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Category Archives: Medical Marijuana Laws

Marijuana Education for the Upcoming Elections in California

Vote Now! Let’s Decide on Marijuana Legalization. Your Vote Your Voice!


icon  08 Nov, 2016  /  icon  6        Author: Paul

It’s Election Day and there is something special on the ballot box for some states: marijuana legalization. It is time to decide the fate of this hard fought battle that has already been worn in a number of states. While voting is on for Congress men and women and for the president of the United States as well, there is the issue of marijuana that needs the voice of everyone who is affected. Previous voting, for instance, has seen the legalization of medical marijuana in some states like California and maybe now is the time to see the legalization of recreational marijuana in the same state. Some other states are still looking forward to see medical marijuana decriminalized before proceeding on with full fledged legalization for marijuana to include the recreational aspect.

Today, there are nine initiatives of marijuana reforms listed on the ballot and maybe it is vital to note this: marijuana decriminalization law reforms and initiatives are just as good as the people coming in to implement them. Check out the number of states voting on reforms for this excellent herb that has had a lot of benefits in places where it has been either partially legalized for medical use or wholly legalized for both medical and non-medical use. There is a lot that has been said and recorded concerning initiatives coming from the different states and what it means to all users of marijuana and the cannabis industry as a whole.

It may appear as though the states that have already formulated policy initiatives on marijuana are the ones concerned with the efforts of legalization. However, that is not the case. The election this time round is a little bit more special and is expected to shift things in a big way on grounds of cannabis legalization efforts. In that case, 34 Senate seats are up for grabs. As earlier mentioned both the vote for this herb and the people coming on board are important if any significant developments are to be realized during and after the election.  Therefore, every vote counts even with the election of the members to the House of Representatives. All these members totaling to 435 are contesting their seats in this election. It is therefore expected that the contribution of everybody will be very instrumental towards the final result of the election.

There is provision for amendments because all laws are subject to that. For this reason, it would be important for all voters to study their local and state officials contesting in this election. Every person has a contribution to make and shape the result of the marijuana legalization process in their state. It is pointless to vote for marijuana and then go ahead to chose a candidate who does not support it. In recent times, different aspirants including the presidential candidates expressed their opinions about the use of marijuana. Based on this valuable information, you can vote in someone who has your interest at heart. All these personalities who declared their stand on marijuana were listed in media sources including the Washington post that enumerated congress members supporting the decriminalization of marijuana.

Looking at this list of marijuana supporters of this caliber, it will play a big role in how you vote this time round. Not many found their way in that list, which was really a worrying report. The congress is meant to represent the stand taken by voters in the United States and that is why the number was not satisfactory. Recent poll reports have shown 60% support for the decriminalization of marijuana coming from the American population. Therefore, seeing a minority group of Congress members coming out in the open to show the same support is worrying.  For some years now, legalization of weed has been left for states to decide but the trend is putting pressure on the federal government to think otherwise. This is the time to be counted and express our commitment towards marijuana reforms. It’s your choice.

The recommendation here is not to compel anyone to vote for marijuana. However, the idea is to get everyone contribute in making this important decision.  Let your decision count. It’s simple. See who is looking for your vote and find out what they think of marijuana legalization.  Vote now!

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Cannabis Dispensary

Your Guide to California's Recreational Marijuana Laws


icon    /  icon  6        Author: Paul

California is on the verge of joining other states like Maine, Aziona, Massachusetts and Nevada on the legal use of recreational marijuana. This is an initiative seeking to legalize the use of marijuana amongst adults. Come November 8, Californians will be voting to either pass or reject proposition 64, which is the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). Once passed, this proposition will allow adults to buy and use cannabis on legal grounds.  But before votes are cast, what laws govern the use of recreational marijuana in California? Here are important regulations to note, in what seems as an improvement of existing laws on recreational marijuana that is still illegal in California. These laws control, regulate and tax the liable use of marijuana among adults as it protects children and safe guards local control, protecting public safety and public health and defending water resources and the environment at large in the following ways:

Possession and use: Any adult of 21 years of age and above will be allowed to use an ounce or less of cannabis. Users are also allowed to take only eight grams of cannabis concentrates. This will end the prohibition law enacted 103 years ago.  However, sales of marijuana for use to adults will have to wait until January 1, 2018 and again will happen in regions that will permit that. Anything done out of these provisions will be punishable by law.

Marijuana Growing and Manufacturing: Adults will be allowed to cultivate marijuana up to six plants for individual use. This will be permitted on a private and enclosed space. However, this limit does not apply to medical patients who are governed by prop. 215 giving them room to cultivate and possess as much marijuana as they would need for medical reasons. On the same note, local authorities are forbidden from completely banning indoor cultivation for individual use.

