Tags Posts tagged with "Arizona"

Arizona

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A recent court ruling is allowing Arizona colleges and universities to ban medical marijuana on campuses, but legislators cannot make it a crime. The medical marijuana law approved by Arizona voters in 2010 permitted cardholders to possess small amounts of marijuana, but it banned possession in prisons and schools.

The recent ruling struck down a 2012 decision by the Legislature to expand the off-limits list by adding college and university campuses. However, the Court of Appeals ruling said colleges and universities can still forbid possession of medical marijuana under their own rules. It said the 2012 move by the state to forbid marijuana on campuses violated the Arizona Constitution’s protections for voter-approved laws.

Expanding the list of places where medical marijuana is banned doesn’t “further the purpose” of the voter-approved medical marijuana law and even “eliminates some of its protections,” Judge Peter Swann wrote in the ruling. The decision overturned a medical marijuana cardholder’s 2015 conviction for possession of a small quantity of pot in his Arizona State University dorm room.

ASU police found the man’s marijuana card in his wallet and got a warrant to search his room after the man was arrested while sitting on a campus street. Authorities say the man told an officer he had marijuana in his room. Spokesman Ryan Anderson said the Arizona attorney general’s office was disappointed by the recent ruling, but had not decided whether to appeal it to the state Supreme Court.

The state had argued that permitting marijuana use on campuses would jeopardize federal funding for colleges and universities. However, the ruling said the state and other landowners still can regulate what items or materials are taken onto their property, so a person violating an educational institution’s restrictions could be removed from the property or charged with trespassing.

Swann wrote, “If the state finds it necessary to protect federal funding by prohibiting medical marijuana on public college and university campuses, then the medical marijuana law does not stop it from creating such policies. Nor does the law prohibit the Legislature from enacting non-criminal statutes to ensure the absence of medical marijuana on college and university campuses.”

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Senator Sonny Borrelli, a Republican senator from Lake Havasu City sees economic opportunity in industrial hemp and wants to bring it into Arizona. Borrelli has sponsored a proposal to establish the groundwork for an industrial hemp industry in the state. If the measure is passed, Senate Bill 1337 would legalize the farming, sale, and distribution of industrial hemp. It would task the state’s agricultural department with oversight, regulation, and licensing of the industry. The bill passed 26-4 with bipartisan support in the Senate and is now in the House.

Borrelli stated, “It’s good policy. It’s economic development, and it’s good for the agriculture community.” Borrelli praised the benefits of hemp production as an economic driver, saying it would create jobs and essentially bring Arizona into a growing industry. He added that hemp could also prove a big boost for agriculture in the water-sensitive state because it requires less water than cotton to grow. The measure comes with its opposition.

Senator David Farnsworth was one of four senators who voted against the proposal. Although he sees the commercial benefits of hemp, Farnsworth said it could pose a challenge for law enforcement officers to distinguish between a small hemp plant and a small cannabis plant. He said, “Enforcement of our marijuana laws would be more difficult if we have a lot of hemp growing.” Farnsworth also expressed concern that hemp may be a backdoor approach to legalizing cannabis. Borrelli argued that there’s a misunderstanding about hemp’s association with cannabis.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified cannabis and its cannabinoids as a Schedule I controlled substance. This also impacted hemp because it possesses the cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC, the part of the plant that produces a high. However, the level of THC in hemp is very low compared to cannabis. For example, the maximum THC content of legal industrial hemp in most states is about .3%, whereas NBC News reported the average THC content in Colorado’s legal marijuana to be 18.7%.

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The impact of today’s marijuana legalization ballot initiatives will set the course for the next four years’ drug policy in the United States and hopefully pave the way for a more inclusive, less archaic system. If the polling data stands tomorrow as it has for the last week we can also be seeing a boost in capital markets associated with Marijuana Stocks from the Nasdaq to the OTC. California, a long bell weather for social change is pivitol to US consensus with regards to marijuana. Should they, as well as other states, legalize the use of recreational marijuana, many onlookers, pundits and politicians including President Obama could get behind a paradigm shift guided by the logic that current prohibition is doomed to fail.

