What’s Next For The Marijuana Movement
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What’s Next For The Marijuana Movement
Posted by CN Staff on November 06, 2014 at 11:33:22 PT
By Niraj Chokshi 
Source: Washington Post 
Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana advocates notched three big victories on Tuesday, but they’re just gearing up.Emboldened by their Election Day victories in Alaska, Oregon and D.C., supporters of legalization are optimistic for the future. We asked a few of them which states will be targeted next for legalization and what lessons they’ve learned from the four successful state campaigns so far.
“The stage is now set for 2016, when measures to regulate marijuana like alcohol are expected to appear on ballots in at least five states,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which was instrumental in passing legalization in Colorado and bankrolled the successful campaign in Alaska. The group contributed about 84 percent of the nearly $900,000 raised by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, which successfully lobbied for passage of the ballot measure in Alaska.The five states where MPP has established committees to push similar ballot measures in 2016 are Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. An independent Democratic activist in Mississippi is also pursuing a ballot measure there. The measures there will likely mimic the Colorado model, as the measures in Oregon and Alaska did. (The measure passed by voters in Washington in 2012 is typically viewed by advocates as more restrictive than Colorado’s.)But the group also plans to work to help shepherd legalization through a state legislature for the first time, with a particular focus on Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware, Hawaii, and Maryland. New Hampshire’s state House in January became the first legislative body in the country to approve legalization, though the effort ultimately reached a dead end. That state, Rhode Island and Vermont may see action soonest among that group.The upcoming push to legalize in those nearly dozen states will no doubt draw heavily on lessons learned during the successful campaigns so far, which fall roughly into two categories, Tvert said. Advocates in Alaska and Colorado felt they needed to focus on disarming fears about the harm of marijuana early by drawing the comparison to alcohol, while Oregon and Washington played it safer by arguing that legalization is safer than prohibition.“Our goal from the beginning was to get this message across that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol so that when that last month comes around, and the opponents are trying to scare people away from marijuana by saying it’s so dangerous, their reaction will be to say ‘yeah, but it’s less harmful than alcohol,’” he said.In Oregon, the campaign tended to focus on the ills of prohibition, offering legalization as a safer alternative. What worked? Peter Zuckerman, communications director of the successful Yes on 91 campaign, said legalization advocates were smart to avoid marijuana leaf imagery, wear suits when appearing on TV, and pursue endorsements from unusual or unexpected individuals and groups. His group aired ads featuring Washington’s King County Sheriff John Urquhart, local mothers, and a former top state official in charge of mental health and addiction services. Support from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the social media-savvy group of moms backing the measure helped, too, he said. The campaign might have seen more success by starting earlier and encouraging supporters to quote news sources in voter pamphlet statements, he added.There are lessons to learn from failure, too. While all the legalization measures were approved on Election Day, a measure to allow medical marijuana in Florida failed to gain the 60 percent share of the vote necessary for passage, though it did earn majority support. The campaign there could have promoted the patients who would have benefitted more and been less reactive, said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority.“They spent a lot of time trying to undercut the opposition’s arguments about the so-called loopholes in Amendment 2 and from what I saw they really didn’t do enough of a job of telling the story of the patients who are going to be helped by this,” Angell said.It’s that same emotionality that the yes campaign should have played on that opponents credit for their successful campaign against it.“I think you have to show people why it’s personally relevant to them,” said Calvina Fay, chairman of the Drug Free Amendment Foundation which opposed the measure. “If you don’t care about the issue you don’t pick up the sword and fight, so to speak.”That measure received 57.6 percent of the vote in Florida.Summary of the Measures:Alaska Measure 2 (Passed, 52 percent)Possession: Up to an ounce.Home-growing: Up to six marijuana plants, three of them flowering.Sales: The measure authorizes four kinds of businesses: cultivators, who will grow pot; manufacturing facilities, which will produce extracts and products; testing facilities for quality control; and retail stores.Timeline: The measure takes effect 90 days after being certified by the lieutenant governor. Rules for marijuana businesses must be drafted nine months after that. The Marijuana Policy Project reports that the state expects certification late this month, meaning business rules can be expected by September.Oregon Measure 91 (Passed, 56 percent)Possession: Up to an eight ounces.Home-growing: Up to four marijuana plants.Sales: Under the measure the state will regulate four types of businesses: producers, who grow marijuana for wholesale; processors, who produce extracts and products; wholesalers, who may purchase marijuana and products to sell to retailers and non-customers; and retailers.Timeline: Rulemaking can begin as soon as the results are certified on Dec. 4. Possession and home cultivation for adults becomes legal on July 1. The state will begin accepting applications for marijuana businesses on Jan. 4, 2016.D.C. Initiative 71 (Passed, 65 percent)Possession: Up to an two ounces.Home-growing: Up to six marijuana plants, three of them mature.Sales: The measure does not legalize sale of marijuana.Timeline: The measure must be submitted to Congress for a 30-day review period, though Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser suggested she would not want to submit the measure without accompanying legislation to regulate sales.Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author:  Niraj Chokshi Published: November 6, 2014Copyright: 2014 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by schmeff on November 07, 2014 at 08:35:30 PT
