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DENVER CANNABIS CONSUMPTION PILOT PROGRAM

 

Vote Yes on Initiative 300 is the chime ringing in and around the city of Denver as voters take a shot at approving what could open up the door for marijuana social clubs and indoor cannabis use by licensed public establishments.

The Yes on 300 campaign is a pilot program that aims to create private areas for adults 21+ to consume cannabis socially, and many think it's about time.   Since passing Amendment 64 in Colorado, there's been a 500%  increase in public consumption tickets issued in Denver County with African-Ameri­­cans being ticketed at a rate 2.6 times higher than others.
 
The City of Denver Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program is believed to be a responsible approach to solving this problem by providing designated areas in certain City-permitted business establishments where adults 21 and over may consume cannabis in accordance with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act while out of view of the general public.

Another matter at hand are the 70 million tourists attracted to Colorado each year with no place to legally consume what's becoming the state's biggest cash crop.  Moreover, now that California has legalized recreational marijuana, Colorado has to be forward thinking to keep the tourist coming to continue to bolster the the state's tourism revenues which have increased nicely since the passing of Amendment 64.

The Colorado Tourism Office reported that 77.7 million visitors visited the state in 2015 spending an all-time high of $19.1 billion. This is an increase of almost 7% from 2014,  generating $1.13 billion in state and local taxes.

The Denver Department of Excise and Licenses will handle permits but only after a prospective permit holder has received formal approval from an eligible neighborhood organization (HOA) prior to applying.  
 
What's really interesting about the indoor smoking initiative is the fact that on July 1, 2006, the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect which banned smoking (tobacco products) in all enclosed workplaces statewide, including bars and restaurants.
 
This was a major reconditioning of a society's behaviour and now another shift in perception with legalized weed and a special privilege to consume cannabis socially in public is certainly widening the gap of possibilities of just how far human potential will take us. (Did someone say Amsterdam?)
Just for the record, here are the rules given by the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act posted on their website for your clarification.
 
The Clean Indoor Air Act applies to community associations and prohibits smoking in restrooms, hallways, lobbies and other common areas in any public or private buildings, including condominium buildings, and within a fifteen foot radius of building entryways.  The law does not prevent owners from smoking in their residences, and does not clearly restrict smoking on private patios or balconies, although some associations impose more stringent smoking restrictions through their recorded covenants or rules.  

Colorado community associations, and individuals, in violation of the Clean Indoor Air Act may face fines.  The law establishes a fine schedule of $200 for the first violation, $300 for the second, and $500 for the third and subsequent violations.

Any establishment that chooses to allow social cannabis use will be required to comply with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which means only non-smokable forms of cannabis, such as vaporizers, will be allowed indoors. Smoking cannabis will only be allowed in designated exterior areas that are not visible to the public right of way. An odor control plan will be required and odor complaints may result in loss of permit.
 

Right on Colorado!

Progress.

MrD.

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Where the 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand on Marijuana Legalization.

By Melanie Marquis

If you own a cannabis-based business or work in the recreational marijuana industry, there's a big reason besides politics to start paying attention to the 2016 Presidential race. Depending on who gets elected and how much our new President's influence is able to sway the direction of U.S. Policy, your very livelihood could be at stake. While it's never clear what a candidate's actual policies will be once they get into office, the things they've said in the past can indeed provide strong indications.

The Marijuana Policy Project website provides an evaluation of such indications, and their ratings provide cause for alarm. Only one viable candidate received a grade “A” on their policy regarding legalized marijuana—Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton scored a “B,” Donald Trump a mediocre “C+,” and Marco Rubio an even lower grade of “D.”

To help you evaluate these candidates for yourself, we've compiled a sampling of relevant quotes from these politicians and their campaigns. Take a look, and if anything concerns you, be sure to do further research so that you can be sure to know who (and for what) you are voting for.

