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How One State Could Hold the Key to Legal Marijuana in America
Mic ^ | July 23, 2014 | Matt Connolly

Posted on 07/23/2014 10:57:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Everything's in motion for what could be a stunning victory for marijuana legalization this November.

Advocates in Oregon just got legalization of recreational marijuana on the ballot in the state, which means it could join Colorado and Washington as the only states to fully legalize (and tax) the drug.

But beyond Oregon, an even more important battle is brewing farther northwest. Legalization is also on the ballot in Alaska.

(VIDEO-AT-LINK)

What makes Alaska special? There's a certain symbolic significance to passing marijuana legalization in a Republican-controlled red state. Colorado, Washington and Oregon all went for President Barack Obama in 2012, with Oregon giving Mitt Romney only 42% of the vote.

The tables are turned, though, in Alaska, where Romney received 55% of the vote. When it comes to public perception, it's one thing for hippie Pacific Northwest states to legalize weed. It's a whole 'nother story for the deep red state that gave us Sarah Palin to do the same thing.

Even advocates in Alaska seem to understand the difference. While Oregon's main advocacy group for the ballot measure is called New Approach Oregon, Alaska's is the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska. Who can argue with regulating drugs?

And if deep-red Alaska can pass a marijuana legalization bill, the same can be argued for other states like Texas and Georgia. If Alaska does legalize, it will be proof of marijuana's bi-partisan appeal, and sets the stage for further legalization in 2015.

How has it been going in the other states? Depends on who you ask. Colorado, the first state to sell recreational marijuana, was expecting lots of customers — predictions from the governor's office were set at $1 billion in sales, meaning $134 million in taxes and fees for the state.

Those predictions, though, may have been too high. Washington, despite strong early sales, also dropped off quickly. Part of this is thanks to a troubled start, with few stores and not a ton of product (marijuana sold must be grown in state, and there wasn't enough time to grow a full crop).

In both states, there are also market forces at work. Taxing the hell out of marijuana makes legalization easier to digest, but it also makes medical marijuana, or regular ol' illegal marijuana, a much cheaper option.

The difficulties are more growing pains than arguments against legalization, though. If Alaska does become the first red state to legalize, it'll be worth watching closely to see if it addresses these challenges any differently.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Health/Medicine; Politics
KEYWORDS: alaska; cannabis; colorado; marijuana; oregon; pot; wod

1 posted on 07/23/2014 10:57:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The no-holds-barred liberaltarians on this site will have an orgasm over this article.

Light up and drop out.


2 posted on 07/23/2014 11:00:42 PM PDT by fwdude (The last time the GOP ran an "extremist," Reagan won 44 states.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

More signs of the downward spiral of the once great United States of America. I’m just waiting for “the other shoe to drop” — which is God’s full judgment upon America!


3 posted on 07/23/2014 11:04:18 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Washington, despite strong early sales, also dropped off quickly. Part of this is thanks to a troubled start, with few stores and not a ton of product (marijuana sold must be grown in state, and there wasn't enough time to grow a full crop).

And part of it just burned up in the Douglas County wildfires.

4 posted on 07/23/2014 11:08:04 PM PDT by steve86 ( Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Star Traveler
I’m just waiting for “the other shoe to drop” — which is God’s full judgment upon America!

I'm expecting that, too, but hardly due to marijuana legalization!

5 posted on 07/23/2014 11:09:02 PM PDT by steve86 ( Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: steve86

That is not the whole thing but just one of them.

And no ... I do not expect that the Messiah of Israel, when he comes to set up the Kingdom on earth and rules over all the nations on earth from his capital city of Jerusalem ... that he will have “legalized marijuana” for those in his Kingdom ... LOL ...


6 posted on 07/23/2014 11:11:56 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

Do you expect He will have free tequila or scotch or something?


7 posted on 07/23/2014 11:13:55 PM PDT by steve86 ( Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Star Traveler

I don’t think we have long to wait. All this can’t go on much longer.


8 posted on 07/23/2014 11:17:21 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: steve86

Well ... it’s NOT going to be a world that many who are here today ... are going to like, unfortunately. A lot of those things that people do today that many think are “okay” are not going to be there anymore.

“Heaven on earth” is basically for the “righteous” and not for sinners.


9 posted on 07/23/2014 11:19:14 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The pothead is obsessive and compulsive about its disorder.
10 posted on 07/23/2014 11:19:33 PM PDT by Vision Thing (obama wants his suicidal worshipers to become suicidal bombers.)
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To: Star Traveler

that he will have “legalized marijuana” for those in his Kingdom ... LOL ...


Marijuana and other worldly things will not even be there.


11 posted on 07/23/2014 11:20:04 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax. Hmmmm.


12 posted on 07/23/2014 11:22:34 PM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: Aria

I miss that ... :-) ...


