by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced." — Albert Einstein
UMASS Cancels All EDM Shows Over Molly Concerns, Invites Trinidad James to Perform
As of September, all campus electronic dance music events have been cancelled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMASS) in response to recent deaths that authorities have linked to bad batches of Molly.
UMASS interim Vice Chancellor, Enku Gelaye, sent a campus wide email to the student body in September detailing the University’s growing concerns about the “ongoing reports of overdoses … The Molly taking culture at these shows is real and now exceedingly dangerous to the health and safety of concert attendees.”
In response to the University’s new position on EDM, Kaskade took to Twitter to defend the movement. “I’m fed-up with the hypocrisy. OD’s are tragic. So are kids killed by drunk drivers. And all manner of violence. There’s a lot of wrong.”
The month after the cancellations, UMASS welcomed Trinidad James to headline a Halloween event.
- WASHINGTON: Initiative 502 legalizes the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and over, but does not allow for personal cultivation, except by or for medical marijuana patients. It will license marijuana cultivation and retail and wholesale sales, with restrictions on advertising. Regulation will be the remit of the state liquor control board, which will have to come up with rules by December 2013. The measure creates a 25% excise tax on marijuana sales, with 40% of revenues dedicated to the general fund and 60% dedicated to substance abuse prevention, research, and healthcare. It also creates a per se driving under the influence standard of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.
- COLORADO: Amendment 64 allows adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or six marijuana plants, three of which can be mature. It will create a system of state-licensed cultivation, manufacturing, and testing facilities and state-licensed retail stores. Local governments would have the option of regulating or prohibiting such facilities. The amendment also requires the state legislature to enact legislation governing industrial hemp cultivation, processing, and sale, and to create an excise tax on wholesale marijuana sales. The first $40 million of that annual revenue will be dedicated to building public schools.
Millions of voters will decide on Election Day in favor of ballot measures to legalize and regulate the use of cannabis by adults. Voters in three states — Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — will decide on statewide ballot measures to legalize the possession and distribution of cannabis for those over 21 years of age. Voters in three additional states — Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Montana — will decide on measures to allow for the therapeutic use of cannabis by patients with qualifying ailments. In Michigan, voters in four cities – totaling over a million people – will decide on municipal measures to legalize or depenalize the adult use of cannabis.
Ballot measures in Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington remain favored among voters, according to the latest statewide polls.
Since 1996, 17 states have enacted legislation to allow for the limited possession of cannabis when a physician authorizes such use. In ten of those states, voters enacted medical cannabis legislation via the statewide initiative process. But to date, no statewide proposal to remove criminal and civil penalties for the broader, personal possession and use of marijuana by adults has succeeded at the ballot box. This reality is likely to change tomorrow.
A summary of this year’s more prominent statewide and local ballot measures appears below.
ARKANSAS: Voters will decide on Measure 5, The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act of 2012, which allows authorized patients to possess up to two and one-half ounces of cannabis for various qualifying medical conditions, including cancer, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The measure also allows state regulators to establish not-for-profit facilities to produce and dispense cannabis to approved patients. Individual patients will also be permitted to privately cultivate limited amounts of cannabis (up to six flowering plants) if they reside further than five miles from a state-authorized dispensary.
COLORADO: Voters will decide on Amendment 64, which allows for the legal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by those persons age 21 and over. Longer-term, the measure seeks to establish regulations governing the commercial production and distribution of marijuana by licensed retailers. Voters in the state approve of the measure by a margin of 50 percent to 44 percent, according to the latest Denver Post survey.
MASSACHUSETTS: Voters will decide on Question 3, which eliminates statewide criminal and civil penalties related to the possession and use of up to a 60-day supply of cannabis by qualified patients. It would also require the state to create and regulate up to 35 facilities to produce and dispense cannabis to approved patients. Individual patients will also be permitted to privately cultivate limited amounts of cannabis if they are unable to access a state-authorized dispensary. Voters in the state approve the measure by a margin of 55 percent to 36 percent, according to the latest Suffolk University poll.
