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Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/9/18

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML Political Associate March 9, 2018

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

    First, I want to bring your attention to the dedicated activists lobbying in conjunction with Delaware NORML! Activists in Delaware lobbied state lawmakers in the capital on Thursday 3/8 in favor of a bill that would legalize the use, possession, and retail sale of adult use marijuana.

    Also at the state level, voter support is growing for a proposed adult use ballot initiative in Michigan, as a recent poll found that 61 percent of voters say they would vote yes on the measure “if the election were held today.” Marijuana law reform advocates are continuing to gather signatures for voter-initiated efforts in Missouri and Utah. Proponents of a medical marijuana initiative in South Dakota have turned in their signatures and are awaiting a review by the Secretary of State’s office.

    Additionally, New Jersey legislators heard testimony on legalization on Monday. And, Massachusetts marijuana regulators took another step towards the opening of retail cannabis shops, as they approved draft marijuana rules governing the industry and will begin accepting applications for retail outlets on April 1. It is still their intent to open adult use dispensary doors this summer.

    Several marijuana related legislation died this week after failing to be voted on before crossover deadlines, including legalization and decriminalization bills in Hawaii. Florida and Washington state legislatures adjourned for this year, effectively killing FL decriminalization and patient protection efforts, and a WA bill to provide financial services to marijuana businesses.

    At a more local level, the District Attorney’s Office for Sonoma County, California is directing staff to review and vacate thousands of past marijuana convictions. County officials estimate that approximately 3,000 cases are eligible for either a sentencing reduction or expungement. And, police in Juneau, Alaska announced that marijuana businesses can now transport product by airplane.

    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

    Rhode Island

    Rep. Scott Slater (D) has introduced legislation, HB 7883, to place a non-binding marijuana legalization question on the state’s November ballot.

    The proposal question would read: “Do you support the legalization of possession and use of marijuana by persons who are at least 21 years of age, subject to regulation and taxation that is similar to the regulation and taxation of tobacco and alcohol?”

    RI resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of letting the voters weigh in

    Illinois

    Legislation is pending, SB 2275, to place a non-binding marijuana legalization question on the state’s November ballot.

    The question posed to voters would read: “Shall the State of Illinois legalize the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”

    Update: SB 2275 passed the Senate by a 37-13 vote on 3/1, and now awaits action from the House.

    IL resident? Click here to email your elected officials and tell them to let the people have a say

    Maine

    Legislation is pending, LD 1539, to greatly expand patients’ access to medical cannabis, as well as expand the pool of patients who are eligible.

    Among changes proposed by the bill: Physicians would be able, at their sole discretion, to recommend cannabis therapy to any patient for whom they think it would benefit; Caregivers would be able to manage more than five patients at one time; Regulators would increase the total number of licensed dispensaries from eight to 14.

    ME resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of medical expansion

    Kentucky

    House Bill 166 was introduced by Rep. John Sims Jr. [D] to allow for the physician-authorized use of marijuana for patients with specific debilitating medical conditions. Additional legislation, Senate Bill 118, is also pending to allow medical marijuana use in the Commonwealth.

    If passed, these bills would provide patients with regulated access to medical cannabis via licensed providers.

    Update: The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on HB 166 on 3/6, and then decided to  table the bill for this session as a result of strong opposition from law enforcement. SB 118 is still awaiting action from the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection Committee.

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

    Tennessee

    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: HB 2391 was placed on the Local Government subcommittee calendar for 3/14/18. SB 2320 was put on the final calendar for The Senate State & Local Government Committee, date TBD.

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

    State Representative Jeremy Faison (R) and State Senator Steve Dickerson (R) are sponsoring legislation, SB 1710 and HB 1749 to establish a limited medical marijuana access program.

    The measure permits 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 3/14. SB 1710 is still awaiting action from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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

    New York

    Legislation is pending, A 9945, to expand veterans’ access to medical marijuana.

    The measure waives administrative fees for patients who are veterans and/or who have been ‘honorably discharged’ from military service.

    NY resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of better access for veterans

     

    Additional Actions to Take

    New Jersey

    Legislation is pending, A3535, that would limit certain employers from discriminating against employees based solely upon their testing positive for marijuana on a drug test.

    The bill “prohibits businesses receiving financial assistance from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority from taking any adverse employment action against an employee or prospective employee based upon a finding that the employee or prospective employee has used or tested positive for the use of marijuana” off the job.

    NJ resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of employment protections for consumers

    Rhode Island

    Legislation is pending, H 7899, to protect state-registered medical marijuana patients from employment discrimination.

    The measure reads: “It shall be unlawful for any employer to refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against a person with respect to any terms, conditions or privileges of employment, or any other matter directly or indirectly related to employment because of their status as a cardholder, including because of a positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the patient cardholder possessed marijuana or was impaired on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.”