Too Stupid to Realize She Lost - Calvina Fay
57.6% of Florida voters say Calvina Fay is full of it. She thinks her position won the day! LOLShe'll be falling on her own sword soon enough.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on November 06, 2014 at 21:27:30 PT
why do the AK and OR laws have waiting periods? Didn't Colorado's law make possession and growing legal the day after Election Day?  Let that horse out of the barn immediately
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 06, 2014 at 19:54:07 PT
MSNBC Series: Pot Barons of Colorado
“Pot Barons of Colorado” premieres on MSNBC November 30 at 10 PM ETSix-Part Series Airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ETSpecial Sneak Peek Beginning on November 28This Thanksgiving weekend, MSNBC will premiere “Pot Barons of Colorado.” The six-part documentary series will air Sundays at 10pm ET/PT beginning November 30th, with a special Sneak Peek airing Friday, November 28th. Produced by MSNBC’s Longform Unit and Triple Threat TV, the series follows the stories of Colorado-based ‘pot barons’ who will risk everything to secure a foothold in the rapidly expanding world of recreational marijuana use. MSNBC DOCUMENTARIES, 10/29/14, 4:35 PM ETMeet the 'Pot Barons of Colorado'On New Year’s Day 2014, the nation’s first legal recreational marijuana dispensaries opened in Colorado. The demand for legal weed stunned the experts, effectively launching a 21st century “green rush.” From dispensaries to grow houses, “Pot Barons of Colorado” delves into the thrilling and suspenseful world of Colorado’s recreational marijuana businesses as they race to cash in on this unprecedented boom. In the six-part series, audiences will meet a handful of the state’s leading Pot Barons, including: Jamie Perino, owner of Euflora, a high tech pot parlor which she calls “the Apple Store of Weed.” Andy Williams, who co-owns a family business, Medicine Man, with his brother Pete, runs one of the largest single-store marijuana dispensaries in the world and hopes it will soon become the “Costco of marijuana.” Tripp Keber, the President and CEO of Dixie Brands, hopes to build an empire out of his marijuana soda that comes in fancy brushed-aluminum bottles. The documentary explores how each pot baron broke into the industry, the risks they are taking, the dreams they’re pursuing, and the setbacks they must overcome.The series takes viewers deep inside this budding industry filled with financial opportunity, but also fraught with danger. At the Federal level, marijuana remains an illegal substance, so banks are shunning the business, creating a cash-only world and a climate of armed guards, locked vaults, and constant concerns about security. Another branch of the industry looked at in the series is edibles. Products such as marijuana cookies, brownies, or beverages, have provided hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue, but they have also been connected to two deaths and a number of children’s visits to emergency rooms. As state regulators consider possible changes in the laws, some of the pot barons must choose whether to support a costly compromise or stand their ground and face potential ruin. From MSNBC’s Longform Unit, Michael Rubin, Vice President, Scott Hooker, Senior Executive Producer, Vicki Sufian, Senior Producer and Carrie Wysocki, Director of Production, worked on this project. For Triple Threat, Gary Cohen was Executive Producer, Writer and Narrator, with Niki Usbay McDonald as Director and Matt McDonald as Senior Producer. Rasha Drachkovitch was Co-Executive Producer from 44 Blue Productions.Join us as these smart, savvy pioneers risk it all to cash in Sunday, November 30th at 10pm ET/PT.For more information about the show, check out the trailer and visit:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 06, 2014 at 16:24:03 PT
It really is happening! 
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Comment #3 posted by observer on November 06, 2014 at 15:48:01 PT
re: Wait, wait, hold that image!
re: "Wait, wait, hold that image!"Yeah Calvina's modest, self-styled, image of herself was a hoot.Drug warriors forever style themselves as white hats, white knights, white avenging angels with flaming sword o'justice in hand ever-ready to smite people for marijuana-sin. man do propagandists love to flog the old angelic sword of the Lord, swift and terrible sword, flaming sword, etc. imagery! It obviously really whips up the dupes into a support-government war frenzy, time-after-time: and seasoned with years of experience, cold calculating propagandists, like the old (but well-funded) Calvina Fay, like to style-themselves as doing God service.Unlike Hitler (they assure us), their applications of the police state are merely like the Orkin man: to neatly and efficiently purify their dwelling place of the "vermin" and "cockroach" -like drug users.
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Comment #2 posted by PatrioticDissension on November 06, 2014 at 15:38:00 PT
who would have ever thought.......
I live in Fort Wayne Indiana and on today's news at 6 pm they did a story on weather Indiana should legalize cannabis as well then conducted a poll and the support was absolutely overwhelming out of over 200 comments people left not one was against it! since Fort Wayne is the second largest city in Indiana and the comments were from all over the viewing area, I think this speaks volumes.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on November 06, 2014 at 13:17:25 PT
Wait, wait, hold that image!
Calvina Plantslayer! Wielding her sword of justice! I choke laughing at this image. The total absurdity of this woman and her campaign against the dreaded bio-mass! She says, god is on her side. This makes me wonder which god is she referring to, for Christ sake? My god is about to bury her in the dust of history and forgotten fools.
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