Prominent Mexicans Urge Government To Decriminalize Marijuana

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Marijuana legalization group makes bid to air Super Bowl commercial

The ad argued that criminalization made narcotics more lucrative for cartels, noted that a number of U.S. states had liberalized marijuana laws and that Uruguay’s Congress was taking steps to legalize the cultivation and sale of the drug. “Mexico has paid a high cost for applying the punitive policy of prohibition,” the advertisement read. “We know well that neither decriminalization nor any other individual measure represents a panacea to end the violence, corruption and lawlessness in Mexico. But effective decriminalization of marijuana consumption by raising the dose permitted for personal use is a step in the right direction.” In 2009, Mexico made it legal to carry up to 5 grams (0.18 ounces) of marijuana, 500 milligrams (0.018 ounces) of cocaine and tiny amounts of heroin and methamphetamines. Despite that step, then-President Felipe Calderon staked his reputation on ridding Mexico of brutal drug cartels. He sent in the armed forces to fight them, but the violence rose, and around 70,000 people died in gang-related crime on his watch. His successor, Enrique Pena Nieto, assumed the presidency in December vowing to reduce the killings. But while the death toll has fallen, the shootouts and executions still claim close to 1,000 lives a month in Latin America’s second biggest economy. CAPITAL LAUNCHPAD Pena Nieto has so far opposed relaxing drug laws in the country, but says he is willing to debate the matter. Former President Vicente Fox, a staunch advocate of drug reform, said in July he believed Mexico could legalize marijuana before Pena Nieto leaves office in 2018. A notable signatory of Wednesday’s announcement was former Finance Minister Pedro Aspe, a mentor of current Finance Minister Luis Videgaray, one of Pena Nieto’s closest aides. Others included actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, two former health ministers, peace activist Javier Sicilia and Calderon’s brother-in-law, Juan Ignacio Zavala. Lawmakers have said Mexico City could serve as a launchpad for a change in drug policy. Mexico City’s local center-left government has taken advantage of more liberal views in the capital to pass landmark laws such as legalizing gay marriage. The public advertisement made the same argument.

(Joe Amon, The Denver Post) The legal-marijuana industry in the United States could mint multiple billionaires in the next decade, a Colorado cannabis business mogul predicted Tuesday. That explains why Tripp Keber, the mogul behind the Dixie Elixirs brand of cannabis-infused products, and dozens of other prospective investors crowded into a ballroom at the Denver Athletic Club on Tuesday to listen to investment pitches from numerous up-and-coming marijuana-related businesses. The meeting of the ArcView Investor Network, a 3-year-old endeavor based in California, was the largest the group has ever held. Among the approximately 60 investors who attended the meeting were people already established in the marijuana business, like Keber, and also an increasing number of people from outside the industry who see it as a good bet. Investment totals are expected to be announced Wednesday, but attendees said the figure could be in the millions. “This is big, big business,” Keber said. “There has been an incredible amount of interest that’s been expressed to make investments in this industry.” The meeting also represented a first for ArcView: The chance for investors to put money directly into businesses that handle marijuana. The investor network has previously plunged money only into the marijuana industry’s ancillary businesses things such as security firms, cultivation-equipment suppliers and smoking-accessories manufacturers. Fear of prosecution by federal authorities who might view marijuana investors as conspirators in a federally illegal conspiracy kept the network from investing more directly. But, with the newly announced change in federal law enforcement policy that provides state-law-abiding businesses more cover, the network is now looking to invest in licensed marijuana stores in places such as Colorado and Washington state. The meeting saw pitches from a Denver medical-marijuana dispensary; a company that makes marijuana vaporizers that look roughly like cigars; the maker of machines that produce high-potency marijuana extracts; and the producer of a movie based on the life of a marijuana smuggler.

Marijuana the “next great American industry,” investor group says

Medical Marijuana Growhouse

Marijuana legalization group makes bid to air Super Bowl commercial The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has been racking up votes in a contest sponsored by Intuit whose prize is a Super Bowl ad. By David Knowles / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 8:09 PM Comment Dmitriy Norov/Getty Images The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is hoping it can win a contest sponsored by Intuit to have its pro-legalization ad aired during the Super Bowl XLVIII. Related Stories Georgia sheriff’s deputy busted selling pot from cop car: FBI If they dont know already, Americas could soon find out whether marijuana and the Super Bowl mix. A pro-pot group has been has received the highest number of votes in the first round of an online contest to have its ad promoting marijuana legalization aired during the Super Bowl XLVIII. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has entered its spot in a contest sponsored by Intuit, in which the applicant receiving the highest number of votes will have their ad produced and submitted for broadcast during the big game. RELATED: BRONCO’S STADIUM BILLBOARD URGES NFL TO RETHINK POT STANCE Together, we the people, are ending the US war on pot. With the last election and with the recent announcement from the attorney general in Washington DC, we are beautifully positioned to make sure a responsible, adult American citizen is never again arrested for enjoying the beauties of recreational marijuana, NORML says on its entry page. But this doesn’t just happen. Please take a moment of your time to support our campaign to bring the message of legalization to the masses with this Super Bowl Ad. With votes flooding in for NORML at Intuits site , the company, which offers a host of small buisness services, may find itself obliged to produce the pro-pot ad. “Intuit leadership is surely wringing their collective hands over the matter,” brand analyst Peter Madden told CNBC . “Though marijuana isn’t as taboo a subject since its legal approval in varying states, it is the equivalent to a scarlet letter albeit one tainted green that their brand is now forced to wear. Such is the danger to brands who go the contest route.” RELATED: MOM LIED ABOUT KIDS’ DROWNING TO COVER UP MARIJUANA FARM: AUTHORITIES Ultimately, however, whether the ad will actually air on Super Bowl Sunday will be up to Fox, the network broadcasting this years game. Given the strong support that NORMLs application has already received, the group remains hopeful that the network and Intuit will heed the voting results. We hope Intuit will give NORML the same fair chance as any other entrant, NORMLs communications director, Erik Altieri, said in a statement. Our victory would be a win for all parties involved: Intuit gets lots of media coverage and good will for themselves and their contest, FOX would bring in hundreds of thousands of new viewers who would otherwise not watch the Super Bowl, and NORML gets to take our message about the tragic failings of marijuana prohibition to the masses.