Moms from Oregon, Washington and Colorado on Friday gathered at the Yes on 91 headquarters to show their support for Measure 91, which would regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older in Oregon.
“My top priority is the safety of my children,” said Leah Mauer, who founded a Facebook group called Moms for Yes on 91. “The current approach is failing to keep them safe.
"A better approach is to take marijuana away from illegal dealers and cartels and put it behind the counter at a regulated, inspected and properly zoned store,” Mauer said.
Colorado and Washington are already experiencing successful results from their approval of the regulated use of marijuana:
By Steve Elliott
A new University of Delaware poll finds that 56 percent of Delaware adults support legalization of marijuana.
The university polled 902 state residents between September 10 and 22, finding just 39 percent are opposed to legalization, reports Jonathan Starkey at The News Journal. Residents older than 60 and self-identified conservatives were the only demographic groups to strongly oppose marijuana, while young adults and liberals were heavily in support.
Support crossed racial and geographic boundaries, with respondents in all three of Delaware's counties saying they back legal weed.
"I would say the numbers suggest solid support for fully legalizing marijuana in Delaware," said Paul Brewer, political communications professor at the University of Delaware, who supervised the poll. "The results also reflect what's going on in public opinion at the national level, where the trends show a growing majority favoring legalization."
Just 36.9 percent of Delawareans 60 or older favored legalization, while 68 percent of those under 30 supported the move. Among self-identified conservatives, just 39.2 percent favored legalization; among liberals, 73 percent said they think cannabis should be legal.
President Barack Obama intends to nominate Vanita Gupta, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy legal director, to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division, Sari Horiwitz at The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. This news comes not long after Attorney General Eric Holder announced his imminent resignation, and indicates a continued initiative of positive federal drug policy changes.
Gupta has been outspoken on a number of issues, including racial sentencing disparities, federal incentives to state police that prioritize the investigation of drug arrests over violent crime, mandatory minimum sentences and related disparities, as well as marijuana legalization. She currently leads the ACLU’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration. Gupta has also garnered bipartisan support with conservatives Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and David Keene, former president of the NRA, both speaking highly of her.
Amy Poinsett, CEO and Co-Founder of MJ Freeway®, will be presenting at "Harmonizing Marijuana Legalization with Environmental, Land Use, and Other Regulations" at the University of California Irvine on October 23. The University of California School of Law has invited Poinsett to present on the Industry Perspectives on Enforcement of Civil Obligations panel.
"I am pleased to be speaking about the emerging issue of marijuana to a diverse group of law students, faculty and community members," Poinsett said. "MJ Freeway provides industry-leading business software and professional services to cannabis enterprises, currently in 18 states, Canada and Europe. Tracking every gram from seed to sale, this clear chain of custody guarantees to meet State or Federal requirements for tracking cannabis.
"I look forward to offering relevant examples and challenges that business owners face in this industry," Poinsett said. "As further entrepreneurs enter this burgeoning industry, it's important to discuss the issue of State compliance and of maintaining strong chain of custody practices."
MJ Freeway, in partnership with California Cannabis Industry Association and Students for Sensible Drug Policy, will be hosting an evening reception following the conference. Those interested are invited to join fellow conference attendees and industry professionals for further discussion at the University Club.
To learn more about the conference and evening reception, visit: mjfreeway.com/uci
About MJ Freeway
With the rapid growth of the medical marijuana industry in several states, as well as the recreational cannabis industry in Washington and Colorado, a vast number of businesses have sprouted to support, assist, and consult the companies that are actually involved with growing, processing, and selling the plant itself. Viridian Staffing, a recruiting agency based out of Seattle, is one such company.
Ganjapreneur, a cannabis industry business media outlet which launched over the summer, recently conversed with David Murét, co-founder of Viridian, to ask him some questions about the company and how it has helped connect marijuana businesses with job-seekers.
When asked what his favorite aspect of working in the cannabis industry was, Murét replied, "We would have to say the people. The industry has been such a magnet for dynamic free-thinking innovators who aren’t nearly as stiff and creatively stifled as you find in so many other, more established industries."
"We also love working in an industry which, on the whole, places such a high value on triple bottom line business practices, which are both socially responsible and environmentally sustainable, particularly here in the Pacific Northwest," Murét said.
Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has released a new evidence-informed report on cannabis control. The Cannabis Policy Framework released by CAMH recommends marijuana legalization with a strict regulation approach to cannabis control.
Canada has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world, with 40 percent of Canadians having used it at least once in their lifetime. CAMH's Cannabis Policy Framework was developed to provide evidence-based principles for reducing cannabis-related harm.
To do this, CAMH scientists and policy experts conducted in-depth analysis of the health, social, and legal implications of cannabis use and examined cannabis policy in other jurisdictions.
