Monday, November 29, 2010

Should Governments Legalize and Tax Marijuana?

The war on drugs is an expensive battle, as a great deal of resources go into catching those who buy or sell illegal drugs on the black market, prosecuting them in court, and housing them in jail. These costs seem particularly exorbitant when dealing with the drug marijuana, as it is widely used, and is likely no more harmful than currently legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. There's another cost to the war on drugs, however, which is the revenue lost by governments who cannot collect taxes on illegal drugs. In a recent study for the Fraser Institute, Economist Stephen T. Easton attempted to calculate how much tax revenue the Canadian government could gain by legalizing marijuana.

Marijuana Legalization and the Revenue From Marijuana Sales

     The study estimates that the average price of 0.5 grams (a unit) of marijuana sold for $8.60 on the street, while its cost of production was only $1.70. In a free market, a $6.90 profit for a unit of marijuana would not last for long. Entrepreneurs noticing the great profits to be made in the marijuana market would start their own grow operations, increasing the supply of marijuana on the street, which would cause the street price of the drug to fall to a level much closer to the cost of production. Of course, this doesn't happen because the product is illegal; the prospect of jail time deters many entrepreneurs and the occasional drug bust ensures that the supply stays relatively low. We can consider much of this $6.90 per unit of marijuana profit a risk-premium for participating in the underground economy. Unfortunately, this risk premium is making a lot of criminals, many of whom have ties to organized crime, very wealthy.

Legalized Marijuana Profits to the Government

If we substitute a tax on marijuana cigarettes equal to the difference between the local production cost and the street price people currently pay--that is, transfer the revenue from the current producers and marketers (many of whom work with organized crime) to the government, leaving all other marketing and transportation issues aside we would have revenue of (say) $7 per [unit]. If you could collect on every cigarette and ignore the transportation, marketing, and advertising costs, this comes to over $2 billion on Canadian sales and substantially more from an export tax, and you forego the costs of enforcement and deploy your policing assets elsewhere.

Marijuana Supply and Demand

One interesting thing to note from such a scheme is that the street price of marijuana stays exactly the same, so the quantity demanded should remain the same as the price is unchanged. However, it's quite likely that the demand for marijuana would change from legalization. We saw that there was a risk in selling marijuana, but since drug laws often target both the buyer and the seller, there is also a risk (albeit smaller) to the consumer interested in buying marijuana. Legalization would eliminate this risk, causing the demand to rise. This is a mixed bag from a public policy standpoint: Increased marijuana use can have ill effects on the health of the population but the increased sales bring in more revenue for the government. However, if legalized, governments can control how much marijuana is consumed by increasing or decreasing the taxes on the product. There is a limit to this, however, as setting taxes too high will cause marijuana growers to sell on the black market to avoid excessive taxation.
When considering legalizing marijuana, there are many economic, health, and social issues we must analyze. One economic study will not be the basis of Canada's public policy decisions, but Easton's research does conclusively show that there are economic benefits in the legalization of marijuana. With governments scrambling to find new sources of revenue to pay for important social objectives such as health care and education expect to see the idea raised in Parliament sooner rather than later.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Medical Marijuana Used To Treat Autism

Medical marijuana for Autism i think it will help lot's of people think about and speak your mind

Chirldren all over the world are gting help with medical marijuana

Friday, November 26, 2010

International Cannabis News

Petition to Reschedule ‘Marijuana’ to Recognize Medical Benefits in Final Stages

     As scientists and researchers from Israel, Brazil, Canada and the US participate in the Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, a coalition of medical marijuana advocates is calling on the Obama administration for prompt action on an eight-year-old petition to reschedule marijuana for medical use. The petition, filed in 2002, argues that marijuana should be classified as a drug with “accepted medical use” based on growing scientific evidence and acceptance in state law. Since the petition was filed, even more scientific studies and state laws have recognized the medical efficacy of marijuana.