Marco Rubio: If one thing positive can be said about Marco Rubio's position on legal cannabis, it's that at least he makes his stance on the issue very clear. When he was a guest on the Hugh Hewitt Radio Show in February 2015, he was asked if he would enforce federal law and shut down the legal recreational marijuana industry in Colorado. Rubio responded, “Yes. Yes, I think, well, I think we need to enforce our federal laws. Now do states have a right to do what they want? They don't agree with it, but they have their rights. But they don't have a right to write federal policy as well.” He goes on to explain, “I don't believe we should be in the business of legalizing additional intoxicants in this country for the primary reason that when you legalize something, what you're sending a message to young people is it can't be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn't be legal.” He reiterated that view at a Meet the Press conference in August of 2015, when he was asked if he would enforce federal law in states where cannabis legal. Rubio responded, “Absolutely. I believe that the federal government needs to enforce federal law.” Earlier this year, Rubio was quoted in the Washington Times as saying, “There is no responsible way to smoke marijuana repeatedly. There's nothing good about it.”

Donald Trump:  Trump's position, however, seems to change with the times. Way back in 1990, he favored the legalization of all drugs, calling the War on Drugs a failure. But when asked at a conference last June how he felt about Colorado's legalization of cannabis, Trump stated, “I say it's bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it's bad, and I feel strongly about it.” At an event just a few months later in October, Trump had this to say: “Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen—right? Don't we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.” He then went on to mention Colorado specifically, saying, “And of course you have Colorado. And I love Colorado and the people are great, but there's a question as to how it's all working out there, you know? That's not going exactly trouble-free. So I really think that we should study Colorado, see what's happening.”

Hillary Clinton: Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton seems generally positive about marijuana legalization at the state level, but seems hesitant to take an official position one way or another. In 2015, Clinton aired her support for legalization in Colorado, saying, “I really believe it’s important that states like Colorado lead the way, so that we can learn what works and what doesn’t work. And I would certainly not want the federal government to interfere with the legal decision made by the people of Colorado, and enforced by your elected officials, as to how you should be conducting this business that you have approved.” As a guest on WBZ Radio in January 2016, Clinton was asked about her stance on marijuana legalization and replied, “I think that states are the laboratories of democracy, and four states have already taken action to legalize, and it will be important that other states and the federal government take account of how that’s being done, what we learn from what they’re doing. I think that the states moving forward is appropriate and I think the federal government has to move to make this more available for research that they can then distribute to interested people across our country.” She went on to explain, “I do think on the federal level we need to remove marijuana from the Schedule I of drugs, move it to Schedule II, which will permit it to be the basis for medical research because it’s important that we learn as much as possible.”

Bernie Sanders: Bernie Sanders is the only candidate so far to take a clear and undeniable stance in favor of federal marijuana legalization. As a senator, Sanders introduced legislation in November 2015 that would result in marijuana being removed from the federal list of controlled substances, and allow states the power to regulate and tax marijuana if they have the desire to do so. Under Sanders's plan, cannabis-based businesses would also be ensured fair and non-discriminatory access to banking services and standard tax deductions just like any other business. According to the Bernie Sanders campaign website, “Bernie favors removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances regulated by federal law. Under Bernie’s proposal, people in states which legalize marijuana no longer would be subject to federal prosecution for using pot. Owners of stores that sell marijuana could fully participate in the banking system, like any other business.” Sanders also seems to favor reforming the way marijuana cases are handled in America's justice system, stating, “Someone in the United States is arrested every minute on marijuana charges. Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change.”

Why it Matters:

Currently, federal laws against marijuana cause complications for many cannabis-based business entrepreneurs in states where commercial cannabis is legal, and the federal classification of marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substance prevents hemp production and manufacturing from being economically viable under present law. Meanwhile, more and more states are seeing voter-led ballot initiatives to make recreational cannabis legal, and states like Colorado where it is already legal are experiencing the benefits of massive profit. Whoever wins the next Presidential election will likely hold heavy sway on determining which way the tide will turn.

