Tags Posts tagged with "Marijuana Policy Project"

Marijuana Policy Project

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Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California recently submitted a piece of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives targeted at preventing the federal government from enforcing states that have legalized cannabis for recreational or medical use. The proposal, which is entitled the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017,” would provide the marijuana community with immunity from federal punishment as long as they obey state law.

Although the bill (H.R. 975) would not force Congress to end prohibition in a manner that would allow marijuana to be taxed and regulated nationwide similar to alcohol, it would amend the Controlled Substances Act in such a way that state legalization could carry on without the risk of federal interference. That means as long as cannabis consumers and their respective marketplaces adhere to the laws outlined by the state, this proposal would ensure Sessions and the DEA have no power to conduct raids or any other pesky shakedown tactics. However, for those states that still consider cannabis an illegal substance, no changes will happen.

Robert Capecchi, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement, “This is commonsense legislation that is long overdue. It is time to end marijuana prohibition at the federal level and give states the authority to determine their own policies. Federal tax dollars should not be wasted on arresting and prosecuting people who are following their state and local laws.” Similar legislation has been introduced over the past couple of years, but those bills never even received a hearing. There is hope that with all of the controversy surrounding Sessions and the potential dismantling of the legal cannabis trade that Congress will get serious about listening to the issue of national marijuana reform in the 2017 session.

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Cannabis recently became legal for adults in the state of Nevada. However, farming it is illegal unless they live more than 25 miles away from a retail marijuana shop. This is an example of what’s called a “halo rule.” Marijuana Policy Project introduced this idea in the 2010 Proposition 203 that brought medical marijuana to Arizona. It mandated that any patient living within 25 miles of a dispensary could not grow their own marijuana. They would have to register with and purchase their cannabis from their local authorized dispensary. At first, this meant that all patients could grow their own cannabis, as the law went into effect before any licenses had been awarded to dispensaries. However, as the dispensaries opened, every patient within that 1,964 square mile area had to remove their marijuana crops.

The halo concept made its way to Nevada while their legislature dealt with the issue of dispensaries. The state’s law hadn’t authorized any retail outlets, but did allow for all patients to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for medical use. In 2013, the state passed a law that created the dispensaries, with a 25-mile halo rule included. Patients who were already growing were given until this past summer to remove their marijuana crops within the halos. Question 2 was passed in November, also with a halo rule, and with an 18-month lockout on recreational licensing for all but the existing medical marijuana retail shops, growers, and processors.

Washington D.C. and 16 states have passed medical cannabis laws. As legalization continues to increase across the country, our adversaries are going to understand that they can’t win the battle. Their main priority will be to assure that we can’t grow our own marijuana. National legalization polls lingered around 45% and no states with legalization in 2010. But since California’s Prop 19 failed, we have gone 9 for 12 in statewide legalization votes. Seven of the nine wins allowed for personal home grows with no halos.

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DENVER — Patrons now have a choice between a glass of wine with dinner or some weed.Denver has become the first state in the nation to allow bar owners (who get the approval of their neighbors), offer their customers the option of smoking weed with their dinner. The downside is that they will have to smoke outside.

Proposition 300 in Denver was approved by voters the same day that California along with two other states legalized weed for recreational use and five other states approved marijuana for medicinal purposes. These changes signify an increasing tolerance for pot by the society.

The Denver cannabis consultant and campaign manager for the pot-in-bars measure; Emmett Reistroffer, said “It’s the sensible thing to do.” He adds “This is about personal responsibility and respecting adults who want to have a place to enjoy cannabis.”

This ordinance in Denver is effective immediately although it has a lot of conditions.

Owners interested in participating would have to get their neighbors to agree before they can apply for a license to allow pot use on their premises. Then the customers would have to supply their own pot in order to be in compliance with state laws which do not allow the sale of marijuana and food/ drink at the same establishment.

Customers could consume edible marijuana inside, but not smoke it. The outside smoking is permissible by law, but has restrictions. The law permits establishments such as yoga or art galleries to have weed-smoking sections and also allow them to hold events in which they could serve weed with food and drink. A Denver proponent of the consumption law and spokesman for the national Marijuana Policy Project; Mason Tvert, stated that tourist would now have a place where they can use marijuana in private and in turn reduce the possibilities of them smoking weed in public places such as sidewalks or parks.

“We are setting up a system that is still more restrictive than what we see with alcohol consumption,” Tvert said.

