ballot initiative

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Wyoming: Group Ready To File Initiative For Medical Marijuana

WeedWyoming

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The group "Weed Wyoming" plans to file a state ballot initiative for 2016 to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana.

The nonprofit group has drafted the Weed Wyoming Compassionate Use Act, a measure that focuses on medical rather than recreational uses of cannabis, reports Kelly Byer at the Casper Star-Tribune.

Members believe the medical marijuana initiative has a better chance than an all-or-nothing attempt for outright legalization, according to a Weed Wyoming press release.

The initiative would allow qualified patients to grow up to 10 marijuana plants, and possess up to 10 ounces. Marijuana could be smoked anywhere where tobacco smoking is allowed. If the cannabis is being vaporized rather than smoked, "it may be used anywhere within the State," according to the measure's language.

The Wyoming chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is also trying to put an initiative on the 2016 statewide ballot to legalize hemp and cannabis.

Weed Wyoming Facebook page

Florida: Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative Push Gets Final Approval

FloridaMarijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Florida medical marijuana advocates on Wednesday got final approval from the Department of State to start collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would legalize medicinal cannabis in the state constitution.

The medical marijuana petition now has a serial number, and supporters can begin getting the almost 700,000 signatures needed by February 1 to put the issue before voters in 2014, reports Zac Anderson at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

People United For Medical Marijuana (PUFMM), the group behind the constitutional amendment, plans to send out paid signature gatherers to blanket the state; such an effort could cost more than $3 million.

The group raised almost $200,000 between January and March, with more than half of that total coming from political powerbroker and personal injury lawyer John Morgan. PUFMM's second-quarter fundraising total hasn't been reported yet, but it will be similar to the first quarter's total, according to campaign coordinator Ben Pollara.

Pollara and Morgan will now begin an aggressive fundraising push, with the petition finalized.

"We're very excited the petition got approved and now we're restarting the real work of the campaign," Pollara said.

Most of the money will come from a small group of wealthy donors with an interest in the issue, according to Pollara "We're in the late stages of these conversations," he said.

Alaska: Marijuana Legalization Push Begins

AlaskaMarijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Alaska could be the next battleground in the effort to legalize marijuana.

A ballot initiative application on Friday was certified by Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, whose office oversees elections.

The proposal would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, though not in public. It would also set up rules for legal cultivation and establish an excise tax on marijuana.

Supporters will have a year to collect valid signatures from 30,169 voters across the state in order to get the question on the 2014 ballot. The group plans to get it done by January and have it on next year's primary ballot, according to petition sponsor Tim Hinterberger, reports The Associated Press.

"It really seems like the whole mood has radically shifted," Hinterberger said.

The conversation is no longer about whether cannabis should be legalized, according to Hinterberger. "Everybody assumes it's going to happen, and now it's just figuring out the details," he said.

"Obviously getting approved by the lieutenant governor's office is a good step indicating that we're not going to run into roadblocks," Hinterberger said. "We're ready to roll."

After about a week -- the time required to prepare the petition booklets -- proponents can start gathering signatures, according to Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska Division of Elections.

Maine: Ballot Initiative To Legalize Marijuana In Portland One Step Closer

MarijuanaSaferThanAlcohol

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A measure to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults in Portland, Maine, is likely to be on the ballot this fall.

A coalition led by the Portland Green Party on Thursday morning handed in petitions with more than 3,200 signatures to city officials, the first step in getting the proposal on the November ballot, reports the Portland Press Herald. The city requires 1,500 valid signatures for citizen initiatives to qualify for the ballot.

The proposal would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, while prohibiting its use in public spaces such as parks, schools, and sidewalks.

The law is vague on how adults could actually get marijuana, but according to Tom MacMillan, chair of the Portland Green Independent Committee, it's "likely" to be available through existing medicinal cannabis dispensaries (which we don't see as likely at all, unless and until the law changes on a statewide level). Distribution would be left up to the Portland City Council if the ordinance passes, MacMillan said.

Legalizing pot could lead to less use by young people, because it could eliminate the black market and make buying cannabis subject to the same type of age checks as alcohol purchases, MacMillan said.

Idaho: New Medical Marijuana Petition Drive Aims For 2014 Ballot

Photo - Idaho: New Medical Marijuana Petition Drive Aims For 2014 BallotBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Compassionate Idaho on Friday, March 15 will release a new petition to put medical marijuana on the 2014 ballot for the voters to decide.

The petition will address the failed medical marijuana policy of Idaho that is currently putting seriously and terminally ill patients in the position of being "criminals," according to the group.

"This petition, once law, will protect our seriously and terminally ill patients and their caregivers from arrest, prosecution, and forfeiture for obtaining medical marijuana," Compassionate Idaho said in a prepared statement.

The petition is already available for reading at www.compassionateidaho.org, although it doesn't yet have its short and long ballot titles back from the Idaho Attorney General, according to the group.

Once Compassionate Idaho gets the petition back from the state Attorney General, they plan to post a downloadable PDF file of the petition for circulation around the state. Circulation instructions and downloadable voter registration cards will also be available.

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