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Marijuana news from around the world

Senate

Turning point for legal marijuana in Colorado: Big changes in the works as state plays catchup

Colorado’s status as the frontier for legal marijuana is fading fast as larger states get in the game, spurring lawmakers this spring to consider big changes that would reverberate for years to come.

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Marijuana industry would no longer be cash-only if this bill passes. And this time, it has a better chance.

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter has again introduced legislation allowing marijuana businesses to use banks, removing a hindrance that has plagued Colorado businesses in the five years since legalization.

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Senate committee, rejecting request from Sessions, keeps protection for medical marijuana states

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment to protect state medical marijuana programs from federal interference, despite a written request from Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this year that they not do so.

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Game Changers After Historic Election

voters

There were many highlights from Tuesday’s election.  Obviously the headlines are focusing on President Barack Obama’s re-election which came by dominating the electoral college.  However the President won a much slimmer popular vote victory.  There were also tremendous victories for the LGBT community and anyone who supports equal protection.  Minnesota residents voted against outlawing same sex marriage Maine and Maryland passed legislation allowing the unions.  Other stories include the fact that the majorities in the House (Republican controlled) and the Senate (Democratically controlled) stayed the same, with the exception of a few seats shifting.  Another victory for the people was the apparent failure of the Super PACS(outside political groups with no limits to how much they can spend) to impact the election.  Perhaps there will be a few less advertisements in 2016 or for the 2014 midterm elections, though that is likely wishful thinking.

In the world of marijuana reform, America saw a true game changing events.  Massachusetts has now become the 18th state to pass medical marijuana legislation.  The list almost grew to 19 but the ballot initiative narrowly failed(51-49%).  However, activists should be pleased as a narrow defeat shows even the deep south is changing and is receptive to marijuana reform.  What is even more striking is that Colorado and Washington State voters have passed an initiative that will regulate, tax, and distribute recreational marijuana.

Although the legalization in Colorado and Washington State does not end the conflict with the federal government, it does provide even more legitimacy for legalized marijuana.  Now there will be tighter regulation and greater tax revenues collected from marijuana sales.  If federal agents intervene, they now will have to compromise local economies and infringe on state laws.  They will have to take marijuana from safe and regulated environments and return it to street dealers.  Additionally, we are fresh off of a major statement by the people and while the feds have not respected our will previously, the writing on the wall is becoming more and more apparent.  All over this country the people want to see a different approach toward regulating marijuana, and the old system is simply obsolete.

Thankfully the election cycle is finally over.  It may be instinctive and easy to take a cynical outlook on what occurred but we should all be encouraged by the fact that the biggest changes in this country came directly from the hard work of the people and groups such as Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and New Approach Washington .  Ballot initiatives have produced same sex marriage equality and common sense marijuana reform.  The 2012 election was historic and will set the stage for even more states to return rights back to the people.

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Victory For President Obama, Legal Marijuana In Colorado…

Obama Victory

The grueling 2012 election has finally come to an end.  Americans can now finally relax as the constant barrage of political ads will finally go away.  When including the GOP primary debates, this election got underway way back in the summer of 2011.  Last night President Barack Obama was victorious in what was a sweeping electoral victory but narrow popular vote advantage.  The other stories of the night were the Republicans taking a decisive lead in the House of Representatives while the Democrats won tough races to control the Senate.  Marijuana reformers had several stories to be pleased with including Colorado residents voting to legalize and regulate marijuana and Massachusetts passing legislation to start a medical marijuana program. Other big stories included the legalization of same sex marriage in several states including Minnesota. We will be breaking down the election and providing more updates and details from last night.

 

Click Here for CNN’s Up to Date Coverage of the 2012 Election results

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