It could take a while before Denver sees any Amsterdam-style coffee shops considering there is no way to know how many establishments desire to apply for the permits nor how long it would take for them to get their neighbors to agree and receive permits. The ordinance is over in 2020, unless city officials renew the licenses or voters decide to make the measure permanent.

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Cannabis has never been a “for-profit” industry in any country on earth; at least not until United States voters made it one. According to Gallup polls; the end of the cannabis prohibition seems almost inevitable considering a record 61 percent of Americans support legal adult use, but many questions remain unanswered. How will cannabis be sold and advertised? How will marijuana sales be regulated? Who will dominate the markets? Will weed be changed? If so, how? Finally, how do we know the legal sale of cannabis will not create a disaster?

These questions do not have simple answers, but CBSN set out to address them by traveling to Canada as well as five states and interviewing people on all sides of the issue from consumers to sellers, lobbyists to elected representatives. At one point Dan Riffle was one of the nation’s most influential activist for cannabis legalization. Riffle is now against what he views as a commercial takeover of the industry and the creation of a market which depends on marijuana abusers and children.

“Legalization is happening, you know, for the first and only time,” he said. “And it seems like instead we’re just going to do alcohol again. We’re just going to do tobacco again. We’re just going to create this big, commercial model.”

Once long-time supporter of legalization and professor of public policy at New York University; Mark Kleiman, shares Riffle’s concerns. “We’re lurching from prohibition to the most wide-open kind of legalization,” he said. “Probably a bad idea.”

Mason Tvert; Riffle’s former colleague at the Marijuana Policy Project, disagrees big time. Earl Blumenauer, a congressman from Oregon, and the leading voice for marijuana legalization nationwide also disagrees big time. They both argue that there is already a “Big Pot” –the Mexican drug cartels. They emphasize that what is actually frightening is not high profits and declining public health; rather criminal gangs selling a product that is not safe and the heartless criminal justice system putting people behind bars for consuming it.

“What’s scary is that we are destroying lives. What’s scary is we can’t protect children now. What’s scary is that we are subsidizing Mexican drug cartels,” Blumenauer said.

“What’s scary is that the unaccompanied minors that are flooding into the United States are here because of the disruption in Central America and the destabilization in Mexico. … African-American young men are four times more likely to be arrested or hassled for something that most Americans now think should be legal. Now those are things that are scary now! Those are things that are wrong now!”

Brendan Kennedy is an important person in the evolving landscape of legal pot as well as CEO of Privateer, a holding company for mainstream marijuana brands. He is the first marijuana entrepreneur to get over $100 million from investors including backers in Facebook, Spotify and SpaceX. He desires for Americans to trust him to sell weed responsibly.

Kennedy answered questions such as “Is there a trade-off in this industry between profits and public health?” and “Does it concern you that according to federal data, over 4 million Americans meet the criteria for cannabis abuse or dependence?”

Kennedy believes cannabis consumers will benefit because they will have access to a safer and better regulated product. He also feels that consumers of marijuana will benefit from access to a wider variety of cannabis-based products.

“I think that most people in the United States who want to consume cannabis are already consuming it,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how the different products lower the percentage of people who actually consume via smoke. I think we’ll see other form factors that will be far more appealing from a health perspective than actually smoking cannabis. … I know more than a dozen elite athletes who consume cannabis. But they’re not consuming a joint. They’re vaporizing. They’re using cannabis as a topical for sore muscles.”

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MassRoots Raises $250,000 for Marijuana Campaigns and Non-Profits Nationwide, Begins Get-Out-The-Vote Drive in 9 States

“Over 30% of the United States population lives in a state with a cannabis initiative on the ballot next Tuesday and we’re mobilizing our entire community to help these initiatives pass,” stated MassRoots CEO Isaac Dietrich. “If any combination of these initiatives become law, we expect it could significantly accelerate MassRoots’ revenue and user growth.”

“In public, most marijuana companies talk a big game about supporting cannabis legalization but never do anything to actually help. Isaac Dietrich and MassRoots are the complete opposite – they have quietly taken substantial action to help put several key initiatives over the finish line,” stated Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia. “On behalf of the millions of marijuana legalization supporters across the country, I’d like to thank MassRoots for having a significant impact in making these legalization initiatives pass.”

