Legalization of Marijuana on November ballot in Ohio

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by bro, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. Bankz

    Bankz Well-Known Member
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    Pennsylvania is taking steps to legalize recreational marijuana. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on the ballot for 2020
  2. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    police officers really don't want to miss out on the opportunities to arrest black and hispanic people that are afforded by current laws governing the use of marijuana

    New Hampshire gives initial approval to recreational pot

    CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire lawmakers on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to legalizing recreational marijuana, dismissing public safety and health concerns on a path to join scores of other states that have passed similar cannabis measures.

    Lawmakers voted 209-147 in favor of the bill that would legalize possession up to 1 ounce (28 grams). Adults would be allowed to grow up to six plants, and a commission would be set up to license and regulate an industry supporters said could produce $33 million per year.

    “I know change is hard. It’s a little scary,” the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Renny Cushing, told lawmakers ahead of the vote. “But I think now is the time that New Hampshire makes the transition from prohibition to real legalization, taxation and regulation.”

    Past efforts have failed in New Hampshire, but Democrats, who added legalization to their platform last year, now control both the House and Senate. But a spokesman for Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said the governor remains committed to vetoing the bill. Benjamin Vihstadt said Sununu agrees with law enforcement and public health officials who say “now is not the time for the recreational legalization of cannabis in New Hampshire.”

    While the vote Wednesday falls short of the two-thirds majority to override a veto, Cushing said he expects it to pick up support and that it will eventually become law.

    “I’m confident that the force of history is with us,” he said.

    The bill now goes to the Ways and Means Committee because of the revenue component of the bill. It then will return to the House for another vote before moving to the Senate.

    Ten states have legalized recreational marijuana — including the three bordering New Hampshire — while New York, New Jersey and others are considering it this year.

    Opponents dominated much of the debate Wednesday, with several lawmakers raising concerns over health, motorists driving while high and marijuana being a gateway drug.

    “Marijuana commercialization is wrong for New Hampshire’s young people, our communities,” Democratic Rep. Linda Harriott-Gathright said. “Allowing big marijuana into New Hampshire will allow this major industry to manufacture, sell and market an addictive substance to our kids setting them up for long-term health problems.”

    Republican Rep. Stephen Pearson said that as a firefighter he sees the impacts of the opioid crisis. He said he fears legalization of marijuana could only add to the state’s drug problems.

    “We are not going to solve our drug crisis by legalizing more drugs. This bill creates far more problems than its worth,” he said.

    Supporters countered that the health concerns are overblown. They also said legalization would take the sales away from criminal gangs and ensure safer transactions and that products that more reliable. They also said legalization would be a boon to the economy.

    “I don’t share my colleagues’ concern about cannabis... I know we are dealing with the opioid epidemic but this is not that — not even close,” said Democratic Rep. William Pearson. “Rather, I would compare cannabis to coffee or sugar.”

    Last year, California became the largest legal U.S. marketplace, Massachusetts opened the first recreational shops on the East Coast, Canada legalized it in most provinces, and Mexico’s Supreme Court recognized the rights of individuals to use marijuana, moving the country closer to broad legalization.
  3. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    Growing Marijuana Industry Struggles To Attract Employees Of Color

    As marijuana becomes legal around the country, blacks and Latinos are often left out of new business opportunities. Advocates say people of color are often reluctant to join the growing legal marijuana economy because they were targeted far more often than whites during the war on drugs. Studies show members of such communities were arrested and jailed for illegal marijuana use far more often than whites.

    As Massachusetts developed laws for legal marijuana, officials wrote what they claimed was a first-in-the-nation Social Equity Program explicitly to give members of those communities a leg up.

    But this part of the state law isn't working — next to no black or Latino candidates have applied for licenses in Massachusetts.

    "They're scared of the government, man," said Sieh Samura, an outspoken cannabis activist. "This is still a new thing. And there's taxes, there's the government, there's all kinds of things, you know. Just because people say it's legal ... it's not welcoming for everybody."

    Studies show that blacks and Latinos nationwide have been arrested and incarcerated for cannabis and other drug crimes at at least four times the rate of whites. The long-term effects of the war on drugs launched in the 1970s are still evident in many communities of color.

    So, the city of Somerville, Mass., passed an ordinance requiring that 50 percent of recreational marijuana licenses go to black and Latino applicants.

    "We want to make sure that everyone has a real authentic opportunity to participate in that economy in the future," said Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone. "If not, we start to lose the fabric and soul of our community. And then social inequity becomes greater, becomes vaster, and we can't allow that to happen. We're a pro-growth community, but we want to make sure regular folks are able to participate in that."

    Samura, an Iraq War veteran, said medical marijuana was a big help for him dealing with the effects of PTSD. As a black man, he sees himself as a marijuana pioneer from a community that has long been targeted. He says this fraught relationship between law enforcement and communities of color is why many black and Latino entrepreneurs are reluctant to start recreational marijuana businesses.

    To be a model for others, Samura and his wife Leah created a recreational marijuana business called 612 Studios. For months they've been coming to a massive marijuana cultivation facility in Milford, Mass., to participate in The Sira Accelerator, a 12-week program designed to get more people of color into the industry by doing everything from raising money, to helping with marketing, packaging and distribution.

    This program is run by Sira Naturals, which grows marijuana and creates products for its own medical dispensaries and some other recreational businesses. Mike Dundas, Sira Naturals' CEO, said the company wants to help longtime marijuana advocates, like the Samuras, or folks who have been dabbling in the illegal pot market.

    "We see our program, the Sira Accelerator, as sort of offering a hand to those who've been operating — and have skill and passion and dedication to cannabis products — in the illicit marketplace, to come to the regulated side, to get on the books and help facilitate the start of their businesses," said Dundas.

    In return for the advice and counsel, Sira takes just under a 1o percent stake in the new company.

    Sira also hopes the accelerator will help it open a recreational shop in Somerville, where it already runs one of three medical dispensaries. The company can't get a recreational license until black or Latino entrepreneurs do because of the city's ordinance. Dundas, who is white, admits he's scrambling to find and mentor people of color who want to open businesses in Somerville to ensure that his company can open a retail shop of its own.

    Karen O'Keefe, director of state policies with the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, said there have been lots of attempts around the country to help candidates from black and Latino communities, but none have worked.

    "None of the states have the kind of diversity that we would like to see in the cannabis industry," she said.

    Some marijuana business owners have expressed frustration that states are "picking winners and losers" in the marijuana industry. But O'Keefe argued that this industry is different, given the ill effects of the war on drugs. The question remains, though, how best to level the playing field.

    "States moving forward are going to look at what happened in Massachusetts," O'Keefe said, "why such good intentions didn't end up bearing as much fruit and as much diversity in the industry as was intended."

  4. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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    most dispensaries are giant chains. Not much room for ppl to spend a ton of capital to start a weed business
  5. Schadenfred

    Schadenfred Well-Known Member

    And Indiana is taking steps to criminalize smokable hemp. A recent bill, which makes it a misdemeanor to possess smokable hemp (<0.3% THC), passed the state senate 47-1. Local police claim that some stores are selling hemp that is over the legal limit of THC; therefore, all of it should be criminalized.

    What a fucking dumb red state. Redundant, I know.
  6. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

    Oklahoma House passes medical marijuana 'Unity Bill' after lengthy discussions on firearm ownership, tenant-landlord rights

    Despite ongoing concerns over federal drug laws, the Oklahoma House on Thursday easily passed a bill providing a lengthy regulatory framework for medical marijuana.

    House Bill 2612 by House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, known as the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, cleared the House on a 93-5 vote. It is now eligible for discussion in the Oklahoma Senate, where Sen. Greg McCortney — a co-chairman with Echols of the bipartisan legislative medical marijuana working group that worked on the bill — is the sponsor.

