Colorado legislates legal cannabis rules, Washington hands task to Alcohol Board
By Jeremy Daw, JD, weedthepeoplebook.com
Since two states legalized adult cannabis sales and use last November, they have taken different approaches to the voter mandates. Colorado’s Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, an appointed body of experts and bureaucrats, has released its final recommendations for how to treat cannabis businesses in the state’s new legal regime. By contrast, Washington State has outsourced much of its implementation of Initiative 502 to an outside group.
Colorado’s A-64, approved by a 55-45 margin by voters, placed a constitutional imperative on state bureaucrats to regulate so-called “recreational” cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol, but many of the specific regulations like tax rates and cultivation restrictions were left unaddressed by the voter-approved ballot initiative. The Task Force’s recommendations, which are preliminary and non-binding, are thus the first proposed rules for many specific
Read More: Two states take different approaches to legalization
By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
California medical marijuana patient Daisy Brant has had her infant child literally torn from her breast twice to be handed over to Child Protective Services and been charged with child abuse because police found medical marijuana growing in her home. She won the first case, got her child back, was raided again and is now fighting the second case as a new published study shows how wrong and cruel the police have been in this and other cases in what amounts to little more than what Brant has called “government-sanctioned child-stealing.”
“The role of child protection in grow-operations,” a study in the March 2013 International Journal of Drug Policy, shows that children who live in homes where marijuana is being cultivated do not suffer from adverse health effects at any greater rate than do comparable children in cannabis-free environments.
A pair of investigators
Read More: Study: Home marijuana gardens not a health risk for children
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful and top-ranking leaders of the Democratic Party in the US, told a Denver Post columnist that she agrees that federal authorities ought to respect state marijuana laws.
When Electa Draper asked, “What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that legalize marijuana and what is your view of federal policy,” Pelosi expressed her support for state laws and encouraged a tax and regulate marijuana policy in an interview published March 11, 2013.
“I support the leadership of Jared Polis, who has been a leader on this issue as well as other members. I understand some of the Republican members support the law now that is passed, even if they didn’t before. But in any case, to answer your question, what is my position regarding the states that have medical marijuana or recreational marijuana as the law
Read More: Top House Democrat supports state-regulated cannabis
By Morgan Fox, mpp.org
In the wake of the historic, voter approved legalization in Colorado and Washington, members of state and national government have been reacting in a number of ways.
Officials in Colorado and Washington are respecting the will of the people and have begun implementation of the new laws. Prosecution of adults for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana have ceased in both states. Lawmakers in Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are expected to introduce bills in 2013 to tax and regulate it like alcohol. Senator Patrick Leahy, current head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to the US Drug Czar in December to suggest a legislative solution to the conflict between federal and state law.
How the federal government will react to these laws is uncertain. Since cultivation and sale of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the government could simply
Read More: How the federal government might respond to legal marijuana
The question of which state would be first to legalize adult use of cannabis and take steps to regulate its production and sale has been put to rest. Colorado voters came in first on Nov. 6, 2012 just ahead of Washington state voters by a time zone difference of one hour. Both campaigns have earned our respect and warm congratulations, and ripples are being felt around the world. Meanwhile, Massachusetts voters elected to become the 17th state to give recognition and protection to medical marijuana.
This came less than a month after the Netherlands restored its local option policy that allows cities such as Amsterdam to continue to welcome international tourists into their cannabis coffeeshops. These combined events have sent shockwaves out across the world and are resounding in the national deliberations of Mexico, South and Central America and they may soon affect international marijuana treaties — if Spain, Portugal and Uruguay decide it’s time to make their move
Read More: The shapes of legalization to come
As the West Coast Leaf goes on hiatus, as announced in our previous issue, we would like to again thank our writers, advertisers, subscribers and helpers for making it possible for us to publish “the cannabis newspaper of record.”
These past five years have been among the most exciting in the history of reform, and we are glad to have played a role in informing and inspiring people to create change. See WestCoastLeaf.com as to our future plans
By Jeffrey Steinborn, Attorney at law, potbust.org
While everyone you know may think it’sfine to use cannabis responsibly, 750,000Americans get busted for it every year.Here are 10 keys to staying out of jail.
1. Break only one law at a time. If you’reholding or using cannabis — that’s one.Don’t break any more. Particularly in yourcar, all laws must be religiously obeyed.
2. Practice home hygiene. Sooner or later,someone is going to come to your housewho might turn you in if s/he sees somethingsuch as a pipe, a joint, a bud or agrow room. These things should alwaysbe kept where they can’t be seen.
3. Never invite trouble home, and don’tdo things that bring police to your house.Smoke out back, away from the frontdoor.
4. Protect the privacy of your home as bestyou can. Remember noise and odors travel.‘Private property’ signs, gates andfences give your lawyer a chance to arguethat
Read More: How to not get busted
I-502 wins with 11% margin
By Doug Honig | ACLU of Washington Communications Director
Voters in Washington State gave Initiative 502 (I-502) an 11-point margin of victory Nov. 6, 2012 to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and over, sending a clear message that the public is ready for a change in policy.
The impact of the vote was seen even before I-502 took effect on Dec. 6. Prosecutors in several major counties dropped cases against people arrested under the old law, saying it didn’t make sense to pursue prosecutions for conduct that soon would be legal. They also knew it would be difficult to get a jury to convict.
I-502 makes adult possession of an ounce of marijuana permissible under state law, but not cultivation. During a year-long process that ends in December 2013, the State Liquor Control board will create a system for licensing the
Read More: Washington measure takes conservative tack