It’s looking extremely likely that Montana voters will get a shot at legalizing adult-use cannabis this year. Last Friday, cannabis advocacy group New Approach Montana submitted over 130,000 signatures on a petition to place an adult-use legalization initiative on this year’s general election ballot.
The activists kicked off their signature collection campaign early this year, but were forced to pause their efforts in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. State Senator Dave Lewis joined New Approach in suing the state, arguing that they had the constitutional right to collect signatures electronically during the quarantine. A state judge denied their request, however, and the campaign was forced to suspend their signature collection attempts.
It seemed like the campaign was dead in its tracks, but in mid-May, the state began to re-open. Activists immediately took to the streets, armed with masks and disposable pens, and began collecting signatures in earnest. By June 19th, the final deadline for signature submissions, New Approach’s valiant efforts paid off — the campaign was able to submit more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Due to complicated state laws, the activists actually had to submit two ballot measures. The first of these is a statutory change which would create a licensed and regulated adult-use cannabis market in the state. State law requires at least 25,000 signatures to qualify for a statutory ballot measure, and the campaign submitted around 52,000 signatures.
The second ballot initiative is for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from legally buying or using weed. If the legalization initiative passed, but this amendment failed, any Montana resident aged 18 or older would be allowed to buy weed. The state requires 51,000 signatures to qualify for a constitutional amendment, and the group collected around 80,000 submissions for this initiative.
“We’ve overcome a global pandemic, wildfires, floods, hail, snow, and hurricane force winds,” Pepper Petersen, spokesperson for New Approach Montana, said in a press release, Marijuana Moment reports. “Our campaign implemented strict health protocols and worked around the clock so that Montana voters could sign our petitions safely and qualify these popular initiatives for the November ballot. We collected signatures from every corner of the state and all 100 state house districts.”
Petersen told Montana Public Radio that the fact that his group collected signatures from every single election district is a sign of “what’s going to happen in November… There’s going to be an overwhelming support for this in every corner of the state. There’s not a legislative district that’s not represented in the signatures. We feel like the support out there is deep and wide, and it’s really exciting.”
Election officials must now verify each and every signature to ensure that it is valid, a process that could take up to a month. Thousands of signatures are often ruled invalid during this process, but New Approach has collected nearly 30,000 additional signatures for each initiative, which should ensure that both initiatives meet their thresholds.
Medical marijuana has actually been legal in the Treasure State since 2004, but lawmakers gutted the program in 2016 with a law limiting each dispensary to only serving three patients. This law pushed 93 percent of registered medical marijuana patients out of the system, and created a bizarre market where individual cities have as many as 27 different dispensaries. Many patients gave up on the system and returned to the black market, but the adult-use legalization measure would allow them to return to buying their medicine legally.
The coronavirus pandemic has also caused havoc with dozens of other cannabis and psychedelics reform ballot measures. Campaigns to legalize medical or adult-use cannabis in Missouri and Idaho have given up for this year, and a legalization campaign in North Dakota also seems doomed to fail.
But on the bright side, two campaigns to legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy and decriminalize all drug possession in Oregon just successfully submitted enough signatures to qualify, and Washington DC activists are working hard to meet their quota for a psilocybin decriminalization measure.
US Lawmakers Ask IRS to Encourage Cryptocurrency Innovation, Clarify Position on Staking Rewards
A group of US Congress members is asking the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to clarify its position on crypto staking rewards.
In the letter dated July 29th, lawmakers David Schweikert, Bill Foster, Tom Emmer, and Darren Soto explain to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig the difference between proof-of-stake and proof-of-work protocols.
“The Bitcoin network is secured by a relatively small number of ‘miners’ who validate transactions as they ‘mine’ new Bitcoins. In ‘proof of stake,’ in contrast, all token holders can contribute to network security by ‘staking’ their tokens, and so many, or even most, token holders end up holding newly created tokens. This means that network security in proof of stake does not require massive amounts of energy consumption.”
