Jun 172013
 June 17, 2013

signature gathering marijuana reform initiativeBy Phillip Smith

The race to be the next state to legalize marijuana at the ballot box is on. Activists in three states — Alaska, Arizona, and Oregon — have taken initial steps to get the issue before the voters during the 2014 general election.

In Alaska, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell last Friday certified a ballot initiative application that would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults. Backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, the initiative would also set up a system of taxed and regulated marijuana commerce. Adults could grow up to six marijuana plants for their personal use.

Proponents will have one year to gather 30,169 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. But they have to wait a week or so for the state elections division to begin printing the petition booklets.

Alaska already allows for adults to possess small amounts of marijuana in their homes under the state Supreme Court’s interpretation of the state constitution’s privacy provisions.

In Arizona, Safer Arizona is sponsoring an initiative to amend the state constitution to allow for legal, taxed, and regulated marijuana use and commerce. The group filed the measure last week with the secretary of state. It now must gather 259,213 valid voter signatures by July 3, 2014 to qualify for the November 2014 ballot.

Organizers there said it would be a grassroots campaign relying on volunteers. The conventional wisdom for initiatives in high signature-count states is that they require paid signature-gathering efforts to succeed at a rough cost of a dollar or more per signature obtained.

Arizona voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in 2010, but that initiative squeaked through with barely more than 50% of the vote.

In Oregon, Paul Stanford, the controversial proponent of last year’s failed marijuana legalization campaign, is back with two more measures, and other activists could file yet a third. Stanford’s Oregon Marijuana Tax Act initiative largely echoes the language of last year’s underfunded initiative, which picked up 47% of the popular vote, but reworks a contentious provision relating to a commission to regulate marijuana and hemp commerce. Stanford’s second initiativewould simply legalize the possession and production of pot by adults 21 and over with a proviso that the state could impose regulations.

Stanford’s move has inspired other Oregon activists organized as New Approach Oregon to say that they will likely have a better alternative initiative. “Something will be on the ballot,” the group’s Anthony Johnson told The Oregonian. “Either it’s going to be a responsible measure or something not as well-vetted.”

Stanford said he will conduct polling on the various measures before moving forward.

If legislators can’t get around to legalizing marijuana, activists in initiative states want to let the voters do it for them. That’s three states aiming at 2014 so far, and we’re still a year and half out from election day.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.org - Creative Commons Licensing - Donate

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Chip Dooley

    Come on Nevada let’s hop on board the first time this time

    • Jetdoc

      Nevada’s moving right along with THEIR MMJ Law… They came over looked at AZ’s Dispensary system, FELL IN LOVE WITH it’s efficiency and as “Seed2Sale” as one can GET…. Went back to Nevada and within 2 months CLEANED their law up and decided Dispensaries were the way to go. The IRONY in all of this is…. AZ’S Lawmakers are STILL fighting our law TOOTH AND NAIL! They’re taking our OWN $$$ and using it against us. I’m NOT giving them anymore until they open up their horizons on the issue.

      • Chip Dooley

        I just need to get seeds so I can grow but i can’t travel because of my disabilty and I sure in the hell can’t afford it after my doctor sign my paper work we cut down on my meds now I can’t afford the pot and doctors will not give me all the meds i need because of the mmj card

  • fuller

    What is wrong with the USA congress?? Marijuana is a street drug not a drug to help your HEALTH it’s killing your brain cells. Obama is lead this on.

    • Poshwin

      Obama is not the one doing the medical research and proving it’s effectiveness for many illnesses and conditions. The research is being done by doctors and scientists. The pills that big pharm and the FDA are pushing on people are doing much greater damage to people’s health than marijuana could ever do. Look at any given pill’s side effects, and you will see the real problem.

    • kycountry

      WTF are you even reading TheWeedBlog? . Leave us the F alone.

      Something has already messed your marble up so leave your negative attitude and remarks to yourself.

