Thursday, August 16, 2012

Revenue Raised through Washington's I-502 Legalization Proposal Could be Billions — or it Could be Nothing

A study conducted by the Washington Office of Financial Management estimates that the state's I-502 proposal, which sets up mechanisms to legalize and tax marijuana, could raise up to $1<a href="" title="Washington Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>9 billion in additional new revenue over five years<a href="" title="Seattle Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>

Or it could generate no income, the Seattle Times reports.

If I-502 is made law, Washington's Office of Financial Management sees two scenarios: one in which pot shops sanctioned by the state government sell to adults and another where the federal government swoops in and shuts down the businesses<a href="" title="Seattle Criminal Defense">.</a>

The report states that there are "significant uncertainties related to federal enforcement of federal criminal laws" regarding pot. Raids on growers and retailers — which would be operating legally under state law if I-502 passes — "may prevent the development of a functioning marijuana market<a href="" title="Washington Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>"

In a situation to parallel to Washington's, the U<a href="" title="Seattle Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>S<a href="" title="Seattle Criminal Defense">.</a> Department of Justice promised to enforce drug laws when California considered legalizing marijuana in 2010<a href="" title="Washington Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>

Proponents of I-502 believe that a wide victory may provide a mandate that keeps the federal government away. Alison Holcomb, campaign manager for the initiative, said the government conducted raids on storefronts that were abusing state medical marijuana laws<a href="" title="Seattle Medical Marijuana Defense">.</a>

However, many dispensaries in Los Angeles and San Francisco would beg to differ that only abusive stores have been targeted by the feds<a href="" title="Seattle Criminal Defense">.</a>

Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic Anti-Drug Agency Classifies Pot as "Performance Enhancer"

When you think of performance enhancing drugs, the usual suspects of steroids and growth hormones come to mind.

But as fans who just watched the Olympics learned, pot is also considered a performance enhancer according to the powers that be at the Olympics. American competitor Nick Delpopolo was ejected from the games for "doping" with a marijuana-laced brownie.

Questions were raised as to why cannabis is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited drugs. According to WADA, a substance needs to fulfill two of three criteria to be placed on the banned list: be performance enhancing, be a potential health risk or go against the spirit of sport

Popular Science reports marijuana violates all three of those criteria. The drug minimizes anxiety and fear, as well as improves oxygenation and concentration. It also causes a risk to pulmonary functions and decreases cognitive performance. It also meets the final criteria of going against the spirit of the sport by with its near-universal illegality as well as conflicting with the "role model of athletes in modern society," and "negative reactions by the public, sponsors, and the media."

While there's an argument for the first two, the last reason seem suspiciously subjective, and seems to be more for PR and ensure lucrative sponsorships keep on rolling in.

But money has absolutely nothing to do with the Olympics, does it? (Yes it does.)

Strangely, the WADA prohibition also acknowledges there is an actual medicinal use for pot — which the U.S. government refuses to recognize.