During the Democrat's Presidential Debate last night the subject of Marijuana legalization came to the forefront and three important things happened, and by far the most important was Bernie Sanders' decision to endorse full legalization of marijuana nationally!
Oregon's laws are a lot more permissive than Washington laws and that seems to be the way laws are evolving state to state. In both states medical marijuana patients can possess more pot and grow their own marijuana, so this comparison is focused only the laws that deal with recreational weed enthusiasts.
What makes the story particularly believable is the fact that Costco was founded in the Washington town of Kirkland, and that Costco is now the world's largest seller of Wine and Liquor with billions of dollars in revenue each year coming from alcohol related sales according to published reports.
A representative of Hotels.com said searches for Denver bookings during April 17-20 are up more than 60% over the same period in 2014 and searches last April had skyrocketed 73% higher than the same period in 2013 before recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado. That means hotel searches have more than doubled in two short years, and booking to capacity is likely for nearly every hotel in the area - which brings a massive influx of money to the state as tourists arrive and spend at restaurants, events, stores and more throughout the local area.
A federal judge in Sacramento, presiding over a criminal case against seven men charged with growing marijuana on national forest land in Trinity and Tehama counties, heard what she described as “new scientific and medical information” that questions the validity of the federal ban on cannabis.
Now that marijuana is moving toward national legalization, a new set of questions are emerging and states are doing their best to deal with past mistakes properly. A newly decided landmark Marijuana court case in the state of Connecticut may quickly become the example all other states follow when wrestling with questions about the best way to handle existing marijuana convictions in jurisdictions where the laws have now changed so that the exact same activity would now no longer warrant any kind of criminal penalty.
The new legislative act, labeled New Hampshire Bill HB494 is an essential first step forward for hemp in the country. The movement will continue and the hope is that citizens and state legislators across the nation will wake up and take back their rights like the people have already done in Colorado, Oregon and Vermont where courageous farmers are growing industrial hemp during an unfortunate period of federalist uncertainty. It is time for the federal government to withdraw its attempt to overstep its authority with regard to hemp and allow the free market to dictate the future of what appears to be an exceptionally useful natural resource.
There is a growing media frenzy a new Senate bill titled: The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, introduced by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), which would drastically curtail the involvement of the federal government regarding state-legalized medical marijuana programs and would also seem to encourage more research into the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant through a series of important major changes in federal law.
Even President Obama appears to be ready to legalize marijuana. “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol” he told the New Yorker - which is hardly the same level of condemnation former Presidents expressed about the idea of legalizing cannabis for recreational enjoyment nation wide.
Colorado sold 148,238 pounds of marijuana flowers including 109,578 pounds of medical marijuana and 38,660 pounds of recreational weed. There were approximately 5,590,000 units of edible and non-edible marijuana infused products created including 1,964,917 units of medical marijuana edible (medible) products and 2,850,733 units of recreational weed edibles. The state oversaw the sale of 771,000 units of non-edible marijuana infused products were sold (including creams, lotions, and other topical agents including 412,000 units of non-edible medical marijuana topicals and 359,000 units of non-edible recreational weed topicals as well.
Already working hard to promote the acceptance of "gay marriage" as a national and international human right, Chelsea Handler is now throwing her hat in the ring as a proponent of marijuana rights as well. This recent tweet has already stirred up plenty of support and helped to shine an even brighter light on the moral necessity and statutory inconsistencies of modern American cannabis regulation.
Republicans and Democrats are working together for a change - trying to find a way to avoid reimbursing residents with marijuana money and it may result in a new ballot initiative asking Colorado residents to allow pot taxes to be excluded from the constitutional provision for refunded taxes.