Medical Marijuana Business Attracts Hedge Funds, Venture Capitalists

Marijuana has been a cash crop for many years in this country. The only problem is that most of that crop had been grown illegally. Now, that medical marijuana is legal in 15 states and the District of Columbia, legalized marijuana has quickly become so popular it is attracting attention from hedge fund managers and venture capitalists, not to mention a whole new batch of entrepreneurs.

Doctors still can’t prescribe marijuana because it is categorized as a schedule one drug like LSD. But they can recommend it and that’s all anyone needs to get a medical marijuana license that allows them to buy marijuana legally in those 15 states, with three more states about join them.

Each license sells for around $130 and some clinics selling the licenses have brought in more than a million dollars in just their first year. The once illegal joint is selling like hot cakes throughout middle America to consumers who no longer have to worry about getting arrested for possession, at least by local or state authorities.

The federal government still outlaws marijuana possession but it’s unlikely someone with a medical marijuana license will be busted by an FBI or DEA agent if caught smoking in his or her own home. In fact, just last year U.S. enforcers promised to leave medical marijuana operations alone if they complied with state law.

That prompted a significant increase in interest among entrepreneurs. Today, there are an estimated 2,400 medical marijuana dispensaries from California to Maine. In Colorado, they outnumber Starbucks two to one.


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George Will: US ‘probably in the process’ of legalizing marijuana

In the chronicle of America’s war against its marijuana users, conservative columnist George Will may have just earned credit for his own Walter Cronkite moment.

Appearing on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, the Pulitzer-winning journalist and longtime icon of America’s political right declared that with President Barack Obama’s new policy which respects the states right to allow medical marijuana, the United States is “probably in the process now of legalizing marijuana.”

He added that if there were to be a serious effort to fight the increasingly violent, powerful Mexican drug cartels, “you’d legalize marijuana,” the sale of which provides the gangs the vast majority of their funding.

Will’s comments come not even a week after a Gallup poll found record-breaking support across the United States for the legalization of marijuana, with nearly half of U.S. citizens in favor and a clear majority of support emerging among liberals, Democrats and moderates.

Will’s proclamation, as a well-respected conservative thinker, is especially significant given that Gallup found the only two political groups in the U.S. that are still very strongly opposed to legalization are conservatives and Republicans.

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Scientists: Obama’s election may reduce terrorism

Will Barack Obama’s election make terrorists less eager to strike? A data analysis released Thursday suggests it could make a difference.

In the Science magazine study, researchers Alan Bennett Krueger of Princeton University and Jitka Maleèková of the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Science in Prague looked at terrorist attacks in nine countries, including the U.S., and their relation to public opinion in India, Middle Eastern and North African nations. “We found a greater incidence of international terrorism when people of one country disapprove of the leadership of another country,” concludes the study.

The study relied on National Counter Terrorism Center data and Gallup World Poll results.  “The United States and United Kingdom had the highest average disapproval rating across all countries (71% for both countries), whereas Japan had the lowest rating (41%),” says the study. Study statistics reveal a 20% jump in disapproval rates was linked to a 93% increase in terrorist attacks from 2004 to 2008. While the results can’t explain individual terrorist motivations, say the authors, “public opinion appears to provide a useful indicator of terrorist activity.”

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Under the radar: US Democrats overseas pass marijuana resolution

The Democratic Party Committee Abroad, otherwise known as Democrats Abroad, passed a resolution on April 25 recommending the legalization of marijuana in all 50 states.

The news appears to have gone completely unnoticed by all mainstream outlets.

The Democrats Abroad are considered a state party by the Democratic National Committee, which affords them eight elected, voting members. They help U.S. citizens who are traveling and living outside the United States cast ballots in national elections.

The DNC maintains a pool of 200 voting members divvied up by individual states’ populations.

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What Do Americans Want? Legal Pot, White House Online Survey Reports

Forget about the economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and saving Social Security: An online opinion survey released by the White House this week ranks legalizing pot, playing online poker and cracking down on Scientologists as far more important issues.

The results are part of a “Citizen’s Briefing Book,” which compiles the results of an online project launched by President Obama’s transition office to solicit policy ideas from the citizenry. More than 125,000 users submitted 1.4 million votes during the wide-open process, leading to results that clearly do not align with recent scientific polling.

Legalizing marijuana, for example, ranked as the most popular issue. Ending federal prosecutions for medicinal marijuana also ranked high, as did ending the war on drugs. “We must stop imprisoning responsible adult citizens choosing to use a drug that has been mislabeled for over 70 years,” said one respondent named “Matt.”

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