Senate Commission To Study MJ Decriminalization
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Senate Commission To Study MJ Decriminalization
Posted by CN Staff on July 02, 2009 at 05:18:01 PT
By Katherine Gregg, Journal State House Bureau
Source: Providence Journal
Providence, R.I. -- Weeks after legalizing the sale of marijuana to sick people, lawmakers have voted to explore how much Rhode Island might collect in revenue if it were to make all sales of marijuana legal and impose a “sin tax” of $35 per ounce.During the General Assembly’s aborted rush to adjournment Friday, the Senate approved a resolution — introduced earlier the same day — to create a nine-member special commission to study a swath of issues surrounding marijuana.
Among them: “The experience of individuals and families sentenced for violating marijuana laws ... The experience of states and European countries, such as California, Massachusetts and the Netherlands, which have decriminalized the sale and use of marijuana.”The sponsors of the eleventh-hour measure — which requires no further action — include Senators Joshua Miller, D-Cranston; Leo Blais, R-Coventry; Rhoda Perry, D-Providence; Charles Levesque, D-Portsmouth, and Susan Sosnowski, D-South Kingstown.In a brief interview Wednesday, Miller said the resolution was sparked by the referendum-driven move to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in Massachusetts, and by what he perceives as “a national trend towards decriminalization.” In November 2008, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, making getting caught with less than an ounce of pot punishable by a civil fine of $100.Asked why he waited until what was to be the last day of the session to introduce the measure, Miller said he and his fellow sponsors felt it was “very important” for this study to be “defined as an issue” completely separate and apart from the passage — over Governor Carcieri’s veto — of legislation allowing the creation of state-regulated dispensaries to sell marijuana for medicinal use.Miller said it also “took that long for it to be taken seriously.”The resolution creates a “Special Senate Commission to Study the Prohibition of Marijuana” made up of “elected members of the Rhode Island Senate, local law enforcement officials, physicians, nurses, social workers, academic leaders in the field of addiction studies, advocates or patients in the state’s medical marijuana program, advocates working in the field of prisoner reentry, economists, and members of the general public.”The measure poses a number of specific questions for study, among them: “Whether and to what extent Rhode Island youth have access to marijuana despite current laws prohibiting its use. ... Whether adults’ use of marijuana has decreased since marijuana became illegal in Rhode Island in 1918. ... Whether the current system of marijuana prohibition has created violence in the state of Rhode Island against users or among those who sell marijuana. ... Whether the proceeds from the sales of marijuana are funding organized crime, including drug cartels. ... Whether those who sell marijuana on the criminal market may also sell other drugs, thus increasing the chances that youth will use other illegal substances.”The resolution also cites questions about the “dangers associated with marijuana resulting from it being sold on the criminal market, including if it is ever contaminated or laced with other drugs.”The panel has until Jan. 31, 2010, to report its findings and recommendations to the Senate, though it would stay alive through Jan. 31, 2014.Miller, a bar owner who says he does not use illegal drugs — or even drink liquor more than a few times a year — said he is not hoping or expecting any specific outcome. “I am more open-minded that that,” he said. “I am hoping to react to the best research and data we can get out of looking at it.”A year ago, Carcieri vetoed a joint House and Senate call for a study of the wisdom of creating state-regulated marijuana dispensaries.But “since this was only a Senate resolution, it does not come to the governor for his approval,” Carcieri spokeswoman Amy Kempe said.In February, one of the cosponsors, pharmacist Leo Blais, proposed a bill — The Sensible State Marijuana Policy Act — that would have decriminalized the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, reducing it to a civil offense for which anyone age 18 or older would face a $100 fine and forfeiture of the marijuana. The bill never made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.As of Wednesday, no person or group had formally applied for the license to run the first of the three marijuana dispensaries allowed by the so-called “compassion centers” bill.Both the House and Senate have each passed, for the second year in a row, their own versions (S39 and H5007) of a bill to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes.But no one version of the measure has yet cleared both chambers, in this year when the House and Senate went on hiatus, with no certain return date, and no final action on a bevy of high-profile bills.Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)Author:    Katherine Gregg, Journal State House Bureau Published: Thursday, July 2, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Providence Journal CompanyContact: letters projo.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #5 posted by Had Enough on July 03, 2009 at 06:08:29 PT
