repeal

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Michigan: Group Forms To Repeal Marijuana Prohibition

AbrogateProhibitionMichigan(logo)[AmericansForCannabis]

A ballot question committee has been formed to make use of the cannabis/hemp plant legal in Michigan and repeal marijuana prohibition.

Abrogate Prohibition Michigan announced it "is driven by the need to repair one of the most ineffective and damaging policies introduced by legislators in the last 50 years, the prohibition of the Cannabis/Hemp plant."

"Abrogate Prohibition Michigan is very different from all other efforts because the group is proposing an amendment to the State Constitution repealing all prohibitions on the Cannabis/Hemp plant for use by the people, business, and industries alike," the prepared statement reads. "The proposal does not allow for any excise/luxury/sin taxes, nor allow fines or any other penalties whatsoever for the use of the Cannabis/Hemp plant by anyone in the state."

Abrogate Prohibition Michigan's petition was approved by the Board of Canvassers on Dec. 29th, 2015, and the group said it is prepared to kick off the signature campaign in about one week, finishing the 180-day campaign just after the July 4th Independence Day Holiday, in time for voters to address the issue in the 2016 Elections.

Kentucky: Cannabis Freedom Act Filed To Legalize Marijuana

PerryClarkKentuckyStateSenator[Lex18.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

State Senator Perry B. Clark of Louisville on Friday said he has pre-filed the Cannabis Freedom Act, which would legalize and regulate the use of marijuana in Kentucky similarly to alcohol.

The bill would repeal the Commonwealth's current prohibition on cannabis cultivation, possession and sales, according to a press release from Senator Clark, reports Lex18.com.

Clark said the bill would replace prohibition with a framework that would "promote public safety and responsible cannabis consumption by persons over 21 years of age."

"No one has adequately answered the question as to why cannabis is illegal," Sen. Clark said. "We were sold a bill of goods. We were bamboozled.

"It is abundantly clear to me that cannabis, while being much less harmful, should be treated the same as alcohol," said Sen. Clark. "The Cannabis Freedom Act is an outline on how to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older in Kentucky. It is time for this discussion in our Commonwealth."

"Few believe that anyone should be incarcerated where the cannabis plant is involved," Clark said. "Most of my life we have expended tax dollars pursuing a ban on a plant. Wasted dollars they were.

Massachusetts: Marijuana Legalization Drive Gets A Little Clearer

CampaignToRegulateMarijuanaLikeAlcoholMassachusetts2016

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The push to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts got a little less complicated this week. Voters had faced the possibility of two separate pro-legalization questions on next year's ballot, but now only one group's initiative is still standing.

The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) on Tuesday said it had submitted enough signatures -- more than 64,750 -- to the secretary of state to move forward in getting a proposed law in front of voters, reports Adam Vaccaro at Boston.com. If the signatures are deemed valid, the question will go to the Massachusetts Legislature; if the Legislature fails to act by May, CRMLA wilal need about 11,000 more signatures to make the ballot for November.aaaa

The leader at Bay State Repeal, a competing ballot question, on Wednesday night conceded his group hadn't gathered enough signatures to qualify. "We didn't make it, Steve Epstein said.

The two groups have pitched different approaches to legalization. The CRMLA, backed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), is of the "tax and regulate" philosophy with pages and pages of tight rules, including a new state commission and an excise tax on cannabis sales.

Massachusetts: Legislature Considers Repealing Cannabis Prohibition

MassachusettsMarijuana

Last week the Associated Press reported on the introduction of H. 1561 in the Massachusetts Legislature; the bill would legalize recreational cannabis consumption and sales.

"Bay State Repeal, the ballot-initiative committee aiming to draft the least restrictive citizen initiative repealing marijuana prohibition in 2016, is pleased 15 legislators are seriously considering marijuana law reform," the organization announced in a Wednesday press release.

"We are also pleased the bill permits home cultivation in any amount as long as minors have no access to the cultivation site and there is no intent to sell," the statement reads. "For Bay State Repeal, the right to grow cannabis at home is a key provision of any meaningful reform, both as a matter of civil rights and protection from overzealous law enforcement and as a check on excessive prices.

"We are less pleased to see that the proposed law creates a 'Cannabis Commission' to regulate cultivation and commerce in marijuana for profit," the release reads. "A new bureaucracy is a waste of taxpayer dollars and a mandate for overregulation. A better solution is to assign any needed licensing authority to the Department of Revenue. In addition, the proposed tax on recreational cannabis is excessive and becomes more so over the first four years.

