Will legal marijuana mean more traffic deaths?

September 1st, 2014 by marijuana - Yahoo! News Search Results No comments »
Smoking pot can impair drivers, leading some safety experts to worry about the effects of legalization

Oregon Will Vote To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

September 1st, 2014 by The General No comments »
In two months’ time the Oregon State Legislature is going to take a vote to legalize and regulating recreational marijuana. While possession and use of pot is illegal under federal law in the United States, 20 states in the country already permit its use by patients who have a doctor’s prescription. Dubbed as Measure 91, the proposed initiative will allow adults in Oregon to possess marijuana, which would be up to eight ounces at home and one ounce in a public location.

At present, the state allows use of cannabis only for medicinal purposes. The Medical Marijuana Program which started as early as 1998 had already made pot user-friendly by legalizing the dispensaries. At last count, Medical Marijuana Cards have been unreservedly issued to about 65,000 Oregonians. The program had been operating in a legal gray zone until 2013 when the state’s lawmakers passed a law to regulate them. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon supports Measure 91 advocating that taxpayers’ money is presently being wasted on arresting and prosecuting marijuana users. Permitting cannabis will also allow its users access to straightforward regulations and taxation.

Early reports suggest that taxes will be levied by the producers at the point of sale, ranging from $5 to $35 per ounce depending on the potency. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will regulate and monitor this. While these tax rates appear too low, it is an incentive for people to shy away from the black market. Additionally, the sales tax on marijuana, which is an alien concept in Oregon, will be used for funding schools, education programs, drug prevention and law enforcement in the state. The Oregon State Financial Estimate Committee believes that if voters to legalize recreational marijuana, the state could generate tax revenues of close to $40 million annually.

Oregon will be following in the footsteps of Washington State and Colorado, which have already legalized cannabis. A favorable vote to legalize recreational marijuana will allow Oregonians to grow their own crop. However opposition lobbyist Darrell Fuller believes that legalizing weed is not in the state’s best interest. Survey’s conducted among teens indicates an alarming percentage of youth who don’t regard consuming weed as particularly dangerous or believe in its harmful effects on brain development.

Allowing retail sale of recreational cannabis will make it easily accessible for underage children. Many believe this is not a concern of real consequence since legalization will merely add marijuana to the line of “adults only” products, which already contain alcohol and tobacco usage. An encompassing legalization will also give rise to increased incidences of people driving under intoxication. This is a particularly knotty situation for the law enforcement officials given that there is no simple or reliable screening, which can be made for intoxication. The Oregonian pointed out, “There is no bong breathalyzer.”

On the Nov.4 ballot, supporters will vote for bringing a fresh perspective to marijuana policy in Oregon, support for honesty and convenience, rather than hoodwinking the legal system or simply driving across the Columbia River to Washington State. This will be Oregon’s second chance in the past two years for a vote to legalize recreational marijuana. In the same month, Alaskan voters will also decide the fate of decriminalizing recreational marijuana for adults while Washington, D.C. votes to legalize possession and home cultivation of marijuana.



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Guardianlv.com
Author: Nilofar Neemuchwala
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Oregon Will Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Will traffic deaths rise as states legalize pot?

September 1st, 2014 by marijuana - Yahoo! News Search Results No comments »
WASHINGTON (AP) — As states liberalize their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths. Researchers, though, are divided on the question.

Lawmakers researching impact of legal marijuana on traffic deaths

September 1st, 2014 by marijuana - Yahoo! News Search Results No comments »
Studies of marijuana's effects show that the drug can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking, all of which are critical driving skills.

5 things to know about driving & marijuana

September 1st, 2014 by marijuana - Yahoo! News Search Results No comments »
The legalization of recreational marijuana in two states — Colorado and Washington — and medical marijuana in more than 20 others has raised concern that there will be more drivers stoned behind the wheel.

Families’ Plight To Legalize Medical Marijuana Continues

September 1st, 2014 by The General No comments »
The fight to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia continues, six months after it failed in the legislative session. State lawmakers have now launched a new fight to get a bill back on the table, and passed in the 2015 General Assembly. On Wednesday, a joint Senate-House committee met for the first of five medical marijuana hearings.

