Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lots of smoke: Marijuana in the news

Talk about marijuana legalization – or at least decriminalization – lit up the Internet this week.

Cook County goes to pot

Illinois’ Cook County Board approved a measure July 21 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The measure allows sheriff’s police to issue a $200 ticket for possessing 10 grams or less of marijuana in unincorporated parts of the county, which includes Chicago. Previously offenders were arrested on misdemeanor possession charges, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Thirteen states, including California and New York, have passed some form of decriminalization of marijuana, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Supporters of marijuana decriminalization say pot cases clog the jails and courts and are a waste of law enforcement and judicial resources.

Suggested reading:
A former police chief opines on HuffPost that marijuana should be legalized.

California sprouts 'green rush' from marijuana

A July 18 Associated Press article says the medical marijuana industry has become big business in California.
Marijuana is easily available in the state and not just for cancer and AIDS sufferers. You can get weed if you have seasonal allergies, insomnia or just about any ailment, the AP reports.
Marijuana has become “an economic force” for the state. “No longer relegated to the underground, pot in California these days props up local economies, mints millionaires and feeds a thriving industry of startups designed to grow, market and distribute the drug,” the AP says.
That includes farms and stores for selling pot and equipment for growing it. Also springing up are pot clubs and for-profit clinics with doctors who specialize in medical marijuana recommendations. All of these are legal, tax-paying businesses.
Some lawmakers are considering broader legalization as a way to shore up the state’s finances. “The state’s top tax collector estimates that taxing pot like liquor could bring in more than $1.3 billion annually,” the AP writes.
“Los Angeles County alone has more than 400 pot dispensaries and delivery services, nearly twice as many outlets as Amsterdam, the Netherlands capital whose coffee shops have for decades been synonymous with free-market marijuana,” according to the AP.

Finding marijuana with your iPhone

Apple on Monday approved an application for its iPhone called “Cannabis,” which lets users find the nearest legal supplier of medicinal marijuana.
The “Cannabis” app, which was developed by AJNAG, has gotten some pretty poor user reviews unfortunately. Bummer, man.

Photo: Screenshot from the iPhone “Cannabis” app.

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