Here’s Where Marijuana Could Be Legal After Election Day

via Business Insider: 


While the national races dominate media attention, this year is also a fundamental turning point for marijuana legality in the United States. 

This year, six different states and four cities will vote on initiatives that have to do with marijuana.

These are three types of laws on the ballots:

  • Medical marijuana laws
  • Decriminalization, which makes marijuana possession or sale an infraction punished by fine rather than a misdemeanor warranting possible jail time
  • Legalization, which would make marijuana legal to buy, sell, and use like any other commodity

No state has successfully made marijuana wholly legal, but many have come close — and several may succeed in doing so this November.

The end result could be a radically different landscape for marijuana availability in the United States. Here’s a rundown of all of the places that are putting pot to a vote.


Washington votes on Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana statewide

Washington votes on Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana statewide

Jake Dimmock, co-owner of the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle.


Washington has one of the boldest ballot initiatives on the table.

Initiative 502 would legalize the taxation, sale, and consumption of marijuana in the state of Washington.

It would allow anyone over the age of 21 to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana, sixteen ounces of marijuana-infused products, or 72 ounces of liquid marijuana-infused products.

It would also allow producers to grow marijuana, the liquor board to regulate the sales, and the state to tax the sales (initially an excise tax of 25% wholesale price).

The initiative bans the public use of marijuana and the act of driving under the influence of marijuana. It allocates all of the money collected from the cannabis taxes toward state health and education services.

Source: Washington Secretary of State

Polling on Initiative 502 is very positive and it will probably pass

Survey USA has been conducting repeated polls in Washington, and it seems that support is consolidating around Initiative 502.

poll published on July 18 indicated that 55% of respondents would vote yes on the initiative with 32% voting no. 13% were undecided, with men supporting the measure more than women by a somewhat significant margin.

Another poll carried out September 7-9 showed 57% of respondents supporting the initiative, 34% voting no, and only 9% undecided.

Colorado, already a cannabis oasis, votes on Amendment 64 to legalize marijuana statewide

Colorado, already a cannabis oasis, votes on Amendment 64 to legalize marijuana statewide

A discount medical marijuana dispensary in Denver.

Wikimedia Commons

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act — Amendment 64 — if approved by voters would immediately allow for the legal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for anyone over the age of 21.

The amendment would also allow for the cultivation of marijuana plants, the manufacture of marijuana products and the retail sale of cannabis at approved and regulated locations.

It allows municipal governments to prohibit these locations if they so choose.

The act also requires the Colorado Assembly to enact excise taxes on marijuana and to annually use the first $40 million collected from these taxes towards state public schools.

Source: Regulate Marijuana

Coloradans are poised to approve Amendment 64 in a tight race

According to a Denver Post & Survey USA poll, 51% of Coloradans planned to support the measure and 40% opposed it.

Significant for Colorado is the state’s longstanding relationship with marijuana. Most people have already made up their minds about it after years of ballot efforts and dispensaries on street corners.

Support and opposition has been consolidated there years longer than many other states with marijuana on the ballot this year, so polls shouldn’t budge too much. Women, especially in this election, are the swing voters.

Oregon votes on Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative to legalize marijuana statewide

Oregon votes on Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative to legalize marijuana statewide

Paul Stanford at his marijuana growing facility in Portland, Ore.


Oregon has one of the most contentious — and ambitious — marijuana legalization laws on the ballot this November.

A “yes” vote allows commercial marijuana cultivation and sale in the state of Oregon. The stores would be state-licensed and could only sell to adult. All adults would be allowed to cultivate and use marijuana without a license.

The measure would continue to ban the use of marijuana in public and possession by minors.

Supporters estimate that the subsequent taxes on marijuana would raise $140 million, 90% of which would be earmarked for the state’s general fund.

Source: Ballotpedia

Oregon’s legalization is in the tightest race of any cannabis ballot measure

A July 5 poll from PPP shows that 43% of Oregonians think marijuana should be legal while 46% believe it should be illegal.

A second poll published on September 18 from KATU-TV and Survey USA found that 37% would vote yes on Measure 80, 41% would vote no, and a full 22% were undecided, from a sample of 552 likely voters.

Also interesting in that poll is the fact that women are again the swing vote, with 27% of female voters still undecided.

Massachusetts votes on Question 3 to legalize medical marijuana

Massachusetts votes on Question 3 to legalize medical marijuana


In November, the Bay State will vote on Question Three, a measure to legalize the use of medical marijuana.

According to the text of the measure, the proposed law eliminates all state criminal and civil penalties related to the medical use of marijuana.

