ballot measure

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Ohio: Details of 2016 Medical Marijuana Initiative To Be Released Tuesday

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Backers of a 2016 initiative effort to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio will release the details of the proposed ballot measure on Tuesday.

The full text of the initiative will be posted at https://ohioansformmj.org/initiative at 9 a.m. ET, and the Marijuana Policy Project, which helped draft the initiative, will hold a teleconference.

WHAT: Release of 2016 Ohio medical marijuana initiative language and teleconference to discuss the details of the proposal and answer questions from members of the media

WHEN: Tuesday, March 1, initiative text will be posted online at 9 a.m. ET; teleconference at 10:30 a.m. ET

WHERE: Initiative text at https://ohioansformmj.org/initiative

WHO: Heather Azzi, MPP campaigns analyst
Rob Kampia, MPP executive director
Mason Tvert, MPP director of communications

Maine: Marijuana Legalization Campaigns Unite Behind One Ballot Measure

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Two competing marijuana initiative campaigns in Maine on Friday announced they will unite behind one state ballot measure to end marijuana prohibition in 2016.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will stop collecting signatures in support of the initiative it filed in March and spearhead the campaign in support of a similar initiative filed in February by Legalize Maine.

Each of the campaigns has collected approximately 40,000 signatures, and they will work together to collect the remaining signatures needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. They have until January to collect a total of approximately 61,000 valid signatures of registered Maine voters.

“Joining forces is the best step forward, not only for our respective campaigns, but for Maine as a whole," said David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. "We all agree marijuana prohibition has been a colossal failure and that it must be replaced with a system in which marijuana is legal for adults and regulated like alcohol.

"We can more effectively accomplish our shared goal by combining our resources and working together instead of on parallel tracks," Boyer said.

“We had some differences of opinion on some of the specifics, but our initiatives were largely similar overall," Boyer said. "We would not get behind this measure unless we were 100 percent confident that it will effectively and responsibly end prohibition in Maine. We’re also confident that the voters will agree.”

Colorado: Activists Pull Back On Denver Marijuana Nightclubs Measure

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Activists campaigning to allow marijuana to be legally used in adults-only businesses such as bars and nightclubs said on Thursday they are withdrawing a ballot measure that would have put the issue before Denver voters this November.

Sponsors said they were pulling the initiative because they hope to reach a compromise with city officials and business groups that could result in a local ordinance allowing some limited social cannabis use in Denver, reports Jack Healy at The New York Times.

Colorado's recreational marijuana legalization law doesn't allow "public use." But activists said restrictions had prohibited cannabis everywhere except in private homes and a few 420-friendly bed-and-breakfasts scattered around the state.

The ballot proposal would have allowed adults to consume cannabis edibles or inhale vaporized marijuana outdoors, if blocked from public view.

Organizers said it's still too early to know what might be included in any compromise ordinance. If that effort stalls, they said, the ballot measure might be reintroduced next year.

Photo: Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

South Dakota: Medical Marijuana Ballot Drive To Begin

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A South Dakota medical marijuana activist said she hopes to begin gathering signatures within a month to put a medical marijuana proposal on the 2016 ballot.

Melissa Mentele, 38, said on Tuesday that her ballot measure language is currently under review at the South Dakota Attorney General's office, reports James Nord at the Associated Press.

People with conditions such as cancer could be helped by cannabis, according to medical marijuana proponents. Mentele herself suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Mentele said she's taking the ballot proposal route because state legislators haven't been willing to enact a medical marijuana program. Her proposal would allow patients with a doctor's authorization to buy or grow cannabis, and to possess up to three dried ounces.

"We're trying to bring compassionate access onto the ballot, because that's what we need in South Dakota," Mentele said. "If somebody doesn't fight to change the law, it's going to stay a bad law."

Two previous attempts to legalize medical marijuana have fallen short in South Dakota. A 2006 effort got 47.7 percent of the vote, but a 2010 attempt got just 36.7 percent.

Other organizers are sponsoring 2016 ballot initiatives that would prohibit the sale and transfer of alcohol and tobacco in South Dakota. It's "about consistency" in the law, according to marijuana activist Bob Newland, 67.

Ohio: Ballot Initiative Would Legalize Cannabis, Give Control To 10 Corporations

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

All cannabis legalization measures aren't created equally. Some of them, in fact, are written downright sloppily; the beleaguered medical marijuana patients in Washington state, for instance, could testify to that fact, with the problem-plagued implementation of I-502 seemingly headed toward shutting down safe access in that state.

The reason is that capitalism is beginning to eclipse activism in the race to legalize weed nationwide, as pointed out by David Downs on SF Gate.

The Ohio Ballot Board on Friday unanimously approved Responsible Ohio's amendment; Attorney General Mike DeWine certified the ballot petition's wording last week. That means the group can start collecting the 305,000 signatures it needs to quality for this November's ballot.

The amendment would legalize the sale of cannabis for recreational and medical purposes, and set up grow sites around the state. It would allow adults 21 and over to grow up to four plants per household, give medical cannabis to patients at cost, and create 1,000 retail and manufacturing licenses available to the general public.

Unfortunately, that's not all the proposal would do. Just 10 companies who funded the initiative -- the 10 firms in question have thrown in $36 million so far -- would be allowed to cultivate and extract cannabis in Ohio.