Sources:

Marijuana Policy Project, “Where Do they Stand on Marijuana Policy,” Marijuana Policy Project, accessed March 11, 2016, https://www.mpp.org/2016-presidential-candidates/

“Trump Softens Position on Marijuana Legalization,” by Jenna Johnson, The Washington Post online, October 29, 2015, accessed March 11, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/10/29/trump-wants-marijuana-legalization-decided-at-the-state-level/

 

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Marijuana News: Illinois Decriminalizes, Medical Marijuana in Florida, and More

There has been a lot to celebrate lately in world of marijuana legalization news. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both seem to support federal marijuana legalization, Illinois just decriminalized marijuana, California voters will decide on recreational marijuana this November, and marijuana patients in Florida can now get their medicine. Why not toke one in honor of these latest little milestones and victories in marijuana legalization efforts?

Illinois marijuana users in can breathe a small sigh of relief thanks to a recent decision to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana within the state. Instead of facing court, arrest, and potential jail time, people who get caught carrying less than 10 grams of marijuana, intended for personal use, will now be hit with just a fine, set at a maximum of $200. This makes Illinois the seventeenth state to decriminalize marijuana possession in small amounts, and the country's third largest state so far to do so. Medical marijuana is currently regulated in Illinois under a pilot program that's recently been extended into 2020 and expanded to make marijuana available to PTSD and terminal illness patients, but before now, possession of non-medical marijuana in any amount was considered a criminal offense instead of a minor civil offense.

For those of us in Colorado and other states where recreational marijuana is legal and we can just walk right into one of the many marijuana dispensaries and buy some bud or even clones–not to mention the marijuana deals , daily specials, and the wide variety of marijuana strains—the idea of a possible $200 fine just for carrying a joint in your pocket seems ridiculously harsh and unfair, but for people in Illinois, it's a big improvement.

Prior to the bill's signing, people who got caught with even weed residue could potentially be arrested on the spot and taken to jail. Or, you might just get a ticket, all depending on the cop's sole decision. While Chicago and approximately 100 other cities in Illinois had already taken the step of giving police officers the ability to issue citations for minor marijuana offenses rather than making arrests, many of the state's lawmakers had concerns about whether or not the police were being unbiased in how they handled marijuana crimes. Democratic Senator Heather Steans, one of the bill's sponsors, stated, “We’re treating people really differently across the state, and we should be really getting out of that.”

Meanwhile in Florida medical marijuana advocates are celebrating the smallest steps towards progress in a state where marijuana laws have been notoriously harsh. Florida approved the medical use of non-euphoric, high CBD marijuana strains for people who have cancer or other debilitating diseases two years ago, but due to delays and obstacles in getting licenses for dispensaries, it was just last week that the first medical dispensary was able to make its first sale. Still, only high CBD strains that are virtually void of THC are available in Florida, such as the Charlotte's Web strain often prescribed to children who need it for its medical benefits. This means that no matter how much you smoke of the medical weed in Florida, you won't at all get high. That might change with a proposed amendment that will be on the November election ballot. Amendment 2 would make medical marijuana available to more patients and it would also allow for strains containing higher THC content. Not a huge step forward, but a step nonetheless.

Across the country, attitudes about marijuana are rapidly changing as cannabis makes the mainstream news daily and more and more states opt to reexamine and transform their marijuana laws. Marijuana is big business, and for the many states struggling with budget issues, cannabis legalization is beginning to look very appealing. California voters will decide on Proposition 64 this November, a California marijuana legalization initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana sales and impose a 15% sales tax, which if it passes, is expected to generate upwards of one billion dollars in tax revenue in the first year alone. With Hillary Clinton representing a Democratic Party platform that urges a pathway towards federal legalization and Donald Trump contradicting the Republican Party platform by recently saying that both medical and recreational marijuana laws should be left up to the states, marijuana consumers, activists, and entrepreneurs have a lot to be hopeful for.

