Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

Arizona: Susan Sarandon Endorses Prop 205 With Phone Messages

Susan Sarandon.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol recently announced that Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon has officially stated she endorses Prop 205 in Arizona to legalize cannabis for those 21 and older.

In addition to Sarandon’s endorsement, the campaign is sending out a message from her to the phones of thousands of voters in the state. The message encourages them to “vote for taxing and regulating marijuana by voting ‘yes’ on Prop. 205.”

Proposition 205, similar to measures on the ballot in four other states this election, would allow those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, grow up to six cannabis plants, and purchase cannabis and cannabis products from a licensed retail outlet.

“[W]hether someone uses marijuana or not we probably all prefer for law enforcement to spend their time preventing and investigating serious crimes rather than marijuana offenses”, the message starts. “Also regulating marijuana will take it out of the hands of criminals and instead generate jobs and tax revenue”.

The message ends with Sarandon saying “Please vote for taxing and regulating marijuana by voting yes on Prop 2015 on November 8th. Thank you.”

“Ms. Sarandon is one of the most widely recognized and well-respected actresses in the nation,” says J.P. Holyoak, Chair of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

Arizona: Former DEA Agents Rally In Support Of Marijuana Legalization

Arizona 3.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A pair of retired agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration stopped by Arizona State University Wednesday to campaign on behalf of Proposition 205, the state’s initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana.

They encouraged some of ASU’s 80,000 college students to vote “yes” on Prop. 205. Their appearance was organized by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and timed to coincide with the beginning of early voting in the state.

Finn Selander and Michael Capasso, former special agents, were on hand to speak to students and explain why they support an initiative that runs counter to their former careers as drug warriors.

“It was a huge success,” Capasso told The Huffington Post. “They were interested, and they liked my perspective — coming from the DEA. Most of the people I spoke to were thumbs-up on Prop. 205.”

Capasso said he supports legalizing marijuana because it doesn’t have the “collateral damage” that other drugs do, like addiction and overdose. Because of that, he thinks it’s practical to regulate marijuana like alcohol and use the tax revenue to fund state programs.

“I think it makes sense, I really do,” he said. “And I think it’s going to happen. It’s about time.”

Maine: Travel Guru Rick Steves Donates $50,000 To Marijuana Legalization Campaign

Rick Steves.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Rick Steves, popular travel writer and television host, has donated $50,000 to Maine's political action committee devoted to seeing recreational marijuana legalized in the state.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol says in its latest campaign finance report that it has raised just over $191,000 for the reporting period that ended on July 19.

Steves promised to match “dollar-for-dollar” donations up to a total of $50,000 in a letter to legalization supporters in May. Campaign finance records show that his donation was made on July 18.

“Through my travels in Europe, I’ve learned that pragmatic harm reduction makes much more sense than legislating morality,” Steves wrote in the letter. “And I believe in civil liberties. Responsible adults should be able to use marijuana, just as they can use alcohol. Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska have demonstrated that it is possible to build a system of marijuana control and regulation that works. This isn’t about being ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ on drugs. This is about being smart – and controlling and regulating marijuana the right way.”

Steves has worked for legalization in both Washington and Oregon, and resides in Washington.

The campaign in Maine has so far raised a total of $436,000, and had about $93,000 cash on hand at the end of the reporting period.

Arizona: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Poised To Appear On November Ballot

CRMLATurnsInSignaturesJune30,2016.jpg

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 258,582 petition signatures to the Secretary of State on Thursday; 150,642 valid signatures needed to qualify

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee released a report Wednesday that estimates passage of the initiative will generate nearly $82 million in annual tax revenue, including more than $55 million for Arizona schools

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A citizen initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona is poised to appear on the November ballot after proponents turned in their petition Thursday with more than enough signatures to qualify.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) submitted 258,582 total signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State. With 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters needed to place the measure on the ballot, that appears to be a comfortable margin. The secretary of state is expected to determine whether the initiative has qualified by late August.

