Hickenlooper's Marijuana Task Force Reconvenes
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Hickenlooper's Marijuana Task Force Reconvenes
Posted by CN Staff on January 04, 2013 at 19:27:23 PT
By The Huffington Post
Source: Huffington Post 
Pot is legal in Colorado -- now what? Well, that's just what Gov. John Hickenlooper's marijuana task force is working on, how to best regulate marijuana in the state.The pot task force, which is working to identify the policy and legal issues that need to be resolved now that recreational marijuana for adults is now legal with the passage of Amendment 64, is now back to work after taking a break over the holidays, 9News reports.
Two smaller groups within the task force met today to discuss consumer safety, how to label commercial marijuana and whether recreational marijuana should be regulated like alcohol or closer to how medical marijuana is currently handled in Colorado.The task force is comprised of 24 members representing various points of view from pot growers, state government officials, employers and the law enforcement community on how marijuana should be regulated in the state. The group of 24 has until the end of February to make their final recommendations to the governor on how to handle the implementation of the new law.Amendment 64 was approved 55-45 in November's election and its passage was due in large part to the efforts of Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol's co-director Mason Tvert who responded to Hickenlooper's creation of the task force and signing of A64 into law saying in December, "We look forward to working with the governor's office and many other stakeholders on the implementation of Amendment 64. We are certain that this will be a successful endeavor and Colorado will become a model for other states to follow."The task force is co-chared by Jack Finlaw, Hickenlooper's chief legal counsel and Barbra Brohl, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. Click here for a full list of all 24 members.Via statement, Hickenlooper's office outlines the goals and mission of the task force:Issues that will be addressed include: the need to amend current state and local laws regarding the possession, sale, distribution or transfer of marijuana and marijuana products to conform them to Amendment 64’s decriminalization provisions; the need for new regulations for such things as security requirements for marijuana establishments and for labeling requirements; education regarding long-term health effects of marijuana use and harmful effects of marijuana use by those under the age of 18; and the impact of Amendment 64 on employers and employees and the Colorado economy. The Task Force will also work to reconcile Colorado and federal laws such that the new laws and regulations do not subject Colorado state and local governments and state and local government employees to prosecution by the federal government. All meetings of the Task Force and any working groups will be open to the public. The Task Force will also endeavor to solicit public comment as part of its consideration of the policy, legal and procedural issues that need to be resolved to implement Amendment 64.“Task Force members are charged with finding practical and pragmatic solutions to the challenges of implementing Amendment 64 while at all times respecting the diverse perspectives that each member will bring to the work of the task force,” the Executive Order says. “The Task Force shall respect the will of the voters of Colorado and shall not engage in a debate of the merits of marijuana legalization or Amendment 64.”“As we move forward now with implementation of Amendment 64, we will try to maintain as much flexibility as possible to accommodate the federal government’s position on the amendment,” Hickenlooper said in a statement.Amendment 64 allows for adults, 21 and older, to possess up to an ounce of marijuana as well as grow up to six plants -- with only three of the plants mature and flowering -- all for personal, recreational use in their home.It has been nearly two months since the passage of historic measures in Colorado and Washington which legalized the recreational use of marijuana and Colorado has just beginning to see what this new law might mean with the arrival of many "firsts" in the state. The first members-only recreational marijuana club opened up just at the turn of the new year, a "cannabis-friendly" coffee and tea bar that is billed as BYOC: Bring your own cannabis sprouted up in Lafayette for another first, and a first-of-its-kind professional training school, THC University, launched to help people learn how to best cultivate their home-grown marijuana. Classes will be in session beginning in February.Although marijuana remains illegal under federal law and the federal government's intent to enforce that law remains unclear, President Barack Obama made his clearest statements about his plans for the passage of recreational marijuana measures passed in Colorado and Washington, saying to Barbara Walters that prosecuting adult pot users in states that have legalized the drug won't be a top priority for his administration. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law."We've got bigger fish to fry," Obama told ABC News' Barbara Walters. "It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal."The Obama administration suggested last week that it was considering plans to undermine the voter initiatives. In his interview with Walters, Obama did not say whether his administration would go after producers and suppliers of marijuana in those states. The administration has cracked down aggressively on the medical marijuana industry in states like California and Colorado, despite its legality in those states. A majority of Americans want the Department of Justice to leave pot smokers alone in the states where the drug has been legalized, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll. Source: Huffington Post (NY)Published: January 3, 2013Copyright: 2013, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:   -- Cannabis  Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on January 06, 2013 at 05:48:27 PT
Patrick Kennedy has more then a substance problem. He is mentally ill and I do not use that term lightly. I would never put faith in any person who has serious health issues like Patrick. I believe most people would feel the same. It is a shame that someone is manipulating him to take this stand. I also don't believe if Senator Kennedy was alive Patrick would be in this position. Shame shame shame on those who are doing this to him.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on January 05, 2013 at 20:16:35 PT
Comment 4, FoM
I agree. It's just really sad and messed up.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 05, 2013 at 17:01:06 PT
Patrick Kennedy is a nice person who has serious issues with substances. I do hope that people do not take his views seriously. He needs help but not everyone does. Worrying about his young child should not be a reason to continue to condemn marijuana users. The children are the responsibility of the parents and adults should not be treated like children. It is a false illusion that it will help prevent their child from smoking marijuana when they are an adult.
