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Arizona: 4th of July Themed Billboard Highlights Benefits of Marijuana Legalization

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Backers of the ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona have launched an Independence Day-themed billboard to highlight the benefits of regulating and taxing marijuana.

“If Arizona regulates marijuana,” the billboard reads, “adults could buy American,” instead of buying marijuana that has been illegally smuggled across the Mexican border into Arizona. The ad also notes that revenue from regulated marijuana sales would “support schools, not cartels.”

The proposed initiative would initially generate an estimated $64 million in annual tax revenue, including $51 million for K-12 education and all-day kindergarten programs, according to an independent study conducted by the Grand Canyon Institute.

Oregon: Marijuana Edible Makers Launch 'Try 5' Public Education Campaign

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The Oregon Responsible Edibles Council on Thursday announced the launch of their initial public education campaign, “Try 5.”

OREC, formed in late 2015, is a non-profit trade association of Oregon edible marijuana processors, with a mission of educating the public regarding the safe and responsible usage of edible marijuana products for adults 21 and over. Through the much needed and timely campaign, “Try 5”, OREC will be able to teach the public about proper dosage levels and help prevent accidental over-ingestion for consumers new to cannabis-infused edibles.

The “Try 5” campaign encourages new and first time edible consumers to “Know Your Dose” and start with no more than 5mg of THC. "Edibles often come in multi-serving packages and newer consumers need to know not to ingest the contents of the entire package," OREC's prepared statement reads.

The campaign features educational posters distributed to licensed dispensaries throughout the state, and will include informational booths at Oregon universities, magazine and newspaper advertisements, as well as t-shirts, hats and buttons to be worn by dispensary employees.

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign Team Formed

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Ballot issues vet Brandon Lynaugh — who helped lead the campaign against the Responsible Ohio initiative last year — will serve as campaign manager for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana

Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Monday announced it has formed a campaign team to support its initiative to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio.

Brandon Lynaugh, a veteran of more than a dozen statewide ballot issue campaigns, will serve as campaign manager. Lynaugh most recently served as campaign manager for No On 3, which led the effort to defeat the Responsible Ohio initiative last year.

“We’re excited to have Brandon at the helm of our Ohio campaign,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is supporting Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “His extensive experience with ballot issues and his history of standing up for Ohioans make him the right person to lead our team. He is committed to establishing a sensible, fair, and compassionate medical marijuana program that will benefit countless seriously ill Ohio residents.”

Lynaugh’s support for establishing legal access to medical marijuana stems from his experience with a close family member who suffers from epilepsy.

U.S.: Jeb Bush Expresses Support For Decriminalizing Marijuana

JebBushDumb[FreeRepublic]

Bush Receives Upgrade in Marijuana Policy Project’s Presidential Candidate Report Card

The nation’s largest marijuana policy organization upgraded Bush — who had not previously expressed support for decriminalization — from a ‘D’ to a ‘C-’ following a Friday interview on a Boston radio station

The nation’s largest marijuana policy organization upgraded Jeb Bush from a “D” to a “C-” in its 2016 presidential candidate report card on Friday following a radio interview in which the former Florida governor expressed support for decriminalizing marijuana.

“It’s one thing to say we should have decriminalization of marijuana. I support that,” the former Florida governor said in an interview with Joe Mathieu of Boston’s WBZ NewsRadio, reports Tom Angell at Marijuana.com.

Bush had not previously endorsed a removal of criminal penalties for cannabis possession.

Bush, however, didn't waste any time in proudly displaying his vast ignorance on the subject of cannabis.

He referred to marijuana as a “gateway drug” during the interview, referencing a theory that was thoroughly debunked by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in a 1999 report commissioned by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He also said “the new marijuana” is “highly, highly toxic,” despite researchers consistently finding that marijuana is among the least toxic drugs and incapable of producing a fatal overdose.

New York: Medical Marijuana Advocates Launch Billboard Campaign For Veterans, Other PTSD Patients

PTSDIsNotCoveredLiftTheLimitsNY[DrugPolicyAlliance]

Billboards to Run In Syracuse, Rochester, Albany and Other Media Markets Across the State

Patient Advocates Ask Cuomo Administration to Grant Veterans Suffering from PTSD Access to Medical Marijuana

Compassionate Care NY and the Drug Policy Alliance on Tuesday launched a billboard campaign to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the list of conditions covered by New York’s medical marijuana law.