“We are very encouraged by the strong levels of support and enthusiasm we found among voters during the petition drive,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Arizonans are ready to end the antiquated policy of marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

Arizona: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Submitting Signatures

ArizonaCampaignToRegulateMarijuanaLikeAlcohol2016.jpg

On Thursday, June 30, at 10:30 a.m., campaign leaders and supporters will hold a news conference just prior to handing over more than 100 boxes of petitions to state officials

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) will submit more than 100 boxes of petitions to state officials on Thursday to place an initiative on the November ballot that would end marijuana prohibition in Arizona.

Campaign leaders and initiative supporters will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. in a temporary office located on the second floor of 77 E. Weldon Ave. in Phoenix, where representatives of the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office will be accepting and reviewing the petitions.

Initiative backers need at least 150,642 valid signatures of Arizona voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot. At Thursday's news conference, they will announce the total number of signatures they will be submitting.

The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana; establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol; and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and public education programs.

Maine: Initiative To Legalize Marijuana Will Appear On Ballot As Question 1

MaineRegulateMarijuanaLikeAlcohol2016.jpg

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap on Monday announced that the initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol in Maine will appear on the ballot as Question 1.

The secretary of state set the final wording of the ballot question last week. It reads, “Do you want to allow the possession and use of marijuana under state law by persons who are at least 21 years of age, and allow the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”

“The wording of our ballot question is far more important than the order in which it will appear," said Yes On 1 Campaign Manager David Boyer. "It conveys to voters that the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use will be subject to regulation, taxation, and local control.

"We are pleased, as those themes comprise the core of our initiative and help explain the benefits of ending marijuana prohibition," Boyer said. "Residents of Maine will be hearing a lot more about regulation, taxation, and local control as we spend the next four months encouraging them to vote ‘Yes’ on Question 1.

Arizona: Congressman Ruben Gallego Endorses Initiative To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

ArizonaCampaignToRegulateMarijuanaLikeAlcohol2016.jpg

Congressman Ruben Gallego on Monday announced that he is endorsing an initiative poised for the November ballot that would end marijuana prohibition in Arizona and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

“Forcing sales of this plant into the underground market has resulted in billions of dollars flowing into the hands of drug cartels and other criminals,” Rep. Gallego said. "We will be far better off if we shift the production and sale of marijuana to taxpaying Arizona businesses that are subject to strict regulations. It will also allow the state to direct law enforcement resources toward reducing violence and other more serious crimes.

“I am proud to support this initiative, as it represents a far more sensible approach to marijuana for our state,” Gallego said. “It will make Arizona communities safer, while also generating some much-needed tax revenue for our schools.”

Gallego, a Democrat who represents Arizona’s 7th Congressional district, which includes central and south Phoenix as well as western Maricopa County communities, announced his endorsement at a news conference on the House Lawn of the Arizona State Capitol. He was joined by leaders of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is supporting the initiative.

Arizona: Failed Marijuana Initiative Plans To Fight Surviving Measure

One of Arizona's two marijuana legalization measures has failed to make the ballot; they'll fight the remaining measure.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Organizers of one of Arizona's initiatives to legalize recreational use of marijuana has fallen short of its goal to collect the required 150, 642 valid signatures by the deadline, with only about 120,000 collected.

Arizonans for Mindful Regulation is now trying to kill the remaining measure, but the organization's website says that they will regroup for 2018.

The remaining measure, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, will almost certainly make the ballot. The group claims to have more than 200,000 names on petitions within plenty of time for the July 7 deadline.

The measure still alive says anything over 2 1/2 ounces remains a felony. The proposal by Arizonans for Mindful Regulation made possession of any amount up to eight ounces a misdemeanor.

Had both measures qualified for the ballot, it could have created confusion for voters who may have been unaware they could vote for both. That raised the potential of splitting the pro-marijuana vote, leaving each measure short of the majority.

Arizonans for Mindful Regulation organizer Jason Medar said that he and his allies are forming a political committee to try to convince voters to reject the other initiative.

