Will Rhode Island be the Next State to Legalize Marijuana?

Rhode Island could potentially be one of the next states to legalize marijuana, although big hurdles do remain. With recreational use legal in Washington and Colorado, a spokesperson for the drug law reform group marijuana policy project tallies a dozen states where legalization could become reality. “Given the level of support we have seen among residents and lawmakers, it could very well be Rhode Island,” says that group’s spokesperson mason Tvert. But whether legislation to tax and regulate the drug comes up for a vote in the General Assembly remains to be seen.

Mixed signals whether state bill moves in 2014

“We have gained momentum every year. Each year more of my colleagues have told me they are eager to sign on as a co-sponsor,” said Rep. Edith Ajello the House sponsor,” said Rep. Edith Ajello, the House sponsor of the marijuana Regulation, Control, and taxation Act. Introduced for the past three years and expected to be reintroduced later in this month, the bill received testimony in committee in 2013 but was not taken up for vote. While receiving additional support, there’s question whether the legislation sees any further action this time around after Gov. Lincoln Chafee and senate President M. Teresa Paiva weed have both cast doubts on its chances in 2014.

National debate focusing on key states through 2016

The path toward legalization varies from state to state along two options: legislation or public referendum. In 2014, Alaska and Oregon look to be next for citizen voter initiative, said Allen St. Pierre, Executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. In addition to California, those will make up the best chance, St. Pierre Said. In term of legislative action, the head of Normal said Rhode Island would be one of the states to push legalization legislation the furthest. Rhode Island has unique history unlike any other. In that it’s the only state that has overridden governors vetoes, he said could find himself in the same situation. Rhode Island and Maine represent the best opportunities in the nation to legislatively pass marijuana legalization and if he was a betting man St.Pierre said his money would be on the ocean state.

Lobbying for ballot initiative and legislation

Our organization has made it clear we are going to support ballot initiatives and lobbying in state legislatures, Tvert said talling possible ballot measures in Massachusetts, Maine,, Arizona, California, Nevada and Montana most in 2016 during the next presidential cycle. Meanwhile, there’s momentum for state lawmakers to pass legislation in Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, New Hampshire, Vermont and Hawaii. While Rhode Island’s “tax and regulate” bill has stalled each successive year, “we are certainly working to get the measure passed,” Tvert said. An alliance of support has formed in the states as the Coalition for Marijuana Regulation. Speaking to GoLocal last month on the issue, state Sen. Josh Miller, a co-sponsor last year expected to introduce the bill yhis session, said the change would create revenue while also controlling access better than under a criminal system.

Marijuana sales in Colorado topped $1 Million on New Year’s Day, the first day dispensaries were allowed to operate. “There’s always a revenue component,” Miller said, continuing on to say a portion of revenues would respond to drug abuse in Rhode Island. One provision of the bill designates 40 percent of revenue raised from sales would go to fund programs for alcohol and drug abuse treatment. “That’s important,” Miller said. “Prohibition hasn’t worked,” contends Ajello chair of the House Judiciary Committee, who points to easier access currently among youth to marijuana than alcohol, “I am concerned about young people.”

By regulating the sale and providing a legal avenue for purchase, illicit sales will not be so profitable, Ajello said. “Minor’s access to marijuana should go down substantially. That’s a big part of it.” “And because there’s so much responsible use by adults, apparently, it makes sense to tax and regulate it,” she added.

Public opinion moving toward support

A January 2012 public policy polling survey found 52 percent of respondents in the state supported treating marijuana like alcohol, taxed and regulated and legal for adults 21 and older. “One of the ways to see public understanding is to introduce a bill and have a discussion,” according to Miller. Rhode Island’s legislation would remove state level criminal penalties for the private growing of up to three mature plants in an enclosed locked space. The bill would also establish a system of licensed retail stores and cultivation facilities regulated under the Department of Business Regulation. An excise tax up to $50 per ounce on the wholesale sale or marijuana would be applied at the point of transfer before retail, and retailers would be required to collect the state’s 7 percent sales tax.

Too soon in Rhode Island

Last week, Chafee told the Associated Press it was premature to be considering legalization in Rhode Island, where the state’s decriminalization measure went into effect early last year. He told reporters that the impact of last year’s change would need to be better understood before the state follows with legalization. Located in Denver, Tvert sees significant and growing support for the change across the nation including bipartisan support in Rhode Island by way of House Republican Minority leader Brian Newberry’s co-sponsorship last year.