 

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CannaSaver Blog

Las Vegas Weed Tourist Guide

Posted by CANNASaver on Friday, 16 December 2016 in Canna Blog

Smoking Weed in Las Vegas - A Weed Tourist Guide

Visiting Las Vegas from out of state is an exciting and fun experience, especially if you know how to make the most of your Vegas travel adventures. Whether you're visiting casinos, catching a show, doing some 420 travel or relaxing at a world class spa, there's plenty of sights to see and activities to enjoy in Las Vegas. Here are some tips from the Savvy Stoner to help you make the most of your trip to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Travel Deals

If you're looking for Vegas travel deals, hotel discounts, Las Vegas transportation options, discount Vegas tours or Las Vegas package deals, one good resource to check is VegasWeed.net. Here, you’ll find links and information about legitimate Vegas travel deals. Take some time to shop around and compare prices before you book your trip, and check out online reviews, as well. That bargain hotel might not seem like such a good value when you actually see the place, so it's a good idea to see what other travelers recommend, or go through a site such as VegasWeed.net to make sure you get a true value that meets your expectations.

How to buy weed in Las Vegas

This past November, voters decided to make recreational marijuana legal in Nevada. Starting January 1, 2017, anyone age 21 or older can legally possess and consume up to an ounce of marijuana in Nevada. Dispensaries won't be open for recreational sales however until all the details are ironed out. Officials estimate that we can expect to see the first Nevada recreational dispensaries opening sometime between spring and fall of 2017.

If you're traveling to Las Vegas in the meantime, the good news is that if you have a medical marijuana license from out of state, you can buy weed at any of the medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada. All you need is your out of state medical marijuana card and a valid photo i.d. such as an out of state driver's license or state issued i.d. card.

Las Vegas dispensaries

If you're looking for marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas, you don't have to look too far to find one. Many dispensaries such as Sahara Wellness, Essence Dispensary , and Las Vegas ReLeaf are located on or near the Vegas strip. Another good one to check out is Euphoria Wellness. Located at 7710 S. Jones Blvd, this southwest Las Vegas dispensary offers medical marijuana, concentrates, and other high quality medical marijuana products. You can already get coupons for Euphoria Wellness and find other Vegas weed deals on CannaSaver. There are ounce specials, grams specials, concentrates deals, and more.

More Las Vegas travel info

The key to a good travel experience is preparation - know before you go. If you need more information on Las Vegas marijuana laws or how to get medical marijuana in Nevada, check out VegasWeed.net. Along with Vegas travel deals and the latest marijuana news, there's also up to date information about marijuana laws and regulations in Nevada. You can even apply for your Las Vegas medical marijuana card right on VegasWeed.net. 

Whatever your Las Vegas travel adventures may bring, may you take a moment while you're there to enjoy the green!

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What Medical Marijuana Means for the South

 
Florida has passed medical marijuana into legalization, and they could be responsible for more expansion of the industry than they realize. Since Florida is in close proximity to some particularly anti-marijuana southern states, we may see some similarities between what has been happening in Colorado and what could happen to Florida, but there is a chance that their participation in the industry could lead to a much faster acceptance in surrounding states.

I am from Tennessee, which is not a great place to live if you want marijuana to be an important part of your life, as even with heartbreaking stories of kids with ailments that could be extremely effectively remedied by medical cannabis, the push to get any sort of new state legislation on the plant has always failed. But now that Florida will be cultivating medical marijuana there is most likely going to be an overflow of black market sales from Florida to surrounding states, as that market never completely disappears, even in Colorado where you would think recreational sales would have helped squelch that presence there are still many people who use dispensary deals to make extra money on the side.

Some time ago Colorado came under scrutiny from surrounding states because it was said that their law enforcement was having to deal with more and more issues coming from recreational sales, people crossing state lines with products either just bought for themselves or in some cases just general trafficking. While this is of course a negative it does begin to tear down arguments against marijuana use, especially when you see your state’s populous leaving to go somewhere else to spend their money. This has an interesting effect of encouragement on the public from surrounding states, and can help push a state government to more seriously consider just what it is their state may be losing out on by not having their own medical or recreational programs in place.

