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Medical Marijuana Industry News June 29, 2012

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New Billboard Featuring Father and Son for Marijuana Regulation put up in Colorado…

Supporters of Colorado’s Amendment 64 are starting to add up.  Amendment 64 will be voted on by the people of Colorado in November and would see marijuana regulated and taxed.  The group Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol was instrumental in getting the signatures required to get the issue to the ballots.  A new campaign that focuses on families was recently launched.  The group has placed a billboard close to the stadium that is home to the Denver Broncos.  Opponents were predictably critical and asserted that legalized marijuana will find its way into the hands of children.  Recent studies have shown this not to be the case in Sacramento for medical marijuana.  The group feels this is not the case and their billboard actually depicts a father and a son with the slogan “Please, Card My Son.”  Under that it says “Regulate the sale of marijuana and keep it out of his hands.”

 

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Chicago Passes Law to Ticket Small Level Marijuana Offenders…

Media outlets have been reporting on a plan to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in the city of Chicago.  Aldermen (term used for Chicago City Legislators) had a long debate on the issue the other day but in the end overwhelmingly approved the measure, 43-3.  The law was supported by President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  In response to dissenters who claimed the law sent a poor message to children, the Mayor actually stated that no action would send a far more devastating signal.  Chicago has seen a tremendous rise in homicides, up 38% from this time last year.  Many are concerned with police resources being tied up combating low level marijuana cases instead of more serious crimes.  Alderman Will Burns said “The calls I get at 2 o’clock in the morning are not about marijuana possession, they’re about someone who’s been shot in my ward, I want those calls to cease and the way we do that is to make sure our police are fighting violent crime.”  Residents of Chicago are also concerned, like New York City, about the disproportionate amount of marijuana arrests for Black and Hispanics, compared with Whites who actually smoke more marijuana.

 

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New Jersey Assembly Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill…

New Jersey Lawmakers have been discussing a bill that would decriminalize marijuana for about a month.  Earlier this week they passed it as many residents feel their tax dollars are being wasted on low level marijuana possession arrests.  The New Jersey State Assembly passed measure A1465 by a margin of 44-30.  Unfortunately for marijuana advocates, New Jersey Mayor Chris Christie has already indicated that he will veto the measure.  Judging by the governor’s opposition to a medical marijuana program that was already passed before he came to office, New Jersey residents may be in store for a bitter battle over a sensible decriminalization debate.  Check back with us as we will be covering the Governor’s response and possible veto in further detail to the decriminalization bill.

 

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President Obama to Sign Bill Banning Synthetic Marijuana…

Momentum for outlawing synthetic marijuana has been building for over a year.  Many states have their own laws against products such as “K2” and “Spice” but now it appears a federal ban will be signed by President Barack Obama soon.  Recently a bill (led by NY Senator Charles Schumer) passed in the United States Senate and will make its way to the president’s desk soon.  Dangerous side effects, especially for teens have been reported.  Many feel a tightly regulated marijuana industry would have prevented the synthetic black market.  The bill comes at a time when advocates are desperate for the White House to engage in a serious marijuana reform conversation.  Many were offended when DEA officials refused to acknowledge that heroin and crack were more harmful than marijuana.

 

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