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   PastimesYour opinion please Legalization of Street Drugs


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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (2179)11/6/2017 10:36:57 AM
From: TimF
1 Recommendation   of 2220
 
Sticker shock coming with California's new pot market
Michael r. Blood, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- California's legal marijuana marketplace is coming with a kaleidoscope of new taxes and fees that could influence where it's grown, how pot cookies and other munchies are produced and the price tag on just about everything.

Be ready for sticker shock.

On a retail level, it costs about $35 to buy a small bag of good quality medical marijuana in Los Angeles, enough to roll five or six joints.

But in 2018, when legal sales take hold and additional taxes kick in, the cost of that same purchase in the new recreational market is expected to increase at the retail counter to $50 or $60.

At the high end, that's about a 70 percent jump.

Medical pot purchases are expected to rise in cost too, but not as steeply, industry experts say.

Or consider cannabis leaves, a sort of bottom-shelf product that comes from trimming prized plant buds. The loose, snipped leaves are typically gathered up and processed for use in cannabis-laced foods, ointments, concentrates and candies.

Growers sell a trash bag stuffed with clippings to manufacturers for about $50. But come January, the state will tax those leaves at $44 a pound.

That means the tax payment on a bag holding 7 or 8 pounds would exceed the current market price by five or six times, forcing a huge price hike or, more likely, rendering it essentially valueless.

"All it would become is compost," predicted Ryan Jennemann of THC Design in Los Angeles, whose company has used the leaves to manufacture concentrated oils.

Governments struggling to keep up with the cost of everything from worker pensions to paving streets are eager for the cascade of new tax money from commercial pot sales that could eventually top $1 billion statewide.

But higher taxes for businesses and consumers give the state's thriving illicit market a built-in advantage. Operators in the legal market have been urging regulators to be aggressive about shutting down rogue operators.

Donnie Anderson, a Los Angeles medical cultivator and retailer, predicted the higher level of state taxation next year is "just going to help the illicit market thrive." He said more needs to be done to cut the cost, especially for medical users, many of whom won't be able to absorb a price jump.

The increased tax rates are just one part of California's sprawling plan to transform its long-standing medical and illegal markets into a multibillion-dollar regulated economy, the nation's largest legal pot shop. The reshaping of such an expansive illegal economy into a legal one hasn't been witnessed since the end of Prohibition in 1933.

The change has come haltingly. Many cities are unlikely to be ready by Jan. 1 to issue business licenses, which are needed to operate in the new market, while big gaps remain in the system intended to move cannabis from the field to distribution centers, then to testing labs and eventually retail shops.

The path to legalization began last year when voters approved Proposition 64, which opened the way for recreational pot sales to adults. Medical marijuana has been legal in California for about two decades.

Come January, state taxes will include a 15 percent levy on purchases of all cannabis and cannabis products, including medical pot.

Local governments are free to slap on taxes on sales and growing too, and that has created a confusing patchwork of rates that vary city to city, county to county.

In the agricultural hub of Salinas, southeast of San Francisco, voters approved a tax that will eventually rise to $25 a square foot for space used to cultivate the leafy plants, a rate that's equivalent to about $1 million an acre.

But farther north, in the pot-growing mecca of Humboldt County, rates will be a comparative bargain, ranging from $1 to $3 for a square foot for cultivation space.

By some estimates Humboldt County has up to 15,000 unregulated pot grows, and Supervisor Ryan Sundberg said he was eager to fashion a tax scheme that would encourage cultivators to come into the legal system and adhere to environmental regulations.

"A high tax rate, that would be one more barrier to getting people regulated," he said.

Lower-tax areas could also be a lure to businesses looking to save on costs.

Here's a snapshot of how new taxes will roll out for an average consumer in Los Angeles

Currently, for legal medical pot, there is no specific state tax on cannabis and the city tax is 6 percent, which is usually incorporated into the sale price at the counter.

When the recreational market opens in January, an eighth-ounce bag that sells for $35 will be subject to a 15 percent state tax. A city business tax that typically gets passed on to consumers will add another 10 percent, and then the buyer will be hit with the usual sales tax, about 10 percent in L.A.

Businesses are being saddled with new taxes and costs on cultivation, distribution and testing, which will be rolled into the consumer price.

Together, operators say, that will push retail prices to $50 or $60 for that eighth-ounce purchase.