President Obama’s Administration now has the opportunity to reclassify cannabis (marijuana) under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to make it consistent with state medical marijuana policies and that of its own Department of Justice. After nearly eight years of agency review, including an analysis of existing scientific evidence by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the petition is finally approaching its ultimate phase.
A final decision on the rescheduling petition will be made by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), however DEA can not place marijuana in a more restrictive schedule than recommended by HHS. Recently nominated DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart will make the decision on rescheduling marijuana at some point in the near future.
Jon Gettman, a spokesperson for The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, states that, “Rescheduling marijuana is an urgent priority that needs this Administration’s immediate attention. Medical marijuana patients have waited too long for the federal government to catch up to scientific research and state laws that recognize that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe, effective, and most importantly not criminal activity. We demand that federal policymakers recognize and accept their responsibility to regulate marijuana under the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.”
The CSA classifies marijuana and other drugs in various schedules. Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, designating it as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
The CSA provides a procedure to have scheduling classifications changed in response to scientific research and other relevant factors, such as recognition of a drug’s accepted medical use and its dependence liability as compared to other controlled substances. Schedule I substances include ******, GHB and MDMA (ecstasy). ******* and oxycodone are both Schedule II substances, which allows for severely restricted medical use while maintaining the assertion that its abuse may lead to severe physiological and psychological dependence. Marinol® a synthetic form of THC (marijuana) that is widely prescribed medically is a Schedule III substance designating that it has a currently accepted medical use in the United States and that’s its abuse may lead to only moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
The case for rescheduling marijuana has been strengthened by several recent developments. Fourteen states now recognize marijuana’s medical use. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also recognized that marijuana is used medically under these state laws and directed the DEA and US Attorneys not to prosecute individuals for such use in these states. In addition the reclassification of marijuana under the CSA is now supported by the American Medical Association. The Iowa Pharmacy Board, using the same criteria as the CSA, has recommended rescheduling of marijuana under state law. Furthermore, recent studies by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research have documented marijuana’s effectiveness in treating a variety of ailments. Most recently, on April 16th and 17th Patients Out of Time and the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine will hold The Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI. This accredited educational event features cannabis/cannabinoid researchers from Israel, Brazil, Canada and the US.
The members of the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis include the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis. Americans for Safe Access (ASA), California NORML, the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, High Times, Iowans for Medical Marijuana, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), New Mexicans for Compassionate Use, Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, and Patients Out of Time.
The petition and supporting research can be found online at Marijuana Research: Science, Law, Medical Marijuana, Rescheduling Petition
Timeline of Efforts to Reschedule Marijuana
* 1995 – 2001 — Prior attempt by Jon Gettman to reschedule cannabis ended with a rejection of the petition by then DEA head Asa Hutchinson
* 2002 — Coalition for Rescheduling files new petition to DEA to reschedule marijuana.
* 2003 — DEA evaluates petition and sends it for review to HHS
* 2003 – 2009 — HHS reviews all science relevant and makes recommendation to DEA
* 2009 – Present — Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis awaits final decision by DEA.

Prop. 19 Supporters Say Win or Lose They’ve Sparked a Debate

Aaron Kahn sauntered into the Proposition 19 headquarters in Oakland on Monday afternoon with an appetite for democracy and lunch. His timing couldn’t have been better.
Kahn, 20, was handed a sandwich, a script and a phone, everything he needed to help get out the vote for the initiative that would make California the first state to legalize the sale of marijuana. “This is Aaron with the Yes on 19 campaign,” Kahn said. “We’re just making sure you have plans to vote, because it’s a really, really close election.”
The low chatter of volunteers at clunky computer monitors filled the bright storefront office as a documentary film crew spoke with a reporter for an Indian magazine. The initiative has captured worldwide attention, and reporters churned through the door on Monday.
With the election a day away, the pro-legalization campaign said its volunteers had made more than 188,500 calls to voters and hoped to hook 125,000 “Yes on 19″ door-hangers on the homes of likely supporters, including young male Democrats and members of the Green and Libertarian parties.
“These people have shown in the past that they want to make society a saner place,” said Boomer Shannon, a political activist who was directing canvassing crews in Arcadia. Shannon said he hoped to leave at least 15,000 reminders to vote for Proposition 19 dangling from doors.
The initiative would dramatically change California’s drug laws. It would allow adults 21 and older to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana and possess up to an ounce for personal use, and allow cities and counties to set up commercial cultivation and retail sales, and impose taxes.
The campaign’s message was, win or lose, the initiative has stimulated widespread debate and shown that the nation’s ban on marijuana is destined to fall. “Millions of people will vote for Proposition 19,” said Stephen Gutwillig, the California director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “We will never go back to a time when marijuana reform was outside the realm of thinkable thought.”
Proponents said the state’s drug laws fail to curb use, waste police resources and create violent black markets, and should be replaced with a system to control sales and bring in new tax revenue. But opponents said the initiative was riddled with flaws and would lead to more teenagers trying pot and more buzzed Californians on the roads and in the workplace.
The opposition campaign was running largely on autopilot, relying on radio ads throughout the state. But the consultants who have run the campaign were still doing numerous interviews with media outlets.
“We’re just getting out there that way, the same as before,” said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the No on 19 committee, which has been outspent by more than 10 to 1.
The Proposition 19 campaign, fueled by major donations in the last two weeks, was running ads on television, radio, Facebook and Google, as well as in the Los Angeles Times.
Salazar suggested the late surge of money was triggered by polls that show the measure well behind. “The only reason I would put money in like this at the last second is to try to make sure this thing doesn’t get so embarrassingly defeated,” he said. “If this thing is a blowout, then they probably set their cause back.”
But the measure’s supporters predict new voters, young voters and infrequent voters will be lured by the chance to vote for marijuana legalization. “This is something tangible in their hands that they can do tomorrow that will have immediate impact,” said Dale Sky Jones, a spokeswoman for the Yes on 19 campaign.
If a noon rally at UC Berkeley was a measure of that excitement, the campaign is in trouble. A dozen or so demonstrators showed up as scores of students wandered by, unmoved. “Every single person here has to make a commitment,” begged Kat Murti, Bay Area regional director for the Yes on 19 campaign. “Everyone here knows someone who uses cannabis!”
Across Sproul Plaza, Zainab Hossainzadeh, was unimpressed. Sitting at the Muslim Student Assn. table, the 19-year-old sophomore shook her head at the sign-waving rally and smiled.
“It is very small,” she said. “Especially for Berkeley.”
Jonathan Perri, with Students for Sensible Drug Policy, shrugged off the tiny showing. He said the organization’s chapters were still calling young voters and planned conga lines, sidewalk-chalk markings and other reminders to encourage college students to vote.

