/30/arkansas-medical-marijuana-act-qualifies-for-november-ballot> on a similar measure, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act of 2012 <http://arcompassion.org/news/2011/04/arkansas-medical-marijuana-act-language> . Montana voters will decide on Initiative Referendum 124 <http://norml.org/news/2011/10/06/montana-voters-will-decide-in-2012-on-statewide-medical-cannabis-measure> , which is a referendum on Senate Bill 423 <http://norml.org/news/2011/05/19/montana-restrictive-medical-marijuana-revisions-become-law> – a 2011 measure that seeks to restrict the state’s 2004, voter approved medical cannabis law. Colorado voters will decide on Amendment 64 <http://norml.org/news/2012/03/01/measure-seeking-to-regulate-cannabis-like-alcohol-qualifies-for-2012-colorado-ballot> , which immediately allows for the legal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by those persons age 21 and over. Longer-term, the measure seeks to establish regulations governing the commercial production and distribution of marijuana by licensed retailers. Oregon voters will decide <http://norml.org/news/2012/07/19/oregon-cannabis-tax-act-qualifies-for-november-ballot> on Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act <http://octa2012.org/oregon-cannabis-tax-act-legislation/> , which provides for the state-licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. The measure does not impose state-licensing or taxation requirements upon those who wish to cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes. Finally, in Washington, voters will decide on Initiative 502 <http://norml.org/news/2012/02/02/washington-marijuana-regulation-measure-certified-for-2012-ballot> , which seeks to regulate the production and sale of limited amounts of marijuana for adults. The measure also removes criminal penalties specific to the adult possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use. According to the most recently available polling, several of these measures hold firm leads among likely voters. In Colorado, 47 percent of respondents say that they are backing <http://blog.norml.org/2012/09/04/colorados-marijuana-initiative-amendment-64-still-leading-inpolls/> Amendment 64, according to a September Public Policy poll <http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/09/marijuana-amendment-leads-in-colorado.html#more> of 1,001 likely voters. Thirty-eight percent of likely voters said that they opposed the measure and 15 percent were undecided. In Massachusetts, a majority of likely voters support Question 3. A Public Policy Polling survey released in August reported <http://www.telegram.com/article/20120911/NEWS109119873/1052> that 58 percent of respondents favor the measure versus only 27 percent who oppose it. In Montana, most voters do not support enacting limits on the state’s medical marijuana law, according to a just-published poll <http://www.theweedblog.com/montana-de-facto-medicalmarijuana-repeal-bill-ir-124-faces-an-uphill-battle/> of 656 likely voters. And in Washington, nearly six out of ten voters say they intend to decide in favor of I-502, according to a Survey USA poll <http://blog.norml.org/2012/09/12/new-poll-washingtonsmarijuana-legalization-initiative-i-502-holds-huge-lead/> released this week. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that they will vote ‘yes’ on the measure, versus only 34 percent who said they would vote ‘no.’ Nine percent remain undecided. In Oregon, a July poll <http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/07/oregon-divided-on-gay-marriage.html> not specific to the initiative conducted by Public Policy Polling reported that only 43 percent of Oregonians believed that cannabis use should be legal, versus 46 percent who endorsed it remaining illegal. No recent polling is available in Arkansas.
  5. "With 850,00 arrests a year, keeping marihuana illegal is a big business." The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marihuana Illegal http://www.republicr...-lobby-illegal/ Last year, over 850,000 people in America were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. Despite public opinion, the medical community, and human rights experts all moving in favor of relaxing marijuana prohibition laws, little has changed in terms of policy. There have been many great books and articles detailing the history of the drug war. Part of America’s fixation with keeping the leafy green plant illegal is rooted in cultural and political clashes from the past. However, we at Republic Report think it’s worth showing that there are entrenched interest groups that are spending large sums of money to keep our broken drug laws on the books: 1.) Police Unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal drug war grants to finance their budget. In March, we published a story revealing that a police union lobbyist in California coordinated the effort to defeat Prop 19, a ballot measure in 2010 to legalize marijuana, while helping his police department clients collect tens of millions in federal marijuana-eradication grants. And it’s not just in California. Federal lobbying disclosures show that other police union lobbyists have pushed for stiffer penalties for marijuana-related crimes nationwide. 2.) Private Prisons Corporations: Private prison corporations make millions by incarcerating people who have been imprisoned for drug crimes, including marijuana. As Republic Report’s Matt Stoller noted last year, Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest for-profit prison companies, revealed in a regulatory filing that continuing the drug war is part in parcel to their business strategy. Prison companies have spent millions bankrolling pro-drug war politicians and have used secretive front groups, like the American Legislative Exchange Council, to pass harsh sentencing requirements for drug crimes. 3.) Alcohol and Beer Companies: Fearing competition for the dollars Americans spend on leisure, alcohol and tobacco interests have lobbied to keep marijuana out of reach. For instance, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors contributed campaign contributions to a committee set up to prevent marijuana from being legalized and taxed. 4.) Pharmaceutical Corporations: Like the sin industries listed above, pharmaceutical interests would like to keep marijuana illegal so American don’t have the option of cheap medical alternatives to their products. Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now lobbies the government to relax marijuana prohibition laws, told Republic Report that next to police unions, the “second biggest opponent on Capitol Hill is big PhRMA” because marijuana can replace “everything from Advil to Vicodin and other expensive pills.” 5.) Prison Guard Unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars just like for-profit prison companies. In 2008, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association spent a whopping $1 million to defeat a measure that would have “reduced sentences and parole times for nonviolent drug offenders while emphasizing drug treatment over prison.”
