On Monday, Nevada’s Secretary of State Ross Miller approved an official petition to add marijuana legalization to the 2016 November ballot. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol needed to file 102,000 signatures but ultimately filed about 200,000. If passed, the measure would establish marijuana cultivation and distribution businesses as well as legalize adult possession of up to an ounce. The measure leaves intact the medical marijuana law and allows home grows of six plants per person, up to twelve plants per household, and allows possession of an eighth ounce of concentrates. The measure will set buffers of allowed marijuana establishments to be 1000 feet from schools and 300 feet from community facilities. Licenses will also be rationed by county population with a limit of 130 statewide. Licenses will cost a non-refundable $5,000 fee, plus $10,000 license for an infused product manufacturer, $15,000 for a tester or distributor, $20,000 for a retail store, and $30,000 for a commercial grow.
A majority of Americans want each state to decide its own marijuana laws and don’t want federal interference with those that legalize cannabis. A report released Monday by centrist think tank Third Way says 60 percent of American voters believe states should decide whether to legalize marijuana. And 67 percent of Americans want a new federal law that would make states that legalize medical or recreational marijuana “safe haven” from U.S. laws against cannabis, as long as the states have a strong regulatory framework. “This ‘waive but restrict’ framework would provide consistency and protect public safety more effectively than either current law or the other policy proposals on the table,” Third Way says in a report. Some members of Congress have been working for years to reform U.S. marijuana laws. About a dozen bills were introduced in 2013 aimed at limiting the federal government’s ability to interfere with states’ legal marijuana programs. Congress has failed to pass those bills.
Most Wyoming residents say they’re in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical, but not recreational, use according to a University of Wyoming poll. The poll, which included 768 residents statewide and was released Wednesday, found 72 percent of respondents support marijuana use if it is prescribed by a physician, but only 35 percent support its recreational use. Support for recreational marijuana has increased slightly since a 2000 University of Wyoming poll, which found that 23 percent of residents were in favor. The poll also found 62 percent of residents were in favor of reducing penalties for marijuana possession and not having jail sentences while 32 percent support jail sentences.
All medical marijuana collectives in Tacoma, Washington, could soon have to shut down. City leaders addressed plans last week to send out letters to cease operations as early as January, as they are not licensed under Initiative 502. Both business owners and patients are now expressing concerns. An estimated 50 collectives could soon be forced to close their doors. The Tacoma City Council revealed a plan to shut down unregulated pot shops in the start of the new year. “Ultimately, with these collective gardens, we respect the work that they’ve done and the work that went into this process, but there’s just such legal ambiguity and another concern is that there’s such a proliferation or concentration of these stores in certain neighborhoods,” said Tacoma City Council Member Anders Ibsen.
Recent research shows cannabis correlates to reduced domestic violence. This Saturday, it does one better and helps take guns off the street. San Francisco cannabis dispensaries Barbary Coast, Grass Roots, and The Green Door are helping to provide $40,000 for a gun buyback on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre this weekend. Honoring all lives lost to violence, United Playaz will conduct the buyback on Saturday Dec. 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m at 1038 Howard St. in San Francisco, between 6th and 7th Streets. Handguns are worth $100 and assault weapons are worth $200. Following the event, organizers ask folks to join them at U.N. Plaza from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. to mark the two-year anniversary of the massacre of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, CT.
When a New Mexico high school student wrote about Jesus and marijuana for a creative writing assignment, that caused some controversy in Rio Rancho — now a teacher at the school is off the job. The assignment was to take a fairy tale or legend and rewrite it in modern times. One student changed the biblical story about Jesus handing out bread and fish to the poor to Jesus handing out marijuana to the sick.