The initiatives in the state California and Massachusetts seem to be strongly supported to pass, with recent polls showing support over 60% in both states. The Nevada and Maine seem to be coin flips if you account for the margin of error in averaging out polls, yet margins are still in favor of passage. Arizona is another state that is a coin flip, you can thank INSY Therapeutics for their $5,000,000 contribution in opposition of the bill. Clearly Big Pharma realizes that it’s a zero-sum game and marijuana passage destroys their bottom line as pain medication is the industries bread and butter.

California:

The most current poll, by USC Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times, reveal 58 percent of voters are in full support of the measure while only 37 percent stand against it. Keep in mind that most of the revenue generated in the United States comes out of California just on the medical marijuana side. Recreational passage seems likely and a flood of investors both public and private will rush to dip their toe, if not their whole bodies in the California market. Ancillary companies aiding in this expansion both public and private stand to make large investments into this market. The average of all polls on the question that took place since Sept. 1 displays 56 percent of support for the measure, while 32 percent opposed to it, and 8 percent are not sure how to vote.

Nevada:

Currently polls in Nevada have revealed conflicting outcomes, there has also been a lot of money coming in from casino mogul Sheldon Adleson to try and keep gabling the vice industry of the state. Last year, Adelson contributed $10m to defeat the measure in Florida, still polling data is leaning towards passage in two Bendixen & Amandia International polls. The Rasmussen poll show stronger support for a market that is already well capitalized. Should the measure pass, Nevada and the Las Vegas market will be in our opinion the best game in town. Low cost of energy and cheap water (surprisingly) will have infrastructure measures being scaled up.

Arizona:

Polls show that the state of Arizona is the one true toss-up among the five marijuana legalization measures under consideration. Throughout six surveys that were carried out since September 1, the measure has crossed the 50 percent threshold only 2 times. Averaged out, the numbers show 47 percent of support for the measure, 46 percent who are not in favor and stand in opposition of the measure, and 7 percent undecided. The direction those undecided voters take will determine the fate of the measure.

Maine:

Maine is hard to tell with two polls on the marijuana measure have been fielded since Sept. 1. Both show favorable support for the measure, averaging out at 52 percent & 40% who oppose it, but it’s Maine. No one is there and we don’t anticipate a robust market to start.

Massachusetts:

God doesn’t want Massachusetts to have medical marijuana? Didn’t jesus heal the sick? The Boston Archdiocese of the Catholic Church donated $850,000 dollars to fight the measure, the biggest donation ever from a religious party on any side of a marijuana initiative. Maybe they should work on fighting alcohol since it actually kills people. It didn’t look good for Massachusetts, but maybe the drunkards will be hungover and vote yes for the measure. The silver lining here is that since September polling averages show 54 percent support over the latest six polls, with only 35 percent opposing it, so maybe the devil has a sense of Humor.

Florida:

Amendment 2 will pass because we have been spending big bucks supporting it along with United for care, John Morgan and a bunch of others. Latest poll said 73% in favor and Floridians would be morons to not vote #YesOn2 since this is a state that’s main industry besides tourism is real estate and with banking restrictions the only way people will be able to launder their profits legally they’ll have to use real estate. Keep in mind that this measure will be expanded most likely because the current license holders will never be able to meet demand. Also factor in Florida neighbors watching closely, especially in the bible belt as opioid addictions drop and tax revenue swells. Companies positioned here will have 1st mover advantage and there are already a few on our radar, but rather than say which ones, we would rather get people to get out and vote. Tomorrow we will tell you where the opportunities are at. Cheers-

@Wolfofweedst

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Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump win on Nov. 8, pot smokers may be victorious as well. Considering five states have ballot initiatives that could make marijuana legal for adult use; regulating and taxing it like alcohol— Election Day can be a huge turning point for the cannabis reform movement. Three states are also campaigning to legalize medical cannabis bringing the total to 28. There are also a bunch of local, citywide initiatives. The most critical vote is in California, where polls suggest the “Adult Use of Marijuana” referendum has a substantial lead.

“When you see voters from San Diego to San Francisco coming together in support of this type of policy shift, it suggests that it is also likely to appeal to a broad swath of voters in other parts of the country,” Mason Tvert, a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Yahoo News. “At the federal level, it will inspire more members of Congress to take a closer look at the issue. At the state level, it will help legislators recognize the writing on the wall and start thinking about their own prohibition exit strategies.”

