Marijuana Legalization Campaign Looks To Expand 
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Marijuana Legalization Campaign Looks To Expand 
Posted by CN Staff on December 30, 2012 at 08:57:06 PT
By Alex Dobuzinskis
Source: Reuters
Los Angeles -- After a decades-long campaign to legalize marijuana hit a high mark in 2012 with victories in Washington state and Colorado, its energized and deep-pocketed backers are mapping out a strategy for the next round of ballot-box battles.They have their sights set on possible ballot measures in 2014 or 2016 in states such as California and Oregon, which were among the first in the country to allow marijuana for medical use. Although those states more recently rejected broader legalization, drug-law reform groups remain undeterred.
"Legalization is more or less repeating the history of medical marijuana," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "If you want to know which states are most likely to legalize marijuana, then look at the states that were the first to legalize medical marijuana."A political arm of the alliance spent more than $1.6 million as one of the main funders of the Washington state campaign.The passage of the ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state in November allowed personal possession of the drug for people 21 and older. That same age group will be allowed to buy the drug at special marijuana stores under rules set to be finalized next year.No other states have legalized marijuana, America's most widely used illicit drug, for recreational use. The drug remains illegal under federal law. Connecticut and Massachusetts also approved medical marijuana in 2012.A big question mark hangs over whether the pro-legalization momentum could be slowed if the federal government takes an aggressive stance against the new laws.The U.S. Department of Justice has been mostly silent on the issue. President Barack Obama said in a TV interview this month it did not make sense for the federal government to "focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that, under state law, that's legal."Changing Tide?In 1996, California became the first state to allow medical marijuana by a popular vote, and Oregon and Washington state were among the second wave in 1998. But Oregon rejected a marijuana legalization ballot measure in November, while California voters did the same in 1972 and 2010.The 2010 ballot measure in California failed to sway voters because it would have left regulation to a hodgepodge of local governments, instead of a uniform set of state rules, said Dale Gieringer, director of the California branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.This month, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom became one of America's top state officials to call for reform of marijuana laws when he told the New York Times that laws against the drug "just don't make sense anymore."Activists say they see demographic changes as giving them an advantage."We know that the younger generation is more supportive and the opposition really comes from the older generation. And as time goes on there's more of the younger generation and less of the older generation," Gieringer said."The second factor is we have these results in Colorado and Washington under our belt, so that sort of fertilizes the ground," he added.One key point marijuana advocates are thrashing out is whether to pursue any ballot initiative in 2014, or wait until the presidential election of 2016, when the turnout of their reliable base of youth voters will likely be higher.Regardless of when a ballot initiative might come to California, the nation's most populous state, groups opposing legalization vow to defeat it.One of those is the California Police Chiefs Association."I have yet to hear a legalization proponent talk about how society will be enhanced, how the real social problems facing our country will be improved by legalizing yet another substance that compromises people's five senses," said John Lovell, government relations manager for the group.A number of addiction specialists say that where marijuana is legalized, teenagers will come to believe the drug is harmless and more will use it.Medical marijuana is already big business in California. The state Board of Equalization in its most recent analysis from 2009 estimated medical cannabis dispensaries ring up sales of $1.3 billion a year, and pay sales taxes of $105 million. (Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Edith Honan and David Brunnstrom)Source: Reuters (Wire)Author: Alex DobuzinskisPublished: December 30, 2012Copyright: 2012 Thomson ReutersCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #15 posted by afterburner on January 01, 2013 at 09:57:20 PT
Here's Another Example of the Misguided Backlash 
AlterNet / By Ocean Malandra
Indigenous Healer Faces Prison After Receiving Cactus in Mail.
After six years in the Amazon, Jungle Svonni returned to Sweden only to face charges for possession of a plant that is legal in his country. 
December 29, 2012
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Comment #14 posted by afterburner on January 01, 2013 at 09:42:04 PT
kaptinemo #13 - I Second That Emotion
We've been fighting the legalization battle for the last 10 years in Canada since the Summer of Legalization against the backlash and the political legalization-deniers. However, Colorado and Washington State have brought the world to the tipping point and we ain't going back to the chains of Prohibition. Resist, brothers and sisters. Throw off your chains and live the life you were born to live. Together we will build the new era beyond the end of the last Mayan Calendar. This is the new era of peace, but we must be vigilant and dedicated to birth it. Happy New Year 2013, everyone!January tells us to look back (at the victories and traditions) in order to look forward to the visions and challenges of the future:Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy in 2012. 
By Paul Armentano, NORML. 
Looking back at the year we made history. 
December 26, 2012. READ MOREĽ / By Paul Armentano.
Is Marijuana an 'Exit Drug'? Study Suggests Some Are Taking It as a Substitute for Prescription Drugs and Alcohol.
A surprising three quarters of medical cannabis consumers say they subbed in pot for more harmful substances.
 December 26, 2012 / By Ronnie Cummins.
Why We Need a New Year's Revolution Against the Corporatocracy.
Despite our best, often heroic efforts the New World Order of post-2012 is shaping up to be very difficult, indeed downright scary.
 December 28, 2012 please. peace.
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Comment #13 posted by kaptinemo on January 01, 2013 at 07:32:28 PT:
A new day. A New Year. And a more hopeful one.