To protect children from accessing weed and advance the safe use of marijuana by adults, the packaging, labeling and testing of all weed products will be highly regulated as follows: the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) will in charge as the main regulatory agency whereas the Department of Public Health (DPH) will keep watch over the testing and manufacturing of marijuana products. On the other hand, cultivation of marijuana will be under the Department of Food & Agriculture (DFA).

Marijuana Promotion: The advertisement and marketing of recreational marijuana to anyone less than the age limit provided of 21 years or close to places inhabited by children including schools is prohibited.

Penalties for breaching set guidelines:  The penalties for violating guidelines laid out on sale, growing, transportation and the possession with the purpose of selling involving mandatory felonies and misdemeanors have been downgraded.  This will largely eliminated the main cause of felony marijuana arrest all over California. However, felony enhancements are still permitted for third-time offenders and aggravating or violent conditions. Even with all that, the laws do not increase the penalties on top of what is already in force.  Jail and prison sentences for minors under the age of 18 have also been eliminated. Additionally, previous prisoners, parolees and offenders have been given room to petition established courts for resentencing or an automatic dismissal of charges placed against them.

Fine on public use of marijuana: marijuana users found to be using the herb in any public lace will be required to pay a $100 fine. Note that a tobacco smoking area is also regarded as a public place and no one should stay ignorant of that. Further, the laws prohibit the possession or use of an “open container” of cannabis in motor vehicles and that includes back-seat passengers too.  Vaporization in all areas not designated for smoking is also prohibited. However, users can smoke their marijuana on-site in establishments that re well-defined and licensed.

Marijuana Sales alongside Other Drugs: The sale of recreational cannabis shall not be permitted to happen in business that currently engage in the sale of such drug substances as tobacco or alcohol. Therefore, it is very important for dealers and users to consider the true definition of “private” before making assumptions about the business around recreational marijuana.

Driving: Driving while in an impaired state occasioned through the use of marijuana is illegal and will be punishable by the law if anyone will be found a culprit. Therefore, the law maintains that anyone caught driving in an impaired state, as would be determined by officers will be punishable by the law. Users are therefore advised to do personal tests before driving to make sure they will not be found guilty of an offence of this kind.

Tax laws: For those seeking to venture in the marijuana trade industry, there will be a $9.25 tax imposed for every ounce on wholesale growing. This is almost 10% of the existing prices. There will also be a significant 16% excise tax on retailing with an additional 7.5 + % sales tax that still exists.

Additionally, local governments may consider imposing taxes that are not clearly defined based on their discretion. Some may be as significant as 10%. However, industry experts say that the cost of cannabis will decrease significantly in the end.

Revenue from Marijuana: Expected to hit a high of $1billion on annual basis, revenue collected will be directed for treatment and prevention programs, education on drug abuse, restoring the environment, in research and giving grants to law enforcement and local governments in areas that don’t ban the sale of marijuana or individual outdoor growing.

Amendments: Even as citizens prepare to cast their votes, it is important to note that the laws make a provision for amendments in the future. This could be conducted through a simple majority of legislatures.

Federal Regulation: Even with the laws enacted to operate in California for the growth and use of recreational marijuana among adults, cannabis use remains illegal as provided by the federal government. In that case, federal charges will apply should there be practices found to contravene the already established guidelines under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

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How to Buy Legal Marijuana Online

All Eyes on the Windfall of Money from Marijuana Following its Legalization


icon  06 Nov, 2016  /  icon  5        Author: Paul

The legalization of marijuana has attracted a lot of interest from different corners and this includes the money flowing in and out of cannabis trade. Actually, it appears that the aspect of revenue is one of the factors put into consideration by states before they can even consider legalizing marijuana use. The District of Columbia alongside four states in America has legalized marijuana retail sales through a majority vote. On the same trend, there are other 25 states that have allowed the trade of medical marijuana. Since 2011, the marijuana industry has continued to grow in the United States and in the next few years, a lot will have been achieved.

Important Findings about Revenue from Marijuana
In states that have seen the rise of marijuana use such as Washington and Colorado, initial estimates have been exceeded. Tax collections from the cannabis industry are seemingly booming and other states can learn from this. Apparently, it is becoming a multi-billion dollar business by the turn of each and every year. Oregon, Colorado and Washington have made significant steps towards the reduction of marijuana tax rates. As a result, states such as Alaska are now considering it following the failure to significantly reduce this black market with the initial set rates of 30%. New developments have come up with proposed rates ranging between 10 and 25%.

In recent times, tax rates imposed on the final retail sales have been voted as the most valuable taxation. Other taxation forms such as those imposed on marijuana flowers at a specific amount, tax at the producer level instead of the retail level have faced some challenges during the implementation.  Again, medical marijuana doesn’t have strict regulations and as a result, the tax imposed on it is always less than for recreational weed. Therefore, targeting recreational sales in the retail market has been most challenging due to the regulatory structure that requires the imposing of heavy taxes.

