Legalized Pot is More Than a Tax Bonanza

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  Legalized Pot is More Than a Tax Bonanza

Posted by CN Staff on August 06, 2009 at 06:17:43 PT
By F. Aaron Smith, Special To The Bee  
Source: Sacramento Bee  

Sacramento, CA -- California's budget crisis has pushed the long policy debate over marijuana to center stage – no surprise, because marijuana is the state's largest cash crop, and the state is paying bills with IOUs and axing vital public services.But the potential tax revenue – $1.4 billion, according to the Board of Equalization's recent analysis – of Assembly Bill 390, pending legislation seeking to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol, may be the least important reason to end marijuana prohibition.
Unlike other budget plans on the table, from laying off police officers to increasing taxes on middle-class families, regulating marijuana would be a good move for California even if the state treasury were rolling in money. The first question to ask about any public policy is: Is it working? For marijuana prohibition, the clear answer is "no." It's painfully clear that our marijuana laws have failed to reduce marijuana use. Seventy years of marijuana prohibition have turned a little-known medicinal herb into a product that's been used by nearly half of all Americans, including President Barack Obama and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.One in 10 Californians admits to using marijuana in the past year, despite record arrests and record seizures of marijuana plants year after year. Marijuana prohibition is one of the most wasteful and ineffective government programs ever.Prohibition has been of no help to parents, either. Marijuana is sold at virtually every high school in California and, according to the state's official survey, more teens currently smoke marijuana than smoke cigarettes – a legally regulated product.By maintaining the legal status quo, the state is abnegating control of this mind-altering substance to the criminal market, where sellers have no incentive to restrict their sales to adults. A legal, regulated market with strict penalties for selling to minors and honest education about marijuana is the most effective way to reduce teen use. Indeed, it's already worked with tobacco. Snipped   Complete Article: Sacramento Bee (CA)Author: F. Aaron Smith, Special To The Bee Published: Thursday, August 6, 2009 - Page 19A Copyright: 2009 The Sacramento BeeContact: opinion sacbee.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #19 posted by runruff on August 08, 2009 at 06:13:53 PT
Arnie should go!
He is not a real Gov, more like a reel Gov. He only plays Governor in Caliwood The largest stage in the world!Arnold, the sophomoric crowd of vicarious thrill seekers and armchair adventurers, have elevated you to a real life position which has caused you to realize the "Peter Principle" first hand. It seems to me an uneducated actor, body builder, could rise above his level of incompetence fairly easily.Good Morning All! Let's manifest freedom today!
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Comment #18 posted by Vincent on August 07, 2009 at 08:49:24 PT:
the article on legalixation
This article is, as Tony the Tiger would say, "GRRRRREAT"!
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on August 06, 2009 at 14:54:25 PT
Thank you for the Hemp article.
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Comment #16 posted by josephlacerenza on August 06, 2009 at 14:35:09 PT
WE need it, the EARTH needs it!!!!!!
The Top 5 Reasons Why We Should Grow Hemp
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Comment #15 posted by josephlacerenza on August 06, 2009 at 12:32:23 PT
Cannabis, and what we need
Opponents of cannabis reform use the fact that a field sobriety test, such as with the BAC meter, does not exist for THC. Oh, that argument is a thing of the past!!!!
Device Offers a Roadside Dope Test
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on August 06, 2009 at 11:32:38 PT

Dirty Dancing - She's Like the Wind
I love this song from Dirty Dancing. Dirty Dancing is one of if not my all time favorite movie. I've watched it more then any movie ever.God Bless Patrick and his wife.Dirty Dancing - She's Like the Wind
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on August 06, 2009 at 11:28:10 PT

Swayze's Miracle Treatment
What's the shocking SECRET behind dying Patrick Swayze's health rebound?Patrick Swayze is using marijuana to ease the discomfort of his final days, The ENQUIRER has learned.The beloved actor, who's been battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year and a half, has found that smoking pot helps ease his nausea, insomnia and anxiety, says a family insider. He's recently gained a little weight and feels more "normal than he has in months," said the source.Recent pictures of 56-year-old Patrick out with his brother Donnie show him looking healthier than he had just weeks before, when he appeared extremely gaunt and seemed to have trouble walking."Patrick was rapidly losing weight because he couldn't keep food down," revealed the insider. "He was so weak, he needed help getting around."Friends persuaded Patrick to try marijuana, disclosed the insider, and it seems to have helped."Marijuana works extremely well" for many cancer patients, said Dr. Ron Kennedy, a physician in Santa Rosa, Calif., who provides medicinal marijuana. "It helps fight nausea from chemotherapy treatments and may alleviate anorexia or lack of appetite."Said the family insider: "Patrick and his brother Donnie get together almost every day and smoke a joint. They have been seen smoking weed on the roof of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center while Patrick was getting a treatment."For the full story with all the details pick up the new ENQUIRER Copyright: 2009 American Media, Inc.URL:
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on August 06, 2009 at 11:23:10 PT

Your Governor is not liberal. She was for Hillary and Hillary was in the middle. I think Oregon's Governor must be more progressive. Oregon is a liberal state.
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on August 06, 2009 at 11:19:49 PT

our Gov is Dem in MI and still no go
even with 63% of the MI voting public for MMJ.
we are in need of more farm jobs and new value added
products as MI has the most unimployed in the Nation.interesting info on how a plant grows.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on August 06, 2009 at 10:05:08 PT

Oregon's Governor is a Democrat that's why it might work this time I hope.
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Comment #9 posted by ekim on August 06, 2009 at 09:53:27 PT