As for medical, the city tax would be lower, 5 percent, but retailers say that's sometimes not passed on to the consumer. Consumers with a valid medical marijuana identification card would not pay sales taxes.

A report last week from financial analysts Fitch Ratings concluded that state and local taxes could balloon to 45 percent for recreational marijuana in some communities.

"The existing black market for cannabis may prove formidable competitor to legal markets if new taxes lead to higher prices than available from illicit sources," the report warned.

Some predict that prices will eventually come down as the legal market matures.

Other states with legal recreational pot have restructured taxes over time.

Washington state, for example, initially imposed separate 25 percent taxes up to three times: when the grower sold it to the processor, when the processor sold it to the retailer and at the point of public sale. In 2015 that was pushed down to a 37 percent tax at the point of retail sale, plus sales tax. In Seattle, that combined rate is about 47 percent for recreational sales.

"While our members, like any other business sector, would like to see a lower tax rate, we have not seen any evidence that current tax rate is diverting people into the black market," Aaron Pickus, a spokesman for the Washington CannaBusiness Association, an industry group, said in an email.

There are other barriers to unregulated businesses entering the new system.

Nicole Howell Neubert, a marijuana industry lawyer, said a retail business could easily ring up $200,000 in permitting and other costs associated with compliance in the new legal market.

"When you add to that high tax rates, you increase the number of reasons why someone might not be able to become regulated," she said.

finance.yahoo.com

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To: TimF who wrote (2180)11/6/2017 8:43:16 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 2220
 
And the black market will continue to thrive...

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From: hussamabd11/15/2017 1:51:51 PM
   of 2220
 
actually marijuana worse than you thin even the The American Academy of Ophthalmology said that is harmful and its not good for our health
depending on this article that talk about Marijuana Withdrawal ,Symptoms pros and cons of marijuana
inside this article they said that marijuana causes many bad things like headaches and dizziness and Insomnia
for that reason i said no its not useful at all

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To: longnshort who wrote (2021)11/15/2017 1:53:55 PM
From: hussamabd
   of 2220
 
actually marijuana worse than you thin even the The American Academy of Ophthalmology said that is harmful and its not good for our health

“The American Academy of Ophthalmology – the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons – is reminding the public that it does not recommend marijuana or other cannabis products for the treatment of glaucoma. Based on analysis by the National Eye Institute and the Institute of Medicine, the Academy finds no scientific evidence that marijuana is an effective long-term treatment for glaucoma, particularly when compared to the wide variety of prescription medication and surgical treatments available. Ophthalmologists also caution that marijuana has side effects which could further endanger the user’s eye health.”

depending on this article that talk about Marijuana Withdrawal ,Symptoms pros and cons of marijuana
inside this article they said that marijuana causes many bad things like headaches and dizziness and Insomnia
for that reason i said no its not useful at all

source :
thoughts4spread.com

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From: TimF11/20/2017 9:43:27 PM
3 Recommendations   of 2220
 
Girl taking medical marijuana for seizures suing Jeff Sessions and DEA
cbsnews.com

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From: The Ox1/4/2018 11:19:20 AM
   of 2220
 
Message 31419733

AP NewsBreak: US to end policy that let legal pot flourish

By SADIE GURMAN 54 minutes ago
apnews.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press. Sessions will instead let federal prosecutors where pot is legal decide how aggressively to enforce federal marijuana law, the people said.

The people familiar with the plan spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it before an announcement expected Thursday.

The move by President Donald Trump’s attorney general likely will add to confusion about whether it’s OK to grow, buy or use marijuana in states where pot is legal, since long-standing federal law prohibits it. It comes days after pot shops opened in California, launching what is expected to become the world’s largest market for legal recreational marijuana and as polls show a solid majority of Americans believe the drug should be legal.

While Sessions has been carrying out a Justice Department agenda that follows Trump’s top priorities on such issues as immigration and opioids, the changes to pot policy reflect his own concerns. Trump’s personal views on marijuana remain largely unknown.

Sessions, who has assailed marijuana as comparable to heroin and has blamed it for spikes in violence, had been expected to ramp up enforcement. Pot advocates argue that legalizing the drug eliminates the need for a black market and would likely reduce violence, since criminals would no longer control the marijuana trade.

The Obama administration in 2013 announced it would not stand in the way of states that legalize marijuana, so long as officials acted to keep it from migrating to places where it remained outlawed and out of the hands of criminal gangs and children. Sessions is rescinding that memo, written by then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, which had cleared up some of the uncertainty about how the federal government would respond as states began allowing sales for recreational and medical purposes.

