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NORML’s Legislative Round Up October 21, 2016

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate October 21, 2016

    take_actionWith Election Day less than three weeks away we’re excited to share with you the latest polling information from states with pending marijuana related ballot initiatives, as well as breaking news from another state that may be setting the stage for full legalization next year. A summary of this year’s crop of marijuana-centric ballot initiatives is available online here.

    NORML is also pleased to announce that next week we will be releasing our first ever, Governors Report Card. Inspired by our Congressional Scorecard, this report will provide a letter grade for the Governors of all 50 states. Which Governors have been supportive of reforms and which ones have stood in the way of progress? We’ll give your Governor a grade so you know exactly where your Governor stands. If you aren’t yet subscribed to our Newsletter, sign up today so you can be the first to receive the Governors Scorecard in your inbox!

    Now, keep reading below to get the latest in marijuana law reform!

    Arizona: Half of Arizona voters intend to vote ‘yes’ in favor of Proposition 205: The Arizona Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Act, according to an Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll. Forty percent of voters oppose the initiative. The Act allows adults age 21 and older to possess and to privately consume and grow limited amounts of marijuana (up to one ounce of marijuana flower, up to five grams of marijuana concentrate, and/or the harvest from up to six plants) and provides regulations for a retail cannabis marketplace.

    Delaware: A September poll by the University of Delaware shows that 61 percent of residents surveyed support marijuana legalization. The survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International on Sept. 16-28, consisted of 900 phone interviews. Last year Delaware decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, reclassifying the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis by those age 21 and over from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a criminal record, to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine only — no arrest, and no criminal record.

    Last week, the state’s Senate majority whip said that she would propose a bill in January to legalize marijuana for adult use in the state. We’ll have an #ActionAlert out soon so you can #TakeAction in support of this legislation.

    cannabis_pillsFlorida: According to an October poll by the University of North Florida, 77 percent of respondents said they’ll vote for Amendment 2, which would expand medical marijuana access in the state. Passage of the amendment would permit qualified patients to possess and obtain cannabis from state-licensed facilities. Under Florida law, 60 percent of voters must approve a constitutional amendment in order for it to become law. In November 2014, Floridians narrowly rejected a similar amendment, which received 58 percent of the vote.

    Massachusetts: According to a WBUR poll released this week, support for marijuana legalization is rising. Fifty-five percent of likely voters now say they favor allowing adults to use recreational marijuana, an increase of five percentage points from a similar poll performed last month. Question 4 permits adults to possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis and to grow up to six plants for non-commercial purposes. The measure also establishes regulations overseeing the commercial production and sale of the plant.

    19 Responses to “NORML’s Legislative Round Up October 21, 2016”

    1. Henry says:

      I will be the legal distance from my local polling place with my sign “Vote YES on Ammendment 2.” I have recruited friends to join me. We need to make this happen in Florida. Why? Because as a disabled Veteran whom the VA has taken away my pain medication, I deserve an alternative other than an antiseizure medications to control pain. I refuse to start taking Gabapentin for pain when the side effects warning says while taking it I could have thoughts about suicide or dying, attempts to commit suicide, new or worse depression, new or worse anxiety, feeling agitated or restless and two dozen other side effects to include if I stop taking it after starting it could cause “status epileptics.” If I had millions of dollars I would gladly give millions to make this happen. I do have what I saved by not shopping at Publix anymore, but it is not near as much as the Publix princess donated to stop it. On the Governer grade I have no doubt Rick Scott with his millions from his health insurance business will receive an F-.

      • Julian says:

        Thanks for sharing your story Henry. You have something more valuable than the millions in blood dollars that all the pill popper-pushers, piss-test junkies or money-laundering casino parasites can throw at us; you have your life, and the love and value you place on it which offers hope and promise to the millions of veterans and Americans suffering as you are.
        Keep checking the scorecard and pass it on to others. Your position in Florida is pivitol to legalizing not only your state, but other southern “conservative” non-voter initiative states like mine here in Texas, and ultimately preventing the Federal backlash to veteran access to marijuana recommendation from the VA, like what Republicans in the House Appropriations Committee did to our bipartisan legislation that passed this year. Wear your military clothing when youre out there. Youre making a difference!