"Canada's current system of cannabis control is failing to prevent or reduce the harms associated with cannabis use," said Dr. Jürgen Rehm, director of the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at CAMH. "Based on a thorough review of the evidence, we believe that legalization combined with strict regulation of cannabis is the most effective means of reducing the harms associated with its use."
D.C. Working Families, SEIU, and UCFW Endorse Initiative 71
Labor Groups Point to Elimination of Discriminatory Enforcement and Opportunities to Advance Worker Rights
The Service Employees International Union, United Commercial Food Workers, and D.C. Working Families on Tuesday endorsed Initiative 71, D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative. Initiative 71, which is on the November 4th ballot, would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allows individuals to grow up to six plants in their home.
D.C. laws prevent the ballot initiative from addressing the taxation and sale of marijuana, however, the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill which would account for such provisions.
"These major labor endorsements show that the elimination of marijuana prohibition is an issue of significant importance to workers in the District of Columbia," said Dr. Malik Burnett, D.C. policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). "Initiative 71 would eliminate unfairly harsh punishments for minors offenses, making it less likely that our young people get a lifelong criminal record that makes it harder to get a job, an apartment or credit card."
The possession of one ounce of marijuana is currently decriminalized in the District of Columbia, and persons found with more than this amount face a $25 civil infraction. Data from the Metropolitan Police Department reveals that 77 percent of tickets written during decriminalization have been in communities of color.
By Steve Elliott
It's not easy being green, at least if you're trying to remember exactly how much cannabis is in that infused edible product in your hand. Now a New York-based company is making that easier with an all-natural frosting label that goes directly on the product, instead of just on the packaging.
According to CannaBadge CEO and founder Carolyn Sevos, her company invented the edible labels for cannabis cakes, cookies, brownies and cupcakes. The labels are customizable, and can feature logos, warning information, serving suggestions, and even a QR Code.
"Putting a label on the product instead of just on a bag or wrap is the smart and responsible method of meeting child safety and packaging regulations," Sevos said. "An edible label enhances brand identity and customer loyalty, and protects manufacturers and dispensary owners from potential liability when accidental or over ingestion occurs when a product becomes separated from its packaging.
People who would be at risk for accidental ingestion now have an extra level of protection with CannaBadge, according to Sevos. Brands can achieve more immediate product identification, and dosage awareness can no longer be easily ignored.
"Just as importantly, if you've forgotten exactly what it is you're holding in your hand, CannaBadge is there to remind and help you," Sevos said. Clearly, this lady understands the challenges facing medical marijuana patients and recreational users.
Citizens for a Safer Maine on Friday announced it will not appeal a judge’s decision to allow the York Board of Selectmen to prevent a vote on a ballot measure that would make marijuana legal for adults.
“We’re confident an appeal would be successful, but at this point we cannot afford to continue playing this game with the selectmen,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which supported the measure. “We know there is support for ending marijuana prohibition in York, and we’re going to focus our resources on giving them a chance to vote on it in 2016 with a statewide ballot initiative.
“It’s unfortunate that three out of the five selectmen have needlessly and very likely illegally prevented their constituents from voting on this measure,” Boyer said. “It’s a disservice to the voters who elected them, and they’ll have to live with that.”
Citizens for a Safer Maine initially submitted more than 200 signatures of registered York voters to place a measure in front of the York Board of Selectmen in July. The board voted 3-2 against putting the measure on the ballot and, based on local initiative rules, provided the group with 30 days to collect an additional 641 signatures.
Citizens for a Safer Maine submitted nearly 1,000 signatures in August 27, but the Board of Selectmen again voted 3-2 against placing the measure on the ballot. In September, Superior Court Judge Paul Fritzche did not grant an injunction requested by the group to place the initiative on the November ballot.
By Steve Elliott
The Basque Parliament on Wednesday urged the Basque Government to legalize and regulate the activity of cannabis clubs, and give legal support to marijuana cultivation for club members' collective consumption.
The Basque Chamber is concluding two years of work on a study of the clubs with adoption of a recommended solution towards regulating them. The recommendations approved "will place Basque Country at the head of the regulation of these places," the group said.
The political parties PNV (Basque Nationalist Party), EH BILDU (Basque Country United) and PSE-EE (Socialist Party of the Basque Country) have all advocated taking steps towards non-confrontational legal existence for the cannabis clubs, and have urged the Basque Government to devise a system which offers regulation, legal guarantees and security for the clubs.
These groups said that until there is such governmental regulation, cannabis clubs should establish their own self-regulation and standards of good practice. Also, it is expected that medicinal and therapeutic uses of cannabis will be excluded from the regulations governing the clubs.
