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1747881 tn?1511918860
Marjuana legalization ? What do you think ?
Can Colorado create a legal market for marijuana?

Back in 1932, Colorado voters took to the polls and approved Amendment 7, a bill that legalized alcohol consumption and ended prohibition.

Now, 80 years later, the state is  weighing Amendment 64, a voter proposition that would similarly legalize marijuana.

Colorado voters aren’t alone: Oregon and Washington will take up similar measures on Tuesday. If any of the three voter propositions succeed, they would put the an American state left of the Netherlands on marijuana policy – and upend the economics of a contraband market.

“It would be unprecedented,” said Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University whose research focuses on marijuana legalization. “If one of these things passed, the United States would be right out there in the front of the liberal reform movement for drugs.”

This isn’t the first time that a marijuana legalization effort has landed on a state ballot. In 2010, a similar proposal landed on a California ballot. Proposition 19 would have legalized the purchase and consumption of marijuana in the state.

Proposition 19 failed by a seven-point margin. Legal marijuana advocates say they learned lessons from that first state ballot, lessons that helped them land three new ballot initiatives in 2012.

“Proposition 19 definitely pushed the issue into the mainstream, and got people thinking about it,” said Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It taught us that the most effective message is one that shows prohibition doesn’t work, that it comes at a cost to communities and taxpayers.”

Seventeen states had efforts to land a marijuana legalization proposition on the ballot in 2012. Three of those – in Oregon, Washington and Colorado – succeeded.

In those states, both sides are now pitching voters on what it would mean to go beyond decriminalization. Marijuana sales and production would become a legal, regulated commodity.

“This is utterly unlike decriminalization,” Caulkins said. “This is legalizing personal consumption, but also setting up a scheme for a private marijuana sector [in the Washington and Colorado initiatives].”

They look to have some shot at success on Tuesday. A poll out Thursday, commissioned by a Seattle television station, found Washington voters to support legalization by a 19-point margin. A late October poll in Colorado saw the effort there to have 53 percent support and 43 percent opposition. More generally, Gallup polls have found national support for marijuana legalization to have steadily increased in recent decades. It hit a record high of 50 percent last October.

Supporters of marijuana legalization in Colorado have done what nearly every other politician has done this cycle: Focus on the positive economic impact of their proposal. Talk about small businesses. And above all, emphasize job creation.

“There are hundreds of thousands of jobs on the table, and a great deal of tax revenue,” said Tvert, co-director of the Colorado Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “It would take profits away from drug cartels and direct them toward legitimate, Colorado businesses.”

In Colorado, Amendment 64 would put an excise tax on marijuana products. The Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimates the law would generate $46 million in new revenue while reducing law enforcement spending by $16 million. The law would direct the legislature to send the revenue generated by the excise tax to local school districts.

“When we saw alcohol prohibition fall, states began to repeal it first,” Tvert said. “They saw it was problematic and wasn’t working. The federal government followed a few years later.”

Opponents of the Colorado initiative worry about what it would mean for one state to legalize marijuana while its neighbors maintain much stricter regulation.

“Colorado is a place that promotes families coming here, and going skiing on the mountains,” said Laura Chapin, communications director for No on 64. “Now you’re going to be the state with the big marijuana industry.”

While the Colorado Democratic Party has endorsed the measure, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) opposes it.  ”Amendment 64 has the potential to increase the number of children using drugs and would detract from efforts to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation,” he told the Denver Post in September. “It sends the wrong message to kids that drugs are okay.”

Chapin also raised numerous logistical issues with the Colorado legalization effort. For one, it’s a constitutional amendment: If there’s any problem with it, it would have to go back to voters for a change. The legislature’s hands would be tied.

Then there’s also the idea of the excise tax: The proposition would require the state legislature to pass a new fine on marijuana. Separate Colorado law, however, prohibits raising additional taxes without putting the issue to a statewide vote. “You cannot constitutionally require members of the legislature to vote for a tax in Colorado,” Chapin said.

The biggest logistical issue, however, is most likely how the federal government reacts. A state law legalizing marijuana would be preempted by federal laws that regulate the drug as an illegal substance.

The federal government would have to decide how aggressively, if at all, it would want to interfere with a state-level law.

“The next administration could essentially say, we’re not going to let this happen,” said Carnegie Mellon’s Caulkins. “Or they could take a position where they respect the voters. They could also just try to stop exports to other states, since you would have one place that becomes a lot more appealing place to do production.