    • AZMedicalBud

      Of all people speaking about lack of brain cells. Your sentence structure (or lack of) indicates you are not an educated person.

      Marijuana is curing or fighting the debilitating condition(s) 10,000′s of patients each and every day. I have personally witnessed this medical marvel for over a decade, and have been working with 2 M.D.’s doing clinical research on the proven benefits of all of the canibinoids, especially CBD’s.

      The only part you stated correctly is “Obama is lead”. Yes “fuller”, Obama is a heavy weight of uselessness who has wasted over 300 BILLION dollars this year alone on the (false flag) “war on drugs”. If you believe there is really a “war on drugs”, or ever has been, I would suggest you get your friends or family to help you pull your head out of your ass.

      Obama Has Already Outspent Bush By $100 Million On Medical Marijuana Enforcement:

      http://www.theweedblog.com/obama-has-already-outspent-bush-by-100-million-on-medical-marijuana-enforcement/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheWeedBlogcom+%28The+Weed+Blog%29

      • kycountry

        thank you sir, i’d say you nailed this one.lol

    • Jetdoc

      For 5000 years, Cannabis has been known as a MEDICINE! In 1937, three BILLIONAIRES decided that Cannabis was a threat to their businesses, (Textiles, Timber, Alcohol, Tobacco etc…) and MADE the Govt. create a TOTAL PROHIBITION on Cannabis, (both Medicinally and Industrially) in order to protect their business interests. They did all of this in exchange for guess what? Campaign Contributions… The President appointed his Brother in law (no shit) Harry Anslinger to lead the crackdown and prohibition on Cannabis. So it’s basically been a medicine for over 5000 years now as well as CHRIST using “Hemp Oil” to CURE people as written in the Bible. It’s been PROHIBITED since 1937 (per law) So it’s been prohibited for 70+ yrs and prohibited by MAN. Maybe it’s just me…. but if it’s good enough for Christ, it SHOULD be good enough for US as well.

      • gabby hays

        You sure you did not mean: Asslinger was John Rockefellers Nephew? One has got to be right in their presintation or risk loosing credability in ones storyline. Just sayin.

        • Jetdoc

          Since you CHOSE to “Correct” me, one would think you’d do so with information that is CORRECT! What YOU provided is absolutely FALSE and I’d say it is YOU who should take your own advice here… Harry Anslinger ended up “to be the Nephew of Andrew Mellon, NOT JD Rockefeller”…

          “… If hemp had been largely exploited, it would have likely been used to
          make paper and plastic (nylon), and may have hurt DuPont’s profits.
          Andrew Mellon of the Mellon Bank was DuPont’s chief financial backer and
          was also the Secretary of the Treasury under the Hoover administration.
          Mellon appointed Harry J. Anslinger, who later became his
          nephew-in-law.” Reference link http://voices.yahoo.com/why-weed-illegal-7440258.html

          “…and therefore make my presIntation (presentation) risk loOsing (losing) credAbility (credibility)… Just sayin”

          I can appreciate your WONT to attempt to interject yourself into the conversation. But my advice would be to get MUCH MORE EDUCATED on the English language as well as on this issue if you want to “Argue” Cannabis with me!!! ;)

  • Mj for ohio!

    I wrote my state representative BRIAN HILL in Ohio….here is my letter & his response back as follows:

    I’m writing to urge your support for House Joint Resolution 6, which would allow Ohioans to vote on regulating the adult consumption of marijuana.

    Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition and replacing it with regulation. The historic votes on Election Day in Colorado and Washington – where, for the first time ever, a majority of voters decided at the ballot box to abolish cannabis prohibition – underscore this political reality.

    The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color. Furthermore, the criminalization of cannabis simply doesn’t work.

    Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans’ consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for state lawmakers to acknowledge this reality. It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and it is time for lawmakers to impose common-sense regulations governing cannabis’ personal use by adults and licensing its production. A pragmatic regulatory framework that allows for limited, licensed production and sale of cannabis to adults – but restricts use among young people – best reduces the risks associated with its use or abuse.

    I encourage you to support House Joint Resolution 6 and let the Ohio voters decide if it is time to regulate marijuana.

    Scott Hill
    ………………………………………………………………………..,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    State Representative Brian Hill
    97th House District
    Dear Scott,

    Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding House Joint Resolution 6, which would put on the ballot the issue of legalizing marijuana here in Ohio. One of my favorite aspects of this job is the amount of feedback I receive when issues like this are proposed by my colleagues. Since its introduction by Representative Robert Hagan, I have heard from many on both sides of the marijuana topic.

    I have always been opposed to the legalization of marijuana, and remain that way now. For those who claim that medicinal marijuana helps to ease their pain and better certain symptoms they suffer from, there already exists on the legal market synthetic forms of marijuana. Legalizing cannabis in Ohio will only open the door to a world of problems that all stem from drug use: crime, introduction to other (more dangerous) drugs, and increased dependence to other drugs just to name a few. I realize that this legislation would leave it up to the citizens of Ohio to decide whether or not to legalize the drug. While I believe in the democratic system, I was elected and sent to Columbus to vote for the great people of the 97th House District on matters like this, no matter the polarizing effects they have on society. Should we, the General Assembly, vote the way the people don’t like, they can always put it up for a referendum vote and overturn our decision.
    I will continue to research the issue and learn everything that I can to cast an informed vote. However, with the drug problem that already exists in and around Muskingum and Guernsey counties, I don’t see at this time how legalizing marijuana use would help in any way.

    I am proud to represent you in Columbus, and my goal is to achieve those things that are best for our district, and for our state. Thank you again for taking time out of your day to write me regarding this issue.

    Have a nice day,

    Brian D. Hill
    State Representative
    97th House District
    ………………………………..
    THIS MAN WHO WAS VOTED INTO HIS POSITION DOES NOTTT SUPPORT THE MAJORITY……C’MON OHIOANS!!! LETS GET THIS ON THE BALLOT!!!!!

    • Jetdoc

      Mj for ohio! I’d have fired back a letter SO fast he’d have thought the Post Office was REALLY doing their job!!! He states that (he) “… I was elected and sent to Columbus to vote for the great people of the 97th House District on matters like this…” I’d have followed up with the latest POLLS that have been done on Marijuana legalization over the past year in Ohio. I believe he’d see that he’s NOT doing his job. Scott, he believes in the “Democratic System” because it BENEFITS him!

      My next statement would’ve been something to the effect of… ” Congressman Hill, I Thank You for your offer to “… continue to research the issue and learn everything that I can to cast an informed vote.” But if you’d done ANY research past reading “talking points” on the issue now, you’d KNOW that the “Synthetic version” of marijuana “Marinol” has been PROVEN to NOT be as effective as the actual plant.

      Then you state… “For those who claim that medicinal marijuana helps to ease their pain and better certain symptoms they suffer from, there already exists on the legal market synthetic forms of marijuana” Sir, this is NOT one or ten people saying this. It’s being said and ACADEMICALLY, SCIENTIFICALLY studied and those tests are showing how cannabis has such medicinal properties that we just can’t CONTINUE to ignore the Science!

      One of the chief complaints about “Marinol” (synth. Cannabis) is that many times it’s TOO MUCH euphoria for the patient any they quit taking it. Others have been that it doesn’t work as advertised. Medications work differently on EVERYONE, and since DYING Cancer patients refuse to take it. What does that tell you?

      Congressman, you spoke of the problems we already have with drugs, “… However, with the drug problem that already exists in and around Muskingum and Guernsey counties, I don’t see at this time how legalizing marijuana use would help in any way.”

