Poll: Younger Voters Say Marijuana Is Less Destructive Than Alcohol

Younger voters overwhelmingly agree that marijuana is less damaging than alcohol, according to the findings of a Rare.us/Gravis Marketing poll released yesterday.

Among those voters age 18 to 40, 47 percent ranked alcohol as the most harmful substance to society, well ahead of both tobacco (27 percent) and cannabis (13 percent). (Thirteen percent of respondents were undecided.) Respondents among all age and ethnic groups were consistent in ranking marijuana as the least harmful of the three substances, as were self-identified Democrats and Independents. (Republicans rated tobacco to be the most harmful of the three products.)

“[These] numbers suggest younger Americans are upending societal conventions, which have long seen alcohol as an acceptable drug while condemning marijuana,” stated Rare.us in an accompanying press release.

The results are somewhat similar to those of a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March which reported that most Americans believe tobacco to be most harmful to health (49 percent), followed by alcohol (24 percent), sugar (15 percent), and marijuana (8 percent).

Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a schedule I controlled substance, meaning that its alleged harms are equal to those of heroin. Both tobacco and alcohol are unscheduled under federal law.

According to a study published in 2004 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the leading causes of death in the United States ware tobacco (435,000 deaths; 18.1 percent of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (365,000 deaths; 15.2 percent), and alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths; 3.5 percent).

DC Voters Ready to Approve Marijuana Legalization

A NBC4/Washington Post/Marist pollmajority_support of DC voters released today revealed strong support for Initiative 71, which would legalize adult possession and limited cultivation of marijuana in the District.

The survey showed 65% support for the initiative amongst likely voters, only 33% were opposed and 2% undecided.

The polling data also showed NORML PAC endorsed DC Attorney General candidate Paul Zukerberg leading the field of five with double the support of his closest competitor.

If these figures hold, the nation’s capital will be getting a whole lot greener come November, with legalized adult possession and an Attorney General committed to pursuing marijuana law reform.

You can learn more about and donate to Initiative 71 at the campaign webpage here.

You can learn more about Paul Zukerberg and how to contribute or volunteer for his campaign here.

If you want to help NORML in DC voter turnout efforts, please email erik@norml.org with the subject line “Smoke the Vote.”

You can read the full poll results here.

Grease Pot Parody: Steve Berke-style

Grease Pot ParodyAdding to his ever-growing series of pro-cannabis law reform song parody videos, as well as in support of his home state’s current efforts to pass a medical cannabis initiative, comedian and Miami Beach political gadfly Steve Berke has just released a new pro-pot parody based on the famous movie of the 1970s ‘Grease‘.

Upping the ante in Berke’s video productions, his talented crew drove from Florida to Texas, in search of the original amusement park backdrop used for the 1978 movie production of ‘Grease’.

“You’re The Law That I Want!”
A more heartfelt and satirical political advertisement in support of passing the voter ballot initiative question in Florida this fall, Amendment 2, is hard to envisage.

For more information about Steve Berke’s 4TT production company and make donations to run 30 second version of the Grease parody on Florida TV stations check out press release below.

 

PRESS CONTACT: Lee Molloy
PHONE: 786-499-6134
EMAIL: LeeGMolloy@gmail.com

September 15, 2014

For Immediate Release

Miami Beach politician drives 1,400 miles to Texas to shoot “Grease” parody video supporting the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida

Founded by former Miami Beach mayoral candidate Steve Berke, The After Party PAC is a political organization fighting to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Advocating for a ‘Yes’ vote on Amendment 2, The After Party recently commissioned a shot-for-shot parody video of the song “You’re the One that I Want” from the movie “Grease.”

Called “You’re the Law that I Want (Yes on 2)” the musical parody faithfully recreates the carnival scene made famous by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John – with Berke taking on the role of Travolta.

The original Fun House used as a location in the ’70s movie classic was in service at a county fair in Texas this summer. So, Berke and the production crew traveled the 1,400 miles from Miami Beach to Decatur (in an RV) especially for the two-day shoot.

“Our crew drove half way across the country because we wanted to make this parody as authentic as possible,” Berke said. “We felt compelled to really go to bat for the 1.1 million Floridians who signed the petition to get medical marijuana on the ballot this November.”

Berke is a former professional tennis player who found marijuana after herniating two discs in his lower back. The injury permanently ended his tennis career and Berke, an athlete and Yale graduate, realized that marijuana wasn’t just for stoners when his doctor in California recommended trying medical marijuana to manage his pain as an alternative to dangerous prescription drugs.

“Ultimately, all we are asking for is that people in Florida have the same opportunity that I had to get the medicine they need,” Berke said. “And, our video gets that message across in a way that is fun, informative and memorable.”

