Election May Be Turning Point for Legal Marijuana Posted by on October 24, 2016 at 10:05:32 PT By Thomas Fuller Source: New York Times San Francisco -- To the red-and-blue map of American politics, it may be time to add green. The movement to legalize marijuana, the country’s most popular illicit drug, will take a giant leap on Election Day if California and four other states vote to allow recreational cannabis, as polls suggest they may.
The map of where pot is legal could include the entire West Coast of the United States and a string of states reaching from the Pacific Ocean to Colorado, raising a stronger challenge to the federal government’s ban on the drug. Read More... Marijuana Activists are Pushing Pot Over Pills Posted by on October 21, 2016 at 11:20:27 PT By Will Greenberg Source: Mother Jones USA -- With less than a month to go before Election Day, several state level marijuana legalization campaigns have rolled out messaging that pitches weed as an alternative to deadly opioid painkillers.
This week, groups backing recreational legalization in Arizona and Massachusetts launched ads arguing marijuana should be an option for pain patients. Arizona's Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol campaign ran its ad during Thursday night's NFL game, featuring former pro quarterback Jim McMahon, whose career included a stint with the Arizona Cardinals, talking about the painkillers he was prescribed for injuries. Read More... Laughable Arguments Against Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on October 21, 2016 at 07:52:48 PT By Yvonne Abraham, Globe Columnist Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- That new ad trying to scare voters into opposing Question 4 is so over the top, so replete with retro alarmism, it’s kind of adorable. In it, opponents of the initiative to legalize pot in Massachusetts conjure a gray, dystopian world with a pot shop on every corner (“Weed world!” “Cannabis Hut!”). In a display window, scrumptious-looking, pink pot candies entice a little girl on her way to the toy store next door, mortifying her mother.
Voting yes on Question 4 will allow “thousands” of marijuana stores, the ad warns, “in neighborhoods like yours.” A siren screams by and the voice-over warns of more traffic deaths. A man walks by in a cloud of pot smoke. Reefer and its zombie devotees are everywhere. Read More... Legal Weed Is More Popular Than Clinton or Trump Posted by on October 20, 2016 at 19:39:03 PT By Jordan Weissmann Source: Slate USA -- We live in a time of political acrimony, a moment when both candidates for president are loathed by large chunks of the public and our elections have come to feel like quadrennial skirmishes in a cultural civil war.
But you know what voters are starting to agree on? Weed. Gallup reports today that 60 percent of Americans now say they favor legalizing marijuana, a new high since the pollster started asking about the topic 47 years ago. To put that in perspective, Hillary Clinton has an average favorability rating of just 43.8 percent, according to HuffPost Pollster. Donald Trump clocks in at a mere 34.7 percent. Even President Obama, who has enjoyed a late-term spike in popularity as America has pondered his potential replacements, only enjoys about 54 percent favorability—meaning pot is more popular than POTUS and his would-be successors. Read More... Marijuana Lights Up State Ballots Posted by on October 19, 2016 at 17:24:59 PT By The New York Times Editorial Board Source: New York Times USA -- People in nine states, including California, Florida and Massachusetts, will vote Nov. 8 on ballot proposals permitting recreational or medical use of marijuana. These initiatives could give a big push to legalization, prompting the next president and Congress to overhaul the country’s failed drug laws.
This is a big moment for what was a fringe movement a few years ago. A Gallup poll released on Wednesday showed 60 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, up from 31 percent in 2000 and 12 percent in 1969. Read More... Gallup: Support for Marijuana Legalization Surges Posted by on October 19, 2016 at 17:10:33 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- A new Gallup poll released Wednesday shows 60 percent of American adults now say that marijuana should be legal, the highest level of support in nearly a half-century of polling on the question.The Gallup poll tracks closely with numbers from the Pew Research Center released last week showing 57 percent support for legalization.
When Gallup first asked about legalization in 1969 only 12 percent of Americans supported the proposition. Support rose briefly to 28 percent in the late '70s, but languished in the low- to mid-20s throughout much of the '80s and '90s, as the federal war on drugs hit a fever pitch. Read More... Study Examines Med Marijuana's Effects on Drivers Posted by on October 19, 2016 at 09:57:56 PT By Alicia Lozano Source: LA Weekly California -- Polls suggest a majority of Californians, support legalizing marijuana for recreational use — 58 percent, to be exact, according to a recent Los Angeles Times poll. Yet the Automobile Club of Southern California (part of the country-wide American Automobile Association, or AAA) is not among Proposition 64's proponents.
