54 percent of Oregonians would support marijuana legalization, according to a new poll released by Oregon Public Broadcasting. Strong support for the question “Would you support or oppose Oregon legalizing marijuana for adults 21 and older?” came in at 35 percent, while strong opposition came in at 29 percent. Currently, two organizations are sponsoring citizen initiative petition drives to put three different legalization measures on the November 2014 ballot. The Campaign for the Restoration & Regulation of Hemp is a grassroots campaign promoting regulation which would legalize possession and cultivation limits equal to medical marijuana in the state at 24 plants and 24 ounces. New Approach Oregon is promoting regulation limited to 4 plants and 8 ounces, backed by national organizations and big money funders. Those initiatives need over 87,000 signatures. CRRH is also sponsoring a constitutional amendment that grants citizens the right to grow and possess personal amounts of cannabis, subject to regulation. That initiative needs over 116,000 signatures.
The Los Angeles County Jail is releasing an innocent man jailed on drug charges for a second time. Six years ago, Gerber Guzman was a victim of identity theft. Guzman’s identity was then used by a drug dealer who eventually had a warrant placed for his arrest. The real drug dealer was never caught, but Guzman was and placed under arrest. After sixteen days in jail, Guzman was finally released when US Marshals realized Guzman’s fingerprints didn’t match the drug dealer’s fingerprints on file. Now, six years later and with his wife eight months pregnant, Guzman was pulled over for an expired registration when the police picked up on the outstanding warrant DEA had placed for the drug dealing identity thief. This time, Guzman was locked up for eleven days before his wife’s pleas brought the local CBS affiliate in to investigate. Guzman’s wife to the station, “They told us it wasn’t going to happen again, and fast-forward six years later, it happened again.”
The chairman of the House Subcommittee reviewing the District of Columbia’s new decriminalization law claims his thoughts on the issue are “evolving”. Rep. John Mica, a Republican from Florida, said, “No decision has been made yet whether Congress will contest or attempt to overturn the District law that has been passed.” In March, the District City Council and the Mayor signed a decrim law that makes possession of an ounce or less a mere $25 civil fine. Congress has the authority to overturn any law passed in Washington DC, but if they do not act within sixty legislative days, the law stands. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents DC in Congress, notes, “Red and blue states alike have decriminalized marijuana, from California to New York, from Mississippi to Nebraska. And yet the District of Columbia is the only jurisdiction that has gotten a full-fledged hearing on its local decriminalization law.”
Medical marijuana proponents in Oklahoma should begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative in a couple of weeks and a proposed legalization initiative may follow soon after. In addition to giving adults the right to cultivate six plants, possess an ounce outside the home, and share marijuana with other adults, the legalization proposal would also eliminate felony penalties for second convictions of any amount of marijuana. Not only would Oklahoma legalize marijuana stores and commercial production, it would become the first state to allow for the export of marijuana to other legal states. 82 percent of Oklahomans in a recent SoonerPoll believe legalization should be up to the states, 71 percent support medical marijuana, and 57 percent support decriminalization of an ounce. The poll did not ask about legalization. Both initiatives would need to collect over 155,000 valid signatures to be placed on the November ballot.
Colorado recreational marijuana sales have increased for the third month in a row, according to the latest data from the Marijuana Enforcement Division of the state Department of Revenue. $14 million in recreational pot was sold in February and that increased to $19 million in March as more pot shops opened for business and previous shortages in production are being filled. In the three months of Colorado’s legal recreational marijuana industry, $7.2 million in tax money has been generated for the state, with another $5.3 million in tax revenue generated by the medical marijuana industry.
Leafly, the smartphone app that’s been dubbed “the Yelp of cannabis”, was named GeekWire.com’s App of the Year at annual awards ceremony in Seattle. Leafly has been downloaded over 1.4 million times and was chosen in a public vote for the GeekWire Awards that honor the top tech innovations in the Pacific Northwest. Leafly beat out such tech heavyweights as Microsoft in capturing the award.