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  1. Marijuana legalization initiative signatures in

    29 December 2011
    Other news

    Backers of an effort to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana use in Washington state submitted more than 340,000 signatures Thursday to try to qualify their initiative, a move protested by some legalization supporters who say the proposal would hurt medical-marijuana patients. About a dozen protesters carried signs that read "Legalize, not penalize," and shouted as members of New Approach turned in signatures for Initiative 502 to the Legislature.

  2. Increased enforcement not curtailing marijuana use, report finds

    22 December 2011
    Other news

    Increased funding for anti-cannabis law enforcement does not meaningfully reduce the drug’s potency, price or availability and creates a lucrative opportunity for organized crime, according to a report by a group of marijuana policy reform advocates. The report, entitled How not to protect community health and safety: What the government’s own data say about the effects of cannabis production was released by Stop the Violence BC, and argues that marijuana should be regulated, taxed and sold in a restricted capacity. The report looks at 20 years of data collected by the Canadian and U.S. governments and highlights the failure of marijuana prohibition to restrict access to the drug.

  3. B.C. medical group recommends pot legalization

    22 December 2011
    Other news

    Some B.C. medical health officials are now advocating for marijuana to be legalized, arguing that the government's costly enforcement activities are making little difference. The Health Officers' Council of B.C., which represents B.C.'s medical health officers and other physicians, researchers and consultants, is endorsing a report, How Not to Protect Community Health and Safety by Stop the Violence BC, that suggests a direct link between the province's $7-billion illegal cannabis industry and the increase in gang-related homicides in B.C. from 1997 to 2009.

  4. President Obama's puzzling silence on marijuana policy

    Neal Peirce / Syndicated columnist
    17 December 2011
    Other news

    The youth vote helped propel Barack Obama to the presidency, but that enthusiasm has declined sharply. One issue might reignite youthful enthusiasm: marijuana — partly its medical use, but especially the right to recreational use free of potential arrest. Police arrest youth for marijuana possession by the hundreds of thousands, threatening life prospects for a young man or woman saddled with a permanent "drug arrest" record that's easily located by employers, landlords, schools, credit agencies and banks. Small wonder that 62 percent of young Americans (ages 18 to 29) now favor legalizing marijuana, as a Gallup poll reported.

  5. Deputies to stop harassing I-502 proponents

    08 December 2011
    Other news

    King County authorities and the Washington State Public Stadium Authority have agreed to stop harassing people collecting signatures outside the Seahawks football stadium for an initiative that would legalize and tax recreational marijuana in the state. One of the collectors, Benjamin Schroeter, was arrested Nov. 13 after he refused an order to stop collecting signatures for Initiative 502 in a public area outside the stadium where fans were tailgating.

  6. Marijuana in California and Colorado: Highs and laws

    03 December 2011
    Other news

    While it is allowed in some form in 16 states and Washington, DC, Colorado is the leader in trying to make medicinal pot a legitimate business. It has been legal since a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution in 2000, but the for-profit side only took off two years ago after the legislature allowed individual counties and towns more flexibility in interpreting the rules. Over a hundred have done so.

  7. Polls, dispensary bans show Coloradans are split over possibly legalizing marijuana

    26 November 2011
    Other news

    As proponents of a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana near the deadline to turn in signatures, they face a puzzling picture of the electorate. An independent poll this summer found a slender majority of Coloradans support legalizing cannabis. But whenever marijuana has actually appeared on the ballot in Colorado in recent years — most commonly as measures to ban dispensaries and other marijuana businesses — it has generally fared poorly.

  8. Legalise it, part two

    Icaria Editorial
    24 November 2011
    Other news

    Legalising pot, we wrote in this space back in July 2009, would have two obvious benefits: generating revenue and dragging a shady business out into the light. Nearly three years later those arguments remain stronger than ever – the state is running at a deficit and the flare-ups between the gangsters that deal the stuff have become routine. Unfortunately, despite the change in government, the message coming from parliament also remains the same: no.

  9. Could legalising pot clean up the rot?

    24 November 2011
    Other news

    The City Council of Copenhagen has been pushing to legalise the sale of marijuana in the city. The council’s vote which would pave the way to establishing up to 40 state-owned dispensaries, is the second attempt in two years to experiment with state-sanctioned marijuana shops. The experiment is far from becoming a reality, however, and the vote simply sent an application to the Justice Ministry requesting the city proceed. A similar request was proposed in 2009, but despite broad support in the city council, it was shot down by parliament. (Let us light-up: Smokers voice their support for legal pot)

  10. Four former Vancouver mayors back call for an end to pot prohibition

    23 November 2011
    Other news

    Four former Vancouver mayors have endorsed a coalition calling for an end to pot prohibition in Canada that they blame for rampant gang violence. Larry Campbell, Mike Harcourt, Sam Sullivan and Philip Owen all signed an open letter to politicians in B.C. Wednesday claiming a change in the law will reduce gang violence. The former mayors support the position of the Stop the Violence BC coalition, which recently released a survey showing most B.C. residents favour an end to the current marijuana laws. (See the complete text of their manifesto)

  11. State's effort to legalize pot faces legal pitfalls

    20 November 2011
    Other news

    An effort to decriminalize and tax recreational marijuana sales for adults in Washington state has won some high-profile endorsements — including from two former Seattle U.S. attorneys and the former head of the FBI here — and its sponsors are well on their way to collecting enough signatures to place the measure before the Legislature. But even if backers gather enough signatures for Initiative 502 and the measure ultimately becomes law, the effort is a gamble because, in the event of a conflict with federal statutes, the feds would trump.

