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October 9, 2013

"Legal-Marijuana Trend Spreads as More States Weigh Votes"

The title of this post is the headline of this new Bloomberg news piece. Here are excerpts:

Voter support for legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado is spurring similar campaigns in California and three other states that together may bring pot within lawful reach of almost 1-in-5 Americans. 

Advocates are seeking the signatures of registered voters in California, Arizona, Oregon and Alaska, with a combined population of 49 million, to put the question on ballots in 2014.  Colorado and Washington last year legalized marijuana for 12.1 million people.

“Because of Colorado and Washington, it’s created a cannabis tidal wave across the country,” Mike Jolson, 45, a legalization activist in Santa Cruz, California, said by telephone.  “We want to capitalize on this wave.”

Washington and Colorado became the first U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana through referendums last November, defying federal law that has prohibited pot since the 1930s.  In August, the U.S. Justice Department said it wouldn’t challenge the states, opening the door for others.

In Washington state, regulators are finalizing rules for growing, processing and selling marijuana ahead of a Dec. 1 deadline to begin issuing licenses.  In Colorado, which has finished setting its rules, voters will decide next month whether to tax retail sales at rates of as much as 25 percent. 

“Their success in Colorado was very inspiring, and I thought it would be a good time for us to try here,” said Dennis Bohlke, a computer programmer from Phoenix who said he modeled the Arizona initiative after the Colorado measure....

In addition to recreational use, there are efforts to expand the 20 states that allow medical marijuana.... Ballot proposals to legalize medical marijuana use are being circulated in six states: Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming, according to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a Washington-based group that advocates legalization....

Some marijuana proponents are holding off until the 2016 presidential election, when voter turnout is typically higher. Chris Lindsey, an attorney from Missoula, Montana, and a legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project, said he’s working toward adding a recreational-marijuana proposal to his state’s ballot in 2016. “Elections that involve presidential races tend to bring out a younger set of voters and we think we’ll probably benefit from having younger voters,” Lindsey said by phone.

October 9, 2013 at 09:49 AM | Permalink

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Well, if the "capitalize" on the wave, then they will be selling pot in my kid's school.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Oct 9, 2013 10:25:50 AM

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