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Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/16/18

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML Political Associate March 16, 2018

    Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

    I first want to highlight some key developments happening at the state level.

    During a budget address on Tuesday 3/13, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy reiterated his commitment to legalize marijuana in the Garden State this year. A budget overview document indicated that his Administration plans to legalize adult-use marijuana by January 1, 2019. Also, efforts in Wyoming to set felony penalties for edible and drinkable cannabis products failed.

    Several marijuana related legislation died this week after failing to be voted on before crossover deadlines, including legalization bills in Kentucky and Missouri. The Indiana state legislature failed to agree on amendments to a hemp pilot program bill before the end of the legislative session; the bill will go to an interim study commission this summer. And an Arizona bill to enhance quality testing practices was defeated in the House Appropriations Committee.

    At the local level, advocates in Los Angeles, California are holding events to help people with prior marijuana convictions get their records expunged.

    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.

    Your highness,
    Carly

    Priority Alerts

    Federal

    End Prohibition: Representatives Tom Garrett (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have introduced bipartisan legislation, HR 1227, to exclude marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus leaving states the authority to regulate the plant how best they see fit.

    The “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference.

    Click here to e-mail your Representative and urge them to support this important legislation

    Connecticut

    House Bill 5458 is pending to regulate and tax the retail sale of marijuana to adults. The tax revenue raised by commercial retail sales would be used to fund substance abuse treatment, prevention, education and awareness programs.

    Update: The General Law Committee held a public hearing on HB 5458 on Thursday 3/15. The committee will vote on the bill by Tuesday.

    CT resident? Click here to email your elected officials in favor of legalization, regulation, and taxation

    Maryland

    Legalization
    House Bill 1264 would put an amendment to the Maryland Constitution on the ballot to be decided by voters to ensure that citizens have the right to possess, smoke, and cultivate marijuana.

    Update: The House Judiciary committee held a hearing on HB 1264 on Tuesday 3/13 (I was there to testify!).

    MD resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of letting the voters decide

    Decriminalization
    Legislation is pending, SB 127, to expand the state’s marijuana decriminalization law.

    If passed, SB 127 would amend penalties so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is classified as a civil rather than a criminal offense. Under current law, the possession of more than ten grams of marijuana is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

    Update: SB 127 was approved by the Judicial Proceedings Committee on 3/15.

    MD resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of expanding the decriminalization law

    Louisiana

    Legislation is pending in the House, House Bill 611, to decriminalize offenses involving the possession of marijuana and/or marijuana paraphernalia.

    The measure amends criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis to a civil violation punishable by a fine only — no arrest and no criminal record. Possessing paraphernalia items would be treated similarly.

    Update: Another, more favorable proposal was introduced on 3/12, HB 274, which seeks to entirely decriminalize the possession and distribution of marijuana, contingent on the creation of a sales tax system that would regulate the retail sale of marijuana.

    LA resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of complete decriminalization

    Washington, DC

    Legislation is pending, B22-446, to expand patients’ access to medical marijuana under District law.

    This measure seeks to increase access among qualified patients by: establishing same-day registration, permitting home delivery, establishing safe-treatment facilities, establishing reciprocity with other jurisdictions, allowing existing dispensaries to expand their operations, and capping taxes, among other changes. These changes will assure that District patients — as well as those visiting from other jurisdictions that have similar programs in place — will have safe, consistent and reliable access to affordable medicine.

    DC resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of improved medical marijuana access

    New Jersey

    New Jersey lawmakers are set to consider legalizing marijuana this legislative session. Sen. Scutari, as expected, re-introduced his marijuana legalization bill from last session for 2018, S830 and companion bill A1348. Both were referred to committee.

    Update: Another proposal to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis was introduced by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, A3581.

    NJ resident? Click here to email your elected officials and tell them that it’s time to legalize marijuana

    Tennessee

    SB 1710 and HB 1749 permit qualified patients to possess marijuana-infused oil products, as well as other non-herbal forms of cannabis, from state-licensed dispensaries. Both patients and physicians would be required to participate in a state registry.