    A summary of the measure indicates it would cost nearly $10 million to implement in its first year.

    “Initially, I was a no vote. I have seen the damaging effects of abuse with marijuana and felt like it was detrimental to our citizens to have another way to hurt themselves,” Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, said of the state question that legalized medical marijuana. “But that being said: this is not recreational. This is medicinal. My concern right now is making sure that patients get the medicine they need.”

    He and Echols maintained that the initiative — commonly called the Unity Bill — is not the final step in setting up regulations for the industry. In response to a question from House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, Fetgatter said he had spent “hours upon hours” with pro-cannabis activists to review the bill and come up with an agreeable structure.

    The working group held 13 meetings last summer and fall, hearing from activists, law enforcement, banking and tax officials, business leaders and medical industry professionals.

    Opposition to the effort came largely from Rep. Shane Stone, D-Oklahoma City, who said he believed the effort “fell short” of upholding the will of voters who supported State Question 788 in June. Stone, one of the few “no” votes, said he was concerned the bill could give landlords the ability to discriminate against tenants who have medical marijuana licenses and wish to grow cannabis at their residences.

    “There’s nothing in this bill that respects the rights of patients specifically as it pertains to medical marijuana. Is that correct?” he asked. The bill would require tenants to have written permission from landlords to grow on properties.

    Fetgatter later said, “I think the landlord owns the property and that’s the property right issue for me.”

    Stone also asked why, given obvious conflicts with federal drug and firearms laws, the bill has specific language enabling licensed patients to legally carry guns. Echols said last year that he would support legislation upholding the gun rights of patients, and Fetgatter said it was one of the largest concerns he heard in the bill creation process.

    Thirty-three states, including Oklahoma, have some form of marijuana legalization. Echols said states such as Arkansas and Arizona, which have medical marijuana laws in effect, also have laws similar to Oklahoma’s permitless carry legislation.

    “What we are doing in this bill is giving state law enforcement cover. They don’t have to enforce that federal law, and in fact voting no on this bill would not be giving them that cover,” he said. “Considering gun confiscations have not happened in recreational states, it’s unlikely the first gun confiscation would occur in the state of Oklahoma in a medical program.”

    However, Rep. Matt Meredith, D-Tahlequah, said federal law enforcement still has the ability to prosecute otherwise law-abiding Oklahomans for such offenses. In a testy exchange that ensued, Fetgatter told Meredith he can “run a piece of legislation” seeking to bar patients from gun ownership if he chooses and later said he was “aware of the differences between state and federal government and what the 10th Amendment is.”

    “I don’t know why we gotta go to that,” said Meredith, who ultimately voted yes on the bill. “I’m asking a serious question. I’m not against this bill and I’m not against guns. But I think it’s important that the people of Oklahoma realize and understand the importance of this.”
  7. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    Liberal Hawaii decides again not to legalize marijuana

    HONOLULU — On the political spectrum, Hawaii is among the bluest of states. Democrats control all the levers of power at the state and federal levels, and voters back Democratic presidential candidates over Republicans by some of the widest margins in the U.S.

    The state has committed to the Paris climate agreement that President Donald Trump rejected and was the first state to require people to be 21 to buy cigarettes. The tourist haven even banned certain types of sunscreen because they can harm coral reefs.

    But when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use, the islands are out of step with liberal stalwarts such as California and Vermont that have already done so, and other left-leaning states such as New York and New Jersey that are racing toward joining them. On Friday, a legalization bill that made it farther in the legislative process than previous efforts died when lawmakers failed to consider it in time for a deadline.

    Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English has introduced marijuana legalization bills for the past 15 years — but Hawaii has a track record of moving slowly on social issues. For example, other states moved far more quickly to sanction gay marriage and medically assisted suicide.

    Half the Democrats in the state Senate co-sponsored English’s measure, helping spur speculation this would be the year legalization becomes reality.

    But the effort fizzled as other leaders worried about contradicting federal law, which continues to classify marijuana as an illegal drug, and jeopardizing Hawaii’s existing medical marijuana program.

    To move forward, the bill had to pass the Senate Health Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee by a Friday deadline so it could be considered by the full Senate. But the Health Committee did not schedule a meeting on Friday to consider any bills, effectively killing the marijuana legalization measure.

    Rep. Della Au Belatti, the House majority leader, said before the bill died that she believes Hawaii will legalize adult use marijuana at some point. But she said lawmakers will vet the issue carefully.

    “I also think that we have enough folks who are sitting around the table who are saying ‘Let’s do it right. Let’s not just rush into things and let’s do it right,’” she said.

    Belatti said lawmakers must closely study the experiences of states that have legalized marijuana. She also wants to have abuse prevention, treatment and education programs set up before legalization. Hawaii also will have to make sure legalized marijuana doesn’t lead to more impaired driving, she said.

    For now, Belatti said she’s just inclined toward decriminalizing marijuana, or reducing fines and criminal penalties for possession.

    Twelve states and the District of Columbia have recreational marijuana laws. All except Vermont did it by ballot initiative, an option not available in Hawaii.

    Sen. Karl Rhoads, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Hawaii residents are becoming more accepting of legalization now because it has happened elsewhere and “the world hasn’t come to an end.” There’s also recognition that the status quo isn’t working, he said, noting that juniors at a high school near his district tell him they can get pot whenever they want.

    “It’s like Prohibition,” he said. “We’ve been trying to squish it out, squeeze it out, by making it illegal. And it’s just failed miserably.”

    Rhoads’ committee passed an amended version of English’s bill last month, the first time a legalization measure has ever made it out of any committee.

    Health Committee Chairwoman Sen. Roz Baker said she did not want to do anything that would threaten Hawaii’s nascent medical cannabis dispensary system. Dispensary sales began just two years ago.

    Baker believes the federal government will leave medical marijuana alone but might take a more active approach to enforcing federal drug laws if Hawaii takes the next step. Democratic Gov. David Ige expressed similar concerns.

    Rep. Joy San Buenaventura said it did not make sense to push the measure through without Ige’s support. San Buenaventura represents Puna, a mostly rural area on the Big Island long known for pot growing.

    Brian Goldstein, the founder and CEO of the medical marijuana dispensary Noa Botanicals, said it is inevitable Hawaii will eventually allow adult use. He acknowledged it may take a while.

    Hawaii’s Legislature approved medical marijuana in 2000 — four years after California became the first state with such a law — but it took island lawmakers another 15 years to set up a dispensary system.

    Carl Bergquist, the executive director of the pro-legalization Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, said progress is being made even though the idea failed again this year.

    “It’s a huge step ... just to have that conversation started,” he said.
  8. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG


    gonna have to do more research but I really like this Cory Booker dude

    Booker and four 2020 presidential rivals endorse marijuana legalization

    Joined by four fellow candidates for the presidency, Sen. Cory Booker is reintroducing legislation that would legalize marijuana and expunge convictions for possessing the drug.

    “It’s not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana,” Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, said in a statement announcing the new version of his Marijuana Justice Act. “We must expunge the records of those who have served their time. The end we seek is not just legalization, it’s justice.”

    Booker’s bill, which was first introduced in 2017 but never brought up for a vote, will be co-sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Ca.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

    All of them had co-sponsored the 2017 bill, too, as had Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who is considering his own run for the presidency. Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), who traveled to Iowa last week, is also co-sponsoring the new bill.

    Any of them would be the first nominee of a major political party to endorse the legalization of marijuana; Sanders, as a candidate in 2016, had called for the drug to be decriminalized.

    “Hundreds of thousands of people are arrested for possession of marijuana every single year,” Sanders said in a statement. “We must end the absurd situation of marijuana being listed as a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroin. It is time to decriminalize marijuana, expunge past marijuana convictions and end the failed war on drugs.”

