Tag: Election 2016

Arizona Marijuana Legalization Supporters Collect 100,000 Signatures

Arizona Marijuana Legalization Supporters Collect 100,000 Signatures

PHOENIX, AZ  — Supporters of a proposal to legalize marijuana in Arizona are ahead of schedule in efforts to collect enough signatures to place the measure before voters in 2016.

As of Friday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona, which is backed by the national Marijuana Policy Project, has collected over 100,000 petition signatures, well ahead of schedule to submit the necessary 150,642 valid signatures to the Secretary of State’s office by July 7.

The proposed initiative would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana; establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol; and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and public education programs.

Because signatures collected during petition drives are often invalidated for being illegible or because the signer provided incomplete or inaccurate information, the campaign has set a goal to collect 230,000 total signatures.  Registered voters in Arizona who have not yet signed the petition and would like to do so can find more information from the campaign’s website, or view a map of current petition locations here.

Recent polls have found that a majority of Arizona voters favor legalizing marijuana.  A June 2015 poll found 53% support the idea.

If organizers are successful in placing the measure on the November 2016 ballot and the measure is subsequently approved by voters, the proposal would end marijuana prohibition in Arizona and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.

In summary, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would:

  • allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess and privately consume and grow limited amounts of marijuana (it will remain illegal to consume marijuana in public);
  • create a system in which licensed businesses can produce and sell marijuana to adults and establish a Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to regulate the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, and sale of marijuana;
  • provide local governments with the authority to regulate and prohibit marijuana businesses; and
  • establish a 15% tax on adult marijuana sales in addition to standard sales taxes.

Marijuana tax revenue will be used to fund the implementation and enforcement of regulations, and any additional revenue will be allocated to the Department of Education for construction, maintenance, operating costs, and full-day kindergarten programs and to the Department of Health Services for public health efforts.  The full text of the initiative is available on the campaign’s website.

Other campaigns sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project aimed at legalizing marijuana in 2016 are underway in several states.  The state of Nevada has already approved their legalization proposal for the 2016 ballot.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill in US Senate to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill in US Senate to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Sen. Sanders was the first major party presidential candidate to express support for ending marijuana prohibition, and the bill he filed Wednesday is the first such proposal ever introduced in the U.S. Senate — ‘His actions today speak even louder than his words last month’

WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) introduced a bill Wednesday that would repeal all federal penalties for possessing and growing marijuana, allowing states to establish their own marijuana laws.

The “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015” strikes all references to marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, but retains penalties for transporting marijuana from states or jurisdictions where it is legal to those where it is not. It is the fourth marijuana policy reform bill to ever be introduced in the Senate, and it is the first that proposes ending marijuana prohibition at the federal level.

Earlier this year, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced medical marijuana legislation, known as the CARERS Act. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a bill to address the tax status of marijuana businesses, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced a measure that would allow marijuana businesses to access banking services.

Last month, Sanders became the first-ever major-party presidential candidate to express support for legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use.

“Sen. Sanders really grabbed the nation’s attention when he became the first major-party presidential candidate to speak out in support of ending marijuana prohibition,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “His actions today speak even louder than his words last month. Hopefully, this legislation will get his colleagues in Congress talking about the need for comprehensive marijuana policy reform.

“The science is clear that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and that should be reflected in our nation’s marijuana policy. Sen. Sanders is simply proposing that we treat marijuana similarly to how we treat alcohol at the federal level, leaving most of the details to the states. It is a commonsense proposal that is long overdue in the Senate,” Tvert added.

The bill is available online at http://www.mpp.org/sandersbill.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

MPP: Ohio Issue 3 Defeat Will Not Impact 2016 Initiatives

MPP: Ohio Issue 3 Defeat Will Not Impact 2016 Initiatives

WASHINGTON, DC — Last night, a controversial Ohio ballot initiative that would have regulated marijuana for adults was voted down by a relatively wide margin, marking the first time that a major state referendum to make marijuana legal for adults has failed since 2010.

However, the defeat of a marijuana-related ballot initiative in the Buckeye State will have no bearing on the outcomes of several marijuana-related initiatives expected to appear on state ballots next year.

