Loading

Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/23/18

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML Political Associate March 23, 2018

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

    I first want to bring your attention to a key development at the federal level. As a part of the newly proposed appropriations package known as an omnibus bill, a spending restriction upon the Department of Justice from prosecuting state-legal medical marijuana programs will remain in place through the end of September. Known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, it explicitly states that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

    At the state level, lawmakers in Colorado have formed the first-ever statewide Cannabis Caucus to address issues such as social consumption, product testing, and the use of medical cannabis on public campuses. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill legalizing CBD sales into law. And Ohio regulators started accepting applications from physicians who want to be certified to recommend medical cannabis. Sales are expected to begin this fall.

    Also at the state level, legalization bills died in committees in Connecticut and New Hampshire, as did a Maryland bill to let the voters decide on legalization.

    At a more local level, voters in Cook County, Illinois — the nation’s second-most-populous county — overwhelmingly approved a marijuana legalization ballot measure. And Denver, Colorado is spending $1.2 million in marijuana tax revenue to repave roads.

    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

    Maryland

    SB 127 would expand the state’s decriminalization law 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 Senate on 3/19 by a 36-11 vote. Amendments approved by the Senate includes a provision “prohibiting a driver of a motor vehicle from smoking or consuming marijuana in the passenger area of a motor vehicle on a highway; prohibiting an occupant of a motor vehicle from smoking marijuana in the passenger area of the motor vehicle on a highway.”

    SB 127 will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on 4/3 at 1pm.

    MD resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of an expanded decriminalization law

    Tennessee

    Medical Marijuana
    Senator Sara Kyle (D) and Representative Larry Miller have introduced legislation SB 2320 and HB 2391 seeking to place a ballot initiative before voters with regard to the legalization of medical marijuana.

    If passed, these bills would place the following advisory question on the November 2018 ballot: Should the Tennessee legislature approve the use of medical marijuana?

    Update: SB 2320 was put on the calendar for The Senate State & Local Government Committee for 3/27/18, and HB 2391 was put on the Local Government subcommittee calendar for 3/28/18.

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

    Medical Marijuana Extracts
    State Representative Jeremy Faison (R) and State Senator Steve Dickerson (R) have introduced legislation, SB 1710 and HB 1749 to 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 is on the Criminal Justice Committee’s calendar for 3/28. The committee has amended the bill significantly to require patients seeking to use medical cannabis to obtain a prescription from a doctor. Because marijuana is categorized as a schedule I controlled substance, it remains unlikely that many physicians would ‘prescribe’ it, even if this legislation was signed into law. Therefore, the proposal’s language ought to be amended to read ‘recommend’ rather than prescribe.

    TN resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of amending this bill

    Arizona

    Legislation is pending, HB 2064, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those struggling with opioid abuse or dependence. It already passed the House earlier this month.

    The bill was originally intended only to ban dispensaries from selling edibles in packaging that could be appealing to children, but an amendment to the bill would also add opioid use disorder to the list of medical conditions that can legally be treated with medical marijuana.

    Update: HB 2064 was approved by the Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee on 3/13, and now awaits action from the Rules Committee.

    AZ resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of adding opioid abuse to the qualifying conditions list

    Kansas

    Legislation is pending, SB 282, to allow for the possession and retail sale of cannabidiol (CBD) products containing zero percent THC. It was already approved by the Senate unanimously last month.

    While such products are often used in other states for therapeutic purposes, under this proposed legislation, Kansas citizens would not need to be a part of a patient registry or be diagnosed with a certain qualifying condition in order to legally possess or purchase CBD products.

    Update: SB 282 was approved by the House Health and Human Services Committee on 3/16.

    KS resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of CBD access

    New Hampshire

    Legislation is pending, HB 1477, to permit those convicted of past marijuana convictions to seek expungement. It was already approved by the House last month.

    If passed, HB 1477 would allow individuals to file a petition with the court requesting that the court annul any past marijuana violations involving the possession of up to ¾ of an ounce of marijuana.

    Update: HB 1477 will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/27 at 9:45am in SH room 100.

    NH resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of expungement

    Alaska

    Senator Tom Begich has introduced legislation, SB 184, to seal the convictions of past marijuana possession offenders.

    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 3/28 at 1:30 pm in BELTZ 105 (TS Bldg).

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

     

    Additional Actions to Take

    Arizona

    Republican State Senator Sonny Borrelli has introduced Senate Bill 1420, which seeks to enhance quality testing practices for medical marijuana products. If passed, this bill would improve product testing procedures and requirements, leading to an increase in product quality for patients. After passing the Senate last month, it was heard and passed by the House Military, Veterans and Regulatory Affairs Committee last week.

    Update: SB 1420 was heard and then approved by the House Appropriations Committee on 3/21.