The cannabis could be sold to “patients meeting certain conditions” and produced and distributed from centers regulated by the state.

The measure also allows patients to grow marijuana in “hardship cases.”

The official argument for the measure was written by Linda Brantley, the President of the New England Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, arguing that the passage would alleviate the pain of thousands of Massachusetts’ residents. The official argument against, by Dr. Jay Broadhurst of Vote No On Question 3, argues that medical marijuana needs tighter restrictions.

Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State

Massachusetts is poised to “overwhelmingly” approve medical marijuana

Massachusetts is poised to "overwhelmingly" approve medical marijuana


A survey of 502 likely voters by the Boston Globe showed 69% supporting Question 3 and 22% opposed.

A majority of both registered Republicans and Democrats supported the measure.

57% of Massachusetts Republicans surveyed planned to support Question 3 and 76% of registered Democrats planned to back it.

Two thirds of independents planned to vote yes.

Arkansas votes on the Medical Marijuana Act of 2012

Arkansas votes on the Medical Marijuana Act of 2012


Arkansas will be the first southern state to vote on legalizing medical marijuana.

Sponsored by a group called Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the measure would made marijuana legal for medical use and set up an infrastructure for cultivating and selling it to qualifying patients with a prescription.

Patients could also possess up to six plants. The measure got the requisite 100,000 signatures in late August.

Source: Arkansas Secretary of State

There has been next to no polling on the Arkansas measure

There has been next to no polling on the Arkansas measure

Data from Talk Business, Chart by Walter Hickey/BI

There has not been any statewide polling on the issue by an established firm, so it’s difficult to project how it will do.

But a Talk Business poll conducted by Hendrix College before the measure was on the ballot found voters evenly divided on the issue.

In the poll, 47% of Arkansans said that they would vote for a referendum allowing medical marijuana while 46% said they would not. 7% were undecided.  The poll was conducted among 585 likely voters and had a margin of error of ±4%.

Since the act didn’t make the ballot until late August and this poll was conducted a month earlier, it’s not clear whether this support or opposition has continued.

Montana votes on Initiative Referendum 124, which will determine accessibility to medical marijuana.

Montana votes on Initiative Referendum 124, which will determine accessibility to medical marijuana.

Getty Images

This ballot measure would repeal Montana’s 2004 voter-approved medical marijuana law, which created a medical marijuana program for eligible patients.

In 2011, the Montana Legislature passed Senate Bill 423, which repeals Initiative 148 and replaces it with a new system.

That bill limits marijuana providers to three patients each, prevents marijuana providers from accepting anything of value in exchange for products, and places government oversight over doctors who certify marijuana for more than 25 patients per year.

But in order for the 2011 bill to overturn the 2004 vote, voters must approve Initiative Referendum 124 this November.

In this case, a “no” vote is a vote for the initial initiative, and a “yes” vote is a vote for the Senate bill.

Source: Project Vote Smart

Montana is a tight race, with voters favoring the tighter regulations on medical marijuana

Montana is a tight race, with voters favoring the tighter regulations on medical marijuana

Data Mason Dixon, Chart Walter Hickey/BI

One of the only recent polls on Initiative Referendum 124 is from Mason Dixon Polling on behalf of Lee Newspapers taken in mid-September.

In that poll, 44% of Montanans surveyed planned to vote yes on the measure, which would replace the 2004 initiative with the 2011 marijuana plan passed by the legislature; 31% were against the measure, preferring that the original initiative remain in effect over the Senate plan.

A whopping 25% of Montanans were undecided, understandable on a vote where “yes” and “no” mean unexpected things.

Something to note: Ballot initiatives must get at least 50% of the vote to pass so abstentions could kill the measure.

In Michigan, the cities of Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Ypsilanti will all vote on marijuana too

There is a handful of local races voting for the local decriminalization of marijuana in several cities in Michigan.

Source: NORML, Ballotpedia

Alleged 9/11 mastermind: America killed more people than hijackers did

via Reuters 

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, (R), the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, speaks with his defense lawyer on the third day of pre-trial hearings in the 9-11 war crimes prosecution as depicted in this Pentagon-approved courtroom sketch at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, October 17, 2012. Mohammed's nephew Ammar al baluchi sits with his translator in the background. REUTERS-Janet Hamlin

(Reuters) – – The alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks told the Guantanamo courtroom on Wednesday that the U.S. government had killed many more people in the name of national security than he is accused of killing.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed was allowed to address the court at a pretrial hearing focused on security classification rules for evidence that will be used in his trial on charges of orchestrating the hijacked plane attacks that killed 2,976 people.