    Update: HB 1749 was originally on the Criminal Justice Committee’s calendar for 3/14, but got deferred until 3/21. SB 1710 is awaiting action in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    TN resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of access to medical marijuana extracts

     

    Additional Actions to Take

    Missouri

    Legislation is pending, SB 547 and HB 2034, seeking to modify provisions relating to industrial hemp.

    If passed, the bills would allow the Department of Agriculture to issue a registration or permit to growers and handlers of agricultural and industrial hemp. It would also create an industrial hemp agricultural pilot program to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp.

    Update: SB 547 passed the Senate on 3/15 by a 29-3 vote, and now awaits action in the House. HB 2034 passed the House last month, and is currently pending in the Senate Agriculture, Food Production, and Outdoor Resources Committee.

    MO resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of an industrial hemp pilot program

    Indiana

    Senate Bill 52 seeks to legalize the possession, use, manufacture, and retail sale of cannabidiol products, as well as to provide protections so that employers may not discriminate against anyone using CBD in compliance with the law.

    Update: After a conference committee was appointed due to failure of both houses to agree on amendments, the conference committee report was approved by both the Senate (36-11 vote) and House (97-0 vote) on 3/14, and now awaits action from the Governor. Gov. Eric Holcomb has indicated that he will sign the bill.

    IN resident? Click here to email your Governor and urge him to sign this bill into law

    Alaska

    Senate Bill 184 prohibits the release of past records for any marijuana offense that is no longer defined as a crime under state law. The bill’s intent is to reduce barriers to employment for people who have been convicted of low-level marijuana possession crimes that would be legal under today’s laws, and to make it more likely that people convicted of only low-level crimes will become contributing members of society.

    Update: SB 184 will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 21, at 1:30 pm in BELTZ 105 (TS Bldg)

    AK resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of sealing past marijuana convictions

    California

    Legislation is pending, AB 3157, to temporarily reduce tax rates imposed on the retail sale and cultivation of cannabis.

    State and local taxes currently imposed upon retail cannabis sales can total in upwards of 40 percent. This excessive taxation places an undue financial burden, particularly on patients, many of whom are now unable to consistently afford their medicine.

    Further, these tax rates make it exceedingly difficult for retail providers to compete with those in the underground market. One of the primary goals of Proposition 64 was to bring the black market above ground and to make this market transparent. In order to do so, it is necessary to reduce existing tax rates. Otherwise, compliant businesses are at a significant disadvantage due to their inability to compete with illicit actors who do not pay similar taxes.

    CA resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of lower taxes

    Oklahoma

    Senate Bill 1120 seeks to preemptively challenge provisions in State Question 788.

    Voters will decide on June 26 in favor of State Question 788, which permits physicians to recommend medical cannabis therapy to qualified patients at their discretion. Under this plan, patients would be authorized to possess up to eights ounces of herbal cannabis in private and grow up to six mature plants.

    NORML endorses State Question 788 and opposes SB 1120.

    Update: Senate Bill 1120 was brought back for reconsideration after it failed to secure the necessary number of votes on the Senate floor on 3/12, and Senator Yen held it on a procedural motion to reconsider. SB 1120 then passed by the Senate on 3/15 by a 26 to 11 vote and awaits action from the House.

    OK resident? Click here to email your elected officials in OPPOSITION to this effort

    Check back next Friday for more legislative updates!

     

    48 responses to “Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/16/18”

    1. Sean says:

      Being from Louisiana, this is great news. Just emailed my state rep y’all.

    2. Dain Bramage says:

      I got a message for the Republicans.

      All we’re trying to do here is legalize marijuana.

      You smoke weed? Cool. Or not? Fine. You want to see it legalized? Fantastic! We want your help.

      …on one condition: dump Trump.

      Stick with Trump, and you remain the enemy, no matter how much weed you smoke. Stick with Trump, and the Russian-infiltrated NRA and GOP, and you ain’t welcome here. You’re of no use to us. No help whatsoever. Don’t want you, don’t need you.

