Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Marijuana Policy Hits Major Jump

Last night voters across the United States re-elected Obama but voters from certain parts of the country decided on new marijuana laws for their state and their cities. Two states legalized marijuana, one state passed medical marijuana legislation, and three cities in another decriminalized possession of marijuana.

Three states, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, all voted on the legal status of cannabis for their states. Colorado and Washington voters voted in favor of legalization of marijuana, though Oregon's proposition 80 failed. Many said the proposal was poorly put together and very little information of regulation was added to prop 80. In Colorado, people aged 21 and up may be able to legally purchase up to an ounce of marijuana which will be taxed and expected to generate tens of millions of dollars a year. In Washington, the tax system is a bit different. According to For 43 there will be a triple tax: " when the grower sells it to the processor, when the processor sells it to the retailer, and when the retailer sells it to the customer." This level of taxation may steer people away from buying regulated cannabis but even with the hefty taxes, cannabis should still cost less to purchase opposed to buying from drug dealers.

Colorado and Washington are not the only two celebrating a victory, Massachusetts, the state Mitt Romney's current state of living, had a medical marijuana proposition passed b voters. The irony comes from the fact that Mitt Romney vowed to fight medical marijuana aggressively if elected president of the United States. Arkansas also voted on a medical marijuana proposal. If passed, Arkansas would be the first southern state to allow medical marijuana, though the proposition failed.

Another victory, though much smaller, passed for three cities in Michigan. Michigan's largest cities, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Flint (in order from largest to smallest respectively) all passed decriminalization of marijuana measures, one of which is modeled after the Ann Arbor, MI decriminalization measure. In Detroit, persons aged 21 and up can posses up to an ounce of marijuana on personal property. In Grand Rapids people 19 and over can have an unspecified amount of marijuana on them (in many was, a great thing) with the first infraction being a $25 fine, second infraction $50, and third being $100. The fine doesn't exceed a $100 fine. In Flint, people 19 and up can posses up to an ounce of marijuana on private property, similar to Detroit's new decriminalization laws.

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Edit: Fixed grammar issues

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