Christie Tells Colo. Pot Smokers to “Enjoy It” Now As He Will Bust Them As President – Barry Donegan

New Jersey Republican Governor and former federal prosecutor Chris Christie issued a dire warning to pot users in states that have legalized marijuana while promoting his 2016 presidential campaign at a town hall meeting at Salt Hill Pub in Newport, New Hampshire on Tuesday. “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it. As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws,” said Christie.

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...

Christie claimed that he believes that marijuana is a gateway drug that alters the brain and criticized the Obama administration for choosing not to enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it has been legalized. “That’s lawlessness,” he said, according to Bloomberg. “If you want to change the marijuana laws, go ahead and change the national marijuana laws.

Read the rest via Christie Tells Colo. Pot Smokers to “Enjoy It” Now As He Will Bust Them As President – Ben Swann’s Truth In Media.

The ‘Constitutional Conservative’ Who Wants to Legalize Pot—and Anything That’s Peaceful – Jacob Sullum

David Simpson, the Republican state representative who wants to repeal marijuana prohibition in Texas, is a radical. I mean that in a good way. The bill he introduced on Monday would not merely allow specified marijuana-related activities—the approach taken by every state that has legalized marijuana so far. Instead Simpson, who is in his third term representing an East Texas district that includes Gregg and Upshur counties, aims to eliminate all references to marijuana from the state’s criminal code. In an essay published by The Texas Tribune‘s online opinion section, he explains why, laying out “The Christian Case for Drug Law Reform”:

As a Christian, I recognize the innate goodness of everything God made and humanity’s charge to be stewards of the same.

In fact, it’s for this reason that I’m especially cautious when it comes to laws banning plants. I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.

New York Times editorial writer Lawrence Downes likes what Simpson has to say. “I don’t think I’ve read a more concise and persuasive conservative argument for rethinking marijuana laws,” Downes writes. But Simpson’s goal is more ambitious than that:

In the name of protecting the public, certain substances have been declared evil and contraband. So evil are these substances that state and federal agents are empowered to enforce laws with little or no regard for constitutional protections of individual rights, the sanctity of one’s home or the right to travel freely….

Our current “war on drugs” policies [are] spurring a proliferation of ever-changing exotic designer drugs and a disregard for contitutional protections in the name of eliminating drugs at any cost. Just think of no-knock warrants, stop-and-frisk, civil asset forfeiture and billionaire drug lords.

The time has come for a thoughtful discussion of the prudence of the prohibition approach to drug abuse, the impact of prohibition enforcement on constitutionally protected liberties and the responsibilities that individuals must take for their own actions….

Should we be concerned for our friends and neighbors who abuse a substance or activity? Yes, we should help them through sincere and voluntary engagement, but not with force and violence.

Is there a place for prohibition? Yes, a prohibition of aggression (Romans 13). Our laws should prohibit and penalize violent acts. This is the jurisdiction of the magistrates under the new covenant—harm to one’s neighbor.

Civil government should value everything God made and leave people alone unless they meddle with their neighbor.

Read the rest via The ‘Constitutional Conservative’ Who Wants to Legalize Pot—and Anything That’s Peaceful – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

Illinois OAI at IL NORML Lobby Day This Wednesday in Springfield

As part of an effort to move Illinois law in a libertarian direction, we will sponsor opportunities to join other groups in Springfield for visits with your representative and senator.  This Wednesday, February 25th, at 9am, you are encouraged to join Thomas Hill, OAI Illinois Director, as he joins the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to advocate bills lessening the prohibition of cannabis and hemp.  Will you commit to participating, and forward this email to a couple of fellow activists to join you?
Upon arrival head straight into the Capitol, go through screening, and meet at the NORML table on the 1st floor for handouts and to ask questions regarding how best to utilize your time, and be partnered with others to help you navigate this experience.  Helping NORML’s Lobby Day will inform politicians of the dissatisfaction with the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program and the slow pace of reform in Illinois.
If cannabis and hemp reform aren’t your priorities for lobbying, don’t worry – Director Hill will have a separate Our America Initiative handout with other bills that promote liberty.  Indeed, in Illinois OAI long has supported the No Cronies project, an effort to abolish taxpayer subsidies and preferences for influential institutions.  Feel free to share handouts from both groups with your politicians and their staffers.  According to IL NORML’s Lobby Day instructions, it’s important to try to schedule a meeting with your reps before your arrival; the link describes other areas of the Capitol to find and speak with your legislator.  The lobbying will continue through 4pm.
Advocating libertarian law changes is the priority of 501(c)4s like Our America Initiative.  To be connected to Director Hill to help the cause, kindly fill out the volunteer link.  With your donation now and input from our Advisory Councils, we could advocate less government and more freedom nationally and through more of our fifty state affiliates.
Yours in Liberty,
Thomas Hill
Illinois Director