At least, as far as ending cannabis prohibition. I hope all and sundry have enjoyed their Holidays safely. And are rested up good. For the battle's about to take a vigorous turn.The prohibs have been finally been caught between rocks and impenetrable surfaces, the place where they put us for so long. They've finally entered the arena of democracy, where, for once, they are facing equal opponents. And they know they can't win on an even playing field. They were taken aback, and their official silence proves just how badly they've been shaken. All the way down to the rank-and-file, with only the True Believers convinced that nothing's changed.But they'll be back. There's too much at stake for them, because the entire authoritarian, rights-crushing machinery that they enjoyed building and exercising over their fellow citizens with such gusto that has been built up over the past 30 years is endangered by cannabis prohibition ending. It's not just their gravy train, but their defense shield from future reckonings for their many and terrible sins.The entire foundation of the odious laws that were foisted upon the American people by gutless, spineless pols ("We have to vote on it [the so-called PATRIOT Act] to see what's in it!") in the wake of 9/11 were built upon drug prohibition statutes, of which cannabis prohibition is the cornerstone. Knock out that cornerstone, and that entire edifice becomes more unstable than it already was. The social pendulum is finally swinging back after decades of artificially being strenuously held against the right side of the pendulum's frame by puritanical fanatics and their cooler-headed, cynical, self-serving bureaucratic allies. But they won't let it go without a fight.But, like I said, they're in trouble. The generation they tried to brainwash has grown up, and instead of robotically saying "Just Say No" as their (lying, scheming, self-serving) 'programmers' hoped they would, said a resoundingly happy YES!!! to cannabis in Washington State and Colorado. They lost not only the skirmish, in reality they've lost the war, and it's just a matter of mopping up rearguard actions as we move forward. But we all know about what cornered rats do. Be ready.
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Comment #12 posted by The GCW on January 01, 2013 at 01:53:12 PT
Hope #11,
More,Members-only marijuana clubs open in Colorado
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on December 31, 2012 at 18:05:09 PT
Comment 9
A "Den"?
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on December 31, 2012 at 18:04:04 PT
Here's hoping each and every one of you 
has a wonderful New Year!And me, too!All of us! I hope we all have a wonderful new year!
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on December 31, 2012 at 14:52:50 PT
Denver's first marijuana den, Club 64, to open 4:20 p.m. Monday"""...And, in tiny Del Norte in southern Colorado, a private marijuana den attached to the White Horse Inn coffee and head shop along U.S. Highway 160 was already open by late Monday morning. Cont.
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on December 31, 2012 at 14:44:10 PT
How can We help Cali RE-legalize before election day in 2014?
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Comment #7 posted by Ryannn29 on December 31, 2012 at 11:21:57 PT
2014?? no way
Has to be 2013, we can't wait 2 years here in Cali to legalize. Push hard this year and legalize it in November, it can be done, Colorado & Washington are setting perfect examples.
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on December 31, 2012 at 09:02:09 PT
in the news
There was an article on the news the other nignt about some business guys in Colorado wanting to get into the new cannabis business. They were calling it a historic groundbreaking business opportunity and they wanted to be in on it.  
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Comment #5 posted by rainbow on December 31, 2012 at 06:23:23 PT
Jury Null
One way of showing grassroots support is spreading the notion of Jury nullification. If enough do this the states will have to sit and take notice as well.Mason could have a campign based on that and probably get a lot of support. If the %'s are true a lot could happen merely in court cases.
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Comment #4 posted by RevRayGreen on December 30, 2012 at 17:50:17 PT
HNY CN !!!!!
Iowa NICER 2012-a Phoenix now rising from smoke of the aPOTcalypse-2013 is near,be there ___v ''
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Comment #3 posted by Relfving on December 30, 2012 at 15:32:28 PT:
Let's Spread the Legalization to Other States
It is a real breakthrough that two states have legalized marijuana. The Whitehorse cafe hopes to open in Colorado on January 1st. They will serve a cup of coffee and a gram of weed for $10. I sure wish I lived in Colorado. California is going to be next with a few other states. "Longtime Denver marijuana activist Mason Tvert scored another win: a new job.
Tvert is now the communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, the national lobbying group that is the parent organization for Tvert's SAFER Colorado and was the main funder for Colorado's Amendment 64.
"I'm simply in a new role there, where I will be able to work on these issues around the nation," Tvert said."
  He is working on exporting the legalization strategies to other states. It takes about two years of groundwork. They are considering six other states.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on December 30, 2012 at 10:29:07 PT
2nd time is a charm
-Although California and Oregon more recently rejected broader legalization, drug-law reform groups remain undeterred. --0-Colorado also rejected RE-legalizing the superplant the 1st time around. There are growing numbers of citizens in Oregon and California that have seen what can be achieved and will work extra to get the job done. There may also be some feelings of jealousy which will help too.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on December 30, 2012 at 09:52:09 PT
Expand, expand...
it will!I think this will be the most talked about issue for 2013 and the most important one. This one affects us all!As opposed to the fictitious 'war on terror' that we are all reminded of, every day but affects no one.Hopefully, it will be just in time to bring some sanity back to the USA.Legalize it all over the world! Marijuana is an acid test for democracy, let's see who wins in 2013, we, the people or our rulers and masters.
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