Legalization Takes the Stage in Major Congressional Race

voteWhile most political observers are keeping their eyes on the 2018 midterm elections, there are several important special elections to fill seats vacated by members of Congress who were recently appointed to positions in the Trump Administration. One of the more prominent upcoming races will decide who represents the Montana At-Large Congressional District, a position previously filled by the newly minted Interior Secretary Robert Zinke (R).

The two major party candidates, Montana folk musician Rob Quist (D) and conservative multimillionaire tech entrepreneur Greg Gianforte (R), will be facing off in a special election set to be held on May 25th. This election has been drawing nationwide attention and is expected to be highly contested. Over the weekend, the pair sounded off on a variety of topics in a debate aired by MTN News. Notably, the candidates were forced to go on record with their position on marijuana law reform.

Do you support the legalization of marijuana?

Rob Quist (D): 

“I went into a dispensary because I wanted to ask the proprietor…I said you know who uses this? The people that come in here are people whose bodies are burned out by pharmaceutical drugs and this is the only relief they can get. Quite frankly, I think that the war on drugs has been an abject failure, I think there’s a pipeline of money going into these organizations that can be better spent not incarcerating people, with our whole prison for profit…There are people in jail that don’t belong in jail because of this. I think the money can be better spent for rehabilitation and treatment. I think it’s important, the majority of Americans want to see that this is legalized.

Greg Gianforte (R): 

“One of the things that really came home to me as I travelled around the state was the addiction problems we have to meth, to opiates…The result is over 3,500 kids in foster care here in the state. I believe that marijuana has medicinal benefits and we should support that, but making it available for recreational use would just add to the addiction problem and cause more problems here and I oppose it.

The candidate for the Libertarian Party, Mark Wicks, also stated he supported the legalization of marijuana.

If you live in Montana, no matter who you support, be sure to participate in our democracy and cast your ballot in this special election. You can check your voter registration and find out all other information necessary to participate from the Montana Secretary of State HERE.

Federal Measure Introduced to Form National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy

Lets Be HonestRepresentative Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced federal legislation that would establish a National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy. The proposed commission, inspired by the 1971 Shafer Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, would be tasked with undertaking a comprehensive review of how federal policy should interact with state laws that make marijuana legal for medicinal and personal use, the cost of our current marijuana prohibition and potential revenue from marijuana regulation and taxation, the impact of federal banking and tax laws on marijuana related businesses, the health benefits of risk of marijuana use, the public safety and criminal justice implications of marijuana prohibition compared with regulation, and the effects of marijuana prohibition and potential regulation on our international relationships and treaties.

“Regardless of your views on marijuana, it’s important that we understand the impact of current federal policy and address the conflict with those state laws that allow for medicinal or personal use of marijuana,” said Congressman Cohen. “This conflict is only going to continue to grow over the next few years and we must provide certainty to the millions of individuals and businesses that remain caught in a web of incompatible laws. A national commission would provide us with the information we need to create sensible policy going forward.”

Representative Steve Cohen is joined by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Earl Blumenhauer (D-OR), Jim Moran (D-VA), and Sam Farr (D-CA).

During an interview with Barbara Walters in December of 2012, President Obama stated, “…what we’re going to need to have is a conversation about, how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it’s legal?”

Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske stated in January of this year that, “Coming out of the recent election, it is clear that we’re in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana.”

“The Obama administration has repeatedly stated that a national conversation is needed when it comes to our country’s marijuana policies, but so far that conversation has been largely one sided,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “It is time for federal lawmakers to listen to the voice of the majority of Americans who want to see change to our nation’s marijuana laws and for them to take part in that dialogue. NORML is pleased to have worked with Representative Cohen and his staff on this important legislation that would provide a public and professional venue for that conversation to take place. A majority of Americans agree that it is time for the United States to end it’s fruitless and expensive war on cannabis consumers and pursue policies of regulation and taxation. Enjoining this national commission would be a pragmatic and productive step towards assessing the true costs of our current prohibition and creating a framework for a functional federal policy on marijuana.”

