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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 10 Nov 2015 04:20:21 PST

Presidential Candidate Calls For Descheduling Marijuana

Arlington, VA: Vermont Senator and Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says that it is time to get the federal government out of the marijuana enforcement business by removing the substance from the US Controlled Substances Act.

The Senator introduced legislation this week, Senate Bill 2237: The Ending Federal Prohibition of Marijuana Act of 2015, to decshedule cannabis from the federal anti-drug law.

Speaking last week at George Mason University in Virginia, Senator Sanders called cannabis' present schedule I status under federal law "absurd." He added: "In my view, the time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana. ... [S]tates should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern the sale of alcohol and tobacco."

The Senator also said that state-compliant marijuana operations "should be fully able to use the banking system without fear of federal prosecution."

The Senator's actions differ from those of Democrat opponent and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley who promised to use the executive powers of the President to "to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act." Republican candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) has also co-sponsored federal legislation, SB 683, that seeks to reclassify cannabis to Schedule II under federal law. However, simply rescheduling marijuana from I to II would not limit the federal government's authority to prosecute marijuana offenders, including those who are in compliance with state law.

While several other Presidential candidates have called on federal officials to respect states' marijuana policies, none have proposed amending federal marijuana laws.

Poll: Majority Of Voters Support Legalizing Adult Use Of Marijuana

Washington, DC: Fifty-five percent of registered voters believe that the personal use of marijuana should be legal, according to national tracking poll data compiled by Morning Consult - a Washington DC consulting firm. Thirty-eight percent of respondents polled said that they oppose legalization and eight percent were undecided.

Majorities of both men (57 percent) and women (52 percent) said that they support legalization. Among registered voters between the ages of 18 and 44, over 60 percent endorse legalizing cannabis.

Majorities of both Democrats (63 percent) and Independents (59 percent) support legalization, according to the poll, while most Republicans (58 percent) do not.

The Morning Consult polling data is similar to those of other recent national polls, such as those by reported by Gallup, CBS, and Pew, finding that a majority of Americans now support ending marijuana prohibition.

Ohio: Voters Reject Marijuana Ballot Measure

Columbus, OH: A majority of Ohio voters on Tuesday rejected Issue 3: The Marijuana Legalization Amendment, which sought to establish a limited legal market for the commercial production and sale of marijuana to adults. Among the measure's more controversial provisions was language limiting the issuance of commercial grow licenses to the initiative's financial investors.

NORML Deputy Director, Paul Armentano said: "We are disappointed though not surprised by the outcome of this vote. While it remains clear that a majority of Ohioans support ending criminal marijuana prohibition for adults, and patients in particular, the majority of the debate surrounding Issue 3 focused on provisions regarding the limited number of entities who would financially profit from this proposed market model. It has been clear for some time now that Americans want legal marijuana; it is also abundantly clear that most voters want the free market, not an artificially restricted one dictated by special interests, to govern this emerging marketplace."

A local Ohio measure seeking to depenalize marijuana-related offenses in the city of Logan was also rejected by voters on election day.

By contrast, voters in two Michigan cities -- Keego Harbor and Portage - decided in favor of local ordinances eliminating minor marijuana possession penalties.

Next year, voters in numerous states - including Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada - will decide on ballot measures to regulate the production, use, and sale of cannabis to adults.

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