      That’s because Trump, and all he represents, is a mortal threat to the marijuana legalization movement, and to American Democracy itself. He is also just one total waste of a human being. Pure evil white trash. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it — it’s a fucking fact.

      So, if you come on this blog and lie about that, if you come on this blog and try to sell the Republicans and/or Trump as supporters of legalization, you are not going to make me more sympathetic to Trump. You are only going to piss me off, that’s all. Because, that just makes you another lying sack of shit like Trump and the rest of his butt-lickers.

      (Looking at you, Leroy! And where’s that little bitch MSimon lately?)

      If you come on this blog with a bunch of pro-Russian, anti-democratic, pro-Trump/pro-Putin fascist horseshit propaganda, and I will destroy you. I will kick your ass down the block. That what I am here for. You goddamn lying fuckers. It is my purpose in life.

      And I am not the only one.

      Your move, Republicans.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        What did you do with your Republican tax cut?

        Me, I put mine on a down payment for a roll of toilet paper. It’s a real beauty. Quilted, and all. As white as Trump’s secret sex fantasies about Jeff Sessions.

        I just can’t wait to try my new, high-class toilet paper. I am going to use it in front of my next-door neighbor… he will be positively green with envy. I am tired of living in poverty. I want a taste of the good life, too! I want to live like Scott Pruitt… you know, and just piss away our tax dollars. Like, I want a soundproof bathroom, too.

        Once I can afford that high-class roll of toilet paper, I know I will have “arrived.” Or, close, anyway!

        Only two more payments!

        (Okay, that was all sarcasm.)

        • mexweed says:

          Couldn’t resist throwing this in: to stop deforestative use of tree wood to make high class toilet paper, let’s advocate making hemp toilet paper, right in each neighborhood and household where affordable machines to do the manufacturing should be de riguere (yes, our Big Brother Max Reger, Love Him, was born this day March 19, 1873).

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Ha! Perfect. You are right! Once we have renewable hemp toilet paper, we will all be living like aristocrats, to that extent!

            • Julian says:

              Just keep in mind the tree-pulp toilet paper market is patented and wiped up by Koch Industries. Make sure you know what kind of $#!+ youre getting into before you patent hemp toilet paper.
              (Sorry, couldn’t resist!) 😉

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Julian,
              So you’re saying, I literally cannot wipe my ass without supporting the Koch brothers?! Oh, my, god. Must you puncture even my most modest hopes and dreams?! (Just kidding.)

      • Ryan says:

        Sounds like u have dain bramage moron, parrot the corporate media well.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Yeah, Ryan, I know, I know. I get it! Dain Bramage sounds like Brain Damage. I chose the name, remember?

          I may have a hole in my head, but you are one dim-witted motherfucker!

    3. Nate says:

      Thanks for keeping this up-to-date Carly! Knowledge is power and we need all the juice we can get to continue to lovely ride we have been on.

    4. Ryan says:

      Ron Paul is a Republican.

    5. Drink This says:

      You watch way to much news. Your completely indoctrinated and brainwashed if you think party politics has anything to do with anything other then controlling your slave ass. Sway your opinions strongly and hold what your told by anybody you see as an authority (everyone on tv i assume) as fact. Which you obviously do. In marijuana legalization all your big mouth does is reinforce the stereotypical view of potheads and drug users. When you talk like that you actually tie marijuana users back to the iconic reefer madness film.
      You are so stupid you can’t feel the bug in your brain and chain on your neck.. wake up stop staring at Fox CNN etc etc. Do sone research and find out how your masters really own you.. if you think it’s about money your wrong.
      The ones in power write history the present and the future. They don’t sit on thrones or in any seat of government nor do they care who does. Its idiots like you that listen to propaganda and sacrifice freedom for security due to said propaganda deserve neither.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        @ drinkthis,

        Okay… I’m picking up some hostility here… maybe we should talk when you’ve calmed down.