Join NORML and federal legislators in calling for a “serious national conversation” on regulating marijuana.

Click here to quickly and easily contact your Representative and urge him or her to support this legislation.

Kentucky Industrial Hemp Legislation Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature

On Friday, April 5th, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky stated that he will let Kentucky’s industrial hemp measure become law without his signature. Gov. Beshear had expressed concerns that marijuana growers could hide their illegal growing operations with hemp plants. Despite his concerns, he allowed the measure to become law without his signature and did not veto the legislation.

House and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in March during the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Noting that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

After the bills approval by the state legislature, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer stated that “by passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Kentucky is now the ninth state to have passed a law allowing for farmers to cultivate industrial hemp. Hemp cultivation is still prohibited by the federal government, so until the feds alter their current policy, it is unlikely that Kentucky farmers will begin to grow this crop. Of the eight states who previously approved industrial hemp legislation, only Hawaii has received a federal waiver allowing them to grow an acre of hemp for research purposes.

Federal legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is currently pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been sponsored by prominent politicians such as Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. You can click here to write your federal officials in support of this legislation.

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service report. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

Senate Bill 50 “establish conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designated the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Federal legislation, the 013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill.”

If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service report. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

Senate Bill 50 “establish conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designated the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Federal legislation, the 013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill.”

If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers yesterday passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp.” The floor votes took place with only hours to go before the close of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

Senate Bill 50 “establishes conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designates the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Federal legislation, the 013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill,” but has not stated publicly whether he intends to veto the measure.

If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Takes Dig at Pro-Legalization Senate Candidate Dan Winslow

WinslowAt a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston this past weekend, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) took a jab at pro-legalization Republican State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), who is currently vying for the Republican nomination for Senate in Massachusetts’s upcoming special election.

Addressing the crowd, Senator Warren said, “I advise everyone to pay very close attention to Dan Winslow’s platform. He has a 100 percent ranking from the gun lobby and he’s for the legalization of marijuana. He wants us armed and stoned.”

According to statements received by VoteSmart, Rep. Dan Winslow’s stance on marijuana policy is as follows:

I disfavor decriminalization of marijuana because it increases demand from illicit sources. Instead, I think we need to legalize marijuana (likely starting with medicinal marijuana in view of the current federal prohibition) and then regulate it and tax it. Only be lawful production of marijuana will the cartels, crooks and drug dealers be put out of business in the US. – State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk)

Representative Winslow is currently engaged in a primary for the GOP nomination, if he were to receive it he would face either Democratic Congressmen Stephen Lynch or Edward Markey in the June 25 special election.

Representative Nancy Pelosi: I Think State Marijuana Laws Have to Be Respected; I Think Tax and Regulate

Lets Be HonestIn an interview with the Denver Post, published this week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke about the marijuana legalization initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington in November.

When asked, “What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that legalize marijuana and what is your view of federal policy?,” Minority Leader Pelosi expressed her support of state laws regarding marijuana and encouraged a tax and regulate policy:

Q: What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that have taken steps to legalize marijuana and what is your view of the federal role?

Rep. Pelosi: I support the leadership of Jared Polis, who has been a leader on this issue as well as other members..I understand some of the Republican members support the law now that is passed, even if they didn’t before.

But in any case, to answer your question, what is my position regarding the states that have medical marijuana or recreational marijuana as the law of their states: I think that has to be respected. I think tax and regulate.

In order to do that, there has to be a level of respect for the fact, that if you are going to have recreational marijuana, someone is in business to do that and they have to have tax treatment in order for them to function as a business.

How the state of Colorado interacts with the federal government on the taxation issues is something they have to work out, but I think they should.

You can view the full interview here.