State lawmakers are confident that this time around, medical marijuana will become legal in Georgia. Kendle Baggarly is only three, but she's a warrior battling big medical conditions. "She's missing a part of her brain called the corpus callosum, that helps the left and right hemispheres of the brain communicate. She's also got some holes in her retina so it's like she's looking through swiss cheese," her mother, Kristi Baggarly said. And though multiple doctors tell the Baggarlys medical marijuana could be the key to helping Kendle, it'd be a crime to treat her with cannabis oil in Georgia.

"You can't even describe how that feels to know there's something out there that could help your daughter and you can't even try it. And there's not really a great reason. The fact that it's safer than what she's on now just doesn't make any sense to me," Baggarly said. Baggarly was at the state Capitol on the final day of the legislative session when the medical marijuana bill failed. "We had been effective in changing minds, we had the votes, and for it not to be called up the way that its was just devastating. It seemed to be more politically driven than caring for our children," she said.

State representative Allen Peake (R-Macon) says he's hopeful that won't happen again. "I think we maybe all learned a lesson after last year," he said. "It was frustrating, it was painful, it was gut-wrenching. I think we'll be able to focus on finding a good solution - a medical cannabis solution for our citizens and keep it separate. That's my hope," Peake said. Though it's been a long road, it's been a journey of hope.

"The fact that these legislators are willing to take so much time to discuss a bill, and since we have more time, I hope we can make It gives me a lot of hope and i think something will definitely pass this year and I hope it will benefit even more people," she said. The next medical marijuana hearing will be held at Mercer University on September 10.

Peake took up the medical marijuana issue earlier this year and filed a bill after our coverage of Haleigh Cox, a Forsyth five-year-old who suffered from severe seizures, often dozens in a day. She and her mother moved to Colorado so she could receive treatment. The panel today called those types of families "medical refugees." Earlier this week, Haleigh's mom reported on Facebook that her condition was improving and she was enjoying a seizure-free day.



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: 13wmaz.com
Author: Anita Oh & Randall Savage
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Families' plight to legalize medical marijuana continues

Palm Springs Considers Fourth Medical Marijuana Shop

September 1st, 2014 by The General No comments »
Palm Springs City Council will consider granting the city's fourth and final medical cannabis collective permit Wednesday to Palm Springs Safe Access. The first Coachella Valley city to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries, Palm Springs, in 2013, imposed a 10 percent sales tax on the drug among permitted cooperatives and a 15 percent sales tax among unpermitted ones — generating an estimated $450,000 annually.

With neighboring Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs recently following suit, the city could soon see a dip in revenue from its collectives. "It's really a question of which applicant meets our requirements," said Councilman Paul Lewin. "I think that providing safe access to medicine to sick people is a good thing, and I'm pleased to see other cities doing it right." In March, City Council voted 4-1 to increase the number of dispensaries allowed in the city from three to four and made June 16 the application deadline for the final permit. Eight people applied.

Brown Dog Farms Inc., P.S. Organica, Oasis Wellness and Living Collective, Palm Springs Premier Care, Southern C's, and Jade Organics all proposed locations that violate the zoning requirements of the city's medical marijuana ordinance, which will likely disqualify them. A background check on Palm Springs Nature Healing Center Inc.'s owner, Stacy Hochanadel, found that in 2006 he was convicted in Riverside County Superior Court of unlawful or fraudulent business practices — city staff recommending his disqualification, as well.

Hochanadel originally secured a medical cannabis permit, but his operation, Cannahelp, stopped operating for more than 90 days, according to city staff. What's more, city staff said Hochanadel wants a permit for a grow facility he's already operating unlawfully and failing to pay 15 percent tax proceeds on. Staff recommended Palm Springs Safe Access, owned and operated by local photographer Robert Van Roo, for the last permit.

