regulate marijuana like alcohol

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Arizona: Parents Launch Father's Day Billboard In Support Of Marijuana Legalization Initiative

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A group of concerned parents, organized for the purpose of highlighting the benefits of regulating marijuana to protect teens, will launch a Father’s Day-themed billboard Thursday in support of the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Arizona.

Parents for Responsible Regulation (PRR) will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. MST in front of the billboard in downtown Phoenix (two blocks south of Chase Field on the southwest corner of 7th and Lincoln Streets).

The billboard, which will be up through Father’s Day on Sunday, features a man embracing his teen son and stating: “Please, card my son. Regulate the sale of marijuana and help me keep it out of his hands.” It directs viewers to RegulationWorks.org, which details several ways in which regulating marijuana like alcohol would help protect teens.

“Our current system of marijuana prohibition has failed to keep marijuana out of the hands of teens," said PRR co-chair Sonia Martinez, a Gilbert-based attorney, past president of the Native American Bar Association of Arizona, and mother of two children, ages 9 and 10. "It forces marijuana sales into the underground market, where customers are never asked for ID and often exposed to other illegal products.

Massachusetts: Lawmakers Plan To Ban Home Cultivation If Marijuana Legalized

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Massachusetts voters haven't even legalized marijuana yet, and already state lawmakers are planning how to gut important parts of the law, in case it passes.

A sharply worded Senate report released on Tuesday says that if voters legalize recreational cannabis in the state, lawmakers should promptly cancel their wishes by outlawing home cultivation, imposing high taxes, and prohibiting most edible products, reports Joshua Miller at The Boston Globe.

While the report from the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana claims not to take an official stance on the proposed ballot question to legalize, it repeatedly, and even shrilly, warns of legalization's supposed dangers. The authors claim that legalization could make it easier for children to access marijuana -- despite the fact that it would be limited to adults 21 and older, and black market drug dealers certainly aren't asking for ID currently.

The bipartisan 118-page propaganda piece, I mean "analysis," comes the same week Gov. Charlie Baker, Atty. Gen. Maura Healey, and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston published a scathing op-ed in The Boston Globe opp=osing legalization, and the Massachusetts Legislature's judiciary committee heard testimony on the ballot measure.

Alaska Becomes Fourth State To Legalize Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Alaska on Tuesday became the fourth U.S. state to legalize marijuana, joining Oregon, where voters had approved a legalization measure earlier the same day, and Colorado and Washington, both of which legalized in 2012.

Measure 2, which was approved by 52 percent of Alaska voters, allows adults 21 and older and possess up to an ounce of cannabis, grow up to six plants at home, and transfer up to an ounce at a time to other adults "without remuneration," reports Jacob Sullum at Reason. State-licensed growers, cannabis product manufacturers, and marijuana retailers will be regulated by the Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board or a separate agency created by the Legislature.

"Now that it's been shown that putting marijuana legalization on the ballot can succeed even in midterms, we can expect to see a huge surge of additional states voting to end prohibition during the 2016 presidential election," Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority told Hemp News early on Wednesday. "And because the issue has been proven to be mainstream as far as voters are concerned, we may even see lawmakers in several states jumping ahead to legalize marijuana legislatively in the meantime."

Alaska: TV Reporter Outs Herself As Pro-Marijuana Activist: 'Fuck It, I Quit'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

If you're a television news reporter and you decide to quit, you might as well do it live on the air and in a spectacular fashion -- at least, that was apparently the thinking of Charlo Greene, who outed herself as the owner of a medical marijuana club and told viewers she was quitting her job to focus on legalization.

Greene reported on the Alaska Cannabis Club during TV station KTVA's Sunday night news broadcast, but didn't reveal her connection to the club until a live shot at the end of her report, according Laurel Andrews at the Alaska Dispatch News.

"Now everything you've heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalization of marijuana here in Alaska," Greene said live on the air. "And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice, but fuck it, I quit."

With that, Greene walked off camera.

Alaska Cannabis Club had earlier urged its Facebook followers to tune in to the news broadcast Sunday evening. Greene later said KTVA had no idea she was going to quit, or how, or that she was connected to the dispensary.

Greene said she quit so dramatically "Because I wanted to draw attention to this issue. And the issue is medical marijuana.

