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娱乐用大麻如今已在美国11个州合法化

John O’Connor, 美联社 2019年07月01日

黑人是受大麻合法化影响最大的人群。

伊利诺伊州的新州长于6月23日兑现了他在竞选中做出的重大承诺,签署了一项立法,让该州成为了全美第11个批准大麻娱乐用途的州。该立法还将为少数群体提供法律补救措施和经济效益。批评人士此前曾说,对大麻使用肆意妄为的打击破坏了这些少数群体的生活。

此外,一旦伊利诺伊州大麻合法化,近80万因为购买或持有30克或以下大麻而被定罪的人将会消除其犯罪记录,而这也是少数立法人士和利益团体所提出的一项要求。法案还将为少数群体所有者提供大麻经销商优惠,同时还承诺将25%的大麻销售税金用于重新开发那些贫困社区。

州长普利茨克去年的当选让民主党获得了对州政府的彻底控制,但在过去的四年期间,掌权的一直是其前任、身为共和党的布鲁斯·罗勒。普利茨克在一群大麻支持者的见证下于芝加哥签署了这一法案,其中包括该法案的主要发起人凯利·卡斯蒂众议员和参议员西泽·斯蒂恩斯,这两位都是芝加哥民主党。

卡斯蒂说:“今天,我们点击了打击毒品的‘重启’键。”

该州居民可以一次性购买和持有不超过1盎司(30克)大麻。非居民可持有15克。法律允许21岁或以上的成年人在获批药房购买大麻。这些药房在获得牌照和设立之后,预计将于2020年1月1日开始销售大麻。参议院民主党的一位发言人指出,在明年1月1日之前持有大麻依然是犯法的。

普利茨克说:“打击大麻的运动破坏了不少家庭,监狱里也因此而增加了不少非暴力犯罪人员,而且在很大程度上干扰了黑色和棕色人群的生活。为了打击大麻犯罪,全美执法机构耗费了数十亿美元,但大麻消费依然大有人在。”

在选举活动期间,普利茨克曾称,一旦法案通过,大麻销售每年可以带来8到10亿美元的税收。他说,药房销售一项在明年就能够创造1.7亿美元的收入。但卡斯蒂和斯特恩斯在预测时则较为保守,将第一年的预估值调低至5800万美元,今后五年的年营收估值调低至5亿美元。

大麻含有作用于精神方面的物质THC。1937年,美国实际上已经宣布其为非法;并于20世纪70年代认定大麻是一种没有医疗效用、滥用风险高的毒品。

自此之后,由于“坚决说不”的时代的结束,黑人成为了受此影响最大的人群。普利茨克引用了来自于美国民权联盟的2010年数据:尽管黑人只占据伊利诺伊州人口的15%,但在大麻持有者被捕的案件中,60%都是黑人。

皮奥瑞亚众议院民主党吉安·戈登-布斯将大麻的近代史总结为“白人致富,黑人被捕”。该法案通过在特困以及有着大量犯罪记录的地区给予大麻经销商优惠的方式,消除了人们有关犯罪记录清除的疑虑。25%的大麻销售税金必须重新投资到这些贫困社区,另外还有20%的税金将专门用于滥用药物治疗项目。

戈登-布斯说:“我们要做的就是对此进行补救。在过去40年的时间中,我们把所有使用大麻的人当成罪犯来看待,然后这个数十亿美元的产业出现了,猜猜会怎么样?黑人和棕色人种成为了这项政策的重点关注对象,其他州从未这么做过。”

警察部门对此十分谨慎,他们对执行吸毒后驾车的法律十分担心,而且认为测试大麻对驾车副作用的技术还有待进一步的开发。执法机构则担心,黑市的冲击曾经成功地扼杀了早期的法案,即允许任何人在家里种植5颗个人用大麻。警察表示他们很难执法,因此立法者对法案进行了修改,仅允许依据州医用大麻法律授权的病人才可以种植5颗大麻。此前,私人种植大麻属于违法。

其他10各个州以及哥伦比亚特区自2012年便已经实现了娱乐用大麻吸食的合法化,当时科罗拉多州和华盛顿州的选民同意围绕这一议题开展公投。今年伊始,纽约州和新泽西州拿出了颇有希望的提案,但在今年春天均以失败告终。尽管宾夕法尼亚州的副州长于去年冬天围绕这一议题在全州发起了“倾听之旅”活动,但这一构想并未引发多大的重视。

佛蒙特州和密歇根州是去年新近实现大麻合法化的两个州。佛蒙特州通过立法实现了其合法化(首次采用非公投的方式实现)。尽管该立法允许居民小批量种植自用大麻,但该州并未像伊利诺伊州那样向药房发放牌照,并借此建立全州范围内的分销系统。其他州也向药房发放了牌照,但并非是所有的州。

