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California: Adult Use of Marijuana Act Endorsed By North Coast Congressman

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

North Coast Congressman and longtime environmental leader U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) on Wednesday announced his support for the statewide ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).

Prior to his election to Congress in November of 2012, Huffman served six years in the California State Assembly and was co-chair of the Legislative Environmental Caucus. He previously served as a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. As a congressman, he serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources.

"The Adult Use of Marijuana Act is a necessary statewide reform that brings a billion-dollar industry out of the shadows and into a regulated market," said Rep. Huffman, whose district spans from the Golden Gate Bridge north to the Oregon border and includes the Emerald Triangle, the three-county region that produces some of America's best domestically grown marijuana.

"The measure takes historic, first-of-its-kind steps to reverse the devastating environmental and water damage that has been done by illegal marijuana grows in our state," Rep. Huffman said. "AUMA is not just good social justice and public health policy. It's forward-thinking environmental reform as well."

California: Adult Use of Marijuana Act Endorsed By Congressman Ted Lieu

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Congressman and military veteran U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) on Monday announced his support for the statewide ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Lieu has won awards as a military prosecutor, an advisor to U.S. Air Force commanders and as a law student and private attorney. As a congressman, he serves on the House Budget and Oversight Committees.

Last year, Lieu introduced bipartisan legislation to save taxpayer dollars by blocking the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from financing its Domestic Cannabis Eradication and Suppression Program through civil asset forfeitures.

“I’ve reviewed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act and believe it creates a legal, responsible and regulated framework for adult use of marijuana that is fiscally responsible, smartly builds on what California has already done with medical marijuana and provides necessary protections for children, workers, local governments, law enforcement agencies and the environment,” said Rep. Lieu.

“As a policy, marijuana prohibition has wasted taxpayer resources while failing to protect our communities,” Lieu said. “The Adult Use of Marijuana Act represents a vastly superior and long overdue new approach.”

California: NORML Endorses Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA)

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The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) on Monday announced that its Board of Directors has formally voted to endorse the California ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Founded in 1970, NORML has been a voice for marijuana reform in states all across the country and has helped increase public awareness of the failures and costs of marijuana prohibition. But the organization's credibility has taken a terrible hit since 2012, when NORML supported I-502, the Washington state legalization measure that has resulted in the decimation of the state's medical marijuana community and the virtual repeal of protections designed to protect safe access for patients.

"With the largest population of both marijuana producers and consumers in the United States, along with the largest voting delegation in Congress, the importance of voters in America's most populous and influential state, California, passing a binding marijuana legalization ballot initiative in 2016 can't be overstated,” said Allen St. Pierre, NORML's executive director. “On the matter of ending marijuana prohibition in America, as California goes, so too goes the rest of the nation."

NORML joins the Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, California Cannabis Industry Association, California Medical Association and California NAACP, among others, in support of AUMA, which has been supported to the tune of a million bucks by Napster founder Sean Parker, who was also in on Facebook at the ground floor with founder Mark Zuckerberg.

California: Adult-Use Marijuana Initiative Cleared For Circulation

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Coalition announces formation of official committee: Californians to Control, Regulate & Tax Adult Use of Marijuana while Protecting Children

Proponents of a statewide ballot measure to "control, regulate and tax adult use of marijuana while protecting children" on Wednesday announced that they have received an official title and summary for their proposed November measure, have been cleared for circulation and intend to “hit the ground running” to qualify their measure for the ballot.

They also announced the formation of an official political committee in support of the measure: “Californians to Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana while Protecting Children.” (I know! "Is it a committee name or a NOVEL?")

The coalition in support of this measure includes business people, physicians, farmers, environmental leaders and social-justice advocacy organizations, according to the group.

The new committee announced $1.25 million in initial contributions, including from co-chairs and respected advocacy organizations such as Drug Policy Action, Marijuana Policy Project of California, New Approach PAC and Californians for Sensible Reform.

Joint Statement of Co-Proponents

Dr. Donald O. Lyman, MD, former chief of the Division of Chronic Disease & Injury Control at the CA Department of Public Health and
Michael Sutton, former president of the California Fish and Game Commission and former vice president of National Audubon Society:

U.S.: 34-Year Police Veteran Neill Franklin To Receive Award At Drug Policy Reform Conference

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Leading Drug Policy Reformers to be Honored at International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, November 21

Leading advocates for drug policy reform will be honored at an awards ceremony on Saturday, November 21, at the biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Arlington, Virginiaa. The conference is being organized by the Drug Policy Alliance, promoting alternatives to the Drug War, and is cosponsored by dozens of other reform organizations.