MICHIGAN: Voters in four cities – totaling over a million people – will also decide on Tuesday whether to legalize or depenalize the adult use of cannabis. Voters in Detroit will decide on Proposal M, which removes criminal penalties pertaining to the possession on private property of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults over age 21. In Flint, voters will decide on a citizens’ initiative to amend the city code so that the possession on private property of up to one ounce of marijuana or cannabis paraphernalia by those age 19 or older is no longer a criminal offense. Grand Rapids voters will act on Proposal 2, which seeks to allow local law enforcement the discretion to ticket first-time marijuana offenders with a civil citation, punishable by a $25 fine and no criminal record. In Ypsilanti, voters will decide on a proposal to make the local enforcement of marijuana possession offenses the city’s lowest law enforcement priority.
OREGON: Voters will decide on Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, which provides for the state-licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. The measure does not impose state-licensing or taxation requirements upon those who wish to cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes.
WASHINGTON: Voters will decide on I-502, which regulates the production and sale of limited amounts of marijuana for adults. The measure also removes criminal penalties specific to the adult possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use. Voters in the state back the measure by a margin of 56 percent to 37 percent, according to the latest KING 5 poll.
Legalize It 2012
The Colorado Marijuana Initiative 2012 (Colorado)
YES on WA’s Marijuana Initiative 502 (Washington)
Cannabis Tax Act (Oregon)
VOTE YES on Question 3 (Massachusetts)
Arkansans for Compassionate Care (Arkansas)
Marijuana Policy Project
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Fuck Yeah Drug Policy
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It seems that convenience stores have been selling down their supply of blunts in preparation for February’s impending ban on blunt sales in the city of Boston.
What? You didn’t know that Boston was about to ban blunts? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There has been little publication or media reports of the Boston Public Health Commission’s decision to quietly ban the sales of blunts, or any cigar costing under $2.50.
But, yes, it is true. On December 1, 2011, the Boston Public Health Commission, who have already banned tobacco sales at pharmacies, smoking outdoors in public spaces, and the sale of blunt wraps within Boston city limits, quietly passed a city ordinance banning the sale of any single cigar at convenience stores, including all of your favorite blunts.
The ban is effective February 1, 2012. +
“Cigar wraps are used, particularly by young urban males, to create custom marijuana cigarettes and have been marketed through use of marijuana imagery,” the Appeals Court wrote.
An investigation cited in the ruling found that 900 establishments in Boston sold cigar wraps.
Cigar wraps can contribute to tobacco use, the Appeals Court determined. “The regulation is a permissible exercise of the commission’s expansive authority to safeguard public health and is constitutional in its origins and operation. The regulation is rationally related to its permissible purpose of protecting residents of Boston, particularly young residents, from the harmful effects of tobacco use.” +
Massachusetts could soon become the newest state to allow patients to legally use medical marijuana. The Massachusetts Secretary of State recently certified four citizen initiative petitions, including a medical marijuana one. The medical marijuana initiative would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions and doctor’s certification to possess up to a 60-day supply of medical marijuana. The initiative would also allow for the creation of some non-profit medical marijuana care centers which could grow marijuana to provide to certified patients.
Since Massachusetts uses a unique form of the indirect initiative system, now that the Secretary of State has certified that the measure received enough valid signatures it’s sent directly to the state legislature. If majorities in the state legislature approve the initiative it will become law right away. If the state legislature doesn’t adopt the initiative, supporters can gather another roughly 11,000 signatures to have the initiative placed on the general election ballot. If voters approve the initiative it will then become law thirty days later.
It is possible that the Massachusetts’ legislature will save everyone some time by approving the initiative now that it has been sent to them. It is what their constituents want.
Even if the legislature doesn’t act, medical marijuana will probably be legalized in the state before the end of the year. If the legislature doesn’t approve the initiative, it is very likely the add-on signatures will be gathered to put the measure on November 2012 ballot. If the initiative makes it onto the ballot, it is almost assured to be approved by the voters in the state. Massachusetts voters have been very supportive marijuana policy reform. With 58 percent of the state supporting full legalization of marijuana there is little doubt they would vote to legalize medical marijuana for very ill patients.
Before this year is over it is very likely Massachusetts will become one of the newest states to allow the use of medical marijuana.
I just found this sign from 2008. Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Clark University organized an outdoor concert on campus to remind people to vote Yes on Question 2, where we handed these out. It passed. Meaning, possession of up to an ounce of cannabis has been decriminalized in Massachusetts.