Senators Introduce Historic Bill to Allow MMJ
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Senators Introduce Historic Bill to Allow MMJ
Posted by CN Staff on March 09, 2015 at 18:06:46 PT
By Katy Steinmetz 
Source: Time 
Washington, D.C. -- The plan sponsored by Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand would “allow patients, doctors and businesses in states that have already passed medical marijuana laws to participate in those programs without fear of federal prosecution,” according to a statement the three senators released Monday.While reform advocates like the Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project say the legislation “has legs,” others disagree. Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), has been closely following Congress’ movement on marijuana for the past 25 years. He says the bill is probably “D.O.A.” because some Republicans remain loath to touch such stuff.
But that doesn’t make the bill insignificant. It’s a sign that the winds legalization advocates like St. Pierre have been fighting against for decades are now at their back. He calls the bill “historic,” noting that while the House has attempted marijuana reform for years, the Senate has largely been silent on the issue.“Marijuana prohibition is not going to end without a public conversation,” St. Pierre says. “This bill will be [introduced] and then these discussions will be happening.”While only a slim majority of Americans favor the legalization of recreational marijuana, medical marijuana is a more decided issue. In conservative states like Kentucky, the approval ratings are still at 52%, while they climb as high as 81% in purple states like Iowa. In February, the leader of the Republican majority in West Virginia’s state Senate introduced a bill to allow residents to grow and use medical marijuana if it’s recommended by a doctor. The measure was co-sponsored the the senate’s Democratic minority leader.Paul, as St. Pierre says, is a “dyed-in-the-wool libertarian.” His tack on medical marijuana—saying it’s simply something that states should decide whether to allow—shows how it’s possible for this to be a social issue on which Republicans can evolve and use as a carrot for younger voters. The Marijuana Policy Project’s Riffle says that ending the federal ban would get the government out of doctor-patient relations and save taxpayer money on medical dispensary raids. “Talking about reducing the role of government interference in our personal lives and enhancing personal freedom and autonomy, reducing government spending—those are all conservative talking points,” he says.At the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, where it is a ritual for Republican presidential hopefuls to court the base, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz endorsed a federalist approach to Colorado’s marijuana legalization, saying it was a “great embodiment” of states acting as “laboratories of democracy.”“If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative,” he said. “I don’t agree with it, but that’s their rights.” Aaron Houston, a political strategist with Weedmaps who has been trying to get the Senate to take up marijuana reform for years, calls Cruz’s position “remarkable” and the bill “hugely significant.”The senators pushing this measure have precedents beyond state-level actions to cite. The spending bill that President Obama signed in December contained an amendment that prohibited the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state-level medical marijuana programs. That new law gave many in the medical marijuana world some peace of mind, as they continue to operate in a sphere where their actions are legal in their state and illegal in their country. Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, an outspoken proponent of marijuana reform, heralded it as “the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana.”California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. The years in the interim, Riffle says, were like a “wait-and-see phase” where the sticky discrepancy between state and federal law was largely ignored. Regardless of whether the bill goes anywhere, he believes the introduction it is a signal that the wait-and-see phase is over. “This is a legitimate, mainstream topic of debate,” Riffle says. “We’re ready to see Congress actually do something about it.”Source: Time Magazine (US)Author: Katy Steinmetz Published: March 9, 2015Copyright: 2015 Time Inc.Contact: letters time.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on March 10, 2015 at 11:59:59 PT
We are demanding.
No, in many cases, We are not asking any longer.Since part of the issue involves discrimination, and part of it involves the fact that We asked and did not receive for decades, THE ASKING means WAITING.WE ARE NOT ASKING.WE ARE NOT WAITING.Of course there are location where they don't have the amendment process which allows citizens to shape their laws...And make note: everywhere where cannabis is illegal, there are huge percentages of the population that still uses the plant, totally ignoring cannabis prohibition. Righteous contempt for government subsidized discrimination.
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on March 10, 2015 at 09:47:10 PT
" For the times they are a-changin"!
So far no one has asked congress for permission to legalize but have gone straight ahead, even DC as it is doing so under fire from congress but cannot be stopped. It is as Kapt has pointed out, we are not asking but taking. Our way or the highway!
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on March 10, 2015 at 09:18:05 PT:
They will 'allow' for MMJ. Notice the 'allow'
The choice of word is not an accident. And it's no small part of why we're in this mess in the first place. The not-so-obvious inferrence here is the impression of an adult 'allowing' something to a child. Government wants to play the role of the adult. Guess who the child is.We must make it plain to the pols that, no, listen, you (fill in worst epithet you know here) we are taking back what has always belonged to us but was stolen under false pretenses.It was stated here, so long ago, that this issue was much more than just 'public health', it had roots going all the way down to the bedrock of our form of government. Namely, our rights...and the preservation of them from eternally encroaching government. That government has succeeded in stripping nearly all our rights from us under the rubric of 'protecting' us is evident. What is also evident, if only to reformers and to government, is that this issue is the beachhead in an operation to regain them.And that, besides the money matter of black markets, is why we meet so much resistance. It is telling that nearly all of that resistance is funded from our own tax dollars. It serves in answering the old question, "Cui bono?, or "Who benefits?".Obviously not We the People.It has to be made explicitly clear that we are DEMANDING our rights back in the form of cannabis re-legalization, not passively waiting for them to 'grant' us them back. We are TAKING, not begging. The sooner they get that message loud and clear, the faster the obfuscating nonsense (like saying the most researched plant on the planet 'needs more research') the dumber pols are throwing in the air will stop. And guess what? They have to. Why? BECAUSE WE ARE THE MAJORITY, NOW.Every single two-'l' poll acknowledges that.It's time to make the single-'l' pols acknowledge that, too.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on March 09, 2015 at 19:19:16 PT
More historical events...
Mayor Makes Inaugural Purchase at Country's First Government-Run Marijuana Shop
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 09, 2015 at 18:18:14 PT
History in the Making
History in the Making: Three Prominent US Senators Roll Out Legislation to Legalize MarijuanaURL:
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