"Mr. Van Roo has shown his willingness to comply with the laws of the City and the directives of City Staff," reads the staff report. Palm Springs Safe Access passed background checks, a building review and a zoning review. A safety plan check found one additional security camera is needed in a grow area, and fire sprinklers are needed Van Roo ran Palm Springs Safe Access at another location in 2012, but closed the medical marijuana component upon learning it was unlawful, while continuing to offer an art gallery, yoga studio and holistic health services for a time. He issued a press release stating his intent to get permitted.

"I'm looking foward to picking the best collective, and the scrutiny they've gone through on the applications is pretty steep," said Mayor Pro Tem Chris Mills, the sole opponent of a fourth cooperative. "But why do we need to be the supplier of the valley or the county when, really, it's the responsibility of every city, and they're starting to realize that."



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Desertsun.com
Author: Dave Nyczepir
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Palm Springs considers fourth medical marijuana shop

Palm Springs Considers Fourth Medical Marijuana Shop

September 1st, 2014 by The General No comments »
Palm Springs City Council will consider granting the city's fourth and final medical cannabis collective permit Wednesday to Palm Springs Safe Access. The first Coachella Valley city to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries, Palm Springs, in 2013, imposed a 10 percent sales tax on the drug among permitted cooperatives and a 15 percent sales tax among unpermitted ones — generating an estimated $450,000 annually.

With neighboring Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs recently following suit, the city could soon see a dip in revenue from its collectives. "It's really a question of which applicant meets our requirements," said Councilman Paul Lewin. "I think that providing safe access to medicine to sick people is a good thing, and I'm pleased to see other cities doing it right." In March, City Council voted 4-1 to increase the number of dispensaries allowed in the city from three to four and made June 16 the application deadline for the final permit. Eight people applied.

Brown Dog Farms Inc., P.S. Organica, Oasis Wellness and Living Collective, Palm Springs Premier Care, Southern C's, and Jade Organics all proposed locations that violate the zoning requirements of the city's medical marijuana ordinance, which will likely disqualify them. A background check on Palm Springs Nature Healing Center Inc.'s owner, Stacy Hochanadel, found that in 2006 he was convicted in Riverside County Superior Court of unlawful or fraudulent business practices — city staff recommending his disqualification, as well.

Hochanadel originally secured a medical cannabis permit, but his operation, Cannahelp, stopped operating for more than 90 days, according to city staff. What's more, city staff said Hochanadel wants a permit for a grow facility he's already operating unlawfully and failing to pay 15 percent tax proceeds on. Staff recommended Palm Springs Safe Access, owned and operated by local photographer Robert Van Roo, for the last permit.

"Mr. Van Roo has shown his willingness to comply with the laws of the City and the directives of City Staff," reads the staff report. Palm Springs Safe Access passed background checks, a building review and a zoning review. A safety plan check found one additional security camera is needed in a grow area, and fire sprinklers are needed Van Roo ran Palm Springs Safe Access at another location in 2012, but closed the medical marijuana component upon learning it was unlawful, while continuing to offer an art gallery, yoga studio and holistic health services for a time. He issued a press release stating his intent to get permitted.

"I'm looking foward to picking the best collective, and the scrutiny they've gone through on the applications is pretty steep," said Mayor Pro Tem Chris Mills, the sole opponent of a fourth cooperative. "But why do we need to be the supplier of the valley or the county when, really, it's the responsibility of every city, and they're starting to realize that."



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Desertsun.com
Author: Dave Nyczepir
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Palm Springs considers fourth medical marijuana shop

5 things to know about driving high on marijuana

September 1st, 2014 by marijuana - Yahoo! News Search Results No comments »
WASHINGTON — The legalization of recreational marijuana in two states — Colorado and Washington — and medical marijuana in more than 20 others has raised concern that there will be more drivers stoned behind the wheel.

5 things to know about driving on marijuana

September 1st, 2014 by marijuana - Yahoo! News Search Results No comments »
WASHINGTON (AP) — The legalization of recreational marijuana in two states — Colorado and Washington — and medical marijuana in more than 20 others has raised concern that there will be more drivers stoned behind the wheel. What's not clear is whether that will translate into an increase in fatal crashes.