Sensible Marijuana Policy May Come to Rhode Island
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Sensible Marijuana Policy May Come to Rhode Island
Posted by CN Staff on April 14, 2009 at 15:43:58 PT
By Aaron Buckley, A&E Editor
Source: Anchor
Rhode Island -- Sometimes, state legislators make sense. Sometimes, they even do the right thing.State Senator Leo Blais, a socially conservative Democrat, has introduced the Sensible State Marijuana Policy Act to the General Assembly. This bill, should it be passed, would decriminalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in the State of Rhode Island. A person caught with an ounce or less of weed would be subject to a: a $100 fine and b: forfeiture of the marijuana to the police.
This is an incredibly progressive and common sense piece of legislation. The overwhelming majority of pot smokers are smoking for personal recreation or pain/nausea relief, not selling. This policy makes sense for the state. Besides fixing broken drug policy, it removes college students and other young adults from the overburdened prison system and absolves people of permanently scaring their criminal records just because they got high and were caught by police. It saves the state money that it would use to incarcerate non-violent offenders.This bill does not legalize pot; it is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance by the federal government, and if a person were for some reason prosecuted by the Feds, this law would not be able to protect them. It does not advocate use of marijuana in any way; it simply removes the criminal consequences of choosing to smoke pot on your own time. If someone decides to get stoned and make a bad decision and drive their car around, and are caught, the penalties are the same as drinking: you are slapped with a DUI charge and face the consequences. Why should a student in high school who made a mistake and was caught with pot be penalized and lose all of their financial aid for their future college career? This bill rights a silly, archaic wrong.It will protect people who want to join the State Medical Marijuana Program, but are afraid of prosecution, like my grandmother who has severe arthritis. It will protect individuals who, on their own time and in the safety of their own homes, choose to smoke marijuana.It also acts as a teaching tool. If the person caught with weed is under 18 years of age, they face an additional penalty: they have one year to complete a drug awareness program to learn about the effects of drug use and addiction. Instead of blindly punishing a young adult, we educate them. Itís a sound idea and Senator Blais of Coventry, Foster and Scituate should be commended.Source: Anchor, The (Rhode Island College, RI Edu)Author: Aaron Buckley, A&E EditorPublished: Tuesday, April 14, 2009Copyright: 2009 The AnchorWebsite: http://www.anchorweb.orgURL: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #13 posted by Canis420 on April 14, 2009 at 23:02:39 PT:
de-crim vs legalization
This passage was taken from a 2002 canadian senate report that is the most comprehensive and rational report ever to come from a gov't entitySome say that decriminalization is a step in the right direction, one that gives society time to become accustomed to cannabis, to convince opponents that chaos will not result, to adopt effective preventive measures. We believe however that this approach is in fact the worst case scenario, depriving the State of a necessary regulatory tool for dealing with the entire production, distribution, and consumption network, and delivering hypocritical messages at the same time. Makes sensesee full summary at
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Comment #12 posted by Dankhank on April 14, 2009 at 21:25:30 PT
poll ...
poll nowY91n07don't know2whatever1
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Comment #11 posted by Dankhank on April 14, 2009 at 20:44:32 PT
taxes online
there are many tax sites online that work quite well, in spite of our new SecTreas' blaming Turbotax for his problem.H&R block has sent me software two years running and I have used it. This is the first time I have efiled. I usually do the taxes then print them out and mail. I efiled all this year.
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Comment #10 posted by fight_4_freedom on April 14, 2009 at 20:31:58 PT
Well it does make more sense to wait till the last second for you, since it sounds like you are paying in. I'm actually getting something back so it makes no sense for me to wait. lolEither way, there will be long lines at every H and R block around the country tomorrow.Good luck with your D.D. appointment FoM :)
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Comment #9 posted by rchandar on April 14, 2009 at 20:28:06 PT:
Senator Blais
Good for you. More power!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 14, 2009 at 20:25:38 PT
Our doomsday appointment is at 2 pm. LOL! I think many people wait to the last minute. Letting go of money isn't easy for anyone. 
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Comment #7 posted by fight_4_freedom on April 14, 2009 at 20:15:20 PT
Dana Beal is a great activist
He spoke again at the Hash Bash this year. I love listening to him speak. He does it so very well and so very passionately.I'm going to try to make it to the Cannabis Liberation Day (million marijuana march) in Detroit this coming May. And I'm with you FoM....time for taxes tomorrow. lolWhy must I always wait until the last second? hehe
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 14, 2009 at 17:51:06 PT
Lawmakers Consider Marijuana Use For Patients
April 14, 2009RALEIGH, N.C. - State representatives are considering legalizing medical marijuana.The Medical Marijuana Act and a separate bill allowing a November referendum on the issue have passed on first reading in the house.Next the health committee will debate the matter.Bill sponsor Representative Earl Jones, (D) Guilford County, said this measure is a compassion issue to give patients suffering with debilitating illnesses a better quality of life.URL:
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 14, 2009 at 17:48:03 PT
Have fun! I'm busy paying taxes tomorrow! LOL!I think the Marijuana events coming up will be extra special this year. We don't live near a big city so once again we won't be able to go to any of them but Youtube should be full of clips for us to see. 