Representative Pelosi now joins the growing list of prominent politicians who are coming out in support of rational marijuana policy. Take a minute of your time and click here to easily contact your Representative and urge him or her to support Representative Polis’ legislation, HR 499: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, and put an end to our nation’s war on cannabis consumers.

Ann Arbor Cannabis Seminar Is Open For Enrollment

Oakland, California (PRWEB) April 5, 2009

Oaksterdam University’s first Michigan seminar is now open for enrollment. Only days after announcing the weekend package, a number of Michigonians have enrolled for the weekend seminar to be held on May 23rd and 24th at Best Western Ann Arbor Executive Plaza.

Proposal 1 passed last November making Cannabis legal for Michigan citizens with a valid doctor’s recommendation. The seminar will cover cannabis politics, legal issues and horticulture with special emphasis on the new Michigan medical marijuana laws.

The Oaksterdam University classes will teach students how to grow and distribute cannabis legally under the new law. A similar measure to Proposal 1 passed in California in 1996 and since then thousands of jobs have been created and the state now collects 100 million dollars in annual sales tax.

Oaksterdam University staff available for interviews:

Rich LeeOaksterdam University President and Politics Instructor

Chris ConradPolitics and Legal Issues Instructor

Omar Figueroa ESQ- Legal Issues Instructor

Rob Raich ESQ – Business Instructor

For more information and to schedule interviews, please contact Greg Grimala.

To learn more about Oaksterdam University, log onto http://www.oaksterdam.com or http://www.michigancannabis.com.

OD Media

Greg Grimala

300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza STE 175

Oakland, CA

94612

(510) 238.9655

greg(at)odmediaco.com

http://www.oaksterdam.com

http://www.michigancannabis.com

# # #







More Medical Marijuana Doctors Press Releases

Ann Arbor Cannabis Seminar Coming Soon

Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) May 19, 2009

Proposal 1 passed last November making Cannabis legal for Michigan citizens with a valid doctor’s recommendation. The seminar will cover cannabis politics, legal issues and horticulture with special emphasis on the new Michigan medical marijuana laws.

The Oaksterdam University classes will teach students how to grow and distribute cannabis legally under the new law. A similar measure to Proposal 1 passed in California in 1996 and since then thousands of jobs have been created and the state now collects Millions dollars in annual sales tax.

Oaksterdam University staff available for interviews:

Rich LeeOaksterdam University President and Politics Instructor

Chris ConradPolitics and Legal Issues Instructor

Dale Clare – Chancellor

Rob Raich ESQ – Business Instructor

For more information and to schedule interviews, please contact Greg Grimala.

To learn more about Oaksterdam University, log onto http://www.oaksterdam.com or http://www.michigancannabis.com .

OD Media

Greg Grimala

300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza STE 175

Oakland, CA

94612

(510) 238.9655

greg(at)odmediaco.com

http://www.michigancannabis.com

###







Record Level of Californians Support Regulating Marijuana

According to survey data released this week by The Field Poll, a record number of Californians now support legalizing and regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

The poll, conducted February 5-17 among 834 registered California voters, found that 54% support making the use of marijuana legal, with age and other controls like those that apply to alcohol, only 43% were opposed. This is the highest level of support for legalization since The Field Poll began asking the question. In their 2010 poll, only 50% of California voters supported legalization and 46% were opposed.

This survey also found that an overwhelming 72% of Californians support the state’s medical marijuana program and 52% favor allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to open in their town.

California narrowly rejected Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana in 2010, but clearly public opinion has continued to move in our favor since then. It is reasonable to expect that by 2016, when many believe there will be another voter initiative to legalize marijuana, support will have reached the critical mass required to approve of such a measure.

You can view the full poll results here.

Virginia’s Tea Party Backed Attorney General Cuccinelli “Evolving” on Marijuana Legalization

kenVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Tea Party favorite and presumed Republican candidate for Governor, opened up on his views regarding marijuana legalization while addressing a group of students at the University of Virginia this week.