Arizona: Legal-marijuana Advocates Urge Foes To Return Funding From Liquor Group

Arizona weed.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Marijuana legalization advocates in Arizona have asked a rival campaign to return $10,000 in funding from the local alcohol industry.

Carlos Alfonso, a spokesman for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), told reporters Tuesday that Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP), an organization opposing marijuana legalization, should reject a contribution from a state liquor group.

Arizonans will vote on legalizing marijuana in the election this November. As of earlier this month, the CRMLA had raised nearly $1 million from local dispensaries to help finance its efforts, the Phoenix New Times reported.

After the New Times revealed that the Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association had donated $10,000 in April to the anti-marijuana group, advocates fighting to legalize marijuana for recreational use said the ARDP should return the money.

“They’re hypocrites because they are trying to use alcohol profits to try and punish those adults that choose a less harmful substance,” Mr. Alfonso told a local CBS News affiliate.

But anti-marijuana advocates say the source of the money should not matter.

Arizona: Marijuana Supporters Call On Opposition To Return $10K Alcohol Contribution

AlcoholVsCannabis.jpg

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), the committee backing an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona that is expected to appear on the November ballot, on Wednesday called on leaders of the committee opposing the measure to return a contribution from the alcohol industry.

According to a report published earlier this week by the Phoenix New Times, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP) received a donation of $10,000 last month from the Arizona Wine and Spirits Association, a trade group representing various alcohol wholesalers.

The leaders of ARDP, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, and radio host Seth Leibsohn have repeatedly argued that marijuana needs to remain illegal because it is too dangerous to regulate for adult use. Yet, by every objective measure, marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol. See http://marijuana-vs-alcohol.org for details.

“Using alcohol money to fund their campaign to maintain marijuana prohibition is grossly hypocritical,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “They want to continue punishing adults for using marijuana, but they have no problem accepting five-figure donations from purveyors of a far more harmful substance.

Arizona: Marijuana Legalization Backers Launch Mother's Day Billboards

TalkItUpArizonaBillboard2016[CRMLA].jpg

Backers of an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona launched a pair of Mother’s Day-themed billboards in Phoenix and Tucson on Monday. An image of the billboard is attached, and a high-resolution version is available at http://bit.ly/1N3OkrX.

The ads, which are targeted at younger voters, feature a young woman sitting with her mother and ask: “Have you talked to your parents about marijuana?” The goal of the ads is to flip the script on marijuana education and encourage younger voters to start conversations about marijuana with their family members — especially older generations who have been led to believe marijuana is more harmful than it actually is.

The billboards direct viewers to a website — http://TalkItUpArizona.org — that allows them to send a message about marijuana to their parents or other relatives. The billboards will run through Sunday, which is Mother’s Day.

“For decades, the federal government distributed anti-marijuana propaganda to parents and encouraged them to share it with their children,” said CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “It’s time for younger folks to start sharing the facts about marijuana with their parents and other older relatives.

Maine: Marijuana Initiative Qualifies For November Ballot; Poll Shows Solid Support

Maine2016RegulateMarijuanaLikeAlcohol.jpg

Maine state officials on Wednesday announced that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine has officially qualified for the November ballot.

After a court-ordered review of petitions it had previously invalidated, the Maine Secretary of State’s Office determined the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted more than the 61,123 signatures that were needed to qualify.

Last month, the secretary of state informed the campaign that the initiative had been disqualified because only 51,543 valid signatures had been submitted. The campaign filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, and a Kennebec County Superior Court judge ruled in their favor earlier this month after learning state officials invalidated more than 5,000 petitions —which included more than 17,000 signatures from Maine voters that were validated by town clerks — without actually reviewing every petition in question.

The petition was then remanded to the Secretary of State’s Office to review all of the disputed petitions and determine whether enough valid signatures were collected.

Massachusetts: Marijuana Initiative Backers' Campaign Highlights Alcohol Hypocrisy

CharlieBakerMartyWalshStopTheHypocrisy[Change.org].jpg

Backers of a ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Massachusetts are launching a campaign Friday to highlight the hypocrisy of elected officials who oppose the initiative but promote the use of a more harmful substance — alcohol.

