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Weekly Legislative Update 7/1/17

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director July 1, 2017

    revolutionbumperWelcome to this week’s edition of the NORML legislative roundup!

    At the federal level, the House Appropriations Committee this week released its 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which determines the funding levels for numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice. Predictably, the bill does not include language — known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment — limiting the Justice Department from taking action against state-sanctioned medical cannabis producers, retailers, or consumers.

    The text of this amendment has never been included in the base bill of the CJS Appropriations bill. In every case of its passage, lawmakers have needed to add the language as a separate rider to the legislation and then vote on it on the floor of the House.

    This year is no exception. Our allies in Congress anticipate a similar process to take place this fall and they are confident that we will once again be victorious — despite the best efforts of our opponents.

    At the state level, the biggest development has been the introduction of Wisconsin Senate Bill 318, to amend state law so that marijuana possession offenses (up to 10 grams) are reduced to a civil offense, punishable by a fine of $100, and no longer have the threat of jail time.

    As we prepare for the Fourth of July celebration, it’s always good to have some critical self-reflection about how our democracy is functioning. Our system of government is not perfect – in fact, it is far from it. But for hundreds of years, citizens have organized and struggled to come closer to Thomas Jefferson’s iconic aspiration, “That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Thomas Jefferson legally grew cannabis. You should be able to as well.

    Following are the bills from around the country that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.

    Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level.

    Thanks for all you do and keep fighting,
    Justin

    Priority Alerts

    Federal

    Protect Lawful Medical Marijuana Programs: The House Appropriations Committee released its 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which determines the funding levels for numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice. Predictably, the bill does not include language — known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment — limiting the Justice Department from taking action against state-sanctioned medical cannabis producers, retailers, or consumers.

    Click here to send a message to your federal elected officials to maintain existing protections from the Justice Department.

    Join The Caucus: With public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) earlier this year formed the Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.

    Click here to email your Member of Congress to urge them to join the Congressional Cannabis Caucus

    California

    Legislation is pending, Assembly Bill 1578, to try and limit potential federal interference in the state’s marijuana regulatory laws.

    The bill states, “This bill would prohibit a state or local agency, as defined, from taking certain actions without a court order signed by a judge, including using agency money, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to assist a federal agency to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for commercial or noncommercial marijuana or medical cannabis activity that is authorized by law in the State of California and transferring an individual to federal law enforcement authorities for purposes of marijuana enforcement.”

    Update: AB-1578 was passed by members of the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 27 by a 5-2 vote.

    CA resident? Click here to send your lawmakers a message in support of AB-1578

    Delaware

    Senate Bill 24, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry to expand the list of qualifying conditions to medical marijuana to include PTSD.

    On June 22 Senate Bill 24 was passed the Health & Human Development Committee in statehouse.

    DE resident? Click here to send a message to your lawmakers in support of this effort. 

    Wisconsin

    Senate Bill 318 has been introduced to amend state law so that marijuana possession offenses (up to 10 grams) are reduced to a civil offense, punishable by a fine of $100.

    The policy proposed by this bill is line with those of numerous other states, including Nebraska and Ohio. Such a change will save taxpayers money and allow police and the courts to re-prioritize their resources toward addressing more serious crimes.

    WI resident? Click here to send a message to your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

    6 Responses to “Weekly Legislative Update 7/1/17”

    1. Alex says:

      Thanks for the roundup! Our country really ought to be discussing how marijuana can be used to help treat PTSD more often. Kudos to Deleware’s legislators.

      • Jake says:

        I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2008 and became addicted to heroin for 8 years..i went to over 50 rehabs and spent years in Self help groups..nothing helped and i was about to die at every second and couldnt get more than a couple months without overdosing..i decided to try medical cannabis a shot despite everyone in my life saying it would never work..moved to a medicaly compassionate state and started to medicate throughout the day..i havent used heroin for over a year and im happier tha. I am happier than i can ever remember being. Many Sufferers of PTSD have drug/alcohol problems..id like to see some studys to see if it can help have a positive effect with treating individuals with addiction problems. Havent seen any reliable studies on that issue then my personal experience..it saved my life.

    2. Matt says:

      It is a GOOD thing, to remember a great man, who is and who WAS Thomas Jefferson, as we arrive at Independence Day.

      I suppose…in OUR case…it is the constant pursuit of LIBERTY……but Thomas Jefferson made our point even before our fight. Happy Independence Day. The Founding Fathers!

      What Legends!!!

    3. Julian says:

      Well said Justin.

      As we prepare for our July 4th Independence Day celebrations, we reflect upon the freedoms our ancestors died for us to live for; and those who are unjustly incarcerated or have their votes supressed for merely partaking of the sacred herb that helped build our nation. Freedom of speech, The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; As our founder Keith Stroup recently said, we formally and intuitively recognize here at NORML that the marijuana movement is not only about our right to consume and possess marijuana, but about protecting our right to freedom. We must refuse and resist the attempts of this administration, Congress, Governors or state legislators to supress our voice, our vote or any of our freedoms whether for our consumption of marijuana or because our last name suggests that we vote for a certain party, is similar to another voter in another state, and therefore must be “scatched from the list.” Our participation in our Democratic Republic… voting, citizen lobbying and reminding our politicians they work for us all, IS our Democratic Republic. Let’s participate, so we can light up an American passtime tonight with the reward of knowing that despite every attempt by a few in power to divide us, supress and cage our votes with “Crosscheck” programs or so-called “Presidential Election Integrity Commissions,” or even incarcerate us or seperate our families for the non-violent possession of marijuana, we continue to stand up for our for safe and effective consumption of marijuana and for all our hard-earned freedoms.

      Happy 4th of July everyone!

    4. KT says:

      HR 1227? House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Health and House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations haven’t touched them since beginning/mid March.

      What can we do to get HR 1227 out of committee?

    5. Dick Jivas says:

      This bill concerns me,

      https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billVotesClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1120

      not only can I not even buy enough butane to use my torch, this will kill the butane extract industry in California overnight. I understand that they are trying to get rid of dangerous garage operations where explosions are known to happen,but make those illegal, because in the hands of professionals butane extraction can be done safely and cheaply. It is because of the low cost of butane extraction that many people today can even afford “dabs”. With many dispensaries testing the extracts (under 50 parts per millions at mine) we are guaranteed a safe product. Literally 90% or more of the extracts in every shop I go to is butane extraction, this bill will destroy a thriving market that needs and should grow. I can honestly say that it is because of butane that I can finally afford low cost extracts at the club. It is because of these extracts that I have been able to easily give up the smoking of all pot and tobacco. Do Not Let This Bill Pass.

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