While some have pushed Attorney General Eric Holder to take a solid position against the voter initiatives – a stance he took two years ago when the California amendment was on the ballot – he has not commented on the issue.

Tvert, in Colorado, is optimistic that they could have a positive working relationship with the federal government. The state recently established a regulatory system for medical marijuana, another law that conflicts with federal regulation. There, the Drug Enforcement Agency has essentially allowed medical sales to continue, albeit with some interference.

“The federal government has largely respected our state’s right to regulate and control the production and sale of medical marijuana,” he said. “They once did send letters to about 60 medical marijuana businesses, informing them that must relocate since they were within 1,000 feet of a school zone.”

Caulkins predicted that even one state legalizing marijuana would have dramatic effects on the drug’s national market, near certainly driving down prices as the intoxicant became more widely available.

“One of the things people don’t realize is that, in all likelihood, this will effect markets across the country,” he said. “Over five or so years, you’d expect this to start pushing prices down.”

States like Colorado and Washington would have the power to revoke licenses of those who transport marijuana across state lines. But as Caulkins pointed out, it’s a big challenge as there “aren’t walls between one state and another.”

Lower prices could stand to dramatically alter the marijuana market. If everyone can sell a cheap intoxicant, there’s a new premium on finding a niche market.

“If you end up in the situation where adding marijuana to a brownie is really cheap, like a penny or two, you could see someone capitalizing on that,” Caulkins said. “Maybe we’re not talking about Godiva Chocolates, but some enterprising business saying, ‘I can make more money getting people to spend $1 on a brownie than I can just selling marijuana.’”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/11/01/can-colorado-create-a-legal-market-for-marijuana/?wprss=rss_business
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163305 tn?1333672171
" I re-posted the phrase you posted, which could have been taken a few ways, "

Right, and it seems lately you like to see my words in the worst way possible.
Please quit.
Take a breather before you post.

I am a mature adult. Why in the world would you jump to an assumption that my words meant I approve of driving under the influence?
We were talking about legalization.

I've not had to explain and re-explain myself to anyone on this forum, like I have with you.
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1747881 tn?1511918860
Thank you OH, the $$$$$ is exactly my point as well as the money that would be saved from decriminalization as you have pointed out above, also cutting the profit that the cartels are racking in which keep there other enterprises afloat, which as all of you know are drugs we would like to get rid of in this country, I believe that we could take that money and put it to good use here in the US.

I do fear that if it passes though, that we here in CO will feel the wrath of the federal government, including cracking down on the MMJ in this state as it is still against federal law.

Now just because I mentioned the government doesn't mean that I want this conversation into politics LOL
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973741 tn?1342346373
Well, let me just say this for NG, Mike posted an article on driving after smoking pot and so the correlation between your comments and that certainly wasn't unreasonable considering many posts were then directed at that subject and you did make the comment about accidents happening from alcohol verses pot.  

So, I wouldn't say that NG's comments were out there or personal as she also took on the subject with mikesimon as well.  

Just giving NG some love.  I don't think she is being personal so maybe don't be personal with her and you two will be friends.  :>)  
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377493 tn?1356505749
Interesting comment about the wrath of the Federal Gov't.  I have had a bit of experience there in my own country.  

I am a firm believer in safe injection sites, and in needle exchanges (we are talking the harder drugs now obviously).  There are a number of reasons I support them - it decreases the spread of certain deadly diseases, it keeps needles off of the streets and they are staffed by professionals who know what to do in an overdose (yes, I believe in human beings, regardless of their personal issues or addictions).  So I have spent a lot of time volunteering at needle exchanges.  Never did I have someone come in who had never used asking for clean works, so I don't believe it encourages usage.  Anyway, the exchanges and safe injection sites are continously being shut down by gov't officials. It's so frustrating.  They come down hard and heavy, but in my mind, they are coming down on the users.  Go after the illegal dealers.  So I wonder if you are intending to reference a similar type reaction?  
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480448 tn?1426952138
Sigh....if I made an assumption, I would have said, OH, why do you think that it's okay to drive while high?  That's an assumption...I asked you a direct question.

Take a breather before you post.  I'm not randomly posting without thought, but thanks for the suggestion.


You referred another poster to Mike's link/info, entitled "It Turns Out That Smoking Marijuana May Actually Make You A Safer Driver ", plus made that comment that could be interpreted a few different ways.  I came right out at asked you a DIRECT question, which you answered.  I appreciate the answer, can we just leave it at that?