    AZ resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of better testing practices

    Kansas

    Legislation is pending, SB 263, to establish a state-licensed industrial hemp research program. It was already passed by the Senate last month, and heard by the House Committee on Agriculture last week.

    Update: SB 263 was approved by the House Committee on Agriculture on 3/20. A vote by the full House is expected in the upcoming weeks.

    KS resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of industrial hemp research

    Oklahoma

    Democratic Representative Mickey Dollens has introduced HB 2913: The Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program. If passed, this bill would allow universities to cultivate hemp for research and development purposes.

    Update: HB 2913 passed the House by a 92-0 vote on earlier this month, and now awaits action in the Senate Appropriations committee.

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

    That’s all for this week, check back next Friday for more legislative updates!

    43 responses to “Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/23/18”

    1. Dain Bramage says:

      To HELL with the NRA!

      • Chucky says:

        This website is not about guns! See if you can focus for more than 25 seconds. Many people need weed for medical, mixing your political opinions with other hot topic issues just slows the pace for legal weed.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Chucky, my comment is relevant to the topic, and I deny your request to constrain my speech.

          The NRA has no moral or ethical problem with scapegoating cannabis consumers — in fact, to hell with “scapegoating”, we’re talking about getting shot here! So, let’s not mince words.

          That is why I am well within my rights, as well as squarely on-topic, when I say: To hell with the NRA!

        • Evening Bud says:

          Chucky,

          It’s all relevant. The Russians funnel (launder?) money through the NRA, which the NRA then passes on to the GOP. The GOP is this country’s largest impediment to MJ legalization.

          In the 1990s the NRA pushed for the creation of more and larger prisons. It also opposed Pres. Bill Clinton’s omnibus crime bill, in part, because, as the NRA claimed, it was “too lenient” and “would release thousand of drug dealers from prison” because it contained a ‘safety valve’ clause that exempted first-time nonviolent drug offenders from mandatory minimum sentencing, which would apply to some offenders already in prison.”

          The NRA still largely opposes sentencing reform (tho it’s backtracked occasionally in local cases at politically opportune times).

          So, yes, the NRA is relevant to our discussions.

    2. Dain Bramage says:

      BAN assault rifles, and other weapons of war, for police and civilians!

    3. Thomas Jefferson says:

      Wrong website for your comments. Not everyone who smokes weed is afraid of guns.

      • Julian says:

        But everyone in possession of weed and a gun gets a federal felony:

        https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2016/08/31/14-15700.pdf

        And the NRA was nowhere to be found during that trial. And Obama was still President! For SHAME NRA! I know; Caught between a black President and a racist law, so you couldn’t defend marijuana possession under the second amendment, right? Well, at least you’re speaking out against all those children who would never have found a voice if their friends hadn’t been shot to bits by a sick 19-year-old who bought an AR-15 by laws the NRA helped pass! (Deep sarcasm).

        Everyone who buys ammo or a gun should be licensed by a registered nurse who can help people homegrow medical marijuana and refer them to support groups after clinical observation.

        • Evening Bud says:

          It’s interesting, Julian, that most of these “sick” people are not deemed sick until they unleash a gun slaughter–until that moment, they’re usually considered “good guys with guns” (especially if they have an NRA membership).

          These high school kids are seeing right through this bull shit. The Second Amendment has been distorted into something unrecognizable by the modern day gun humpers, and these latter are finally being exposed for the frauds they are. Jefferson and Washington, I’m positive, would be sick at the manner in which this amendment has been distorted.

          • Julian says:

            If anyone is going to DC during NORML lobby days in late July, (unfortunately I already had plans to be there the 12th)… look on the west wall of the Jefferson Memorial. So much of this famous quote applies to current marijuana law, gun laws and so much more;

            “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”
            -Thomas Jefferson
            (The real one)

      • Dain Bramage says:

        NRA opposes marijuana legalization, calls marijuana plants sluts!

        I got the right website, alright. This stoner participated in the March For Life Saturday.

        Fuck the NRA! Fuck Traitor Trump! Fuck the GOP!

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Anyone who isn’t afraid of a gun is either a toddler, or an idiot.

    4. Dain Bramage says:

      I have been thinking about a comment which Evening Bud made regarding Traitor Trump, and so-called “fake news.” His comment was so insightful, I think it bears repeating. He says:

      “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.”

      That was Evening Bud’s comment.

      After reading that, and thinking about it, I realized that Traitor Trump talks about the mainstream media as if it were Kool-aid. “It’s not real fruit juice. It’s fake!” he says… as he mixes in the cyanide.

      “Here! Have a nice tall glass of my stuff, instead! What have you got to lose?”

