Colorado became the first U.S. state to regulate and tax sales of recreational marijuana yesterday, the Denver Post reports. Legislators levied a 15 percent excise tax, and a 10 percent sales tax on cannabis in order to pay for enforcing regulations like capping marijuana sales to Colorado visitors at a quarter of an ounce, a six-plant limit on pot gardens, mandatory child-resistant packaging, potency information and serving-size limits for edible marijuana. How grown-up!
The California Supreme Court upheld the right of cities and counties to ban medical cannabis dispensaries today in a unanimous decision with major ramifications for the state.
"We granted review. We now conclude the Court of Appeal‘s judgment must be affirmed," Justice Marvin Baxter wrote for the Court.
Cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and West Hollywood that have regulated medical marijuana collectives operating in storefronts — i.e., dispensaries — won't be affected, but the decision buttresses the bans of dozens of cities and counties like Riverside and Walnut Creek. And the decision will become a huge factor in cities and counties still on the fence about dispensary bans, as well as in the legislature, where efforts are afoot to regulate the state's estimated $1.3 billion medical cannabis industry.
US judges should and could immediately end the War on Drugs, because institutional racism creates unequal protections for whites compared to minorities, researchers say. “We think that it is not possible for the State of California to justify the scheme of total marijuana prohibition, because the racism behind marijuana prohibition in the early 1900s is patent, beyond the pale, and totally indefensible, and also because the data analysis presented here on arrests for marijuana offenses shows a disparate impact with regard to the arrests of Blacks and Hispanics,” wrote Florida Atlantic University assistant professor Mirya Holman and Kennesaw State University professor Kenneth Michael White in their paper 'Marijuana Prohibition in California: Racial Prejudice and Selective Arrests' (subscription), published in the academic journal Race, Gender and Class.
A bill that would shield state-legal marijuana activity faces long odds in Congress this year, even though polls show 60 percent of Americans think Uncle Sam should leave legalization up to the states. No wonder Congress has such a abysmally low approval rating of 15 percent.
A new bill to regulate California's $1.3 billion medical marijuana industry cleared its first hurdle yesterday: the Assembly's public safety committee.
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano's AB 473 would license everyone in the commercial medical marijuana supply chain — from growers to stores — through the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Private patients, caregivers and collectives would be exempt.
A bill to regulate California's estimated $1.3 billion medical marijuana industry is scheduled to get its first hearing in an Assembly committee Tuesday. San Francisco Rep. Tom Ammiano's AB 473 would make everyone in the commercial medical marijuana supply chain register with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The ABC would fill in most of the blanks later. It looks a lot like Colorado's medical marijuana rulemaking process.
The state of Washington has tentatively chosen UC Los Angeles professor of public policy Mark Kleiman and his firm Botec Analysis Corp. to consult with them on implementing the state's marijuana legalization Initiative 502.
Based on experience with Kleiman through reporting on his book Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, as well as hearing of his reputation — it sounds like the state made a pretty good choice. Kleiman isn't some drug warrior hell-bent on pursuing disastrous public policy, nor is he some weed-cures-everything fanatic who lacks credibility. He'll give it to Washingtonians straight.
The legal production of industrial hemp in California made progress in the form of two bills recently introduced in our state legislature.
Sen. Mark Leno drafted SB 566, a revision of a hemp bill that was introduced last year but shot down by Governor Brown. Leno's latest bill does not set up a pilot program, but authorizes general cultivation of industrial hemp.
The California Supreme Court appeared ready in oral arguments Tuesday to uphold a city's right to ban dispensaries.
About two hundred California cities and counties have banned lawful medical marijuana collectives from distributing the drug in storefronts for cash to patients, including the city of Riverside. Dozens of others like San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, and Hollywood tax and regulate clubs. In 2012 Riverside shut down Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center (IEPHWC), citing a local ordinance that labels dispensaries a nuisance.
"Elections have consequences," the saying goes, and the city of San Diego narrowly elected former Congressman and medical marijuana ally Bob Filner in November.
Now, Filner's coming out swinging against San Diego's persecution of medical cannabis patients and their providers. City officials working with the federal government have closed hundreds of dispensaries in the area over the past fifteen months and denied medical pot providers legal defenses guaranteed to them under the California constitution.
"With the support of people like Safe Access I was elected Mayor of San Diego and I thank you," Filner told Americans for Safe Access San Diego this week.