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480448 tn?1426952138
I'll admit I worded the question poorly.  It was accusatory.  I should have worded it better.
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163305 tn?1333672171
Sure, lets leave it at that.
Peace.
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480448 tn?1426952138
Thanks SM, I appreciate that.

And no, it certainly was not meant to be personal.  Rereading my question, I can see that it could come off as accusatory, but I do maintain that the overall theme seemed to be downplaying the dangers of driuving while high.

I apologize for not asking in a more neutral fashion.

I don't have ANYTHING against YOU, or anyone else here.  NOTHING I bring up is made to be personal, even during a heated discussion.  I DO speak my mind, and I DO hold people to the things they say....as I have been here, by others.
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480448 tn?1426952138
Thank you OH.  I'm sorry if I offended you.
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163305 tn?1333672171
True. There's an article on it, right here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/05/marijuana-legalization-states-2012_n_2078759.html

As someone who's been watching this odd game for some time, I find it curious that the feds come in, prices go up. They've been dropping for several years as more and more people find it profitable to grow the weed.

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/an-outdoor-pot-bonanza/Content?oid=3378773

NG~ It's often problematic online to know just how we come across.
No worries, I'm not offended.
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480448 tn?1426952138
Thats very true, OH...it's very easy to misconstrue someone's intention/tone.

It's all good.
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1747881 tn?1511918860
"They come down hard and heavy, but in my mind, they are coming down on the users.  Go after the illegal dealers.  So I wonder if you are intending to reference a similar type reaction?"

First I would like to say that I totally support what you are doing as I was hep c +, at the moment I am undetectable 3 months post treatment and hoping to reach SVR, lets be honest it wasn't because I was a saint when I was young.

In reference to your question yes that is what I fear that they will crack down where I don't feel they should (MMJ, personal use, ect ect) I believe they should go after the bigger criminal fish as in the cartels importing large amounts of tax free drugs
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163305 tn?1333672171
Marijuana usage fuels the industrial prison complex.
Fact:
In 2011, one American was arrested for marijuana possession every 42 seconds.

The crack down in Oakland did not happen until after independent labs began producing tinctures for medicinal use. It's believed by some that the pharmaceutical companies are not happy about not getting these profits.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/13/local/la-me-oakland-marijuana-20120713
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Avatar universal
Just reread this thread. Really good stuff. I love learning like this.
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973741 tn?1342346373
Yes, I agree.  Lots of good things in the thread.
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206807 tn?1331939784
I hope I’m not “Beating a Dead Horse” but I only had the time to skim over the posts…

“And weed is still considered a gateway drug, and I have seen that for my own eyes.”

I never really agreed with that. Even though it is true almost all Addicts started off by smoking Weed, it is also true almost all Sex Offenders started off looking at porn, and almost everyone convicted of DUIs started off by getting a Drivers License.
If you were to take a Poll on everyone that has tried Smoking Weed, looking at a Playboy, or get a Drivers License, you find very few went on to become Addicts, Perverts, or Drive Under the Influence.
The fact is, it is easily obtained and anyone that wants to smoke it is going to smoke it anyway. So I say legalize it and tax the hell out of it. Treat it like Moonshine; if you get caught growing it or possession of it illegally, you go to jail.
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Avatar universal

I never really agreed with that. Even though it is true almost all Addicts started off by smoking Weed, it is also true almost all Sex Offenders started off looking at porn, and almost everyone convicted of DUIs started off by getting a Drivers License.

Excellent point Glass!!

However I take issue with going to jail for growing it. I would hate to be carted away for my little plant under the sun lamp...:-)
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973741 tn?1342346373
Which I'm sure many would do when the prices rise due to taxation and regulation.  (growing it themselves or obtaining it illegally).  It would still be a nightmare for the legal system.  They'd still have to enforce various laws around it including being under the influence in public places---  there would have to be some kind of law regarding this in the work place, at school, etc.  There would need to be driving laws, etc.

I still believe that it would not be in the best interest of the public to legalize mj.  
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206807 tn?1331939784
I didn’t make my point clear. Let me try again. I think it should be treated like Moonshine and Possession of it. If you get caught you go to jail. However, it should also be treated like Homemade Beer and Wine. A limited amount is legal to make for personal consumption. How they would regulate it? I have no idea.
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Avatar universal
they'd still have to enforce various laws around it including being under the influence in public places---  there would have to be some kind of law regarding this in the work place, at school, etc.  There would need to be driving laws, etc.

