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11927Fwd: NORML News of the Week 11/7/2013

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  • rebelljb@...
    Nov 8, 2013
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      Subject: NORML News of the Week 11/7/2013


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      Volume 16 Issue 44
      11/07/2013





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      From NORML.org:

      Maine: Nearly 70 Percent Of Portland Voters Approve Ballot
      Measure To Eliminate Local Pot Penalties

      Michigan: Three Cities Vote To Depenalize Marijuana
      Possession

      Colorado: Voters Enact Statewide Tax Scheme For Commercial
      Cannabis Production And Retail Sales

      Recent Action Alerts:

      Maine: Urge Legislative Council to Reconsider Marijuana
      Legalization Legislation

      Federal: Legislation Introduced to Give Marijuana Business Access
      to Banking Services

      Wisconsin: Medical Marijuana Legislation Introduced


      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Maine: Nearly 70 Percent Of Portland Voters Approve Ballot Measure To
      Eliminate Local Pot Penalties


      Portland, ME: Voters in Maine's largest cityoverwhelmingly decided in
      favor of a municipal measureeliminating local penalties for the
      possession of marijuana byadults.
      An estimated 67 percent of Portland voters decided Tuesday infavor of a
      citywide ballot initiative, Question 1, eliminatingpenalties for adults
      who possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabisand/or cannabis paraphernalia
      within city limits. Publicconsumption of the substance remains a
      punishable offense.
      Under state law, thepossession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana or less is
      classified as acivil offense punishable by a fine of up to $600.
      Maine Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) called the vote result "a victory
      for science, for common senseand for liberty."
      Representative Russell championed legislation this past springthat
      sought to legalize cannabis production, use, and retail salesstatewide.
      That measure fell four votes shy of House passage. "[W]ith [Tuesday's]
      vote, it'snow clear Mainers are ready to move forward with
      responsiblyregulating all adult marijuana sales," she said. "We are
      calling oncity officials to respect the will of the voters, and state
      leadersto get ahead of this issue with a Maine approach to taxing
      andregulating this commodity, much like we do alcohol. It's time tostop
      rewarding drug cartels and start rewarding responsiblebusiness owners,
      while funding important state priorities with newtax revenue."
      Representative Russell has prefiled similar legislation for2014.
      For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORMLCommunications
      Director, at (202) 483-5500.

      Michigan: Three Cities Vote To Depenalize Marijuana Possession


      Lansing, MI: Voters in the city of Lansing(population 114,000) decided
      in favor of a municipal initiativeamending the city charter to repeal
      criminal and civil penaltiesinvolving the adult possession of cannabis
      by adults on privateproperty.
      An estimated 63 percent of city voters on Tuesday endorsed themeasure,
      which read, "Shall the Charter of the City of Lansing,Michigan be
      amended such that nothing in the Code of Ordinancesshall apply to the
      use, possession or transfer of less than 1 ounceof marijuana, on
      private property, by a person who has attained theage of 21 years?"
      Voters in two additional Michigan cities, Jackson (population 33,000)
      and Ferndale (population 20,000) approved similarmeasures on Election
      Day.
      In Jackson, an estimated 60 percent of voters decided in favorof
      changing the city code to eliminate criminal and civil
      penaltiesregarding the "possession or transfer of less than one ounce
      ofmarijuana on private property by a person who has attained the ageof
      21 years." In Ferndale, approximately 70 percent of votersapproved
      similar depenalization language.
      Under present state law, thepossession of any amount of cannabis for
      non-medical purposes is acriminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one
      year in jail and a$2,000 fine.
      Last year, voters in four Michigan cities - Detroit, Flint,Grand
      Rapids, and Ypsilanti - all voted overwhelmingly in favor of municipal
      measures todepenalize minor marijuana offenses involving adults.
      For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORMLExecutive
      Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director,at (202)
      483-5500.

      Colorado: Voters Enact Statewide Tax Scheme For Commercial Cannabis
      Production And Retail Sales


      Denver, CO: A majority of Colorado voters haveapproved tax rates on the
      commercial productionand retail sales of cannabis.
      Voters in 2012 had previously approved a statewide ballot measure
      authorizing theestablishment of state-licensed marijuana producers and
      retailers.Lawmakers this spring proposed tax rates on both licensed
      cannabisproduction and retail sales, both of which are set to begin
      earlynext year. Under state law, adults also have the option to grow
      upto six cannabis plants for their own personal use. Adults do notneed
      to possess a state license to engage in personalcultivation.
      On Tuesday, an estimated 65 percent of voters decided in favorof
      Proposition AA, which authorizes a 15 percent excise tax and aspecial
      sales tax of 10 percent on marijuana products sold by thestate-licensed
      stores. Revenue derived from the taxes is intendedto fund public school
      construction and to provide state oversightto cannabis businesses.
      Colorado NORML had opposed the proposedelevated taxation levels,
      opining, "It is our position that excessivetaxation ... has the
      potential effect to keep a black market formarijuana alive in Colorado."
      Voters in various Colorado cities, including Denver and Boulder,also
      backed separate local retail taxes oncannabis sales. Starting in
      January, over 100 licensed retail outlets are expectedto begin selling
      cannabis to those ages 21 and older.
      Under the new tax scheme, cannabis will be among the mostheavily taxed
      consumer products in the state.
      For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORMLCommunications
      Director, at (202) 483-5500. Additional informationis available from
      Colorado NORML here: http://www.coloradonorml.org/.




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      Washington DC, 20006-2832
      Tel: (202) 483-5500 • Fax: (202) 483-0057 • Email: norml@...











      Support Marijuana Law Reform







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