Last week, AAA announced its opposition to legalizing cannabis in both California and Maine, which is also voting on recreational pot this year. The Auto Club says weed-related traffic deaths are up in Washington after the state legalized cannabis in 2012. Read More... Why Marijuana Opposition is So Effective in Mass. Posted by on October 18, 2016 at 08:39:11 PT By Joel Warner, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- “Are you ready for Freedom?” The call goes out from the main stage of the 27th annual Boston Freedom Rally on this warm mid-September morning. Judging from the aroma of cannabis in the air, the hundreds of attendees spread out across Boston Common are already enjoying that freedom, one puff at a time.
Dick Evans takes the stage first to provide a bit of historical context. Evans, 72 and wearing a green tie, has lobbied for legalization since 1981, making him the elder statesman of Massachusetts’s marijuana movement. Back in the early days, he says, “we were the lunatic fringe” — but not anymore. In 2008, more than 60 percent of state voters passed a ballot measure decriminalizing the possession of an ounce or less of cannabis. Four years later, a similar percentage legalized medical marijuana. Now, via Question 4 on next month’s ballot, voters could legalize marijuana outright. Read More... Marijuana On The Ballot: State-By-State Posted by on October 17, 2016 at 15:41:17 PT By Julie Weed Source: Forbes USA -- Voters could legalize recreational marijuana in five states this November and medical marijuana in three more. This record number of state ballot measures promise to be a great boon for the cannabusiness industry. With national prohibitions against interstate cannabis commerce, as well as current federal banking and drug laws, large companies have been kept out of the industry, so the market is still primarily comprised of small businesses.
California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will consider legalizing the recreational use of cannabis while Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota will decide on marijuana for medical purposes. Read More... Turning Over a New Leaf Posted by on October 17, 2016 at 14:55:19 PT By Matthew Rozsa Source: Salon USA -- As the movement to legalize marijuana continues to gather steam, will consumers have to deal with a cabal of corporate giants along the lines of Big Tobacco? Is this just another excuse to ban the drug, or is there a real threat that “Big Marijuana” may rear its ugly head the near future?
Fears of a corporate-driven Big Marijuana are being stoked many anti-marijuana groups, which have begun shifting their focus from scaring people away from the drug to claiming that large companies are going to try to sell it to children. “Joe Camel normalized cigarette smoking especially for young people. The Marlboro man normalized cigarettes for an entire generation. Marijuana wants to follow suit. Normalization is the cornerstone of that,” said Kevin Sabet, a former Obama administration drug policy adviser who now run Smart Approaches to Marijuana, in an interview with MSN. Read More... MA Puts Recreational Marijuana On The Ballot Posted by on October 14, 2016 at 08:23:00 PT By Russell Blair Source: Hartford Courant Massachusetts -- As a multimillion dollar fight over recreational marijuana in Massachusetts races toward the finish line, both sides of the debate in Connecticut are keeping a close eye on a vote that could open the door to legalization across New England.
Massachusetts is one of five states where measures to legalize and regulate the sale of recreational marijuana will be on the ballot. Voters in Arizona, California, Maine and Nevada will also vote on the issue. An affirmative vote in Maine or Massachusetts would bring legal recreational marijuana to the region for the first time, putting new pressure on those in the state that oppose expanded marijuana use. Read More... MJ Arrests Outnumber Those for Violent Crimes Posted by on October 12, 2016 at 04:38:09 PT By Timothy Williams Source: New York Times USA -- Arrests for possessing small amounts of marijuana exceeded those for all violent crimes last year, a new study has found, even as social attitudes toward the drug have changed and a number of cities and states have legalized its use or decriminalized small quantities.
And a disproportionate number of those arrested are African-Americans, who smoke marijuana at rates similar to whites but are arrested and prosecuted far more often for having small amounts for personal use, according to the study. The arrests can overwhelm court systems. Read More... Drug Cops Raid an 81-Year Old Woman’s Garden Posted by on October 08, 2016 at 06:12:18 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Massachusetts -- Margaret Holcomb, an 81-year-old woman from Amherst, Mass., grew a single marijuana plant in her garden, tucked away behind the raspberries. She used it to ease the ailments of old age: glaucoma, arthritis and the occasional sleepless night.
She hadn't tried to get a medical marijuana card, because of the challenges of getting a doctor's approval, she told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. And traveling to the dispensary in the next town over and paying for marijuana grown by someone else would be too costly, she feared. Read More... Ancient Marijuana Burial Shroud Uncovered Posted by on October 06, 2016 at 16:57:30 PT By Phillip Smith, AlterNet Source: AlterNet China -- Archeologists in China have uncovered a 2,500-year-old grave site that contains the bones of a man draped in freshly harvested marijuana plants—with the budding tops lopped off. Researchers say the "extraordinary cache" helps deepen our understanding of the plant's ritual and medicinal use in ancient Eurasian cultures.
