Legalisation of Cannabis is going to become an avalanche

israel_high_free_marijuana

After Colorado moved to full legalisation and licensing of cannabis other states are rushing to join in.

Uruguay has legalised and put in place a regime similar to that of tobacco and alcohol. It is only a matter of time as state after state embraces legalisation.

Most of the western world will follow suit. I predict that some states and countries will move to a halfway house of decriminalisation first…which will lead Police to stop enforcement anyway, followed by legalisation. That is probably what will happen in Maryland.

Amsterdam, Vancouver, and Silver Spring?

Maryland could become the latest destination for legal marijuana, joining the states of Washington and Colorado, if an effort to allow the regulated sale of the drug in the Old Line State becomes law.

In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday, Mike Miller, the powerful president of the Maryland Senate, said, “I favor the legalization and taxation of marijuana, with restrictions.” Miller, a relatively conservative Democrat who has opposed both same-sex marriage and abolishing the death penalty, said he believes his position is the way of the future. “I know where people are going to be a generation or two from now,” he said. 

However, in the interview, Miller appeared pessimistic about the chances for the legislature to legalize marijuana during its 2014 session, noting that it faced long odds in the House of Delegates and a skeptical governor in Martin O’Malley. Another legislator echoed Miller’s take, stating that either or perhaps both O’Malley and Speaker Michael Busch would have to push for a legalization bill for the effort to have a chance at success in the House of Delegates. It’s not likely thatO’Malley, a possible 2016 presidential contender who first rose to fame as the law-and-order mayor of Baltimore, would support such an effort.

Instead, the new effort may be to shift the debate around marijuana to focus on decriminalization. Last year, the Maryland Senate voted to remove criminal penalties for those caught possessing up to 10 grams of marijuana and instead subject offenders to a $100 civil fine.

If Maryland does legalize marijuana, the effect on the national drug debate would be significant. Drug Enforcement Administration officials in Arlington, Virginia, would be able to look across the Potomac River and see a state with legal pot. Also, unlike Washington or Colorado, which are relatively geographically isolated, Maryland is in the middle of the Northeast Corridor. New York City is about two hours from the Maryland state line, and Washington, D.C., is a few metro stops away.

I see little point in decriminalisation…the old sales and business adage of what gets measured gets done will mean that Police will focus on other crimes rather than worry about decriminalised activities.

New York State is now looking at liberalisation as well.

Joining a growing group of states that have loosened restrictions on marijuana, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York plans this week to announce an executive action that would allow limited use of the drug by those with serious illnesses, state officials say.

The shift by Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who had long resisted legalizing medical marijuana, comes as other states are taking increasingly liberal positions on it — most notably Colorado, where thousands have flocked to buy the drug for recreational use since it became legal on Jan. 1.

Mr. Cuomo’s plan will be far more restrictive than the laws in Colorado or California, where medical marijuana is available to people with conditions as mild as backaches. It will allow just 20 hospitals across the state to prescribe marijuana to patients with cancer, glaucoma or other diseases that meet standards to be set by the New York State Department of Health.

While Mr. Cuomo’s measure falls well short of full legalization, it nonetheless moves New York, long one of the nation’s most punitive states for those caught using or dealing drugs, a significant step closer to policies being embraced by marijuana advocates and lawmakers elsewhere.

New York hopes to have the infrastructure in place this year to begin dispensing medical marijuana, although it is too soon to say when it will actually be available to patients.

The war on drugs has failed…there are no less drugs now than there were when the war on drugs started. We know that prohibition doesn’t work at all…it has been proven time and time again.

Time to face reality and legalise…it is going to happen anyway. We may as well take advantage of it…and the associated benefits of products that are banned by virtue of being related to cannabis, like hemp products and production.

Which brave MP will put in a members bill seeking legalisation of cannabis in NZ?


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