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Marijuana to Be Legalized in Utah?

United States
A California ballot measure to legalize marijuana is now ahead in the polls. This has one of Utah's most prominent and outspoken politicians saying, someday, the drug will even be legal here in Utah. "To put people behind bars for possessing or smoking pot is absolutely absurd. It would make more sense to put people behind bars for smoking cigarettes," said former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson.

Top 10 Reasons to Let Americans Grow and Sell Marijuana

This is our contract with America, which we humbly submit in the hope of working together to build a better marijuana policy.

1. We will not kill our competitors in trade disputes.
2. We will not cultivate plants on public land.
3. We will not bribe or threaten public officials.
4. We will always ask for ID and never sell to minors.
5. We will provide fair working conditions for our employees.
6. We will abide by local ordinances and regulations.
7. We will pay state income taxes and licensing fees.
8. We will choose business locations with community input.
9. We will work with law enforcement, not around it.
10. We will stop bitching at you about marijuana laws.

These goals may seem challenging, but they can be achieved through sensible regulations. It's time to stop fighting over marijuana and start cooperating to develop a system that works for everyone.

Prop 19 Takes Seven Point Lead in Latest Field Poll

In a dramatic reversal from just two months ago, California's Proposition 19 marijuana legalization initiative has opened up a seven point lead in the latest Field poll. In July, the Field poll had Prop 19 trailing 44% to 48%; the latest poll, released Sunday, has it leading 49% to 42% with Election Day just six weeks away.

This latest Field poll is in line with other recent polls, most of which show Prop 19 leading, though still short of the 50% plus one needed to guarantee victory on November 2.

The poll was taken by telephone between September 14 and 21 and conducted in English and Spanish.

Support for Prop 19 was strongest among Democrats (60%), San Francisco Bay Area residents (59%), the 18-to-39 age group (59%), Los Angeles County residents (58%), Coastal county residents (54%), and men (54%). Support for Prop 19 was weakest among Republicans (27%), Central Valley residents (30%), voters over 65 (36%), and residents of Inland counties (37%).

Prop 19 continues to trail among women voters (44%) and to trail slightly among Hispanic (46%) and African-American (47%) voters. It has the support of 50% of white voters.

Neither the Prop 19 campaign nor its opposition has engaged in statewide advertising campaigns as the clock ticks toward election day. But Prop 19 is benefiting from the massive media attention it has generated. More than eight out of 10 (84%) California voters have heard about Prop 19, and 50% of those say they will vote for it.

Marijuana legalization in California is within grasp this November. Get out the vote efforts will be critical as this race goes to the wire.

United States

Oregon Representative to Introduce Marijuana Legalization Bill

Supporters of marijuana legalization in Oregon failed to get the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act(OCTA) on the ballot this year, but now another path appears to be opening. State Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland) has announced he will introduce a legalization bill. He said he expected a hearing in February.

Buckley told the Portland Medical Marijuana Examiner he was using OCTA as a starting point because it was "a good proposal." He said that with budget concerns and "the desire to make progress on this," the OCTA proposal was something for the legislature to consider.

Rep. Peter Buckley and family

OCTA would set up an Oregon Cannabis Commission to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana -- but not hemp, which would be legal and unregulated. The commission would license commercial growers and processors, which would sell their product to the commission, which in turn would retail it in commission stores. Cultivation and possession for non-commercial use by adults would not be regulated.

Whether Rep. Buckley actually introduces the bill remains to be seen, and its fate in the legislature is murky. But OCTA activists aren't just sitting around waiting for the politicians to set matters right; they are already gearing up for an effort to put OCTA on the ballot in 2012.

It looks like, one way or another, Oregon is vying to be one of the first states to cross the finish line in the decades-long marathon to end pot prohibition.

Ashland, OR
United States

Former Spanish Drug Czar Says Legalize Drugs


Why Parents Should Support Legalizing Pot (Opinion)

United States
Hanna Liebman Dershowitz, an attorney and mother of two elementary school children, opines on why parents should support legalizing marijuana.
Alternet (CA)

Stop the Lies About Prop 19 -- It Will Help, Not Hurt, Medical Marijuana Patients

A small but loud group of medical marijuana businesses are in the media claiming that Prop 19, California's "tax and regulate" initiative to legalize marijuana, would make marijuana less available to medical patients. Their arguments are demonstrably false, but the media has mostly given them a pass on it. I have a piece on Huffington Post today that calls them out. Check it out and then comment there and/or here.

United States

Spain’s Former Drug Czarina Endorses Legalization

Quoting great minds such as Milton Friedman, Gary Becker and Mario Vargas Llosa, Spain’s former drug Czarina Araceli Manjón-Cabeza endorsed drug legalization in a compelling op-ed [in Spanish] published in El País, Spain’s leading newspaper. Just a week ago, Felipe González, Spain’s former Prime Minister, also came out in support of drug legalization.
CATO@Liberty (DC)

California Marijuana Legalization Measure Has Nine-Point Lead in Latest Poll

Proposition 19 pot legalization initiative leads 47%-38% in the latest Public Policy Polling survey of likely voters. That's good, but not great, news for the campaign.

Good because nine points is a nice cushion six weeks out from election day. But not great because Prop 19 is still polling under 50% when it needs 50% plus one vote to win and because the race is closer than in the previous Public Policy Polling survey in July, when it led 52%-36%.

The poll is an automated phone survey of 630 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.9%. It took place last week.

victory in November? (chart from
Most, but not all recent polls, have shown Prop 19 leading. The Talking Points Memo Poll Average on Prop 19, which combines all the recent polls, has the measure leading 47.8% to 38.8%.

Telephone robo-polls have generated higher numbers than face to face interview polls, leading some observers to suggest some people may be more willing to embrace a controversial position like marijuana legalization in the facelessness of the robo-polls.

Prop 19 was supported by 74% of liberals, 47% of moderates, and only 27% of conservatives. 53% of men supported it, compared to only 42% of women, suggesting the campaign has not been able to overcome lackluster support in what it considers a key swing constituency.

Whites showed the strongest support at 49%, followed by blacks at 46%, Asians at 44%, and the large Hispanic electorate at 42%.

Six weeks out, victory appears tantalizingly within reach, but defeat cannot be ruled out. This sucker is going down to the wire.

United States

UK: Liberal Democrats Told Drug Policy 'Wrong'

United Kingdom
The Liberal Democrats were told that their drug policy is wrong and the party should support the legalization of cannabis and moves to provide pharmaceutical heroin to addicts instead of methadone. Ewan Hoyle, founder of Liberal Democrats for Drug Policy Reform, accused candidates and MPs of being "silent" on drugs since the issue was last discussed at conference in 2002.
The Press Association (UK)

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