Tag: marijuana legalization

Democratic debate: Here’s what Clinton, Sanders said about marijuana

The first Democratic debate for the 2016 presidential election happened Tuesday in Las Vegas, and while the subject of marijuana legalization wasn’t discussed by all five candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders made statements, with Sanders taking a bolder edge.

In this transcript provided by debate host CNN, here’s what Clinton and Sanders had to say about marijuana, with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Juan Carlos Lopez making the queries:

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COOPER: The issue now, particularly in this state, is recreational marijuana. I want to go to Juan Carlos Lopez.

LOPEZ: Thank you, Anderson.

Senator Sanders, right here in Nevada, there will be a measure to legalize recreational marijuana on the 2016 ballot. You’ve said you smoked marijuana twice; it didn’t quite work for you. If you were a Nevada resident, how would you vote?

SANDERS: I suspect I would vote yes.

(APPLAUSE)

And I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses. We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away, and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana. I think we have to think through this war on drugs…

(APPLAUSE)

SANDERS: …which has done an enormous amount of damage. We need to rethink our criminal justice system, we we’ve got a lot of work to do in that area.

*****

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LOPEZ: Secretary Clinton, you told Christiane Amanpour you didn’t smoke pot when you were young, and you’re not going to start now.

(LAUGHTER)

LOPEZ: When asked about legalizing recreational marijuana, you told her let’s wait and see how it plays out in Colorado and Washington. It’s been more than a year since you’ve said that. Are you ready to take a position tonight?

CLINTON: No. I think that we have the opportunity through the states that are pursuing recreational marijuana to find out a lot more than we know today. I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we’re going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief.

So, I think we’re just at the beginning, but I agree completely with the idea that we have got to stop imprisoning people who use marijuana. Therefore, we need more states, cities, and the federal government to begin to address this so that we don’t have this terrible result that Senator Sanders was talking about where we have a huge population in our prisons for nonviolent, low-level offenses that are primarily due to marijuana.

Upcoming debates

CNBC Republican debate: Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the University of Colorado in Boulder
CBS News Democratic debate: Saturday, Nov. 14, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa

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5 things to know about the new California marijuana regulations

SAN FRANCISCO — Nearly two decades after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, the state finally is planning to regulate the vast, unruly industry the voter-approved move spawned.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a package of bills that create a licensing and oversight framework for the growing and selling of medical marijuana and pot-infused products.

Here are the basics on the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, how it might affect the existing landscape for medical marijuana and what happens next.
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HOW WILL THE REGULATIONS WORK?

Every person and company involved in the commercial medical marijuana trade will be required to obtain both a local operating permit and an annual state license beginning Jan. 1, 2018. That includes marijuana growers, retail operations such as storefront dispensaries and delivery services, and makers of processed pot products.

The framework, modeled after the system the state uses for regulating alcohol sales, also creates new industry players that will have to carry licenses as well: wholesale distribution centers that do pre-sale tracking and inspections, transporters that will be charged with getting pot from the distributors to the point of sale, and product safety testing labs.

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WHO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CARRYING OUT THE NEW SCHEME?

A new Bureau of Marijuana Regulation within the Department of Consumer Affairs will oversee the work of several existing state agencies. The bureau will be led by a director appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Legislature. It initially will be financed by a $10 million advance from a dedicated fund where licensing fees will go.

Authority to license indoor and outdoor marijuana growers will reside with the Department of Food and Agriculture, which also will be responsible for enforcing strict acreage and square footage limits for commercial cultivation sites. The Department of Pesticide Regulation has been given responsibility for developing standards on the use of pesticides in growing pot.

Consumer affairs will issue licenses to dispensaries, distributors and transporters. The Department of Public Health will be in charge of product testing labs and manufacturers, a task that will include creating packaging and labeling rules.
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HOW MUCH REVENUE WILL THE MEASURES GENERATE?

Pot dispensaries already are supposed to pay state sales taxes, but because the state has not had a way of tracking the businesses, officials suspect that many vendors either underreport their sales or skip the step altogether.

The bills the governor signed did not include any other taxing mechanism for the state. They do, however, authorize counties to tax medical marijuana cultivation and sales with voter approval.

The state hasn’t provided any projections for how much it expects to take in from license fees other than to say they will be set at a level to cover the cost of the aforementioned bureaucracy.
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WILL STATE OVERSIGHT CAUSE THE INDUSTRY TO EXPAND OR SHRINK?

Local governments and the California Association of Police Chiefs fought hard for provisions that preserve the right of counties and cities to ban or restrict dispensaries, as at least 250 do now.

Medical marijuana advocates are hoping that many cities, tempted by a new source of tax revenue, will lift their bans now that the state has stepped up to tame and set uniform standards for the industry.
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WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH MARIJUANA GARDENS?

The impact also remains unclear for growers. While the package seeks to protect small farms by restricting most license holders to 10,000 square feet or less of “total canopy” at one site, experts note that California likely produces way more marijuana than is needed to meet in-state demand.

In truth, since no one knows how many growers, retail outlets or even medical marijuana users California now has and with voters expected to consider legalizing recreational marijuana use next, the full impact of the regulations may always remain unclear.

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New Quinnipiac Poll: 53 Percent of Ohio’s Voters Support Marijuana Legalization

Despite the fact that Gov. John Kasich was recently called out for being the “Biggest Buzzkill” in the GOP by the Daily Beast, based on his opposition to marijuana legalization in the state of Ohio. A recent Quinnipiac University (QU) poll has discovered 53% of Ohio’s voters are in complete support of legalizing recreational marijuana in the Buckeye State. Leaving the 2016 presidential candidate on the wrong side of this critical issue.

While that may be bad news for the current governors presidential aspirations, the results from the new poll smells like sweet news for supporters of Ohio’s Issue 3.

Issue 3 is an initiative that was originally proposed by ResponsibleOhio; if passed by voters on November 3rd, it would legalize recreational marijuana consumption for those adults over the age of 21 in the state of Ohio.

According to the results of this most recent poll, a paltry 44% of Ohio’s voters believe in keeping marijuana illegal substance. View results below:

Quinnipiac University Poll: "Florida voters support legalizing personal marijuana use 51 - 45 percent"

Quinnipiac University Poll: “Florida voters support legalizing personal marijuana use 51 – 45 percent”

While the poll was lacking any mention of Issue 3 specifically, the QU poll clearly demonstrated that the legalization initiative is seemingly high on the majority of many Ohio constituents “Yes” list.

While Peter A. Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, believes this is an age-related issue, “Not surprisingly, support for the change is linked to age, with younger voters more likely to see personal use of pot as a good thing,” most voters view it as a salvaging of their personal and civil liberties.

Provided liberty (and legalization) wins on November 3, Issue 3 would legalize the personal possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana, and would allow for state sanctioned distribution throughout Ohio for those adults over the age of 21.

As the national pendulum for marijuana reform swings hard in favor legalization, candidates like Ohio’s Gov. Kasich, who oppose marijuana reform, have shown themselves to be seriously out of touch with their potential constituents burning desires – marijuana legalization.

 

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