October 11, 2007
Governor Again Turns Down Hemp Farming Bill 
Posted by CN Staff on October 11, 2007 at 19:13:34 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press Sacramento, CA -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a hemp farming bill for the second time. 
The Republican governor announced Thursday that he had turned down a measure by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, that would have authorized a five-year program under which farmers in four counties—Imperial, Kings, Mendocino and Yolo—could grow hemp in plots of up to five acres.
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Comment #8 posted by HempWorld on August 06, 2009 at 09:21:04 PT

"the new law in Oregon does not require a federal
DEA permit to grow hemp."Huh? What? This must be incorrect, the DEA reigns supreme on this issue and the DEA is not a democratically elected body of government. DEA is the mouthpiece and boots on the ground for the corporate elite. DEA will never allow hemp to be grown anywhere in the US!A cruel game of bait and switch!
Legalize Industrial Hemp!
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 06, 2009 at 09:11:48 PT

I'm really glad Oregon legalized Hemp. I hope they will be allowed to grow it now.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 06, 2009 at 09:09:50 PT

'Reefer Madness' Redux, Is Pot Addictive?
August 5, 2009URL:
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Comment #5 posted by tintala on August 06, 2009 at 09:08:39 PT:

SALEM, OR — Vote Hemp, the leading grassroots advocacy organization working to give back farmers the right to grow industrial hemp (the oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis), enthusiastically supports the decision of Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski to sign SB 676 into law today. The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 46 to 11 and the Senate by a vote of 27 to 2, permits the production, trade and possession of industrial hemp commodities and products. With the Governor's signature, it now makes a politically bold commitment to develop hemp in a state whose slogan is "Oregon - We Love Dreamers.""I am glad that Oregon has joined the other states that have agreed that American farmers should have the right to re-introduce industrial hemp as an agricultural crop," says SB 676 sponsor, Sen. Floyd Prozanski. "By signing SB 676 into law, which passed the Oregon Legislature with strong bi-partisan support, Governor Kulongoski has taken a proactive position allowing our farmers the right to grow industrial hemp, to provide American manufacturers with domestically-grown hemp, and to profit from that effort." The new law sets up a state-regulated program for farmers to grow industrial hemp which is used in a wide variety of products, including nutritious foods, cosmetics, body care, clothing, tree-free paper, auto parts, building materials, fuels and much more. Learn more about hemp at"Oregon's federal delegation can now take this law to the U.S. Congress and call for a fix to this problem, so American companies will no longer need to import hemp and American farmers will no longer be denied a profitable new crop," comments Vote Hemp Director, Patrick Goggin. "Under current federal policy, industrial hemp can be imported, but it cannot be grown by American farmers. Hemp is an environmentally-friendly crop that has not been grown commercially in the U.S. for over fifty years because of a politicized and misguided interpretation of the nation's drug laws by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). While a new federal bill in Congress, HR 1866, is a welcome step, the hemp industry is hopeful that the Obama administration will recognize hemp's myriad benefits to farmers, businesses and the environment," adds Goggin.Many businesses in Oregon manufacture, market and sell hemp products, including Living Harvest, The Merry Hempsters, Wilderness Poets, Earthbound Creations, Sweetgrass Natural Fibers, Sympatico Clothing, Mama's Herbal Soaps and Hempire. Living Harvest of Portland was recently ranked the third-fastest-growing company in Oregon, as awarded by The Portland Business Journal's "Fastest-Growing Private 100 Companies" annual award. "We are looking forward to the opportunity to invest in hemp processing and production locally," says Hans Fastre, CEO of Living Harvest. "This new law represents another step towards heightening the hemp industry's profile within mainstream America and making hemp products more accessible to businesses and consumers."These Oregon-based companies have been on the leading edge of the growing hemp food and body care markets, which are currently estimated by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) to be $113 million in North American annual retail sales. The HIA estimates the 2008 annual retail sales of all hemp products in North America to be about $360 million. By allowing U.S. farmers to once again grow hemp, legislators can clear the way for a "New Billion-Dollar Crop."Hemp Farming Gains Support from More State Governments and Law EnforcementAccording to the Illinois Valley News, Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said that he supports the legalization of industrial hemp. "I think it's a good idea," Gilbertson said in the article which appeared on July 29. "I think it's a viable crop, and the entire county could benefit from it."On June 9, with little fanfare, Maine Governor John Baldacci signed the Maine hemp farming bill, LD 1159, into law. Maine's House had previously passed the bill without objection, and the Senate later passed it by a strong vote of 25 to 10. The bill establishes a licensing regime for farming industrial hemp, although the licensing is contingent upon action by the federal government. Maine had previously passed a study bill that also defined industrial hemp.During the 2009 legislative session, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Vermont all passed pro-hemp laws, resolutions or memorials. Sixteen states have passed pro-hemp legislation to date, and eight states (Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia) have removed barriers to its production or research. Like North Dakota, where farmers are in a federal court battle over their rights to grow hemp under state law without fear of federal prosecution, the new law in Oregon does not require a federal DEA permit to grow hemp.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on August 06, 2009 at 08:48:49 PT

I think we won't see any legalization for a number of years but I do believe we will see marijuana decriminalized in the next few years. (Barney Frank) I think medical marijuana will happen in more states so it isn't hopeless in my opinion.
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on August 06, 2009 at 08:40:51 PT

Marijuana prohibition is one of the most wasteful
and ineffective government programs ever.Amen to that!Unfortunately, hemp and marijuana will never be legalized in the US, the corporate elite that runs and rules this country, will not allow it.

Legalize And Regulate All Drugs!
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Comment #2 posted by Had Enough on August 06, 2009 at 06:53:19 PT

Glenn Beck -Legalize Marijuana & Stop The Violence
Glenn Beck - Legalize Marijuana & Stop The Violence************

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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 06, 2009 at 06:28:57 PT

Marijuana is Safer
Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?August 6, 2009URL:
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