“Colorado and Washington are demonstrating to the other states that regulating marijuana is possible and we believe it will be a fair and effective alternative to prohibition,” Tvert said. While often compared to the taxation and regulation of alcohol, Tvert said the public health costs and consequences of that substance were far greater. “If we are truly interested (in public health) we should be allowing adults to choose the less harmful substance,” he continued. “Marijuana has been used for a long time, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s time to get our heads out of the sand.”

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The Next Seven States to Legalize Marijuana:

By fully legalizing marijuana through direct democracy, Colorado and Washington have fundamentally changed the national conversation about cannabis. As many as 58 percent of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. And our political establishment is catching on. Former president Jimmy Carter came out this month and endorsed taxed and regulated marijuana. “I’m in favor of it.” Carter said. “I think it’s OK.” In a December 5th letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy suggested it might be possible “to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law.” Even President Obama hinted at a more flexible approach to prohibition telling 20/20’s Barbara Walters that the federal government unlikely to crack down on recreational users in states where pot is legal adding “We’ve got bigger fish to try.” Encouraged by the example of Colorado and Oregon, states across the country are debating the merits of treating marijuana less like crystal meth and more like Jim Beam. Here are the next seven states most likely to legalize it:

1)      Oregon

Oregon could have produced a trifecta for marijuana legalization on Election Day. Like Washington and Colorado, the state had a marijuana legalization bid on the ballot in 2012 but it failed 54-46. The pro-cannabis cause was dogged by poor organization. Advocates barely qualified the initiative for the ballot and could not attract billionaire backers like George Soros and Peter Lewis, who helped bankroll the legalization bit in Washington. But given that Oregon’s biggest city, Portland will be just across the Columbia River from prevalent, legal marijuana the state legislature will be under pressure to create framework for the drug’s legal use in Oregon – in particular if the revenue provisions of Washington’s law are permitted to kick in and lawmakers begin to watch Washington profit from the “sin taxes” on Oregon potheads. If lawmakers stall state voters will likely have the last word soon enough. Consider that even cannabis crazy Colorado failed in its first legalization bid back in 2006.

“We have decades of evidence that says prohibition does not work and it’s counterproductive,” said Peter Buckley, it’s a matter of dollars and common sense: “There’s a source of revenue that’s reasonable that is not rational that is the right policy choice for our state,” he said. “We are going to get there in legalization.”

2)      California

California is unaccustomed to being a follower on marijuana liberalization. Its landmark medical marijuana initiative in 1996 sparked a revolution that has reached 18 states and the District of Columbia. And the artful ambiguity of that statue has guaranteed easy access to the drug – even among Californians with minor aches and pains. In 2010, the state appeared to be on track to fully legalize and tax pot with Proposition 19. The Obama administration warned of a crackdown and the state legislature beat voters to the punch with a sweeping decriminalization of pot that treats possession not as a misdemeanor but an infraction like a parking ticket with just a $100 fine. In a stunningly progressive move that law also applies to underage smokers. And removing normal teenage behavior from the criminal justice systems has contributed to a staggering decline in youth “crime” in California of nearly 20 percent in 2011.

3)      Nevada

Whether it’s gambling or prostitution Nevada is famous for regulating that which other states prohibit. When it comes to pot, the state has already taken one swing at legalization in 2006, with an initiative that failed 56-44. “They got closer than we did in Colorado that year,” says Mason Tvert, who co-chaired Colorado’s initiative this year and whose first statewide effort garnered just 41 percent of the vote. For prominent state politicians the full legalization taxation and regulation of weed feels all but inevitable. “Thinking we are not going to have it is unrealistic,” assemblyman Tick Segerblom of Las Vegas in November. “It’s just a question of how and when.”

4)      Rhode island

Pot Watchers believe little Rhode Island may be the first state to legalize through the state legislature instead of a popular referendum. “I am hoping this goes nowhere,” one prominent opponent in the state House told that the Boston Globe. “But I think we are getting closer and closer to doing this.” In the wake of Colorado and Washington’s new state laws, Rhode Island has joined a slate of New England states that are vowing to vote on tax and regulate bills. A regulated marijuana market in Rhode Island could reap the state nearly $30 million in new tax revenue and reduced law enforcement costs. “Our prohibition has failed,” said Rep. Edith Ajello of providence who is sponsoring the bill. “Legalizing and taxing it just as we did to alcohol is the way to do it.”

5)      Maine

Maine’s legislature has recently expanded decriminalization and is moving on a legalization and regulation bill that could bring the state $8 million a year in new revenue. “The people are far ahead of the politicians on this,” said Rep. Diane Russell of Portland. “Just in the past few weeks we have seen the culture shift dramatically.”

State legislators in Maine as in other direct democracy states are actually wary of the ballot initiative process and may work to preempt the voters. A legalization scheme devised by lawmakers after all is likely to produce tighter regulation and more revenue than a bill dreamed up by pot consumers themselves.