With much anticipated hope of increased revenue from marijuana reaching to millions of dollars, establishing this takes a lead time. For example in Washington and Colorado, consumers took time to familiarize themselves with the emerging system. The local authorities and the state spent a considerable amount of time and money to set up necessary structures and a regulatory framework.

For maximum benefits from the revenues accruing from marijuana, attention must shift to issues of health, local enforcement, agriculture and zoning. These concerns have not yet been fully handled in ballot initiatives and now await resolution during the process of implementation.

Possible Benefits with Tax on Marijuana Sales
With the passing of medical marijuana laws in the District of Columbia and in other twenty states, there was hope of increasing revenue collection. This has become a reality in some states while others have not yet started doing so. In the latter, programs have not yet been rolled out and hence don’t have estimates of how much revenue can be collected.  However, the tax windfall documented by some of the states has immensely convinced other states in the region to consider taking on this noble task.   For instance, voters in Florida have a chance this November to amend their constitution in order to legalize the use of medical marijuana for individuals with “debilitating diseases.” If the move turns out successful, it will lead to the opening up of a strong market for medical marijuana amongst the close to 20 million people living in Florida.

In California, which is rated as the most populous state, accrues between $59 million and $109 million of tax collections from the sale of medical cannabis on an annual basis. The earnings from medical weed can give an idea how a state like California may benefit from a complete decriminalization of marijuana. If this is what medical cannabis has been able to earn for the state, the earnings that could result from both the medical pot and recreational marijuana are unimaginable. At the moment, California has very liberal laws on the use of medical marijuana in the United States. What lies in wait is the full legalization for the use of pot among adults, which will lead to an increased revenue collection. A monetary assessment of weed legalization the attorney general’s office in California established that there would be a lot of savings of hundreds of millions of dollars in enforcement efforts. Additionally, the state would gain a lot more in terms of hundreds of millions from the collection of tax revenue.

California is not the only state that has benefited from proceeds coming from the sale of marijuana. For Colorado, the story has been the same. In the first month after the launch of the legal marijuana program, Colorado collected $2.9 million of tax for both medical marijuana and pot for recreational purposes. This was way more than what Colorado would have earned for the medical pot program alone for one month in 2015. Therefore, the cannabis industry is very lucrative for the authorities in terms of revenue collection.

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Afgoo - Hybrid Santa Barbara

Will Marijuana users see more Freedom this Election Year?


icon  06 Sep, 2016  /  icon  0        Author: Paul

During the Regan administration, Nancy Regan announced the “War on Drugs”, but the demand for the product far outweighed the politics.  This year could turn out to be a monumental year for marijuana to be on the ballot. More states than ever before will vote on easing the restrictions on the use of marijuana. States are voting on allowing medical marijuana and other states are looking to fully legalize its recreational use.

This may seem like a blast from the past, but investors are seeing dollar signs in a new industry.  This situation may hinder more than help the movement as big companies may be looking to cash in. So what about the crime rate as some have argued? What about big business monopolizing the industry?  In Colorado, which legalized buying cannabis, the law enforcement and courts are no longer wasting the taxpayers’ money going after people for smoking pot.  Actually there has been an 80% drop in charges for marijuana related crimes and a 23% drop in all drug related charges. And arguably the issue for taxes has far outweighed expectations in Colorado with $125 million, yes, million, collected in 2015.  This was not just derived from the pot industry but also from the tourists that it brings to the state.  With the laws changing this year to allow tourists to purchase as much as a Colorado resident, that tourism industry will continue to grow.

Colorado has adopted a public approach to marijuana by funding local public schools, youth services, and behavioral health programs.  Many opponents have a hard time arguing when the money going to help schools, communities and the youth. Additionally, Colorado businesses have earmarked cannabis money for cleaning up highways and communities.

Statistics don’t lie and according to The Free Thought Project out of Colorado; teen cannabis use has declined, deaths related to painkillers has declined, prescription drug use has declined and even violent crimes have significantly decreased.

However, marijuana businesses are finding the financial world not as receptive to their line of work.  Many business owners are finding it harder to get lines of credit from local banks.  Even checking accounts are hard to come by for fear of retaliation from the federal government. Many banks are reluctant to accept the responsibilities associated with the risk of accepting or housing money from a deity whose business is still illegal under federal law.  Another major issue is the tax code that forbids businesses from taking normal business deductions.  Will this year’s federal and national elections chance this?  That is yet to be seen.