    2. Julian says:

      I still think about Delaware from that old skit on Wayne’s World; (Mike Myers): “Or you could win a vacation to… Delaware! (No applause). (Dana Carvey): “…They’ve got a bridge.” (Applause!)
      Well how about “…They wanna legalize marijuana next year!” (Standing ovation with the whistles and roar the crowd).
      So let me get this straight; Is Delaware proposing legislatively initiated legalization? Will they accomplish what no other state has done, not even Vermont while Sanders was running for President? This could be a real game changer on the federal level. More importantly, this is gonna make the traffic from New York to DC WAY more tolerable!! Running late? “NO problem! Just enjoyin this view over this beautiful bridge here in (De la where?)” “(I dunno, but pass it dont harass it you Bogart!)”

      Its great to see the polls going up in favor for legalization in Massachusetts. I know legalization wont be enacted during my vacation time there right after elections, but I still want to go just to have bragging rights that I went. Thats the power of canna-tourism. Your state starts making money before the marijuana laws are even enacted! (“Dad? Why are you packing EVERYthing?” “No reason honey, but you might want to take your favorite toys… and say good by to your friends…”)
      Plus Mass is SO much more accessible than Maine for lots of sick people in New York. (And Lord knows there’s some sick people there, not naming names, they just might live in Trump Tower, I “hear” things… Bigly, or “Big League”, or whatever… maybe theres a strain of marijuana that can correct hubris or speech impediments, who knows? We’ll just have to stay in suspense until after elections…)

      • Just An Observer says:

        Maybe that same medpot that you think cures hubris will clear up your case of CRS (Can’t Remember Shit). Let me refresh your Hillary-grade “I don’t recall” memory.

        Obama (your guy no doubt) had put up a deal online which said if X amount of folks brought up a topic, he would address it. MJ came up. Obama laughed it off and claimed an online pressure group (NORML) amped up the numbers as his reason for dismissal. Hope and change turned into suck on rutabagas.

        In the 2016 campaign, Trump has cast the MJ issue as one for the states to deal with. What is so wrong with that? You must have a problem with states being the laboratory of democracy. Just look at North Carolina and their transgender bathroom legal situation. Social conservatives won with the result businesses cancelled out bringing J-O-B-S and special events. That was the Tarheel State’s choice. California goes uberliberal and they have their consequences to deal with from that as well.

        Smoke less weed and use your brain more Julian.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          You’re in denial about Trump. Or are you really a racist narc trolling this blog?

          Read my other post about Pence and Indiana voter suppression, or about Trump’s support for mandatory minimums for drug crimes. Or just read the news. You really should get caught up on the news!

          Now look at all the progress legalization has made under Obama, simply because he demonstrates TOLERANCE. Are you seriously attributing TOLERANCE to Trump? Absurd. That’s one thing Trump will never ever grasp!

          So get your facts straight. I’m tired of listening to you make shit up. Or maybe you just like that racist shit? Hmmmm?

          • Yourmomisfat says:

            Dear anti Trump hate slinging hypocrites:
            One the biggest roadblocks in the progression of MJ decriminalization rests with the passing of The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Signed by Bill Clinton.

            This funded the development of drug courts and the 3 strike systems that has ruined millions of lives.

            The hate you can spew so voraciously against anyone only makes you seem close minded and foolish. Here is literally the wife of the person who signed away the lives of so many of our friends and neighbors. But you decide to spend your time psychoanalysing and recipricating the propaganda spread by the MSM.

            The fact is: Donald Trump is the only presidential candidate in history to say that “MMJ needs to be sent to the states.”
            Is not that a huge step for this movement? Removing Fed hands from the programs?

            I see these few haters bringing up these irrelevant topics that are nothing more than liberal smear. If we cant even keep the propaganda out of these forums, we have no chance.

            The president can present congress with bills and laws cannot be made* without his signature. Having a pro mmj potus is a plus.

            Can you so easily forget the words said by Obama then the subsequent crackdown across the country? The 10th amendment was trampled on by his DOJ/DEA.

            Let us not forget that it is the presidents job to uphold the law within the guidlines of the constitution. It is ultimately our job to push for change at the state level. And the states together would push for national. Your local officials are really who could push for change at state, but sadly most of us do not even know them and base all of our votes on the R or the D.
            ….or the words of an ass hat like John Stewart.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          “Smoke less weed?” Now I know you’re a fucking narc.