Major Neill Franklin will be presented with the H.B. Spear Award for Achievement in the Field of Control and Enforcement. Franklin is being honored for his influential work changing hearts and minds both inside and outside the law enforcement community.

Over the course of his 34-year law enforcement career, Franklin watched hardworking and dedicated fellow police die in the line of fire enforcing policies that don’t do any good. He spent 23 years with the Maryland State Police, including as an undercover agent and as the department’s head trainer, before being recruited by the Baltimore Police Department to reorganize its education and training division.

Rhode Island: Lawmakers Fail To Act On Widely Supported Marijuana Legalization Bill

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The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act had bipartisan backing in both chambers, and an April poll found 57 percent of Rhode Island voters in favor of such a measure

Rhode Island state lawmakers late Thursday recessed the legislative session leaving hundreds of bills, including a widely supported proposal to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol, pending action. Legislative leaders have indicated they may call a special session in the fall to finish their agenda.

“Lawmakers’ decision to recess without voting on this widely supported legislation is disappointing, to say the least,” said Regulate Rhode Island Director Jared Moffat. “We believe we have the votes needed to pass the measure this session, and we’re optimistic that we’ll still have the votes if and when they come back for a special session.

"We hope to work with leaders in both chambers over the summer to ensure lawmakers are given a chance to cast them,” Moffat said.

Rhode Islanders Call On House Speaker, Senate President To Pass Marijuana Legalization Bill

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Representatives of Regulate Rhode Island will be joined by legislative supporters at a Wednesday news conference at 11 a.m. ET in front of the Rhode Island State House to call on House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (D-Cranston) and Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed (D-Newport) to support the bill to regulate marijuana like alcohol and allow House and Senate members to vote on it before the session ends this month.

Immediately following the news conference, the group will deliver nearly 500 postcards to Speaker Mattiello’s office. Each postcard is signed by one of his constituents and urges the speaker to support the bill.

“We hope the House Speaker and Senate President will agree with the majority of voters that it’s time to start regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol in Rhode Island,” said Regulate Rhode Island Director Jared Moffat. “At the very least, they should allow a vote on the bill before the session ends.”

A record-high 57 percent of Rhode Island voters support changing state law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, according to a survey conducted in April by Public Policy Polling. Only 35 percent were opposed. The full results are available at http://bit.ly/1IiFCNt.

Rhode Island: Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Marijuana Legalization Bill

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The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a Tuesday hearing regarding a bill that would make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol. Supporters of the bill, including a policy expert with experience in implementing and analyzing marijuana regulations in Colorado, are expected to testify.

The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, or S 510, would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow one mature marijuana plant in an enclosed, locked space. It would create a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities and direct the Department of Business Regulation to create rules regulating security, labeling, and health and safety requirements.

It would also establish wholesale excise taxes at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store, as well as a special sales tax on retail sales to consumers.

One of the expected speakers, Jordan Wellington, worked closely with the Colorado state government to establish the systems called for by the 2012 passage of a ballot initiative, Amendment 64, which made retail marijuana legal for adults there. In 2013, Wellington served as the sole legislative staffer assigned to shepherd the legislation relating to the implementation of Amendment 64 and the legalization of marijuana through the Colorado General Assembly.

Rhode Island: Billboard Promotes Marijuana Regulation, Taxation For Jobs

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Regulate Rhode Island on Tuesday unveiled a billboard in Providence that informs state officials — who are considering investing tax dollars in building a new stadium in the city — of another way to attract new businesses, good jobs, and young professionals to Rhode Island: regulating and taxing marijuana.

The ad campaign was launched at 11 a.m. ET with a news conference in front of the billboard. Regulate Rhode Island Director Jared Moffat was joined at the event by Paul DeFruscio, CEO of Jennifer Rose Associates LLC, a company that specializes in packaging marijuana-infused products, and Marc Shepard, co-founder of New England Cannabis Conventions.

The “Field of Dreams”-themed ad features stadium lights shining on two young professionals standing among a small field of marijuana plants, and it reads, “If we build it, they will come… It’s time to establish a regulated marijuana market in Rhode Island.”

“State lawmakers have repeatedly said that rebuilding our economy is their biggest priority,” Moffat said. “It’s time for Rhode Island to invest in a more sensible marijuana policy. Establishing a regulated marijuana market for adults would attract entrepreneurs, create jobs, and raise revenue.

