election

U.S.: Gary Johnson Promises Not To Get High In The White House If Elected President

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson on Monday promised he won't use marijuana if he's elected president in November.

Johnson, who won the Libertarian nomination for the second time on May 29, picked former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld as his running mate, reports Guy Bentley at The Daily Caller.

The candidate freely admitted in a Monday interview with Jonathan Easley at The Hill that he'd used cannabis as "recently as a month ago," but for some reason promised he wouldn't use it if he is sworn into the Oval Office in 2017.

"The notion of getting that call at midnight or two o'clock -- people need to know there's a firm voice on the other side," he said.

Johnson said he hasn't touched alcohol for 30 years. Before launching his current presidential bid, he was CEO of the marijuana company Cannabis Sativa Inc.

He added that legalizing cannabis would lead to less substance abuse overall, because people would find it to be a "safer alternative than everything else out there, starting with alcohol."

U.S.: How Will Marijuana Influence Super Tuesday?

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

As Super Tuesday fast approaches, Kind Financial CEO David Dinenberg decided to take a look at the influence of marijuana on the voters in the affected states.

"Most of the Super Tuesday states are historically Red states, and while that might be true today, many of these states are considering passing laws in favor of medical marijuana," Dinenberg said. "Alabama, Georgia, and Texas are considering legislation.

"Others, such as Vermont and Massachusetts, already have medical marijuana and now are considering recreational," Dinenberg said. "Of course, Alaska and Colorado have recreational use."

Dinenberg pointed out that Donald Trump is leading in the polls in every Super Tuesday state that has passed or is considering medical or recreational marijuana. "Mr. Trump is on record supporting states' rights," Dinenberg said. "While he doesn't favor federal legalization, his pro-states' rights just might be enough to fend off his competitors."

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both oppose medical marijuana, according to Dinenberg. "I ask this question to the candidates," he said. "How do you plan on winning an election that 58 percent of the voters disagree with you?"

California Proposes 15 Percent Medical Marijuana Sales Tax

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

In 1996, California became the first US state to legalize medical marijuana, and their program has grown to become the largest medical marijuana industry in the nation. New medical marijuana legislation was passed last year in the state, resulting in a proposed 15% sales tax.

Revenue from the tax would help enforce new regulations, and pay for state programs, parks, and rehabilitation. Introduced yesterday, the Marijuana Value Tax Act is expected to generate more than $100 million in new revenue if passed.

In a recent statement, Sen. Mike McGuire, author of SB987 and parts of last year's marijuana regulations, said "Now that there is a long overdue regulatory framework put into place, it’s time to help fund the areas that are most affected by the cultivation — those communities that have long been paying the price of the negative effects of cultivation brought on by the ‘bad actors’ who destroy the environment and bring in crime."

Oregon recently imposed a 25% sales tax on recreational marijuana, but medical marijuana remains untaxed in that state. It is likely that recreational cannabis use will be made legal in California after the 2016 election.

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

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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!"

Uruguay: Presidential Election Safeguards Marijuana Legalization

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Frente Amplio Candidate Tabaré Vázquez Wins, Promises He Will Implement The Law

Frente Amplio (Broad Front) candidate Tabaré Vázquez defeated opposition candidate Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou in a Sunday presidential run-off election in Uruguay by 53.6 to 41.1 percent. The vote that had major implications for the future of Uruguay’s historic marijuana regulation.

While Vázquez has promised to continue implementing marijuana regulation, National Party opposition candidate Lacalle Pou had said that if he were to become president, he would repeal major parts of the law, including government-regulated sales to adults – the most distinguishing feature of the Uruguayan initiative.

“Sunday’s presidential election result safeguards Uruguay’s historic marijuana legalization,” said Hannah Hetzer, policy manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “The Uruguayan people determinedly chose the presidential candidate who will continue the country’s progressive policies, including the roll out of the world’s first national legally regulated marijuana market.”

California: Prop 47 Takes Significant Step Towards Ending Mass Incarceration and War On Drugs

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Passage of Proposition 47 Will Spare Thousands From Unnecessary Time Behind Bars and Save Billions of Taxpayer Dollars

DPA: Overwhelming Support Sends Powerful National Message

California voters on Tuesday took a significant step toward ending mass incarceration and the War On Drugs by approving Proposition 47. On the heels of reforming the state’s “three strikes” law in the 2012 election, Californians overwhelmingly voted to change six low-level, nonviolent offenses – including simple drug possession – from felonies to misdemeanors.

“The overwhelming support for this reform sends a powerful message nationally, demonstrating that voters are not just ready but eager to reduce prison populations in ways that can enhance public safety,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

“This is a win for everyone in California,” said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing (Ret.), a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “We’ll save millions keeping nonviolent drug offenders out of state prison, and those resources will be redirected toward public education, victim services, and mental health treatment programs that actually address the problems of addiction.”

Oregon: Victory At The Polls! Voters Make State 3rd To Legalize Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

And now there are three: Oregon voters on Tuesday chose to make their state the third in the U.S. to legally regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana. Passage of Measure 91 accelerates the nationwide momentum in favor of legalizing marijuana and ending the wider Drug War, according to proponents.

"With Oregon and D.C. coming on board, it's clear that Colorado and Washington voting to legalize in 2012 was no anomaly," Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority told Hemp News on Tuesday evening. "The trend is clear: Marijuana prohibition is coming to an end.

"As 2016 approaches, we can expect to see many more ambitious national politicians finally trying to win support from the cannabis constituency instead of ignoring and criminalizing us," Angell said.

The new regulatory system will be overseen by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, in consultation with the State Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Health Authority and will allow adults over 21 to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to four plants. DUI and public consumption will still be illegal and localities may ban marijuana businesses through ballot measures.

Revenue from the measure will first go to oversight of the industry and then to schools, mental health and drug treatment services, and local and state law enforcement.

U.S.: Medical Marijuana Advocates Survey Candidates Ahead of November Elections

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The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has produced a new 30-second online advertisement to launch its survey drive for for this year's election-cycle educational campaign. (You can view the ad at the bottom of this article.)

The ad will also air on this Sunday's morning TV cable news programs in Detroit, Philadelphia, Sacramento, South Florida, and Washington State. As part of its groundbreaking "Vote Medical Marijuana" campaign, ASA has sent out more than 2,000 candidate surveys to help patients and the general public make more informed electoral decisions based on candidates' positions on medical marijuana.

More than 100 candidates in federal and state races across the country have sent in responses so far. The "Vote Medical Marijuana" campaign will focus on as many as 435 U.S. House races, 36 U.S. Senate races, 36 gubernatorial races, and 31 state attorney general races, as well as more than 360 state legislative races in California, Florida, and Washington.

"We want to better educate supporters and the general public about casting their ballot for candidates who have their best interests in mind," said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. "We hope this outreach effort will show our country’s leading politicians how significant medical marijuana is to their election campaigns."

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