The initial effect is generally some degree of exodus, and we will probably see many of the people that genuinely need cannabis for medical purposes moving to Florida from surrounding states. In Colorado’s case this heavily impacted the real estate market, and should they decide to move forward with recreational sales they will also see a great rise in their already substantial tourism industry. But even more important is the presence of an acceptance of marijuana in the south.

The south really has made no advancement in marijuana acceptance or legislation, with the exception of some instances where CBD products are available in medical capacities, but recreational might as well be a curse word. But now that Florida has begun their journey to solidify their own medical market, the southern states will have to sit by and watch as Florida rakes in money that could be theirs if they were to think about some form of legalization. This presence alone is important, as the previous closest place to watch deal with the marijuana industry was Washington D.C. I believe.

I left Tennessee to come to Colorado to be a part of this industry and gain as much experience as I could so that someday I could return and help my home’s market expand as much as possible, but the main reason I left was because I felt that southern states would be among the last to accept any kind of industry existence. But now that Florida has begun their journey I am much more hopeful that the south will take a much harder look at just what can be gained from participation in this growing marijuana world. I just hope that it goes well, so that I can go home someday and help the people close to me.

 

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STATES VOTE YES $8 BILLION EXPECTED

 

Hello, and thank you. It is now time to mark this date in history in yet another forward movement for man kind and conduct happy celebration for the cannabis reception of the century.  Several states now take a position on the pro-cannabis course that's expected to generate at least another $8 billion in cannabis revenues as this ramps up.

 California now joins the union where recreational pot has already been in sales and use; Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. California being the top dog obviously due to the large population has approved recreational cannabis and anticipates an estimated annual revenue of $1.4 billion dollars on rec sales alone. Cali already sees an estimated $2.7 billion from legal medical pot sales.

 Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association said, "Proposition 64 will allow California to take its rightful place as the center of cannabis innovation, research and development. We are very excited that citizens of California voted to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition."

 Chief Ken Corney, president of the California Police Chiefs Association seems a tad bit annoyed as one can assume by his statement, "We are, of course, disappointed that the self-serving moneyed interests behind this marijuana business plan prevailed at the cost of public health, safety, and the wellbeing of our communities.” “We will take a thorough look at the flaws in Proposition 64 that will negatively impact public health and safety, such as the initiative’s substandard advertising restrictions and lack of prosecutorial tools for driving under the influence of marijuana, and begin to develop legislative solutions."  Sort of a buzz kill dude.

abc10 reports that since Proposition 64 passed Tuesday night, adult use of recreational marijuana is now legal in California. People over the age of 21 are now allowed to carry and use up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants for personal use.

 Marijuana will be legal for commercial sale once businesses receive proper licensing, according to California NORML, a group dedicated to reforming the state's marijuana laws.

 

When can you start to Recreationally smoke?

Technically, you may use marijuana without a medical card starting at midnight November 9, 2016. Restricted areas of use include all public places, according to NORML.

So to recap history, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota voted in favor of legalized use, sales, and consumption of medical marijuana. California, Massachusetts and Nevada have voted in favor legalized recreational marijuana in each of their states, but Arizona did not pass.

 

What's the financial future?

 A recent study found that in 2015, the  legalization of cannabis infused Colorado with nearly $120 million in new tax revenue. Sales were closing in on  $1 billion and it's been reported that by the year 2020, the U.S. cannabis industry could reach over $22 billion. More revenue, more career opportunities, less stress on society and more sales at the snack counter. Now that's a perfect world!

 

Enjoy the Now~

Mr.D

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Supreme Court Denies Case of Nebraska and Oklahoma v. Colorado Legal Marijuana Dispute

by Melanie Marquis

The U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision this morning to not take up the case of Nebraska and Oklahoma v. Colorado, and Colorado is breathing a big sigh of relief. On Monday morning, March 7th. The SCOTUS blog posted the following statement:

“The Court issued orders from its March 4 Conference on Monday. It did not grant any new cases.”