    Since the 1970 passage of the Controlled Substances Act, the federal government has classified marijuana as a substance with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Petitions to change that designation have been ignored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and states have decriminalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes despite the statute, creating a legal gray area.

    In 2016, for the first time, Democrats amended their party platform to call for the government to decriminalize marijuana and “appropriately regulate it, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization.” Under those distinctions, decriminalizing marijuana meant users could not be arrested for its possession; legalization would make the drug available for legal purchase.

    While the party’s 2016 presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, rarely discussed the issue, the dozen Democrats who have declared presidential bids this year are all in favor of legalization, as are many of the candidates expected to announce their plans next month.

    Booker’s legislation goes further than legalization, though, and would create a “community reinvestment fund” to offer grants, job training, and transition from prison to community life for the people and places “most affected by the war on drugs.”

    That’s in line with how Booker and other Democrats have described the next steps toward decriminalizing marijuana. As states have allowed marijuana to be sold legally, Democrats have warned that people who were jailed for selling a now-legal product remain in prison. Booker’s bill points out the racial disparities in marijuana arrests and convictions, something several endorsers have emphasized.

    “It is shameful that my son would likely be treated very differently from one of his black or Latino peers if he was stopped and found with marijuana,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “Legalizing marijuana is an issue of morality and social justice.”

    Harris said in a statement: “Marijuana laws in this country have not been applied equally, and as a result we have criminalized marijuana use in a way that has led to the disproportionate incarceration of young men of color. Legalizing marijuana is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do to advance justice and equality for every American.”

    Booker’s bill is unlikely to get a vote in a Republican-controlled Senate; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has called marijuana “illicit.” But it could get hearings and votes in the new Democratic House, where it is being introduced by Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna, both Democrats from California, where recreational marijuana was legalized in a 2016 ballot measure.

    “I’m proud to sponsor legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, address the disproportionate impact of prohibition on people of color by expunging criminal convictions, and promote equitable participation in the legal marijuana industry,” Lee said.

    Khanna added that it was significant that every Democrat running for president had endorsed at least some path toward decriminalizing marijuana.

    “This shows that public opinion is shifting in this country to recognize that legalizing marijuana is a racial justice issue, an issue for helping make progress on the opioid crisis, and an economic issue of creating jobs,” Khanna said.
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  9. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    man living in NM and/or AZ would be so sweet. AZ almost got the job done a couple years ago. Maybe they'll try again soon. In the meantime, NM making progress. That state needs all the money they can get so they should hurry up IMO

    New Mexico moves toward legalizing recreational marijuana

    SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico took a step toward legalizing recreational marijuana when its House approved a bill that would allow state-run stores and require customers to carry a receipt with their cannabis or face penalties.

    The measure, narrowly approved Thursday following a late-night debate, mixes major provisions of a Republican-backed Senate bill that emphasizes aggressive regulation with a draft by Democrats concerned about the U.S. war on drugs.

    The 36-34 vote sends the bill to the Democratic-controlled Senate for consideration.

    Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has expressed guarded support for recreational marijuana legislation that addresses concerns about child access, road safety and safeguarding the state’s existing marijuana market for medical patients.

    Under the House-approved bill, recreational cannabis stores would open for business in July 2020.

    Rep. Javier Martinez, a Democrat, described the bill as a “grand bargain” with a group of Senate Republicans who favored use of state-run stores, in part to prevent the proliferation of pot shops on city streets in a phenomenon dubbed the “green mile.”

    The proposed system mimics established state-run liquor stores in many areas of the U.S.

    Martinez praised the bill as a way to take more marijuana profits from drug cartels and money launderers.

    “You can face criminal charges if you don’t have a receipt or other proof of purchase on your person to accompany your cannabis for personal use,” said Martinez, describing that provision as a difficult concession to Senate Republicans.

    All House Republicans and 10 Democrats voted against the bill.

    “I don’t like this direction,” said GOP Rep. Rebecca Dow of Truth or Consequences. “My choice would be that we give people really active and productive lives and healthy families.”

    Ten states and the District of Columbia allow recreational marijuana.

    New Mexico could become the second state after Vermont to approve it by legislation rather than a ballot initiative. A bill to legalize recreational cannabis in Democrat-dominated Hawaii fizzled last week.

    In New Mexico, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by people 21 and older would be considered legal with a receipt. Home-grown cannabis was ruled out of the proposal because it could be a source for the black market.

    Private dispensaries would be allowed where there is no state-run marijuana store within 25 miles. Oversight of the industry would be shared by state agriculture, health and environmental officials.

    The bill would repeal criminal laws governing cannabis offenses and expunge and destroy criminal conviction records. It eliminates taxes on medical marijuana to help ensure sufficient supplies to patients.

    Taxes of up to 17 percent would be levied on recreational marijuana sales. Some tax revenues would be set aside to collect statistics on marijuana use and road safety, efforts to discourage child consumption and research on the public health effects of legalization.

    Prospects are uncertain for approval by the state Senate, where conservative Democrats occupy key leadership and committee posts.

    “You can give them all the facts in the world, and they just won’t touch it,” said Democratic Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, describing the staunch opposition by several Democratic colleagues. “It is strong, emotional.”

    The prospect of legalization has opened a public rift in the state GOP, with party chairman and former congressman Steve Pearce ridiculing the idea of “state employees selling pot.”

    GOP Sen. Cliff Pirtle, a dairy farmer in his early 30s from Roswell, in a staunchly Republican district, has cast recreational marijuana as a source of economic opportunity as well as “liberty and freedom for responsible adults.”

    State-run stores would ensure small commercial marijuana producers get shelf space to compete, he said, adding that main streets in small towns are not transformed by the sight of storefront marijuana shops.
  10. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

    I see you, Beto

    This is very encouraging. I like this

    Pot-litics: 2020 Democrats line up behind legalization

    LOS ANGELES — A growing list of Democratic presidential contenders want the U.S. government to legalize marijuana, reflecting a nationwide shift as more Americans look favorably on cannabis.

    Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the “smart thing to do,” says California Sen. Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor whose home state is the nation’s largest legal pot shop. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, a prominent legalization advocate on Capitol Hill, says the war on drugs has been a “war on people.”

    Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who appears poised to join the 2020 Democratic field, has written a book arguing marijuana legalization would hobble drug cartels. In an email to supporters this week, he called again to end the federal prohibition on marijuana.

    “Who is going to be the last man — more likely than not a black man — to languish behind bars for possessing or using marijuana when it is legal in some form in more than half of the states in this country?” O’Rourke wrote.

    It’s a far different approach from the not-so-distant past, when it was seen as politically damaging to acknowledge smoking pot and no major presidential candidate backed legalization.

    In 1992, then-White House candidate Bill Clinton delivered a famously tortured response about a youthful dalliance with cannabis, claiming he tried it as a graduate student in England but “didn’t inhale.” And two decades before that, President Richard Nixon unleashed a war on marijuana and other drugs and it helped carry him to a second term.

    This year, leading Democrats hold similar positions supporting legalization. Presidential hopefuls in the Senate who have co-sponsored Booker’s legislation to end the federal prohibition include Harris, New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, who campaigned on decriminalizing pot in his 2016 presidential bid.

    Another 2020 Democratic candidate, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, supports legalization and believes states should have the right to determine how to handle marijuana regulation within their borders but hasn’t signed on to Booker’s legislation.

    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who entered the contest this month, said in his announcement speech it’s “about time” to legalize the drug nationally.