卡斯蒂指出,伊利诺伊州首批获得牌照的55家医用大麻药房将根据新法销售大麻,因为它们会带来实实在在的商业问题。它们可能会申请在其当前店面销售娱乐用大麻,然后为另一个店面申请牌照,这意味着到明年1月1日开始销售大麻时,该州可能会出现110家娱乐用大麻销售网点。今年10月,伊利诺伊州政府将开始接受针对额外75个大麻销售牌照的申请,但该州在对实施情况做出评估之前不会提供更多的牌照。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

Illinois’ new governor delivered on a top campaign promise June 23 by signing legislation making the state the 11th to approve marijuana for recreational use in a program offering legal remedies and economic benefits to minorities whose lives critics say were damaged by a wayward war on drugs.

Legalization in Illinois also means that nearly 800,000 people with criminal records for purchasing or possessing 30 grams of marijuana or less may have those records expunged, a provision minority lawmakers and interest groups demanded. It also gives cannabis-vendor preference to minority owners and promises 25% of tax revenue from marijuana sales to redevelop impoverished communities.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose election last year gave Democrats complete control over state government again after four years under GOP predecessor Bruce Rauner, signed the bill in Chicago amid a bevy of pot proponents, including the plan’s lead sponsors, Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Sen. Heather Steans, both Chicago Democrats.

“Today, we’re hitting the ‘reset’ button on the war on drugs,” Cassidy said.

Residents may purchase and possess up to 1 ounce (30 grams) of marijuana at a time. Non-residents may have 15 grams. The law provides for cannabis purchases by adults 21 and older at approved dispensaries, which, after they’re licensed and established, may start selling Jan. 1, 2020. Possession remains a crime until Jan. 1, a spokesman for Senate Democrats said.

“The war on cannabis has destroyed families, filled prisons with nonviolent offenders, and disproportionately disrupted black and brown communities,” Pritzker said. “Law enforcement across the nation has spent billions of dollars to enforce the criminalization of cannabis, yet its consumption remains widespread.”

On the campaign trail, Pritzker claimed that, once established, taxation of marijuana could generate $800 million to $1 billion a year. He said dispensary licensing would bring in $170 million in the coming year alone. But Cassidy and Steans have dampened that prediction, lowering estimates to $58 million in the first year and $500 million annually within five years.

Carrying the psychoactive ingredient THC, marijuana was effectively outlawed in the U.S. in 1937 and in the 1970s was declared a drug with no medicinal purpose and high potential for abuse.

Blacks have been most susceptible since then to “Just say ‘No”’-era crackdowns. Pritzker quoted a 2010 statistic from the American Civil Liberties Union that while blacks comprise 15% of Illinois’ population, they account for 60% of cannabis-possession arrests.

Peoria Democratic Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth summarized marijuana’s recent history as one where “white men would get rich and black men would get arrested.” The plan addresses those concerns with the criminal-record scrubbing by giving preference to would-be marijuana vendors in areas of high poverty and records of large numbers of convictions. And 25% of tax proceeds must be reinvested in impoverished communities, while 20% is dedicated to substance-abuse treatment programs.

“What we are doing here is about reparations,” Gordon-Booth said. “After 40 years of treating entire communities like criminals, here comes this multibillion-dollar industry, and guess what? Black and brown people have been put at the very center of this policy in a way that no other state has ever done.”

Police organizations are wary, concerned about enforcing driving under the influence laws and arguing technology for testing marijuana impairment needs more development. Law enforcement organizations fearing black-market impacts were successful in killing an earlier provision that would have allowed anyone to grow up to five marijuana plants at home for personal use. Police said they’d have difficulty enforcing that, so the bill was amended to allow five plants to be maintained only by authorized patients under the state’s medical marijuana law. They previously could not grow their own.

Ten other states and the District of Columbia have legalized smoking or eating marijuana for recreational use since 2012, when voters in Colorado and Washington state approved ballot initiatives. This year began with promising proposals in New Yorkand New Jersey , but both fizzled late this spring. Despite a statewide listening tour on the issue by Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor last winter, the idea never took flight.

Vermont and Michigan last year were the latest states to legalize marijuana. Vermont did so through the Legislature — the first time it wasn’t done through a ballot initiative — but while it allows residents to grow small amounts for themselves, it didn’t establish a statewide distribution system like Illinois did, licensing dispensaries. Other states license dispensaries too, but not all.

Illinois’ 55 medical-cannabis dispensaries get first crack at licenses to sell under the new law because they’re proven business concerns, Cassidy said. They may apply to dispense recreational pot at their current stores and for a license for a second location, meaning the state could have 110 recreational pot outlets by the time sales start Jan. 1. In October, the application period for 75 more dispensaries opens. No more would be allowed to open after that until the state conducts a review of the rollout.

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