13 States Set to Vote on Cannabis Policy: A Voter Guide to the Initiatives

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Reform initiatives in thirteen states, as a part of the upcoming presidential elections November 6, 2012, face an important decision about the future of cannabis policy in the U.S. Voters in Arkansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Ohio will vote on whether or not to authorize medical marijuana use. Meanwhile, voters in Colorado, Washington and Oregon are set to vote on taxation and regulation initiatives in what, for all practical purposes, would decriminalize cannabis use in these states. And finally, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New Mexico are poised to liberalize decades old prohibitions on industrial hemp. In sum, these voter initiatives, many of which are projected to pass, represent a dramatic change in the United States' policy on the cannabis use and regulation.

According to GrowLife, Inc.'s (OTCBB: PHOT) CEO, Sterling Scott, "This election season, perhaps for the first time, the reform of antiquated cannabis laws is becoming a non-partisan issue. It's no longer a liberal versus conservative issue. For example, one of the things nobody ever expected to see in their lifetime was the outspoken evangelical Christian and founder of the 700 Club, Pat Robertson (one of the cornerstone figures of America's Christian right movement) come out in favor of legalizing marijuana."

Here is a brief summary of the pending measures for voters:

November 6, 2012 - On the Ballot

State

Title

Description

Arkansas

Issue 5

The measure would allow the use of marijuana by people who choose to use it for medical purposes. Those who choose to use it for medical purposes would be free from legal penalty. A group called Arkansans for Compassionate Care are sponsors of the proposed law, which is formally called, "The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act," according to the ballot title. According to reports, patients with possession of cards issued by the state Department of Health would be allowed to purchase and carry marijuana for medical purposes. Medical marijuana would be purchased from dispensaries or they could grow the cannabis plant themselves, but only a maximum of six plants per patient.

Colorado

Amendment 64

The measure would legalize marijuana in the state. A similar measure was on the 2006 ballot in the state, where it was defeated. The initiative was filed eight different times with the Colorado Attorney General around the date of May 20, 2011 in hopes of making the 2012 ballot. All of the initiatives would ask whether or not to legalize the use and possession of, at most, an ounce of marijuana for residents who are 21 and older. In addition, all eight initiatives would allow the state to regulate retail sales of the drug. The proposal was filed eight times, with some differences, in order for supporters to see which one would pass the Title Setting Review Board, and allow for circulation of petitions.

Washington

Initiative 502

The proposed measure would legalize the production, possession, delivery and distribution of marijuana. The initiative would regulate the sale of small amounts of marijuana to people 21 and older. According to reports, marijuana grow farms and food processors would be licensed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. Additionally, the measure would make it illegal for a motorist to have more than 5 nanograms of THC (an active ingredient of marijuana) per milliliter of blood in their system.

Oregon

Measure 80

The measure would create a seven-person statewide cannabis commission to regulate the cultivation and sale of cannabis.

New York

Senate Bill

Legalizes the possession, manufacture, use, delivery, transfer, transport or administration of marijuana by a certified patient or designated caregiver for a certified medical use;... directs the department of health to monitor such use and promulgate rules and regulations for registry identification cards. "Sets possession limit of 2.5 ounces."

Massachusetts


The citizens of Massachusetts intend that there should be no punishment under state law for qualifying patients, physicians and health care professionals, personal caregivers for patients, or medical marijuana treatment center agents for the medical use of marijuana.

Pennsylvania


The Governor Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act provides for the medical use of marijuana; and repealing provisions of law that prohibit and penalize marijuana use.

Illinois


Creates the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, allowing state-registered patients diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition to cultivate medical marijuana or to obtain it from state-regulated dispensaries.

Amendment 1 repeals the program after three years and prohibits patients from driving for 12 hours after consuming marijuana.

Amendment 2 makes it illegal for dispensaries to make campaign contributions.

Amendment 3 sets a $5,000 non-refundable application fee and $20,000 certificate fee for dispensaries.

Amendment 4 Excludes from the definition of 'qualifying patient' active public safety personnel.

Ohio


There is a presumption that a registered qualifying patient or visiting qualifying patient is engaged in the medical use of cannabis if the patient is in possession of a valid registry identification card or valid visiting qualifying patient identification card.

Info sourced from http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002481 and ballotpedia.org

The intense interest of the American electorate in these initiatives has been recently reflected in the mainstream media, and especially in the recent coverage on 60 Minutes and the featured cover story on Newsweek. Red Dice Holdings President and Managing Director of Dixie Elixirs, Tripp Keber, presented their state-of-the art Dixie manufacturing facility in Denver, Colorado – a state where regulated for-profit cannabis is flourishing amongst hundreds of thousands of consumers who have been given prescriptions by their M.D.'s for the potent green plant.

Bruce Perlowin, CEO of Hemp, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: HEMP) said, "The explosive growth in the top three companies in the stock market in the sector could possibly be just the beginning for this newly emerging multi-billion dollar industry.  It's clearly attracted the attention of the American investment community."

Economic realities favor these trends just as they did when the U.S. rejected prohibition of alcohol in the 1930's.  Then, as well as now, Americans faced widespread economic malaise and voters refused to continue to spend tax dollars on laws that were widely disrespected while millions of people were out of work. Reform initiatives that allow medical access or even legalization and regulation are widely expected to bring desperately needed tax revenues to many states, while reducing the increasingly nonsensical costs of prosecution and incarceration. 

The presence of publicly traded companies in the industry is rapidly expanding, as the regulatory environment becomes more favorable for companies like GrowLife, Inc. (OTCBB: PHOT), Hemp, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: HEMP), and Medical Marijuana, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: MJNA). These companies are joined not by 60's style hippies in favor of legalizing marijuana, but by medical doctors, hospice, palliative care directors, veterans groups and a wide swath of American citizens. And, the opportunity for individual investors to support this burgeoning industry is wide open.

About GrowLife, Inc.

GrowLife, Inc. (PHOT) (formerly Phototron Holding, Inc.) is a company with core holdings in innovative technology-based products and services for the indoor gardening industry and specialty markets. These brands include Stealth Grow LED producer of hi-powered LED grow light products for indoor horticulture (www.stealthgrow.com), Greners.com, the online hydroponics superstore (www.greners.com) and Phototron, producer of hydroponic grow containers, which are designed to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits in any environment (www.phototron.com).

About HEMP, Inc.

HEMP, Inc. (OTC Pink: HEMP) focuses on the vast market created by the quickly emerging, and growing, multibillion dollar industrial hemp industry. HEMP, Inc. is not involved in the cultivation or marketing of medical marijuana. It is the company's belief that legalization of hemp in all 50 states and at the federal level will come to pass. With that in mind, the company is building infrastructure with the potential to gain substantial market share before and after industrial hemp prohibition ends. (Pending any federal licensing or other requirements, that may be enacted after hemp prohibition ends).

SOURCE GrowLife, Inc.



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