      However, the problems we’re having in those 2 counties are NOT Cannabis related. Yes there IS a drug problem, and that’s why we’re asking you to LEGALIZE cannabis, so as to FREE UP law enforcement to combat the REAL Drug problem in those 2 counties and that’s “METHAMPHETAMINES”! THAT is the drug that you should be going after. That KILLS people!

      So that I can assure that you’re educating yourself thoroughly, I will periodically send you the latest RESEARCH that’s been done on the issue. Because somehow I DOUBT that you’d try to educate yourself any further than you have already.

      Thanks and Have a Great Day,

      Scott Hill….

      but that’s just ME!!! ;)

      • kycountry

        glad i’m not the only one getting pissed off and going on rants…..i’m on your side jetdoc……

  • http://www.meetup.com/freecannabis/ FREE CANNABIS

    Way to go Alaska, Arizona, and Oregon!!

    Colorado Springs has its own battle coming up on June 27th.

    PASS or BAN Recreational Sales of Marijuana,

    Support:

    http://www.Meetup.com/FreeCannabis/

  • Ben Morrison

    You guys forgot Ohio!

    • cannabis UK

      And ENGLAND (U.K) wrong country right hope lol peace

  • kycountry

    I hope there are a few people reading this article from ky, and that they realize it’s never gonna happen for US by reading about others. All of US need to start e-mailing OUR Reps, Sen, and let them know how we feel about MMJ. Just recently I e-mailed Rep. Perry Clark from Louisville about this and his advice was exactly as I’m stating here. I love this state and I’ve been around the world, twice with short stays in Nam, Okinawa, and Thailand but we’re so damn backward when it comes to issues such as legalization of MMJ that it embarrasses me. PLEASE, help. I have even e-mailed reps from other states in hope that they would hurry with legislation that would push Kentucky to get on the wagon and realize the potential of this plant. I sit all day and watch trucks loaded with pulp wood on it’s way to the local paper mill and it bothers me. Even if you feel MMJ is not a legit cause, hug a friggin tree and push for hemp. All I’ve seen from OUR governor is lip service…he needs to grow a set and stand up for the ones who would benefit from both hemp and MMJ. To all my brothers and sisters….peace.

    • Jetdoc

      “… All of US need to start e-mailing OUR Reps, Sen, and let them know how we feel about MMJ.” Not only that… we MUST get involved in our local Political parties/scene. I try to do it from the INSIDE of the party. I’m what they call the “Green Elephant” in the room when I attend the Monthly Meetings for Republican Precinct Committeeman in my District. Bottom line is… we’re NEVER going to convince people like @7cd19458160797ac76de02de3307b33b:disqus and @kycountry tried to do with a letter to THEIR Congressman. THOSE PEOPLE will never fall into line for legalizing Cannabis. So what we must do’s REPLACE them! We’ve got the support across the nation and it’s NEVER been better than NOW, but let’s do it right!

  • Vixxis

    Pennsylvania too has a legalization bill and for the third consecutive year MMJ bills have been introduced. If Gov Corbett (R) would pay attention to the will of the people and the cannabis research then these bill would pass. So we’ll have to wait for him to lose in 2014 … shouldnt be difficult given his abysmal performance or lack thereof. Looking forward to putting these failed policies behind us worldwide ASAP.

  • dgand

    These are exciting times. Im glad its happening in my lifetime. Its been a long time coming.

    IMO -

    The war on industrial hemp is just outright stupid. We import it but cant grow it???

    The war on mmj is immorial and flat out just not right. I see no other exception but that attitude for me to have. We should be trying to help our sick in every way possible. Not hinder them. Period.

    The fight to legalize (imo) has many topics to it. Its not all about just getting high. I think that is a very small part of this battle. And i think finding that out is changing this world even as we speak.

    Good luck my friends.

