Prop. 19: California Marijuana Legalization Measure Loses

5 11 2010

In a contest that pitted the legal establishment against activists that have long sought the measure’s approval, California voters snuffed out a proposal that would have legalized recreational marijuana for adults over age 21 and permit the state to tax commercial sale of the drug.

Yes we cannabisCalifornia was the only state with a measure on recreational pot, but South Dakota and Arizona ballots included medical marijuana initiatives, South Dakota’s Measure 13 went down in flames, 63 percent to 37 percent. Arizona’s Proposition 203 was statistically on the fence, though no-votes were ahead by about 7,000 with 92 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning. There are currently 14 states, and the District of Columbia, with forms of medical marijuana laws.

The proposal – titled the “Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act” – would have allowed adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of pot, consume it in nonpublic places as long as no children were present and grow it in small private plots. Proposition 19 also would have authorized local governments to permit commercial pot cultivation, as well as the sale and use of marijuana at licensed establishments.

Projections in California and by the National Council of State Legislatures show the measure has gone down to defeat by a significant margin, with 54 percent voting no compared with a 46 percent yes vote with most precincts reporting – rejecting a low-budget but high-profile campaign that could have set a groundbreaking trend for the rest of the nation. Advocates had argued that the proposal, known as Proposition 19, would have provided the cash-strapped state with a significant revenue stream and helped ease the overburdened court system, while opponents contended the measure’s approval would have created legal and social chaos.

Supporters of Proposition 19 blamed Tuesday’s outcome on the conservative leanings of older voters who participate in midterm elections. They also acknowledged that young voters had not turned out in sufficient numbers to secure victory, but said they were ready to try again in two years.

“It’s still a historic moment in this very long struggle to end decades of failed marijuana prohibition,” said Stephen Gutwillig, California director for the Drug Policy Project. “Unquestionably, because of Proposition 19, marijuana legalization initiatives will be on the ballot in a number of states in 2012, and California is in the mix.”

Tim Rosales, who managed the No on 19 campaign, scoffed at that attitude from the losing side.

“If they think they are going to be back in two years, they must be smoking something,” he said. “This is a state that just bucked the national trend and went pretty hard on the Democratic side, but yet in the same vote opposed Prop 19.”

According to preliminary exit poll data, only about 1 voter in 10 said that his or her main motivation to vote in this election was Prop. 19.

Voters younger than 40 were slightly more drawn by the marijuana contest than older voters, but even among the younger voters, Prop. 19 came in third.

By far, the pot legalization initiative drew worldwide attention, but support for the measure had been sinking leading up to Tuesday’s ballot, according to recent polls. As late as Tuesday, Oakland City Attorney John Russo – a leading proponent of the pot plan – signaled its fading prospects during a Bay Area press conference.

“Even if we are cheated out of a win today, we have changed the debate from licentious hippies-versus-straight-arrow cops to one that recognizes this issue in all of its complexity,” Russo said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

 

Sources: Politico





Oakland legalizes Marijuana Farms

26 07 2010

Will this be the future? A project made by Gropech

Oakland’s City Council late Tuesday adopted regulations permitting industrial-scale marijuana farms, a plan that some small farmers argued would squeeze them out of the industry they helped to build.

To address concerns from smaller farmers, the council pledged to create regulations on regulating small- and medium-size marijuana farms this year. Council members and proponents of marijuana cultivation regulation viewed the proposal as smart public policy: It would generate revenue, ensure that fire and building codes are enforced, keep neighborhoods safe from robberies, and further position Oakland as the center of the state’s cannabis economy.

“It’s really important for Oakland to be a vital part of that growth and development for licensed facilities,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan.

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Will California be the pioneer in drug policy changes?

21 07 2010

Legalize-cannabisCalifornia — In 1971 a group of teenagers in San Rafael, north of San Francisco, started meeting after school, at 4:20 p.m., to get high. The habit spread, and 420 became code for fun time among potheads worldwide.

Ever since, California has remained in the vanguard of global cannabis culture. Oaksterdam University in Oakland is today unique in the world as a sort of Aristotelian lyceum for the study of all aspects — horticultural, scientific, historical — of the weed.

Legally, California has also been a pioneer, at least within America. In 1996 it was the first state to allow marijuana to be grown and consumed for medicinal purposes. Since then, 13states and the District of Columbia have followed, and others are considering it.