A recent Gallup poll reported 60 percent of Americans support making marijuana legal.

Recreational cannabis

State: Arizona

Ballot initiative: Proposition 205 — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

What’s at stake: Proposition 205 would allow adults over the age of 21 to possess a total of one ounce of weed, consume weed in private and cultivate a maximum of six weed plants at home. It could also establish cannabis retail stores and manufacturing facilities licensed by the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control.

Will it pass? Proposition 205 is supported by registered Arizona voters 50 percent to 40 percent, according to an Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll.

Barrett Marson, communications director for “Yes on 205,” told Yahoo News, “People are using it. People are buying it on the street. People are doing it illegally. It is time to end the failed policy of prohibition. In doing so, we can heavily tax and regulate the sale of marijuana. Eighty percent of the revenue would go to education funding here in Arizona … and the other 20 percent would go to drug and alcohol programs at the Department of Health Services.”

State: California

Ballot initiative: Proposition 64 — The Adult Use of Marijuana Act

What’s at stake: This would allow adults over the age of 21 to possess and consume one ounce of weed and eight grams of weed concentrates and cultivate a maximum of six cannabis plants at home. It would also enact a 15 percent excise tax on all marijuana sales.

Will it pass? Proposition 64 is supported by registered California voters 52 to 41 percent, according to a SurveyUSA poll.

State: Maine

Ballot initiative: Question 1 — Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

What’s at stake: It would allow adults 21 and older to possess a limited amount of marijuana and grow a limited number of marijuana plants at home. It would establish a regulatory system of licensed marijuana retail stores and associated facilities and enact a 10 percent marijuana sales tax, which would be used to enforce regulations.

Will it pass? Adults in Maine support Question 1 by a substantial margin — 50 percent to 41 percent — according to a University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll.

David Boyer, campaign manager for “Yes on 1,” told Yahoo News, “We think it would be good for Maine because our current system has failed. Marijuana is readily available, and we know from other states’ track records that regulating and taxing marijuana is a far better approach. We’re going to generate millions and millions in new revenue that can support things like education, and we’re going to save law enforcement time and resources so that they can focus on serious and violent crime rather than adults possessing small amounts of marijuana.”

State: Massachusetts

Ballot initiative: Question 4 — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

What’s at stake: This would allow adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana and establish an entity that’s similar to the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission to oversee licensed retail stores and cultivation facilities.

Will it pass? Likely voters in Massachusetts support Question 4, 53 percent to 50 percent, according to a WBZ-TV, WBZ NewsRadio, UMass Amherst Poll poll.

Jim Borghesani, the communications director for “Yes on 4” told Yahoo News, “We think that it’s imperative to end marijuana prohibition because it’s been a vast failure. All it’s done is create a commerce dominated by criminals, and it’s forced buyers into dangerous markets where they’re exposed to deadly drugs like heroin and fentanyl. What we’d like to do is take the commerce away from criminals and put it with regulated and taxed businesses under the complete control of state authorities.”

State: Nevada

Ballot initiative: Question 2 — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

What’s at stake: It would allow adults 21 and older to possess and use up to one ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of concentrated marijuana. People who live more than 25 miles from a retail marijuana store would be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home. It would also establish a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales.

Will it pass? Nevada voters support Question 2, 50 percent to 41 percent, according to a KTNV-TV/Rasmussen Reports poll.

Joe Brezny, a spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, told Yahoo News, “The big-picture benefit of regulating marijuana is the elimination of the dangerous and criminal marijuana market. Instead, we will have marijuana produced and sold by regulated business that test and properly package products while generating tax revenue for the state. It is also way beyond time we stop punishing adults for using a substance less harmful than alcohol. This is especially true in the minority communities, where marijuana laws have been enforced more harshly. Passage of Question 2 will enhance public safety and advance social justice.”

Medical marijuana

State: Florida

Ballot initiative: Amendment 2 — Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions

What’s at stake: The amendment would legalize medical marijuana “for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician” and allow caregivers to assist patients in their use of medicinal cannabis. In 2014, a similar ballot initiative that would have legalized medical marijuana in the Sunshine State was supported by 58 percent of Florida voters, falling just short of the 60 percent approval it needed to pass.

