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Poll: 59% Support for AZ Medical Marijuana Act, Legalization

Posted on  January 17, 2013 by  News Admin

  59% of Arizonans -- including a majority of independents -- support the law allowing medical marijuana dispensaries  In a poll conducted January 9 and 10, Public Policy Polling found that 59 percent of Arizonans support the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, and also 59 percent would vote "yes" on a future initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. The poll of 600 Arizona voters was commissioned by the National Cannabis Industry Association. You can view the results by clicking here [PDF]. Despite multiple delays caused by governmental inaction and meritless lawsuits, the strictly controlled nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries mandated by 2010's Proposition 203 are beginning to operate. "Allowing seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana demonstrates compassion, but supporting a well-regulated medical marijuana system also benefits the broader community by allowing patients to obtain their medicine through safe and legal dispensaries rather than the criminal market," said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). "State officials should see this survey as a mandate to fully implement the law rather than continuing to waste taxpayer money on futile obstructionism," Smith said. Smith highlighted the benefits of regulated marijuana sales, which include redirecting law enforcement efforts toward violent and serious crimes, creating sustainable jobs, generating tax revenues, and better restricting youth access to marijuana. He noted that "It's no surprise that nearly six out of 10 voters support regulating the state's entire marijuana market in order to keep marijuana behind the counter at licensed,...

Bill To Legalize Marijuana Being Introduced In Pennsylvania

Posted on  January 10, 2013 by  News Admin

 A state senator in Pennsylvania on Wednesday announced plans to introduce legislation that would legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania. State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) is currently looking for cosponsors for the bill. "This past November, the people of Washington state and Colorado voted to fully legalize marijuana," Sen. Leach said, reports The Sentinel. "Other places, including California, have had de facto legalization for some time." "This week, I will introduce legislation which would have Pennsylvania join these other states in ending this modern-day prohibition," Leach said. "My bill will legalize the consumption of marijuana for adults over the age of 21, without regard to the purpose of that consumption." There were 24,685 arrests for marijuana possession in Pennsylvania since 2096, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), reports Philly.com. That means $325 million to prosecute, incarcerate and disrupt the lives of thousands of people whose only crime, Leach said, "was smoking a plant which made them feel a bit giddy." Leach has already introduced another bill which would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes by eligible patients in the state. Leach said current marijuana policies are expensive, citing billions of dollars spent "investigating, prosecuting, incarcerating and monitoring millions of our fellow citizens who have hurt no one, damaged no property, breached no peace. "It is time for Pennsylvania to be a leader in jettisoning this modern-day prohibition, and ending a policy that has been so destructive, costly, and anti-scientific," Leach said.  According to Leach, marijuana is "less dangerous than beer,...

White House Responds To Marijuana Legalization Petitions

Posted on  January 09, 2013 by  News Admin

 The Obama Administration has just released a new response to three WhiteHouse.gov petitions on marijuana legalization. Perhaps significantly, for the first time Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske is now saying "it is clear that we're in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana." "I guess it makes a difference when marijuana legalization gets more votes than your boss does in an important swing state, as happened in Colorado this last election," Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, told Toke of the Town Tuesday night. "From 'legalization is not in my vocabulary and it's not in the president's,' as Gil Kerlikowske often used to say, to 'it is clear that we're in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana' is a pretty stark shift. "Of course, what really matters is to what extent the administration actually shifts enforcement priorities and budgets, but I sure do like hearing the U.S. drug czar acknowledge the fact that marijuana legalization is a mainstream discussion that is happening whether he likes it or not," Angell told us. But to expect more than the same tired old lies, the same stale rhetoric, from the Drug Czar would simply be unrealistic, sad to say. "At President Obama's request, the Justice Department is reviewing the legalization initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington, given differences between state and federal law," Kerlikowske's response reads. "In the meantime, please see a recent interview with Barbara Walters in which President Obama addressed the legalization of marijuana." Barbara Walters: Do you...

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