 

NORML PAC Endorses Paul Zukerberg for DC Attorney General

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 1.04.26 PMNORML PAC has endorsed long-time marijuana law reform supporter Paul Zukerberg in his campaign to become the first elected Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

“DC’s unfair drug policies ruined lives, burdening thousands of young people with criminal records, and kept law enforcement from focusing their time and resources on violent crimes,” Zukerberg stated, “We’re proud to have NORML’s support in the effort to make DC’s drug policies fair for all District citizens”

“Paul Zukerberg has long been a passionate and effective advocate for ending our nation’s failed war on marijuana,” stated NORML PAC Manager Erik Altieri, “The District would be greatly served by having him as the first elected Attorney General to guide the city towards a common sense marijuana policy.”

Paul Zukerberg has practiced law in the District of Columbia for over 30 years and is a lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee.

You can learn more about Paul’s campaign on his website or Facebook page. If you want to donate to support his campaign, you can do so by clicking here.

The Importance of Getting Stoners to Vote on Nov. 4

Legalization Initiatives on the 2014 Ballot

As we approach the midterm elections this November 4th, it is important that everyone understand the right to vote is both a privilege and a responsibility of citizenship that should not be overlooked. Not only do we have federal, state and local candidates on the ballot, but even more important for marijuana smokers, we will have full legalization proposals on the ballot in Alaska and Oregon; a more complete version of decriminalization on the ballot in the District of Columbia; a medical use proposal on the ballot in Florida (the first southern state to vote on medical use); and a number of municipal proposals on the ballot in several cities in Michigan and Maine.

This is a wonderful opportunity to move legalization forward, to continue to build our political momentum, and to win back a measure of personal freedom in our lives. If you smoke marijuana, but do not vote, then don’t complain down the road when you are busted, lose your job or otherwise become a victim of marijuana prohibition.

To Read the Balance of this column, please go to Marijuana.com.

http://marijuana.com/news/2014/09/the-importance-of-getting-stoners-to-vote-on-nov-4/

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CO Retail Pot Sales Surpassed Medical for the First Time in July

sheet-of-money-hempRetail marijuana purchasers in July outspent medical cannabis buyers for the first time since the launch of Colorado’s adult-use market 9 months ago.

The state’s Department of Revenue recently reported that customers bought $29.7 million worth of legal marijuana last month ($5 million more than June), surpassing medical marijuana purchases which totaled $28.9 million in sales. Interestingly, this is despite the fact that medical dispensaries outnumber retail stores by a margin of 4 to 1.

According to Colorado Public Radio (CPR), there has been a 112% increase since sales first started, with more than 100 stores across the state having sold close to $145 million in pot. CPR further notes that, “Taken together, the medical and recreational marijuana industry have sold about $350 million worth of pot since January, contributing $37.5 million in taxes and fees to government coffers,” a portion of which is guaranteed to go to school construction.

With the exception of May, each month has set a new record in marijuana sales, so far showing that a legal marijuana regime not only works, but is proving to be valuable and growing source of revenue for the state – and its residents agree. A new NBC/Marist Poll found that Colorado’s retail cannabis market remains popular among Colorado residents, 55% of whom continue to support the passage and implementation of Amendment 64, the initiative that was passed in 2012 to tax and regulate sales to adults, aged 21 and over.

 

Philadelphia: Mayor To Sign Marijuana Depenalization Measure

City mayor Michael Nutter announced today that he will sign municipal legislation into law decriminalizing marijuana possession penalties.

Under the measure, penalties pertaining to the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis would be reduced from a criminal misdemeanor to a non-summary civil offense, punishable by a $25 fine – no arrest and no criminal record.

Members of the City Council in June voted 13 to 3 to reduce municipal marijuana penalties. A slightly amended version of this proposal is anticipated to be before the mayor by the end of this month. The revised language is expected to take effect on October 20.

Anyone cited under the pending ordinance would be required to make an appearance before a Municipal Court judge, but would not face criminal charges or a criminal record. Those caught smoking marijuana in public would face a $100 fine, which could be waived if the defendant agreed to perform several hours of public service.

Philadelphia NORML had long lobbied in support of a change in the city’s criminal classification of marijuana possession offenses. A 2013 review of marijuana arrest data by the organization reported that African Americans are arrested in Philadelphia for minor marijuana violations at five times the rate of whites despite both races consuming the substance at nearly equal rates.

“This will go a long way toward a much more saner and a much better policy for people in Philadelphia,” said Chris Goldstein, PhillyNORML co-chair. “This is something that should have happened earlier in the summer. It would have alleviated almost 1,000 people getting arrested.”

It remains to be seen to what extent local police will enforce the new ordinance, once enacted. In past statements, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey had publicly pledged to ignore the ordinance, stating, “State law trumps city ordinances.”

[UPDATE! It is now being reported that Chief Ramsey is on board with the amended ordinance.]

Julie’s Baked Goods Joins the NORML Business Network

Julie's 2-c logoNORML is pleased to announce the newest member of the NORML Business Network; Julie’s Baked Goods.  The Denver-based edibles company produces of some of the highest quality, all-natural cannabis snacks in the state, and is also a prime example of responsible labeling among infused food companies.  Formerly known as Julie & Kate’s Baked Goods, the inspiration behind starting the business came when both women were dealing with a serious illness and agreed that marijuana could be beneficial to managing their symptoms. What started as a friendly trial, with a bag of weed in a domestic kitchen in 2008, has turned into one of the leading marijuana edible companies in Colorado.