This time around, medical marijuana activists are confident the influx of younger voters in a general election year will put them over the top. And Americans in general overwhelmingly support medical marijuana use.

“This election year — with a hotly contested presidential race on the ballot — turnout is expected to be much higher,” Paula Dockery, a former Republican state representative from Lakeland, said in the Orlando Sentinel. “Remember, the first ballot proposal failed by only two percentage points.”

Will it pass? Most likely. According to a recent University of North Florida survey, 73 percent of voters approve of the amendment, well above the 60 percent needed to pass.

State: Arkansas

Ballot initiative: Issue 6 — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment

What’s at stake: The amendment would legalize medical marijuana in the Razorback State for 17 qualifying conditions, create a Medical Marijuana Commission and allocate tax revenue from sales of medical marijuana to technical and vocational schools.

A competing ballot initiative — Issue 7 — would have legalized medical marijuana for 56 qualifying conditions and allowed patients who don’t live near a dispensary to grow their own marijuana. But the Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified that measure, saying the group that created the proposal, Arkansans for Compassionate Care, violated state laws regarding the reporting and registration of paid canvassers. (The group has asked the court to reconsider.) But even if were reinstated, medical marijuana faces an uphill battle in Arkansas.

Last month, the state’s governor and lieutenant governor held a joint news conference with business leaders to argue that legalizing medical marijuana would hurt the state’s efforts to keep and attract businesses, particularly when it comes to issues arising from drug testing of employees.

“It will not help us in the direction we need to go in Arkansas in terms of increased economic success in this state,” said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former head of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

But Ryan Denham — deputy director for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, one of the groups in favor of the amendment — said that hasn’t been a problem in the 25 states that have legalized medical marijuana.

“They don’t have these types of societal or workforce problems,” Denham told reporters. “And largely it’s been a net positive for the state economies.”

Will it pass? Unclear. A poll released Wednesday found 51 percent of Arkansas voters are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, with 49 percent opposed. The measure requires a simple majority to pass. And in 2012, Arkansas voters narrowly rejected legalizing medical marijuana.

State: North Dakota

Ballot initiative: Initiated Statutory Measure 5 — The North Dakota Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative

What’s at stake: The measure would legalize the use of medical marijuana to treat debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), glaucoma and epilepsy, and develop regulatory procedures for growing, dispensing and using medicinal pot. In 2015, the North Dakota House declined to pass a similar bipartisan bill that would have allowed patients and caregivers to possess cannabis for medical use.

In a late push ahead of next week’s vote, supporters of the measure have launched a statewide TV ad campaign — the “Faces of Measure 5” — featuring seriously ill people making emotional pleas for legal access to medicinal marijuana. (They all end their stories by saying, “Medical marijuana would help me.”)

“These are real North Dakotans who would experience real benefits from medical marijuana,” Anita Morgan, who represents the North Dakota Compassionate Care 2016 campaign, wrote in an email. “It is a sensible and compassionate proposal that would ensure patients safe and legal access to medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it.”

Will it pass? Hard to say. While a recent poll conducted by the University of North Dakota found 47 percent of voters supported the measure compared to 41 percent who oppose it, state law requires at least 50 percent support for it to pass. The same poll found more than two-thirds (68 percent) of North Dakotans oppose legalizing recreational marijuana, while 24 percent support it.

Opposition

Not everyone is welcoming the increasingly liberal attitudes and policies concerning marijuana.

Carla Lowe, founder and co-chair of Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM), a political action committee in California, argued that Proposition 64 will exacerbate the social ills she attributes to pot use.

“What it’s going to do to neighborhoods, we’re concerned about that. People are already complaining about the horrible smell from pot grows,” Lowe told Yahoo News. “We’re concerned about the increased use of marijuana. Any time kids think it’s no big deal. Just go back and look at Colorado and Washington. Kids’ use will go up. The bottom line is that the people who are behind this issue are in it for huge money.”