Leaders of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol held a news conference Friday morning in front of the Massachusetts State House. They showcased a large, provocative sign featuring their first two targets, Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who just announced they have formed a committee to oppose the proposed initiative because they believe marijuana is too dangerous to regulate for adult use.

Baker has proposed legislation to loosen the state’s liquor licensing regulations and expand the number of locations in which alcohol can be served. He also supported repealing the state alcohol tax and opposed a Boston alcohol tax. Walsh proposed legislation to allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., providing an extra two hours of drinking time.

Massachusetts: Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Responds To New Opposition Committee

CampaignToRegulateMarijuanaLikeAlcoholMassachusetts2016

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol on Thursday issued a statement in response to Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s announcement the same day, that they have formed a committee to oppose the campaign’s initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Massachusetts.

Earlier in the day, the Western New England University Polling Institute released the results of a statewide survey that found 57 percent of Massachusetts voters support the proposed initiative and just 35 percent are opposed.

“Our campaign will not allow our opponents to claim the high road on matters of public health and safety," said Jim Borghesani, communications director for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. "The truth is that the greatest danger associated with marijuana is its illegal status. Our opponents seem to prefer that criminals control the marijuana market and sell untested, unlabeled products to people of any age.

“Gov. Baker and others need to understand that conflating the opioid epidemic with marijuana sends a very dangerous message to our youth," Borghesani said. "The blurring of lines between drugs in this country is a pattern that started with Richard Nixon more than four decades ago. And it has caused more harm than good.

Maine: Court Rules In Favor Of Marijuana Legalization Supporters, Orders Review Of Signatures

Maine2016RegulateMarijuanaLikeAlcohol.jpg

A Kennebec County Superior Court judge on Friday ruled that state officials may have improperly invalidated thousands of signatures of registered Maine voters and unlawfully denied citizens their constitutional right to vote on a proposed ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Justice Michaela Murphy found that state officials invalidated more than 5,000 petitions —which included more than 17,000 signatures from Maine voters that were validated by town clerks — without actually reviewing every petition in question. The Secretary of State’s Office must now review all of the disputed petitions and place the initiative on the November ballot if it determines enough valid signatures were collected.

On March 2, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap informed the campaign that its proposed initiative did not qualify for the November ballot. With 61,123 signatures of registered Maine voters required, state officials determined that initiative backers submitted 51,543 valid signatures.

In a document explaining his determination, the secretary of state said his office invalidated more than 5,000 petitions, which included more than 26,000 total petition signatures, solely due to its finding that the signature of a single notary did not “match” the signature the state has on file.

On March 10, supporters of the initiative filed a lawsuit challenging the decision.

Arizona: Marijuana Initiative Backers Issue Alcohol Awareness Month Challenge

Montgomery2016RefundAlcoholIndustryContributors[CRMLA].jpg

Alcohol Awareness Month Challenge to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery: Prove Marijuana Is More Harmful Than Alcohol or Return the Campaign Contributions He Received From the Alcohol Industry Last Year

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona on Wednesday issued a challenge to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is calling on Montgomery — who says marijuana is too dangerous to regulate for adult use — to either prove marijuana is more harmful than alcohol or return campaign contributions he received from members of the alcohol industry last year.

The CRMLA held a Wednesday news conference in front of the Maricopa County Administration Building, where the county attorney’s office is located. They provided Montgomery with a jumbo-sized refund check for $8,050 from his campaign committee, Montgomery 2016, to his “alcohol industry contributors.” Montgomery 2016 received at least $8,050 in contributions from members of the alcohol industry in 2015, according to campaign finance reports.

“Mr. Montgomery’s public statements about our initiative indicate that he feels like marijuana should remain illegal because of its potential harms,” said CRMLA chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Yet marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol by every objective measure, and he accepts campaign contributions from people who distribute alcohol.”

