NORML’s Legislative Round Up March 3rd, 2016

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate March 3, 2016

    take_actionMarijuana law reform efforts continue to move forward in numerous states! Below are some of this week’s legislative highlights.


    Connecticut: State regulators gave final approval this week to expand the state’s list of qualifying conditions for which a physician may recommend medical cannabis. The six new conditions are: ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), ulcerative colitis, sickle cell disease, severe psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis, complex regional pain syndrome, and post-laminectomy syndrome with chronic radiculopathy.

    Florida: Members of Tampa City Council gave preliminary approval today in favor of a local ordinance decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses. Under the plan, municipal law would redefine marijuana possession of 20 grams or less as a civil matter, rather than a criminal offense. First-time violators will face a $75 for the first offense. Council members will hold a  final vote on the measure onMarch 17th. You can contact your City Council members to urge their support for this measure here.

    Volusia county joined nearby Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties this week by passing an ordinance providing police the discretion to cite rather than arrest minor marijuana offenders. Those given citations will face a county court fine of $100. The new law applies only to people caught with marijuana on the beach and in unincorporated county areas. Cities will be allowed to adopt the same law.

    House members overwhelmingly voted on Thursday, March 3, in favor of legislation to permit medical marijuana access to people diagnosed with terminal illnesses. House Bill 307 permits the production and distribution of cannabis to terminally ill patients. Similar language is pending a Senate floor vote. Florida law already permits for the production of strains of cannabis high in CBD to be dispensed to qualified patients with cancer, muscle spasms, and intractable seizures. However, to date, this program has yet to be operational.

    Maryland: On February 26th, HB 104, legislation to expand the pool of medical professionals who can provide written recommendations for marijuana to qualifying patients, was approved by the House in a 110-21 vote. The legislation would allow nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, among other medical professionals, who are in good standing with the state to provide written certifications to qualifying patients. The legislation will now be considered by members of the Senate. #TakeAction

    New York: Next Tuesday, March 8th, members of the Buffalo Common Council will consider the Buffalo Cannabis Act, which decriminalizes the possession of up to two ounces and allows citizens to grow up to six plants in their homes.

    Pennsylvania: After months of delay, House members are anticipated to finally begin debating medical marijuana legislation on the House floor later this month. It will mark the first time House members have taken any action since November when members of the House Rules Committee passed Senate Bill 3. If adopted by the House, Gov. Tom Wolf says he will sign the measure. #TakeAction

    Washington: House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, Senate Bill 6206, establishing regulations governing industrial hemp production. The measure “authorizes the growing of industrial hemp as a legal agricultural activity” in accordance with federal legislation permitting such activity as part of a state-authorized program. Presently, 25 states have enacted legislation permitting licensed hemp cultivation in a manner that is compliant with this statute. The measure awaits action from Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign it into law.

    18 responses to “NORML’s Legislative Round Up March 3rd, 2016”

    1. Ben says:

      Once again,
      further evidence that NORML is worth your time,
      and your money.

    2. Galileo Galilei says:

      I once found it amusing. Two non-politicians led the race for the Republican nomination. The GOP has preached anti-government for as long as I can remember.

      I’m not laughing anymore.

    3. TheOracle says:

      Regarding Pennsylvania, scuttlebutt has it that the state legislators are going to dick around and delay passing anything medical until after the fall election BECAUSE they want the revenue from adult recreational after California legalizes. They don’t want to do medical only to have to go Washington and Oregon and then let recreational shops simply sell tax-free weed, putting the medical shops that can’t convert to recreational out of business.

      • Davidmrfish says:

        Pa. Is slow to do anything but when it comes to making money for the goverment they move real fast. Remember its a commonwealth state . Aka all wealth goes to the thieves in harrisburg

    4. Kelli says:

      I was wondering if you knew what the buffoons are up to in Detroit. J
      Councilman James Tate is out of control. He is bowing to the non profit bullshit church leaders In Detroit. The new variations are almost impossible for these guys to operate with all the false front churches and never touched drug free zones well maybe as dumping grounds. Don’t get me started on concentrates and medibles. City council and the churches are in bed. If they want to run the city they need to pay taxes or STFU!

    5. So happy to see that things are finally starting to move in Florida! Maybe 2016 will be the year. Keep up your good work.

    6. Mark I. says:

      Thanks for the round up NORML. So long as americans are at the end of life, cannabis as a relief medication therapy becomes legit?

    7. Julian says:

      If you live in the state of Maryland, please hit the take action link above. It is absolutely vital that states allow nurse practitioners and caregivers to recommend and distribute medicinal cannabis, as they are the first cannabis responders to keep veterans from committing suicide, diabetics alive, and the list goes on. With federal law threatening to take doctors licences for diagnosing, and Big Pharma tying their hands with pills for profit, nurse practitioners and caregivers carrying marijuana are the solution to restore the kind of health care our great grandfathers enjoyed… But with SO many more strains in the medical kit!
      Texas legislators pay attention; What Maryland is doing is what Texans need right now!

    8. Julian says:

      I don’t usually tag an MPP blog on this site, but what’s going on in Maine needs to be included on this run down;


      On Wednesday Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap implied that 17,000 signatures on the petition to regulate marijuana like alcohol did not qualify because the handwriting from the notary could not be verified from their office.

      “But on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office, Kristen Schulze Muszynski, told U.S. News election staff “did not directly follow up with the notary,” as their signature on forms was “markedly different” from one the state had on file and on other documents they had notarized.”

      Why can’t we remove politicians on such technicalities? “Well, Secretary Dunlap, according to our records you just obstructed the Democratic vote of 17,000 registered voters without verifiable evidence or due process… You have violated the Constitutional rights of the people of Maine and by order of this court you will grant the petition to regulate marijuana like alcohol, step down from office immediately and apologize individually to the 17,000 voters you obstructed.”

      We need to put Stephen Marley up there in his office and hold a rally; “Chase dem! Run dem politicians!”

      [Editor’s note: Reformers in Maine will be in court post haste to challenge the ruling that’s led to disqualification on such flimsy technocratic concerns.

      To wit —

      Dunlap: “It was clear just by looking at the documents that somebody had a stack of petitions and somebody was just notarizing them.”

      MPP’s Boyer: “The notary was the person notarizing them.”]

    9. Julian says:

      Two big ironies for Bernie Sanders this election;

      Kansas and Nebraska, two traditionaly prohibitive white states will vote for Sanders this weekend, with one state, Nebraska, still involved with a law suit against Colorado for having to ramp up law enforcement for interstate trafficking of marijuana. Clearly, the Democratic people of Kansas and Nebraska will be voicing their vites for the guy who wants to deschedule.

      Meanwhile, in Louisiana, where roughly half the vote is African American, the vote will likely go to Hillary Clinton, even though her position to Reschedule marijuana to schedule II like cocaine means more disproportionate jail time for African Americans.

      Now where is the terrible, uneducated irony in that?

    10. Ben says:

      *** Personal Update ***

      I just passed my 2016 Network+ exam

      but I am unable to celebrate with a few
      good old fashioned bong rips
      because cannabis makes prohibitionists stupid.