When asked if anyone has the right to control what otherwise law-abiding citizens ingest, Lowe said that the United States government does because “we are a nation of laws.” Under federal law, marijuana is still classified as a schedule 1 drug — in the same category as heroin.

Marijuana laws as they stand

Here’s the current makeup of marijuana access in the United States looks leading up to the election:

Legal recreational marijuana is available in four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington — and the District of Columbia. Legal medical marijuana is available in D.C. and 25 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

In 2013, the Justice Department announced that it would not challenge or block state laws that conflict with federal law regarding marijuana policy.

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While many people are excited to be given the chance to vote on the recreational use of marijuana, many advocates fear legalizing the drug for recreational use will cause patients to opt for cheaper weed.
The medical marijuana industry is troubled over what will happen to the market competition if these ballots are passed. The states that are fighting for this cause in this election, already have established and thriving medical marijuana industries.

Medical growers fear that if corporations are allowed into the business, the corporations’ profit motives will uproot medical grower’s efforts to treat patients with the drug, reports The Denver Post.The people who are supporting the broadening legalization are arguing that medical vendors are dismayed that they are losing their monopoly of the industry. The supporters believe the ballots will benefit medical patients.

“When it’s legal we’re going to see an increase in quality and a decrease in cost, and that is really good for people who need access to this medicine,” Carey Clark, a board member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, told The Denver Post. “Things will be labeled and they’ll know what they’re getting.”

California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada are the five states who are putting recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot this November. An additional four states will be voting on medical marijuana. Gallup displayed a recent poll that shows that 60 percent of Americans favor legalization, which is the highest support the issue has registered in nearly 50 years.

However, supporters of recreational legalization and those who want to protect the medical industry are not so happy with one another and the friction from the competition is growing. Doctors who treat patients with medical marijuana fear patients will bypass their doctor and the doctor’s recommendations, and purchase the medical marijuana themselves.

“This is being structured for big corporations to come in and in a very short period of time wipe out the caregivers,” Lori Libbey, a nurse who administers medical marijuana, told The Denver Post. “I wonder who is going to be able to provide for pediatric patients.”

Activists are optimistic for a push towards national legalization and the record national support is the leading cause of this hope.

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As of now, the polls look promising for making legalization of cannabis the law of the land throughout the nation, but there is no telling what voters in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada will do regarding the pending initiative measures come election time. This can pose many obstacles. To begin with, we have faced resistance from new, organized and well-funded groups in recent campaigns. Although legalization currently receives more public support than ever before, critics are using this against us stating we are treading unknown waters. Opponents are creating hysteria about legal cannabis in order to hype and motivate voters using distorted reports about the impact of legalization in states where legislation has already been enacted.

Another thing to keep in mind is that although growers in California favor an end to prohibition, they fear competition from big business under Proposition 64 which will go before voters this fall. Many growers find it more profitable to sell marijuana to non-legal states creating opposition from existing cultivators and another roadblock to reform. If this happens it will emphasize the need for national legalization, but can also create repercussions that will continue to stall legalization in other states. In order to successfully legalize the sale of cannabis, we need to educate the critics and help them realize that the sale of illegal cannabis is a successfully thriving industry under current prohibition. Despite all efforts by law enforcement to control the illegal industry, marijuana has remained widely available. According to national survey data, millions of people sell marijuana every year yet only an average of 90,000 arrest are made. This is roughly only 2 percent.

These facts alone should be enough to convince critics that prohibition is useless. There are two sides to the issues at hand. On the one hand, supporters of prohibition are in denial as to the extent, scope and determination of the illegal marijuana market. On the other hand, advocates of legalization avoid speaking about the yearly arrests for marijuana sales when addressing the need to abolish the illegal market. The public empathizes with the injustice of arresting marijuana users; however, they do not have any remorse towards people who sell marijuana. Legalization advocates know this, and consequently rarely refer to sales arrests when they make arguments against prohibition. But they need to start doing this to close the deal.

Marijuana sales arrests are important because in the aggregate, looking at the total, they quantify the futility of trying to make prohibition work as an effective means of drug control. Ironically, many individuals arrested for marijuana sales are in fact only marijuana users. Current law states that individuals possessing more marijuana than lawmakers feel is deemed as recreational are to be arrested, charged and prosecuted with intent to distribute. Many cultivation cases are charged as manufacturing with the intent to distribute based on a prosecution argument that the amount being grown is more than an individual would consume in a year’s time. They make this case by exaggerating the potential yield of the plants involved and minimizing the amount of marijuana someone might consume.

