Everybody must get stoned
It's hard to read much of anything these days without coming across a piece asserting that support for cannabis is as high as it's ever been. The latest is Mother Jones' Feb. 28 offering.
"On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told America to expect a decision 'soon' on how he'll respond to the recent legalization of pot by Colorado and Washington state," wrote Josh Harkinson. "To which the rest of the country has basically said, 'Whatever, dude.' The same day, legislative committees in New Mexico and Hawaii approved bills to decriminalize marijuana possession and Oregon lawmakers introduced a legalization bill."
Not to say that there aren't still contrarians out there: A Feb. 25 op-ed in the Arizona Capitol Times declared, "Marijuana legalization is far from inevitable."
Maybe so, but there are piles of political capital being spent toward that end, as well as the furthering of medicinal cannabis, as these headlines from recent press releases sent by the Marijuana Policy Project show.
• From Feb. 21: "Maine Could Become Next State to Regulate and Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol," "Maryland State Lawmakers to Consider Regulating and Taxing Marijuana Like Alcohol."
• From Feb. 26: "New Hampshire Lawmakers Discuss Medical Marijuana Legislation," "State Lawmakers to Hold Hearing Wednesday on Bill to Regulate and Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol in Rhode Island."
• From Feb. 28: "Florida State Lawmakers Will Consider Medical Marijuana Bill."
Then take into consideration that the Feb. 27 Field Poll found 54 percent of California residents support legalizing and taxing marijuana like alcohol — "four percentage points higher than the last time Field pollsters posed the questions," wrote the Associated Press — and it's clear this joint is rolling.
• The task force convened by Gov. John Hickenlooper to review the implementation of Amendment 64 finished its work last Thursday. Among the multitude of issues sent to the Colorado Legislature are recommendations to allow out-of-state residents to purchase pot in limited quantities, mandates on the labeling and advertising of the substance, and an endorsement of House Bill 1114, the THC DUI bill.
The state has until July 1 to finalize regulations.
• Speaking of, HB 1114 passed its first test last week when it was approved 11-0 by the House Judiciary Committee, reports the Denver Post. "We have to treat marijuana like alcohol and that is what this bill attempts to do," the paper quoted Colorado Springs Rep. Pete Lee as saying. It's now headed to the House Appropriations Committee.
• On Saturday, the Greeley Tribune wrote about Jeremy Usher, a former member of the U.S. Navy violating his parole by treating his PTSD with marijuana. Read more at tinyurl.com/ptsd5.