But this year California may set a more fundamental, and global, precedent. It may become the first jurisdiction in the world to legalize, regulate and tax the consumption, production and distribution of marijuana. Read the rest of this entry »





Cannabis tax in California would generate 1.2 Bil.$ a year!

16 07 2010

California — Here’s a sure sign that  marijuana dispensaries are on their way to becoming big business: On July 13 the city council of Berkeley, Calif., asked voters to approve a 2.5 percent tax on the city’s  marijuana outlets, three of which grossed a total of $19 million last year, all cash. “This is huge,” says Mayor Tom Bates.

A dispensary in Oakland, Ca.

The tax will not only help close a $16.2 million budget gap, but it also makes sure that as the sale of pot goes mass market, the local community benefits, not outside business interests, Bates says. “We don’t want to have Philip Morris coming in here, sucking up all the money.”

Taxing pot sales is a growing trend across the nation as fiscally challenged cities eye the public’s budding acceptance of cannabis use. Denver has generated $1.2 million since December, when the city began collecting sales taxes from its 256 dispensaries. On June 15, Washington, D.C., approved a 6 percent tax on what will eventually be five dispensaries. Read the rest of this entry »





Oakland imposes a tax on the sale of medicinal marijuana!

28 07 2009

Oaksterdam, medicinal marijuana, medical marijuana, kush, og kush

The city of Oakland became the first place in America to impose a tax on the sale of medicinal marijuana this week in what has been seen as a huge step on the path towards marijuana’s eventual decriminalization. Famed for its liberal stance on the subject, Oakland (fondly dubbed Oaksterdam by the cannabis community) city council backed the move by unanimously voting through a proposition to allow voters a chance to have their say on Measure F.

Proposed by the city’s 4 “cannabis clubs” themselves as a way of contributing towards the local economy, Measure F imposes a tax of 1.8% on the sale of medical marijuana – $18 on every $1000 sold. “It is important because the city of Oakland is facing a massive deficit like many jurisdictions in California,” says Steve DeAngelo, a leader of one of the city’s cannabis clubs.. “And we decided to step up to the plate and make a contribution to the city in a time of need.” Measure F was passed into state law last Tuesday with 80% of voters backing the proposal in a special postal ballot.

Source: CNN.com





Dutch police to crack down on cannabis export

22 10 2008

Source: NRC.nl Photo: Flip Fransen

Last saturday the Dutch newspaper NRC handelsblad published an interview with the head of the Dutch cannabis task force Max Daniel. Obviously the original interview in the newspaper was in Dutch, however NRC has been so kind to provide an version for their English audience.

This interview is very interesting because it seems to hold a negative opinion about cannabis and the way the Dutch decriminalisation system works. By doing so however, it presents an excellent case for the legalisation of cannabis.

Mr. Daniel points out in this interview that the Dutch cannabis trade is largely controlled by organised crime and that he is planning to crack down on these organisations. At the same time he also points out that it is not his intention to close any of the coffeeshops.

As many of you may know coffeeshops are allowed to sell a maximum of 5 grams of cannabis per person to the consumer. At the same time the supply side of these coffeeshops is still illegal. As Mr. Daniel emphasises he wants to stop criminals at the supply side of the cofffeeshop. How is he going to achieve this without closing the coffeeshops? There seems to be somewhat of a contradiction in his statements?

There is only one way to achieve this and that is to fully regulate the market, both supply to and from coffeeshops should be legal and regulated, this is the only way to effectively prevent criminal organisations from taking part in the cannabis trade in the Netherlands.

Another interesting point is the figure below on Dutch cannabis exports. How do they estimate this figure? Are all the tourist that buy cannabis in a coffeeshop and smoke it in the Netherlands included in these export figures? If they are not, they should be, as by definition this is export too. Does that mean the Dutch government, who taxes the sales in coffeeshops, is part of this “criminal” conspiracy to export Cannabis?

Police to crack down on cannabis export

Source: NRC.nl Published: 20 October 2008

Dutch cannabis growers earn around 2 billion euros from exporting marijuana to the rest of the world every year, says police commissioner Max Daniel who heads a task force set up by the government this summer. An interview with the police chief who has been appointed to crack down on criminal organisations involved in the illegal trade.

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