Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ohio Rejects Big Dope

Initiated law is a blunt instrument: cannabis statutes need to be hammered out in committee then ground into sausage.
Ohio’s legalization initiative, Issue 3, attempted an unusual approach. Rather than legalize recreational use and allow businesses to sell cannabis, as in Colorado, or legalize recreational use and centralize distribution under state ABC agencies, as in Washington, Ohio’s measure was backed by a cartel of investors—ResponsibleOhio—who would retain the exclusive rights to cultivate marijuana. That arrangement was highly controversial, making it unclear whether voters were rejecting marijuana itself, or simply a system that was decried by opponents as a monopolistic travesty. [The Atlantic]
California will have up to ten legalization initiatives on her ballot.

Colorado voters want the state to keep revenue generated by cannabis sales.

68% of Arkansans would support legal cannabis for therapeutic reasons.

Montana has already trained a generation of growers. The state enjoys numerous brewery pubs and wine tasting venues for local product.

South Dakota's red state legislature would just gut an initiated law like Montana's did.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015.

Let's assume Health and Humans Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announces that cannabis has been removed from Schedule 1:
The HHS Secretary can even unilaterally legalize cannabis: "[I]f the Secretary recommends that a drug or other substance not be controlled, the Attorney General shall not control the drug or other substance."
a federal tax rate is adopted; and, she proposes that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives become the lead agency in enforcement provided that states can craft law to cultivate and distribute.

I've proposed that tribal nations enter a compact with the state of South Dakota so Deadwood will become a cannabis friendly zone in its quest to become an adult destination. Montana's Crow and Northern Cheyenne Nations are weeks away from legalization so are New Mexico's Isleta, Santa Ana and Picuris Pueblos.
Voters in Macy approved three referendums Tuesday that will allow the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska to move forward with plans to explore marijuana use and cultivation on the reservation. [Sioux City Journal]
Assuming that home growing law looks like home brewing and wine making, what would state law need to include about liability insurance requirements for commercial resale and how would law enforcement be guided by probable cause?


Duffer said...

I understand the opposition to the Ammendment . . . sort of. Rather brazen of the initiators to attempt to grab the market in exchange for their investment - they had to expect a blowback. Failed measures like this only serve to damage the anti-prohibition effort at large.

Then again, I'd have voted for it anyway as the measure allows personal grows - up to six plants at a time. I'd have never been a customer of theirs - whether they had a monopoly on the market, or not . . .

California better be careful going forward. Best to have one measure before the people. Hopefully, people like Steve DeAngelo and the folks at BPG will step in and corral all those egos.

larry kurtz said...

Voters should be able to steer their legislatures to do the right thing but sometimes, especially in red states, that's where representative democracy falls down. My rantings about pathetic turnouts for elections are just spitballs against the battleship of voter apathy and a cramped ballot just makes it worse.