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NORML’s Legislative Round Up May 27th, 2016

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate May 27, 2016

    take_actionFederal lawmakers pressured President Obama this week to take executive action to reform marijuana policy. Meanwhile, state legislative reforms are still moving forward throughout the country. Keep reading to get the latest news and to learn what you can do to take action.

    Federal:

    Fourteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter this week to President Obama urging the administration to enact various marijuana law reforms.

    The letter requests the administration to reschedule marijuana under federal law to Schedule III or a lower category, or to deschedule it altogether; to license additional growers of cannabis for research purposes; to extend protections for secondary and tertiary businesses that serve the medical marijuana industry, and to ensure that the Justice Department better respects Congressionally-enacted legislation preventing it from interfering with well-regulated state medical cannabis programs.

    The letter comes after the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced recently that it will soon issue a decision on pending petitions seeking to reclassify marijuana. However, lawmakers cautioned that reclassification is only one of many changes needed with regard to federal marijuana regulations. The letter reads, “We would like to caution against adopting the assumption that rescheduling alone is the panacea to the difficulties currently facing businesses, practitioners, and consumers. As such, we implore your Administration to investigate additional reforms that may be made administratively.”

    State:

    legalization_pollCalifornia: The Public Policy Institute of California released new polling information Thursday showing “broad and increasing support for a legal, regulated system of adult-use marijuana in California.” The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which is expected to appear on the November ballot, permits adults to legally grow (up to six plants) and possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrate) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The measure prohibits localities from taking actions to infringe upon adults’ ability to possession and cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes.

    Sixty-nine percent of Democrats, 65 percent of independents and 45 percent of Republicans support regulating the adult use of marijuana, according to the poll, In each demographic, support has increased in recent months. National NORML has endorsed the AUMA, along with California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Reps. Ted Lieu and Dana Rohrabacher, the California Council of Land Trusts, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project, the California Cannabis Industry Association, the California Medical Association, and the California NAACP.

    Ohio: Lawmakers in both chambers have approved legislation, House bill 523, to regulate the use of medical cannabis preparations by qualified patients. The bill authorizes the use of various forms of cannabis preparations for the physicians-authorized treatment of nearly two-dozen conditions, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and Crohn’s. It calls on the state to license the production, distribution, and testing of cannabis products. Home cultivation is not allowed. Products may be dispensed as oils, tinctures, edibles, patches, or as plant material. However, smoking herbal cannabis is not permitted under the measure. Vaporizing medical cannabis products is permitted. Similar restrictions exist in three other states: Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania.

    The measure now awaits action from Gov. John Kasich, who may be contacted here.

    Proponents seeking to place a separate, broader medical marijuana measure on the 2016 ballot announced on May 28 that they were suspending their campaign, stating, “[A]ll in all, it is a moderately good piece of legislation passed by lawmakers who were pushed hard by the patient community. We plan on continuing forward as an advocacy effort to ensure that the State of Ohio lives up to the promises contained in HB 523, but also working to better the program utilizing our amendment as a roadmap for those improvements.”

    thumbs_upPennsylvania: Representative Ed Gainey has introduced legislation, House Bill 2076, to amend the state’s controlled substances act so that minor marijuana possession offenses are considered a non-criminal offense. The legislation would impose a fine and a summary conviction for an individual possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana or eight grams or less of hashish. Offenders would no longer face criminal arrest, incarceration, or a criminal record. The bill is now pending before the House Judiciary committee. #TakeAction

    West Virginia: Legislation was recently introduced to decriminalize the possession and cultivation of limited quantities of marijuana in West Virginia.

    House Bill 114 permits the personal use, growth and possession of up to two ounces of marijuana by persons over the age of twenty-one who have acquired a “tax stamp” from the state. It removes marijuana from the state list of schedule I drugs and decriminalizes first-time marijuana distribution offenses involving under 30 grams of marijuana. Adults will be allowed to transfer to another person twenty-one years of age or older, without remuneration, one ounce or less of marijuana.

    Adults who choose to grow their own marijuana will be permitted to cultivate and harvest up to six pants. #TakeAction

    13 Responses to “NORML’s Legislative Round Up May 27th, 2016”

    1. Bette Davis says:

      Marijuana is a natural plant that heals and helps and has been scientifically proven to benefit certain health issues without sickening side effects and should be available like alcohol or medicine. Legalize marijuana everywhere

    2. bobwv says:

      West gestapo Virginia. No way.

    3. Todd says:

      California might just be another Ohio with the current spin I am sensing. People don’t understand that they are just pets in the zoo to the rich conservatives now in power all over America. The fact that our democracy is gone except where the rich put something on the ballot that suits them is oblivious to a large portion the potential pro-cannabis reform voters. Vote to end prohibition while you still can.