    During his 2012 run for governor, Inslee opposed the ballot initiative that made Washington one of the first two states to legalize so-called recreational marijuana. As governor, however, he has frequently touted what he describes as Washington’s successful experiment with regulation and has urged the Obama and Trump administrations not to intervene. He recently began pardoning people with small-time marijuana convictions.

    The widespread endorsement for national marijuana reform among Democrats tracks the nation’s evolving views.

    In the late 1960s — the era of Woodstock and Vietnam — 12 percent of Americans supported legalization, according to the Gallup poll. By last year, the figure hit a record 66 percent. About 75 percent of Democrats support legalization, along with a slim majority of Republicans.

    Most Americans now live in states where marijuana is legal in some form. Pot dispensaries are familiar sights in cities like Los Angeles and Denver, and conservative strongholds like Utah and Oklahoma have established medical marijuana programs.

    To Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization advocacy group, it’s not surprising there’s broad support among candidates to end the federal prohibition.

    “It’s no longer popular to be in favor of marijuana prohibition,” Tvert said.

    But there are limits: “We are not seeing any candidates saying, ‘I am currently a marijuana user,’” he added.

    The trajectory toward legal pot has come with generational change.

    In a 2003 Democratic presidential forum, candidates John Kerry, John Edwards and Howard Dean acknowledged using marijuana in the past. Former President Barack Obama has been open about his youthful drug use, sometimes with a jab of humor: “When I was a kid, I inhaled. Frequently. That was the point,” he said in 2006.

    In a recent radio interview on the syndicated “The Breakfast Club,” Harris recalled smoking pot in her college days in the 1980s. She was an early supporter of medical marijuana but the Los Angeles Times reported that in 2010, the year she was elected California attorney general, that Harris opposed an initiative to more broadly legalize marijuana.

    How potent the legal pot platform might be with voters in 2020 is only a guess.

    Polls show some of the strongest support comes from younger voters. In California, millennials are now the largest generation among registered voters. However, younger voters are also the most likely to stay home on Election Day, said Paul Mitchell of Political Data Inc., a nonpartisan research firm.

    President Donald Trump’s position on cannabis remains somewhat opaque. He has said he supports laws legalizing medical marijuana but hasn’t offered a definitive position on broader legalization.

    In a departure from his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, new Attorney General William Barr has said he will “not go after” marijuana companies in states where cannabis is legal, even though he personally believes the drug should be outlawed.

    Standing somewhat apart from the Democratic field is the man who presided over one of the first legal recreational marijuana marketplaces in the nation, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

    Hickenlooper opposed the ballot measure that fully legalized marijuana in Colorado in 2012. But he said he accepted the will of the voters and won praise for implementing the measure. He says his “worst fears” about legalization haven’t been realized and considers the system better than when the drug was illegal.

    Still, Hickenlooper isn’t willing to go as far as some competitors. Rather than calling for national legalization, he wants the drug to no longer be a Schedule 1 controlled substance so it can be studied.

    He doesn’t think the federal government “should come in and tell every state that it should be legal,” believing states should make their own determinations.

    “I trust this process by which states should be the models of, or laboratories of, democracy,” he said.
    #360 Cornelius Suttree, Mar 9, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  11. TC

    TC Peter, 53, from Toxteth
    South Carolina GamecocksCarolina PanthersCarolina Hurricanes

    Not sure what thread to put this in....bud maybe not all sunshine and roses on the health front. It's from NPR so hopefully I'm not just reprinting alarmist propaganda

    Daily Marijuana Use And Highly Potent Weed Linked To Psychosis
    Weed use is taking off as more states move to legalize it. And with all the buzz over medical marijuana, it's starting to gain an aura of healthfulness. But there are some serious health risks associated with frequent use. One of the more troubling ones is the risk of having a psychotic episode.

    Several past studies have found that more frequent use of pot is associated with a higher risk of psychosis, that is, when someone loses touch with reality. Now a new study published Tuesday in the The Lancet Psychiatry shows that consuming pot on a daily basis and especially using high potency cannabis increases the odds of having a psychotic episode later.

    "This is more evidence that the link between cannabis and psychosis matters," says Krista M. Lisdahl, a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who wasn't involved in the study.

    The study authors consider "high potency cannabis" to be products with more than 10 percent tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the compound responsible for the drug's psychoactive effects. The fact that consuming high THC cannabis products has a greater risk is concerning, Lisdahl says, because these products are more common in the market now.

    NPR's terms of use and privacy policy.

    The study also shows that three European cities — London, Paris and Amsterdam — where high potency weed is most commonly available actually have higher rates of new cases of psychosis than the other cities in the study.

    The researchers identified 901 people aged 18 to 64 who were diagnosed with their first episode of psychosis between May 2010 and April 2015, at a mental health facility anywhere in 11 cities, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, other cities across Europe, and one site in Brazil.

    The researchers then asked these individuals and a control group of 1,200-plus other healthy people about their habits, including their use of weed. "We asked people if they used cannabis, when did they start using it and what kind of cannabis," explains study author Marta Di Forti, a psychiatrist and clinician scientist at King's College London.

    Voters Relax Marijuana Laws In 3 More States: Michigan, Utah, Missouri

    More Older Americans Are Turning To Marijuana

    People reported the names of weed strains they used, like skunk in the U.K., or the Dutch Nederwiet, which allowed the researchers to identify the THC content in each product through data gathered by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction and national data from the different countries.

    The study found that those who used pot daily were three times more likely to have a psychotic episode compared to someone who never used the drug.

    Those who started using cannabis at the age of 15 or less had a slightly more elevated risk than those who started using in later years.

    Use of high potency weed almost doubled the odds of having psychosis compared to someone who had never smoked weed, explains Di Forti.

    And for those who used high potency pot on a daily basis, the risk of psychosis was even greater — four times greater than those who had never used.

    The easy availability of high-THC weed is a recent phenomenon, she notes. "Almost twenty years ago, there wasn't much high potency cannabis available [in the market]."

    One recent study showed that high potency cannabis is increasingly dominating markets. It found that the average potency of weed in Europe and the U.S. in 2017 was 17.1 percent, up from 8.9 percent in 2008.

    And some products can be even more potent. For example, in the Netherlands, the THC content of one product that's gained popularity, locally produced Dutch resin Nederhasj, can be as high as 67 percent.

    "What this paper has done that's really nice is they look at rates of psychosis and cannabis use in lots of different places where underlying rates of psychosis are different," says Suzanne Gage, a psychologist and epidemiologist at the University of Liverpool, who wrote a commentary linked to the study in The Lancet Psychiatry.

    This allowed the researchers to compare incidence of psychosis with the availability and use of high THC cannabis in the different cities, she says.

    The study found that the three European cities — London, Paris and Amsterdam — had the highest rates of new diagnoses of psychosis — 45.7 per 100,000 person-years in London, 46.1 in Paris and 37.9 in Amsterdam.

    These are also cities where high potency weed is most easily available and commonly used.

    Other European cities in Spain, Italy and France on the other hand have less than 10 percent THC content in most popular cannabis products on the market. These cities also have lower rates of new psychosis diagnosis, according to the study.

    "One of the things that's really novel is that they could show that variation of use and potency of cannabis was related to rates of first-episode psychosis," says Lisdahl.

    One critique of the theory that weed contributes to psychosis risk has been that while more people are using weed worldwide, there hasn't been a corresponding rise in rates of psychosis, explains Gage. But the new study shows that cities with more easily available high THC weed do have a higher rate of new diagnoses of psychosis.

    "That's a really interesting finding and that's not something anyone has done before," she adds.

    However, the study doesn't prove causality, cautions Dr. Diana Martinez, a psychiatrist and addiction researcher at Columbia University. "You can't say that cannabis causes psychosis," she says. "It's simply not supported by the data," she says.

