This is what the Oglala Sioux Tribe decided last week in a historic, and extremely close referendum at the infamous Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. For the first time in 124 years, and after months of intense campaigning, they decided to permit the sale of “firewater.” Why? Because bootlegged booze has created “some of the highest rates of alcoholism in Indian Country and alcoholism is often connected with the high rate of domestic abuse, suicide, birth defects and violent crime on the reservation.” This quote comes from the Rapid City Journal on Aug. 15, which headlined this story.
By legalizing sales, the tribe will have the power to bankrupt the predatory liquor stores that line the edge of the reservation; regulate consumption, especially for children and pregnant women; and raise tax revenue for programs dealing with substance abuse and fetal alcohol syndrome. The Journal article featured a great-grandmother as the primary caretaker for her great-grandchildren because her gran. . . . . READ MORE
Former Microsoft manager Jamen Shively wants to create the first national brand of retail marijuana and to open pot trade with Mexico. Shively plans to announce that and more in a Thursday news conference he says will feature Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico. “Let’s go big or go home,” Shively said. “We’re going to mint more millionaires than Microsoft with this business.”
He’s acquiring medical-marijuana dispensaries in Washington and Colorado, he said, and plans to become the leader in both the medical and adult-recreational pot markets. He sees the marijuana market as the only one of its size in which there does not exist a single established brand.
He and Fox plan to announce a proposal for regulating the trade of marijuana between the two countries, he said.
Some details of the trade agreement remain to be worked out, such as how to get around international rules forbidding legal pot, Shively admitted.
“I don’t know how exactly that would be done, but I know it’s been done in other industries,” he said.. . . . . READ MORE
For nearly a century, the United States has been one of the fiercest advocates and practitioners of marijuana prohibition in the world. At the height of the America’s anti-pot fervor in the 1950s and ’60s, one could even receive life imprisonment for simple possession of the drug.
But the puritanical fervor that once dominated the national discussion surrounding cannabis has been conspicuously absent of late. Earlier this month, the Colorado State legislature, by order of a November referendum, passed bills to implement the legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana use. Washington State voters also approved legalization by referendum on election day. And these events have recently been followed by more good news for supporters of cannabis law reform.
The Organization for American States recently suggested that marijuana legalization could be a way to cut down on drug-violence in the western hemisphere. Perhaps most important, the movement has finally found a voice on Capitol Hill, as representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis submitted legislation earlier this year that would end federal prohibition of the drug, and allow states to tax and regulate it as t. . . . . READ MORE
This week, the Colorado General Assembly put the finishing touches on legislation aimed at taxing and regulating the commercial distribution of marijuana for recreational use. The process has been haunted by the fear that the federal government will try to quash this momentous experiment in pharmacological tolerance — a fear magnified by the Obama administration’s continuing silence on the subject.
Six months after voters in Colorado and Washington made history by voting to legalize marijuana, Attorney General Eric Holder still has not said how the Justice Department plans to respond. But if the feds are smart, they will not just refrain from interfering, they will work together with state officials to minimize smuggling of newly legal marijuana to jurisdictions that continue to treat it as contraband. A federal crackdown can only make the situation worse — for prohibitionists as well as consumers.
Shutting down state-licensed pot stores probably would not be very hard. A few well-placed letters threatening forfeiture and prosecution would do the trick for all but the bravest cannabis entrepreneurs. But what then?
Under Amendment 64, the Colorado initiative, people 21 or older alre. . . . . READ MORE