Following a closed door meeting this past Friday, March 4th, the court ultimately sided with the opinion of the Justice Department to deny Oklahoma and Nebraska's suit against Colorado.

The case would have held Colorado responsible for increased crime in Oklahoma and Nebraska that the suing states claimed to be a result of Colorado's legal marijuana.

If the case had come before the Supreme Court and the ruling was in favor of the plaintiffs, the commercial cannabis industry could have been completely crushed. If Oklahoma and Nebraska and Oklahoma had gotten their way, Amendment 64 which made commercial cannabis legal in Colorado would be deemed unconstitutional based on its violation of the constitution's Supremacy Clause. Whenever federal and state laws are in conflict, federal laws take precedent over state laws. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, so technically, Colorado and all other legal weed states are in violation of this rule. To the dismay of Nebraska and Oklahoma, however, not everything is always so cut and dry. The Justice Department itself has urged federal officers to make persecuting non-violent marijuana crimes in legal weed states a low priority, so building a case against Colorado based on its violation of federal drug policy proved a weak angle of focus and thanks to the high court's decision to not take up the case, commercial cannabis consumers, business owners, and industry professional's say its a positive for the marijuana industry.

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CannaSaver Blog

Marijuana Most Certainly Trumped the Election!

Posted by CANNASaver on Thursday, 10 November 2016 in Canna Blog

Marijuana Won Big with More States Voting Yes for Recreational or MMJ

The 2016 election results are rolling in, and more states have voted to legalize recreational marijuana. With several states also voting to expand or legalize medical marijuana, it's a greener day today in America. Recreational marijuana legalization was on the ballot in Massachusetts, California, Maine, Arizona, and Nevada, while voters in Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota and Montana faced ballot questions relating to the initiation or expansion of medical marijuana programs. Cannabis activists around the country put in countless hours of work campaigning for marijuana legalization, and while their efforts didn't win out across the board, the 2016 election results are a definite win for marijuana.

Here are the state by state election results for recreational marijuana legalization and medical marijuana

Massachusetts marijuana election results

Massachusetts voters decided on Question 4 legalizing marijuana throughout the state. With 96% of people precincts reporting, the Massachusetts Question 4 results were 54% in favor of marijuana legalization with a lead of over 230,000 votes. Recreational marijuana will now be legalized in Massachusetts.

This measure allows for the sale, cultivation, use, and distribution of marijuana for adults age 21 or older and establishes a system for regulating and taxing retail marijuana sales.

California recreational marijuana election results

California voters decided to approve Proposition 64 legalizing recreational marijuana throughout the state. With 96% of the votes counted, Proposition 64 was leading by more than 1,000,000 votes. These California election results legalize marijuana recreational sales, possession, and cultivation.

Arizona election results for marijuana legalization

In Arizona election results for Proposition 205 did not legalize marijuana possession for adults age 21 and older. With 98% of the votes counted, there were over 80,000  more votes opposing Proposition 205 than there were votes in favor of marijuana legalization. For now, recreational marijuana remains illegal in Arizona.

Maine marijuana legalization election results

Maine voters decided on marijuana legalization initiative that would legalize marijuana possession of up to 2 ½ ounces and allow residents to grow up to six marijuana plants. At the time of this writing,the vote is extremely close with those in favor of Maine marijuana legalization having a slight lead. With 90% of precincts reporting, the marijuana legalization initiative had earned 50% of the votes with a less than 5,000 vote difference between those in favor and those opposed.

Nevada marijuana election results

Nevada marijuana election results have legalized marijuana possession and recreational sales, establishing a 15% sales tax and giving established medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada the first opportunity to apply for a recreational marijuana sales license. The Nevada marijuana legalization initiative passed by a very slim margin of less than 100,000 votes.

Arkansas marijuana legalization election results

In Arkansas voters decided in favor of medical marijuana legalization by a slim margin of less than 70,000 votes. The election results for Arkansas marijuana legalization Issue 6 legalizes marijuana use for 17 different medical conditions.