    Lisdahl agrees. In order to show causality, one would have to follow people over time — before they started using weed to years later when they have their psychotic episodes, she says. "You need twins in the studies, you need genetic information," among all other kinds of data, she says.

    Psychotic disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar are complicated, "multi-faceted disorders," notes Gage.

    "In all psychotic disorders, there is this multiple hit hypothesis," says Martinez. Many factors influence whether and how these disorders manifest.

    Genetics is known to play a major role, as are a host of environmental factors. "Children who have risk of schizophrenia but grow up in stable homes...they may not go on to develop schizophrenia," she adds.

    The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, which is funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health is attempting to tease out the various influences, says Lisdahl. "The NIH has now invested in that question."

    In the meantime, the new findings should be of interest to anyone using cannabis, says study author Di Forti. "There are people across the world who use cannabis for a variety of reasons," she says. "Some of them recreationally, some of them for medicinal purposes." They should be aware that using high potency cannabis comes with a risk, she says.

    "They need to know what to look for and ask for help, if they come across characteristics of a psychotic disorder," she adds.
  12. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

    Can't imagine not having access to high potency bud like they talk about back in the day
  13. Spontaneous Cumbustion

    Spontaneous Cumbustion Well-Known Member
    Ohio State BuckeyesCincinnati RedsCincinnati BengalsXavier MusketeersFC CincinnatiTottenham HotspurUnited States Men's National Soccer Team

    If you drink everyday it's going to lead to health problems too.
    blind dog and Lucky24Seven like this.
  14. blind dog

    blind dog wps
    Arkansas RazorbacksSt. Louis CardinalsGreen Bay PackersWu-tangCoors Light

    Seriously? Fuck
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  15. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

    the outlook for national reform seems pretty bleak with Democrats fighting amongst themselves about minor issues and Trump poised to secure another term

    and on the state level, NJ drops the ball

    Effort to Legalize Marijuana in New Jersey Collapses

    TRENTON — A monthslong effort to legalize marijuana in New Jersey collapsed on Monday after Democrats were unable to muster enough support for the measure, rejecting a central campaign pledge from Gov. Philip D. Murphy and leaving the future of the legalization movement in doubt.

    The failure in the legislature marks one of the biggest setbacks for Mr. Murphy, who despite having full Democratic control in the State Senate and the assembly, had faced constant party infighting and had struggled to bend the legislature to his progressive agenda.

    [What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]

    But the legalization effort had fractured the Democratic Party with some African-American lawmakers arguing that marijuana would be a public health menace to their communities.

    “In my heart, and from my experience, I know the detriment it’s going to cause long term in urban communities in particular,” Senator Ronald L. Rice, a Democrat from Newark, said in an interview this year. “We know the health problems that are going to be created and no one wants to accept that fact.”

    The sweeping bill sought to redress what its supporters say are the consequences of the war on drugs on minorities and tackle concerns about fairness in the multibillion dollar cannabis industry.

    In seeking to bring recreational marijuana to the doorstep of the nation’s biggest city, the bill would have wiped away criminal records for hundreds of thousands of people convicted of minor drug offenses. It would also have given many in jail the chance to be set free and end parole for many others.

    The law also aimed to diversify a booming industry dominated by white entrepreneurs in the 11 other states and Washington D.C. where recreational marijuana has been decriminalized. New Jersey would have ensured that minorities, as well as women, have equal access to licenses to sell or cultivate cannabis.

    “We have the widest white-nonwhite gap of persons incarcerated in America and far and away the biggest contributor is low-end drug offenses,” Mr. Murphy said recently at a news conference where he made his case for legalizing marijuana. “The status quo is unacceptable.”

    Though polls showed that most New Jersey residents support legalizing marijuana, Mr. Murphy had struggled to win support in the legislature for what was a centerpiece of his election campaign. It was not until final revisions were made to the bill, especially the beefing up of measures making it easier to expunge criminal records, that the plan gained support from civil liberties and criminal justice activists from New Jersey and beyond.

    black lawmakers saying they will block the implementation of the potential $3 billion statewide industry if the current bill does not ensure that minority entrepreneurs share in the profits.

    New Jersey had also been taking a more expansive approach than many other states to erase criminal records of people charged with marijuana-related crimes. Anyone in New Jersey convicted of possessing up to five pounds would have been eligible to have their convictions erased, a far higher amount than other states with expungement systems.

    The state was also seeking to make the expungement process easier by allowing it to be done online, eliminating the requirement to do it in person, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

    “No state has leaned into social justice through marijuana legalization as wholeheartedly as New Jersey,” Amol Sinha, the executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said. The bill, he explained, would have set “a baseline for what it looks like to meaningfully acknowledge the human wreckage of the drug war and make good-faith efforts to reverse the damage done.”

    three times more likely to be arrested on marijuana-related offenses than a white resident, a recent study found.

    New Jersey was also moving to rewrite the vast racial and class disparity in the marijuana industry. White ownership makes up more than 80 percent of cannabis businesses across the country, according to a 2017 study.

    In identifying communities that would have been granted licenses, lawmakers focused on places like Newark and Atlantic City, with high crime rates, including marijuana arrests, and high unemployment rates. The legislation would also have allowed anyone with a past marijuana conviction to apply for a license.

    The bill would have required that a minimum of 10 percent of licenses be given to smaller business, which are defined as those with 10 or fewer employees.

    Leaders in struggling cities like Trenton and Paterson are pointing to the potential cannabis industry as a boom.

    “Social justice and economic development go hand in hand,” said Mayor Reed Gusciora of Trenton. “I walk in the streets and talk to many constituents that talk about a prior record and how it’s a hindrance for them to get ahead, get a job, which will result in economic development for this city.”

    Still, plenty of opposition to legal marijuana exists and dozens of communities had already voted to ban retail and growing operations in their towns. Some communities had also complained that a three percent local tax that can be added to retail sales was too low.

    The legalization of cannabis would have marked a major victory for Mr. Murphy, who spent the final days before Monday’s vote in an all-out blitz to pressure lawmakers into supporting the bill.

    The campaign also placed New Jersey at the center of a national conversation among Democratic presidential candidates over legalizing marijuana.

    “All too often, communities of color and low-income individuals are unjustly impacted by our broken drug policies, but by including measures to expunge records and reinvest in the communities most impacted, our state has the opportunity to lead in prioritizing social justice,” said Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey and a presidential candidate who introduced a federal bill that would remove the drug from the list of controlled substances, before the bill was considered by the legislature.

    With nearly a dozen states having already legalized marijuana, New Jersey pieced together much of its plan from efforts elsewhere, though the state’s program would have featured a few differences.

    Customers in New Jersey would have been able to have marijuana delivered to their door and would have been allowed to use cannabis in lounge-like settings that will be similar to cannabis cafes found in California, Colorado and several countries in Europe.
  16. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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  17. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
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  18. Goose

    Goose Hi
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    I honestly still have no idea how weed works in Ohio
    Saul Shabazz and Lucky24Seven like this.
  19. Schadenfred

    Schadenfred Well-Known Member

    Would be a surprise if this doesn't become law, thereby leading to recreational marijuana going live on 1/1/2020. With Illinois already having medical, the market should be close to immediate.

    #369 Schadenfred, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  20. ned's head

    ned's head Well-Known Member

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  21. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    can't wait to drive up to Oregon this summer and do some hiking and buy some incredibly cheap weed. I can get 1/8s for $14-18 at Barbary Caost here in SF but it sounds like Oregon is that cheap across the board :ohgosh:

    Oregon, awash in marijuana, takes steps to curb production

    SALEM, Ore. — Oregon is awash in pot, glutted with so much legal weed that if growing were to stop today, it could take more than six years by one estimate to smoke or eat it all.

