New Approach Oregon, the organization behind the initiative to legalize cannabis in Oregon which recently qualified for this November’s ballot, has raised over $1 million in their effort to get the initiative passed into law, according to state finance reports.
Philip Harvey, a resident of Washington, D.C., was the largest individual contributor, giving $150,000 to the group. Henry van Ameringen from New York gave $100,000 as the next largest individual contribution, and the late Peter Lewis, former CEO of Progressive Insurance, contributed $96,000. Other major contributors include Drug Police Action ($360,000) and Oxyley and Associates ($49,500).
New Approach Oregon’s initiative would legalize the use, possession and distribution (through cannabis retail outlets) of up to eight ounces of cannabis, as well as the private cultivation of up to four cannabis plants.
The group recently released its first commercial promoting its effort; the commercial, for the moment, is internet-exclusive.
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In November, 2012, voters in Washington and Colorado shocked the world by legalizing the possession of up to an ounce of recreational cannabis. This has greatly increased the momentum behind the cannabis reform movement, and as such, voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. will have the opportunity this November to legalize cannabis themselves, as will several cities in Maine and Michigan. However, Oregon’s initiative is a little different, and could lead the way towards even more progressive cannabis laws taking hold in other states.
In Washington State, possessing an ounce of cannabis is legal, but possessing a gram over that is a misdemeanor, and possessing over 40 grams is a felony (with a potential five year prison sentence). Clearly this is nonsensical; why would a substance that’s legal be a felony if you possess just a little over the limit? In Colorado, possessing over an ounce but no more than two ounces is nothing but a ticketable offense, but possessing two to six ounces can land someone a jail sentence of up to a year.
Oregon’s initiative – led by New Approach Oregon – would take things a step further, and would legalize the possession, use and sale of up to a half pound of cannabis (eight ounces). Although one could rightfully argue that the limit should be even higher, or removed entirely – there’s no limit on how much tobacco you can possess, for example – eight ounces is a massive difference in comparison to a single ounce.
Oregon’s initiative legalizes the private cultivation of up to four cannabis plants, and allows cannabis retail outlets. The tax structure is also far more reasonable than the markets in Washington and Colorado; in fact, a recent study found that under New Approach Oregon’s initiative, cannabis would likely be around $140 an ounce, far less than prices in Colorado and Washington, with ounces going between $350 and $700. The lower tax rates of Oregon’s initiative is far more likely to undercut the black-market, which for many people is one of the primary goals of legalization.
Polling released in June found that a majority of Oregon voters support legalizing cannabis, but the numbers are close; 51% to 44%. Those in Oregon interested in helping New Approach Oregon get their initiative approved this November should click here. Those interested in donating to the campaign should click here.
The post One Ounce Legalization is Good, Eight is Better; How Oregon Can Lead the Way appeared first on The Joint Blog.
A new study published last week by the journal Biochemical Pharmacology, and published online by the National Institute of Health, has found that cannabinoids can increase a cancer cell’s susceptibility to cytolysis, which occurs when a cell bursts due to an imbalance.
“Cannabinoids have been shown to promote the expression of the intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) on lung cancer cells as part of their anti-invasive and antimetastatic action”, says Burkhard Hinz, the study’s lead author. “Using lung cancer cell lines (A549, H460) and metastatic cells derived from a lung cancer patient, the present study addressed the impact of cannabinoid-induced ICAM-1 on cancer cell adhesion to lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells and LAK cell-mediated cytotoxicity.”
He continues; “Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, enhanced the susceptibility of cancer cells to adhere to and subsequently lysed [the breaking down of a cell] by LAK cells, with both effects being reversed by a neutralizing ICAM-1 antibody. Increased cancer cell lysis by CBD was likewise abrogated when CBD-induced ICAM-1 expression was blocked by specific siRNA or by antagonists to cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2) and to transient receptor potential vanilloid 1.”