Florida medical marijuana election results

Florida has legalized medical marijuana.Florida medical marijuana election results legalize marijuana use for approved debilitating conditions and diseases. Amendment 2 passed by a wide margin. With 100% of precincts reporting, 71% of voters chose to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, with nearly 4,000,000 more votes in favor than in opposition.

Montana marijuana election results

Montana voters decided to expand the state’s medical marijuana program, voting in favor of Montana medical marijuana initiative I-182. With 97% reporting, the medical marijuana measure had won 57% of the vote. These election results repeal the three patient limit imposed on medical marijuana providers, adds PTSD and chronic pain to the list of approved conditions, and paves the way for the expansion of the medical marijuana industry in Montana.

North Dakota medical marijuana election results

North Dakota medical marijuana election results are in favor of medical marijuana legalization by a 64% margin. North Dakota Measure 5 legalizes medical marijuana for epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer, ALS, and several other specified conditions.

Marijuana Legalization across America

These 2016 election results show that the tides have turned in favor of marijuana. Marijuana legalization is being adopted by more and more states, and if the trend continues, marijuana legalization at the federal level seems almost inevitable. For now, marijuana entrepreneurs in the newly legal marijuana states are scrambling to get their business plans in place and their applications ready to file, and marijuana activists are celebrating victories while looking ahead to a time when marijuana is legal across America.

 

 

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What the 2016 Election Means for Legal Marijuana

As the 2016 election draws near, the cannabis industry and community is waiting anxiously to see what a new administration will mean for legal marijuana. Will the many marijuana dispensaries be allowed to remain open under a new administration? Will marijuana become legal across the country, or will legal weed be completely shut down? Which candidate is likely to win, and where do the top candidates and political parties stand on the issue of legal cannabis? With billions of dollars at stake and access to medication on the line, the future of cannabis effects millions of Americans. Here is a breakdown of how cannabis legalization might be handled under a Clinton, Trump, or Stein administration.

Clinton and the Democrats on Cannabis:

In 2007, Hillary Clinton summarized her feelings on marijuana legalization by saying “I don't think we should decriminalize it,” and in 2016, her official stance is that she does support moving marijuana from the Schedule 1 list of controlled substances, which are considered the most dangerous, to the Schedule 2 class of drugs where it would reside along other prescription medications such as opium and codeine. If marijuana does end up reclassified to Schedule 2, it could possibly lead to further prohibitions on the sale of cannabis as marijuana could potentially become subject to the same rules and FDA regulations as other prescription drugs.

The Democratic party as a whole seems to be taking the smallest of steps beyond Clinton's stance, deciding at the Democratic National Committee's 2016 National Platform meeting to endorse an amendment that would recommend legalizing marijuana federally and offer legal marijuana businesses protection from federal interference. The amendment would stop short of truly decriminalizing marijuana nationwide, however. Marijuana would be legal at a federal level, but it would be up to states to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to keep marijuana illegal or legal within their own state borders. The vote in support of endorsing the marijuana amendment passed with only a one vote margin, with a sharp division between Bernie Sanders supporters in favor and Hillary Clinton supporters opposed.

Trump and the Republicans on Cannabis

Meanwhile, cannabis legalization in any form doesn't seem to be anywhere on the Republican radar, despite the number of Veterans and others who depend on marijuana for medical reasons. Neither medical marijuana nor marijuana decriminalization or even reclassification will be a part of the 2016 Republican platform. Donald Trump, meanwhile, sounds a whole lot like Clinton. He seems to favor medical marijuana and says that states should decide their own marijuana laws without federal interference. Without the backing of his party on these endeavors, however, many are skeptical about his ability to actually carry any of that out.

Stein and the Green Party on Cannabis

Jill Stein and the Green Party as a whole are in full support of marijuana legalization, for both medical as well as recreational marijuana. Stein believes that “Marijuana is a drug that is dangerous because it's illegal. It isn't illegal because it's dangerous.” The official platform of the Green Party states that “Cannabis/Hemp is to be legalized, regulated and controlled like cigarettes and alcohol. Until this happens we advocate that medical marijuana be made a prescription drug that doctors may prescribe to their patients.” If Stein were to win the presidency, efforts to truly legalize marijuana across our country at both the national and state levels could be expected and the marijuana industry could breathe a sigh of relief.