Colorado Collects Millions in Marijuana Tax Revenue

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are habitually dishonest and wrong about all sorts of things, but one of their most recklessly fraudulent claims
 is that legal marijuana won't generate significant tax revenue. This isn't even a matter of speculation. It's already happening.
Medical-marijuana dispensaries are now putting hundreds of thousands of dollars a month into state and city treasuries in Colorado.
So far this year, the state has collected more than $2.2 million in sales tax from dispensaries. In Denver, which has more dispensaries than any other city in Colorado,
the businesses have also paid more than $2.2 million this year in local sales tax. Colorado Springs has collected about $380,000 in local sales tax

The question of "legalizing marijuana" refers to whether or not Americans should be allowed to legally grow, sell, buy or ingest marijuana.
At present, the U.S. government claims the right to, and does, criminalize the growing, selling and possession of marijuana in all states. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed this federal right in two separate court cases:
•In 2001, U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, which overturned California proposition 215 which, in 1996, legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
•In 2005, Gonzales v. Raich, which again upheld the right of the federal government to ban marijuana use in all states.

What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is the dried blossom of cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants, leafy annual plants with parts that are used for as herbs, animal food, medicine and as hemp for rope-making.
"The flowers... contain psychoactive and physiologically active chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are consumed for recreational, medicinal, and spiritual purposes,"

Why is Marijuana Banned in the U.S.?
Before the 20th century, cannabis plants in the U.S. were relatively unregulated, and marijuana was a common ingredient in medicines.
Recreational use of marijuana was thought to have been introduced in the U.S. early in the 20th century by immigrants from Mexico. In the 1930s, marijuana was linked publicly in several research studies, and via a famed 1936 film named "Reefer Madness," to crime, violence, and anti-social behavior.
Many believe that objections to marijuana first rose sharply as part of the U.S. temperence movement against alcohol. Others claim that marijuana was initially demonized partly due to fears of the Mexican immigrants associated with the drug.
In the 21st century, marijuana is illegal in the U.S. ostensibly due to moral and public health reasons, and because of continuing concern over violence and crime associated with production and distribution of the drug.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Legalize Marijuana

I think medical marijuana should be legal many people have minor problems that could be solved with medical marijuana.
    The economy would have be alot better from the tax they could put on it. It would help many people, the nation as a whole too. You never hear on the news, “crazy pot smoker kills a whole family” its all the harder drugs. Then people feel ohh weeds a gateway drug which is comepelty incorrect. People have their choice to take an accauly drug marijuana shouldn’t even be consider a drug its a plant.

Here's a little video for you to injoy