“When the government feels sad for the death or the killing of 3,000 people who were killed on September 11, we also should feel sorry that the American government that was represented by (the chief prosecutor) and others have killed thousands of people, millions,” said Mohammed, who wore a military-style camouflage vest to the courtroom.

He accused the United States of using an elastic definition of national security, comparable to the way dictators bend the law to justify their acts.

“Many can kill people under the name of national security, and to torture people under the name of national security, and to detain children under the name of national security, underage children,” he said in Arabic through an English interpreter.

“The president can take someone and throw him into the sea under the name of national security and so he can also legislate the assassinations under the name of national security for the American citizens,” he said in an apparent reference to the U.S. killing and burial at sea of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the U.S. use of drone strikes against U.S. citizens accused of conspiring with al Qaeda.

He advised the court against “getting affected by the crocodile tears” and said, “Your blood is not made out of gold and ours is made out of water. We are all human beings.”

The judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, gave Mohammed permission to speak and did not interrupt him, but said he would not hear any further personal comments from the defendants.

Mohammed’s lecture to the court came during a week of pretrial hearings at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba for him and four other captives accused of recruiting, funding and training the hijackers.

He did not indicate why he wore a camouflage vest, but his wardrobe choice suggested he might try to invoke protections reserved for soldiers.

Pohl had ruled on Tuesday that the defendants could wear what they want to court, so long as it did not pose a security risk or include any part of a U.S. military uniform like those worn by their guards.

Mohammed’s lawyers had argued that he should be allowed to wear a woodland-patterned camouflage vest to court because he wore one as part of a U.S.-armed mujahideen force fighting against Russian troops that occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s.

“Mr. Mohammed has previously distinguished himself on the battlefield by wearing a military-style vest or clothing. He did it in Afghanistan for the U.S. government during that proxy war, he did it in Bosnia and he has a right to do it in this courtroom,” his defense attorney, Army Captain Jason Wright, argued on Tuesday.

The United States is trying Mohammed and the other alleged al Qaeda captives as unlawful belligerents who are not entitled to the combat immunity granted to soldiers who kill in battle.

They could face the death penalty if convicted of charges that include conspiring with al Qaeda, attacking civilians and civilian targets, murder in violation of the laws of war, destruction of property, hijacking and terrorism.

Under the Geneva Conventions, one of the things that separate soldiers from unlawful belligerents is the wearing of uniforms that distinguish them from civilians. Soldiers must also follow a clear command structure, carry arms openly and adhere to the laws of war.

Wright had argued that forbidding Mohammed from wearing military-style garb could undermine his presumption of innocence in the war crimes tribunal.

“The government has a burden to prove that this enemy prisoner of war is an unprivileged enemy belligerent,” Wright said.

Prepper Put on No-Fly List, Stranded in Hawaii

Prepper Put on No-Fly List, Stranded in Hawaii

via Daily Paul: 


What does it take to get your name on the no-fly list in America? Apparently you only need to be classified as a “prepper.”

When 34-year-old U.S. citizen and Mississippi resident Wade Hicks boarded a military flight to visit his wife, a Navy lieutenant stationed in Okinawa, Japan, he did not think it would be a one-way trip. Stopping off in Hawaii to refuel, upon reboarding the plane, Hicks was quickly escorted back off again by armed guards. He was then taken to a secure interrogation room where Hicks was informed he would not be flying anywhere because he turned up on the no-fly list.

Hicks has since been stranded on the island state without a way home.

As seen below in a bombshell double interview on Infowars Nightly News, private investigator and founder of the Northeast Intelligence Network Douglas Hagmann revealed that Hicks not only passed through TSA screening at his original departure point in San Francisco, but he has also passed a criminal background check and an FBI screening for an enhanced concealed carry permit in his home state.

In addition, Hicks holds a TWIC card, or Transportation Worker Identification Credential, granted by none other than the TSA. Hicks has also held classified clearances as a defense contractor for the U.S. military. His passport is valid and has not been revoked.



NDAA critic stranded in Hawaii after turning up on no-fly list

via RT: 

NDAA critic stranded in Hawaii after turning up on no-fly list

Wade Hicks was en route to a US Navy base in Japan to see his wife when armed military guards informed him that they had other plans. Hicks, an American citizen with no criminal record, had just been put added to a federal no-fly list.