6)      Alaska

Alaska is already a pothead’s paradise and the state could move quickly to bring order to its ambiguous marijuana law. Cannabis has been effectively legal in Alaska since 1975 when the state supreme court drawing on the unique privacy protections of the Alaska constitution declared the authorities can’t prohibit modest amounts of marijuana in the home of state residents.

7)      Vermont

Last year, Vermont finally normalized its medical marijuana law, establishing a system of government sanctioned dispensaries. In November, the state’s Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin just cruised to re-election while strongly backing marijuana decriminalization. The city of Burlington meanwhile passed a nonbinding a resolution in November calling for an end to prohibition – with 70 percent support. The Green Mountain State has already embraced single player universal health care. Legal pot cannot be far behind.

The top 10 of the most amazing advantages that would come after legalization of marijuana

In the case that Marijuana becomes legal on national level, it might have amazingly helpful results on numerous distinctive domains of our legal system. Below we will discuss and describe the top 10 of the most amazing advantages that would come after legalization of marijuana.

1: It might create an effective Marijuana Industry, Particularly instead of Alcohol and Tobacco industry enterprise. California’s Marijuana business is as of now the biggest trade in the estate at an approximately $14 billion annually. This appraisal just incorporates the marijuana itself and not all the subordinates’ commercial ventures a legitimate pot business sector might bring from frills to form, from tourism to retail and all the unfathomable markets for marijuana’s none medicate cousin, streamlined hemp. Legalization makes new occupation and business open doors and opens the gateway for mechanical utilization of hemp, which might be an alternate compelling segment of development. The development restorative Marijuana advertises in Colorado and California are now getting quite required duty income for some urban communities.

2: It might help the cops focus on real crimes like robbery and savagery, rather than who’s smoking what in the privacy. It is evaluated that including the capture, penitentiary, jail, and court and marijuana destruction requires more than US $3 billion dollars. At that point there is the time and space we can’t bear the cost of in our exhausted court system and crowded jails. Marijuana legalization mitigates much of those issues while supporting the current laws against flippant utilization of marijuana for example driving impaired and offering marijuana to children. Marijuana sanctioning centers police necessities far from grownups that delight in marijuana dependably and onto genuine crime.

3: It might eliminate the war of drugs that is putting on our legal system. In recent year there were more than 100,000 marijuana captures in the U.S. Envision what amount of squandered cash and exertion our legal framework uses attempting to prevent individuals from doing something that isn’t unsafe to themselves or others around them.

Jimmy Carter indentified: “Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this clearer than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use.”

4: Amazingly, Legalization of Marijuana will diminish the utilization in adults and teens. In America it is easy to buy marijuana for a teen from streets instead of buying Alcohol and Tobacco from a retail store. It may appear strange to accept but it is true that buy marijuana from a dealer is easy as he don’t check the identity card. This is important that Marijuana in many ways is a drug not for children. There are many activities in our social order that we allow to our grownups to do, however not kids, such as driving a car, skydiving, getting hitched and drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco. As compared to this we ignore adults who participate in these activities and stop our kids from doing this. It is highly unlikely you can legalize to put adults in jails just because that he like to engage himself in these activities.

5: Make a big booming Hemp industry, restoring this stunning plants utility and adequacy. Hemp is different mixture of the plant species cannabis sativa L. It is a tall dainty sinewy plant like flax. Agriculturists overall have gathered the product for as 11,000 years for fiber and nourishment and popular Mechanics once gloated that in excess of 24,000 earth agreeable items could be inferred from hemp. More than 30 industrialized countries monetarily develop hemp, including England and Canada. The European Union sponsor ranchers to develop the harvest, which is legitimately distinguished as a business trim by the United National Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). In any case US law prohibits agriculturists from developing hemp without an elected permit, and has debilitated all business hemp creation since the 1950s.

6: Stop the benefits of marijuana deals from going to fierce hoodlums. Disallowed marijuana brings with it the same issues as denied alcohol did. We don’t see peddlers shooting up the lanes over rum conveyance anymore. We don’t see surreptitious wine grape vineyards growing up in national woods.

7: Legalization will end the lethal medication war “cartel” groups in Mexico. Numerous Latinos in the United States stress for the betterment of loved ones back in Mexico. Residents in northern border towns face brutality and murder rate found in battle areas basically because of the booty benefits connected with offering illicit marijuana. Law standing Mexicans nationals were not certain if their cops and government authorities are adulterated by the well off pill cartel packs. The exact solidness in Mexico is debilitated by marijuana disallowance.

