D.C. Panels Weigh Legalizing Marijuana Sales
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D.C. Panels Weigh Legalizing Marijuana Sales
Posted by CN Staff on October 31, 2014 at 16:39:43 PT
By Lacey Johnson
Source: Reuters
D.C. -- Washington lawmakers took a step toward legalizing the sale of marijuana in the U.S. capital on Thursday, holding a hearing on rules and taxes ahead of a referendum next week. The proposed legislation to regulate marijuana sales in the District of Columbia is part of a sharp shift in U.S. public opinion in the past several years that has pushed legalized pot toward the mainstream.Advocates at the hearing said the legal sale of marijuana was a top civil rights issue since blacks were far more likely to be arrested for pot possession than people of other races.
“It is time to end the failed experiment of marijuana prohibition. It has ... made criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens,” Stacia Cosner, deputy director of the advocacy group Students for Sensible Drug Policy, told the joint hearing of the council's finance and business committees.The proposal would legalize marijuana possession and private consumption for people 21 and older. Marijuana sales would be regulated by the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration and taxed similarly to alcohol.Under the law proposed by independent Councilman David Grosso, marijuana sold for recreational purposes would be taxed at 15 percent. Medical marijuana would be taxed at 6 percent.Non-medical marijuana revenue would go into a fund that supports public services, such as youth programs and drug prevention education. An NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll last month showed Washington voters backed legalization by a two-to-one margin.Nov. 4 ballot initiatives in the District of Columbia, Oregon and Alaska will decide on legalizing marijuana, and they could join the states of Colorado and Washington. Decriminalization of pot in the District of Columbia took effect in July.More than 30 activists and policy experts testified on Thursday, and they overwhelmingly favored Grosso's bill.But Lanre Falusi, a pediatrician, said legalization would increase access to the drug. "A growing number of medical studies are showing the true dangers of marijuana,” she said, and the bill would put minority youth in poverty at risk.Grosso responded, “I don’t think you can do more harm, in the District of Columbia or in this country, than putting them behind bars.”Marijuana reform in Washington could face scrutiny from the U.S. Congress, which has constitutional oversight over the capital.Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Mohammad ZarghamSource: Reuters (Wire)Author: Lacey JohnsonPublished: October 30, 2014Copyright: 2014 Thomson ReutersCannabisNews   -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on November 03, 2014 at 04:12:01 PT
As Stephen the Irishman said,
"Don't worry about Ireland, that's my island"!
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on November 02, 2014 at 19:50:46 PT
Plea to voters.
A plea to voters in Oregon, Alaska, Florida and DC:Please get out that vote, even if You vote for nothing else but the cannabis issue.-0-It's understandable for citizens to be sick of the ads, phone calls and often politicians that are difficult to relate to...Voting to RE-legalize cannabis is a positive, much needed and long time coming, game changer for Americans of every age, race, sex and all involved.-Except for police types who may need to spend more time actually fighting honest crime.Please vote to stop BIG PROHIBITION.When examined, it's clear, ENDING CANNABIS PROHIBITION IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES OF OUR TIME.
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on November 02, 2014 at 17:39:39 PT
Yes, indeed! Cannabis/Hemp makes for a better World!
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Comment #2 posted by Universer on November 02, 2014 at 16:28:21 PT
Go, DC
I live 30 traffic-clogged miles from D.C.To me (personally) it would be wonderful (emotionally) for a jurisdiction just down the road (literally) to have and to hold re-legalized cannabis for responsible adult consumption (finally).Those friends I have in D.C. will be voting, and they'll be voting right.Hopefully some of that common sense trickles across the river, down I-95 and into Richmond. If a referendum were held here in NoVA, I think it would pass. If one were held in all of the Commonwealth, I'm not sure but I am doubtful. It's merely a hypothetical musing as we are not blessed with the initiative process here in democracy's cradle -- but there are rumors of med and/or decrim introduced in next year's session.Having D.C. go legal should help that. Heck, having D.C. go legal should help all of us everywhere.Go, D.C.
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on October 31, 2014 at 17:57:39 PT
If you had asked me 5 years ago, where this movement would be now, I would have given you a very pessimistic outlook.
Yet now, I believe there could be a moment where suddenly the door opens completely towards full legalization. Corporate amerika has done a very good job of keeping useless wars around far too long, but eventually, naturally, people tire of them. The hold-outs may finally give in to reality, and some may never.Still, keeping my positive outlook...well for me, we will have to wait and see.
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