        • Julian says:

          You know, for someone who titles themself as “Just an Observer” you reaaaally need to do more observing. Like seriously, READ. ALOT. Like DIFFERENT sources, not just Britebart or whatever the fu€* you call news.
          So let me understand you correctly; Youre comparing Trump as some superior alternative to Clinton for marijuana reform because Obama failed to respond to a petition on Change.org, correct?
          Then, because Trump says, despite an endless factory of contradictions, that marijuana is a “state’s issue” you presume that I not only have a “problem with that” but that my alleged “problem” is in fact because I “smoke too much weed.” Am I following your regurgitated dribble? Good. Because Im about to spoonfeed it back to you one moderate spoonful at a time…
          Petitioning ANY president doesn’t add up to jack $#!+. CONGRESS makes the rules, its Congress we need to be focused on to change marijuana law.
          The only thing we can expect from a US President while marijuana remains scheduled with heroin on the CSAct is that they direct the DOJ to stay out of the way of state marijuana legalization, something Pres. Obama has graciously done. Any executive decision by a president without Congressional consent is subject to judicial appeal such as what happened to Obama’s immigration amnesty.
          So… Trump’s Law & Order SVU drug policy; He said he would hire the “best” prosecutors to deal with drug related crimes? Thats called expanding the drug war bureocracy. Or when he blamed the “wave of illegal immigrants” on the violence derived from our failed drug policies? (BTW; Mexicans have returned since loan sharks and ponzi scheming trolls like Trump fu€*ed up the economy in 2008 with investment fraud).
          Let’s see… who else called Mexicans “rapists” to perpetuate marijuana prohibition? I can’t think of it right now, but it was one guy… oh yes! Harry fu€king Anslinger!
          I repel your feigned ignorance. Not gonna work on this blog.

    3. Julian says:

      Man, we are gonna NEED marijuana legalized by Nov. 8th because America is gonna have the greatest hangover after these elections are over! Were all gonna be crawling to work, begging for some kind of pain management alternative to alcohol! Seriously, marijuana activists, lets plan our vacations so we can afford the celebration! Were gonna deserve it!

      And what about Arizona? %50? Talk about suspence! After anti-donations from Insys, construction and real estate moguls, and a crazy old Trump supporting billionaire owner of Discount Tire, if Arizona wins, forget throwing tires, theyre gonna be throwing their moldy old bricks of illegal marijuana through the DT windows goin “I don’t need THAT anymore!” 😉

      And ahhh.. Florida, the land of fraudulent elections… Funny yet tragic thing is if Trump is fanning the flames for the 37 in a billion’s chance of voter Fraud we had in this nation clearly there were Republicans stupid enough in Florida to take the bait. Leaving OUT the medical marijuana amendment to their state constitution?! What did they think people in Ft. Lauderdale wouldn’t NOTICE? Its like “Well darlin were all done investing our life savings into this property to build our new medical dispensary! Now all we have to do is fill out our early voting ca—HEY! WTF?!”
      Im tellin ya’ll we can lead’m to legalization but we can’t fix STUPID!”
      Great work on the Round Up Danielle! As always.

    4. Mark Mitcham says:

      For convenience, I’ve summarized the NORML congressional scorecard for Arizona.
      Please vote OUT all “D’s” and “F’s”! They gotta go!

      NORML congressional scorecard
      UPDATED FOR 2016 ELECTIONS
      Get the details at
      http://norml.org/congressional-scorecard

      ARIZONA SCORECARD
      Senators:
      Jeff Flake (R): “C”
      John McCain (R): “C”

      Reps:
      Ruben Gallego (D): “A”
      Raul Grijalva (D): “B+”
      Ann Kirkpatrick (D): “B”
      David Schweikert (R): “B”
      Kyrsten Sinema (D): “B”
      Martha McSally (R): “C”
      Matt Salmon (R): “D”
      Trent Franks (R): “F”
      Paul Gosar (R): “F”

    5. Mark Mitcham says:

      For convenience, I’ve summarized the NORML congressional scorecard for Delaware.
      Please vote OUT all “D’s” and “F’s”! They gotta go!

      (In this case, it’s just this one “F” for Carper! Very strange — “N/A” for all his votes, and “No sponsorships or comments” regarding his public statements. Has he gone AWOL?)

      NORML congressional scorecard
      UPDATED FOR 2016 ELECTIONS
      Get the details at
      http://norml.org/congressional-scorecard

      DELAWARE SCORECARD
      Senators:
      Chris Coons (D): “B”
      Tom Carper (D): “F”

      Reps:
      John Carney (D): “B”

    6. Mark Mitcham says:

      Here is a summary of the NORML congressional scorecard for Florida.
      Please vote OUT all “D’s” and “F’s”! They gotta go!