A proposal to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it like alcohol has already qualified for the November 2016 ballot in Nevada, and similar measures are expected to qualify for the ballots in Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts. The measures do not include the widely unpopular “monopoly” language included in the 2015 Ohio initiative that limited the commercial cultivation of marijuana to only 10 predetermined producers.

The 2016 initiatives are also expected to benefit significantly from heightened voter turnout during a presidential election.

MPP is supporting several of the 2016 initiative efforts. We neither supported nor opposed the Ohio initiative this year.

“It’s pretty obvious that the outcome in Ohio does not reflect where the nation stands or the direction in which it is heading when it comes to marijuana policy,” said MPP’s Mason Tvert. “It only reflects where Ohio voters stand on a specific and rather unique proposal in an off-year election. It will not have any bearing on the outcomes of the initiatives that we expect to appear on other states’ ballots in 2016.

“When voters in Nevada or Massachusetts get to the ballot box one year from now, they are not going to be thinking about what happened in Ohio a year earlier. They are going to be thinking about the problems marijuana prohibition has caused their states for so many years and the benefits of replacing it with a more sensible system. These initiatives will also benefit from heightened voter turnout during a presidential election year. The more voters that turn out, the more support we tend to see for marijuana policy reform.

“Polls show a strong and growing majority of Americans think marijuana should be legal for adults. There is a lot of momentum building behind the movement to end marijuana prohibition heading into 2016. Election Day was relatively uneventful this year, but next year it will be truly historic.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Presidential Candidate Calls for Descheduling Marijuana

Presidential Candidate Calls for Descheduling Marijuana

Vermont Senator and Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders this week pledged to get the federal government out of the marijuana enforcement business by removing the substance from the US Controlled Substances Act.

Senator Sanders called cannabis’ present schedule I status under federal law “absurd.” He added: “In my view, the time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana. … [S]tates should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern the sale of alcohol and tobacco.”

The Senator also said that state-compliant marijuana operations “should be fully able to use the banking system without fear of federal prosecution.”

Senator Sanders comments differ from those of Democrat opponent and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley who promised to use the executive powers of the President to “to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.”  Republican candidate Rand Paul [R-KY] has also co-sponsored federal legislation, SB 683, that seeks to reclassify cannabis to Schedule II under federal law. However, simply rescheduling marijuana from I to II would not limit the federal government’s authority to prosecute marijuana offenders, including those who are in compliance with state law.

While several other Presidential candidates have called on federal officials to respect states’ marijuana policies, none have proposed amending federal marijuana laws.

Senator Sanders latest position is consistent with the view of most voters. According to a 2015 Pew poll, 60 percent of Americans agree that the government “should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that allow use,” while recent Gallup survey data finds that 58 percent of US citizens over the age of 18 believe cannabis should be legal for adults.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Bernie Sanders to Call for End to Federal Pot Prohibition

Presidential contender Bernie Sanders is set to announce his support for ending federal marijuana prohibition at a town hall at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, tonight. He will announce a bill that would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances, end federal marijuana prohibition, and let states set their own policies without federal interference.

“Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have a criminal record as a result of marijuana use,” Sanders said in prepared remarks for the event. “That’s wrong. That has got to change.”

No other presidential candidate in either party has gone as far as the independent Vermont senator. Democrat Martin O’Malley has called for placing marijuana on Schedule II, but Sanders wants it descheduled. Hillary Clinton has yet to stake out a position on marijuana reform, saying she wants to see how legalization is working in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington first.

The Sanders plan would not make marijuana legal in the states, but would remove the specter of federal interference for those states that choose to change their pot laws. His plan would also let pot businesses in legal states use financial services and take tax deductions currently unavailable to them under federal law.

Sanders is in line with national public opinion on the issue. Support for legalization has consistently polled at 50% or greater in recent years, and a Gallup poll this month had support at its highest level ever, 58%.

“Clearly Bernie Sanders has looked at the polls showing voter support for marijuana legalization,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Action, the political arm of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Marijuana reform was already moving forward in Congress but we expect this bill to give reform efforts a big boost.”

Look for Sanders’ bill to be filed as early as tomorrow.