13 posted on 07/23/2014 11:23:53 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Star Traveler

It’s hard to imagine God tolerating pot in his Kingdom. Dopers worship their dope and place it above all things, including God Himself.

Can anyone say idolatry?

Weak are the worshippers of a weed.


14 posted on 07/23/2014 11:24:33 PM PDT by Vision Thing (obama wants his suicidal worshipers to become suicidal bombers.)
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To: Star Traveler

I think the income and property taxes make up for it.

Do you miss the rain?


15 posted on 07/23/2014 11:26:21 PM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: fwdude

Legalize and tax the hell out of it, charge for permits to sell marijuana, make big money off of DUIs if the marijuana in the bloodstream reaches a certin level that incapacitates functional abilities while operating a vehicle, rate marijuana users up on auto and healthcare policies, drive sells of snack items through the roof, etc...

All while altering personalities so people chill out and never get upset or rise up against the government...

What’s not to love about it from the government’s perspective?


16 posted on 07/23/2014 11:28:17 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Aria

Actually yes, because it’s a different kind of rain and you can walk around in the rain many times. In Oklahoma, where I’m at, it actually has more rainfall than in Oregon, but you can’t walk around in it the same way you can in Oregon.

Also, the ocean and the mountains ... there are only hills in Oklahoma ... :-) ...


17 posted on 07/23/2014 11:39:20 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
National marijuana prohibition is dead and it's not coming back.

It is now in the hands of the states, as it should be under the 10th Amendment.

18 posted on 07/23/2014 11:46:18 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: Star Traveler

Yes, the rain here is usually gentle compared to other places. I remember rain you can’t see through in Houston. But...It rained today, and yesterday and maybe tomorrow.....at least everything is really green!


19 posted on 07/23/2014 11:56:17 PM PDT by Aria ( 2008 & 2012 weren't elections - they were coup d'etats.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I believe Alaska was the first state to put the Libertarian Party on the ballot. It’s a different kind of red state from the South.


20 posted on 07/24/2014 12:23:41 AM PDT by firebrand
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I believe Alaska was the first state to put the Libertarian Party on the ballot. It’s a different kind of red state from the South.


21 posted on 07/24/2014 12:23:42 AM PDT by firebrand
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To: steve86

Jesus is more of a wine guy. ;)


22 posted on 07/24/2014 12:45:14 AM PDT by Politicalkiddo (You cannot protect a child from child abuse by aborting it. Abortion *is* child abuse.)
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To: steve86

My Karma ran over your Dogma?


23 posted on 07/24/2014 1:31:21 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Recreational stupidity is spreading it’s a now win deal.


24 posted on 07/24/2014 1:53:43 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; ConservingFreedom

Personal possession of marijuana is already legal in Alaska, under the State’s Constitution (Ravin v. State, 1975)...up to 4 oz. or 25 plants...in the home. Commercial sales are illegal.


25 posted on 07/24/2014 3:54:35 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The new America...Gay is good, ghetto is cool, dope is medicine.


26 posted on 07/24/2014 5:21:07 AM PDT by Awgie (truth is always stranger than fiction)
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To: Awgie
The new America...Gay is good, ghetto is cool, dope is medicine.

Not really "new". Up until 1939 "dope" was soaked in grain alcohol to make a tincture and prescribed by doctors for various ailments.

27 posted on 07/24/2014 5:39:19 AM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: fwdude
The no-holds-barred liberaltarians on this site will have an orgasm over this article.

Legal regulated marijuana is "no-holds-barred" libertarianism? Then what is restrained libertarianism?

28 posted on 07/24/2014 8:12:26 AM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: Star Traveler

If the two-hundred year old (excepting brief prohibition) ubiquitous acceptance of drinking alcohol to any degree of intoxication didn’t do it, what would lead one to think adding pot to the long list of our societal sins would make it happen? (”It” being the full judgement of the Creator upon us).

Now I don’t think we should tempt or test our GOD in any way (Thank You Lord!!). I would just rather spend tax-dollars on something more worthy than incarcerating non-violent pot offenders.


29 posted on 07/24/2014 11:04:32 AM PDT by jaydee770
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To: ConservingFreedom
Legal regulated marijuana is "no-holds-barred" libertarianism?

I thought the "regulated" part was anathema to libertarians. Now it's not?

30 posted on 07/24/2014 12:41:54 PM PDT by fwdude (The last time the GOP ran an "extremist," Reagan won 44 states.)
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To: fwdude
The no-holds-barred liberaltarians on this site will have an orgasm over this article.

Legal regulated marijuana is "no-holds-barred" libertarianism? Then what is restrained libertarianism?

I thought the "regulated" part was anathema to libertarians. Now it's not?

I made no claims at all, much less any claim that regulation was OK with libertarians. You seemed to claim that legal regulated marijuana - the subject of "this article" - is "no-holds-barred" libertarianism. Is that your claim? If so, what is restrained libertarianism?

31 posted on 07/24/2014 12:50:09 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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