Oregon: Group Launches New Effort To Defend Marijuana Legalization

YesOn91ItWasAGreatVictory

The successful campaign to legalize marijuana in Oregon has launched a new effort to defend Oregon’s marijuana law from those who are trying to undermine the measure.

“We want a marijuana policy that reflects the will of the people,” said Anthony Johnson, chief petitioner for Measure 91. “Instead of making major changes, the state first needs to get the basics of implementation right -- like childproofing, labeling, testing, packaging, auditing, inspecting, taxing, licensing and background checks.”

In places like Colorado, marijuana retail sales began before comprehensive rules for edibles and packaging were completed and in place, contributing to difficulties in implementing the new marijuana law.

“We don’t want to see that happen in Oregon,” said Leah Maurer, who led the Moms For Yes On 91 group.

New Approach Oregon announced it "will now work as the watchdog for the new marijuana law."

"From time to time, we will let you know what you can do to make sure we finish the job and get Measure 91 implemented effectively," the group announced in a prepared statement. "We will update you on what is happening with implementation and alert you about threats to Measure 91."

New Approach will host a 15-minute press conference at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 5, at the ACLU of Oregon, 620 SW 5th Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

Massachusetts: Activists Push For Full Marijuana Legalization

MassachusettsMarijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Massachusetts voters have already approved medical marijuana, and have decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use by adults. Now activists are pushing for the full legalization of marijuana for adults, putting it on equal footing with alcohol and cigarettes.

The group Bay State Repeal said it plans to put a proposal on the 2016 general election ballot, reports Steve LeBlanc at The Associated Press. The group said it plans to first test various versions of the measure by placing non-binding referendums on next year's midterm ballot in about a dozen districts.

The non-binding questions will help gauge voter support for different versions of the binding initiative for 2016, according to Bay State Repeal.

Massachusetts voters in 2008 approved a ballot initiative decriminalizing adult possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, making it a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine.

Of course, there are the usual naysayers. Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett claimed cannabis can lead young people to hard drugs and other harmful behaviors.

"I'm not saying everyone who tries marijuana becomes a heroin addict, but the medical information is irrefutable that kids who start smoking marijuana are more likely to have substance abuse problems as adults," Blodgett, president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, claimed.

Massachusetts: Bay State Repeal Hopes To Get Rid Of Marijuana Prohibition In 2016

BayStateRepeal

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Cannabis activists are working to put full marijuana law repeal before Massachusetts voters during the next presidential election, in 2016.

"We won't have to have it on the ballot again after we've finally repealed the prohibition," said activist William Downing, treasuer of ballot committee Bay State Repeal, reports Andy Metzger at MassLive.com.

Repeal, unlike legalization, doesn't create more laws around cannabis -- it repeals all those already on the books.

Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to restrict marijuana, according to Downing, prohibiting doctors from prescribing cannabis in 1913, well before federal marijuana laws were passed in 1937. Downing, an activist since 1989, said he sees parallels between the marijuana movement and the people who repealed alcohol prohibition.

Bay State Repeal wants to put non-binding "public policy" questions about getting rid of the marijuana laws before voters in 2014, before writing the binding language for the 2016 ballot as an initiative petition.

"A lot more people vote generally when there's a presidential election and we do better when a lot more people vote because this is a populist issue," Downing said.

Predictably, "family" and "anti-drug" groups oppose the measure.

Colorado: Lawmakers' Attempt To Repeal Marijuana Legalization Falls Short

(Illustration: The Denver Channel)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana legalization in Colorado "appeared to be in serious trouble" Monday night, according to The Associated Press. But the late-night effort fell short.

A bipartisan group of state senators late on Monday raced a midnight deadline to possibly repeal retail cannabis legalization. It was a last-moment plan, because lawmakers on Wednesday conclude their work for the year.

Facing the threat of a filibuster and being outvoted in the House, state senators gave up the repeal plans and adjourned Monday just before 10 p.m. without advancing the repeal, the AP reports.

The possibility of repeal arose after the Senate had given initial approval to a cannabis DUI blood-limit standard that they had rejected several times before, including twice this year.

The repeal measure was described by Senate President John Morse as an attempt to "get the marijuana industry's attention" and urge their support for taxes, which will require another vote this fall because of Colorado tax law.

"Here is the inherent problem: The marijuana industry has no incentive to support a tax increase it promised voters," claimed Morse.

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