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on April 14, 2009 at 17:28:20 PT
I made oneof those smoke-ins ...
back in ... hmmmmmmmmmmmmm... think it was 1999.the park is between the Lincoln memorial and the Nat'l science building in the corner of the mall, right there. a good baseball player could lob a baseball to the steps of the LM
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Comment #3 posted by Dankhank on April 14, 2009 at 17:23:33 PT
tea Parties
gonna be a bunch of them tomorrow.I just got a stack of posters from Dana Beal re:
40th annual Smoke-In to end Marijuana Prohibition in Lafayette Park Washington DC on 4 July 2009.I'm gonna take them to the local tea party and hand them out. I think it qualifies as well as any of the other "complaints" to be aired.could be fun
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 14, 2009 at 17:09:03 PT
Poll: Should MMJ Be Legal In North Carolina?
Current Results:Yes -- 88% No -- 9% I'm not sure -- 2% Other -- 1% URL:
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Comment #1 posted by paul armentano on April 14, 2009 at 15:57:42 PT
Huff Post: A Different Kind of Tea Party! Different Kind of Tea Party!Paul Armentano
Posted April 14, 2009 | 06:53 PM (EST)What would you do with an extra $14 billion dollars? NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, wants to find out.Tomorrow morning (April 15), members of NORML will present a mock check to the U.S Treasury Department in the sum of $14 billion dollars."We represent the millions of otherwise law-abiding cannabis consumers who are ready, willing, vocal and able to contribute needed tax revenue to America's struggling economy," NORML Executive Director says. "All we ask in exchange for our $14 billion is that our government respects our decision to use marijuana privately and responsibly."But this Tax Day it's not just NORML that is calling on lawmakers to tax and regulate marijuana. In today's economic climate, the question is: who isn't?Late last month, during President Barack Obama's first-ever Internet Town Hall, questions pertaining to whether legalizing marijuana like alcohol could help boost the economy received more votes from the public than did any other topic. The questions' popularity -- and the President's half-hearted reply ("No," he laughed.) -- stimulated a torrent of mainstream media attention. In the past two weeks alone, commentators like David Sirota (The Nation), Kathleen Parker (Washington Post), Paul Jacob (, Clarence Page (Chicago Tribune), and Jack Cafferty (CNN) have all expressed sympathy for regulating pot. Even Joe Klein at Time Magazine weighed in on the issue, writing this month that "legalizing marijuana makes sense."It makes cents too.According to a 2005 analysis by Harvard University senior lecturer Jeffrey Miron -- and endorsed by over 500 distinguished economists -- replacing pot prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation similar to that used for alcohol would produce combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion per year.A separate economic analysis, conducted by George Mason University professor Jon Gettman in 2007, estimates that the total amount of tax revenue derived from cannabis could be far higher. According to Gettman, the retail value of the total U.S. marijuana market now stands at a whopping $113 billion per year. Using standard tax percentages obtained from the Office of Management and Budget, he calculates that the diversion of this market from the taxable economy deprives taxpayers of $31.1 billion annually.For local and state governments, taxing and regulating pot could help reduce growing deficits. For instance, in Oakland, California the City Council gave preliminary approval last week to a proposal to raise the business tax paid by city-licensed medical marijuana dispensary operators. Council members estimate that the new tax will raise anywhere from $400,000 to a "couple million" dollars annually.Likewise, lawmakers in Massachusetts and California are debating statewide measures to tax and regulate the production and sale of cannabis to adults. Both state proposals would impose a fixed excise tax on the retail production of marijuana -- non-retail cultivation would remain untaxed -- as well as sales taxes on the commercial sale of the drug to anyone 21 years and older."The revenue effect of the proposed Act is an estimated annual revenue gain of $1.339 billion," says the California State Board of Equalization and Taxation, which is backing the measure. A more liberal economic assessment performed by California NORML's Dr. Dale Gieringer estimates that the annual revenues raised via the advent of a legal cannabis industry in California could be far higher."A comparable example would be California's wine industry," Gieringer wrote in a 2009 report. "With $12.3 billion in retail sales, the wine industry generates 309,000 jobs, $10.1 billion in wages, and $2 billion in tourist expenditures. Extrapolating these figures to a legal marijuana market, ... one might expect $12 to $18 billion in total economic activity, with 60,000 to 110,000 new jobs created, and $2.5 to $3.5 billion in legal wages, which would generate additional income and business taxes for the state."Finally, taxing and regulating cannabis would have the added bonus of taking the production and trafficking of pot out of the hands of criminal enterprises and, increasingly, drug gangs. According to the Associated Press, marijuana is the "biggest source of income" for Mexican drug cartels. Legalizing pot would eliminate this primary income source for these cartels and, in turn, eliminate much of the growing violence and turf battles that currently surround the drug's illegal importation from Mexico.Any way you look at it, legalizing cannabis just "makes sense." So why aren't we doing it?
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