The product line for Julie’s Baked Goods is geared toward “foodies” and health conscious consumers.  Items have turned out to be especially popular in Boulder, and among the senior crowd.  Each creation starts with clarified butter or coconut oil that is infused with specific strain of organically grown marijuana and is slowly heated to carefully extract every last bit of activated cannabinoids. They use only premium, all-natural ingredients for their gluten-free THC infused edibles. The founders built product testing into the budget of their business plan before they even opened – unlike most of the other marijuana companies around at JKBG Aug 14 Ad2that time. The company has nearly a half-dozen products, including a fresh granola snack, a roasted Seed Mix (which took 1 year to develop), the Nutty Bite (37 recipes), the Groovy Granola Bar and clarified cannabutter.

“Consume ¼ of the package, wait 60 minutes, eat more if necessary. Try eating with yogurt, milk or other healthy food. Fat facilitates THC digestion and intensifies psychoactive effects. If you over ingest: drink water or tea, avoid eating fatty foods. Onset: 45-60 minutes after ingestion. Effect Duration: 4-10 hours. First Euphoric Peak: 2 hours. Second Euphoric Peak: 3-4 hours. Please Plan Accordingly.” - Text from the label of a Julie’s Baked Goods product

Most notably, Julie’s Baked Goods has been on the forefront of responsible edible education for consumers from the beginning.  Since their first sale in 2010, the company has been a model of proper labeling (prior to the implementation of labeling laws), dedicated to making sure that the consumer is prepared for the experience.  Products include information about the recommended amount, the onset of the high, how long it might last, certain foods that can intensify the feeling and how to mitigate the negative effects of over ingestion.  When Colorado implemented new edible labeling laws a few months ago, they didn’t have to change a thing.

Julie’s Baked Goods is a wonderful example of how the industry can be proactive about incorporating responsible business practices and self-regulation into such their burgeoning market.  The products are sold in over 125 different cannabis stores around the state, including locations such as Preferred Organic Therapy in Denver, and The Farm in Boulder.

Throughout every facet of their business, Julie’s Baked Goods has gone above and beyond the letter of the law, setting a standard that embodies the ideals of corporate social responsibility, and the principles of the NORML Business Network. This is how an edibles company does it right.

**Julie’s Baked Goods is a licensed and regulated marijuana business whose products can only be purchased in the state of Colorado, either by medical marijuana patients or retail customers who are 21 and older.**

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For more information about joining the NORML Business Network go to www.norml.org/businessNORML Business Network

A Badge of Honor: Busted on the Boston Common

As we approach the annual Boston Freedom Rally in mid-September, held on the historic Boston Common, I thought it might be a good time for me to share with the readers the details of a bust I experienced, along with High Times associate publisher Rick Cusick, for sharing a joint at the combined NORML/High Times booth at the 2007 Freedom Rally.

The reality is that marijuana smokers remain the target of aggressive and misguided law enforcement activities in most states today. They read about the newly-won freedoms in a handful of states, and dream of the day when their state laws will become more tolerant; but they are still being busted in large numbers and have to worry that next knock on the door may be the police with a search warrant, about to destroy their homes and wreck their lives, looking for a little weed.

In fact, 749,825 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges in 2012 (the latest arrest figures that are available), and approximately 87% of those arrests (658,231) were for simple possession for personal use; they were just marijuana smokers, not traffickers. Another marijuana smoker is arrested every 48 seconds in this country!

And for each of these unfortunate souls unfairly caught-up in the criminal justice system, the experience is personally frightening and alienating, even if they manage to avoid a jail sentence (and far too many still go to jail).

But my story is a little different; a story of two old men arrested for sharing a joint at the Freedom Rally, with the court subsequently trying to dismiss the charges, but the defendants demanding to go to trial.

TO READ THE BALANCE OF THIS COLUMN, GO TO MARIJUANA.COM

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Survey: 58 Percent Of Americans Say Treat Cannabis Like Alcohol

Nearly 60 percent of Americans support regulating cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol, according to an analysis of over 450,000 online responses collected by the online polling data company CivicScience over a nearly two-year period.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that they would support “a law in [their] state that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana like alcohol?” Thirty-five percent of respondents said that they would oppose such a change in law.

An analysis of responses provided within the past three months found even stronger support for legalization, with 61 percent of those polled endorsing marijuana law reform.

Democrats, men, and those respondents between the ages of 25 to 34 were most likely to support regulating cannabis.

Though the CivicScience survey is not a scientific poll, its findings are similar to those previously reported by Gallup in 2013. In that poll, 58 percent of respondents similarly backed legalizing marijuana. More recently, in April, national polling data published by the Pew Research Center reported that 54 percent of Americans support legalizing the plant.