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ECONOMICS

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director August 28, 2012


    The 2012 election is, without a doubt, the most important one yet in the world of marijuana law refom. Three states, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon will be voting to legalize marijuana use by responsible adults and Montana, Arkansas, and Massachusetts, will be voting on medical marijuana issues. These reform efforts, coupled with local ballot measures to decriminalize possession and a presidential election, give us the opportunity to make history this November.

    Help us deliver the knock out blow to cannabis prohibition this fall, support the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in our fight to legalize responsible adult use of marijuana. Join us by donating to our fundraiser on Crowdtilt.com – donate $50, $25, $4.20, $1, whatever you can afford. Since its founding in 1970, NORML has provided a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting marijuana smokers. Your donation ensures we can continue our mission to end cannabis prohibition once and for all.

    Together we can do this. With a little help from our friends, we WILL legalize cannabis.

    Click Here to Donate

    NOTE: Your card will only be charged if we reach our goal of $4,200 dollars in ten days, if we don’t no one gets charged and we don’t get any donations, so please help with whatever amount you can and share with family and friends!

    Read NORML’s 2012 Election Guide, Smoke the Vote, here to learn about all the ways marijuana policy is coming into play during the fall election.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 20, 2012

    The passage and enactment of a statewide marijuana ballot measure this fall could generate as much as $60 million in savings and revenue, according to a just published budgetary analysis prepared by the Colorado Center on Law & Policy.

    Amendment 64, The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012, allows for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by those age 21 and over. Longer-term, the measure seeks to establish regulations governing the commercial production and distribution of marijuana by licensed retail outlets.

    Colorado is one of three states (joining Oregon and Washington) where voters this fall will have the opportunity to substantively reform their state’s personal use cannabis laws. Four additional states — Arkansas, Massachusetts, Montana, and North Dakota — may also be voting on medical marijuana proposals in November.

    According to the CCLP report, the enactment of Amendment 64 could result in an estimated: $12 million dollars of annual savings in criminal justice costs, $24 million in excise tax revenue; $8.7 million in state sales tax revenue, $14.5 million in local tax revenue, along with the creation of several hundred new jobs.

    Their analysis projects that these savings and revenue estimates may double by 2017.

    According to an August survey from the firm Public Policy Polling, Coloradoans favor the measure by a margin of 47 percent to 38 percent. Independent voters strongly back the measure (58 percent to 28 percent) and so do Democrats (59 percent to 22 percent). By contrast, on 26 percent of Republican voters said they favored Amendment 64.

    A separate Colorado poll by Rasmussen Reports, published in June, found that 61 percent of state voters agree philosophically that cannabis ought to be regulated like alcohol or tobacco.

    Full text of the Colorado Center on Law & Policy white paper is available online here. Additional information regarding Amendment 64 and other 2012 statewide ballot initiatives is available at NORML’s ‘Smoke the Vote’ webpage here.

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director August 6, 2012

    According to Washington, D.C. Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill, a group of bipartisan Senators, led by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D), have filed legislation seeking to exempt industrial hemp (which, in effect, is very low potent cannabis) from the Controlled Substances Act (which, concerning cannabis specifically, is largely directed at prohibiting recreational and therapeutic use of the herb).

    Update: You can help advocate for this bill’s passage here.

    One of the most indefensible aspects of modern Cannabis Prohibition is the federal government’s continued opposition to allowing American farmers and consumers benefit from a domestic industrial hemp industry, when, ridiculously, other free market and democratic countries who also maintain user prohibitions on cannabis—countries like the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and notably Canada—allow their farmers to legally cultivate industrial cannabis. This inherently places American farmers and agriculture at a competitive disadvantage and American consumers paying higher costs for imported raw and finished hemp products.

    Senator Wyden tells The Hill:

    “I firmly believe that American farmers should not be denied an opportunity to grow and sell a legitimate crop simply because it  resembles an illegal one,” Wyden said. “Raising this issue has sparked  a growing awareness of exactly how ridiculous the U.S.’s ban on  industrial hemp is. I’m confident that if grassroots support continues to grow and Members of Congress continue to hear from voters then common sense hemp legislation can move through Congress in the near  
    future.”

    Read more here.

    To learn everything you need to know about hemp and efforts to reform America’s antiquated industrial hemp laws, please check out our hempen friends:

    VoteHemp.org

    TheHIA.org

     

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director August 5, 2012

    As more and more public, economic and political attention is being cast towards cannabis legalization during the failed policy’s 75th birthday week, these apparently are the years of sober public policy writing examining what an end to Cannabis Prohibition is possibly going to look like with tax lawyer Patrick Ogelsby’s cover article in State Tax Notes last year, Rand Corporation/Kleinman/Caulkins’ book ‘Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know — 2012’ and now a cover piece in the magazine we policy wonks live to read…Governing Magazine.

    The Governing writer touches upon what I’ve come to recognize as obvious:  rigid state medical cannabis programs like Colorado’s (as, for example, compared to California’s practically non-existent state regulations and laws regarding medical cannabis) as necessary precursor to state-sanctioned cannabis legalization for non-medical retail.

    With publications and books like these being distributed widely among policymakers, elected officials, staff, media and NGOs…it is not possible that Cannabis Prohibition can survive in free market-oriented democracies like America for an additional seventy-five years!

    Not possible!

     

    Hey Allen,
     
    Wanted to share the link to my medical marijuana feature, now it’s been posted online: http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/gov-medical-marijuana-becoming-mainstream.html

    As I think I mentioned to you, it was our August cover! (You can see it in the upper right-hand corner). Feel free to distribute it through your own channels, and I’d love to hear any feedback. Couldn’t have done it without all the background and additional help and contacts that you gave me. Thanks again. Sure we’ll have a chance to chat again soon.
     
    – Dylan
     
    _____
     
    Dylan Scott
    Staff Writer
    GOVERNING | governing.com 
    A division of e.Republic | Smart Media for Public Sector Innovation
    1100 Connecticut Ave N.W., Suite 1300
    Washington, D.C. 20036

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director August 3, 2012

    This Week in Weed

    Click here to subscribe to NORMLtv and receive alerts whenever new content is added.

    The latest installment of “This Week in Weed” is now streaming on NORMLtv.

    This week: A big drop in DEA marijuana plant seizures year over year and a new study illustrates how cannabis can help keep patients from the dangers of pharmaceutical opiates.

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    Be sure to tune in to NORMLtv every week to catch up on the latest marijuana news. Subscribe to NORMLtv or follow us on Twitter to be notified as soon as new content is added.

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