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States Rights: Oregon will soon qualify as the third U.S. state to ask voters in November to legalize marijuana for recreational use in a move that could put the state on a collision course with the federal government, proponents said on Friday.

Backers of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act said they have collected 165,000 signatures on petitions seeking to put the measure on the ballot, nearly double the 87,000 they were required to submit by Friday’s deadline to qualify.

“We believe we’re going to make it easily,” said Paul Stanford, the chief petitioner and founder of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, which runs medical marijuana clinics in several states.

Outside the Beltway: Obama smoked pot. So what?

A new Rasmussen poll indicates that 56 percent of Americans are now in favor of legalizing marijuana and regulating its use and sale in a similar fashion to the way states control alcohol and tobacco sales. Just 36 percent of respondents voiced opposition to the proposal, a new low.

In other news

Overall, 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be legal, hitting a high mark in support while showing a dramatic turnaround from just six years ago, when just 36 percent thought it should be legal. Thirty-nine percent, a new low, say gay marriage should be illegal.

Just go read Dr. Cole

I’m still waiting for some rational explanation as to why your Justice Department is going after medical marijuana providers – and their patients:

SAN FRANCISCO – April 27 – The San Francisco Democratic Party adopted a resolution yesterday demanding that President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag “cease all Federal actions in San Francisco immediately, respect State and local laws, and stop the closure of City-permitted medical cannabis facilities.” The resolution was co-sponsored by 21 members of the party’s Central Committee (DCCC) including: its author Gabriel Haaland, Assembly member Tom Ammiano, State Senator Leland Yee, Supervisor David Campos, Supervisor David Chiu, former State Senator Carole Migden, and former Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

The DCCC argues that, “the U. S. Attorneys in California are not targeting individuals and organizations that are operating outside of the law, but instead are aggressively persecuting a peaceful and regulated community, wasting Federal resources in using a series of threatening tactics to shut down regulated access to medical cannabis across the state of California.” The DCCC also accuses the federal government of “depriving…the State of California much needed tax revenue.”

It’s almost as if you don’t want our vote. Or you’re just another sock-puppet.

Marijuana Prohibition Costs Billions, Legalization Would Earn Billions Over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates, recently signed a petition that encourages the president, Congress, governors and state legislatures to carefully consider marijuana legalization in America. The petition draws attention to an article by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, whose findings highlight the substantial cost-savings our government could incur if it were to tax and regulate marijuana, rather than needlessly spending billions of dollars enforcing its prohibition…

I’m sure we could find something better to spend 13.7 Billion dollars a year on, or over the past forty years the “national debt” the bedwetters have their panties in a twist over – 1 Trillion dollars. Roads anyone? Power grid? Education? Healthcare

Source: CBC

Mayors from eight B.C. communities have added their voices to calls to the provincial government to regulate and tax marijuana as part of a strategy to end gang violence and make communities safer.

Mayors from Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver City, Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Lake Country and Metchosin made the argument in an April 26 letter to B.C.’s premier, Opposition NDP leader and B.C. Conservative Party leader.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson was unavailable for comment Thursday, but Coun. Kerry Jang, who is also professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, said the current federal laws have failed.

Jang said the laws have led to increased organized crime, policing costs and the presence of grow-ops.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/04/26/bc-mayors-marijuana-decriminilization.html

NPR: Smoking marijuana has just got to be bad for the lungs, since it’s been made abundantly clear that cigarettes wreak havoc. Or so it would seem.

But the record on marijuana and lung health has been confusing at best. The latest study is typical: It shows that pot smokers’ lung function actually improves, at least if they’re not smoking a lot.

Smoking a joint a day for up to seven years doesn’t hurt lung function, according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. They came up with that number after following more than 5,000 people for 20 years. The results were just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In fact, those occasional pot smokers actually had improvements in some measurements of lung function. That may be due in part to the stretching involved in the deep tokes typical of marijuana use. By contrast, both past and present cigarette smokers had impaired lung function.

But the pot smokers didn’t get a completely clean bill of health. Heavy marijuana users, which the study defined as smoking more than 20 times a month, did see a decline in lung capacity. But that’s after exposure to more than 10 “joint-years,” which the scientists calculated as a joint a day for a decade. That’s a fair amount of weed.

Cigarette use and marijuana use was self-reported, leading some Shots contributors to wonder just how how reliable those pothead reminiscences could be. Indeed, the scientists said that previous studies have shown that people’s recollection of cigarettes smoked generally squares with nicotine levels in the blood. But they didn’t test pot smokers’ blood to see if that was true for them, too.

The lack of ill effect for occasional pot smokers may be good news for people considering marijuana for pain control or other medical purposes, the researchers conclude. But “our findings do suggest an accelerated decline in pulmonary function with heavy use,” the scientists wrote, “and a resulting need for caution and moderation.”

Speaking on a particular area of expertise, rapper Snoop Dogg mused on how he’d convince the White House to legalize marijuana: “Before I even said ‘Hi’ to President Obama, I would change the aroma of the room…And then we could start conversing after we had that aroma change. You know what I’m talking about?”

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