    Now, the state is looking to curb production.

    Five years after voters legalized recreational marijuana, lawmakers are moving to give the Oregon Liquor Control Commission more leeway to deny new pot-growing licenses based on supply and demand.

    The bill, which passed the Senate and is now before the House, is aimed not just at reducing the huge surplus but at preventing diversion of unsold legal marijuana into the black market and forestalling a crackdown by federal prosecutors.

    “The harsh reality is we have too much product on the market,” said Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, who intends to sign the bill if it wins final passage as expected.

    Supply is running twice as high as demand, meaning that the surplus from last year’s harvest alone could amount to roughly 2.3 million pounds of marijuana, by the liquor commission’s figures. That’s the equivalent of over 1 billion joints.

    Oregon has one of the highest such imbalances among the 10 states that have legalized recreational marijuana since 2012, in part because it had a big head start in the weed business.

    With its moist climate and rich soil, Oregon has a long history of pot growing. When it became legal, many outlaw growers went legitimate, and others jumped into the business, too.

    They are now all cultivating weed in a multitude of fields, greenhouses and converted factories, with 1,123 active producer licenses issued by the OLLC over the past three years.

    The legislation could be a lifeline to some cannabis businesses that are being squeezed by market forces.

    Retail prices in Oregon for legal pot have plummeted from more than $10 per gram in October 2016 to less than $5 last December. At the same time, smaller marijuana businesses are feeling competition from bigger, richer players, some from out of state.

    Officials worry that some license holders will become so desperate they will divert their product into the black market rather than see it go unsold.

    “We’re a very young industry,” said Margo Lucas, a marijuana grower and vendor in the Willamette Valley who is hoping the measure will give her business breathing room.

    She noted that growers can’t seek federal bankruptcy protection — pot is still illegal under federal law, and banks avoid the industry — and that many owners have taken out personal loans to finance their businesses.

    “So when we go out of business, we’re going to go down hard,” Lucas said. “Many of us will lose our homes. ... You’re going to have a lot of entrepreneurs in this state that are pretty unhappy with the way that this ends if we don’t get some support with this bill.”

    Opponents say the proposed law will drive growers who are denied licenses into the illegal market, if they’re not there already.

    “This current track seems like a giant step backwards toward prohibition, which has always been a disaster,” Blake Runckel, of Portland, told lawmakers in written testimony.

    As of January, Oregon’s recreational pot market had an estimated 6½ years’ worth of supply, according to an OLCC study .

    To prevent excess pot that is still in leaf form from spoiling, processors are converting some into concentrates and edible products, which have longer shelf life, OLLC spokesman Mark Pettinger said.

    U.S. Justice Department officials have said they won’t interfere in states’ legal marijuana businesses as long as the pot isn’t smuggled into other states and other standards are met. Oregon officials want to let federal authorities know they’re doing everything they can to accomplish that.

    The bill to curtail production could “keep the feds off our back,” Rob Bovett, legal counsel for the Association of Oregon Counties, told lawmakers.

    Oregon puts no cap on the number of licenses that can be issued. Last June, the OLCC stopped accepting applications so it could process a monthslong backlog. But under current law, it has no specific authority to say no to otherwise qualified applicants, Pettinger said.

    The longer-term hope is that the federal government will allow interstate commerce of marijuana, which would provide a major outlet for Oregon’s renowned cannabis.

    “We will kind of be like what bourbon is to Kentucky,” said state Sen. Floyd Prozanski.
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  22. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

    let's go Illinois!!!!

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- The recreational marijuana bill passed by the Senate Wednesday night would make it legal for people to possess up to 30 grams, or about one ounce of pot, that would be sold through state licensed facilities.

    As the House now considers the bill, a group of supporters - including lawmakers, unions and community groups - were touting it as good for Illinois.

    "This bill is the strongest, most equity centered, most comprehensive piece of cannabis legislation that includes an historic number of expungement provisions," said State Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields).

    The bill is estimated to eventually generate $300-700 million a year for state coffers, but just $57 million in 2020.

    Supporters say the most important component is addressing the adverse impact of the war on drugs on black and brown communities," said State Rep. Jehan Gordon Smith (D-Peoria).

    The bill would provide automatic expungements for those who have been convicted of low-level possession charges, under 30 grams.

    But opponents have not given up the fight.

    "It's very important we talk about the issues of what the harmful effects of recreational marijuana do, they're talking about the criminal injustice aspect and I think that should be separate from the actual harmful effects of recreational marijuana," said State Representative Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines).

    It's not clear whether the House will make a decision before the judicial session ends on Friday.

    Democrats caucused on the matter Thursday afternoon. Earlier, the governor expressed optimism about it passing.

    "I feel good about the roll call where it is, but there is still a lot of effort being put in today to make sure that the vote comes out the way we hope it will," said Gov. JB Pritzker.
  23. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Tennessee VolunteersLos Angeles DodgersBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    learn to read
  24. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

    I've read a couple books in the past week. I'm getting there
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  25. Schadenfred

    Schadenfred Well-Known Member

    Only 10% added tax for cannabis below 35% THC, 20% for infused products like edibles and tinctures, and 25% for cannabis over 35% THC.

    Flower in Illinois be cheap, yo.
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  26. Schadenfred

    Schadenfred Well-Known Member

    Illinois bill breakdown:

    1. 21 or older up to 30 grams.
    2. Up to 5 plants for medical qualifiers, though police already saying, "keep it quiet and you're good."
    3. Retail begins on 1/1/2020.
    4. Taxes as stated above, in addition to state sales tax.
    5. On-site consumption as approved by local governments.
    6. Expungement for offenses below 30 grams. Petition if more than 30.
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  27. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

    wow, Virginia....

    haven't they had a Democrat as Governor for the past 5 years?? Granted the Democrats don't seem too keen on rallying young people behind this civil rights issue but jesus I would expect a state with a democrat governor to not be so fucked up on this front

    "Marijuana arrests in Virginia hit their highest levels in at least 20 years in 2018, a climb that has sparked calls for overhauls and bucked trends in a number of other states that have moved toward decriminalizing the drug.

    Nearly 29,000 arrests were made for marijuana offenses in Virginia last year, a number that has tripled since 1999, according to an annual crime report compiled by the Virginia State Police.

    Marijuana busts account for nearly 60 percent of drug arrests across Virginia and more than half of them were among people who were under 24, according to the data. The vast majority of cases involved simple possession of marijuana.

    The Virginia Crime Commission found that 46 percent of those arrested for a first offense for possession of marijuana between 2007 and 2016 were African Americans, who represent about only 20 percent of Virginia’s population."
  28. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

  29. Nandor the Relentless

    Kentucky WildcatsBoston CelticsNew England PatriotsUniversity of LynchburgAEW

    Still are a lot of extremely red areas in this state. General Assembly has an R majority in both the Senate and House of Delegates as well, and they pretty much all stick together on everything. Or at least it seems that way.
  30. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Tennessee VolunteersLos Angeles DodgersBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    this is a good podcast from Colorado Public Radio. It has 5 episodes but is otherwise new.

  31. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch My second favorite meat is hamburger
    Staff Donor

    virginia went from one of the single reddest states in america for decades and decades to reliably democrat on a state level over a 8 year span because of that tiny northern corner by DC exploding in population

    it's a really weird state because of that
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  32. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

    I have a Warren sticker on my car and I'll vote for anyone the democrats nominate, but this is nice to see from Bernie

    Bernie Sanders offers marijuana legalization plan

    Sen. Bernie Sanders released a proposal Thursday to legalize marijuana across the country and expunge criminal convictions related to the drug, embracing an overhaul of federal laws on the eve of a presidential forum expected to renew the debate on race, drugs and police violence.

