cannabisnews.com: Marijuana Reform To Tap Grassroots This November





Marijuana Reform To Tap Grassroots This November
Posted by CN Staff on August 04, 2004 at 11:56:31 PT
By Paul Armentano, AlterNet
Source: AlterNet
A bumper crop of initiatives addressing marijuana policy and enforcement will appear on various state and municipal ballots. Few domestic policy issues enjoy such deep-rooted public support as does marijuana law reform, in particular the legalization of medicinal pot for seriously ill patients. Yet despite nationwide polls indicating that some 8 in 10 Americans back reform, politicians at the state and especially federal level continue to oppose even minor changes in existing policy, as evident by Congress' refusal to hold hearings on a pair of proposed bills seeking to exempt state-authorized medical marijuana patients from federal arrest and prosecution.
As a result of this chasm between the public and their elected officials regarding pot policy, proponents of reform have in recent years taken the issue directly to the voters via statewide and local ballot initiatives  most notably, passing state laws in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington exempting qualified patients from criminal prosecution for the possession and use of medicinal marijuana when such use is recommended by their physician.This November's Presidential election will be no exception, as a bumper crop of initiatives addressing marijuana policy and enforcement will appear on various state and municipal ballots. Below is a summary of this November's more prominent marijuana law reform proposals.Statewide InitiativesAlaska  If approved, Alaska's Cannabis Decriminalization and Regulation Act would mandate that "persons 21 years or older shall not be prosecuted, be denied any right or privilege, nor be subject to criminal or civil penalties for the possession, cultivation, distribution, or consumption" of marijuana for medicinal, industrial or recreational purposes. The proposal also encourages the state legislature to establish a system to regulate pot "in a manner similar to alcohol or tobacco."INITIATIVE STATUS:  Campaigners have qualified the Cannabis Decriminalization and Regulation Act for the November 2, 2004 ballot.Arkansas  The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act seeks to allow qualified patients to possess and cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes under the authorization of their physician. Patients diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma and HIV/AIDS qualify for legal protection under this act, as well as individuals suffering from cachexia, severe pain, nausea, epileptic seizures, persistent muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease. The proposal also establishes a confidential state-run patient registry to issue identification cards to qualifying patients. INITIATIVE STATUS:  Campaigners are still collecting signatures to qualify the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act for the November 2, 2004 ballot.Montana  Like Arkansas' proposed measure, the Montana Medical Marijuana Act (I-148), if approved, would allow qualified patients to possess and cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes under the authorization of their physician. Patients diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma and HIV/AIDS qualify for legal protection under this act, as well as individuals suffering from cachexia, severe pain, nausea, epileptic seizures, persistent muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease. The proposal also establishes a confidential state-run patient registry to issue identification cards to qualifying patients. INITIATIVE STATUS:  Campaigners have qualified the Montana Medical Marijuana Act for the November 2, 2004 ballot.Oregon  The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (aka OMMA2) seeks to amend the state's existing medicinal marijuana law to allow qualified patients to legally possess up to ten marijuana plants at any one time and one pound of usable marijuana. The proposal would also allow state-certified nurse practitioners and naturopaths to recommend marijuana to their patients, and expand the definition of a qualifying medical condition to include "any other medical condition for which, in the determination of the attending physician, the medical use of marijuana would be beneficial." The proposal also mandates the state legislature to promulgate rules to license and regulate medical cannabis dispensaries "to ensure that medical marijuana is available to qualified patients." INITIATIVE STATUS: Campaigners turned in 96,000 signatures to election officials and are awaiting certification for the November 2, 2004 ballot. Local Initiatives Oakland, California  If approved, the Oakland Cannabis