The pot business has since become a sophisticated, multimillion-dollar industry that helps fund schools, educational programs and law enforcement. Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and California’s sales alone are projected to bring in $1 billion annually in tax revenue within several years.

Sessions’ policy will let U.S. attorneys across the country decide what kinds of federal resources to devote to marijuana enforcement based on what they see as priorities in their districts, the people familiar with the decision said.

Sessions and some law enforcement officials in states such as Colorado blame legalization for a number of problems, including drug traffickers that have taken advantage of lax marijuana laws to hide in plain sight, illegally growing and shipping the drug across state lines, where it can sell for much more. The decision was a win for pot opponents who had been urging Sessions to take action.

“There is no more safe haven with regard to the federal government and marijuana, but it’s also the beginning of the story and not the end,” said Kevin Sabet, president and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, who was among several anti-marijuana advocates who met with Sessions last month. “This is a victory. It’s going to dry up a lot of the institutional investment that has gone toward marijuana in the last five years.”

Threats of a federal crackdown have united liberals who object to the human costs of a war on pot with conservatives who see it as a states’ rights issue. Some in law enforcement support a tougher approach, but a bipartisan group of senators in March urged Sessions to uphold existing marijuana policy. Others in Congress have been seeking ways to protect and promote legal pot businesses.

A task force Sessions convened to study pot policy made no recommendations for upending the legal industry but instead encouraged Justice Department officials to keep reviewing the Obama administration’s more hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement, something Sessions promised to do since he took office.

The change also reflects yet another way in which Sessions, who served as a federal prosecutor at the height of the drug war in Mobile, Alabama, has reversed Obama-era criminal justice policies that aimed to ease overcrowding in federal prisons and contributed to a rethinking of how drug criminals were prosecuted and sentenced. While his Democratic predecessor Eric Holder told federal prosecutors to avoid seeking long mandatory minimum sentences when charging certain lower level drug offenders, for example, Sessions issued an order demanding the opposite, telling them to pursue the most serious charges possible against most suspects.

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To: The Ox who wrote (2185)1/8/2018 11:28:21 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 2220
 
Sessions is an idiot. However...

Did Jeff Sessions Just Increase the Odds Congress Will Make Marijuana Legal?

The attorney general has created intolerable uncertainty for a growing industry that is now demanding legal protections from Congress. And lawmakers are listening.

By JAMES HIGDON
Politico
January 06, 2018

When Jeff Sessions announced Thursday morning he had removed the barrier that had held back federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana cases in states that had made pot legal, he delivered on something he had all but promised when he was nominated as attorney general. Most of the marijuana world saw it coming, but they freaked out anyway.

A fund of marijuana-based stocks dropped more than 9 percent in value and, as a sign of how mainstream marijuana has become, Sessions’ decision to repeal the Cole memo, an Obama-era protection for states that have legalized marijuana, even affected the stock price of Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, which dropped more than 5 percent. Business leaders in an industry that was worth $7.9 billion in 2017, called Sessions’ action revoking “outrageous” and “economically stupid.”

Capitol Hill screamed just as loudly. And it wasn’t just the Democratic members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. It was Republican senators, too. Cory Gardner of Colorado took the Senate floor to issue an ultimatum to Sessions: “I will be putting a hold on every single nomination from the Department of Justice until Attorney General Jeff Sessions lives up to the commitment he made to me in my pre-confirmation meeting with him. The conversation we had that was specifically about this issue of states’ rights in Colorado. Until he lives up to that commitment, I’ll be holding up all nominations of the Department of Justice,” Gardner said. “The people of Colorado deserve answers. The people of Colorado deserve to be respected.” Gardner is no fringe Republican; he’s the chair of the NRSC.

Even members who had been silent on the issue in the past vowed to squeeze the Department of Justice’s budget. Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat from New Hampshire, reminding reporters she’s the lead Democrat on the Department of Justice funding subcommittee, tweeted: “I’ll work to ensure that resources are devoted to opioid response NOT foolish policy of interfering with legal marijuana production.” Most of the Congressional leadership was silent on this issue, but not House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who issued a blistering statement against Sessions, saying that she would push for an amendment in the new spending bill to protect states that had legalized not just medical marijuana but recreational use too, a move that could make ongoing budget negotiations much more tense.