Who will win?

In a poll last week following the Republican National Convention, Trump and Clinton appeared to be very close in popularity, with Clinton scoring 41% of supporters to Trump's 38%. The poll, conducted by Reuters/Ipsos, surveyed 1036 English-speaking voters in 50 states. However, polling numbers are traditionally less accurate during this time period, with candidates often getting a short-lived boost following official nomination at the Party conventions. The New York Times presidential forecast gives Hillary Clinton a 74% chance to win. Does Jill Stein have a chance? If the thousands of marijuana business owners and millions of marijuana users decide to put protecting and expanding legal cannabis above other political concerns, Stein could very well become our country's next president. Only time will tell, so for now, smoke it if you've got it!

 

 

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DEA to Reclassify Marijuana: Official Confirms Looming Marijuana Decision

In a recent interview with aNewDomain, DEA staff coordinator Russ Baer confirmed reports that the DEA is considering reclassifying marijuana off the Schedule 1 list of controlled substances, and indicated that the enforcement of marijuana policy is not a top priority for the federal agency. Although stopping short of offering any specific details about how exactly marijuana might be reclassified, Baer did confirm the genuineness of a recently leaked letter from the DEA to the senate that stated the agency was hoping to reach a decision on whether or not to reclassify marijuana by mid-year. Baer downplayed the mid-year estimate though, stating, “We aren't holding ourselves to any artificial timeframe.”

While an official decision is still yet to be announced, speculation is strong that the DEA will indeed reclassify marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 2 drug sometime this summer. Recently, an anonymous attorney for the DEA was reported by the Santa Monica Observer as stating that the DEA would soon reclassify marijuana to the schedule 2 list, sending marijuana industries and cannabis communities into watch and wait mode. The DEA's decision to reclassify marijuana to schedule 2 could have a significant impact on both the recreational marijuana and medical marijuana industries, and feelings are mixed as potential effects and consequences are still unclear.

Reclassifying marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 2 drug makes medical marijuana legal at the federal level. This means that residents of any state could obtain a medical prescription for marijuana and be able to legally use it without fear of criminal charges, neither at the state nor federal level. “We’re not going to go chase after the mom who picks up cannabinol (CBD) in (one) state for her epileptic child and takes it to another state … ,” Baer stated.   

A reclassification to Schedule 2 would also remove many of the current legal obstacles to cannabis research, which could in turn help pave the way for new medical advances and discoveries. Baer explained, “We want there to be research on marijuana and its component parts, there needs to be (more) studies about both the benefits and the adverse effects about marijuana... We want to remove the roadblocks for (cannabis research.)”

While some marijuana activists that have been pushing for medical legalization at a federal level see a DEA decision to reclassify marijuana to Schedule 2 as a step in the right direction, others feel it doesn't go far enough and in fact could greatly inhibit the progress that's been made towards achieving full-scale marijuana legalization for recreational as well as medical purposes. The DEA divides controlled substances into five categories, or Schedules, based on accepted medical benefits and abuse potential. Drugs on the Schedule 1 list, where marijuana currently resides, are considered the most dangerous, with the highest potential for abuse and health risks, and no known medical benefits. Schedule 2 drugs are acknowledged as having some medical benefit, but they are still considered dangerous with high abuse and health risk potentials. The Controlled Substance Act is worded in a way that specifies Schedule 2 drugs can't be dispensed without a prescription, so a reclassification of marijuana to Schedule 2 could potentially destroy the recreational marijuana industry as we know it. It all depends on the specifics of how the drug is classified and how regulations are applied. As an official announcement on reclassifying marijuana is awaited, all eyes are on the DEA and many fingers are crossed that the details of the decision will allow for states to make their own choices regarding recreational marijuana.

 

 

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