This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

MPP Upgrades Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in Voter Guide to 2016 Presidential Race

MPP Upgrades Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in Voter Guide to 2016 Presidential Race

DENVER, CO — The nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, Marijuana Policy Project, has upgraded Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in its report card-style voter guide to the 2016 major party presidential candidates.

More changes could follow the Republican candidate debate scheduled to take place Wednesday in Boulder, Colorado, where the candidates are likely to discuss the state’s laws that regulate marijuana for adult and medical use.

“Marijuana policy came up during the Democratic debate in Nevada, where a law similar to Colorado’s is set to appear on next year’s ballot,” said Mason Tvert, MPP’s Denver-based director of communications who co-directed the 2012 Colorado marijuana initiative campaign. “It stands to reason that the subject will come up in Boulder, where the victor would be free to celebrate with marijuana instead of champagne.

“Polls show that an even stronger majority of Colorado voters support the state’s marijuana laws now than did at the ballot box in 2012. The candidates need to be very clear about where they stand when it comes to the tension between state and federal marijuana laws. Will they protect our state’s decision to establish its own marijuana policy? Or will they use federal resources to interfere with it?”

MPP boosted Mike Huckabee’s grade from a “D” to a “B-” this month after he said that, as president, he would not attempt to interfere in states such as Colorado that have adopted laws regulating marijuana for adult use.

“[L]et’s let Colorado have at it for a few years and let’s see how that works out for them,” Huckabee said during a televised interview on KCCI in Iowa. “I’m willing to let states operate under the 10th Amendment, and I’m willing for the states, if they think that marijuana and the legalization of it is a great thing, you know, I’m willing for them to experiment and find out. And it if it works and it turns out that the presence of recreational marijuana makes them a more prosperous state…well heck, we may just all want to reach out there and grab that.”

MPP has also upgraded Bernie Sanders from a “B” to an “A” after he became the first-ever major party presidential candidate to express support for legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use. During the Democratic candidate debate earlier this month, Sanders said he would likely vote in favor of a ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Nevada. MPP also upgraded Hillary Clinton from a “B-“ to a “B” after she expressed a heightened level of support for medical marijuana legislation.

“Coloradans rightfully want to know whether the candidates would attempt to roll back the progress that has been made here over the past decade,” Tvert said. “If they intend to shut down hundreds of state-legal businesses, put thousands of people out of work, deprive the state of tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year, and force marijuana back into the underground market, they better have a good explanation for it.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Competing Maine Marijuana Legalization Campaigns Unite Behind One Ballot Measure

Competing Maine Marijuana Legalization Campaigns Unite Behind One Ballot Measure

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will spearhead the campaign in support of the initiative filed by Legalize Maine to regulate and tax marijuana in Maine

PORTLAND, ME — Two competing marijuana initiative campaigns in Maine announced Friday they will unite behind one state ballot measure to end marijuana prohibition in 2016.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will stop collecting signatures in support of the initiative it filed in March and spearhead the campaign in support of a similar initiative filed in February by Legalize Maine.

Each of the campaigns has collected approximately 40,000 signatures, and they will work together to collect the remaining signatures needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. They have until January to collect a total of approximately 61,000 valid signatures of registered Maine voters.

“Joining forces is the best step forward, not only for our respective campaigns, but for Maine as a whole,”said David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.” We all agree marijuana prohibition has been a colossal failure and that it must be replaced with a system in which marijuana is legal for adults and regulated like alcohol. We can more effectively accomplish our shared goal by combining our resources and working together instead of on parallel tracks.

“We had some differences of opinion on some of the specifics, but our initiatives were largely similar overall. We would not get behind this measure unless we were 100% confident that it will effectively and responsibly end prohibition in Maine. We’re also confident that the voters will agree,” Boyer added.

“This is a major milestone on the path to ending marijuana prohibition in Maine,” said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine. “Either of these campaigns could be successful on their own, but together we can put our best feet forward in 2016. The voters are ready to adopt a more sensible marijuana policy, and we’re committed to working with everyone who wants to help them do it.

“Both campaigns have done a great job of educating voters, organizing volunteers, and raising funds, and now we can ramp up those efforts even more. David and MPP have made some major strides here this past couple years, and they clearly share our commitment to doing what is best for the people of Maine. We’re looking forward to working with them to cross the finish line next year,” McCarrier added.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.