Is MJ Legalization in CA The Beginning of The End?
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Is MJ Legalization in CA The Beginning of The End?
Posted by CN Staff on December 22, 2016 at 05:52:44 PT
By Robin Abcarian
Source: Los Angeles Times
California -- The door to legalized marijuana in California cracked ajar in 1996, when voters approved the Compassionate Use Act, which allowed doctors to recommend cannabis to their patients. In November, the door flew open as voters approved Proposition 64 by a wide margin, a measure that legalizes marijuana for adult recreational use and could herald the beginning of the end of the federal government’s misbegotten war on weed.Really though, for nearly two decades, pot has more or less been available to anyone 18 or older willing to pay for a medical recommendation, which you could get without ever leaving your bedroom. It’s as easy as signing onto a website, paying a few bucks, and Skyping with a physician. Dispensaries sprouted like weeds, bedeviling cities like Los Angeles, which has struggled to develop regulations.
Yet as easy as it is to procure, marijuana continues to be listed by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule 1 drug, with no accepted medical benefit, officially considered as dangerous as cocaine or heroin. This strains credulity.No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. And medical literature, though research has been limited in this country by the federal ban, is rife with studies showing potentially beneficial uses for the drug.Pot has been shown to be effective with certain kinds of intractable childhood epilepsy, for helping the nausea of chemotherapy patients, for stimulating the appetites of people with AIDS. It is believed to help with certain kinds of neuropathic pain. Many combat veterans experiencing PTSD use marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. Professional athletes have extolled the benefits of pot over prescription drugs for chronic injuries.There are some marijuana activists who reject the idea that pot is ever used recreationally. They believe it always has a medical use, even if that use is simple relaxation after a hard day’s work. In any case, after medical marijuana was legalized, lots of Baby Boomers who had used pot in high school and college, then put it away as adults, started to rediscover it. In some affluent circles, pot has become as commonplace as chardonnay, and carries about as much stigma.For others — especially teenagers, and low-income African Americans and Latinos — marijuana has continued to function as a gateway drug … to the criminal justice system. For police, the whiff of weed offered an excellent pretext to stop, to search, to run license plates, and to arrest. Under the new law, that is no longer the case.Unlike previous failed legalization campaigns, there was a lot of money backing Prop. 64 — $22.5 million compared with a paltry $2.1 million for the No on 64 side.The publicity-shy tech billionaire Sean Parker was a major underwriter, contributing $8.6 million to Yes on 64. Parker, a former Facebook president who founded Napster, has never publicly explained his interest in legalizing pot, though a spokesman has said he does not plan to pursue money-making opportunities in the newly legalized industry. (Opportunities will be rife, though, if you’re not already in the cannabis business, you have missed the ground floor. And possibly the second and third floors, as well.)Pro-64 ads focused on persuading parents, who were responsible for sinking the last legalization measure in 2010, that it would keep children safe by banning marijuana ads on TV, requiring child-proof packaging and prohibiting edible forms of cannabis to appeal to kids. (No more medicated Gummy bears.)Also — and this was key — a huge chunk of the expected proceeds from new taxes and fees associated with legalization (the total could add up to $1 billion a year, according to the state legislative analyst’s office) would be devoted to drug education and after-school programs, which research shows is one of the most effective tools for keeping kids away from drugs and other trouble.Revenue from cannabis sales, manufacturing and distribution will also be devoted to establishing stoned driving standards, which currently do not exist, and to help the California Highway Patrol train officers to recognize stoned driving in the absence of an objective test like blood alcohol level.Cities and counties have the right to license and tax pot businesses, or ban them outright — and there is a mad scramble up and down the state by councils and boards of supervisors to figure these things out. State licenses will also be required, and no recreational pot shops will be able to do business until January 2018, when all the regulations are in place. Some places might allow marijuana lounges, but the law forbids pot and liquor from being consumed in the same venue. A number of changes took place as soon as the election was certified.As of right now, anyone 21 or older can legally possess, transport or give away up to an ounce of marijuana buds, or eight ounces of concentrate. I heard an attorney say the other day that you could even hand your stash to a police officer and ask him to roll you a few joints without fear of arrest, though I would not recommend it.Adults also have the right to grow six marijuana plants at home, out of public view. No one, however, has the right to