These businesses are facing tough decisions about their finances.  The Treasury Department even issued guidelines that go so far as to say that if the banks are involved with a marijuana business, the bank should monitor that customer for “suspicious activity”.  So, why are banks not going to bars to monitor the alcohol activity?  Banks and financial institutions are not willing to accept the obligations associated with the marijuana businesses.

A credit union in Denver went as far as to try to set up the first financial institution serving exclusively to the cannabis business.  However, the obstacles from regulations set up by the government has made it impossible to move ahead.  Again, we will have to wait to see if a change in elected officials will transform this awkward situation.

So, all of this leads us to the questions surrounding this election season.  According to Fortune magazine, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree that they are both pro pot, to a certain extent. This has the advocates for medicinal marijuana hoping that eventually a federal bill will legalize medical use in all states.  Trump also endorses medical use and goes further to say that the recreational use of cannabis should be determined by each state.

Yes, this election season will be interesting.

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Medical Marijuana Laws Across the Country


icon  01 Mar, 2016  /  icon  0        Author: Support Pot Valet

Medical Marijuana Laws Across the Country

Marijuana is in the news a lot lately, whether because of a new state making it legal, anti-marijuana protestors and politicians taking a stand, or some new medical case of a miraculous recovery or drastic easing of symptoms, all due to the fight both for and against this most coveted and disdained plant. However, this plant has actually been around for centuries, and it is only in the most recent passing century, (i.e. the 1900s) that marijuana became so taboo. In fact, marijuana has been used by many people and cultures, all across time, for multiple healing and spiritual purpose apart from recreation and has been documented as being helpful for people as far back as 2900 BC, when the Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi[1], noted that Ma (the term for cannabis in Chinese), seemed to be one of the most popular medical cures among his people at the time of his rule.

 

Despite this though, the conversation continues ebb and flow, with those against cannabis fighting hard to make sure it stays an illegal substance for both sale and use. Much to the relief of those who look to this plant to provide greatly needed recovery and relief however, pro medical marijuana activist seem to be pushing the movement forward at a slow, but steady pace. This process creates many questions among those who are interested in the process, need to partake of the substance for health reasons, or even just the naturally curious, and as more and more states pass laws legalizing the use and distribution of medical marijuana, the larger the number of questions people have, gets. It is our hope that this article will provide a comprehensive first stepping stone to understanding the laws that surround legal, medical marijuana usage, as well as which states specifically allow for the sale and consumption of this substance.

Marijuana Law

The first thing to know is which states allow users to buy and consume medical marijuana legally. The first state to legalize marijuana was California in 1996[2], when voters passed proposition 215 and the sale and consumption of the substance became legal for those with medical need. Since then, the number of states that allow medical marijuana to be bought and sold has increased drastically, now including 22 states such as Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Washington and more. This is great news for those who depend on pot to help ease the pains of chemotherapy[3], help with epilepsy, migraines and more, making the medicine they so desperately need more widely available (though most still think 22 states isn’t nearly enough progress, pushing for all 50 states to someday adopt the same way of thinking).

 

Now that you know which states it is okay to purchase and consume medical marijuana in, it is important that you also know some of the basic rules that go along with this, as there

 

[1] http://antiquecannabisbook.com/chap2B/China/China.htm

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_in_California

[3]http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/physicalsideeffects/chemotherapyeffects/marijuana-and-cancer

 

are quite a few you will need to follow in order to stay out of trouble, and while every state differs to a degree on what is and is not allowed, a few general rules are as follows.

 

First and foremost, in order to receive permission to buy and consume medical marijuana, you will need to be seen by a doctor (licensed to prescribe marijuana), be diagnosed with one of the qualifying debilitating health issues[1] and be over the age of 18.

 

Secondly, it is important that you look up exactly how much is allowed to be bought at one time, (for example, in some places like Colorado, a medical patient can by up to 2 oz a day), as well as how much can be carried on your person at one time, (again this varies by state, but make sure to look this up through the state in question’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division[2] to make sure you are compliant). And the third and final rule (at least that is included here) is that, you will need to know where it is okay to smoke, this one however is pretty straightforward across the board, and smoking on public or government property of any kind is prohibited. Additionally, smoking outdoors is usually off limits even if it is in your own back yard.

 

There are a few great sites you can visit to gather more information on the rules and regulations surrounding medical marijuana, including the National Conference of State Legislation (http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx)[3], or any state’s Department of Revenue Enforcement Division. Furthermore, there is a plethora of additional information out there, articles, journal entries, government sites, etc , that will be sure to provide you with all the information you need to both successfully buy and consume medical marijuana for yourself.

 

[1] https://www.leafly.com/news/health/qualifying-conditions-for-medical-marijuana-by-state

[2] https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/enforcement/marijuanaenforcement

[3] http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx

 

 

 

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