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Further, I would add:
        Even when viewing and consuming a variety of media sources, ascertaining the truth is not done by collecting all opinions, and splitting the difference by taking the average.

        Rather, ascertaining the truth is about critical thinking. It is about considering the arguments, and weeding out the bullshit!

        • Evening Bud says:

          Dain,

          I grew up hating Commies in the ’60s and ’70s (I was a pretty conservative teenager); and one of the things I delighted in was making fun of their media, so heavily laden as it was with propaganda.

          Yet, I stopped laughing once I realized that our media was just as propagandistic, our corporate media anyway, and that we were often led by the nose by that media in ways very similar to those people behind the iron curtain.

          Once you realize that you’ve been duped, you often develop a sense of resentment (hence my complete abandonment with conservatism, as well as the American corporate press).

          Fortunately, there are other outlets for information in this country and it behooves us to use those other outlets.

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Evening Bud,
            Interesting. I went through something similar in grade school in the sixties, when I read about Christians under communist rule, having to hide their Bibles in secret compartments.

            It was my first exposure to the concept of “stash!”

            Later in life, I was surprised to find Christians saying that it was not so much the oppression of freedom of thought and speech that was wrong, but rather that the Holy Bible itself had been defamed.

            I am not a Christian, but I think that misses the point of the stories.

            But those stories undergird my views on marijuana prohibition, to this day.

    5. Dain Bramage says:

      The second amendment says “well regulated.”

      Got that? WELL REGULATED!

      BRACE YOURSELF, NRA!

      • Dain Bramage says:

        The second amendment REQUIRES US to REGULATE the NRA!

        I say, regulate it until it is small enough to drown in a bathtub.

    6. Jeff Newberry says:

      Lmao… My comment about cannabis was rejected by the moderator yet these idiots get to comment about an off topic subject.. That’s logical.. Shows Norml has lost its way.. Thought this organization was about Cannabis reform

    7. Julian says:

      Mitch McConnell says he’s going to talk to Jeff Sessions about this new hemp bill:

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2018/03/26/sen-mitch-mcconnell-pushes-bill-to-legalize-hemp/#193430cd581a

      When the one he needs to talk to to get it in and out of con-mmittee is Pete Sessions. Otherwise it’s all lip service and pandering for what will be a very dfficult election for him in 2020, especially if a no-PAC-money-responsible-adult-marijuana-reforming Democratic Senator opposes him.

      I’m glad you found an investment in hemp, Mitch, but you just can’t have your hemp-cake without marijuana too.

      • Julian says:

        Say what we will about the turtle-man, this hemp amendment to the farm bill has a chance:

        (From VoteHemp):

        “…The bill will move regulatory authority to the USDA and states and remove it from the DEA. Some of the other details include:

        The bill will be called “The Hemp Farming Act of 2018”
        States will need to submit their regulatory plan to USDA and then the state department of agriculture will regulate its production
        Hemp will be defined as 0.3% THC or less including a more expansive definition of all part of the plant including extracts
        The bill will open up access to federal research funding
        It should also help remove restrictions on banking, water rights and other roadblocks currently facing the industry
        The bill will be introduced in April, likely after the Easter recess
        Leader McConnell intends to add the bill as an amendment to 2018 Farm Bill.”

        • Dain Bramage says:

          “Say what I will” about Mitch McConnell?

          Okay.

          McConnell voted for the confirmation of Jeff Sessions. All of the Senate Republicans did.

          Jeff Sessions is white trash, and KKK. He is a perjurer, and a criminal. He, like Trump, is a traitor.

          Not a single Republican voted “Nay.” I will never forgive them for that. Never!

          I would very much like to say: Fuck Mitch McConnell.

          McConnell gets no points for hemp from me. Too little, too late.

    8. Lm says:

      Guns and marijuana go hand in hand. If you’re afraid of guns you shouldn’t be allowed to go outside by yourself. If you possess marijuana illegally the BEST thing you can do for yourself is carry multiple firearms on your person at all times.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Lm,
        You are making the case that marijuana prohibition promotes violence. You are proving your own point, as well as making an illustrative example of yourself.

        You are a good reason to legalize marijuana, all by yourself!

      • Evening Bud says:

        Lm, you’re a twisted soul. Saying guns and MJ go hand in hand is like saying guns and booze go together. If you’re toking and playing with a weapon, you’re a danger to society, as well as yourself.

    9. anon says:

      re; Chucky said;
      This website is not about guns!

      -SO,
      F###ING,
      WHAT ?????????

      there is a constitutional amendmendment (#2) allowing guns.

      there is NO constitutional amendmendment allowing MJ.
      (though it should be included in the ‘persuit of happiness’)

      if they can take away constitutionally GUARANTEED gun rights,
      IN COMPLETE, BLATANT, VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION,

      WHAT HOPE, DO WE HAVE, FOR MJ RIGHTS ????