be stoned at work.Perhaps most important, anyone with a charge, or conviction, for something that is no longer considered a crime under Prop. 64 can ask to have the charges dropped, be released from jail or prison, or ask the court to reduce their sentence or expunge their record.Drug Policy Alliance, the national drug law reform group that co-sponsored Prop. 64, has estimated that around 2,000 California inmates stand to be affected by the change in the law. Potentially tens of thousands of others who have been arrested or already served time will be able to apply to have their records obliterated.Nationally, this was a good season for marijuana initiatives.Along with California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine also voted to legalize recreational marijuana, joining Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. (Arizona rejected a legalization measure.) Also, four other states legalized medical marijuana, bringing the total to 28 states, plus the District of Columbia.It remains to be seen whether the selection of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a marijuana opponent, as U.S. attorney general will herald the start of renewed conflict between the states and the federal government over marijuana.Activists are pinning their hopes on President-elect Donald Trump. In October 2015, Trump said he believes marijuana legalization should be left to the states.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Author: Robin AbcarianPublished: December 21, 2016Copyright: 2016 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 25, 2016 at 09:00:25 PT
I will send you his web site in a private message on Facebook. Merry Christmas!
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on December 25, 2016 at 00:38:21 PT
Hi, Paint with light!
And Merry Christmas!Merry Christmas to all of you. I'm looking forward to seeing the 3-D project you're working on. I don't have your website anymore either. It's back in my old computer, I'm sure... but at the moment... I can't get it to function properly.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 23, 2016 at 20:00:18 PT
Paint with light 
I just sent you an e-mail! I love what you are doing!
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Comment #4 posted by Paint with light on December 23, 2016 at 18:05:19 PT
Thanks FoM.I miss some of the conversations I used to have with you and Hope(Hi Hope!).I try to get by once a month and spend an hour or so reading all the comments I have missed since the last month.After reading those and some of the articles I might have missed I don't have time to comment.I am real excited about something I am working on in my artwork. I am doing something in photography that utilizes a technique that so far has only been done by a few painters in England. It is a 3D special effect. I have a small example on my web site but you can't get the effect unless you see it in person or see a video. I build 3D geometric shapes and adhere pictures to the surfaces. Then the photos appear to move. I am taking advantage of a software glitch in the brain. It works especially well if you have a buzz.If you remember my web site check it out. I have a 2D example there. In the spring I will have up some videos but I don't want to put any up until I have a chance to introduce it at a show also sometime in the spring.If you don't remember my site's address I can email you a link at the exhale address if it is still a good one.I hope your animals and family are well.I will close with a few words from 1920."As democracy is perfected,the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last. and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron."-H L Mencken The Baltimore Evening Sun July 26, 1920With the majority of the people not voting, all it takes is a basket of deplorables to swing an election.I mark it up to anger, fear, prejudice, and an uneducating of the people by the likes of Faux news.Maybe next time we can get a larger majority to the polls.A 3,000,000 vote majority doesn't seem to be enough.Legal like alcohol, at least.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on December 23, 2016 at 08:52:45 PT
Hemp! >>>Across the rolling hills of Kentucky, which just two decades ago was 
the most tobacco-dependent state in the country, farmers are planting 
less of the crop after growing health concerns shrunk demand. Instead, 
theyÕre increasingly turning to hemp and have more than doubled sowings 
of the cannabis variety in 2016 to become the No. 2 producer in the 
U.S., trailing Colorado.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 23, 2016 at 07:28:23 PT
Paint with Light 
It's good to see you. This is a rough time. Trump really scares me. He is so out there I hope they will be able to rein him in when he is sworn in. I miss the Obama family already and they are still here. Have a great Holiday!
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Comment #1 posted by Paint with light on December 22, 2016 at 23:02:02 PT
Moving towards the light
A happy winter solstice to everyone.We are that point when the darkness of the days starts to turn to more light.Slowly, only minutes a day but still moving towards the warmth.Just as in our winter routine, some of the coldest days may still be ahead.Maybe warmth and light can thaw the hearts of the prohibitionists.No matter what, we will have another spring.
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