New Hampshire: House Subcommittee to Consider Details of Bill to Legalize Marijuana

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Full House in January approved legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older

A five-member subcommittee formed by the House Ways and Means Committee will convene on Monday, February 10, to examine the revenue and regulatory aspects of a bill that would legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol in the Granite State.

HB 492 would make personal possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults age 21 and older. It would also direct the state to license and regulate marijuana retail, cultivation, production, and testing facilities.

The subcommittee is expected to consider changes to the bill’s proposed system for taxing and regulating marijuana. The members of the subcommittee are Rep. Frank Sapareto (R-Derry), Rep. Patricia Lovejoy (D-Stratham), Rep. Russell Ober (R-Hudson), Rep. Jordan Ulery (R-Hudson), and Rep. John Kelley (D-Nashua).

The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved the bill in a 170-162 vote on January 15. It was the first time in history that a legislative chamber in the U.S. has passed legislation to end marijuana prohibition and establish a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older.

After the subcommittee has concluded its work, the House Ways and Means Committee will vote, and the bill will return to the full House of Representatives for a second vote in February or March. If approved a second time by the House, it will then be considered by the state Senate.

Rhode Island: New Survey Shows Majority of Voters Support Making Marijuana Legal

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Public Policy Polling survey reveals support for treating marijuana similarly to alcohol as in Colorado and Washington, widespread approval of existing medical marijuana law

Marijuana policy reform group Regulate Rhode Island launched to build support for taxing and regulating marijuana in the Ocean State

A survey conducted by Public Policy Polling on January 14 and 15 shows 53 percent of Rhode Island voters support changing Rhode Island law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, allowing licensed stores to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older. Only 41 percent were opposed.

These results are indicative of a national shift in opinion away from marijuana prohibition and toward regulation and control. Earlier this month, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 170-162 in favor of a bill that would regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Interestingly, in view of President Obama's recent comments that marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, a majority of Rhode Island voters agree. When asked "Which do you believe is safer: marijuana or alcohol, or do you think they are equally safe?" a combined 59 percent of percent of respondents thought marijuana was either safer, or just as safe as, alcohol.

Thirty eight percent thought marijuana was safer than alcohol; 21 percent thought it was equally safe; 21 percent thought alcohol was safer; and 20 percent weren't sure.

Maryland Lawmakers to Launch Effort to Regulate and Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol

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Legislators will join leaders of state and national organizations at a news conference Thursday at 9 a.m. ET to announce the formation of a broad coalition in support of forthcoming legislation to establish a legal marijuana market for adults

State lawmakers will launch an effort Thursday to pass a bill in this year's legislative session that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Maryland. They will join leaders of state and national organizations at a news conference at 9 a.m. ET in the House Ways and Means Hearing Room (131) to discuss their forthcoming legislation and announce the formation of a broad coalition in support of it.

Del. Curt Anderson, Del. Sheila Hixson, and Sen. Jamie Raskin are scheduled to participate in the news conference. They will be joined by the new and expanding Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland, which includes the ACLU of Maryland, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), the League of Women Voters of Maryland, the Marijuana Policy Project, and the Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches, among others. A full list of coalition members is available at http://www.RegulateMarijuanaInMd.org.

A majority of Maryland voters (53 percent) support regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol, according to a survey conducted in late September by Public Policy Polling. Only 38 percent said they were opposed. The full results are available at http://www.mpp.org/MDpoll.

Colorado: World's First Modern Legal Adult Marijuana Sales Begin

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The Marijuana Policy Project — the largest financial backer of the Colorado legalization initiative — will support efforts to pass similar laws regulating marijuana like alcohol in 13 more states by 2017

About three dozen state-licensed marijuana retail stores in Colorado at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, January 1, began legally selling marijuana to adults 21 years of age and older. The state is the first jurisdiction in the modern world to establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

Colorado made marijuana legal for adults in November 2012 when 55 percent of voters approved a statewide ballot initiative known as Amendment 64.

“The era of marijuana prohibition is officially over in Colorado,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the largest financial backer of the campaign in support of Amendment 64. “The state is demonstrating to the rest of the nation and the entire world that regulating marijuana works.

“It’s only a matter of time before lawmakers and voters in more states adopt similar laws regulating marijuana like alcohol,” Kampia said. “The dominoes are falling.”

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