Some State Leaders Challenging Marijuana Election Results

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Political leaders in several states are threatening to thwart the implementation of voter-approved initiatives specific to the regulation of marijuana.

“Voters spoke clearly on election day. They believe that cannabis should be legal and that its sale ought to be regulated accordingly,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “Politicians should respect these outcomes, not undermine them.”

In Massachusetts, where voters decided 54 percent to 46 percent on election day to legalize the cultivation, use, and retail sale of cannabis by adults, politicians have suggested amending the law and delaying its implementation. Specifically, lawmakers have called for pushing back the date when adults may legally begin growing cannabis from December 15, 2016 to an unspecified point in time. Legislators have also called for delaying retail sales of cannabis until late 2018, and have proposed increasing marijuana-specific sales taxes.

In Maine, where voters narrowly approved a similar ballot measure, Republican Gov. Paul LePage has said that he will seek federal guidance before moving forward with the law’s implementation. Governor LePage, who adamantly opposed the measure, said that he “will be talking to Donald Trump” about how the incoming administration intends to address the issue, and pronounced that he “will not put this (law) into play” unless the federal government signs off on it.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson made similar statements following voters’ decision to legalize the medical use of cannabis. “I don’t like the idea of implementing laws in Arkansas that violate federal law,” the Republican Governor and former head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration said. “This does not call for a state-by-state solution, it calls for … a national solution.”

During the Presidential campaign, Donald Trump voiced support for the authority of individual states to impose regulatory policies specific to the use and dispensing of medical cannabis, but was somewhat less clear with regard to whether he believed that state lawmakers ought to be able to regulate the adult use of cannabis absent federal interference. His nominee for US Attorney General, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, strongly opposes any liberalization in cannabis policy, stating in April, “[M]arijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.”

In 2013, the Obama administration issued a memorandum directing US prosecutors not to interfere with statewide marijuana legalization efforts, provided those efforts did not undermine specific federal priorities – such as the diversion of cannabis to non-legal states. According to Gallup pollsters, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that states should be allowed to decide their own cannabis policies.

Voters in eight states – Arkansas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota – approved statewide ballot measures this November regulating marijuana for either medicinal or social use.

For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

Freedom Leaf and Cannabis Radio Present Live 2016 Presidential Election Coverage

FreedomLeaf.com/Election will be broadcasting the coverage live

NEVADA: Freedom Leaf, “The Marijuana Legalization Company™”  and Cannabis Radio will joined forces on Election Day, November 8, for historic real-time updates of marijuana reform results in nine states.

 Watch the votes go down while posing live questions to a line-up of TV and radio commentators and personalities from the movement. The six-hour narrowcast #MJElectionNight event offers the latest results for this watershed day in cannabis reform. The legal recreational market could more than double as a result of this election.

Our coverage is anchored live from Los Angeles by Cannabis Radio News Director and podcast host Russ Belville and will feature live reports from the heads of all 9 statewide marijuana reform initiatives on the ballot. Cannabis Radio’s correspondents will report from all nine states where major initiatives are up for a vote: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota, and Montana.

There will be two Freedom Leaf executives who will be featured speakers in the evening’s broadcast. They are strong cannabis proponents, Allen St Pierre, who is Freedom Leaf’s vice president of communication and advocacy and Chris Thompson, Freedom Leaf’s community and non-profit manager.

CannabisRadio’s comprehensive line-up of speakers will tackle every aspect of the plant, its medical use, implications, societal and economic impact. You’ll hear from opponents, proponents, industry stakeholders, legislators, not-for-profits and celebrities.

When: November 8, 6pm EST-12pm EST (3pm PST-9pm PST)

Where: Viewers may tune in live at FreedomLeaf.com/Election. The live coverage will also be streaming on Facebook Live, LiveStream, television news affiliates and hundreds of websites. The viewing audience will chat live and pose questions to our guests using the hashtag #MJElectionNight on social media sites to keep up with and comment on the latest news.

Who: #MJElectionNight is produced by CannabisRadio.com in partnership with Freedom Leaf, “The Marijuana Legalization Company ™”, the leading go-to resource in the cannabis, medical marijuana, and industrial hemp industry. Cannabis Radio is the premier online/podcast radio destination for all things cannabis. All of Cannabis Radio’s original programming is distributed through the world’s largest podcast platforms including iHeartRadio, iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker and TuneIn. If you are an activist, enthusiast, cannabusiness owner, politician or policy maker looking to keep your fingers on the pulse of what is important to all the major stakeholders of cannabis, then the Cannabis Radio network and Freedom Leaf the multi-media platforms are for you.

Freedom Leaf Magazine, The Good News in Marijuana Reform publishes current information about the emerging industry, and related news, arts, entertainment, politics and business.

Subscribe to Freedom Leaf Magazine and 10 copies will be mailed to you annually: http://www.freedomleaf.com/subscribe/

Download to the free Freedom Leaf mobile app to your smart phone at iTunes or Google Play.

 

Maryland Governor O’Malley Targets Marijuana Voters

MARYLAND: Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley is making a play for the marijuana vote.

The former governor of Maryland will speak with Colorado lawmakers and business owners on Thursday about legalizing marijuana, according to his campaign.

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize pot, and O’Malley plans to use the state as a case study to determine whether such policies would be successful across the country. He called it a “laboratory in democracy.”

O’Malley is calling for the federal government to loosen its marijuana laws as part of his presidential campaign. He would like to reclassify pot so it is not listed with more dangerous drugs, such as heroin.

Chris Christie To Legal Marijuana Smokers: Enjoy It While You Can Because He’ll Enforce Federal Ban

NEW JERSEY: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is attracting attention to his struggling presidential campaign by making it clear he doesn’t want to recognize state laws legalizing recreational marijuana.

In town hall meetings in New Hampshire and an appearance on Fox News this week, Christie said that if elected, he intends to overturn state marijuana legalization laws, which have been passed in Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska.

“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it until Jan. 17 of 2017,” Christie told an audience in Newport, N.H., on Tuesday, “because I will enforce the federal laws against marijuana as president of the United States.”

Rolling Stone: The War On Drugs Is Burning Out

The conservative wave of 2014 featured an unlikely, progressive undercurrent: In two states, plus the nation’s capital, Americans voted convincingly to pull the plug on marijuana prohibition. Even more striking were the results in California, where voters overwhelmingly passed one of the broadest sentencing reforms in the nation, de-felonizing possession of hard drugs. One week later, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD announced an end to arrests for marijuana possession.

It’s all part of the most significant story in American drug policy since the passage of the 21st Amendment legalized alcohol in 1933: The people of this country are leading a dramatic de-escalation in the War on Drugs. 

November’s election results have teed up pot prohibition as a potent campaign issue for 2016. Notwithstanding the House GOP’s contested effort to preserve pot prohibition in D.C., the flowering of the marijuana-legalization movement is creating space for a more rational and humane approach to adjudicating users of harder drugs, both on the state level and federally. “The door is open to reconsidering all of our drug laws,” says Alison Holcomb, who led the pot-legalization push in Washington state in 2012, and has been tapped to direct the ACLU‘s new campaign against mass incarceration.