      NORML congressional scorecard
      UPDATED FOR 2016 ELECTIONS
      For details, and info on other states, click on:
      http://norml.org/congressional-scorecard

      FLORIDA SCORECARD
      Senators:
      Bill Nelson (D): “B”
      Marco Rubio (R): “F”

      Reps:
      Patrick Murphy (D): “B+”
      Corrine Brown (D): “B”
      Kathy Castor (D): “B”
      Carlos Curbelo (R): “B”
      Ron DeSantis (R): “B”
      Ted Deutch (D): “B”
      Lois Frankel (D): “B”
      Gwen Graham (D): “B”
      Alan Grayson (D): “B”
      Alcee Hastings (D): “B”
      Tom Rooney (R): “B”
      Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R): “B”
      Frederica Wilson (D): “B”
      Ted Yoho (R): “B”
      Vern Buchanan (R): “C”
      Jeff Miller (R): “C”
      Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D): “C-”
      Gus Bilirakis (R): “D”
      Curt Clawson (R): “D”
      Mario Diaz-Balart (R): “D”
      Rich Nugent (R): “D”
      Bill Posey (R): “D”
      Dennis Ross (R): “D”
      Daniel Webster (R): “D”
      Ander Crenshaw (R): “F”
      David Jolly (R): “F”
      John Mica (R): “F”

    7. Mark Mitcham says:

      For convenience, I’ve summarized the NORML congressional scorecard below for Massachusetts.
      Please vote OUT all “D’s” and “F’s”! They gotta go!

      NORML congressional scorecard
      UPDATED FOR 2016 ELECTIONS
      Get the details at
      http://norml.org/congressional-scorecard

      MASSACHUSETTS SCORECARD
      Senators:
      Elizabeth Warren (D): “B”
      Ed Markley (D): “C+”

      Reps:
      Mike Capuano (D): “A+”
      Katherine Clark (D): “B”
      Stephen Lynch (D): “B”
      Jim McGovern (D): “B”
      Seth Moulton (D): “B”
      Richard Neal (D): “B”
      Niki Tsongas (D): “B”
      Bill Keating (D): “D”
      Joseph P. Kennedy III (D): “D”

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Interesting — no “F’s” for MA! Fairly decent grades overall. Well done, class!

        But now it’s time for a little Democrat bashing, from the progressive left: Any grade below a “B” for a Democrat is no longer acceptable, as far as I’m concerned. Compared to Republicans, they’ve had more time to travel less distance — and I say they’re now dragging their feet on purpose, and we should leave them behind.

    8. Galileo Galilei says:

      Looks like good news in Delaware and Massachusetts. That’s a lot closer to Maryland then Colorado.

    9. Mark Mitcham says:

      It is so very important that you vote! Your ass depends on it! A real-time example:

      Here’s how fascist it’s gotten in Indiana — state troopers raid A VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE CENTER in a predominately black community. And this is Trump’s model for the rest of America!

      From DailyKos:

      The Huffington Post has an ARTICLE out today showing just how flimsy the entire investigation is. Just to quickly recap for newcomers, on October 4th, working on information provided by a couple of County Clerks about possibly faulty or fraudulent applications turned in, the ISP executed a search warrant on the headquarters of the Indiana Voter Registration Project, seizing applications, laptops, paperwork and even personal cell phones. They barred access to the office by an attorney during the raid, and they lined volunteers up against the wall. They expanded their investigation from two counties to 56, even though IVRP only had activity in nine counties.

      The cracks started appearing in the cover story almost immediately. The ISP raided based on information by County Clerks, but the IVRP insisted that they had followed the law and flagged about a dozen applications as being faulty, asking the clerks to inspect them as part of their process. In other words, they self disclosed. Kind of sounds like a piss poor way to go about committing voter fraud, putting a big red flag on it. And third party registrars are required to turn in every application that they collect, to prevent applications from being discarded due to political preference. They must flag suspicious applications, which the IVRP clearly did. Where’s the fire?

      Turns out there is none. The County Clerks, and even the Secretary of State admitted that there was no clear evidence of fraud, most of the glitches were inverted numbers, or a blank or incomplete zip code or phone number. Dumb ass human error actually. There were no applications that appeared to be made up out of whole cloth.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Here is the “smoking gun” linking Trump to the Indiana voter suppression:

        More from the DailyKos article:

        And it gets more complicated. Under the law, the state police don’t seem to have a role in an investigation into a potential fraudulent voter registration form. Instead, it is up to the county election board to investigate before turning any findings over to a prosecutor.

        Do you believe this? 5-10,000 confiscated applications, another 40-45,000 already turned in at jeopardy, and the ISP has no jurisdiction over this matter?!? Jon Stewart always says, “If you smell bullshit, call bullshit”. And this is pure, unadulterated bullshit. The capper is that Mike Pence, at a rally in Iowa last week bragged about the partisan, racist witch hunt his cops are on. The people of Indiana deserve better than this from their government.

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