        I’ll just say this: news doesn’t get your nut off the way propaganda does; but propaganda has no nutrional value, so to speak. You can’t survive on propaganda. Eventually, you need to become informed, in order to make informed decisions.

        You really should try it sometime… information, that is. It’s not bad at all.

      • Evening Bud says:

        Drink this,

        I actually agree with our comment about the brainwashing by the media–though not your inference about Dain.

        I believe we have a press in this country that is tragically propagandistic, and that does not talk about the real issues. But, thanks to the internet, we have many sources with which to draw information.

        Fox, CNN, MSNBC–they’re all corporate entities and so present the news to fit their own agendas. The supposed liberal bastions, the NYT and Wash Po, are the same–almost nothing liberal about any of ’em.

        Bernie Sanders exposed that–Drumpf used it to get elected. He recognized that media as a self-serving entity and exploited it. That doesn’t say much for The Donald, and it says even less about our supposed “free press” in this country.

        One of the reasons the millennials are so enlightened is that they use media other than the corporate stuff for their news. And going by Dain’s posts, he does as well. As do I.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Evening Bud,
          You are right.
          Trump talks about the free press like it was Kool-aid. “It’s not real fruit juice. It’s fake!” he says… as he mixes in the cyanide.

          • Dain Bramage says:

            …which when you think about it, makes Traitor Trump a liar on a scale that would have made Goebbels proud. Lucifer level shit.

    6. Dain Bramage says:

      Who else ready to step into the ring? Who else wants a piece of Dain Bramage?

    7. Undamaged brain says:

      I like that someone can get on here and rant for four paragraphs and threaten violence on anyone that disagrees with home but I had a 5 character post removed….

      • Dain Bramage says:

        NORML website does not promote violence.

        This arena is conceptual. is a battle of ideas. A war of words. Understand?

        Report any threats of actual violence to the police.

    8. death penalty says:

      did anyone hear trump call,
      at least 3 different times,
      for the death penalty, for oxycontin drug dealers ???

      i am sure he meant street heroin,
      NOT big pharma,
      and,
      i am sure that if it passes,
      it WILL come to marijuana dealers, too.

      re; Dain Bramage;
      did you buy that name,
      or do you just rent it ??

      it is eddie murphy’s joke,
      thus, you owe him money.
      -unless he gave you permission to use it.

      re; Dain Bramage says:
      All we’re trying to do here is legalize marijuana.

      THAT, is why we are having so much trouble.

      we are CORRECTLY called, ‘single issue’.
      (that is an insult, it is another way of saying we are SELFISH, and do not care about anyone but ourselves)

      however, if we would also come out in favor of some other issues,
      like raising the minimum wage,
      a national health care system,
      abortion rights,
      (or gun rights, which would bring us some republican support)
      ending the wars of empire-building,
      or the idea that users and addicts of ALL drugs,
      should be treated like people,
      and not like the scum of the earth,
      we might get a powerfull coalition of voters, who do not care about marijuana, at all,
      to be on our side.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Yeah, I know Trump is all about killing. He’s a fucking monster.

        Death Penalty? I am opposed to it. For drugs, for anything. I don’t believe the government should ever be in the business of killing its own citizens. It is there to protect us, not to war against us. In theory, anyway!

        I am against the War on Drugs, including cannabis.

        Would it shock you to know I agree with you on other issues? All issues are complex and interrelated. But our votes are binary: for or against, pick one. That’s why Democrats are infinitely preferable to Republicans.

        Since you ask, I support raising the minimum wage, a national health care system, abortion rights, gun rights (and a ban on assault rifles and other weapons of war for police or civilians), and I support ending the wars of empire-building.

        I agree with the idea that users and addicts of ALL drugs should be treated like people, and not like the scum of the earth.

        But I don’t owe Eddie Murphy a damn thing. Speech is free! Any grade-schooler could have come up with the name Dain Bramage. I don’t think it represents intellectual property, do you?

      • Julian says:

        Death Penalty,

        Quit cherry pickin your bugers; One of these days one’s gonna freeze up on your nose and you’re gonna cut yourself like the Golden Child.