  • Jetdoc

    Arizona’s going to have a real problem obtaining the signatures needed to get it on the ballot I fear. The guy that’s undertaken this MASSIVE duty just “jumped off the deep end” before figuring out how BIG this REALLY was. The guy’s presently got 2 signatures and he needs 260,000+ to ensure that he covers the FALSE signatures, Non-voters, etc… The guy has ZERO money behind him in this effort. He’s got ZERO “Marijuana Policy Advocate” groups ready to help him. He has ZERO $$$ to fund even the START of something this large. He has ZERO $$$ to hire “Professional Signature Gatherers” He’s facing STRINGENT opposition by “Keep AZ Drug Free” (Carolyn Short), MCAO Bill Montgomery who has a WAR CHEST that’s fairly substantial since the Democrats haven’t seen fit to run anyone AGAINST him so he’s spent no money and WILL use it to defeat this! MCSO Joe Arpaio has a war chest BIGGER than Montgomery and will use it to DEFEAT this effort.

    I guess what I’m saying is… this probably SOUNDED real good when they decided to undertake this project, but they didn’t realize how LARGE of a project this really was until they were already too far in, to turn back. I wish them the best and I HOPE they pull it off. But I think had we taken our time, had someone WRITE the policy and NOT just copy Colorado’s A-64 which happens to be a BAD law in many ways IMHO. We CAN’T format our law in order to treat “Marijuana like Alcohol”. It will NEVER WORK! There’s too many differences between the 2 to even ATTEMPT to treat them the same. Now if you’re saying treat it like Alcohol but ONLY in the way of taxes, age restrictions, etc… that’s one thing. But if you ask to treat it like Alcohol, they WILL and you and I will suffer the consequences. When writing these laws, there can be NO GRAY AREA. These bastards will run RAMPANT in a gray area and there’ll be NOTHING that WE can do to stop it! So be CAREFUL what you ask for… you just MAY get it! You can’t ask to treat it like alcohol then turn around and tell them they can’t TEST IMPAIRMENT of a driver just like Alcohol. Even though it won’t work! Cannabis is stored in the body’s “Fat Cells” and will stay in someone’s system for up to 30 days IF they don’t use any after that initial point. By allowing THAT to happen we’ve in fact set ourselves back several years IMHO… When we allow them to “treat marijuana like alcohol”, they’ve IMPOSED these UNSCIENTIFIC/ARBITRARY 5 ng limits to determine IMPAIRMENT upon us, to use as a weapon against us and STILL keep their Private Prisons full. In essence they’re telling us… Go ahead it’s fine… use at your own PLEASURE…errr peril… we’re legalizing marijuana for EVERYONE… yet in the real fine print you’ll see the part that tells you if they ever pull you over, they’re going to take your blood and if you’ve got 5 ng of even “INACTIVE METABOLITES” of THC in your system, we’re going to arrest you for DUI-Cannabis! I don’t care if you haven’t smoked anything for 3 weeks… you’ve got 5+ ng in your system and you’re driving under the influence PERIOD!

    If someone’s a “Regular User” of Cannabis, they’ll WAKE UP with probably 20+ ng of INACTIVE THC in their system DAILY! So they’ve now told me I’m able to “…use Cannabis just like I would Alcohol”. But if I DO, and they stop me for something STUPID, I’m going down for DUI-C and SO WILL YOU! You don’t really understand how miniscule that 5 ng limit really is!!! That’s why I think this was a RUSH to judgement! There are WAYS that we can treat marijuana like alcohol and we SHOULD utilize those, but there’s NUMEROUS ways that we CAN’T and SHOULDN’T try to treat it like alcohol. Cannabis affects the body in a different way from alcohol. It’s absorbed by the body differently than alcohol. It breaks down in the body differently. Presently there’s NO test to show a correlation between “X ng’s” of even INACTIVE THC in your system and ANY level of IMPAIRMENT. So let’s NOT eat a turd, just because it’s the ONLY turd on the Menu. If you’re gonna EAT it, make sure they SEASON it!

  • RonM