SAN DIEGO, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical Marijuana Inc. (OTC: MJNA), a leading hemp industry innovator, commends the millions of Washington voters who helped pass Initiative 502 in the November 6 elections by a vote of 55 percent. The vote marks a historic landmark for the medical marijuana industry, as Washington is now the second state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults over 21.
The Seattle Times reports that this legalization could help bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in medical marijuana taxes, reduce small-time pot-related arrests and give supporters a chance to show whether decriminalization is a viable strategy in the war on drugs. It also reports that 502 legalizes possession of up to an ounce beginning Dec. 6, with sales at state-licensed stores at least a year away. According to The Associated Press, Washington's measure will establish a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and stores that adults can visit to buy up to an ounce and will also initiate a blood test limit for driving under the influence.
The Washington measure was particularly notable for crossing partisan boundaries, as well as for its high level sponsors and supporters who ranged from public health experts and wealthy high-tech executives, to two former top Justice Department's officials in Seattle. The effort raised more than $6 million in contributions, with more than $2 million of that coming from Progressive Insurance Co. founder Peter Lewis, who used marijuana to treat pain from a leg amputation, reports The Seattle Times.
In addition to the historic vote in Washington, Massachusetts voters also won in yesterday's election by 58 percent to approve their Medical Marijuana Initiative, which will, for the first time, provide Massachusetts patients with certain medical conditions access to medical marijuana and eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for these patients. The November 6 election also proved groundbreaking for four major cities in Michigan- Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Ypsilanti. More than a million voters in these areas came together to turn out a "yes" vote on amending their laws to decriminalize marijuana possession for adults.
"It sets up a clear and obvious challenge with the federal government," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, which has fought for years to legalize cannabis. Paul Armentano, deputy director of (NORML), also noted: "Today, a majority of Americans espouse ending America's nearly century-long, failed experiment with cannabis prohibition and replacing it with a system of limited legalization and regulation." Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, which opposes the so-called "war on drugs," points out that "Marijuana policy reform remains an issue where the people lead and the politicians follow…Washington state shows that many politicians are beginning to catch up."
The decision to pass these historic laws opens the doors for MJNA portfolio companies, such as Red Dice Holdings, to develop future product expansion through licensing agreements with legal distributors for products like its Dixie Elixirs & Edibles brand, which is already known as the leading brand of edibles supplying most of the 500 plus dispensaries in Colorado.
Seattle Times-State financial experts estimate the new legalization could raise nearly $2 billion in tax revenue over the next five years, with the money going toward education, health care, substance abuse prevention and basic government services.
"We are thrilled that voters in Washington have joined Colorado in making history as the second U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana. We would also like to congratulate Massachusetts voters for their commendable work in legalizing medical marijuana for the first time, and Michigan voters for their efforts to decriminalize its possession in four cities in the state. We look forward to developing future manufacturing and distribution agreements with qualified partners in Washington and MA," said Tripp Keber, President of Red Dice Holdings.
It is important to note that although these legislative victories are a milestone for all industrial hemp and medical marijuana advocates, their outcome will not impact the future corporate strategy of MJNA. As a company, MJNA continues to primarily focus on hemp oil, derived from seed and stalk, with a strong concentration on the cannabinoid, CBD (cannabidiol).
"This decision marks quite an exciting achievement for the medical marijuana industry. For MJNA, the legalization in Washington, decriminalization in four cities in Michigan and new medical marijuana law in Massachusetts will open new business opportunities and licensing partnerships for our portfolio companies, as well as bring awareness and acceptance to the industry in general. That is surely a benefit to us as we continue to focus our main attention on branding our Hemp-based products," says Ted Caligiuri, President and CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc.
About Medical Marijuana,Inc.
Our mission is to be the premier hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create awareness within our industry, develop environmentally friendly, economically sustainable businesses, while increasing shareholder value.
Medical Marijuana Inc. does not grow, sell or distribute any substances that violate United States Law or the controlled substance act.
For more information, please visit the company's website at: www.MedicalMarijuanaInc.com
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) DISCLOSURE
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products and statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Medical Marijuana, Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein.
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SOURCE Medical Marijuana Inc.