Nevada: Marijuana Legalization Will Appear On November 2016 Ballot

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Citizen-initiated ballot measure would end marijuana prohibition in Nevada and establish a legal marijuana market for adults 21 and older

The Nevada Legislature is expected to let voters decide in November 2016 whether to end marijuana prohibition and regulate marijuana like alcohol.

State lawmakers have until Saturday, March 14 to enact Initiative Petition No. 1, but chose to adjourn Friday without voting on it. They were tasked with considering the measure after supporters submitted nearly twice the number of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.

“Voters will have the opportunity to end marijuana prohibition next year and replace it with a policy that actually makes sense,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Regulating marijuana like alcohol will make Nevada safer by replacing the underground marijuana market with a tightly controlled system of licensed businesses.

"Law enforcement officials will be able to spend their time addressing more serious crimes, and adults will no longer be punished simply for using marijuana,” Tvert said.

The initiative makes private possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public or drive while impaired by marijuana.

D.C.: Nation's Capital Takes Major Step Toward Taxing and Regulating Marijuana

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Panel of Councilmembers Approves Legislation that Would Establish Licensing and Regulation of Marijuana in Washington, D.C.

Council Acts Just Weeks After Nearly 70% of D.C. Voters Approved Ballot Measure Legalizing Marijuana

D.C. lawmakers on Tuesday voted in favor of legislation that would legally regulate and license the production, distribution and sale of marijuana in the District of Columbia during a meeting of the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which is chaired by D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange (D-At Large).

Tuesday's action by D.C. lawmakers on a tax and regulate bill comes just three weeks after nearly 70 percent of voters in the District of Columbia approved Initiative 71, a ballot initiative that legalizes possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 and allows individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. However, due to D.C. law, the initiative was not allowed to address the taxation and regulation of marijuana sales.

The panel of Councilmembers voted to approve sections six through eight of the “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013” (Council Bill #20-466), which was introduced in 2013 by Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large). Tuesday's vote followed a hearing on Council Bill 20-466 that was jointly held by the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the Committee on Finance and Revenue.

Oregon: Group Cancels Taxpayer-Funded Anti-Marijuana Summit After Complaints

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A taxpayer-funded anti-drug group has canceled an October summit in Madras, Oregon, after complaints were raised by sponsors of Measure 91, a ballot measure which would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. The event, like 12 other local appearances, was scheduled just before the November vote.

The summit was to feature Kevin Sabet, a prominent opponent of cannabis legalization, reports Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian. Sponsors of Measure 91 this week charged that it was wrong for organizers to use federal funds to help pay for an appearance by Sabet, a former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) adviser who has formed Smarter Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an anti-pot organization.

The taxpayer-funded "Oregon Marijuana Education Tour" was billed as a supposedly non-political event, since it would likely violate campaign rules for funds to be used for political purposes -- and this was flagrantly scheduled for just before the marijuana vote. Sabet had claimed that he wouldn't talk about the ballot measure on the tour.

The summit was canceled because he "could see from an outside perspective that it could look like a conflict," admitted Rick Treleaven, executive director of BestCare Treatment Practices and organizer of the event.

Oregon: Addiction Expert Kicks Off $2.3 Million Marijuana Legalization Ad Campaign

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Oregon's leading drug addiction expert kicks off $2.3 million marijuana ad campaign

Largest ad buy so far for 2014 Oregon ballot measures

Oregon's leading drug addiction expert appears on Monday in the first TV spot in a $2.3 million advertising campaign to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older.

The advertising buy made by the Yes on 91 campaign is the largest so far for a 2014 Oregon ballot measure.

The first TV advertisement features Richard Harris. As the former director of Addictions and Mental Health Services for the state of Oregon, he held the highest position in the state for directing drug treatment and addiction programs. He is volunteering with the campaign.

The ad, in which Harris calls marijuana "a pretty benign drug," will run on television stations throughout Oregon. The Yes on 91 campaign also has several ads running on pre-roll online. (You can view the Harris ad, which is on YouTube, at the bottom of this article.)

"Criminalizing marijuana ruins lives and wastes resources," Harris said. "Instead of sending people to jail and turning them into hardened criminals, we should treat marijuana as a public health issue and create a system that raises money for prevention programs and mental health programs.

"Right now, there is no state appropriated money in Oregon for drug and alcohol prevention programs, including for marijuana, but Measure 91 would change that," Harris said.

Arkansas: Attorney General Again Rejects Wording of Medical Marijuana Measure

(Photo: Danny Johnston/AP)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The wording of a proposed initiative to legalize medical marijuana has again been rejected by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

McDaniel on Tuesday rejected the wording of the proposed measure by Arkansans for Compassionate Care, a pro-medical marijuana group which campaigned for a similar initiative which narrowly failed on the November 2012 ballot, reports The Associated Press.

The attorney general cited what he claimed were "several ambiguities" in the ballot measure.

McDaniel had already rejected the proposal for the first time last month. At that time, the attorney general said it contained "numerous ambiguities" and "numerous grammatical errors." He even suggested a "lack of focus" in the preparation of the proposal.

The proposal would legalize medicinal cannabis, allowing patients with qualifying conditions to buy it from nonprofit dispensaries with a doctor's authorization.

Unlike last year's ballot measure, this proposal unfortunately doesn't allow patients to grow their own medicine if they live more than five miles from a dispensary.

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