Make marijuana legal: Campaigns begin in various parts of US

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Campaign for making marijuana legal in US
Washington, Oct 14: US groups in favour of the legal use of marijuana have intensified their campaign to have Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia approve the recreational use of pot in the Nov 4 referendums.

The use of cannabis is already legal in Colorado and Washington.

In an interview with Spanish news agency Efe, the representatives of the Marijuana Political Project and the National Organisation for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) explained the details of the campaign, which they said is intended to serve as "the voice of the people".

The referendums, which will be held simultaneously with the US legislative elections, "will allow the voice of the people to be heard in place of that of the politicians", said NORML communication director Erik Altieri.

To date, in Alaska, Oregon and DC, as in 20 other states, consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes is allowed and dispensaries have been established to provide it to people for whom it has been prescribed by a physician.

However, starting in November the country's capital and the two western states may join Colorado and Washington, which approved the recreational consumption of small quantities of pot in November 2012.

"The legalisation and regulating of marijuana by the state will remove the product from the criminal businesses and place it in the hands of responsible companies," Altieri said.

He also said that taxes on cannabis could be funnelled to finance educational programmes, improve the judicial system or treat addictions.

"Legalising marijuana and ending the arrests is incredibly important to people of colour," said the spokesman, who noted that blacks are arrested and convicted of marijuana possession between four and five times more than white citizens.

IANS

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