Florida - Get off your ass and jam
People United for Medical Marijuana - Florida
We are collecting signatures to change Florida's constitution. Download and sign this petition to do your part. Register Now to get on our email list and receive automatic updates. Donate online with a credit card by clicking here.EVENTS: We will have volunteers at the following July 4 activities, please consider joining the group or let us know about your plans:July 3 4:00 Crane's Roost - Red, Hot, and Boom in Altamonte SpringsJuly 3 4:30 Gulfstream Park Signature Drive in Hallendalle.July 4 10:00-2:00 Tea Party Event Booth Amway Arena OrlandoJuly 4 4:00 Lake Eola Fireworks at the Fountain OrlandoJuly 4 4:00 Mount Dora FireworksJuly 4 4:00 Tom Brown Park Fireworks Event TallahasseeJuly 4 11:00 Sarasota Boat Races and FireworksJuly 4 4:00 St. Augustine FireworksJuly 4 1:00 St. Petersburg PierWe have a meeting scheduled in Orlando for July 11 from 1:15-2:45 at the Herndon Library on Colonial Drive. We are scheduling a meeting in Jacksonville on July 25, the time and location have not been determined. Check back for details.Our 100 days - $100 fundraising event has started! We need everyone to send in $100 (or more) for the petition effort. Our budget calls for raising $2,000,000 before February 1, 2010. We need to raise at least $500,000 before July 20, 2009.Everything costs money. Even a simple event booth is $375 to $2,500. Your $100 can be used to pay for 2,000 copies of the petition, 200 direct mailings, or 3,300 1/2 page flyers. The time is now! You can contribute on line or send in a check/money order by mail. If you can't do $100 today, send in $33 a month for the next three months. With your help, we can make this happen! Please contribute to our $100 in 100 days Campaign!We have collected 11,000 signatures and $4,000 in donations!How far would you go to make this a reality? This is not going to happen by simply by hoping, wishing, and praying. We all have to contribute as much as we can to make it happen. It is up to each of us to take responsibility and act NOW!"You must be the change you wish to see in this world." -Mahatma GandhiQuote about marijuana:"If (Marijuana) were unknown, and bio-prospectors were suddenly to find it in some remote mountain crevice, it`s discovery would no doubt be hailed as a medical breakthrough. Scientists would praise it`s potential for treating everything from pain to cancer and marvel at it`s rich pharmacopoeia ~~ many of whose chemicals mimic vital molecules in the human body" The Economist, "Reefer Madness, Marijuana Is Medically Useful Whether Politicians Like It or Not," April 29, 2006.Amazing Marijuana Facts:There are five types of cancers that marijuana stops tumor cells from spreading: brain, breast, lung, pancreatic, and prostate.Marijuana is the number one cash crop in the United States and in each of these states: Alaska, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.Paid political advertisement
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on July 02, 2009 at 15:59:46 PT
Right on museman!This is doublespeak for delay. we all know what a 70 year delay it has been!The Schaefer commission, the Le Dain commission, Webb needs to 'study,' and every state by itself needs to 'study' industrial hemp.It's all very complicated. Isn't it, never mind Canada has been cultivating industrial hemp for over 10 years now, we could learn from them, for example.Also, even though the Netherlands is a success story with, as often quoted; decrim. Instead they have effectively regulated and legalized marijuana sales. Most drug warriors and prohibitionists however, like to lie about this and say that Amsterdam is a mess. But, if you check the statistics, the Netherlands has the best in the world. This is not bragging it is simply true; the Netherlands has the lowest homicide rate, lowest abortion rate, lowest heroin addiction rate, lowest cannabis consumption, etc. etc. when compared to other western countries.
Legalize And Regulate All Drugs!
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Comment #3 posted by museman on July 02, 2009 at 14:31:18 PT
absolutely amazing
If 'god himself' were to walk up to these people and hand them the truth on a silver platter, they'd have to 'study' it before accepting it, thereby generating fake jobs, with fake money, to get the same fake results that always come from fake authority, fake values, and fake reality.Fake, fake, fake.Fire 'em all, put people in their place. We'd do better if we elected our 'representatives' by random lottery, than the current 'system' in place.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on July 02, 2009 at 06:17:54 PT
Using cannabis is not a sin.The sin is persecuting the plant and people who use it.It's a sin to prohibit and exterminate what God says He created and indicates is good on the very 1st page of the Bible. It's a sin to cage humans for using the good plant.-0-Perhaps America can raise taxes to give congress a pay raise and then We could label that a sin tax.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 02, 2009 at 05:51:56 PT
Medical Pot Users, Growers Can Sue Over Raids
July 2, 2009URL:
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