    RI resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of employment protections for patients

    Indiana

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 52, to legalize the possession, use, manufacture, and retail sale of cannabidiol products.

    Update: HB 1214 was passed by the Senate by a 37-12 vote with amendments on 3/6, and now will be sent back to the House for approval. The House dissented from the Senate’s amendments on HB 1214 on 3/7, meaning they do not agree with the Senate’s proposed changes. A conference committee of two members from each house were appointed to work out a version of the bill that will be satisfactory to both houses.

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

    Idaho

    Legislation is pending, HB 410, to provide “for the lawful use and possession of Cannabidiol Oil (CBD), if prescribed by a (licensed) practitioner.” Similar legislation, HB 577, is also pending, and already passed the House last month.

    Update: Members of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved a motion to hold HB 577 in committee on 3/5 — a legislative procedure essentially halting the bill from moving forward. They then voted on 3/6 to vacate the decision to halt HB 577 from moving forward because the motion violated procedure.

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

    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 3/5, and now awaits action in the Senate.

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

    Kansas

    Legislation is pending, SB 263, to establish a state-licensed industrial hemp research program. It already passed the Senate last month.

    Update: The House Committee on Agriculture is holding a hearing on SB 263 on Wednesday, 3/14 at 3:30pm in Room 582-N.

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

    Indiana

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1137 to authorize the Indiana state department of agriculture to establish an agricultural pilot program to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp and industrial hemp products.

    Update: Senate lawmakers decided on a voice vote on 3/2 to significantly amend HB 1137. As amended, farmers would no longer have the opportunity to grow hemp. Instead, lawmakers have suggested a summer study session to consider the prospect of moving forward with a hemp research program. The changes came after Gov. Eric Holcolm voiced his opposition to the bill.

    Then, the bill was passed by the Senate 43 to 6, and was sent back to the House to approve the amendments. The House filed a motion to dissent on 3/7, meaning they do not agree with the Senate’s amendments to HB 1137. Now, a conference committee of two members from each house were appointed to work out a version of the bill that will be satisfactory to both houses.

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

    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: The Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions and Ethics Committee approved SB 547 on 3/6, and is scheduled to be considered before the full Senate on 3/12.

    MO resident? Click here to email your Senators in support of industrial hemp modifications

    Check back next Friday for more legislative updates!

    75 responses to “Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/9/18”

    1. Jointy Cochran says:

      If you see your state, you must participate!

    2. Julian says:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/colombia-looks-to-become-the-worlds-supplier-of-legal-pot/2018/03/09/8037476e-1836-11e8-930c-45838ad0d77a_story.html?utm_term=.e7b0c22146d6

      When I woke up and read this article this morning I felt a renewed spirit about marijuana legalization I hadn’t felt in a long time. Canada and Colombia are poised to take the marijuana market global as early as this summer. Canadian companies are signing contracts with indigenous people in Colombia who have otherwise been forced into black market slavery. Germany, Croatia and the Netherlands are investing their interests which will help keep prices for American made whole plant marijuana from dropping too low. The President of Colombia and Trudeau are prepared to politely break the UN Drug Convention of 1961 in front of every dictator, including Trump, Sessions and the world’s deadliest cartel, the US DOJ, and we may all be witness to it THIS year.

      We are ending the synthetic, violent monoculture of patent and prohibition and restoring our ability to grow our own gardens; to coexist with our living planet and restore sustainable standards of living through the cannabis culture of fresh food, nourishing medicine, carbon trapping shelter and renewable fuels.

      And to think, our coevolution with a cannabinoid-producing plant could teach us how to better govern ourselves? Who knows? Perhaps a legal global whole plant marijuana market may restore us with the homeostasis of our planet and remind us what it means to feel NORML?
      We have much work left to do. But what’s happening in Colombia and Canada must give us all hope, and a fighting chance for freedom, which is really just a normal, sustainable, fresh-terpene scented garden.

    3. Julian says:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-to-rally-in-pennsylvania-ahead-of-special-house-election/2018/03/10/3eed9dc0-23f4-11e8-86f6-54bfff693d2b_story.html?utm_term=.def85007998a

      Ol DotarDonald just can’t help himself, can he? Fresh from his last rally supporting an accused pedophile who then failed at an election, now he’s helping the Pennsylvania Democrat Lamb by hardly even mentioning the Republican candidate’s name before going on a rant about killing drug dealers. Which… if we count the blood money going from the Sacklers and Purdue to Trump and Session’s pockets, would mean the death penalty for them all. If only Trump were smart enough to realize he’s arguing the death penalty for himself?

      You can synthetically drug some of the voters some of the time but you can’t stop us all from consuming weed, freeing our minds and preventing opioid suicide and overdose one state at a time.