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Comment #3 posted by RElfving on January 05, 2013 at 15:50:07 PT:
Expensive Drug War
"Yet somehow we persist in punising the pot smokers, adding them to the heap of imprisoned Americans. Our nation now leads every other country on the planet in one thing: more prisoners. One percent of American adults are in jail. Both per capita and in absolute terms, we put more of our own nation in prisons than any other. In 2009, half of all federal prisoners in the United States were serving sentences for drug offensses. U.S. spending on the drug war tops $100 billion annually. Each prisoner costs $45,000 per year. That is very expensive public housing." Pot Book, a Complete Guide to Cannabis.
In Portugal drug offenders are not put in prison but if they are abusers, they are treated medically and psycbologically. The expensive drug war should be eliminated and we should use Portugal's model for non violent offenders. They are not harming anyone but themselves. "Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal’s drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%.""The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%.The lawsuit to reschedule cannabis in Nixon's 1970 Controlled Substances Act is probably the most critical thing, nationally, that needs deciding before other states will confidently move forward with cannabis/hemp reform. The lawsuit, itself, was filed because the DEA stalled the most recent petition to reschedule cannabis for nine years before ultimately rejecting it. Past lawsuits have been dismissed because plaintiffs lacked the appropriate legal standing to sue, but not this time around: the plaintiffs are medical cannabis patients who are impacted, directly, by the Schedule 1 classification. One of the plaintiffs is a permanently disabled veteran who is denied any sort of pain management through the VA. The three federal judges on the panel requested additional info on the plaintiffs and are still in deliberation.
If the lawsuit is successful, and the DEA is forced to reschedule cannabis to Schedule 3 (where the synthetic cousins of cannabis, Marinol & Sativex, are classified), states can easily move forward on reform without anyone at the state-level pitching a fit about being in conflict with federal law. If the federal govt. reschedules, the Supremacy Clause as well as Full Protection Under the Law can/would give anyone with a case to make a medical necessity defense: patients, doctors, and the people who cultivate & distribute cannabis.
More importantly, medical research could *actually* progress in the United States. As it stands, the NIDA is the only entity a researcher can request legal cannabis from, which is technically against the law. Laws about the production of Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 substances for the sake of research forbid monopolies and encourage market competition to avoid artificially inflating costs. The NIDA is not *supposed* to be the only cannabis entity, but the DEA will not license any others to legally cultivate/distribute.
The reason the DEA will only allow the NIDA to cultivate/distribute is that the NIDA does not approve of any cannabis research unless the research is, by design, intended to show that cannabis is dangerous. The system is rigged, deliberately, for this reason. The DEA would lose half their budget if cannabis were legalized, and allowing research into the safety and medical efficacy of cannabis (without the NIDA blocking for them) would be the beginning of the end for cannabis prohibition and the bloated DEA budget.
Last figure I saw, the United States has wasted $1.3 trillion on the failed drug war, but those DEA agents would rather bust passive "pot heads" instead of real criminals who deal in poison and might shoot back. They make a lot of money through property seizures.Here is what the first three Presidents had to say about marijuana. 
"Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country. The greatest service which can be rendered any country is too add a useful plant to its culture.              Thomas Jefferson
Make the most you can of the INdian hemp seed and sow it everywhere.
                      George WashingtonWe shall, by and by want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.   
                      John Adams 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on January 05, 2013 at 14:59:01 PT
Patrick Kennedy On Marijuana: Former Rep. Leads Campaign Against Legal Pot suppose this, ironically, is good for the cause. But, just the same, aaarrrgggh.It's just so... I don't know... crazy? That's a nice way of saying it. Really. Crazy.
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Comment #1 posted by Had Enough on January 04, 2013 at 23:38:23 PT
Georgia On My Mind 
Activists to Push Legislature for Medical Marijuana in Georgia·	Written By: MATTHEW CHARLES CARDINALE·	12-26-2012(APN) ATLANTA -- A coalition of organizations that deal with marijuana policy reform have come together to push the Legislature to address the issue of medical marijuana in the upcoming 2013 Legislative Session.The new coalition, the Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform & Education Project (Georgia CARE Project), held a press conference at the State Capitol on Monday, December 17, 2012.According to a press release obtained by Atlanta Progressive News, the Georgia CARE Project is a project of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance (GTA).James Bell, 53, both of the GTA and the Project, tells APN he had been involved in the marijuana legalization movement since 1986 as then-Director of the Georgia Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Bell says he is turning to the issue after turning his focus to property tax issues for the last ten years.“What really sparked it off was when Gov. Deal and the Legislature enacted a study committee on criminal justice and reform, and their goal was to look at how can we reduce the number of nonviolent offenders in the Georgia prison system,” Bell said.more...*************Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind (LIVE) HD
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