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NORML’s Legislative Round Up February 12th, 2016

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director February 12, 2016

    map_leafWe’ve got news from all levels of government this week! International, federal, state, and local law reform changes are all being considered. Keep reading below to see if any pending reforms would affect you or your community!

    International:

    Tim Faron, leader of one of Great Britain’s main political parties, called for the legalization of cannabis for recreational use this week. He also announced that his party would be imminently releasing a report making the case for a legalized market for sales. The Liberal Democrats leader said: “I personally believe the war on drugs is over. We must move from making this a legal issue to one of health. The prime minister used to agree with me on the need for drug reform. It’s time he rediscovered his backbone and made the case again.”

    Federal:

    Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote a letter this week to the head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urging the agency to research cannabis access as a potential mitigating factor in opioid abuse. Population data from states where medicinal cannabis is permitted report lower rates of opioid-abuse  and mortality as compared to those states where the plant is prohibited. Clinical data and case reports also indicate that the adjunctive use of cannabis may wean patients from opiates while successfully managing their pain. Survey data of state qualified medical cannabis patients indicate that subjects with access to the plant often substitute it for opioids because they perceive it to possess fewer adverse side effects.

    Also, Senate members this week introduced The Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success Act, or SUCCESS Act, which repeals language in the Higher Education Act that strips students of financial aid because of a past drug offense, and removes the drug conviction question from the FAFSA form. #TakeAction 

    State:

    California: The California Medical Association has officially endorsed the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a pending statewide ballot initiative that seeks to legalize and regulate adult marijuana use and sales in the state. The California Medical Association represents more than 41,000 physician members statewide. Additionally, the NAACP California chapter has also endorsed the initiative.

    Illinois: Legislation, HB 6199, is pending in the General Assembly to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the definition of ‘debilitating medical condition’ and to allow state-registered medical cannabis patients to retain gun ownership rights. #TakeActioncannabis_pills

    Mississippi: Senate legislation was introduced this week to permit qualified patients to legally possess and cultivate cannabis. Senate Bill 2358 permits patients with a “debilitating medical condition” to engage in marijuana therapy in accordance with a physician’s recommendation. The measure also reschedules marijuana under state law. #TakeAction

    New Mexico: Legislation opposed by NORML, HB 195 has narrowly passed the House of Representatives. The bill would prohibit workers compensation insurers from reimbursing employees who qualify for medical cannabis access for injuries sustained on the job. The measure now awaits Senate action. Please contact your Senate member today and urge him or her to vote ‘no’ on HB 195 and/or its companion measure SB 245. #TakeAction

    New Jersey: Legislation was introduced this week to end workplace discrimination against medical marijuana patients. Assembly Bill 2482, if enacted, would halt employers from taking adverse employment actions against authorized medical marijuana patients who engage in the plant’s use during their off-hours. #TakeAction

    Pennsylvania: A local decriminalization ordinance is being considered by the Harrisburg City Council. The council’s public safety committee plans to hold a public hearing on the matter in the coming weeks. If you live in Harrisburg, contact your City Council member and urge their support for this measure! We’ll keep you updated as this measure moves forward.

    Vermont: Members of the Senate are anticipated to decide imminently on legislation to regulate the adult use, production, and sale of cannabis. Media reports indicate that the floor vote could come the week of February 16. The vote is expected to be a close one; therefore, we are urging supporters to contact their Senate members over the coming days and to urge them to vote ‘yes’ for Senate Bill 241. If approved by the Senate, the bill will face further debate in the House. #TakeActionlegalization_poll

    Virginia: Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, Senate Bill 327, to amend state law so that first time, minor marijuana offenders no longer face the loss of their driver’s license. Under existing law, marijuana possession offenses may be punishable by the loss of driving privileges, even in cases where the offense did not take place in a motor vehicle. Passage of SB 327 would end this practice. #TakeAction

    Washington D.C.: Members of the D.C. Counsel this week approved a measure that would prohibit potential employers in the District from testing applicants for marijuana until after they’ve made a conditional job offer. Councilmember Vincent Orange, who sponsored the measure said, “District residents shouldn’t have to worry about lost job opportunities just because they’ve smoked pot, especially now that the city has voted to legalize marijuana possession.” The measure is still under congressional review.

    14 Responses to “NORML’s Legislative Round Up February 12th, 2016”

    1. Galileo Galilei says:

      Sorry, Didn’t want to leave it incognito.

      ‘Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote a letter this week to the head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urging the agency to research cannabis access as a potential mitigating factor in opioid abuse. Population data from states where medicinal cannabis is permitted report lower rates of opioid-abuse and mortality as compared to those states where the plant is prohibited. Clinical data and case reports also indicate that the adjunctive use of cannabis may wean patients from opiates while successfully managing their pain. Survey data of state qualified medical cannabis patients indicate that subjects with access to the plant often substitute it for opioids because they perceive it to possess fewer adverse side effects.’

      Compare this enlightened approach with the willfully-ignorant, broad-brush, all-drugs-including-marijuana-are-as-bad-as-fentanyl delusions of Ohio Gov. John Kaisch, suddenly prominent with his 2nd place showing in New Hampshire. This is not the kind of insight we want to elect as Commander in Chief.