Massachusetts: Marijuana Inititiative Backers Launch St. Patrick's Day Billboard In Boston

CRMLA-St-Patricks-Day-Billboard.jpg

Backers of a proposed ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Massachusetts launched a St. Patrick’s Day-themed billboard Monday that highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will hold a news conference today at 12 p.m. ET in front of the digital billboard, which faces Seaport Blvd. on the south side of District Hall. The ad will run through Sunday, March 20, when local and state leaders will gather for the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at the nearby Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

The billboard features a green beer, a glass of whiskey, and a marijuana leaf below the words, “Beer,” “Liquor,” and “Safer,” respectively. It directs viewers to RegulateMass.com/Safer, which details several ways in which marijuana is significantly less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and to society.

“Our goal is to make this year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities as educational as they are enjoyable,” said CRMLA Campaign Manager Will Luzier, who previously served as executive director of the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Substance Abuse and Prevention. “While folks are celebrating with a pint of green beer or a glass of whiskey, we want them to think about the fact that marijuana is an objectively less harmful substance.

Massachusetts: Marijuana Legalization Campaign Says Senate Report Is "Recycled Hysteria"

Massachusetts marijuana campaign.jpg

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Officials with the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts called a special Beacon Hill report "hastily written" and said the document ignores the positive aspects of legalizing recreational marijuana use.

Jim Borghesani, a spokesman for the campaign, said the 118-page report ignores the regulatory structure described in their ballot initiative. The initiative is expected to be on the statewide ballot in November.

State senators released the report at a press conference inside the State House.

"A lot of this stuff is directly from 1930s, reefer madness," Borghesani said after seeing the report. "It's just recycled hysteria and we don't think anybody's falling for that," he continued.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol proposal would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to grow cannabis plants at home. It would establish a system of retail marijuana businesses and cultivation facilities, and would add a 3.75 percent state tax on top of the 6.25 percent sales tax.

A Cannabis Control Commission would regulate the substance.

The report from the special State committee called for a prohibition on home growing and heavier taxes.

Sen. Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport, said that he was undecided but leaning towards legalization until taking a trip to Colorado in January. He said he's against legalization now.
"The black market doesn't go away because it's so well-established," he told reporters last week.

Massachusetts: Backers of Legalization Initiative To Respond To Senate Committee Report

MassachusettsStateHouse[CRMLA].jpg

The special Massachusetts Senate Committee on Marijuana is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday, March 8, at 10:30 a.m. ET in the Senate Reading Room of the State House to release its report regarding the potential impact of regulating marijuana for adult use. Backers of a proposed November ballot initiative to regulate cannabis like alcohol in Massachusetts will hold a media availability outside the Senate Reading Room immediately following the Tuesday news conference to respond to the report.

The report is expected to include recommendations for regulations that should be enacted if marijuana prohibition is repealed by the legislature this session or by voters in November. Members of the committee traveled to Colorado in January to examine the state’s system of regulating marijuana cultivation and sales for adult use.

“We commend the Senate committee members for traveling to Colorado to examine the state’s marijuana regulatory system,” said CRMLA Communications Director Jim Borghesani. “Based on news accounts of the trip, however, it appears some committee members traveled to Colorado with a bias against regulating marijuana and sought information to buttress their positions.

Massachusetts: Backers of Marijuana Legalization Urge Legislators To Approve H. 3932

CampaignToRegulateMarijuanaLikeAlcoholMassachusetts2016

Leaders of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will testify at a legislative hearing Monday in support of a measure that would end marijuana prohibition in Massachusetts and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol.

The Joint Committee on the Judiciary is considering H.3932 because the CRMLA submitted more than 105,000 signatures in support of the proposal in December. The measure will appear on the November ballot if the Legislature does not approve it.

“This is the Legislature’s opportunity to embrace a far more sensible marijuana policy,” said CRMLA campaign manager Will Luzier.

“Marijuana prohibition does not eliminate marijuana use," Luzier said. "It only ensures that marijuana is unregulated, untested, untaxed, and sold by gangs and criminals. It is time to regulate marijuana and stop punishing adults for consuming a substance that is less dangerous than alcohol.”

Syndicate content