After being escorted off his plane during a routine re-fueling stop on the Pacific Island of Oahu, Hicks, 34, was left stranded in Hawaii this week. In an interview, he suggests that his opposition to a newly-created law that allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens at military prisons without charge or trial could be to blame for his mistreatment.

“I was very, very vocal about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and I did contact my representative” about it, Hicks tells talk show host Doug Hagmann. “I do believe that this is tied in some way to my free speech and my political view.”

According to Hicks, he has little reason to believe otherwise. He tells Hagmann that he formerly worked as a contractor for the US Department of Defense and has undergone extensive background checks in order to obtain an enhanced license that allows him to carry a concealed firearm. Hicks says he also holds on to a special identification card issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the US Homeland Security Department sub-agency that administers pat-downs and screenings at airports across the country. An investigation carried out by Hagmann has led him to locating no criminal history for the man whatsoever.


In fact, the only “dirt” the host has managed to dig up on Hicks, he writes, is his occasionally vocal identification as an American patriot.

Hicks, says Hagmann, “appears to be a law abiding member of society.” He adds, however, that preliminary research has led him to link the man as being “an outspoken ‘patriot’” who is “openly critical of the NDAA,” a bill US President Barack Obama signed into law on December 31 despite openly acknowledging that he had “serious reservations” about provisions that allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone on mere suspicion of ties with terrorists. Hicks also tells the radio host that he is critical of the government’s handling of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and says, “I think the evidence I’ve seen warrants a new investigation, and I’m very vocal about it as well,”

“He is a former talk-show host of a small, local radio station known for its ‘patriotic bias.’ He is a member of ‘Patriots for America’ and the Mississippi Preparedness Project. He is openly vocal about the erosion of our rights – and it certainly looks like he has been proven correct. Is that now a crime worthy of being denied the ability to travel freely within the United States?” Hagmann writes.

The Mississippi Preparedness Project, according to the group’s official website, strives “to encourage and train others to prepare for any situation, whether it be political or disruptions in the infrastructure and civil structure of the communities in which we live and work.”

“We intend to prepare and train for all foreseeable aspects of personal preparedness including Political, Basic and Emergency Medical, Food and Water Storage, Equipment, Local, State and Nationwide Communications, Personal, Home and Community Defense,” their mission statement continues.

Hicks’ incident occurred on October 14 when a military plane Hicks had boarded to visit his wife, a lieutenant in the US Navy, stopped in Oahu to refuel. Although he had no issues with gaining admittance to the aircraft during the first leg of his trip, things went amiss in Oahu.There two heavily-armed officers entered the plane and escorted him to a small interrogation room at a military base and told him that he had showed up on the US “no-fly” list, despite having boarded a flight earlier that day in San Francisco where he had been subjected to military-sanctioned security screenings reportedly more stringent than the TSA treatment. He was hoping to visit his wife of only eight months when the mishap unraveled.

“They have given me no reason. They just basically are telling me, ‘You can’t fly because we said so,’” Hicks tells Hagmann this week.“They didn’t know how I even left Travis Air Force Base.”

“I said, ‘If I could find a way off the island, I could leave’? They said, ‘Yes, as long as you don’t fly.”

Hicks adds that he has since met with a Navy lawyer in Hawaii who attempted to resolve the case with so far no avail. He reports that the attorney reached out to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement hoping that the incident has been the result of a case of mistaken identity, but, “They said, ‘No, we have the right person that is in our database. His social security [number] matches and his birth date matches.’”

“I have no idea how long I’m going to be stranded in Hawaii or if I’m going to be able to leave out of here on an aircraft,” Hicks adds.“Try to get back from Oahu . . . It’s a long swim and it’s a long boat ride.”


Larry King to moderate third-party presidential debate

via LA Times: 


Larry King

Larry King will moderate a debate among the third-party presidential candidates on Oct. 23, the Free and Equal Elections Foundation announced on Tuesday.

The debate, which will be held in Chicago, will featureLibertarian candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidateJill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, andRocky Anderson  of the newly formed Justice Party. The event will be broadcast live on Ora TV, the digital programming service where King launched his online talk show, “Larry King Now,” earlier this year. The Free and Equal Elections Foundation and, for unclear reasons, Russia Today will also stream the debate online.

“We are honored to have Larry King moderate this historic debate,” Christina Tobin, founder and chair of the foundation, said in a release. “The previous debates between President Obama and Gov. Romney have failed to address the issues that really concern everyday Americans. From foreign policy, to the economy, to taboo subjects like our diminishing civil liberties and the drug war, Americans deserve a real debate, real solutions, and real electoral options.”