Thursday may well turn out to be a pivotal moment in the marijuana industry’s evolution as a political force. Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe in some form of legalized marijuana, but does the nascent industry have the sway to rewrite nearly 50 years of federal drug policy? Or will it remain a splintered coalition of investors, libertarians, concerned parents of sick kids, cancer sufferers, and traumatized veterans, who have the numbers but not the concentrated lobbying effort necessary to once and for all remove marijuana from the crosshairs of federal drug enforcement?

“There’s a lot of [legislators] trying to have it both ways who are now going to have to make up their mind,” said Tick Segerblom, the Nevada state senator who is considered the father of the state’s legalization movement. “Are they going to go with what the voters of their state support, or are they going to join Sessions and crack down and try to re-instate prohibition?”

Right now, the answer seems to be the former. Sessions’ antipathy for a drug that has lost much of its stigma among a wide cross section of Americans has only galvanized disparate factions in Congress to protect an industry that is expected to generate $2.3 billion in state tax revenue by 2020.

Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont, who just a few weeks ago declined to comment to POLITICO Magazine about whether he would work to maintain protections for medical marijuana in the 2018 omnibus spending package, tweeted on Thursday, “I'm now fighting to include my amdt in the final omnibus Approps bill so we can protect patients and law-abiding businesses.”

Those law-abiding businesses are now fully engaged in this matter, and they aren’t just going to roll over and let Jeff Sessions shut them down.

“I expect any actions he and the Justice Department take against the industry will be met with significant pushback from states that are benefiting greatly from an economic and quality of life standpoint,” said Jeffrey Zucker, president of Green Lion Partners, a Denver firm that promotes marijuana businesses. “The cannabis industry will continue on regardless of this decision, and in the long run this should only be a roadblock.”

Leslie Bocskor, president of Electrum Partners, an asset-backed finance company invested in the marijuana market, expressed his displeasure with a wry dig at Sessions’ motives: “It is almost as if the rally in publicly traded stocks in the legal cannabis sector was too much for the AG to bear.”

***

The Cole memo was never intended to be a permanent fix to the problem posed by the conflict between states that chose to legalize marijuana and existing federal prohibitions. Written by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole in 2013, the memo gave the nation’s 93 U.S. Attorneys broad latitude to exercise prosecutorial discretion in states where marijuana had been legalized. (Mr. Cole, now in private practice, declined a request for comment for this story.) His memo was interpreted as a virtual hands-off rule, allowing medical and recreational marijuana programs to spread across the country at an unprecedented rate. Flimsy though it was, the Cole Memo nevertheless provided a measure of security for dispensary owners, growers and consumers and allowed investors to proceed with some confidence that their money was not going to be seized in a DEA sting.

The best protection that Congress had been able to provide was the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which was passed in 2014 attached to an appropriations bill. It barred the DOJ from spending funds to interfere with the implementation of medical marijuana laws. But since then, a total of eight states have now passed full recreational use laws, mostly recently California, whose law took effect January 1. Rohrabacher-Farr (now known as Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, in honor of Democratic Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who co-sponsored the amendment) expire on January 19 if it is not renewed and does nothing to help recreationally legal states, hence the eagerness of marijuana advocates to shore up the industry’s legal standing with new legislation and Pelosi’s stated desire to bake in those protections in the budget that’s currently being negotiated.

The fact that marijuana has now risen to the height of top-tier budget negotiations is a sign that the pro-marijuana coalition is no longer merely a menagerie of loud-mouth hippies, stoners, and felons, as the pro-pot crowd has been characterized in the past. The community of Americans who now rely on legal medical marijuana, estimated to be 2.6 million people in 2016, includes a variety of mainstream constituency groups like veterans, senior citizens, cancer survivors, and parents of epileptic children. The American Legion, a conservative veterans organization by any measure, has voted twice in favor of resolutions to expand research and safe access for its members.

“The American Legion has been a leading advocate for the removal of cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act to enable greater research into the medical efficacy of the drug to treat ailments that impact veterans such as PTSD and chronic pain,” Joe Plenzler, Director of Media Relations for The American Legion, told POLITICO Magazine — which means Jeff Sessions just crossed the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization.

By the end of the day on Thursday, in a conference call of five members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, lawmakers from four of the eight states that have approved recreational marijuana railed about Sessions’ unconstitutional assault on the rights of their states to decide their own affairs. On that call, California Republican Dana Rohrabacher said that the move by Sessions to strike a blow against marijuana has had the inverse effect of raising the attention from what had previously been a states’ issue but has now become a national priority. “It’s a big plus for our efforts that the federal government is now aware that our constituents have been alerted,” Rohrabacher said. "We can be confident we can win this fight, because this is a freedom issue.”