Regulation and Revenue Ordinance would establish new municipal guidelines directing the Oakland Police Department to make the enforcement of minor marijuana offenses by adults the city's "lowest law enforcement priority." The proposal also mandates the city of Oakland "to tax and regulate the sale of cannabis for adult use, so as to keep it off the streets and away from children and to raise revenue for the city, as soon as possible under state law."INITIATIVE STATUS:  Campaigners have qualified the Oakland Cannabis Regulation and Revenue Ordinance for the November 2, 2004 ballot.Tallahassee, Florida  The Practical Law Enforcement Amendment (aka the PLEA) seeks to amend the Tallahassee city charter to mandate Tallahassee Police Department to make the "investigation, arrest and prosecution of marijuana offenses [involving possession of under 20 grams], ... the city's lowest law enforcement priority." INITIATIVE STATUS:  Campaigners are still collecting signatures to qualify the Practical Law Enforcement Amendment for the November 2, 2004 ballot.Ann Arbor, Michigan  If approved, the Ann Arbor Medical Marijuana Act would amend the Ann Arbor city charter to allow qualified patients to possess and cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes under the authorization of their physician. The proposal would mandate "no incarceration, probation, nor any other punitive or rehabilitative measure" for qualified patients, and establish an "affirmative defense to prosecution" when marijuana is possessed for medicinal purposes. INITIATIVE STATUS: Campaigners have qualified the Ann Arbor Medical Marijuana Act for the November 2, 2004 ballot.Detroit, Michigan  The Detroit Medical Marijuana Act (Proposal M) seeks to amend the Detroit city criminal code so that local criminal penalties no longer apply to any individual "possessing or using marijuana under the direction, prescription, supervision, or guidance of a physician or other licensed health professional." The proposal also eliminates criminal penalties on the use and possession of marijuana-associated paraphernalia devices by qualified patients.INITIATIVE STATUS:  Campaigners have qualified the Detroit Medical Marijuana Act for a special, August 3, 2004 ballot.Minneapolis, Minnesota  If approved, the Minneapolis City Charter Amendment would amend the Minneapolis city charter "to require that the City Council shall authorize, license, and regulate a reasonable number of medicinal marijuana distribution centers in the city of Minneapolis as is necessary to provide services to patients who have been recommended medicinal marijuana by a medical or osteopathic doctor licensed to practice in the state of Minnesota to the extent permitted by state and federal law." INITIATIVE STATUS: Campaigners are still collecting signatures to qualify the proposal for the November 2, 2004 ballot.Columbia, Missouri  Columbia voters will decide on a pair of initiatives this November: the Missouri Smart Sentencing Initiative, and the Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative. If approved, the Missouri Smart Sentencing Initiative would amend the Columbia city criminal code to reduce misdemeanor penalties on the possession of marijuana and/or paraphernalia to a fine-only offense of $250. The Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative would amend the Columbia city criminal code so that "adults who obtain and use marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia for medical purposes pursuant to the recommendation of a physician shall not be subject to any arrest, prosecution, punishment, or sanction." Both proposals mandate that all cases involving either the misdemeanor possession of marijuana or the medicinal use of cannabis be referred only to the Municipal Prosecuting Attorney. INITIATIVE STATUS:  Campaigners have qualified the Missouri Smart Sentencing Initiative for the November 2, 2004 ballot. Paul Armentano is the senior policy analyst for The NORML Foundation in Washington, DC.Source: AlterNet (US)Author: Paul Armentano, AlterNet -- http://www.norml.org/Published: August 04, 2004Copyright: 2004 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters alternet.org Website: http://www.alternet.org/DL: http://alternet.org/drugreporter/19441/Related Organizations:http://www.cohr.org/http://www.ardpark.org/http://www.mmdetroit.org/http://www.alaskahemp.org/http://www.voterpower.org/http://www.signtheplea.org/http://www.montanacares.org/http://www.taxandregulate.com/http://www.freedomactivist.net/aammi.htmlCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on August 05, 2004 at 08:46:09 PT
breeze
I might have to join AARP. I've hesitated because I don't want to think that I'm getting old! I must live in denial! LOL! PS: We can't stop the clock but we can always stay young at heart! 