    9. Dain Bramage says:

      Jeremy Sherman & AlterNet (March 19, 2018) offers a simple, surefire formula which Trump uses for acquiring sycophants.

      Here’s how Trump brainwashed Leroy (previously known as “MAGA-man”) and the rest of the lot, using this 12-step plan:

      1. Target people who can’t stand uncertainty: Go for the hungry, anxious, eager to believe; people who have had their fill of uncertainty and can’t stand anymore.

      2. Target people who don’t notice the downside of absolute faith: These are people who get all dewy eyed when thinking about faith, the kind who either ignore a faith they regard as wrong-headed or will tell you that wrong-headed faith is not really faith.

      3. Get their guard down: You’ll want people who see you as the answer to their prayers, people who want to align with you for a boost in their morale, status and prospects. Charm them. Listen to them and feed them whatever will satisfy them. The hungry are the easiest to eat.

      4. Make bold, vague statements that speak directly to them. (Trump’s “Make America Great” is a great example.) Great how? Your targets can fill in whatever comes to mind. Likewise, you can court someone personally with a line like, “Wow, I can really tell that you’ve got talent for understanding what’s going on!” Bold, flattering, vague. Suckers line right up.

      5. Include them in your “winner’s circle” with talk about the idiots “out there”: Nothing wins faith like disparaging others. You see it at rallies where the speaker riles the audience by ridiculing everyone outside your circle. You can hear it in the way people flirt by confiding in you (yes you, because you’re wonderful!).

      (To be Continued…)

      • Dain Bramage says:

        (…continued)

        6. Speak as though you are the absolute final, neutral judge of reality. Don’t ever qualify what you say; it’s not your opinion, it’s truth. That will annoy careful thinkers. but they’re not your targets. It will win gullible thinkers, but only if they agree with you already. They’ll agree with you if you’re sufficiently vague (see #4).

        7. Dog whistle: Keep your pandering to your targets and your attacks on others under the radar, so you can always deny them if challenged.

        8. Make it easy to align with you, costly to break with you: Don’t ask your targets to make sacrifices. Once you’ve hooked them they’ll make all sorts of sacrifices. Make all of their first encounters with you self-affirming fun for them and make the alternative, not aligning with you, seem like nothing but a hassle.

        9. Appear invincible: Your targets want to believe you, so make it easy for them. Prove you are right, absolutely and always (by your “authoritative” standards). Remember, there is absolutely nothing that can’t be mocked, attacked or vilified. It’s easy. Just pick apart anything that suggests you’re wrong.

        10. Heads you win, tails you lose: Any good news affirms that you’re right. Any bad news affirms you’re the victim of persecution.

        11. Avenge tenfold: Be savage. Be relentless. Don’t let anyone get away with saying anything bad about you. Make sure that anyone who tries has at least 10 times more bad things said about them. Gaslight like crazy.

        (to be continued…)

      • Dain Bramage says:

        (continued…)

        12. Police morality as though you’re a crusader for reality: Above all you are always the morality police. If you hate immorality in others, the gullible will believe that you must be morally pure.

        ___________

        Many Trump supporters are proud of their absolute faith in him. You see it in the way they beam proudly when they tell reporters that they’d support him no matter what he does. Now that’s unconditional love!

        On the receiving end, absolute faith and unconditional love are pretty handy. Gaining that kind of unconditional respect means you can do no wrong, which frees you to do all the wrong you want.

        What’s nice about these rules is that it doesn’t matter what you know or think. Following them frees you from careful thought. That’s the beauty of it! You can apply these to win absolute faith and unconditional love from the gullible in support of anything. It doesn’t matter whether you offer anything for them to have faith in, since your targets are the kind who have faith in faith. Remember, they consider it a relief to no longer have to keep an eye on things—a relief from dreaded uncertainty.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          …Except for one thing… I think Leroy, aka MAGA-Man, is a paid Russian operative, whether or not he is actually physically located in Russia, or is actually a Russian himself. There are some people who will do anything for money.