      “IF WE DO NOT ALL HANG TOGETHER,
      (support each other’s rights)
      WE WILL SURELY HANG SEPERATELY”
      (be hunted down, and eliminated, ONE BY ONE)
      -ben franklin

      RE; Julian says:
      everyone in possession of weed and a gun gets a federal felony !!!

      -THAT IS EXACTLY WHY WE NEED TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER’S RIGHTS !!!

      THEY WANT TO ‘DIVIDE AND CONQUER’ US !!!

      read,
      and learn,
      from history;

      freedom ALWAYS leads to complacency;
      complacency ALWAYS leads to slavery;
      slavery, (always used to) lead to revolution and freedom; ect.

      BUT !!!!!

      THIS TIME,
      THE ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY,
      ALLOWS THEM, WAY, WAY, TOO MUCH POWER !!!!

      (scanners, that can see EVERYTHING you have, through your walls, DRONES, R.F.I.D. chips, sattelites, and ‘security’ cams, that can track your every movement, even in total darkness, with heat vision, computers, that track your every monetary transaction, text message, e-mail, cell phone call, ect., and ‘directed energy weapons’ that can totally incapicate you instantly, and YES, the ability to build REAL, ‘TERMINATOR’ ROBOTS, so they can kill as many as needed, without any human losses on their side)

      IF WE ALLOW IT TO GET BACK TO SLAVERY;
      THERE CANNOT EVER BE ANOTHER SUCCESSFULL REVOLUTION !!!

      AND THERE WILL NEVER BE FREEDOM AGAIN…

      IT WILL BE SLAVERY FOREVER !!!

      as you read this,
      right now,
      this is our last chance for freedom…

      • Dain Bramage says:

        anon,
        You must give as you get if you want to cut a deal.

        You want to “hang together?” You want to trade loyalties between the marijuana legalization community, and the NRA?

        You couldn’t touch my price. Your offer of potential support for marijuana legalization, (maybe just maybe, that is, if we’re nice enough to the NRA terrorists) is laughable.

        Here’s my counter-offer. I will support the NRA when the NRA:
        1. Pledges support for AR-15 ban;
        2. Pledges support for marijuana legalization;
        3. Commits to unequivocal opposition to Traitor Trump.

        Take it or leave it.

    10. anon says:

      to all the pro-pot, gun haters;
      please, think with your brains,
      and not with your emotions;

      1. banning guns, will work just as well as banning drugs has; (or alcohol did)
      it made the small problem into a gigantic one.
      DEMAND, always finds, or creates, a supply.

      2. murder and robbery, have been banned for thousands of years, why do we still have it ?

      because, the purpose of the law is to punish criminals AFTER the crime has been committed, not to prevent crime.
      it is NOT about PRE-CRIME.

      3. the idea that just passing more, and more, laws, will fix all our problems, is simplistic / childish.

      4. non-violent people giving up their guns, will NOT cause the criminals and violent PSYCOS to turn non-violent.
      it will just make the non-violent people, easier targets for the violent PSYCOS.

      5. if there was an easy, obvious solution, it would have been done, long ago.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        You claim rights, but you don’t grant rights.
        So, denied.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Voters rights take precedence over gun nuts’ rights. Let’s hear you grant voters rights first.

          Civil rights. Show me that first.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Black lives matter. Do blacks have rights, in your self-righteous opinion? Do they have a right to live?

          What about the students you so callously dismiss? Do they have the right to live? Or do you even care?

      • Evening Bud says:

        Anon,

        There are a few problems with your manifesto. Take your example #1 for instance. You said, “banning guns, will work just as well as banning drugs has;”

        I hadn’t realized there were serious attempts to ban “guns”. There HAVE been attempts to ban Assault Rifles. Being the gun defender that you obviously are, I’m surprised you don’t know the difference.

        The truth, of course, is that you do know the difference and are being dishonest here. Please list the attempts by any current member of congress to ban all guns. You forfeit this point with your dishonesty.

        As for your point #2, well, I don’t understand your point. Yes, crime has been around since time immemorial . . . so therefore . . . (?)

        Point #3–you say passing more laws (that, according to you sarcastically will solve all problems) is simplistic/childish. What? Who’s ever talked about fixing all of our problems with certain legislation? That contention is simplistic/childish on its face.

        #4, see #1–nobody that I know of is calling for banning “guns.” Your argument here is a straw man argument.

        #5, there IS an easy solution: ban assault weapons. I refer you to the country of Australia. They endured a gun slaughter in 1996; within weeks their govt banned assault weapons–they have NOT had a gun slaughter since.

        Surely, the NRA must give you better talking points.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.