      It does make a difference who wins in November, NORML fans. The wrong people in power could do much to undo the gains in reform due to NORML’s persistent work through the years. Pay attention to your local stuff. If you have a chance to vote pro-weed at the state or local level. Do it!

      Stay tuned to your available media for further updates through the year.

      • TheOracle says:

        She’s never struck me as being an outspoken advocate for legalization. I remember her prohibitionist hype from only 3 years ago.

        Excerpt from the link below the quote:

        “Addressing the crowd, Senator Warren said, ‘I advise everyone to pay very close attention to Dan Winslow’s platform. He has a 100 percent ranking from the gun lobby and he’s for the legalization of marijuana. He wants us armed and stoned.'”

        http://reason.com/blog/2013/03/19/elizabeth-warren-attacks-republican-for

        So is Warren going to spearhead the campaign for the US to send a representative to the UN along with Trudeau’s emissary to have to UN clear the way for countries to legalize if they want or what?!

        http://hightimes.com/read/elizabeth-warren-demands-cdc-study-marijuana-solution-painkiller-problem

        I mean the US has four states and a district that have legalized, so why the hell not petition the UN to allow countries to decide for themselves, and do away with the blanket cannabis prohibition. It will pave the way for amendments to treaties like the 1961 piece of shit.

        • Galileo Galilei says:

          People changing their views on weed is exactly what reformers want to see. A former prohibitionist writing a letter to the CDC and urging the agency to research cannabis access as a potential mitigating factor in opioid abuse simply didn’t happen only a few years ago.

          The UN thing sounds good to me, but I think the UN will be that last organized body to reform–from what I’ve seen posted on this site progress in reform seems to be a grassroots phenomenon.

          • Kathy Allen says:

            To those calling out to the UN, they will be giving people the chance to be heard I’m March. I believe the 14-16th but am not exactly sure. The dates and information can be obtained on this website. Even giving you the chance to make a small video clip to speak in behalf of your state. DON’T GIVE UP. Sorry I don’t have the info at hand, I’m not feeling well, I haven’t been well as I was since I moved to a state where it’s impossible to find and if you do the prices are ridiculously high. Please look up the UN dates.

    2. Steven says:

      U have to be kidding me! That witch wants to say that easy access to medical marijuana leads to opioid use.. The old “gateway” drug theory. She is an evil two faced demon I promise you. She will never run for president nor be selected for vp after her full history is picked through.

      • J says:

        I think you may have misread what was written. Elizabeth Warren asked the CDC to study using mmj as a possible substitute for opioids. Studies have shown that opioid deaths are down 25% in places with legal mmj, and she is asking the CDC to recognize that.

      • Butters says:

        Do you even know what “mitigates” means? It means to lessen the severity of. In this case, she is saying that Marijuana is helping to reduce the amount people who transition to opioids for pain relief, as well as even helps to get people off of opioids.

    3. Jason says:

      Need to get canabus legalized in ct for recreational use

      • George says:

        Agreed. But it doesn’t help our cause to look so stoned or ignorant when you post. There are well over a dozen correct spellings of cannabis on this webpage alone. No excuse to be the poster child for the anti-cannabis camp.

        • Julian says:

          Maybe he was just talking about a bus shaped like a can? Yknow, for recreational use in Connecticut?
          (Inhale… Exhale…)
          Wait, no, now that I’m stoned I just realized he doesn’t have his spellcheck turned on. Thanks cannabis.

    4. Hello George and loved you’re true comment above.I however have breast cancer and am in a massive amount of pain from just the Cancer Treatment alone.I want Cannabis legalized so I can STOP taking any more Opioids! This wonderful creation of God was made for all human beings so we all can use the uncountable benefits and be able to use at will period! I however will remain in pain fearful of drug testing by all my Doctors every month until that magnificent day in which The People WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS INJUSTICE of our God given Natural Resource NOT ONE MORE HOUR.I plan on standing behind norml and the people that demand to be naturally releaved of a massive amount of illness and pain WITHOUT THE OPIODS OVERDOSES AND DEVASTATING SIDE EFFECTS.I bet if this country’s leaders we’re in the pain I am in. Better yet had to watch their child thrash with convulsions (just one day Cannibis would have been legal yesterday) I myself have witnessesed a five year banging and bruising his own little head and face against the wall why under a medical doctors synthetic chemicals!They know these man made drugs are not only not helping American citizens but killing period. THE little child was taken into a secluded area and was administered some form of natural Cannabis and within 5 minutes was as calm as a little Lamb.The seizures and agony the child was experiencing we’re JUST SUDDENLY GONE!It was a complete active maricle. It was so thrilling I cried along with the joy filled parents.I hope this helps someone (decision makers)PLEASE AMERICANS Need GENERAL RELIEF PERIOD. SINCERELY. RACHEL

    5. Jt in nc says:

      The argument is a moot point. Cannabis was made illegal by the government so they could pad there pockets with money from Dupont and the incarnation of illegals from mexico. Until we as a country get over racism and the want to control the individuals home life, this prohibition will not end. The crazy thing is the drug dealers and the powers that be both want it to stay illegal because they both make a killing by keeping people uninformed and put away in prison for using a God made substance.

    6. Emily says:

      Who do you support for president? Wishing it was like DC across the country.

    7. Anonymous says:

      Barney for Prez

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