          If he is an American, he is a traitor. And if he is Russian, well, at least his vote won’t count! We won’t be seeing Leroy at the polls!

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Compare the linguistic palette and forms of the comments from Leroy, and from MAGA-Man. Virtually identical!

            To me, this suggests someone is playing the part of a Trump supporter. Maybe he figures the name “Leroy” is less obvious than “MAGA-Man.”

            Speculation? Of course. But I smell a Troll Farm!

          • Leroy says:

            (continued)

            Dain, I’ve, ever so eloquently, spelled out a couple times how you are a menace and only hurting this site with your embarrassing rants and attacks. Norml continues to allow us to go back and forth with the insults, and it’s getting tacky. Shall we choose the high road at some point?

            You again call me a traitor. I’m a proud American that believes you and people like you are wrong on many issues and trying to take our country in the wrong direction to leave us weak and vulnerable to attack or hostile take over. The PC culture is over, it’s time to preserve the country with strength or our young history will be over quickly. Doesn’t mean I want a police state, to beat you to the punch. Your assumptions of “if you want this then it means you’re this and this..” are wrong.

            I’m also an independent voter and thinker. I’ve not identified with any party. I smoke weed and doubt the existence of God, but I’m mostly pro life and fiscally responsible. I have firearms locked up in the safe to protect my family from intruders or military tyranny. I know Trump is a fuck head and I’ve said it before. I can justify being forced to vote for him, though. Plain and simple, i had to. Clinton is the worst ever. If it was Sanders, who’s ascension was stolen by the democrats, I would still have had to vote for Trump. Again, it’s about our country, and socialism would tear America apart from the foundation and we’d cease to exist. That’s okay with some people but not me.

            But my words are wasted on you.

            Stick to copying and pasting links and phone numbers as the big so called activist you are. Your personal thoughts are disgusting and should be kept under a lid. A four finger lid.

        • Evening Bud says:

          Well, it is quite revealing that Drumpf “drained the swamp” by refilling it with far worse vermin–the conservative/corporate elite. These guys cut money for everyone–but themselves! Private plane trips, expensive furniture, sound proof rooms (what the hell?), expensive vacations–all on the taxpayers’ dime. But these same vermin will readily cut the benefits of the poor or infirmed–because obviously they doesn’t deserve the benefits like them. Too much.

          America is currently going thru its Emperor Nero moment. Maybe this is proof that the American Empire has already begun to decline (which may not be a bad thing considering how we’ve treated other countries the past 30-40 years). Just like the Roman Empire, we seem to be rotting from the inside.

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Evening Bud, I do agree. I might only rephrase a part of that, respectfully; American Empire itself is a bad thing, which we must change, or the chickens will come home to roost on us — and that’s a bad thing. I don’t want to fry for the sins of the war mongers. We must replace American Empire with civilization, not decline, and anarchy.

            Not that you ever suggested otherwise.

          • Julian says:

            Even during the decline of old economic systems and unsustainable energy plans, the roots of our sustainable communities keep growing back:

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=e2Re-KrQNa4

            Between role models from the Lakota like Whiteplume who fought and won his right to grow hemp on his family farm, to the late Russel Means (Last of the Mohicans) who reminded us that “All Americans are living on a reservation,” when we allow minority rule or banks to control our currency, we could learn alot from the way our American Indian ancestors lived here before us.

            Just listen to the way Lakota Dr Donald Warne “warns” us about our digression from traditional healing, healthy diet and leadership:

            http://youtu.be/3phTundagzQ

            All of these subjects are connected to cannabis legalization and the way we unsustainably regulate food and drugs for synthetic, processed profit in this country. We need good examples of how we all need to “get off the Res…”

    10. carl says:

      politicians come and go..
      who cares..

      norml represents and presents rational debate,
      education and advice to all decisionmakers..
      last thing these good folk need is hate-speak
      as if pro-cannabis argument in a norml forum..

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