Moving Legalization Forward in 2015

  • by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel January 12, 2015


    The beginning of a new year provides an opportunity for reflection about what we hope to accomplish over the coming year, and whether there is a need to revise or fine-tune our tactics or strategy. It is also a time for allowing our hopes and dreams to take flight, even as we acknowledge we may not accomplish everything on our wish list within the next twelve months. By setting lofty goals, some of which may initially seem out-of-reach, we will surely move closer to our ultimate goal of full legalization all across the country.

    Here are some strategies I propose we embrace for 2015.

    1. Legalization is working well in Colorado and Washington, and we must continue to gather and spread the good news.

    To read the balance of this column, please go to Marijuana.com


    45 responses to “Moving Legalization Forward in 2015”

    1. shawn_kearney says:

      “They want assurances that juvenile marijuana smoking will not skyrocket and that there will be a way to identify marijuana-impaired drivers and keep our roadways safe.”

      “They”? Shouldn’t this be the goal of all responsible marijuana users as well? This article makes pot smokers out to be advocates fir drugged driving and underage use.

      I certainly hope I’m not alone in my view that kids should be prevented from smoking marijuana unless under medically prescribed supervision. In fact, preventing underaged use is one of our strongest arguments.

    2. Chadwick says:

      Thank you for finally addressing the taxation aspect, and that excessive taxation will continue to drive the black and gray markets.

      The best way to integrate medical and “recreational” markets would be to make all retail taxes relatively low, and enact a flat excise tax similar to winegrowers at the production level. Production-level taxes therefore fund the bulk of the regulatory regime, and then retail sales taxes support the general fund.

      Once our laws accommodate an equally competitive environment, the major black market forces will naturally dissolve.

    3. TheOracle says:

      Hear, hear!

      Kudos, Keith!

    4. matt says:

      Once Kansas legalizes,it’s all down hill from there. A real change starts with the heart.

    5. Julian says:

      Wow, Keith, #7 and #4 were AWEsome.

      I would like to add more emphasis on Colorado’s successful model of using revenue from industrial and commercial cannabis on education, but instead of capping the cost at the first $10million, integrating a variable education tax percentage that adjusts for inflation and recessions.
      The first line off the list is about educating the public and Congressman, which is truly continuing education. Cannabis affects every major issue of our lives from fuel, to feed, shelter, food and medicine. Following the President’s proposal, and laugh if you will, we need cannabis revenue to pay for institutions of “higher” learning, (or perhaps I’ll stick with Canniversities) so that students on s “high” of spending pell grants with free tuition for the first two years of a Bachelors degree dont get stuck facing a student loan they can never repay for their final two years of uppergraduate education.
      After we’re done laughing about studying cannabis, think of the innovation and production from recycling and reinvesting American passion for cannabis into education? An agricultural Revolution where we stop going into debt you cant even opt out of with bankruptcy? A non for profit institution of higher learning dedicated to science, and teaching young people about how our government works or doesn’t work just by teaching a course in the history of prohibition through the industrial era?
      How about publicly cannabis funded courses on patenting laws, sustainable energy using hemp, and maintaining food crops as open source resources for Small family farms?
      Forget the tomato model, where’s the Canniversity Model?

    6. matt says:

      I think that the hardest state to win over is going to be Kansas. But I think it is looking a lot better even here. Missouri is about to legalize. And the majority of people that live in kansas live right on the border of missouri. The Kansas city metropolitan area is the biggest metropolitan area in Kansas and Missouri! And the whole metropolitan area is split right down the middle. Half missouri half Kansas. And with Missouri having two big metro areas. And Kansas only having one. And the huge majority of the state of Kansas living just in that area. It is going to be close to impossible for Kansas to police the border. Especially with Kansas city no still being a lot bigger then Kansas city ks. It would probably be easier for Kansas to police the entire border of Kansas and Colorado. Then just the state line between the two cities. So I think that if mo legalizes then ks will have to be very close behind. And Kansas is one of the thickest bible belt states that youv ever been to. But it doesn’t matter because mo is such a huge influence on ks that they will have to do it weather they want to or not. We would be killing two birds with one stone. That would also devide the two states that stood up against Colorado. And the da of co was right when he said that we need to get our meth problem under control. I grew up in Kansas. And the huge meth problem in the center of the country is way more destructive then any pot plant. Legalize weed in the Midwest! The true change will start in the middle.

    7. Evening Bud says:

      All of these strategies look appealing. I especially like the legalized gathering places idea, similar to the coffeeshops in Amsterdam.

      For Christ’s sakes, how many bars are there in the cities and towns of America? Tens of thousands, no doubt. It’s ridiculous not to allow a legal place for pot smokers to congregate and smoke, and one of the vestiges of “reefer madness” prohibition.

      I’ve been to Amsterdam twice, and in all my visits to the coffeeshops in that city never saw anything resembling violence.

      I can’t say the same for the American bars I used to frequent.

    8. Ben says:

      here, check this out:

      Governor of CO, Hickenlooper
      who opposed legal cannabis
      now said this on 60 Minutes
      (its in many places, so look into it)


      on to FULL legalization

    9. Galileo Galilei says:

      I thought it worth summarizing:

      1. Legalization is working well in Colorado and Washington, and we must continue to gather and spread the good news.

      2. Full legalization, regardless of why one smokes, must be our ultimate goal.

      3. Reasonable regulations are politically necessary

      4. The Obama Administration should be a primary focus for the two years remaining in his presidency.

      5. We need to successfully enact full legalization legislatively in at least one state.

      6. We need provisions allowing smokers to socialize, similar to the Amsterdam coffee shops.

      7. We need to keep the taxes modest.

    10. MSimon says:

      Well thanks for acknowledging the “tomato model”. It is the conservative model. Lets go back to the way it was before 1937.

      It is marketing. Market it as the Conservative Model. The way it was done before Prohibition.

      Taxes and regulations will just give us legal cartels. We can put some break on that by allowing home grown. No more than 200 plants. Just like the 200 gallon limit on beer.

      I ought to mention that if taxes are high enough we will also have illegal cartels.

      And who is going to monitor hemp? Anything but the tomato model will kill hemp.