When asked how he felt about Colorado and Washington legalizing the adult use and commercial production and sale of marijuana in November, the conservative politico caught many off guard with his answer.

“I don’t have a problem with states experimenting with this sort of thing I think that’s the role of states,” Cuccinelli stated, “I’m not sure about Virginia’s future [re: marijuana legalization], but I and a lot of people are watching Colorado and Washington to see how it plays out.”

Twice during the talk Attorney General Cuccinelli referred to his views on the subject as “evolving.”

You can view video footage of this event here.

Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced in New Hampshire

A group of five bipartisan lawmakers have introduced legislation to make New Hampshire the third state to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana.

House Bill 492 legalizes the possession of up to an ounce or less of marijuana and the private cultivation of a limited number of marijuana plants for adults 21 years of age and older. HB 492 would also allow for licensed commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana. Full text of this measure can be read here.

Polling conducted in January of 2013 by Public Policy Polling reported that 53% of New Hampshire voters support changing state law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, only 37% were opposed.

Including New Hampshire, there is now a total of six states considering legislation to fully legalize marijuana. It is imperative that your elected officials hear from you in support of this measure. If you live in one of the six states (Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) considering the legalization of marijuana for all adults, you can click on the appropriate link below and go directly to your state’s action alert. You can also click here to see if your state is considering any legislation pertaining to marijuana law reform.

Tell Your Elected Officials to Support Marijuana Legalization!

Hawaii
Maine
New Hampshire
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Vermont

Hawaii Joins Four Other States Considering Marijuana Legalization Measures

Representative Joseph Souki, Chair of the Hawaiian House Committee on Transportation and House Speaker Emeritus, has introduced legislation that would make Hawaii the third state to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana.

House Bill 150 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce or less of marijuana by adults over the age of 21, in addition to allowing for the licensing and regulation of marijuana retail stores, as well as cultivation and manufacturing centers.

Polling conducted this month by the ACLU of Hawaii found that 57% of Hawaiians support taxing and regulating marijuana and only 39% were opposed.

Hawaii now joins Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont on the list of states with pending legislation to legalize the adult use of marijuana, with more expected to join them in the coming weeks. It is no longer a question of if these states will join Colorado and Washington in adopting new and sensible marijuana laws, but which one will do it first. Perhaps, in honor of the Choom Gang, President Obama’s birth state of Hawaii will lead the charge.

It is extremely important your elected officials hear from you in support of these measures. You can find out if your state is currently considering marijuana law reform legislation and easily send a pre-written letter of support to your elected officials by using NORML’s Take Action Center here. If you live in one of the five states (Hawaii, Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont) considering the legalization of marijuana for all adults, you can click on the appropriate link below and go directly to your state’s action alert.

Tell Your Elected Officials to Support Marijuana Legalization!

Hawaii
Maine
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Vermont

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Senator Leahy: After Spending Billions on the War on Drugs…Well, We’ve Lost

The Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the most senior member of the Senate, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) again spoke out against the War on Drugs today during a briefing on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s upcoming agenda.

“The fact that so many people, especially young people, go to prison for a relatively minor thing, a drug offense. And then you ask, why can’t they get jobs afterward? Why do they have problems from then on?

I think we have spent tens of billions, hundreds of billions of dollars on the so-called War on Drugs. Well, we’ve lost.” – Sen. Leahy

Senator Leahy also addressed the disproportionate toll marijuana prohibition takes on people of color:

“There are too many people, too many young people, too many minorities, too many from the inner city who are serving time in jail for people who might have done the same thing but have the money to stay out and are not there.” – Sen. Leahy

It seems time does bring wisdom and other members of Congress should take notice and follow the lead of one of their most experience legislators. The time for sensible marijuana policy has come and this reaffirmation of support from an elected official, in such a position of influence as Senator Leahy, is clear proof the winds of reform are blowing strongly in our favor.

The full remarks are available from C-SPAN here. You can also read further media coverage here.

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