There are also many cases of people who smoke marijuana and simply buy large amounts in order to get better prices and avoid multiple trips in traffic; hence saving time and money. These individuals could be arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute solely because of the amount involved. These are some examples of how marijuana sales arrests are not a good indicator of how many professional drug dealers have been arrested. Even when people possess marijuana with the intent of selling it, their plans are to sell it to a close circle of friends in order to decrease cost (a fact also supported by national survey data).

In any event, sales arrests tell us something important about public policy—there is no way to control the current illegal marijuana market through arrests and criminal sanctions. That deserves discussion, and greater attention to this issue also will call supporters of prohibition to account for their implicit support for overpriced, non-regulated illegal marijuana sales. This is the discussion the public needs to hear in order to close the deal on legalizing cannabis throughout the United States.

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As the question of whether marijuana should be legal comes up for a vote in several U.S. states in this upcoming election, support for legal pot is at its highest in nearly 50 years, according to a new poll. The poll, from Gallup, found that 60 percent of Americans now say that using marijuana should be legal. During the 1980s and 1990s, support for legalizing pot hovered around 25 percent.

Since the year 2000, support for legalizing marijuana has been on the rise. The year 2013 marked the first time that more than 50 percent of Americans polled said that they supported legalizing marijuana – the same year that Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use, Gallup said.

Last year, 58 percent of Americans said they thought using pot should be legal. In the upcoming election on Nov. 8, five states – California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada – will vote on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Recreational marijuana is currently legal in four states and the District of Columbia.

Support for legalizing marijuana has increased more among younger people, with those in older age groups, Gallup said. From 2005 to 2016, support for legalizing marijuana increased 33 percentage points among those adults ages 18 to 34, compared to 26 percentage points among those ages 35 to 54, and 16 percentage points among those ages 55 and older.

Currently, 77 percent of adults ages 18 to 34 support legalizing marijuana, compared with 45 percent of adults ages 55 and older.
In 2016, 67 percent of Democrats said marijuana should be legal, compared to 42 percent of Republicans. If California votes to legalize recreational marijuana in the upcoming election, many other states could follow, because California often sets trends for the rest of the country, Gallup said.

“As more states legalize marijuana, the question of whether the drug should be legal may become when it will be legal,” Gallup said in a statement.

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Five states are voting on laws to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes in November, and numbers display that these initiatives are likely to pass. As marijuana supporters continue to push for reform, a division has developed within the cannabis community, pitting pro-legalization forces against some unlikely foes: growers and medical marijuana professionals. Cannabis enthusiasts are clashing in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada – fives states where medical marijuana is already legal and where adults 21 and older could have legal access to the plant if the states’ respective measures pass.

The reason for the resistance is multifaceted, but the central complaints are rooted in deep-seated fears about the corporatization of the industry and what that could mean for medical marijuana patients and businesses. While the legalization movement has really taken off in the last five years, growers have been growing for decades, and medical marijuana dispensaries have been active in California since 1992.

“From our perspective, legalization is supposed to be about keeping us out of jail — it’s supposed to be about protecting our families,” Hezekiah Allen, the executive director of the marijuana trade group California Growers Association, told ATTN: “But if the in-state marketplace is captured by a small number of very large growers, there won’t be much choice other than to continue to engage in criminal behavior. While all the marijuana millionaires get rich, all of the existing cannabis households will continue to be treated as criminals for just making a living.”

Some look at the prospect of full-blown legalization as a threat to a way of life and business model that is already well-established in some pockets of the country.

“Do we really want to create Big Tobacco 2.0? Do we really want the inevitable rise of corporate cannabis to be a major political force making public health policy? Throughout our history, we don’t do a good job regulating a lot of things. I don’t remember the last time we put public health ahead of private profit. And what I see with this move to legalize marijuana is nothing short of the mass commercialization of marijuana and Big Tobacco 2.0.” But unlike Sabet, marijuana-friendly recreational legalization opponents still, think the government ought to remove cannabis from the list of drugs prohibited under federal law.

