Wednesday, March 6, 2013

California Voters Strongly Support Legalizing Marijuana

California is currently the state with America's largest medical marijuana industry and it looks like California voters would like it to stay that way. A California Field Poll released in February 2013 showed that voters strongly support the existence of medical marijuana dispensaries. In addition, they favor legalizing marijuana for recreational use and would like the federal government to stay out of California cannabis businesses all together. In fact, 67% of Californians oppose an ongoing crackdown on businesses who are selling pot for medicinal use.

This poll's results come at a time when the California State Supreme Court is deliberating on whether cities and counties in California have the right to ban marijuana dispensaries or not. This poll also comes only three months after Colorado and Washington both passed measures to legalize marijuana.

"This poll…heartens me and makes me feel validated"
          --Steve DeAngelo, Director of California's largest medical marijuana dispensary

However, California's four U.S. attorneys do not seem to feel the same way as their voters. All four have brought criminal cases against some of the medical marijuana growers and even sent threatening letters to several other growers in attempts to seize their properties.

Many believe that California politicians, who continue to oppose medical marijuana and its distribution in California, are going to see serious consequences at election time and that this poll demonstrates the growing public trend favoring legalizing marijuana.

"I think it shows that it's going to in in 2016, and it's just a matter of writing the best law that we can."
          --Richard Lee, Proposition 19

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hawaii State Senate Makes Moves to Decriminalize Pot for Personal Use — But will Fine Users with $1,000 Civil Penalty

Hawaii may be joining the ranks of Washington and Colorado in the decriminalization of cannabis, with its state senate unanimously approving a bill to allow personal possession if up to an ounce.

However, it's not entirely clear toking for those looking to get a little Maui in your wowie — the bill would fine those caught with pot for personal use $1,000. The fine would be a civil, not criminal, penalty, reports Honolulu TV station KITV.

 The rationale of the bill is that it would relieve the state's courts of their backlog of marijuana cases, while emphasizing that possession is still a crime. Despite the message the senate wants to send, law enforcement is against the bill and believes it will make enforcement more difficult.