According to research findings reported in the journal Economic Botany, a team led by archeologist Hongen Jiang unearthed the burial site of a man, approximately 35 years old with Caucasian features, from a cemetery in China's Turpan Basin. At the time of the man's death, the area was known as the Gushi Kingdom, and the desert oasis there was an important stop on the Silk Road. Read More... Questions For The Candidates On Marijuana Reform Posted by on October 06, 2016 at 09:44:04 PT By Chris Weigant Source: Huffington Post USA -- There is a major political debate currently happening in many parts of this country, but the astonishing thing is that most politicians — especially those on the national stage — seem to want to pretend the debate doesn’t even exist. We saw this previously on the issue of gay marriage, when even the Democratic candidates for president in 2008 wouldn’t support the idea for fear of losing votes — even though it was obviously the right thing to do. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would only support half-measures whose time had already passed, saying they were in favor of “civil unions,” but that “marriage” was too sacred a word to use for these unions. That was only eight years ago, and the political shift since then has been monumental. These days, it would be hard for any Democrat to get elected who didn’t wholeheartedly support marriage equality for all. The people led, and the leaders eventually followed. Read More... Doctors Not Concerned About Your Marijuana Use Posted by on October 05, 2016 at 16:03:30 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Doctors in the United States are not terribly concerned about your marijuana use, according to a study published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Researchers presented a representative sample of 233 primary-care physicians with nine hypothetical patient behaviors -- tobacco use, alcohol use, obesity, etc. -- and asked them how much of a problem they thought these behaviors were on a 10-point scale. Their goal was to suss out differences in doctors' attitudes and treatment behaviors based on their political affiliation. Read More... MMJ Could Help Boomers Get Most Out of Retirement Posted by on October 04, 2016 at 16:26:54 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- States that passed medical marijuana laws saw a significant boost to older Americans' workforce participation, according to a new working paper from researchers at Johns Hopkins and Temple University. States with medical marijuana laws also saw improvements in overall health for older men, although the health effects for older women were more mixed.
Like many recent studies examining the effects of marijuana laws, this one compared what happened in medical marijuana states before and after the passage of medical pot provisions, and compared them to trajectories in similar states that did not implement medical marijuana. The data come from the Health and Retirement study, a long-running survey of the health and economic well-being of older American adults. Read More... CA Marijuana Legalization Faces Unlikely Foe Posted by CN Staff on October 04, 2016 at 05:49:45 PT By Rory Carroll Source: Reuters Humboldt, Calif, -- Hezekiah Allen is a third-generation marijuana farmer in this Northern California county, where the cool coastal fog pours off the Pacific Ocean, coaxing pot plants to heights of 20 feet.
The executive director of the California Growers Association trade group, Allen has long sought an end to what he calls "prohibition" and has looked forward to a day when he and the thousands of pot farmers here would no longer be outlaws. Read More... U.S. Pro-Marijuana Campaigners Launch TV Ads Posted by CN Staff on October 03, 2016 at 14:17:24 PT By Scott Malone Source: Reuters Boston -- Campaigns to legalize recreational marijuana use in Massachusetts and Maine launched their first television ads on Monday, hoping to boost public awareness and support ahead of November votes on the issue.
The ads began just over a month before Election Day, when voters in five U.S. states will determine whether to legalize the recreational use of the drug, following the lead of Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia. Read More... Jamaica Sees Gold in Crop It Long Shunned Posted by on October 02, 2016 at 06:10:38 PT By Azam Ahmed Source: New York Times Montego Bay, Jamaica -- Jamaica has long bemoaned its reputation as the land of ganja.
It has enforced draconian drug laws and spent millions on public education to stem its distinction as a pot mecca. But its role as a major supplier of illicit marijuana to the United States and its international image — led by the likes of Bob Marley, whose Rastafarian faith considers smoking up a religious act — have been too strong to overcome. Now, its leaders smell something else: opportunity. Read More... One Surefire Way for Clinton to Shore Up Support Posted by on October 01, 2016 at 07:01:46 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- A full-throated endorsement of legal marijuana may be just the thing that Hillary Clinton needs to shore up support among wavering millennials, according to polling data from CBS news. But such a move would risk alienating older voters more skeptical of the merits of legal weed.
The Democratic presidential nominee's "millennial problem" is well documented. Young voters don't seem to be that energized by her campaign. In a recent Quinnipiac poll only 31 percent of likely voters ages 18 to 34 said they supported her. Nearly as many young voters (29 percent) said they supported third-party candidate Gary Johnson. Read More... Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug? Posted by on September 30, 2016 at 09:11:40 PT By David Scharfenberg, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- When a bipartisan group of the state’s top elected officials stood before a bank of cameras this summer and declared their opposition to legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts, they kept returning to a familiar argument: The drug too often leads to the opioid abuse destroying so many families.