8: Diseased and sick Marijuana Patients are no longer able to pay for the medicines from a specialist to get their plant medication. Presently a patient needs to see a specialist and pay for a recommendation to utilize marijuana. A patient can designate a parental figure to develop for them or purchase from a dispensary at terribly expanded costs. After legalization you can utilize marijuana essentially on the grounds that you choose to know the therapeutic specialists.

9: To end the unbalanced capture and teasing of people of color. Blacks in California’s largest countries are arrested at rates two to four times greater than their white counterparts, despite whites using marijuana at greater level. In the 25 biggest urban areas the arrest rate divergence ranges from twice to thirteen times the rates of whites. Legalizing evacuates the likely foundation for law requirement to pester individuals of shade for essentially having marijuana to them.

10: To end Street level dealing of Marijuana. Marijuana’s productivity and irregularity make the road corner managing that frequent numerous minority groups and uses youth to perform the transporting and offering of little measures of pot. The benefit advances posses and prompts brutal showdowns over turf. Marijuana legalization with diminish the expense of marijuana and give a managed spot to purchase it that will undercut the road dealers.

Legalizing Medical Marijuana May Lead to less Suicides

A group of economists recently published a report in the American Journal of Public Health proposes states that have authorized medical marijuana may see a decrease in suicide rates in youthful men.

The specialists investigated state-level suicide information over 17 year period, from 1990 to 2007, from the national vital statistics system’s mortality subtle element records. They broke down information from the 12 states that had authorized therapeutic marijuana throughout that time and contrasted it with states that proceeded with criminalize the medication. In states that had authorized marijuana for medical utilization, there was a 10.8 percent diminished in the suicide rate of men in their 20s and 9.4 percent lessening in men in their 30s, the study found.

“The negative relationships between legitimization and suicides around adolescent men are reliable with the theory that marijuana could be utilized to adapt to distressing life occasions,” the creators composed. “Be that as it may, this relationship may be illustrated by liquor utilization. The system through which authorizing therapeutic marijuana lessens suicides around adolescent men remains a point for future study.”

Daniel Rees, co-creator of the study, noted to the Huffing ton Post that in spite of the fact that specialists couldn’t recognize liquor or marijuana use in this study, an alternate late study likewise co created by REES, a 2013 study he co-wrote distributed by Chicago Journals, does demonstrate a connection between restorative marijuana utilization and a lessening of liquor utilization around junior grown-ups.

The impact on guys was clear, yet the study finished and none discover convincing proof that medicinal marijuana authorization decreased suicides around females.

“The evaluations for females were less exact and delicate to model particular,” Rees said.”At the end of day, authorization may diminish suicides around females; however we didn’t discover convincing confirmation one way or the other. Females could react to marijuana uniquely in contrast to guys. Females could react to liquor uniquely in contrast to guys. It’s even conceivable that they react to sanctioning uniquely in contrast to guys.”

At present, 20 states, alongside the District of Columbia, have therapeutic marijuana or recreational marijuana laws. More than twelve others are liable to Legalize marijuana in the following a few years.

Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Arizona

We all realize that 14 states in the United States and in addition nations, for example, Canada, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Finland, Israel, and Italy have legitimized the utilization of medicinal marijuana. Simply last November 2010, a law legitimizing the utilization and ownership of marijuana in Arizona singularly for restorative purposes have been passed making it the fifteenth state to do so.

Much the same as the other 14 states, patients must request a restorative marijuana ID card. To do this he or she must be a “qualified patient” implying that he or she ought to have a constant or weakening sickness. Patients must obtain a composed proposal from a specialist, homeopaths, osteopaths, or osteopaths practicing and authorized to propose restorative marijuana medication. This specialist ought to additionally give a composed documentation about the said suggestion, his motivations to give such, and his mark fastened. When they have the two reports, they can request a card. On the other hand, not all meetings wind up in restorative marijuana proposal.

Notwithstanding, laws coating restorative marijuana in Arizona still need further alteration as there are covering laws with respect to the lawfulness of the pill especially in instances of driving affected by marijuana. Restorative marijuana card holders may at present maltreat the law despite lawfulness. This is only one of the indecision that administrators in Arizona ought to elucidate. Additionally, in the event that you live in Arizona and plan to drive without repercussion even with a card, you ought to at any rate contract a mischance legal advisory.

With respect to medicinal marijuana dispensaries, they ought to be enrolled as non benefit. They must have archives that demonstrate their legitimate operation. They ought to disseminate therapeutic marijuana singularly to qualified patients who have a substantial card and in addition to their qualified essential guardians. Gaining, growing, preparing, assembling, or conveying them for different purposes makes them liable to the law.