“I first met Isaac Dietrich three years ago when MassRoots had about 5,000 users and was pitching the Arcview’s investor group for the first time.  It is my goal at Arcview to inspire activism from legal cannabis entrepreneurs. No adult should be punished for this plant and it warms my heart to see MassRoots advocating so fiercely for the freedom and liberty of their customers,” stated Arcview Group CEO Troy Dayton. “Next Tuesday could mark the beginning of the end for marijuana prohibition. MassRoots is earning its place in the history books with its bold support for legalization.”

MassRoots has begun a comprehensive Get-Out-The-Vote drive to turn out its community of close to a million cannabis enthusiasts to the polls. Through its digital channels, MassRoots expects to make millions of registered voter contacts before election day.

About MassRoots

MassRoots is one of the largest and most active technology platforms for cannabis consumers, businesses and activists with over 900,000 registered users. It is proud to be affiliated with the leading organizations in the cannabis industry, including the Arcview Group and National Cannabis Industry Association. MassRoots has been covered by Fox Business, CNBC, Fortune, Denver Post, and The Financial Times. For more information, please visit MassRoots.com/Investors.

About The Marijuana Policy Project

The Marijuana Policy Is Project is the largest organization in the United States focused solely on ending marijuana prohibition. It is responsible for changing most of the state marijuana laws that have been reformed since 2000, including the legalization of marijuana in Colorado in November 2012 and in Alaska in 2014. The Marijuana Policy Project changes laws and is dedicated to regulating marijuana like alcohol in all 50 states, D.C., and the five territories. For more information, please visit https://www.mpp.org/.

About The Arcview Group

Founded in 2010, The Arcview Group is responsible for a number of groundbreaking ventures in the cannabis industry. The Arcview Investor Network includes more than 550 accredited investors who have put more than $72 million behind 114 companies. Arcview Market Research produces the State of Legal Marijuana Markets report, which is the most oft-cited market data report. In 2015, Arcview became a partner in Canopy, the first seed-stage mentor-driven business accelerator. Arcview is also co-founder of Cannasure Insurance Services, the leading provider of business insurance to the cannabis industry. For more information, please visit https://arcviewgroup.com/.

Forward-looking Statements

Certain matters discussed in this announcement contain statements, estimates and projections about the growth of MassRoots’ business, partnerships, new features, and related business strategy. Such statements, estimates and projections may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Factors or events that could cause our actual results to differ may emerge from time to time. MassRoots undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The recipient of this information is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

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Most of the folks who live in the State of Colorado believe the legal marijuana business has been a positive force on the state’s economic structure, according to a new poll that was released earlier this week. It looks like the majority of voters in Colorado are mostly optimistic about their choice to support a taxed and regulated marijuana market back in 2012.

A survey administered by Public Policy Polling discovered that an astounding 61 percent of the state’s voting public is currently happy with its decision to end prohibitionary times, with those people saying legal marijuana has had a positive result on the economy. However, there is a bit buyer’s remorse-36 percent of the respondents stated they would repeal Amendment 64 if given the chance.

The most current data shows that legalizing marijuana can strengthen the economy by producing a wealth of new employment opportunity. The survey displays that one out of every four residents who live in Colorado have a personal attachment to someone currently earning a living within the marijuana industry.

“Coloradans can see that regulating marijuana works,” Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, told HIGH TIMES in a statement.

“Voters approved Amendment 64 because they wanted marijuana to be controlled and taxed similarly to alcohol, and that is exactly what is taking place. It’s pretty clear that any proposal to repeal it and revert back to prohibition would go down in flames.” “The folks who are trying to keep marijuana illegal in this country tell a lot of scary stories and spread a lot of myths about Colorado,” Tvert added.

“If you ask a typical Colorado voter, you’re likely to hear a more positive and realistic account of how things are going.” Five states-Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada-are getting ready to put ballot measures similar to Amendment 64 in front of voters in the upcoming November election.

These measures allow marijuana to be taxed and regulated in a way much like beer for adults 21 and over which is something that Colorado officials worried at first would bring about apocalyptic times.

“Opponents of Amendment 64 told voters the state would fall apart if they approved Amendment 64, but they could not have been more wrong,” Tvert said.