They are doing that now anyway..except in areas where it is generally accepted. In Oakland we have one officer to every 2000 people (approx.) They don't need to worry about people smoking pot when there are much higher priorities. My neighbor was robbed at gunpoint yesterday. It is a daily thing, violence and crime. We need to get our priorities straight and the California police are totally on board with that, thankfully.
Regulate and tax!! That is my mantra.
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973741 tn?1342346373
Luckily, my little old conservative state of Ohio has no desire to legalize pot.  Again, not speaking of medical marijauna as that is different to me.  
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163305 tn?1333672171
“And weed is still considered a gateway drug, and I have seen that for my own eyes.”

That has always struck me as propaganda.
Is eating a gateway to bulimia, anorexia or obesity ??

My bet is more people had a beer before they became drug addicts.
Does anyone call beer a gateway drug ?

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1747881 tn?1511918860
"The fact is, it is easily obtained and anyone that wants to smoke it is going to smoke it anyway."

I totally agree with that statement, if there is anyone who believes diffierent please speak up now and let me know your reasoning.

"So I say legalize it and tax the hell out of it."
:)
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973741 tn?1342346373
Okay, it's a draw.  LOL  I say no.  you (any of you) say yes.  We'll see what happens in the next few years.  :>)
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1747881 tn?1511918860
Agreed LOL :)
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Avatar universal
Cough, cough, cough.....anyone have a light?  :)~
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Avatar universal
LOL!!! I used a vaporizer-a lot easier on the lngs
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Avatar universal
lungs
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1747881 tn?1511918860
Colorado passes proposal to legalize marijuana

The “No on 64″ campaign told FOX31 Denver reporter Mark Meredith it is accepting defeat and thankful for voters.

FOX31 Denver has called the race and Amendment 64 is passing.

Amendment 64 asked Colorado voters whether or not marijuana should be regulated in the same way the state regulates the sale of alcohol to people 21 and older.

The ballot measure is the result of several months of lobbying from pro-marijuana organizations who believe decriminalization could help law enforcement rearrange resources and staff for more serious crimes.

Those against legalization argued Amendment 64 will encourage more drug cartels to setup shop in Colorado and also give teenagers easier access to marijuana. That group was accepting defeat Tuesday night.

“We knew all along this was an uphill battle against a well-funded national movement,” Roger Sherman, campaign director for “No on 64,” said. “We appreciate the efforts of Governor John Hickenlooper, former Governors Bill Owens and Bill Ritter, Attorney General John Suthers, Mayors Michael Hancock and Steve Hogan and countless other sheriffs, county commissioners, district attorneys and local elected officials who joined with the business community and citizens of Colorado to oppose this ill-conceived amendment.”

Pro-legalization groups believe decriminalization will boost the state’s economy with new taxes and licensing fees.

According to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Colorado law enforcement would save an estimated $12 million in the first year of legalization.

http://kdvr.com/2012/11/06/colorado-passes-proposal-to-legalize-marijuana/

It's not officially in the bag yet but it does look like it has passed in CO
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163305 tn?1333672171
Open us the dispensary doors !
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Avatar universal
Woo hoo!!
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377493 tn?1356505749
I had heard of prop 64, but had no idea what it was....lol.  Even though technically I support legalization (or at least decriminilization), it feels odd to say congrats on legalizing a drug?? lol.  I think you know what I mean.  Still, if this means easier access for those using it medicinally, that is a very good thing indeed.  And it will be interesting to see what the usage stats are in the future.  It might be a tough thing to track as closet users will now be more open to admitting it, so Im sure the numbers will be fairly skewed for sometime to come. The figure of 12 million dollar savings doesn't surprise me a bit.  Most of the cops I know here support this move and I suspect our entire country isn't far behind you.  I hope so.  That feels weird to say too.....lol.
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Avatar universal
Great news! Moving to Colorado and start farming. Money money money. (Its too damn cold up there though)
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1747881 tn?1511918860
It looks like there will be 2 states to legalize marijuana

Washinton state
Initiative 502: Marijuana legalization

Yes     839,120     56.0%
No       660,455     44.0%
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Avatar universal
LOL! Moving to Colorado and start farming.

Me too, how fun!
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Avatar universal
Wow that is great its about time! I dont smoke MJ but i really feel its a way to free up the prison systems somewhat and also increase the tax revenues for the states. When other states start to do the "math" i think it will become a domino effect. Cash registers will be smoking!!!!!
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Avatar universal
Yes, better the cash registers should smoke than us. It was good for pain, but I am pretty over it now.
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377493 tn?1356505749
Welcome to CE!!