America’s Pot Farmers Are Putting Mexican Cartels Out of Business – David Downs

Due to ample supplies up north, courtesy of medical and recreational cannabis legalization, cartel farmers can’t make any money off pot anymore, they told the Washington Post this week. The price for a pound of Mexican marijuana has plummeted 75 percent from $100 per kilogram to less than $25.

English: The Merida Initiative, a U.S. Counter...

“‘It’s not worth it anymore,'” said 50 year-old Rodrigo Silla, a lifelong cannabis farmer. He also told the Post he couldn’t remember the last time his family and others stopped growing mota. “’I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.’”

For several years we have been writing about how researchers think that domestic cannabis legalization will seriously hurt Mexican drug cartels — who have murdered something like 60,000 people in the last decade. We’ve reported on how California cannabis has cut Mexican cartels out of the Golden State. That garbage goes east now. Researchers estimate legalization would cost the cartels billions, and a think tank in Mexico said that legalization in just one US state would cut cartels out of the US pot industry. Those days appears to have arrived.

Read more via Grand Closing: America’s Pot Farmers Are Putting Mexican Cartels Out of Business | Legalization Nation | East Bay Express.

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Everything You Need To Know About Legal Marijuana In Uruguay – Leaf Science

Uruguay, the first country in the world to legalize marijuana, officially began its new rules on Tuesday.

After four months of crafting, Uruguayan authorities have come up with a comprehensive plan to regulate the marijuana trade.

Released last week, the plan outlines a system for the production and sale of recreational marijuana. The system is expected to be up and running by the end of 2014. Here’s a breakdown of the new rules:

English: José Mujica, Frente Amplio candidate....

Who Can Buy It?

Marijuana will be available to anyone over 18. It will be sold in state-licensed pharmacies and buyers will have to enter their name in a national registry.

Marijuana will only be available to Uruguayan residents, meaning tourists won’t be welcome. Those who wish to purchase it will be limited to 40 grams a month (or 10 grams a week).

What Will It Cost?

The price of legal marijuana will be set by the government, which has put out estimates of 20-22 pesos per gram ($0.87-$1/gram). The aim is to keep the price low enough to compete with the black market.

Who Can Grow It?

Marijuana will be supplied by 6 private companies with licenses from the government. These companies will have to follow strict rules, and will not be allowed to choose how much to grow or the location of the operation.

To start, 5 different cannabis varieties will be available. Every new variety of cannabis will have to be registered with the government, allowing the circulation of product to be tracked. The strength of the cannabis produced will also be capped at 15% THC. The government estimates 18-22 tons of cannabis per year will be needed to meet demand.

Optionally, individuals can choose to grow for themselves or join a cannabis collective. Individuals can grow up to six plants. Collectives can have between 15 and 45 members and grow up to 99 plants. Both individual growers and collectives must be registered with the government and can produce no more than 480 grams a year per person.

What Isn’t Legal?

Under Uruguay’s new law, marijuana users cannot be intoxicated during work or while driving.

The law also prohibits marijuana use in taxis, buses, trains, planes and any other mode of transportation. Advertising or promotion is not allowed either.

How It Happened

Late last year, Uruguay’s parliament passed a bill to legalize and regulate the marijuana trade. The bill was backed by Uruguayuan President José Mujica, who signed it into law in December, making Uruguay the first country in the world to legalize marijuana.

Despite significant backlash, President Mujica has firmly defended the move by citing the failures of prohibition and the negative effects of drug trafficking and addiction.

Mujica also says that the new law will allow Uruguay, a small country with a population of just 3.3 million, to serve as an experiment for larger countries to observe and consider.

Read more via Everything You Need To Know About Legal Marijuana In Uruguay – Leaf Science.

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