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Last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration decided not to reschedule marijuana. In response, cannabis reform activists, as well as state lawmakers in Texas, stated that they are focused on changing state cannabis policy in the next legislative session. The San Antonio Current reports that Heather Fazio, the Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), stated that beginning in 2017, activists have two primary objectives: first to increase Texas’ very restrictive and inefficient medical cannabis program and second, to decriminalize the drug,

In 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott passed the Compassionate Use Act, which gives those who suffer from epilepsy the ability to obtain cannabis oil that is low in THC. But the wording of the act is wrong; it states that doctors need to “prescribe” medical marijuana instead of recommending it. Therefore, doctors are put at risk and can lose their license if they are found prescribing marijuana since it is still illegal under the federal government. The system as a whole is inefficient as a result. Fazio said in an interview that families have even decided to leave the state to find treatment in other states.

“There are families uprooting from Texas, where they want to live because they can’t treat their children here,” Fazio stated. “We think we can convince the Legislature that that shouldn’t be happening.”

Proponents and legislatures would also like to see the list of conditions that make one able to obtain medical marijuana increased. The conditions that have the most support to be added are both cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“If we are compassionate about people with epilepsy, then we should be compassionate about people with cancer, and cataracts and glaucoma and veterans who are being put on all kinds of opioids,” said Democratic State Sen. Jose Menedez. “It is senseless to me that the State of Texas thinks it knows better than people’s doctors.”

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    Today Russ Baer, a staff coordinator for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) media affairs wing gave a response to  (@StevenNelson10) of USNEWS.com via email which he awesomely tweeted (God Bless Him) and has the entire cannabis industry on pins and needles. The statement made to him from this staffer read:

    “Tomorrow morning (August 11th, 2016) the Drug Enforcement Administration will be making some important announcement regarding Marijuana related topics that will be published in the Federal Register. Because of your interest and/or prior engagement with the DEA on this subject, the DEA office of National Media Affairs is reaching out to you regarding these anticipated announcements.”

    Unfortunately, many people do not believe this has anything to do with rescheduling Cannabis, but rather the disbanding of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Monopoly on the study of marijuana. Currently the NIDA located in Maryland uses the University of Mississippi as the ONLY place in the United States where it is Federally Legal to grow marijuana which pigeon holes the study to one location, with select doctors and scientists that are located there. Now, I don’t want to knock the University of Mississippi, but according to Us News and World Reports College Rankings the the University of Mississippi ranks #164 in Biological Sciences. Have the Feds ever heard of Harvard University ranked #1, or Stanford Ranked #2 or my Alma Mater University of Arizona that is ranked #38 in Biological Sciences and also partnered with Columbia University to create the Bio-dome? If the consensus is correct and the NIDA monopoly is broken up any qualified universities will be able to study the plant and the cornucopia of uses that are already widely accepted.

    What this will mean for the public markets and marijuana stocks we have been bullish on since establishing this site? In short; attention. Many investors have been on the fence about marijuana stocks because they don’t quite understand the markets. If you follow me on twitter @WolfofWeedSt or seen my commentary in TheStreet.com or Forbes you know that I am bullish on Biotech for a myriad of reasons. The companies we track at MarijuanaStocks.com in this space are already developing drug therapies around the molecular compounds within the Cannabis plant. I Liked GWPH when it was $32, CARA just over $4, ZYNE near $5, INSY at $11.75 and on and on and on. The fact is we get it, we understand the market and we see the opportunity. These companies will be acquisition targets in our minds by some of the bigger players in the space. At the top of our list of companies that could scoop up some of the above mentioned tickers is ABBV.

    The announcement might not be what we wanted, but sometimes it’s best not to rip off the band aide. I realize that while we wait for common sense legislation the US government will continue to fight the fake “War on Drugs” and spend billions of dollars trying to stop people from smoking weed. I also know that people within the DEA know that the archaic system in place is completely illogical. We all know that Oxycodone is far more addictive than Marijuana, kills people when cannabis doesn’t, yet is considered a schedule 2 drug by the DEA. The History of the war on Cannabis goes back quite a way to the days of William Randolph Hearst because he was more scared of Hemp (marijuana’s non psychoactive cousin) hurting his timber interests thereby hurting his newspaper empire. The system has been broken since Nixon. Below is a graph you can share with your friends at the water cooler, just don’t email it on government servers. The chart below is the singular personification of insanity & government waste.



    We will give you an update as soon as we see something and will hope to be surprised tomorrow. If we are by some miracle given the early Christmas gift of rescheduling, get ready for the next major boom in the Marijuana Stock sector….