By Steve Elliott
A new law being considered in Morocco that would legalize marijuana cultivation for medical and industrial uses, finally bringing the North African Islamic nation's thriving hashish industry into the open.
The proposal, however, faces stiff opposition in this conservative nation, despite a centuries-old tradition of growing cannabis in the north, where the Rif Mountains have long been a center of hash production, reports Paul Schemm of the Associated Press.
Some farmers like Abdelkhalek Benabdallah openly grow marijuana, despite its illegal status. "We are regularly subject to blackmail by the gendarmes," he said as he prepared his September harvest.
The new law could alleviate widespread poverty and unrest; suspicious farmers, accustomed to an adversarial relationship with government authorities, don't believe the government will do anything to help them. The farmers fear that legalization might lower the already cheap price of $8 a kilogram they receive for their product.
"If legalization happened for all of Morocco, we could never compete with the other farmers that have lots of land and the price of cannabis wouldn't be any different from that of carrots," said Mohammed Benabdallah, an activist in the village of Oued Abdel Ghaya.
By Steve Elliott
Legal Pomegranate marijuana-infused soda has more bang for the buck than its manufacturers and distributors realized. The drink has been removed from three Washington marijuana stores after bottles started exploding on the shelves.
Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham took delivery of 330 bottles of the soda on September 28; employees said they were excited to promote it to their customers, reports Matt Markovich at KOMO News. They sold 10 bottles of the soda, made by Mirth Provisions of Longview, on the first day.
But when employees opened up the following day, they found broken bottles and shards of glass throughout the store. During the night, the bottles had begun to explode. The employees said they didn't realize just how dangerous was the situation until they saw and heard bottles randomly blow up.
"It sounded like a shotgun going off," said Top Shelf Cannabis manager Zach Henifin. "You can actually feel it; it was that explosive."
Henifin donned a face shield and protective garb and placed cartons of the unexploded soda in a dumpster-sized steel box outside the store. The "pot pop" continued to explode, inside the steel container, for the next 10 days.
"It's almost like a bomb box because they randomly go off during the day," Henifin said.
By Steve Elliott
Rick Steves, the mild-mannered travel guru who was a key supporter of Washington state's flawed but successful marijuana legalization initiative in 2012, arrived in Oregon on Tuesday to kick off a nine-city tour promoting Measure 91, a measure on November's general election ballot which would legalize cannabis in Oregon.
"Marijuana is a drug," wrote Steves, a NORML board member who is seemingly eager to court the anti-pot crowd. "It's not good for you. It can be addictive. But marijuana is here to stay. No amount of wishing will bring us a utopian 'drug-free society.'"
Steves explains that owning his own business has given him the freedom to express his personal views about marijuana without fear of being fired.
"When it comes to America's prohibition on marijuana, I can consider lessons learned from my travels and say what I really believe when I'm back home," Steves said.
The travel writer last year was named one of the 50 most influential consumers by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
By Steve Elliott
At least 150 members of the Mount Calvary Christian Center -- who had initially welcomed the presence of a new business next door -- on Sunday held a protest shouting "shut it down" in front of a new retail marijuana store in Seattle.
The primarily black church had been happy to see once-rampant crime dwindle while new businesses open, said former associate pastor Wayne Perryman, but members realized just two weeks ago that the store involved was Uncle Ike's Pot Shop, reports Alexa Vaughn at The Seattle Times.
The store opened last Tuesday just a few feet from the south wall of the church, and conducts business during the church's services.
"We're talking to youth about how it's not OK to smoke pot, and outside, we've got this shop making a statement that opposes what we're teaching," said Perryman, who seems to have a little to learn regarding diversity and free speech.
While Washington state's marijuana laws prohibit pot shops from opening with 1,000 feet of elementary or secondary schools, playgrounds, recreation centers, child-care centers, public parks, transit centers, libraries or arcades that allow minors, it does not prevent them from opening next to churches.
For anyone considering going into business in the legal cannabis industry, a new free tool has arrived to the Google Play marketplace designed to make it easier to keep informed about industry news and developments. Ganjapreneur, a cannabis industry business news and culture website, has recently launched a mobile app designed to keep aspiring "ganjapreneurs," or marijuana entrepreneurs, up to date about the latest headlines and happenings that are relevant to the growth of the industry.
The app is broken down into several sections, including a news feed with categories such as "Business" and "Politics," a job feed which aggregates employment opportunities from several online cannabis industry job boards on a daily basis, and a section that features interviews with prominent business owners and investors who are already operational with their endeavors in the marijuana industry. While cannabis enthusiasts who use Android devices may download the app in its current form, iPhone users will have a similar opportunity in the near future: Ganjapreneur has put up a notification that the app will also soon be available in the Apple App Store.