    4. Kat says:

      Dear President Obama:
      I have been a faithful follower all of your presidency; on all but a few issues.
      I am disabled and suffer from permanent pain every day, with 10 conditions. The Medical Marijuana program is a joke in my state. A de-classification for cannabis would help people like me get the meds they need!
      It’s a choice of getting it off the street, unregulated; or buy it legally in a store that can offer the ideal mix of THC to CBD!
      I hope you can see how much relief AND jobs AND revenue this would bring! Classifying cannabis on the same level as alcohol and tobacco is an ideal fit. Please. President Obama, consider it!
      Thank you for all your service these past years, I will be truly sad to see you go!
      Kindest regards,, Kat Bell

    5. FuriousInPA says:

      What if we all focus our efforts on just getting media attention, whatever means necessary? I’m talking blazing blunts at the mall, local grocer, Mcdonald’s, the governor’s mansion; whatever it takes to get the attention of the SHEEPLE! I’m sick of this bullshit, no decrim, make it fucking legal, we forced that bill! Our kids are dying for your “freedom”…. The American public needs to flex its muscles, by violence if necessary cry DON’T TREAD ON ME and take back our marijuana rights!

      • Julian says:

        “And the biggest man you ever did see
        Was once just a baby
        In this life…
        We’re Coming in from the Cold”
        -Robert Nesta Marley

        Don’t you dare preach violence on this web site:..
        Less you become the enemy you preach

        • FuriousinPA says:

          Ah you’re right Julian, maybe a little premature (glug glug sometimes when I can’t smoke, gotta focus on stayin clean for a job!) but maybe just one mass smoke out, even if it means a few people get taken down too hard? The progress is too slow, its nothing as bad as alcohol!

          • Julian says:

            True. We’re all angry about marijuana prohibition, the difference between being part of the problem or being part of the solution is how we choose to direct our anger and to who. Our Congressman are hearing us, but finally more and more are starting to listen. I get angry all the time, I understand it, but after the anger, what is left?

    6. TheOracle says:

      As a resident of Pennsylvania, I certainly know how difficult it can be to keep the fury from galling up from the id and superego and making it through the filter of the ego to a verbalization.

      Item 1, March 18, 2016: Most of Lancaster County’s polticians voted against legalizing medical marijuana, although it passed.

      http://lancasteronline.com/news/pennsylvania/county-lawmakers-vote-against-widely-supported-medical-marijuana-bill/article_c33ff3cc-ec81-11e5-b96e-e3cddfe2bab5.html

      Item 2, May 13, 2016: Middle of this May Kevin Sabet and his troupe were in Lancaster County spewing their prohibitionist talking points.

      Same old same old:

      http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/don-t-legalize-recreational-marijuana-lancaster-health-summit-speaker-says/article_bdcd85d6-18a4-11e6-9f10-2be94553a881.html

      Item 3, May 29, 2016: Now that Sabet was in town, the Lancaster County district attorney and law enforcement are parroting the prohibitionist talking points at different venues, different high schools, evenings and are pushing the meme that cannabis, as a gateway drug, is at the core of the beginning of the heroin epidemic sweeping urban and rural areas.

      http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/da-cultural-decline-fuels-drug-abuse/article_b523541e-2511-11e6-813a-13697de47dd4.html

      The only way prohibitionists will legalize is if you give them no other choice.

    7. TheOracle says:

      Item 3, May 29, 2016: Now that Sabet was in town, the Lancaster County district attorney and law enforcement are parroting the prohibitionist talking points at different venues, different high schools, evenings and are pushing the meme that cannabis, as a gateway drug, is at the core of the beginning of the heroin epidemic sweeping urban and rural areas.

      http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/da-cultural-decline-fuels-drug-abuse/article_b523541e-2511-11e6-813a-13697de47dd4.html

      We need to direct that energy from folks’ outrage here in Pennsylvania to re-educating the prohibitionists in the state–politicians and the public–about the pro-legalization facts. If there is any way to make positive pro-legalization news about the person Pennsylvania selects as its Director of Bureau of Medical Marijuana to counter what crap Sabet spouted before to expose the prohibitionists as the heartless gits they are by showing how they used to be against MMJ and don’t really give a shit about the patients who could benefit from MMJ, especially the kids with seizures. If the prohibitionists had their way, an effective treatment would still be denied countless people. Why? All because prohibitionists simply refuse to admit they’re wrong.

      The only way prohibitionists will legalize is if you give them no other choice.

    8. I am an old drywaller. With no insurance I had paid my med card a few years ago for athridice in my back. I had to quit when I got a DUI for THC in my blood (BAC 0.0) and failed the road side test for touching the wrong finger. The cop when in jail made it a big joke that the card should come with a chauffeur. I don’t smoke any more of fear of being pulled over again and going thro the same fines that has hurt me and my family more then my back does. I thank the supporters of noml and hope the laws will change.

    9. Shane September says:

      Indeed.

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