They just want to legalize in a way that protects their interests and ensures that corporate agriculture doesn’t overtake the industry. 2016 report from the Brookings Institution’s John Hudak and Jonathan Rauch offers some insight. The researchers argued that people should be more concerned about “Bad marijuana” than “Big Marijuana” – and that some level of corporatization could actually serve the interests of patients and recreational consumers alike.

“There is almost this inherent worry that recreational will hurt medical,” Hudak said.

“In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the initiatives for having explicit protections for the medical programs.” On a smaller scale, corporatization could yield benefits for patients and users. If larger companies enter the industry, it’s easier for them to be regulated, for example.

“Large players also produce at scale and tend to produce more consistent, higher-quality products,” Hudak said.

“They oftentimes are more responsible in a corporate sense, so you’re not going to find things like pesticides, you’re not going to find things like black mold. They’re able to produce inconsistent ways that smaller producers sometimes run afoul of.”

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Supporters and advocates of marijuana are going into the final weeks of the 2016 campaign with the wind at their backs as the latest polling shows legalization measures are currently favored by voters in all five states where legalizing marijuana has made it onto to the ballot. This is something of a reversal from just a month ago when the most current polling info had shown voters cautious of legalization bills in Massachusetts and Arizona. But the margins of support aren’t huge in any state, meaning that the contests could still swing either way.

Polling ballot issues is a complicated business, all the more so with marijuana-related problems, where responses can be heavily motivated by manipulating the language when asking questions. So in the same state, different polls with different words used to ask questions can produce entirely different results even if answered at similar times.

In Arizona, a late-August Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll of 784 registered voters discovered that 50 percent of people stood behind marijuana legalization, 40 percent opposed it, and 10 percent remain uncertain. That result is distinctly at odds with a July poll of likely voters displaying that only 39 percent stated they favored the measure.

In California, a post-debate Survey USA poll of 751 potential voters discovered that Proposition 64, which would legalize, tax and regulate the sale of recreational marijuana, is backed by 52 percent of the electorate and disliked by 41 percent, with 6 percent uncertain. This is a lower margin than some other recent polls there, which have pegged support at 60 percent or more.

Across the country in Massachusetts, the marijuana legalization bill enjoys a more than 50 percent support among potential voters, according to a recent WBZ-UMASS Amherst poll of 700 likely voters.
Forty percent stand against the vote, while another 7 percent are hesitant. That’s also a turnaround from an earlier poll of 900 registered voters, which found only 41 percent supported the measure.

Up the coast in Maine, a late September poll of 505 possible voters discovered that 53 percent are in favor for the legalization measure, 38 percent were not in favor to it and 10 percent were not sure. A poll fielded last week of 500 potential voters in Nevada found the legalization bill in the state is leading with 57 percent support, in contrast to 33 percent opposing it.

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On Friday, a judge sent out a legal objection to a measure that was going to allow the people of Arizona to vote on whether or not they would like to legalize recreational cannabis. The decision by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry dismissing the objection is likely to be appealed by those against the initiative straight to the Arizona Supreme Court. Gentry decided that those against Proposition 205 are not allowed to go against the initiative because of changes to the law in 2015 restricting such lawsuits. She stated that the Legislature got rid of a part of a law giving people the ability to sue against the legality of ballot measures.

In the event that that interpretation is rejected by Arizona’s Supreme Court, Gentry continued to dismiss all of the reasons that those against the initiative argued to take it off of the ballot. The main reason presented was that the main description that people were going to see when voting left out some important information. For example, the hundred-word legal description did not say anything about DUI laws, child custody issues, or employment law among many other things. In Gentry’s decision, she said that there was “no ability to prepare a summary that would comply with the 100-word limit and with their objections.”

The biggest antagonist of the measure is a group called Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy that consists of two prominent county attorneys as well as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce among others. The group stated that the measure also neglected to include a revenue source to set up a new regulatory agency the Act envisions and that the title of the law was ambiguous. Gentry opposed those arguments as well. Under the initiative, adults aged 21 or older could carry up to one ounce of marijuana and consume it in their own homes.

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