While cannabinoids had this effect on cancer cells, Hinz notes that it didn’t have the same effect on non-cancer cells; “Each cannabinoid elicited no significant increase of LAK cell-mediated lysis of non-tumor bronchial epithelial cells, BEAS-2B, associated with a far less pronounced (CBD, THC) or absent (R(+)-methanandamide) ICAM-1 induction as compared to cancer cells.”
Hinz concludes; “Altogether, our data demonstrate cannabinoid-induced upregulation of ICAM-1 on lung cancer cells to be responsible for increased cancer cell susceptibility to LAK cell-mediated cytolysis. These findings provide proof for a novel antitumorigenic mechanism of cannabinoids.”
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Rostock’s Section of Molecular Oncology and Immunotherapy, Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology, and Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, and can be found by clicking here.
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By Morgan Fox, Marijuana Policy Project
Lengthy report concludes, ‘Regulations address key concerns such as diversion, shirking, communication breakdowns, illegal activity, and the financial challenges facing the marijuana industry’
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Colorado is successfully regulating marijuana, according to a report released Thursday by the Brookings Institution’s Center for Effective Public Management.
“The state has met challenging statutory and constitutional deadlines for the construction and launch of a legal, regulatory, and tax apparatus for its new policy,” according to the report authored by John Hudak, a Brookings fellow in Governance Studies. “In doing so, it has made intelligent decisions about regulatory needs, the structure of distribution, prevention of illegal diversion, and other vital aspects of its new market. It has made those decisions in concert with a wide variety of stakeholders in the state.”
More and more evidence is showing that states can, and should, regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. As an increasing number of Americans decide that they are sick of arresting adults for using marijuana responsibly, the lessons from the states that have regulated marijuana successfully will become even more important.
“This report reflects what is actually happening on the ground here in Colorado,” says Mason Tvert, the Denver-based director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project who co-directed the 2012 Colorado initiative campaign. “The state is proving that regulating marijuana works. It explains why the new law is experiencing just as much public support now as it did when voters approved it in 2012.
“Colorado is proving that there is an alternative to marijuana prohibition,” Tvert continues. “The state is generating millions of dollars in new tax revenue, and hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana sales are taking place in legitimate businesses instead of in the underground market.
“Opponents’ fears have proven to be unfounded. Since Colorado began regulating medical marijuana in 2010, it has experienced major economic growth, the real estate market is flourishing, and tourism has reached record levels. Officials have not found one instance of marijuana businesses selling to minors, and rates of marijuana use have remained steady. There has been no increase in crime linked to the new law, and law enforcement officials are no longer spending their time punishing adults for possession,” added Tvert.
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In a little over three months, voters in Alaska and Oregon, as well as voters in the nation’s capital (Washington D.C.), will have the opportunity to legalize cannabis through citizen’s initiatives which will be up for a vote on November 4th.
In Alaska, voters will be given the chance to approve Ballot Measure 2. Similar to Colorado’s Amendment 64, this proposal would legalize the possession, use and state-licensed distribution of cannabis, and would do so as a constitutional amendment. The initiative was introduced by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, and is being funded in part by the Marijuana Policy Project.
In Oregon, an initiative from the group New Approach Oregon has recently been officially placed on this November’s ballot. The initiative would legalize the possession of up to 8 ounces of cannabis, the private cultivation of up to 4 cannabis plants, and cannabis retail outlets which would be regulated by the Oregon Liquor Commission.
In Washington D.C., although D.C. Cannabis Campaign’s initiative to legalize cannabis has had more than twice the required amount of signatures submitted to put it to a vote this November, the district has yet to officially certify the initiative, though they’re expected to do so soon. The initiative would legalize the possession and use of up to an ounce of cannabis, going a step further than the district’s recently-enacted law making the possession of an ounce of cannabis a simple $25 ticket.
Given the significance of another state legalizing cannabis (or the nations capital doing so), even one of these initiatives passing will be a huge victory that will continue (and speed up) the momentum of the cannabis reform movement. All three, however, are on track to be approved, as polling in all three areas (Oregon – Alaska – D.C.) shows majority support for cannabis legalization.
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