The lawmakers say tax policies should not discourage American taxpayers from taking part in the growth of the nascent sector. The legislators want the IRS to levy taxes only when the staking rewards are sold and not when received.
“It is possible the taxation of ‘staking’ rewards as income may overstate taxpayer’s actual gains from participating in this new technology. It could also result in reporting and compliance nightmare, for taxpayers and the Service alike…
Similar to all other forms of taxpayer-created (or taxpayer-discovered) property, such as crops, minerals, livestock, artworks, and even widgets off the assembly line – these tokens could be taxed when they are sold.”
The letter is the latest in a series of efforts from Congress to address IRS policies on cryptocurrencies.
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The History, Present and Future of Central Banks, Feat. George Selgin
The Director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives gives an eye-opening, 200-year history of today’s most powerful economic institution.
Our main conversation is with Dr. George Selgin.
In this eye-opening conversation, he and NLW go deep on the history, present and future of central banks, including:
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
LINK Conquered $10 Moments Before Bitcoin’s Rally: Chainlink Price Analysis
- Chainlink saw an impressive 32% surge over the past week as the coin edges toward $10.
- The resistance at $10 is expected to be very strong and will require some significant volume to overcome.
- Against Bitcoin, LINK is struggling to break 90,000 SAT.
LINK/USD: LINK Bulls Spike Toward $10 Before Falling To $9.40
Key Support Levels: $9, $8.58, $8.00.
Key Resistance Levels: $10, $10.50, $11.
Chainlink saw a massive price increase in July 2020 as the coin reached as high as $8.71 toward the middle of the month. From there, it went on to drop until support was found at $7.00, which allowed LINK to rebound higher at the end of the month.
In August, LINK continued to push upwards as it broke above the previous resistance at $8.71 and managed to spike as high as $10.00 moments before Bitcoin lifted its head. The coin has since dropped to $9.45 after finding reliable support at $9.00.
LINK-USD Short Term Price Prediction
Looking ahead, if the buyers regroup and push higher, the first level of resistance lies at $10. Above this, resistance is located at $10.50 (1.272 Fib Extension), $11, and $11.27 (1.414 Fib Extension).
On the other side, the first level of strong support lies at $9.00. Beneath this, support lies at $8.58 (.236 Fib Retracement), $8.00, and $7.62 (.382 Fib Retracement).
The RSI has dropped lower from overbought conditions today as the bulls start to reach exhaustion. So long as LINK remains above 50, it will keep in its bullish trend. Additionally, the Stochastic RSI produced a bearish crossover signal, which is a negative sign.
LINK/BTC: Bulls Turned Away From 90,000 SAT Resistance
Key Support Levels: 75,000 SAT, 70,000 SAT, 62,000 SAT.
Key Resistance Levels: 90,000 SAT, 95,000 SAT, 100,000 SAT.
Against Bitcoin, LINK also performed remarkably well in July as it surged as high as 95,000 SAT (1.414 Fib Extension) by mid-July. From there, it fell lower until support was found at 62,000 SAT (.618 Fib Retracement). This support was further bolstered by a rising trend line, which allowed LINK to rebound.
LINK has surged during August as it reached the 90,000 SAT level today. Unfortunately, it was unable to break this level as it dropped lower to where it’s currently trading at 81,000 SAT.
LINK-BTC Short Term Price Prediction
Looking ahead, if the sellers push LINK lower, the first level of support lies at 75,000 SAT (.382 Fib Retracement). This is followed by support at 70,000 SAT (.5 Fib Retracement & rising trend line support) and 62,000 SAT (.618 Fib Retracement).
On the other side, the first level of resistance lies at 90,000 SAT. Above this, resistance is expected at 95,000 SAT (1.414 Fib Extension), 100,000 SAT, and 103,000 SAT (1.618 Fib Extension).
Likewise, the RSI dropped lower from overbought conditions but still remains above the 50 line as the bulls remain in control. However, the Stochastic RSI is primed for a bearish crossover signal that could see LINK returning to the rising support line.
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