  12. Copenhagen votes to legalise marijuana

    18 November 2011
    Other news

    Marijuana could soon be legalised in Copenhagen, after the city voted overwhelmingly in favour of a scheme that would see the drug sold through a network of state-run shops and cafes. The scheme, if approved by the Danish parliament at the start of next year, could make the city the first to fully legalise, rather than simply tolerate, marijuana consumption. "We are thinking of perhaps 30 to 40 public sales houses, where the people aren't interested in selling you more, they're interested in you," said Mikkel Warming, the Mayor in charge of Social Affairs at Copenhagen City Council

     
  13. Poll: Public supports medical marijuana, but not full pot legalization

    18 November 2011
    Other news

    According a recent CBS News poll conducted at the end of October, a slim majority of 51 percent continues to think that marijuana use should be illegal. But support for specifically allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for serious medical conditions - or legalized "medical" marijuana - is far stronger: 77 percent Americans think it should be allowed.

  14. Will Marijuana Raids Be the New Normal if Pot-Legalizing I-502 Passes in Washington?

    16 November 2011
    Other news

    Cannabis-rights activists who oppose the marijuana-legalization initiative I-502 do so for many reasons, including the notion that should the bill pass, the federal government will immediately preempt it with an injunction. So will the DEA raids that happened yesterday in western Washington be the new norm if I-502 passes?

  15. Pot measure is tough sell at cop conference

    16 November 2011
    Other news

    I-502 has about 230,000 signatures and almost certainly will qualify for the November 2012 ballot. If I-502 were to pass, the state Liquor Control Board estimates that about 445,000 people — 10 percent of the adults over age 21 — would use marijuana. The analysis estimates that 95 percent of users would consume two grams a week, and the remaining 5 percent would smoke 2 grams a day. Based on those estimates, I-502 would make marijuana a top-five agricultural product in Washington, with gross receipts of nearly $582 million. With a 25 percent tax at each link of the production, distribution and retail chain, I-502 would generate $215 million a year, with nearly two-thirds of it earmarked for research and addiction prevention.

  16. The war on drugs and the shameful silence of our politicians

    Icaria Editorial
    13 November 2011
    Other news

    In a parliamentary debate in the House of Commons, David Cameron said: "I ask the Labour government not to return to retribution and war on drugs. That has been tried and we all know that it does not work." That was in December 2002. And as a member of the home affairs select committee on drug misuse, Cameron supported the following recommendation: "That the government initiates a discussion within the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of alternative ways – including the possibility of legalisation and regulation – to tackle the global drugs dilemma."

  17. Juan Manuel Santos: 'It is time to think again about the war on drugs'

    13 November 2011
    Other news

    Santos spelled out the radical ideas which he hopes will create a fresh approach. He said: "A new approach should try and take away the violent profit that comes with drug trafficking… If that means legalising, and the world thinks that's the solution, I will welcome it. I'm not against it." But he is clear that any initiatives need to be part of a co-ordinated international plan of action and he rules out any unilateral action by Colombia. "What I won't do is to become the vanguard of that movement because then I will be crucified."

  18. Sign Initiative 502 to put marijuana legalization before state Legislature

    Opinion
    11 November 2011
    Other news

    A former federal prosecutor and two former judges who have not only observed but also enforced marijuana laws at the federal, state and local levels ask that these laws be changed. It is time for a different, more effective approach. That's why they endorse Initiative 502, which would decriminalize marijuana in our state and make a long-overdue change for the better in public policy.

  19. It's Only A Matter Of Time

    08 November 2011
    Other news

    GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson drew headlines earlier this month when he said he would issue a full presidential pardon for anyone serving a prison sentence for marijuana. He elaborated on that promise adding that it's only a matter of time before marijuana is legalized. "Clearly it is when, not if," he said of legalizing cannabis. "When 50 percent of the population says to the other 50 percent, 'You belong behind bars for your actions,' that's not good law, that is just not good law at all."

  20. Pro-pot campaign gets big names, deep pockets

    04 November 2011
    Other news

    Marijuana legalization in Washington has been an activist's pipe dream for decades, but a new campaign with deep pockets and prominent supporters is poised to force the state Legislature to vote on the issue or send it to the 2012 presidential ballot.The group, New Approach Washington, is the strongest mainstream campaign to date, since former federal prosecutor John McKay backed the campaign.

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