On the same call, California Democrat Barbara Lee made it clear that she and her constituents were not going to accept Sessions’ move without a fight. “As a person of color, let me just say that the War on Drugs has been a failure… We’ve lost families, we’ve lost a generation. So this affects people of color in a big way, so we’re not going to allow them to turn back the clock. In our district, we’re going to fight this every step of the way,” the Congresswoman said.

Even if Leahy protects medical marijuana programs by reauthorizing the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment in the upcoming omnibus spending bill in the conference committee, the Congressional Cannabis Caucus has less than a year to make those protections permanent. The means to do that is H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, sponsored by Representative Thomas Garrett, a Republican from Virginia. The bill, now with 15 cosponsors, would remove marijuana from Schedule 1 and eliminate federal penalties for anyone engaged in state-legal marijuana activity. All Congress has to do is pass it.

“We’ve got to act,” Rohrabacher said on the Thursday phone call. “We can’t take it for granted, and now it’s going to be a priority for us to accomplish.”

As of late Friday, POLITICO Magazine could not find a single member of Congress who had issued a statement in support of Sessions’ actions. In the end, this is a self-inflicted pot crisis that could prove to be a critical test of Trump’s ability to maintain his base.

“There’s a lot of old white men who are marijuana users, and the marijuana is keeping them alive,” Segerblom said from his cell phone while driving around Las Vegas. “Trump is going to have fewer to vote for him if he doesn’t keep marijuana legal.”

politico.com

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From: TimF3/2/2018 3:12:39 PM
   of 2220
 
Good Intentions; Bad Policy
by Steve Landsburg
January 18, 2018
in Current Events, Economics and Policy
29 Comments

I learn from Scott Sumner’s blog that in many California cities, residents with past marijuana convictions will jump to the head of the line for licenses to sell the drug legally — this by way of compensating them for past persecution.

Scott approves. I don’t, for two reasons:

First, if you want to compensate people for past persecution, the right way to do it is with cash, not by misallocating productive resources. If there must be licenses, they should be allocated to those who can use them most efficiently, regardless of any past history.

Second, drug dealers have never been the primary victims of anti-drug laws. They can’t be, because there is free entry and exit from that industry. Anti-drug enforcement leads to exit, which in turn leads to higher profits for those who remain — and the exit continues until the profits are high enough to compensate for the risks. One way to think about this: All those “persecuted” drug dealers were, in effect, employing the government to stifle their competition, and paying a fair price for that privilege in the form of occasionally being convicted and punished themselves.

The primary victims of anti-drug legislation are potential consumers who were deterred by artificially high prices. How do you compensate those victims? You can’t. In a population of 1000 people who have never used drugs, it’s quite impossible to identify the 200 or 300 or 400 who would have happily indulged if only the price had been lower.

This is one more reason to be diligent against bad legislation generally. Even if you believe the legislation will eventually be repealed, attempts to compensate the victims are likely to be misdirected, misguided, and socially harmful.

thebigquestions.com

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From: S. maltophilia3/2/2018 4:39:50 PM
   of 2220
 
politico.com

May I suggest he start here:

arstechnica.com

and here:

arktimes.com

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From: TimF3/29/2018 5:11:28 PM
   of 2220
 
Alabama law enables sheriff to eat well
By Walter Olson March 20, 2018

Under an Alabama law passed before World War II, many county sheriffs can keep what are deemed extra sums allocated for inmate meals but not used for that purpose. Some large counties require the surplus to be turned over to general county funds. Can sheriffs of other counties convert the funds to personal use? In Etowah County (Gadsden), a local resident says he was paid to mow the sheriff’s lawn with checks from from the sheriff’s “Food Provision Account.” [ Connor Sheets, Al.com] And in a followup, four days later local police arrested the resident who had told the reporter about being paid for lawn-mowing. The raid, said to have been based on an anonymous call reporting the odor of marijuana issuing from within an apartment, resulted in charges against him later bumped up to felony drug trafficking based on weight: “Once that marijuana was mixed with the butter then the whole butter becomes marijuana, and that’s what we weighed.” [ Sheets, Al.com]

overlawyered.com

emphasis added on the part that's relevant to this thread.

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