    Sanders becomes the latest Democratic White House aspirant to issue a plan for more tolerant drug laws, a shift from past presidential elections when Democrats, like Republicans, often promoted more toughness. Changing attitudes toward drug crimes, and a growing number of states legalizing cannabis, have ushered in a primary where ideas once seen as provocative have become mainstream.

    Sanders’s plan, which aims to overhaul an approach he argues has unfairly hurtminorities, calls for using executive power to reclassify marijuana as a dangerous controlled substance and passing legislation to permanently legalize the drug. It would direct federal and state authorities to review, vacate and expunge past marijuana convictions.

    “We’re going to legalize marijuana and end the horrifically destructive war on drugs,” the Vermont independent said in a written statement. “It has disproportionately targeted people of color and ruined the lives of millions of Americans.”

    In his 2016 campaign, Sanders struggled to persuade African American voters to support him, and many instead gravitated to Hillary Clinton. He has taken steps in his second run to improve his standing, but so far there is little indication his outreach has made a significant impact in states with large minority populations.

    Sanders released his marijuana plan a day before the start of the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College, a historically black institution in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina is an important early nominating state where African Americans are expected to account for a majority of Democratic primary voters. Sanders and eight other Democrats are scheduled to speak at the forum over the next three days.

    President Trump is also slated to appear, taking the stage on Friday. He will participate in a symposium called “The Conservative Case for Criminal Justice Reform,” according to the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, which is sponsoring the event.

    Trump has presented himself as a champion of criminal justice reform, and in December he signed the “First Step Act,” a bipartisan prison reform law. The “second step” in the forum’s title refers to a push to move beyond that law.

    While criminal justice reform is important to many black voters, African American leaders have condemned the president’s sometimes racist rhetoric, and it is not clear what kind of reception he will receive Friday.

    Most recent polls show Sanders, who recently resumed his campaign activities after taking time off to recuperate from a heart attack, in third place behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former vice president Joe Biden. His two top rivals have also proposed sweeping changes to the nation’s marijuana laws.

    Biden’s proposal is less far-reaching than those of Sanders and Warren. His plan, which he rolled out in July, would decriminalize marijuana use and expunge prior convictions for it. Biden’s plan advocates legalizing marijuana for medical purposes but would leave decisions on recreational use largely up to the states.

    Biden would reclassify cannabis as a Schedule II drug, rather than Schedule I, so researchers would be allowed to study it.

    Warren, like Sanders, supports legalizing marijuana and erasing past convictions.

    Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana use to some degree, and many more allow it for medicinal purposes. Increasingly, prominent Democrats, along with some Republicans, have become outspoken advocates of relaxing criminal penalties for using the drug.

    Former House speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), for example, joined the board of a cannabis company last year and favors legalization.

    But some divides have remained. In the early days of the Trump presidency, his administration signaled an intent to crack down on marijuana under then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. More recently, Trump said he would leave it to states to decide whether to legalize the drug.

    “We’re going to see what’s going on,” Trump said in late August when asked whether the federal government would legalize marijuana during his presidency. “It’s a very big subject. And right now we’re allowing states to make that decision. And a lot of states are making that decision.”

    Trump administration officials have raised alarms about marijuana use among pregnant women and young people. In August, Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the drug “carries more risk than ever.”

    The marijuana industry, however, has become lucrative as more states have legalized it. Sanders, who is running on a platform of curtailing income inequality and reining in the power of big companies, says he would create provisions to prevent large corporations from dominating the market.

    His plan would ban tobacco companies from participating in the industry, for example, and would offer resources for people to start cooperatives and nonprofits.

    The Sanders plan would also use taxes on marijuana sales to help promote minority businesses. It would do away with regulations requiring drug tests to receive public benefits, prevent officials from removing residents of public housing for marijuana use, and prohibit products and labels that target young people.
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  33. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    the link below is an example of why federal legalization is necessary even with more states legalizing it on their own in recent years. Something like a ban on usage in public housing is a subtler reason to legalize it nationally than the staggering number of people behind bars or with criminal records because of some plant. Or the absurd resources committed to policing and prosecuting people for it. Or the money that can be raised by taxing it. But it certainly illustrates the social justice impact federal legalization would have

    we're about a year from the 2020 election and from what limited amount of attention I pay to national politics, it seems candidates only talk about federal legalization when asked questions directly about the topic. For shame. You can't pretend to care about social justice without being in favor of federal legalization
    M'ark Pepperonio likes this.
  34. Daddy Rabbit

    Daddy Rabbit But the second mouse gets the cheese
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    For the first time in history, a congressional committee has approved a bill to end federal marijuana prohibition.

    The House Judiciary Committee passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act in a 24-10 vote on Wednesday, setting the stage for a full floor vote.

    The vote saw two Republicans—Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Tom McClintock (R-CA)—join their Democratic colleagues in support of the bill.
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  35. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    so reading up on the debate tonight and apparently Biden called marijuana a gateway drug in the past few days?!?!? Fucking christ

    if I understand correctly, that bill linked above will go to the full House. Which should pass it, I assume or hope. And then it would go to the Senate? Who will surely shoot it down, right? Which would set up a nice Democratic talking point
  36. The Hotch

    The Hotch Well-Known Member
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    Cocaine Mitch won’t let it see the floor in the Senate
  37. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

    kind of laughed when I read this article on California's rec system needing some tweaks. Because if that's the case, lol at Massachusetts

    Two years after California began licensing pot shops, the industry remains so outmatched by the black market that a state panel recently joined some legalization supporters in calling for significant changes — perhaps turning again to voters to address the problems.

    In its annual draft report, the Cannabis Advisory Committee warned Gov. Gavin Newsom and California legislators that high taxes, overly burdensome regulations and local control issues posed debilitating obstacles to the legal marijuana market.

    With tax revenue about a third of what was expected and with only about 800 of an anticipated 6,000 licensees open for business, the panel said, officials may need to consider “revisiting the ballot initiative process.”

    “Despite the state’s committed efforts to bring cannabis businesses fully into the regulated commercial market,” the report said, “as much as 80% of the cannabis market in California remains illicit.”

    The 22-member advisory panel — made up of industry leaders, civil rights activists, local officials, law enforcement and health experts — noted that California is expected to generate $3.1 billion in licensed pot sales in 2019, making it the largest market for legal cannabis in the world. But nearly three times as much — $8.7 billion — is expected to be spent on unlicensed sales.

    Proposition 64 legalized growing, selling and using marijuana for recreational purposes in November 2016, and the state began issuing licenses on Jan. 1, 2018. Officials originally estimated the state would take in $1 billion annually in tax revenue from cannabis, but the fiscal year that ended in June saw just $288 million collected. The current state budget projects $359 million in tax collections.

    Before passage of Proposition 64, almost 1,800 dispensaries were selling marijuana for medical purposes, which was legalized by California voters in 1996. So far, 568 retail stores have received licenses, as have 230 delivery firms. By comparison, Colorado, with some 15% of California’s population, has more than 1,000 pot shops.

    “Proposition 64 so far hasn’t lived up to most of our expectations,” said Michael Sutton, an environmental activist and one of the two official proponents of the initiative. “It’s no secret that a number of factors have conspired to make the rollout take longer than we thought.”

    Newsom, who was a leading proponent of Proposition 64, has called for patience, saying he always expected it would take at least five years for a legal industry to fully develop. But his administration plans to consider “substantial system changes” in 2020 to boost the legal market and tamp down on the illicit market, said Nicole Elliott, the governor’s senior advisor on cannabis. The changes will be aimed at streamlining the permit process and “pushing local jurisdictions to understand the benefits of regulation versus continued prohibition,” Elliott said.