“Regulating and taxing marijuana would be a home run for Rhode Island,” Moffat said.

Legislators are currently considering S 510/H 5777, the “Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act,” which would end marijuana prohibition in Rhode Island and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

Oregon: Marijuana Legalization/Regulation Measure Officially Qualifies For Ballot

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It’s official: Oregon voters will decide in November whether to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over.

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown has certified that the New Approach Oregon petition campaign has turned in enough valid signatures to qualify the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act for the November ballot.

According to the Secretary of State's website, 145,030 unverified signatures were submitted for verification. Of those, 88,584 signatures, or 64.41 percent of the 135,722 accepted for verification, were valid. To qualify for the ballot, 87,213 were needed.

The New Approach campaign is celebrating Tuesday's achievement by hosting its first voter registration canvass led by young Oregonians who will be decisive in winning a new approach to marijuana.

“This is our moment to be part of history and lead a movement,” said Dominique Lopez, metro regional organizer for New Approach Oregon. “Treating marijuana use as a crime has failed, but together we can win a more sensible approach and better the lives of Oregonians.”

Tuesday's announcement comes almost exactly two weeks after Washington state began regulated sales of marijuana. New data shows that Washington state has received $318,000 in excise taxes in the first 10 days of regulated marijuana sales.

The proposed measure in Oregon would allow for licensed and regulated cultivation and sales of marijuana. Sales would be taxed to generate money for schools, state and local police and drug treatment, prevention and mental health programs.

Oregon: Marijuana Legalization/Regulation Will Be On November Ballot

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New Approach Oregon turned in at least 145,710 signatures Thursday, more than enough to qualify

The New Approach Oregon campaign, which is working to regulate marijuana, on Thursday turned in at least 145,710 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State, more than enough to qualify a measure for the ballot.

That means Oregon voters in November 2014 can vote yes to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana. The campaign has finished collecting signatures.

Thursday's signature turn-in coincides with the six-month anniversary of the start of regulated sales of marijuana in Colorado. Marijuana sales in Colorado projected to result in $30 million in tax revenue in the next year. Colorado has already seen a 10 percent drop in violent crime and a 50 percent drop in homicides.

In Oregon under the current system, more than 10,000 adults in Oregon are arrested every year for marijuana, according to the latest numbers from the Oregon State Police. That’s an average of one person every 51 minutes.

“It’s time to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on treating marijuana use as a crime,” said Peter Zuckerman, press secretary for the New Approach Oregon campaign. “Prohibition of marijuana is ineffective, costs the state tax revenue and fuels violence. It’s time to try something new.”

Rhode Island: Bill To Legalize, Tax and Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol To Get Hearing Tuesday

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Bill to Receive Hearing Tuesday in State Senate Committee on Judiciary

S 2379, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, would establish a legal market for licensed businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older

The Rhode Island Senate Committee on Judiciary is scheduled to hold a Tuesday hearing on a bill that would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. It will take place following the Rise of the Senate in Room 313 of the Rhode Island State House.

A bipartisan group of 13 sponsors, lead by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Cranston), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, is supporting S 2379, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act. The measure would allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow one mature marijuana plant in an enclosed, locked space.

It would create a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities and charge the Department of Business Regulation with creating rules regulating security, labeling, and health and safety requirements. It would establish wholesale excise taxes at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store, as well as a special sales tax on retail sales to consumers.

The legislation could generate approximately $21 million to $82 million in annual revenue each year, according to a report released in April by OpenDoors.

Rhode Island: Lawmakers Hold Hearing On Bill To Legalize, Tax and Regulate Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday, May 28 on a bill to make possession of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older, and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. The hearing will begin following the rise of the Senate at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET.

Committee member Donna E. Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket, North Providence) introduced S 334, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act, on February 13. Senators Josh Miller (D-Cranston) and Frank S. Lombardo, III (D-Johnston) co-sponsored the legislation in the Senate.

House Judiciary Chair Edith Ajello and 18 of her colleagues, including House Minority Leader Brian Newberry (R-North Smithfield, Burrillville), are sponsoring companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“By regulating marijuana like alcohol, Rhode Island stands to generate significant new revenue, take marijuana sales out of the underground market, and allow law enforcement officials to spend more time addressing serious crimes,” said Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and most Rhode Islanders think adults should be allowed to make the choice to use the less harmful substance.”

WHAT: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on S 334, the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act

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