    Jason Spatafora

    The Wolf of Weed Street





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    Governor Bruce Rauner is collaborating with the police of Illinois in order to figure out the most efficient method to make possessing cannabis in small amounts punishable by fines under a measure that he seems ready to pass. The measure, which also sets a standard for the capacity at which one cannot drive, would provide stronger provisions the Republican governor told lawmakers last year as a condition for removing jail time off of anyone that was incarcerated for having ten or fewer grams of marijuana. A chief sponsor of this year’s measure, Senator Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, stated that the Rauner administration has made it very clear that the bill is going to pass but that they are going to need to wait until August so that cops may get ready for it to be implemented.

    The measure is coming along at an appropriate time. There are many states wondering whether or not jail is a good punishment for small cannabis offenses. If signed, Illinois would be the seventeenth state to decriminalize marijuana, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. Rauner has shown support for reducing penalties for cannabis offenses. However, his spokeswoman announced that he’s still looking for the measure.

    “Part of the review process is working with the Illinois State Police to ensure that the law can be implemented in the best interests of the public,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly stated.

    Lawmakers submitted the measure to Rauner on June 16th, and he has two months from that date to take action. The proposal proceeded with support from both parties, but some in law enforcement have reservations. Greg Sullivan, the executive director of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, stated that the measure does not differentiate between minors and adults who are caught with small amounts of marijuana.

    “As long as someone can afford the fines, guess what, I may never know it as a parent. I’ve got a problem with that,” Sullivan added.

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    Recently, the Marijuana Policy Project, which is one of the largest advocates of cannabis in the country, recently announced who they recommend should be president. Of course, most people expect this person to be Bernie Sanders after stating that he would remove marijuana off of the list of controlled substances entirely. However, Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic nomination and will likely trounce Donald Trump in the general elections. Even so, MPP said that Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson would make the best president for Cannabis.

    A few weeks ago, Mitt Romney the two-time Presidential loser and notorious flip-flopper who once said “Corporations are people” in reference to Citizens United told Wolf Blitzer “I think the legalization of marijuana on a recreational basis and the legalization of drugs would be highly destructive to our coming generations and the work ethic of this country,” and continued, “Marijuana makes people stupid.”
    Actually Mitt, we at Marijuana Stocks think that watching Fox News makes people stupid and to listen to someone that couldn’t keep a position for more than 24 hours during the 2012 presidential election makes me think that you believe most people suffer from traumatic brain injuries, but I digress; back to Gary Johnson.

    A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Gary Johnson and watch him address a massive audience at the Cannabis World Congress and Expo in New York regarding the state of Cannabis as it relates to addiction, the prison industrial complex and the failed war on drugs. As for Mitt, the Sh*t’s comments Johnson was a gentleman with his response.
    “I do not agree with that,” Johnson said to CNN’s Erin Burnett in an interview that is going to be aired. “As someone who has used marijuana, I do not agree with that.” No Wonder Marijuana Policy Project likes this guy!

    Gary Johnson was the governor of New Mexico for nine years. More specifically, from 1994 to 2003. He has been calling for legalization since 1999. In the interview with Burnett, Johnson stated that cannabis “competes with legal prescription painkillers and drugs that statistically kill 100,000 people a year.” He added that there has never been a documented death because of medical cannabis.

    “On the recreational side, I have always maintained that legalizing marijuana will lead to overall less substance abuse because it’s so much safer than everything else that’s out there starting with alcohol,” Johnson added. Clearly, Johnson has a good handle on Logic and hopefully more politicians can follow suit. You would think that if Republicans took this stance and made it their own it would usher in new voters and the maybe even some of the Bernie Sanders crowd. Instead, they prefer to have a base of voters wearing “Depends,” alienate huge swaths of the populous, attempt to regulate women’s health rights, and deny climate change. Republicans today would rather elect paid touts (Thanks Citizens United) that believe the earth is 6,000 years old and would try and deny gravity if a Democrat brought a bill to the house floor in favor of it! The world is changing and hopefully, the nomination of the orangutan haired Republican nominee will scare the power brokers on K street to be more inclusive.

    The world is changing and hopefully, the nomination of the orangutan haired Republican nominee Donald Trump will scare the power brokers on K street to be more inclusive and be far more inviting, but rather than listen to my long-winded diatribe here’s a short video I shot of Gary Johnson talking about Cannabis.

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