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Comment #7 posted by breeze on August 04, 2004 at 23:34:33 PT
FOM_---Way to GO!!!!
YES!!! Finally!!! Someone has decided to influence a major portion of voters in this nation with something we have known for quite sometime!!!The elderly vote in HERDS!- No offense intended to any aging hipsters- but it is true, the older generations KNOW that voting is the most important thing a person can do every four years or so. And to have an influential group such as AARP publish a pamphlet- I am truly excited about this one!! And if you don't know me well, I never get excited easily- rarely a hoorah, much less a hooray.This one gains a solid and firm "YEAAAAAHHH BABY!!!!"
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Comment #6 posted by mayan on August 04, 2004 at 17:33:57 PT
FoM...
That's great about the coming AARP magazine article! If we can get the elderly on board then this plant will be free in no time!
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Comment #5 posted by unkat27 on August 04, 2004 at 15:54:32 PT
Stop Pharmaceutical Industry Lobbyists
'8 in 10 people favor marijuana policy reforms...'So, why do the politicians continue to vote against reforms?
Maybe it has something to do with all those briefcases of money the pharmaceutical industry is slipping them, behind closed doors, in DC?
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on August 04, 2004 at 14:07:20 PT
ASA: AARP and Medical Marijuana 
August 4, 2004  
Hello Everyone,I hope you are well. Many of you know that AARP will be running an article about medical marijuana in October. AARP magazine is the most distributed magazine in the world!ASA has produce a booklet on Medical Marijuana and Aging. As soon as we raise funds to print them, they will be available for distribution.This is an amazing opportunity to do outreach to a very well organized community. If you are 50+, I would advise reaching out to your local chapter. Here is a link to find a group nearest to you. I think if people can check out a meeting in Aug and Sept, we can try organize presentations on Medical Marijuana with local chapters in October while the article is out.http://www.aarp.org/volunteer/Articles/a2002-10-18-VMIS_chapter_site_locator.htmlIf you are interested in perusing this outreach project please e-mail me!Steph ShererExecutive DirectorAmericans for Safe Access: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/1678 Shattuck Ave. #317Berkeley, CA 94709phone: 510-486-8083fax: 510-486-8090
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Comment #3 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on August 04, 2004 at 12:11:33 PT
And speaking of initiatives...
I got MPP's mailing a week or so ago and it had a list of all the states with initiatives or legal changes... except I noticed Nevada was conspicuously absent.
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Comment #2 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on August 04, 2004 at 12:10:18 PT
Barthwell not out of the race yet!
The Republicans announced their final two choices for the senate race in Illinois. Either Alan Keyes or "Dr." Andrea Grubb Barthwell will have the honor of losing to Democrat Barack Obama. The Illinois Leader's poll has Keyes ahead with over 90% of the over 1,100 votes already cast, but that may be because people have heard of Alan Keyes, since he ran for president, and did about as good as Dennis Kucinich... "Barthwell has told the Sun-Times she supports abortion rights and opposes Bush's proposed amendment banning gay marriage." Huh, sounds pretty liberal. If she can be a reformed addict, perhaps she can someday be a reformed prohibitionist?And as someone said in our local paper recently, how do the Republicans expect to find a better candidate than the one whose only offense was propositioning his own wife?
Article and poll
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 04, 2004 at 11:59:30 PT
Related Articles
Here are a few related news articles.*****Marijuana Issues Head Toward City Ballot: 
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread19273.shtmlAlliance Stepping Up Efforts for Marijuana Vote:
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread19242.shtmlMedical Marijuana Initiative To Appear on Ballot:
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread19202.shtmlOregon To Vote on Easing Medical Marijuana Use:
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread19124.shtmlCasual-Pot-Smoking Measure is Certified: 
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread19109.shtmlMarijuana Initiative Clears Early Hurdle: 
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18706.shtmlAlaskans to Vote on Pot Legalization in '04: 
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18067.shtmlMedical Marijuana in Minneapolis: 
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread17894.shtml
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