“If you know anyone in the recovery community, talk to them,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a recovering alcoholic and longtime advocate for those struggling with addiction. “You’ll hear that most of them, many of them, started with marijuana.” Governor Charlie Baker and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo echoed fears of marijuana as a “gateway” drug. Read More... Oregon Scrambling to Implement New Marijuana Rules Posted by on September 30, 2016 at 06:31:02 PT By Ben DiPietro Source: Wall Street Journal Oregon -- Officials in Oregon are working to address concerns of marijuana businesses that say delays in the state processing regulatory applications threaten chaos for the industry when new rules take effect on Saturday.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has scheduled an emergency meeting for Friday to discuss the matter, an agency spokesman said. Without action, medical dispensaries and recreational retail outlets may be forced to pull some products off their shelves. Read More... Marijuana Conference, Make Cannabis Great Again Posted by on September 30, 2016 at 06:14:24 PT By Robin Abcarian Source: Los Angeles Times California -- I couldn’t find a single person at the State of Marijuana Conference ’16 on the Queen Mary this week willing to predict anything other than success for Proposition 64, the measure that could legalize cannabis in California for adult recreational use.
Polls continue to show that almost two-thirds of California’s likely voters support passage, though things could tighten up closer to election day. No question, a pungent wind is blowing across America. Read More... Marijuana Can Fix Clinton’s Biggest Problem Posted by on September 29, 2016 at 08:45:05 PT By Eric Levitz Source: New Yorker Magazine USA -- The past two weeks of polling have provided Democrats with many excuses to seek out chemical cures for un-mellow moods. But of all the buzz-harshing polls to surface between Hillary’s fainting spell and Trump’s figurative face-plant at Monday’s debate, few were as unnerving as CNN/ORC’s survey of Colorado.
Throughout July and early August, polls showed Clinton with a commanding lead in the Rocky Mountain State. Over the summer, Monmouth University, Fox News, NBC/WSJ/Marist, and Quinnipiac all showed Coloradans opting for Clinton over Trump by double-digit margins. The state had emerged as a critical brick in Clinton’s electoral college firewall: Even as the Democratic nominee lost ground in Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina, she still had a narrow path to victory that wound through the Rocky Mountains. Read More... Chelsea Clinton Misspoke on Marijuana Risks Posted by on September 28, 2016 at 19:03:09 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Speaking at a town hall at Youngstown State University over the weekend, Chelsea Clinton made a remark about the risks of marijuana use that left many drug reform advocates scratching their heads. The daughter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested that legal marijuana use had contributed to the deaths of people who were using other drugs simultaneously, due to a bad drug interaction.
A spokeswoman for Chelsea Clinton now says that the Democratic presidential candidate's daughter simply misspoke. Read More... 9 States To Vote on Expanding Access to Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on September 28, 2016 at 08:01:32 PT By Paul Elias and David Crary, Associated Press Source: Associated Press USA -- From California, with its counterculture heritage, to the fishing ports and mill towns of Maine, millions of Americans in nine states have a chance to vote Nov. 8 on expanding legal access to marijuana. Collectively, the ballot measures amount to the closest the U.S. has come to a national referendum on the drug.
Five states — Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada — will consider legalizing the recreational use of pot. Three others — Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota — will decide whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montana will weigh whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law. Read More... Marijuana Measures On The Ballot in 9 States Posted by CN Staff on September 28, 2016 at 07:40:38 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press USA -- Voters on Nov. 8 will decide ballot measures in nine states that would expand legal access to marijuana. Here’s a rundown:
In five states, the ballot measures propose to legalize recreational marijuana use for anyone 21 and over. Read More... Marijuana Arrests Fall To Lowest Level Since 1996 Posted by on September 26, 2016 at 14:49:16 PT By Fenit Nirappil Source: Washington Post USA -- Arrests for simple marijuana possession in the United States fell to nearly a two-decade low last year, according to new statistics released Monday by the FBI.
The number of arrests for marijuana possession in 2015 -- 574,641 -- is the lowest number since 1996. It represents a 7 percent year-over-year drop, and roughly a 25 percent drop from the peak of close to 800,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2007. Read More... Ask the Candidates Are Ready to Legalize Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on September 24, 2016 at 07:45:10 PT By John Nichols Source: Nation Arizona -- Presidential debates, as organized by the lamentable Commission on Presidential Debates, are deliberately boring. Most of the questions asked of the candidates are little more than invitations to repeat their most shopworn talking points. And, worse yet, there has been a recent trend toward asking candidates to critique their opponents — literally asking for more of the talking-head punditry that extinguishes whatever enthusiasm might be generated by a clash of ideas.
What to do? Why not ask Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump some pointed questions about legalizing marijuana? Read More...
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