Recent surveys indicate that the issue of marijuana legalization across the United States is being met, mostly, with great enthusiasm. The latest poll from the folks at Huffington Post and YouGov reveals that nearly 30% of the American population would buy marijuana is it was legal -- about one in four people.
Still, regardless of the supportive pull by the green majority, there does not seem to be any shortage of opposing forces: lawmakers have banded together in a feeble attempt at extinguishing the unified spark of an inevitable flame.
Unfortunately for them, the enemy, they have become the immoral minority; a destitute administration anchored in the ways of the old, with nothing more to hold on to other than decades of brainwash tactics and dead men’s signatures.
Marijuana prohibition has become a sinking ship in a very patient, but turbulent sea. Here is what our great American lawmakers were working on last week:
Arkansas: Marijuana Legalization Proposal Rejected… Again
Arkansas is back to the drawing board in their attempt to legalize marijuana.
That is because Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected yet another proposal for a ballot measure to legalize weed in the state due to discrepancies in the language used in the document.
McDaniel has proven to be a burden to state marijuana advocates, because he must first approve the wording of a proposal before supporters can begin collecting signatures to secure its place on next year’s ballot. McDaniel has already rejected several versions of the proposal.
Last year, Arkansas voters came very close to legalizing medical marijuana. Supporters hope to get the measure back on the ballot in 2014.
New Hampshire: Committee Kills Marijuana Legalization Bill
Despite overwhelming public support, the New Hampshire House of Representatives Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 11-7 against a bill to legalize marijuana.
A recent poll from the University of New Hampshire found that 60% of adults in the state supported the bill to regulate and tax marijuana in a similar manner as alcohol. Only 36% said they did not back the issue.
“Marijuana prohibition has been just as big of a failure as alcohol prohibition,” said Matt Simon, a New Hampshire-based legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “New Hampshire voters are clearly ready for a more sensible approach. It appears some legislators are still less evolved than their constituents on this issue.”
California: Amendment Changes Could Hold Up Progress
Earlier last week, the Americans for Policy Reform -- the organization behind the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act -- filed amendments to the proposal as suggested by public opinion and feedback from the Legislative Analyst’s Office in California.
Now, the initiative isn’t expected to receive approval from the Attorney General until December 23, 2013, giving proponents 150 days to acquire enough signatures to get it on the ballot in 2014.
However, that diminishing timeframe doesn’t appear to bother members of the AFRP, who say they would be willing to stall their efforts yet again in exchange for creating a more unified legalization effort with the assistance of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and other supporters.
"Working together is the only way we can avoid splitting efforts," said supporter Bob Bowerman. "We want leaders like Rob Kampia of Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and Dale Sky Jones of Coalition For Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR) to unite with us to make 2014 a reality."
Recent surveys have concluded that the majority of California voters support efforts to legalize marijuana.
Maine: Marijuana Possession Could Be Legal This Week
Portland could be on its way to legalizing marijuana possession.
Voters will hit the polls on Tuesday to decide whether or not the city should legalize marijuana possession. If all goes well, adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces without receiving any criminal or civil penalties.
Already, several state representatives and local business owners have come forward to show their support for the initiative.
The outcome of Tuesday’s election is expected to set a standard for legalization efforts across much of the East Coast.
The question of legalizing marijuana across the entire state of Maine was put to a vote during the last legislative session, but failed by four votes in the House and 17 in the Senate.
Colorado: Voters Decide on Taxes
Colorado voters will decided on Tuesday whether or not to initiate a 15% excise tax on marijuana, plus and additional 10% sales tax on recreational marijuana.
The opposition, which would like to see pot taxed in a manner similar to how the state taxes beer, is concerned that over taxation of marijuana will create an environment where pot smokers will still purchase weed from the black market.
Denver: Amends Outdoor Pot Ban
The City of Denver has made amendments to a bill that was initially set up to prohibit people from possessing marijuana in public places as well as ban them from smoking pot in their own backyard.
However, recent changes to that bill will now allow Denver residents to possess marijuana in public parks and other public places originally outlawed by the first draft of the ban.
In addition, resident will be permitted to smoke pot in their backyards without fear of receiving harsh penalties for doing so -- up to $999, according to language outlined in the previous measure.
Under the amended law, penalties for anyone caught with marijuana displayed openly downtown and in public parks will be a citation up to $100 and/or 24 hours community service.
Florida: Medical Marijuana Closer to Reality
The issue of medical marijuana could soon have its day in the Florida sun, as United for Care says the initiative has received over 200,000 signatures for their ballot measure.
In addition, the Florida Supreme Court announced plans to listen to arguments in regards to making a constitutional amendment that would put legal medical marijuana on the ballot in November 2014. That hearing is scheduled for December 5, 2013.
This is as close as Florida has ever come to legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Washington State: No Marijuana in Bars and Nightclubs
Washington’s Liquor Control Board announced last week that it plans to ensure people are not getting high in bars and nightclubs.
A draft rule was recently filed that strictly prohibits any business with a liquor license from allowing marijuana on the premises. The board fears that people mixing marijuana with alcohol will lead to an increase of “driving under the influence.”
Washington’s recreational marijuana laws already prohibit use of pot in restaurants, bars and clubs. However, some establishments have reportedly attempted to use loopholes in the verbiage to permit marijuana use in places like “private clubs.”
Mike Adams writes for Playboy's The Smoking Jacket, BroBible and Hustler Magazine. Follow him: @adamssoup; facebook.com/mikeadams73.