Jan 062015

The Russ Belville Show #517 420RADIO News – Arizona Rep Files Marijuana Legalization Bill [2015-01-06 Tue]

A state representative has introduced a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana use in Arizona.  The bill, House Bill 2007, would allow anyone 21 or older to legally possess up to an ounce of the drug.  Someone 21 or over could legally grow five marijuana plants; up to an ounce of marijuana could be exchanged between of-age consumers, but could not be sold.  A tax of $50 would be levied on every ounce transferred from a grow facility to a retail store.  Fifty percent of the tax would go into Arizona’s general fund, 30 percent would go toward education; the remainder would go to public health and educational programs.  Public smoking would continue to be banned and landlords would have the right to ban not only cultivation but also consumption of marijuana in their rentals.  Employers would still be allowed to discriminate against marijuana consumers in hiring.

The group gathering signatures to legalize marijuana in Mississippi has scheduled a town hall meeting Friday at the Eudora Welty Library in Jackson to answer questions about its ballot initiative and the petition will be available for signatures.  The ballot initiative, if approved, would allow the use, cultivation and sale of cannabis and industrial hemp for persons 21 years or older.  Mississippi for Cannabis will try to collect more than 107,000 signatures of registered voters to get the ballot initiative measure on the November 2016 ballot. The group’s town hall meeting is scheduled from 2-3 p.m. on Friday at the downtown library.  Kelly Jacobs, sponsor of the initiative ballot effort, said the group has until Oct. 2, 2015, to collect the needed signatures to get the measure on the November 2016 ballot. If not, they have until Dec. 29 to gather sufficient signatures of registered voters to get the measure on the November 2017 ballot.

Colorado yesterday began a $5.7 million advertising campaign for marijuana awareness.  The campaign, entitled “Good to Know” is aimed at educating the state’s citizens without alienating them.  The state of Colorado is spending $5.7 million to educate its citizens about the responsible use of marijuana in a major public campaign beginning this month.  The “Good to Know” initiative will utilize radio broadcasts, newspapers and the Internet, USA Today reports. The campaign apparently has a folksy and relatable tone to it, with one of the radio spots featuring a rhyming cowboy and banjo music. Colorado’s chief medical officer Dr. Larry Wolk says its goal is to educate without alienating.  According to a survey on marijuana use and perceptions done along with the campaign, only 27% of Coloradans realize it’s illegal to smoke marijuana in public, and only 23% know that one must be 21 to purchase it.

Seattle’s city attorney Pete Holmes backs homegrows, marijuana lounges and a clampdown on medical marijuana.  In his memo entitled “Moving Marijuana Policy Forward”, Holmes writes that “All adults aged 21 or older should be allowed to grow a small number (up to six) of marijuana plants for personal use and to gift, for no remuneration, a small amount of personally harvested marijuana to another adult aged 21 or older.  This would: (a) further reduce the need for “valid documentation” that fosters medical marijuana “authorization mills;” (b) bring Washington’s marijuana law into line with the other three states to legalize marijuana for adult use (Colorado, Oregon and Alaska) and Washington, D.C.; and (c) establish more equity between marijuana and home beer brewing and wine making.”  Holmes also calls for “marijuana use lounges” that would permit vaporizing or eating marijuana, in order to alleviate enforcement of laws against public use.

At least one marijuana delivery service is openly selling pot in Southcentral Alaska, more than a month before the ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana use in the state officially goes into effect.  “Technically we are acting [rogue] … but look forward to being legal soon,” reads the website of Discreet Deliveries, which offers to drop off up to an ounce of marijuana to paying customers in Anchorage and the Matanuska Valley.  “What he’s doing is not legal,” said Cynthia Franklin, director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which is overseeing implementation of the initiative. “He could be criminally prosecuted.”  Anchorage Police Department Chief Mark Mew agreed.  “People who jump the gun on this issue do so at their own risk. We can never give people permission to break the law. The marijuana laws in Alaska have not yet changed. People who break the current laws are still subject to being prosecuted,” Mew wrote in an email.