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  • June 6 2013

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    Colo. Attorney General: Treating Marijuana Magazines Like Porn is Unconstitutional

    Mason Suthers

    MPP’s Mason Tvert debating Attorney General Suthers in 2006

    Colorado’s staunchly anti-marijuana attorney general, John Suthers, has declared that a rule created by the legislature to treat marijuana-themed publications like pornography is unconstitutional and said the state will not defend it in court. His determination came after state marijuana regulators concluded that it was not constitutional and should not be enforced.

    The Associated Press reports:

    The magazine requirement was part of a larger set of laws enacted to state how the newly legal drug should be grown and sold. The behind-the-counter restriction was adopted after parents testified that their children should be protected from exposure to magazines touting the drug,  which remains illegal under federal law.

    The resulting law left Colorado in an unusual position — one of only two states to allow recreational use of the drug,  while also the only state to restrict the display of publications about marijuana. The state’s decision to reject the magazine restriction was applauded by marijuana legalization activists.

    “The idea that stores can prominently display magazines touting the joys of drinking wine and smoking cigars, yet banish those that discuss a far safer substance to behind the counter, is absolutely absurd,” wrote Mason Tvert,  who campaigned for Colorado’s pot law and now is spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.

  • June 6 2013

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    Miss High Times 2013: Yvette Gallery

    A hearty congratulations to our first-ever Chicana Miss High Times, Yvette Marie Ramirez! Our former Miss November 2012 joined four of her fellow finalists on stage at the U.S. Cannabis Cup awards show in Denver, where her predecessors Emily (Miss HT 2012) and Clazina (20...

  • June 6 2013

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    It’s Official: Vermont Becomes 17th State To End Criminal Sanctions For Marijuana Possession Offenses

    Democrat Gov. (and NORML PAC recipient) Peter Shumlin today signed legislation into law eliminating criminal penalties for adults who possess personal use amounts of cannabis and/or hashish.

    “This change just makes common sense,” said Shumlin. “Our limited resources should be focused on reducing abuse and addiction of opiates like heroin and meth rather than cracking down on people for having very small amounts of marijuana.”

    The new law amends penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia by a person 21 years of age or older from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by up to six-months in jail and a $500 fine) to a civil fine only — no arrest, no jail time, and no criminal record. The law also decriminalizes possession of less than 5 grams of hashish.

    Vermont’s proposed law is similar to existing ‘decriminalization’ laws in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island, where private, non-medical possession of marijuana is treated as a civil, non-criminal offense.

    Five additional states — Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio — treat marijuana possession offenses as a fine-only misdemeanor offense.

    Three states — Alaska, Colorado, and Washington — impose no criminal or civil penalty for the private possession of small amounts of marijuana. (The laws in Colorado and Washington were enacted via voter initiative while Alaska’s legal protections were imposed by the state Supreme Court.)

    Vermont’s new law takes effect on July 1, 2013.