  6. The great divide between politicians and the people is showing itself in California where polls show the voters support Proposition 19 and where the mainstream politicians mostly oppose it. To many Americans, there are few policies more bankrupt than the prohibition on marijuana use, a recognition that a blue-ribbon panel reached four decades ago, urging an emphasis on drug education rather than incarceration. In 1970, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse recommended ending the illegality of marijuana in the United States. The Dutch also had a national commission that reached the same conclusion. The difference was the Dutch listened to their experts and President Nixon and other American politicians ignored the U.S. experts. Well, the results are in – the experts were right and the politicians were wrong, even on the issue of how many people use marijuana. It turns out prohibition was less successful than decriminalization. According to surveys conducted by both governments: in the United States 41 percent of Americans have used marijuana, compared to 22.6 percent in Holland. In 2001, based on recommendations from a national commission, Portugal went further than Holland and abolished all criminal penalties for possession of marijuana and other drugs. The result – reduced use, reduced costs and reduced damage from marijuana to people’s lives. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the European Union, a mere 10 percent. Further, Portugal reports that use dropped among teens: rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1 percent to 10.6 percent; drug use in older teens also declined. Yet, rather than listen to the experts four decades ago, President Nixon doubled down on the already failed and mistaken policy. The result was 100,000 additional arrests the year after the experts said people should no longer be treated as criminals for marijuana use. And, since the experts said it should not be a crime nearly 15 million Americans have been arrested. Only four states have populations larger than the number of people arrested for marijuana since the experts said people should not be arrested for marijuana offenses. Still, the status quo politicians in California – people like Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Gov .Arnold Schwarzenegger – continue to want to ignore the experts and, more important, they want to ignore the people. Polls have consistently shown Proposition 19 to be 7 to 11 points ahead of those who oppose the initiative. Nationally polls show large pluralities and even a majority of Americans oppose keeping marijuana illegal. How can police continue to enforce laws that half the people oppose? What kind of legitimacy does enforcement of such laws have? Won’t enforcing illegitimate laws undermine police relations with communities? That is why smart, experienced police officers like Neil Franklin, a 33-year law enforcement veteran at both the state and city levels supports Proposition 19. Officer Franklin sees Prop. 19 as a step toward healing the division between the people and the police. He recognizes that marijuana prohibition undermines the relationship between police and the people they serve because when they come into their neighborhoods it is to search homes, cars and people. It creates distrust and undermines effective community policing. So, this Nov. 2, the people of California have an opportunity to tell the professional politicians that most voters want to end policies that do not work and undermine law enforcement. It is obvious to most people that the war on marijuana has been a destructive failure, but the politicians still don’t get it. Of course, if I were a politician who supported marijuana being illegal throughout my career, I would not want to admit I was wrong. Hard to say “sorry we arrested you and ruined your life for something that should not have been illegal.” It is hard to admit an error so large and so destructive to millions of lives. Time magazine reports that the instincts of Officer Neil Franklin are right. Joao Castel-Branco Goulao, Portugual's "drug czar" and president of the Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, told Time that police are now able to re-focus on more serious crimes. In fact, the experience in the United States is the same. In 1982, the National Academy of Sciences issues a report entitled “An Analysis of Marijuana Policy.” It recommended going beyond decriminalization and beginning to regulate the sale of marijuana. In making this recommendation, the report looked at states that had decriminalized marijuana possession and found the reform had “not led to appreciably higher levels of marijuana use than would have existed if use were also prohibited.” The NAS also reported savings in tax dollars by ending criminal enforcement against marijuana possession, noting “substantial savings in states that have repealed laws that prohibit use.” And, as Officer Franklin noted, the NAS found “alienation from the rule of law in democratic society may be the most serious cost of current marijuana laws.” Such savings are also predicted if California passes Prop. 19. The California Legislative Analyst says it would enable California to put police priorities where they belong saying it "could result in savings to the state and local governments by reducing the number of marijuana offenders incarcerated in state prisons and county jails, as well as the number placed under county probation or state parole supervision. “These savings could reach several tens of millions of dollars annually. The county jail savings would be offset to the extent that jail beds no longer needed for marijuana offenders were used for other criminals who are now being released early because of a lack of jail space." The findings of the experts are consistent: criminal laws are not an effective way to control marijuana; removing criminal penalties does not lead to increased use; decriminalization creates savings in law enforcement and better relations between community and police. In the year of supposed voter outrage against politics as usual, California voters may send one of the clearest messages to the politicians, that it is time to end the decades-old criminal prohibition on marijuana use by adults. Kevin Zeese is President of Common Sense for Drug Policy (www.csdp.org). © 2010 CounterPunch All rights reserved. View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/148533/
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