The word on the street is that support for marijuana in the good old United States of America is gathering momentum as several cities, including the first ever on the East Coast, voted last week to put an end to pot prohibition.
What’s more is that all of these victories serve to tell the tale of a storm of legalization efforts to come. In fact, the majority of those responsible for throwing legislative haymakers all across the country believe that we are currently in the most important decade in the history of marijuana reform -- one that could result in most of the country embracing the leaf by 2020.
We are certainly well on our way.
Here is a look at what our pot-friendly lawmakers were working on last week in a continued effort to transform this nation into the United States of Amerijuana!
Portland, Maine: Marijuana is Now Legal
Perhaps the biggest news in this week’s roundup is the legalization of recreational marijuana in Portland, Maine.
Last week, voters successfully made Portland the first green city on the East Coast, with a new ordinance making it legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for recreational use.
The ordinance will be enacted in about 30 days, as soon as the city clerk certifies the results of the election.
Incidentally, pot proponents not only believe this legislative milestone will serve to set the standard for the entire state of Maine, but likely for the entire East Coast, as well.
Michigan: Three Cities Approve Marijuana Legalization
Three cities in Michigan also voted pro-pot last week, in a landslide victory, for the legalization of recreational marijuana. Residents in Ferndale, Jackson, and Lansing voted in support of a measure that would make it legal to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis for recreational use.
Ferndale passed the measure by the largest margin with 72% of the voters showing their support for the ordinance, followed by Lansing with 63% and Jackson at 61%.
This victory could be exactly what needed to happen to gain some much needed support in the Midwest.
Michigan: Senate Says Maybe to Marijuana in Pharmacies
Medical marijuana patients in the state of Michigan could soon begin purchasing their medicine from pharmacies under a measure passed last week by the Senate Government Operations Committee.
The hope is that this bill will provide medical marijuana users with a better alternative for getting their prescriptions filled.
However, opposing forces are worried that putting a law like this into effect will have a grave effect on the smaller scale grower – making it difficult for them to thrive.
The measure is now set to go in front of the full Senate, where it is likely to be voted on this week.
Colorado: Votes to Approve Taxes on Recreational Marijuana
Colorado hit the polls last week to approve a proposition that will place some hefty taxes on recreational marijuana.
Around 65% of the state’s registered voters approved Proposition AA, which will now impose a 15% excise tax and an additional 10% special sales tax on recreation marijuana.
The measure will reportedly generate $67 million a year -- $27.5 million of which will be revenue produced from the excise tax intended to fund school construction.
According to reports, more than 100 pot shops are expected to open up in Colorado on January 1, 2014.
Iowa: Could They Be Next in Line for Medical Marijuana?
Senator Joe Bolkcom announced last week that he intends to reintroduce legislation to get medical marijuana approved in the state of Iowa -- just as soon as the state legislature returns from a break in January.
Bolkcom, who has been in favor of legalized medical marijuana for several years, says the bill will be an important step to giving patients in the state of Iowa access to cannabis for the treatment of chronic and terminal illnesses.
Wisconsin: Companion Bill Introduced
Wisconsin lawmakers introduced a companion bill last week that will piggyback a piece of pending legislation set forth to legalize medical marijuana in the state.
Assembly Bill 480 in conjunction with Senate Bill 363 will give certified patients the freedom to possess up to three ounces of medical marijuana, as well as the ability to cultivate up to 12 plants.
Kansas: Billboards for Legislation
While there is not any immediate legislation on the table in Kansas, an organization called Fire It Up Kansas is doing their best to change that with a digital billboard ad near the Kansas Star Casino.
The billboard calls for the state legislature to take marijuana out of the hands of the black market by taxing and regulating marijuana like their neighbors in Colorado.