D.C. Councilman Pushes Marijuana Legalization
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D.C. Councilman Pushes Marijuana Legalization
Posted by CN Staff on September 20, 2013 at 20:24:10 PT
By Steven Nelson
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Washington, D.C. -- The first medical marijuana stores opened in Washington, D.C., less than two months ago, but the D.C. Council is already considering legalizing the drug. At-large Councilman David Grosso, an independent, introduced legislation Tuesday to legalize marijuana possession and consumption for adults over 21."Most people understand the role that marijuana has played in our community: Unlike what was touted for years during the 'War on Drugs' that it's a gateway drug, really all marijuana's been is a gateway to arrest and a lifetime of struggling with the justice system," he says.
If enacted, the law would levy a 10 percent tax on recreational marijuana and 6 percent on medical marijuana. It would also authorize the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to issue licenses to recreational marijuana stores.Grosso believes it would comply with Justice Department guidance issued Aug. 29, which said state-level marijuana legalization will be tolerated if businesses are tightly regulated.Nobody has approached him to express interest in opening a shop, but about 100 constituents have emailed with supportive messages, he said.Grosso isn't the only councilman pushing for marijuana reform. Councilman Tommy Wells, a Democratic candidate for mayor, introduced a decriminalization bill July 10 to reduce penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to a $100 fine versus the current standard of up to six month in jail and a fine of up to $1,000."Rest assured that folks are going to be pushing for my bill at any hearing on Wells' bill," Grosso says. "I think what will happen is Councilman Wells will have a hearing on decriminalization, and people will show up and say, 'Hey, this doesn't go far enough!' and then I think it would be smart for them to move forward with my bill."Although he supports the decriminalization bill, along with a majority of the council, Grosso fears it won't address the core issues of violence and criminality associated with the current black market for drugs."There's going to be an increase in demand with decriminalization, but there isn't going to be anywhere safe for people to go purchase marijuana," Grosso says. "They're still going to be on the street corners, we're still going to have problems with violence on the street, with people getting arrested for nonviolent offenses."Councilman Marion Barry, a co-sponsor of the decriminalization bill, is "fully supportive" of marijuana legalization, said Grosso, who also introduced a bill that would automatically seal the criminal records of nonviolent marijuana cases. That bill may be adopted independently or as part of the decriminalization bill, he said.A study released in June by the American Civil Liberties Union showed Washington, D.C., had a higher marijuana arrest rate per capita than any of the 50 states. About 846 in 100,000 district residents were arrested for marijuana possession in 2010, and black residents were 8.05 times more likely to be nabbed.Congress has the authority to block D.C. laws and did so for years after a 1998 referendum in which city residents voted for medical marijuana.Grosso says times have changed, however, and he doesn't believe Congress would block implementation of a council-approved legalization bill."The mood is turning, the tide is turning," he says.A voter-initiated legalization referendum, he added, isn't ideal, but it may be successfully pushed by residents next year if the council doesn't act first.Source: U.S. News & World Report (US)Author:  Steven Nelson Published: September 19, 2013Copyright: 2013 U.S. News & World ReportWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on September 25, 2013 at 07:21:04 PT
And it's getting really ugly, right now.Wow. It's even at the prohibitionists' conference site, they've apparently found someone among the anti-prohibition protesters, that has at some point in the past, been accused of child molestation. Arrgh.That's bad. But it still has nothing to with the issue, that I can tell. They are flailing and thrashing. And dangerous.
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Comment #13 posted by runruff on September 25, 2013 at 04:54:31 PT
It has been mentioned here before,
 that a dying horse is most dangerous during it's death throw'sThe good news is; it's dying!
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on September 24, 2013 at 20:42:53 PT
Comment 9 Afterburner
Those sites are unbelievable. Wow. That National Marijuana Policy and Strategy Conference is scaring these people or threatening them? If someone is doing that... they should stop. That doesn't help matters at all.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on September 24, 2013 at 11:32:46 PT
It's sure not over. By any means.
And always people will have to be vigilant at what sort of laws law makers and busy bodies are dreaming up to make things crimes, that shouldn't be. 
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on September 22, 2013 at 13:55:12 PT
I know as the battle gets closer to the end the fight by prohibitionists will ramp up. They won't finally come to their senses and say we lost this one but they should.
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on September 22, 2013 at 13:01:18 PT
Hope #6 & FoM #7
The optimist in me wants to believe we are breaking through to victory. The pessimist sees evidence of backlash by entrenched interests. The realist in me says it's time to stand our ground, consolidate our gains and keep moving forward with truth and science.Look what's happening in Cali tomorrow (Mon. Sept. 23) with an anti-cannabis conference and a protest against its lies:darkcycle Conference Blocking Proponents From Attending; Protest Planned.
Fri Sep 20, 2013 National Marijuana Policy & Strategy Conference.
September 23-24.
Rancho Cucamonga, California.
Pot Protest Threatens Kids and Event Safety
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on September 22, 2013 at 08:59:44 PT
reasonable taxes
10 percent tax?  Not bad. Allow home cultivation as well and I'm on board.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 22, 2013 at 06:25:00 PT
 I remember when reform looked like it was going to happen in the 70s and then it all blew up. I thought when the 60s people that thought Woodstock was a good thing came of the age where we had political clout change would happen and it is.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on September 22, 2013 at 06:18:16 PT
It's true, FoM.
It's happening. I'm so thankful. Decades ago I prayed for God to send us the people to do the job, to give them courage and strengthen them and to bring them forward from everywhere and make them very capable of doing the job we need doing... the job of ending all this dreadful injustice. I believe he did that and I'm very thankful to him and all the wonderful people that heeded that call and that need. Mountains! I see mountains that could not be moved, being shaken and thrown into the sea! I'm so thankful and I'm so thankful to have lived to see it.
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Comment #5 posted by Canis420 on September 21, 2013 at 21:45:44 PT:
As in pusher...not thrilled with the title of this bit
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 21, 2013 at 19:24:52 PT
Miracles Do Happen
We are winning and it's great.
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on September 21, 2013 at 19:02:14 PT
go DC
If and when DC, the capitol of the Drug War, goes legal, the rest of the rest of the states will follow rather quickly.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on September 21, 2013 at 08:49:40 PT
It's like light.
From people waking up everywhere AND speaking out against the injustice.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on September 21, 2013 at 05:03:03 PT
GateWAY to Hell. Jobs for a few UNION folks.
"..really all marijuana's been is a gateway to arrest and a lifetime of struggling with the justice system,""The mood is turning, the tide is turning,"
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