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Effects of Legalized Retail Marijuana in Denver [Infographic]

retail marijuana

Very interesting data on the effects of legalizing marijuana in Colorado.
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Uruguay Becomes First Country to Legalize Marijuana!

URUGUAY

Something truly historic just happened, and I’m very excited to share the news with you: Uruguay’s national legislature just voted to make their country the first in the world to legalize marijuana!

Since prohibition first reared its ugly head a century ago, no nation has ever before moved to re-legalize marijuana and bring the trade aboveground and out of the hands of drug cartels and gangs that control the illegal market.

As you know, the states of Colorado and Washington voted last year to become the first jurisdictions on the planet to legalize marijuana. Now an entire country is doing so. Legal sales of marijuana to adults in Colorado and Washington will begin in early 2014, and once Uruguayan President Jose Mujica — a vocal legalization supporter — signs the new bill into law, his government will move forward with plans to start selling marijuana to its own citizens.

Next year, several additional U.S. states are likely to vote on legalization, and even more will follow in 2016. A recent Gallup poll just found that 58% of all Americans want to end marijuana prohibition.

Vermont House Approves Marijuana Decriminalization

Montpelier — The Vermont House gave preliminary approval Friday to a bill that would change the offense of possessing up to an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor crime to a civil offense similar to a speeding violation.

On roll call vote of 98-44, the House endorsed the bill, which would impose a fine of as much as $300 for anyone caught with up to an ounce of the drug.

The bill also contains provisions designed to eliminate the possibility of a permanent criminal record or future collateral consequences such as ineligibility for certain jobs or government benefits for those convicted of possessing up to two ounces, or up to four plants.

vermontmarijuanaThe legislation now goes to the Senate, which is also expected to pass it.

Supporters of the bill were in two camps: those who wanted to remove the danger of a permanent criminal record that can face young people convicted of possessing small amounts of pot, and those who said they saw the bill as a small step toward their real goal: legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana.

“I think that if this is the process it takes to get to where I think we should be, which is legalization, regulation and taxation, then that’s the step that I’m willing to take,” said Rep. Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier, who added that he had not consumed alcohol for 28 years or any other recreational drug for longer than that.

But members of the Judiciary Committee, which drafted the bill, said their goal was not legalization.

“It was illegal yesterday, it is illegal today and if this bill is passed by both chambers and signed into law, it will remain illegal,” said Rep. Linda Waite-Simpson, D-Essex and a member of the committee who described the bill to her House colleagues.

Vermont would become the 16th state to have decriminalized, or, in the cases of Washington state and Colorado, to have legalized by popular referendum possession of small amounts of marijuana, said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project.

The bill will be up for final House action on Tuesday. Gov. Peter Shumlin has said he supports decriminalization of possession of small amounts.

Sen. Richard Sears, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Friday he expects the Senate will pass it by a similar margin as did the House — “it should be 2 to 1 or more.”

But the powerful committee chairman, who could have a lot to say about the bill’s fate, was unwilling to say for sure he would support it.

“The devil is in the details,” Sears said. Among his misgivings: Under the House bill, someone younger than 21 caught with alcohol could face a criminal charge but would not for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. “That doesn’t make sense to me,” the Bennington County Democrat said.

Not all Republicans opposed the bill during House debate Friday, but most of those speaking out against it were Republicans.

One exception was Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, who called marijuana a “powerful psychoactive drug.” She joined other critics in saying the legislation would send a message to Vermont’s young people that the state was not serious about forbidding marijuana.

Source

Hawaii Senate Votes Unanimously to Decriminalize Marijuana

Hawaiian sativa

“In an applaud-worthy and eye-opening showing of bipartisan support, Hawaii’s Senate voted today, unanimously, to approve Senate Bill 472 to decriminalize cannabis possession. The measure would make possession of up to an ounce no longer an arrestable misdemeanor offense, but instead a civil infraction of no more than $1,000.

Last week the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure, also unanimously. The bill is sponsored by 13 of the state’s 25 senators.

The bill now moves to the state’s House, where its passage would send it to the governor’s office.

Recent polling shows that 58% of residents in the state support decriminalizing cannabis, while 57% support regulating and taxing it.”

- TheJointBlog

Marijuana legalized in Colorado, Washington

“Today the state of Washington looked at 70 years of marijuana prohibition and said it’s time for a new approach,” said Alison Holcomb, manager of the campaign that won passage of Initiative 502 in Washington state.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who opposed legalization, was less enthused. “Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly,” he said.

Hell yeah, it can only get better from here!

Link

More teens smoke pot than cigarettes, says CDC survey

(AP) ATLANTA – A government survey shows more teens are now smoking pot than cigarettes.

More on the CDC’s National Youth Risk Behavior Survey

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that 23 percent of high school students said they recently smoked marijuana, while 18 percent said they had puffed cigarettes. The survey asked teens about a variety of risky behaviors.

For decades, the number of teens who smoke has been on the decline. Marijuana use has fluctuated, and recently rose. At times, pot and cigarette smoking were about the same level, but last year marked the first time marijuana use was clearly greater.

An earlier survey by the University of Michigan also found that pot smoking was higher. A Michigan expert said teens today apparently see marijuana as less dangerous than cigarettes.

More on the CDC’s National Youth Risk Behavior Survey

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