I agree with your statements, and that is exactly how I see it as well (I'm in Canada, and it's not yet legal here, but close).  I feel police resources would be far better spent elsewhere.  I'm actually a bit of a rarity I think in that I am actually pro decriminalization of all drugs.  I see drug use and addiction as a social issue and don't feel prison time is the solution to addiction.  Now, the dealers - lock em up and throw away the key.  But not the users or addicts.
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1747881 tn?1511918860
rivll, jules

Growing marijuana is quite fun and relaxing as I have done it in the past as well as having been a user (not anymore on either), but the stress of the thought of being put in prison for life was a pretty good deterent, so I chose to continue with my career as a directional driller which I will be staying with, all though I do come from a family of cotton farmers in TX, LOL

Back to the $$$$$ issue

Under Amendment 64, marijuana is taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco. It gives state and local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 and older. According to the Associated Press, analysts project that that tax revenue could generate somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year in the state.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/amendment-64-passes-in-co_n_2079899.html?ref=topbar

I think this is a good step in the right direction against the war on drugs in this country (for adgal) not so much in the way of putting user in prison but being able to point focus on the real problem of the cartels that are importing drugs into this country while waging war on there own people, there is so much senseless death in mexico it is appalling.

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377493 tn?1356505749
I certainly agree with you regarding the cartels.  Hopefully legalization slows them down somewhat as their bottom line will be impacted.  One of the pluses with legalization in my opinion.

I'm curious as to your comments on farming.  Would you be pro allowing people to farm this independently?  I'm on the fence on that one I think.  Part of me thinks that as it's a plant, that should be ok (I am fine with folks growing only for personal use).  My concern is that if people can grow on their own for distribution, that it becomes easier to get into the hands of kids.  I do believe mj should be treated much like alcohol in that their are age restrictions and regulations in place.  I say this primarily because so much research shows that any substance like this (including alcohol) can impact a developing brain.  I prefer to see it remain only for adults, and worry that open farming could make that restriction impossible.  I'd be interested to hear your opinion on that.

I'm really enjoying this conversation btw, so many interesting perspectives.
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Avatar universal
I think this is a good step in the right direction against the war on drugs in this country (for adgal) not so much in the way of putting user in prison but being able to point focus on the real problem of the cartels that are importing drugs into this country while waging war on there own people, there is so much senseless death in Mexico it is appalling.

Brilliant. That just organized my confusion about how to fight the Cartels. It has seemed so hopeless and the Mexican people are really suffering from these monstrous criminals. Love it. love it! Thanks
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377493 tn?1356505749
It does make a lot of sense doesn't it.  If legalization continues across the US, the cartels profits drop dramatically, and hopefully that makes them quit for good!  Wouldn't that be something?  I'd love to see those monsters (good term) put out of business!!
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1747881 tn?1511918860
"Would you be pro allowing people to farm this independently?"

For personal use yes in small amounts, I have to believe that the parent's that choose to do this are responsible enough to keep it out of the hands of their children, for public consumption as the amendment proposes NO, I don't think anyone and everyone should be able to grow acre's of marijuana, I think it needs to be regulated by permits and overseen by some sort of committee that controls what is being in/on it as well as making sure it is getting taxed properly, I am not for a free for all on marijuana cultivation.
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Avatar universal
Yes. Revenues, putting the Cartels out of business, and the decriminalization will get the MJ drug related non violent offenders out of the system..This is very exciting to think of the possibilities..
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Avatar universal
I agree. It should most definitely be overseen and carefully regulated. Otherwise  folks will be like crows at a corn harvest.
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480448 tn?1426952138
The interviewed the Co governor last night...he said this will probably be a lot more about decriminalization than actual legalization.  He said they have a major uphill climb because it's still illegal under federal law.

He warned people not to be overly anxious about what this means.  He said only time will tell what they will be able to do, with the federal law in the way.  See???  If states were allowed to handle more of their own business seperate from the federal gov't...it would be an even bigger deal!  LOL  ;0)

I'll be curious to see how this plays out.
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Avatar universal
Times are definitely changing. LOL
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480448 tn?1426952138
Maybe our new motto should be..."can't beat 'em?  Smoke with 'em!"  LOL
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973741 tn?1342346373
Ugh.  I am not going to lie.  I am frightened in a real way about the direction this country is headed.  
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Avatar universal
I understand from your perspective how you would feel that way. There is always a possibility that with too much leniency, chaos can follow. In my opinion, it is necessary to have safeguards in place and real accountability whether it be in dealing with the MJ issue, or any system that is set up that can be exploited.
That is the difficult part.
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