The first billboard was put up in Syracuse on Route 690 East, with others to follow in Rochester, Albany, and other media markets across the state. The billboard directs people to a petition encouraging Governor Cuomo and Health Commissioner Zucker to add PTSD as one of the medical conditions for which patients can receive medical marijuana in New York.

"There are several other states that include PTSD under their medical marijuana programs,” said Donna Romano, a Vietnam Era veteran of the US Navy from Syracuse, New York. “Why isn't PTSD included in New York? I am a veteran myself, and I believe that the people who serve this country should have access to treatments that actually work when they come home.

"The science is real, and the research is strong," Romano said. "Cannabis helps treat PTSD, and veterans who call New York home should have this option. As it stands now, New York’s medical marijuana program is quite limited, and it leaves out thousands of people struggling with PTSD. That is unacceptable. PTSD should be added to the list of covered conditions immediately."

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association Applauds Bernie Sanders' Legalization Move

BernieSandersPointing[MotherJones]

Sanders bill would remove marijuana from Controlled Substances Act, allow states to establish cannabis policies

The National Cannabis Industry Association on Thursday applauded new legislation to be introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and allow it to be regulated similarly to alcohol.

That approach would allow states that choose a legal, regulated approach to marijuana to move forward without federal interference and allow banking access and fair taxation to state-compliant cannabis businesses.

"Mr. President, too many Americans in this country have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use," Sanders said on the Senate floor on Thursday. "That’s wrong. That has got to change."

"The time is long overdue for us to take marijuana off of the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs," Sen. Sanders said. (Read Senator Sanders’s prepared remarks here, delivered on the Senate floor on Thursday.)

“More than half of Americans now live in states where marijuana is legal in some form. And more than half of Americans now say marijuana should be fully legal,” said NCIA executive director Aaron Smith. “Federal law should respect these states, these voters, and the responsible cannabis businesses they support.

U.S.: GOP Candidates Out of Touch On Marijuana Legalization

DavidDinenbergKindFinancial[NewCannabisVentures]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

This week's Republican presidential debate in Colorado showed that the GOP candidates are out of touch with the majority of American voters when it comes to marijuana legalization, according to a leading financial advisor.

"Once again, the Republicans don't take the opportunity to speak to an overwhelming percentage of Americans in regards to state rights and legalization of marijuana," said David Dinenberg, CEO and founder of Kind Financial, a financial services firm for the legal cannabis industry. "The party should realize that several 'Red' states have some form of legalization on the 2016 ballots and the voters and consider the candidates' position on marijuana."

Dinenberg has made it no secret that he thinks the public debate should mirror the increasing intensity of the conversation, with more than 63 percent of Americans who believe marijuana should be legal. David would know, as he's well-versed in the political and financial angles of cannabis legalization issues.

"Last night's debate in Colorado revealed quite a bit about who is grounded in facts with a plan for the U.S. economy and who is just in it for a political dance," Dinenberg said. "How far cannabis has come in this country and how sophomoric the candidates can be!"

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.”

U.S.: Hillary Clinton Says Feds Shouldn't Interfere With Legal Marijuana

HillaryClinton[KUSA]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Hillary Clinton is feeling the heat when it comes to federal marijuana policy. Just after her first primary debate with fellow Democrats who want to be President, Clinton is finally giving some answers about how she'd handle states which have legalized cannabis.

Clinton had declined to take a position on marijuana legalization in Tuesday's CNN debate, but she wasn't asked at the debate how she'd handle legalization by states as President, reports Brandon Rittiman at KUSA.

In stark contrast to GOP candidate Chris Christie, who has said he'd use federal power to stop legalized sales of marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington, Clinton said "I want to give you the space" to experiment with cannabis policy.

"I really believe it's important that states like Colorado lead the way so we can learn what works and what doesn't work," Clinton told 9NEWS political reporter Rittiman. "I would certainly not want the federal government to interfere with the legal decision made by the people of Colorado."

Clinton had previously expressed support for state-level medical marijuana laws, but appears to be the first time she's supported recreational legalization at the state level.

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