Russ Belville

I am the executive director of and host / producer of The Russ Belville Show - The Independent Voice of the Marijuana Nation at - live from Portland, Oregon. I was the winner of The Search for the Next Great Progressive Talk Radio Star and a former host on XM Satellite Radio and Portland's AM 620 KPOJ. I was the Outreach Coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws from 2008-2012, which included lecturing all across America on marijuana legalization, writing political analysis for HIGH TIMES Magazine, and producing over 1,000 hours of video content for The NORML Network.

Jul 282014
 July 28, 2014
Oregon Marijuana Legalization Study Predicts $38.5 Million In Taxes On $145 Ounces

A new study compiled by ECONorthwest has predicted that Oregon will reap $38.5 million in marijuana tax revenue in the first fiscal year of legalization.  The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act promoted by New Approach Oregon has qualified for the November election ballot and will cap the taxation of marijuana at $35 per ounce for flowers, $10 per ounce for leaves, and $5 per immature marijuana seedling. The Act does not affect the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, so researchers did not include the 64,000+ patients in [...]

Jul 172014
 July 17, 2014
Obama Administration - Marijuana Reform Is States' Rights Issue

The Obama Administration has pushed back hard against Congress’s attempt to gut the recently-passed marijuana decriminalization law in Washington, DC.  The Office of Management and Budget memo explains that Congressional meddling “undermines the principles of States’ rights and District home rule” Lawmakers in the District passed the law that treats possession of an ounce of marijuana as a non-arrestable civil infraction with a nation’s-lowest fine of just $25.  Congress has final say over all laws passed in the District, but let the deadline pass for the decrim law without comment, which takes [...]

Jul 162014
 July 16, 2014
Former Oregon District Attorneys Think Legalization Invents Marijuana

Two retired Multnomah County, Oregon, prosecutors have come out in our state’s largest newspaper against the legalization of marijuana proposed for the November ballot by New Approach Oregon. Norm Frink, former chief deputy district attorney, and Mark McDonnell, former chief of the drug unit at the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, worked with members of New Approach Oregon at the legislature to create a legalization plan, but now call the initiative “deeply flawed.” McDonnell cites Washington’s legalization as a better model for its inclusion of a per se stoned driving standard and [...]

Jul 132014
 July 13, 2014
Why High Washington Marijuana Prices Are Not A Bad Thing

“Twenty dollars a gram?  Ain’t no way I’m spending five hundred and sixty dollars per ounce on weed!” My friend was reading the coverage of the opening of legal marijuana shops in Washington State, shocked at the high prices being paid for pot.  Sure, not as high a price as ten years in prison, but a steep price for my friend who’s getting pot from Oregon dispensaries at $180 per ounce. “Actually,” I reply, “the CBS affiliate in Portland says pot is thirty-three bucks a gram at Main Street Marijuana [...]

Colorado Pot Shop Sues IRS

 Posted by at 6:26 AM on July 7, 2014  Marijuana Business News
Jul 072014
 July 7, 2014
Colorado Pot Shop Sues IRS

The head of Colorado NORML, Rachel Gillette, is fighting mad about the way the federal government is discriminating against legal marijuana businesses, and now she’s suing the Internal Revenue Service. Gillette is representing Allgreens LLC, a Denver medical marijuana dispensary, in its lawsuit against the IRS.  At issue is an IRS lien against Allgreens for the payment of $20,000 in penalties from 2013.  Gillette believes that the penalty is an unfair discrimination against state-legal marijuana businesses and that the IRS’ proposed solution amounts to entrapment into committing the crime of [...]

Jul 062014
 July 6, 2014
Washington Faces Higher Legalization Hurdles Than Colorado

We are six months into Colorado’s rollout of legalized recreational marijuana markets and the results have been remarkable.  From over $27 million in marijuana tax revenue to law enforcement finding no pot shops selling to minors or increases in marijuana-impaired driving, every current indicator points to success in Colorado. But Washington State looms next week as Act II in the story of retail marijuana legalization.  Like the second act in any screenplay, this is where the tension begins. Colorado had the distinct advantage of merely attaching a recreational side to [...]

Jun 292014
 June 29, 2014
US And Canadian Securities Watchdogs Warn About Marijuana Stocks

Twenty-two states have medical marijuana laws, with Florida poised this November to become the 23rd and the second-largest market after California.  Two states have legalized recreational marijuana, with Alaska and Oregon set to join Colorado and Washington this election.  By the end of 2016, there could be eight legalized marijuana states and over half of the fifty states could have medical marijuana laws.  As industries go, the marijuana business is predicted to grow faster than the demand for smartphones. As Mark Twain once said, “When there’s a gold rush, it is [...]

Jun 272014
 June 27, 2014
If You Bet On The Legal Marijuana Industry, You Can't Bet In Casinos

At a convention this month in Law Vegas, regulators from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced that casinos, like banks, are subject to the same money laundering regulations that prevent doing business with the emerging legal marijuana industry. The federal government considers all casinos, from Las Vegas’ and Atlantic City’s sprawling gambling meccas to small tribal and riverboat casinos, as financial institutions.  We’ve reported previously how firms involved in the legal medical marijuana or recreational marijuana business in their state have run afoul of these money laundering regulations when [...]

Jun 232014
 June 23, 2014
The Disaster Of CBD-Only 'Medical Marijuana' Legislation

Since the premiere of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s documentary “Weed” back in August, the general public has quickly come to understand the miraculous healing power of cannabidiol, or CBD.  The political perception of medical marijuana changed forever when parents saw little Charlotte Figi, the girl with intractable epilepsy, go from hundreds of seizures a week to just one or two, thanks to CBD treatments. But that change in perception isn’t a good one.  For now there are two types of medical marijuana – CBD-Only and “euphoric marijuana”, as New Jersey Gov. [...]

Jun 152014
 June 15, 2014
Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition

This weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, the 2nd Annual Texas Regional NORML Conference was held.  Also in Fort Worth this weekend, just a few blocks away, was the Texas Republican Convention.  You couldn’t find two more diametrically opposed groups… right? Ann Lee is precisely what American history and movies taught me a grand Texas lady would be.  She’s strong and willful yet polite and humble.  She’s a conservative Christian woman and now in her eighties, she has become a marijuana legalization activist!  And she’ll tell you it is precisely because she is a conservative [...]