Georgia Voters Split On Recreational Marijuana Legalization

GEORGIA: Georgia voters are split on whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana.

The results of our exclusive 11Alive Survey USA poll are in, just as all eyes are on the state of Ohio. Voters there are deciding in Tuesday’s election whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

Just 10 or 15 years ago, virtually no one who works in the Georgia State Capitol would have even mentioned the word marijuana. Now, they may have no choice but to listen to their constituents. Four states and the District of Columbia now allow legal recreational marijuana – could Georgia be next?

In an exclusive scientific poll commissioned by 11Alive News and conducted by Survey USA, we sked 1,787 registered voters, “Should the use of marijuana for recreational use by adults in Georgia remain against the law?”

46 percent of respondents said yes, while 45 percent said to make it legal. Another 10 percent said they were not sure.

The Daily 202: Kentucky Is Latest Battleground In The Marijuana Wars

KENTUCKY: Happy Monday morning from Richmond, Ky., where the governor’s race, just one week from tomorrow, is a true toss-up. I’m crisscrossing the state talking to voters and trailing the candidates. During a debate at Eastern Kentucky University last night, some of the biggest fireworks came over whether to allow medical marijuana.

“There is unequivocal medical evidence … that there are benefits for those with cancer and epilepsy,” said Republican Matt Bevin. “It should be prescribed like any other prescription drug.”

Democrat Jack Conway, running as a tough-on-crime attorney general, touted his endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police and fretted about “a lost generation” of young people to narcotics, particularly prescription pain pills.

“I don’t want to hear from some hipsters out in Hawaii saying Kentucky needs medical marijuana,” Conway said. “Because, if you have medical marijuana, there’s going to be more of it. Chances are there will be more accidents on our roads by young kids because there’s more of it. If we need it, the medical community has to come convince me. … And I haven’t heard from any of them.”

Ohio Now A Battleground State For Marijuana

OHIO: Four states already allow recreational pot, but approved medical marijuana first. Now, Ohio could make history by legalizing both at the same time, and the pro-marijuana camp is ramping up as the days until the vote are counting down.

A new poll finds most Ohioans support legalization, but the campaign is stirring up controversy, reports CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen.

Ian James, who spent 30 years as a campaign strategist in Ohio, is leading the charge to legalize pot in Ohio. He said his experience of working with President Obama’s national data team helped accelerate his campaign, which aims to knock on a million doors between now and Election Day.

“You’ve got that old saying of: ‘As goes Ohio, so goes the nation,'” he said.

Politically, Ohio is a battleground state. But right now, the battle is about the actual ground – one of the fields where marijuana could be grown.

Clinton Declines To Take Position On Legalizing Marijuana

Hillary Clinton declined to directly weigh in on whether she would support states’ moves to legalize marijuana.

Her comment came after Bernie Sanders said he suspected he would support moves by states to legalize marijuana.

“I suspect I would vote yes,” Sanders said. “I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives destroyed over non-violent offenses.”

Clinton was then asked if she was ready to take a position on marijuana.

“No,” she responded.

 

Voices: Oregon Legalizes Pot, And Nobody Cares

OREGON: What if we legalized marijuana and no one really cared?

That’s the overwhelming feeling I get standing inside Zion Cannabis in downtown Portland as customers buy marijuana from the friendly staff  five days after legalized marijuana legislation went into effect Oct. 1.

No muss, no fuss.

Oregon is the third American state to legalize recreational marijuana sales, following neighboring Washington, where legal pot debuted in the summer of 2014, and Colorado, where cannabis has been legal since Jan. 1, 2014. Hardly anyone is paying attention.

Oregon Marijuana Dispensaries Report Brisk Sales On Opening Day

OREGON: The line formed at Oregrown before the doors opened at 8 a.m. Thursday and stayed that way until the shop closed nearly 16 hours later.

The numbers alone tell the story: More than 1,100 customers came through the downtown Bend shop on Thursday, the first day of legal marijuana sales in Oregon, said Oregrown owner Aviv Hadar. In all, they spent a staggering $55,000.

“The numbers just blew us away,” he said.

Legal recreational marijuana sales got underway in Oregon this week with 245 dispensaries eligible to sell the drug. Many shops in Portland, home to more than 100 marijuana dispensaries, saw brisk business Thursday.

Oregon Becomes Third U.S. State To Allow Recreational Marijuana Sales

OREGON: Marijuana sales for recreational use began in Oregon on Thursday as it joined Washington state and Colorado in allowing the sale of a drug that remains illegal under U.S. federal law.

Oregon residents 21 years and older can buy up to a quarter-ounce (seven grams) of dried pot at roughly 200 existing medical-use marijuana dispensaries as a new law took effect.

Backers hope the law will help curb a flourishing black market, but opponents say it heightens drug use and access by children.

About 40 people lined up outside the medical pot dispensary Shango in a strip mall near Portland International Airport for the chance to buy recreational pot one minute after midnight, when the changes went into effect.

“We came to be part of the experiment,” said Juliano Hamana, 24, in line with his girlfriend.

You Can Now Buy Marijuana Legally In Oregon

OREGON: It’s high time!

At 12 a.m. on Thursday, it became legal for medical dispensaries across Oregon to sell marijuana, seeds and immature plants to anyone over the age of 21. Excited customers lined up outside dispensaries in Portland, waiting for the clock to strike midnight.

One of them was Davia Fleming, 29, the first in line outside Shango dispensary and therefore one of the state’s first legal cannabis customers. For her, legalization means more than her ability to smoke without fear of prosecution. Cannabis keeps her stable, she said.

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">Davia Fleming waits outside Shango dispensary in Portland, where she'll be one of Oregon's first legal marijuana customers.</span>
ANDY CAMPBELL / THE HUFFINGTON POST
Davia Fleming waits outside Shango dispensary in Portland, where she’ll be one of Oregon’s first legal marijuana customers.

“What a great night! It’s legal!” she said. “I have ADHD so it makes thinking processes a little chaotic, and I discovered that marijuana kind of helps organize me and my creative functions.”

Parties, Discounts To Mark Start Of Pot Sales In Oregon

OREGON: Discounts on pot, free food for folks with the munchies and live music will usher in a historic day for Oregon and for marijuana advocates across the country on Thursday, as recreational sales of the drug that is still illegal under federal law begin in the state.

Oregon is one of four states that have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. It will start with far more dispensaries than did Colorado or Washington state, where pot shops have been up and running for more than a year. Alaska could begin retail sales next year.

Pot shops in Oregon that already sell medical marijuana have made big plans for the historic day – and hope there is enough supply to meet what is expected to be a huge demand.

“I’m just trying to basically stock up for maybe four or five times what the normal volume would be,” said Chris Byers, owner of River City Dispensary in the southern Oregon town of Merlin.

 

Ohio Says Not So Fast On Marijuana Reform Vote

OHIO: Local advocates for marijuana liberalization were celebrating Wednesday, the day after their campaign to pass a local ordinance received the endorsement of the Toledo voting public.

But their euphoria is tempered by realization that parts of the so-called “Sensible Marihuana Ordinance” conflict with state law and may not be enforceable.

“I’m on cloud nine,” said Mary Smith, president of the northwest Ohio chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “This is going to take a minute for this to all get worked out. Don’t do crazy things. The plant is still illegal.”