The addition of King, who hosted “Larry King Live” for 25 years before singing off in December 2010, certainly lends some star power to an otherwise neglected corner of the American political system.

The exclusion of third-party candidates from the officially sanctioned presidential debates has been a source of frustration for activists on both ends of the political spectrum since at least 1987, when the Commission on Presidential Debates was formed by the Republican and Democratic parties.

The last time a third-party candidate was invited to participate in a presidential debate was in 1992, when independent Ross Perot famously invoked the “giant sucking sound” of jobs leaving the country thanks to NAFTA in his face-off with George Bush and Bill Clinton.

[Update: 1:53 p.m. This post originally misstated the name of the Justice Party candidate and has been corrected. His name is Rocky Anderson, not Rocky Johnson.]

A New Mystery Website Says It Will Drop An ‘October Surprise’ That Will Change The Election

via Business Insider: 


A mysterious new microsite promising an “October Surprise” for the presidential race popped up online this week, and is promising to release damning documents related to one of the two candidates.

So far, we don’t know much about the site,, which went live Monday with a linked Twitter feed @OctSurprise. The site warns that “one of your presidential candidates isn’t being honest with you,” and subsequent tweets say that the site will unveil six pages of “irrefutable” documents at 5:30 p.m. on Monday. Blurred images of the documents, which all allegedly relate to the same topic, have also been posted online.

Here’s what the site looks like:


october surprise



Of course, there is an outsized possibility that the “October Surprise” is just an elaborate troll. The New York Observer reports that the site is run by two developers who work for the Discovery Channel, and BuzzFeed reports that the two developers were behind an Internet prank known as “The Greatest Rick Roll Ever.”

Appeals Court Says The Defense Of Marriage Act Is Unconstitutional

via Business Insider: 


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday found the Defense of Marriage Act violates the right to equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution.

edith windsor doma

DOMA defines marriage as between a man and a woman and says states don’t have to recognize same-sex marriage.

It has the practical effect of sometimes requiring gay couples to pay more federal taxes.

In striking the law down, the Second Circuit sided with a 83-year-old Edith Windsor, who was forced to pay estate taxes after the death of her wife in 2009.

The history of DOMA goes back to 1993, when Hawaii’s Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional for the state to deny gay couples the right to marry.

That ruling sparked concern among gay marriage opponents, and Bob Barr, then a member of the House of Representatives representing Georgia, authored DOMA to “defend” opposite-sex marriage.

DOMA breezed through the Republican-controlled Congress, and Clinton signed the bill into law in 1996.

Since then, a number of states have passed laws allowing gay marriage, and DOMA has been challenged in several federal courts.

Because the law says the federal government doesn’t have to recognize same-sex marriages, gay couples don’t have access to some of the same federal tax benefits that straight people enjoy.

The gay-friendly Obama administration stopped defending the law in February 2011. Since then, House Republicans have been bankrolling the fight to preserve DOMA, which has had several fronts.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals in Massachusetts already found DOMA unconstitutional in May.

After a federal appeals court weighs in on a law, the U.S. Supreme Court usually decides whether to take the case and, if so, whether to uphold or reverse the decision.

While the Supreme Court isn’t under any obligation to take the DOMA case, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said the issue of gay marriage will almost certainly come before the court this term.


Obama Has Completely Lost His Lead In Wisconsin

via Business Insider: 


President Barack Obama has lost his once-decisive lead in Wisconsin and now stands tied with his Republican opponent Mitt Romney, according to a new poll from Marquette University.

Barack Obama

The poll — taken before the second presidential debate — found the race in a virtual deadbeat, with Obama edging out Romney, 49% to 48% among likely voters. That’s down from the 53% lead Obama held in the poll last month.

The shift to Romney was particularly significant among independent voters and women, two key constituencies. Independents, who supported Obama by a 49-40 margin before the debate, now back Romney over the president, 49% to 45%. Among female voters, Romney has closed Obama’s double-digit lead to just four points, 51% to 47%.

The results reflect a growing enthusiasm for Romney in the wake of the first presidential debate. Among those likely voters who watched the first debate, Romney holds a 50-48 percent edge; while Obama leads Romney 50-42 percent among those who did not watch the debate.

The tightening race is further evidence of Wisconsin’s new status as one of the country’s key battlegrounds. Once solidly Democratic, the state has been trending rightward for several years, and was put into play in the presidential race after Romney selected native son Paul Ryan as his running mate. Following this latest poll, veteran political handicapper Larry Sabato officially labeled Wisconsin a “toss-up” in the presidential race.