    The governor is also facing pressure from state legislators and industry leaders to postpone an increase in taxes on cannabis cultivation scheduled for Jan. 1, including a bump tied to inflation that will raise the levy on cannabis flower from $9.25 per ounce to $9.65.

    The legal marijuana industry’s struggles, including being banned from some cities, have been blamed for workforce reductions at major cannabis firms, including Eaze and Flow Kana, both of which recently cut 20% of their staff, while Weedmaps pared its workforce by 25%.

    Jerred Kiloh, owner of Higher Path dispensary in Los Angeles, said while his business is doing well, layoffs have been widespread among most of the 165 members of the United Cannabis Business Association, for which he is president.

    “Seventy percent of my members have had to do layoffs,” Kiloh said.

    Among the obstacles facing the industry is that some 75% of California’s cities have banned marijuana stores, said Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. Licensed sellers also complain that state and local taxes can add 45% to the cost of cannabis, putting them at a competitive disadvantage with illegal sellers.

    “Currently, illegal retail operations outnumber legal shops 3-to-1,” Robinson said. “Almost two years into legalization, we continue to be plagued by local bans, untenable taxation, onerous regulations, an illicit vape crisis, slow growth and a thriving illicit market.”

    Opponents of legalization said the continued proliferation of black-market pot sellers and growers is not a surprise, given flaws they say exist in Proposition 64, including a lack of sufficient enforcement against unlicensed sellers.

    “They’re able to undercut the price of the legal market and sell whatever, whenever, to whomever,” said Kevin A. Sabet, president of the national group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “Did we really think they’d just disappear?”

    Cody Bass said his state-licensed Tahoe Wellness Cooperative has had trouble competing with the unlicensed market when the cannabis it sells is subject to a 15% state excise tax and a 7.75% local sales tax — in addition to the taxes on cultivators that get passed up the supply chain.

    The South Lake Tahoe City Council member and board member for the National Cannabis Industry Association has started talking about putting a new initiative on the statewide ballot that would reduce taxes and regulatory burdens while explicitly requiring cities to allow cannabis stores if their voters supported Proposition 64. The Legislature has balked at similar proposals.

    “It’s a heavy lift, but it’s within the realm of reality if we are unified,” Bass said.

    On Dec. 17, the Legislature’s top adviser recommended that lawmakers consider overhauling how cannabis is taxed, including a possible potency-based tax to reduce harmful use. The Legislative Analyst’s Office also said lawmakers should consider eliminating the cultivation tax. Previous measures to require some local governments to allow sales and to reduce taxes on licensed retailers have failed to advance.

    William G. Panzer, an Oakland attorney who was co-author of Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California, called the current licensing system a “nightmare.”

    “There is lots of talk about it,” Panzer said of a new initiative. “I love the idea, if there is financing. You are not going to get the problems fixed through the Legislature.”

    Elliott said the governor is sympathetic to the challenges of licensed cannabis operators and is willing to work with lawmakers and the industry on addressing concerns about taxation.

    But some state actions are magnifying the legal market’s problems, including the tax increases on cultivation set to take effect Jan. 1, said Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, who has asked Newsom to block the new levies.

    The California Cannabis Industry Association said it was “stunned and outraged” by the tax increases.

    “Widening the price disparity gap between illicit and regulated products will further drive consumers to the illicit market at a time when illicit products are demonstrably putting people’s lives at risk,” the association said in a statement.

    Newsom’s office notes the automatic tax increases are required by state law.

    “The governor is not given carte blanche to simply ignore these legislative mandates, and it is a dangerous precedent to suggest he do so,” Elliott said.

    Some backers of Proposition 64 say it is too soon to panic and roll back taxes and regulations meant to protect consumers and the environment.

    Sutton, the executive director of the Goldman Environmental Foundation, said he does not support pursuing another ballot initiative.

    He suggested that California offer cities incentives to prod them to allow cannabis stores, including sharing the taxes collected by the state. More technical assistance could also be offered to help new cannabis firms get started and meet the stringent testing and tracking requirements set by the state, he said.

    State agencies that license and regulate pot businesses also need to fill vacancies so they have sufficient staffing to do their job and eradicate illicit pot operations, Sutton said.

    Some law enforcement officials remain concerned about the system set up by Proposition 64, arguing the persistent illicit market is a threat to public safety.

    “We’re not satisfied with the way things have been,” said Citrus Heights Police Chief Ronald A. Lawrence, who is president of the California Police Chiefs Association. “Some of this is dangerous stuff. Frankly, you’ve got some of the (drug) cartels out there who have exploited the situation in California.”

    The state Bureau of Cannabis Control has begun stepping up enforcement in recent weeks. On Dec. 12, the bureau and local authorities served search warrants on 24 unlicensed pot shops and seized $8.8 million in cannabis products, while also confiscating 9,885 illegal vape pens and $128,742 in cash.

    That action came a month after the agency sent more than 400 letters to property owners warning them that their tenants appeared to be engaging in unlicensed cannabis activity and noting that landlords could face civil liability, including fines of up to $30,000 per day.

    But overall, “enforcement has been inconsistent and spotty at best,” said Scott Chipman, vice president for Americans Against Legalizing Marijuana.

    The legal industry has faced obstacles in Washington as well.

    Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, federally chartered banks have been unwilling to handle money from cannabis businesses, complicating financial transactions and requiring retailers to carry large amounts of cash to pay vendors and taxing agencies. Federal and state legislation has so far not succeeded in allowing banks to handle cash from marijuana operations.

    Panzer, a criminal defense attorney who supported Proposition 64, said he expects the industry will pressure state lawmakers to consider additional reforms when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

    “The only people making money in the cannabis industry these days are people putting on seminars on how to make money in the cannabis industry,” he said.
    BP likes this.
  38. IowaHuskerFan3

    IowaHuskerFan3 I hardly husk.
    Nebraska CornhuskersAtlanta Braves

    I go to both illegal shops and legal shops. An 8th of “legal” fire weed is around $50-80. Fuck out of here with that price, and it’s pretax.
  39. Lucky24Seven

    Lucky24Seven Ain't nothing slick to a can of oil
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    Makes no sense to pay that when a grower can get you straight gas for $125 a zip.
  40. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
    Donor TMB OG

  41. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Tennessee VolunteersLos Angeles DodgersBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

  42. Bankz

    Bankz Well-Known Member
    Donor TMB OG
    MilanFormula 1

    Aren’t these huge corporations scooping up licenses all over the country and already pushing the “‘mom and pops” out.
  43. ned's head

    ned's head Well-Known Member

    Let's do it, baby

    ashy larry and Saul Shabazz like this.
  44. bro

    bro Hey Hermano
    Tennessee VolunteersLos Angeles DodgersBuffalo BillsBuffalo Sabres

    Would take years to implement the sale of it
  45. tjsblue

    tjsblue I was right at the time

    Kind of relevant, went for a run today and had to go into a parking lot along a path to throw away dog poo. Usually an empty lot unless it is boating season (Columbus, OH). Probably half full with 10 cars smoking and the smell was thick. I’m sure without an office to go to and the old ladies at home, the men had to get out. Another parking lot two blocks away, same thing. :laugh:
    ashy larry and NineteenNine like this.
  46. ned's head

    ned's head Well-Known Member

  47. Bert Handsome

    Bert Handsome I'm sorry, the card says Moops
    Donor TMB OG
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    Illinois took less than a year
    Cornelius Suttree likes this.
  48. NineteenNine

    NineteenNine Divers are, in fact, wankers. It's science.
    ArsenalTiger WoodsSneakersDallas Mavericks altTexas Tech Red Raiders alt

    If Oklahoma does this while Texas is still standing around with it's dick in it's hand is going to be kind of hilarious.
    ned's head likes this.