      And you just can’t fix stupid.

      Even if Pennsylvania’s mmj program is overpriced and smokeless, the whole plant mj vs synthetic opioid conversation is fresh before the special election and the JAMA report proving mj markets reduce opioid overdose and suicide is now longitudinal. But go ahead and link the Republican party to murderous dictators like Duterte, Trump. You’re doing a great job for marijuana reforming Democrats like Conor Lamb.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        The People have opened their eyes on cannabis, finally; and they see it as a life-saving drug (which it is), instead of as a cultural boogyman.

        An excerpt from Eric Levity, New York Magazine, regarding lessons from Lamb’s victory:

        “The year Donald Trump was elected president, drug overdoses killed 63,600 Americans. The epidemic’s body count was almost certainly higher in 2017, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And yet, despite his campaign promises to solve the opioid crisis, Trump has done virtually nothing to address the plague — but has tried to cut $1 trillion in funding from one of America’s top sources of addiction treatment, and allowed his attorney general to wage war on legal marijuana, which many in rural America now see as a much-needed alternative to opioids for those suffering from chronic pain.”

    4. Dain Bramage says:

      If you support marijuana legalization, and you are not corrupt or insane, you oppose Traitor Trump.

      From Huffington Post:
      President Donald Trump suggested drug dealers in the United States should face harsher punishments, such as the death penalty or life in prison, during a campaign rally for congressional candidate Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

      “I think it’s a discussion we have to start thinking about,” Trump said during the rally in Moon Township. “I don’t know if we’re ready. I don’t know if this country’s ready for it.”

      Trump praised Singapore and China for their “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to drugs, and floated the idea for the U.S.

      “That means if we catch a drug dealer, death penalty,” Trump said of Singapore, recalling a conversation he had with the country’s president. “And they don’t have a problem.”

      The president may have also pulled inspiration from the Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, whose bloody war against drugs has led to the deaths of thousands of people ? including small-time drug users and innocent people whom he has called “collateral damage.”

      Last year, Trump congratulated Duterte for his efforts in eradicating drugs from the country, according to a leaked transcript of their phone call.

      “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump reportedly said. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Sorry, that should be “Eric Levitz.”

        Jesus fucking god, I want to kill this psycho spell-check feature. Is that possible? I’m ready for that rehab, Julian.

        • Julian says:

          I know it’s annoying, but if you have an i phone just go into your phone settings and turn that shit off. Be free. Smoke weed often.

    5. Julian says:

      Here’s a great article by Mary Schumacher:

      https://www.alternet.org/drugs/here-why-there-has-never-been-death-cannabis-marijuana-overdose?akid=16818.2366751.Qiq4fu&rd=1&src=newsletter1089734&t=28

      That brings up the talking points we need to share with our state legislators and Congress that not only is marijuana non-toxic in it’s prohibited-mold and pesticide-free form… but that our bodies produces pregnenalone… an exquisite word… when we ingest too much THC in order to prevent us from “freaking out” or going psychotic on excess THC.

      Save from making the corelation of getting “pregnant” from pregnanalone and giving birth to a few weed seeds in the back yard, what this means is that we can’t even overdose on THC.

      What the article does not mention is that our most familiar form of marijuana consumption, smoking, has faint traces of toxins from combusted carbon chemicals. But ironically, any chance of inhaling carcinogens is immediately treated by the THC in the marijuana and resulting cannabinoid stimulation. Because smoking is a relatively simple, effective quick and inexpensive form of medical ingestion, we can’t allow schedule-2 pharma lobbyists to outlaw the smoke as they did in Pennsylvania. (And how’s that working out for operating co$t$ btw?)

      We have to be aware of what we are smoking with as well… %100 hemp? Or a tobacco blunt? What’s in my mislabeled “cannabis” oils?

      These are very important arguments to study as we prioritize as activists to include transparent, affordable marijuana testing for quality and safety into our state legislation.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Excellent link, Julian.
        I would like to present an excerpt from the same article, which is highly educational:

        They’re popular mantras in the cannabis community: “There have been no overdoses on marijuana,” and “You can’t overdose on marijuana.” On the other side of the fence, there are handfuls of people left who were taught their entire lives that cannabis is a dangerous drug and can indeed lead one to overdose. The truth does not lie in the middle, the truth is that cannabis is simply not toxic, even in high doses.

        Our bodies are absolutely saturated in cannabinoid receptors. Naturopathic medicine practitioner Dr. Dustin Sulak explains the receptors as thus, “The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks… But the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.”

        • Julian says:

          I would postulate even further that much like the microbes, mitochondria, bacteria and single celled organisms help establish homeostasis through cannabinoid receptors through each body of plant and animal, as a collective symbiotic relationship, all life on our planet from the blue whale right down to the negotiably living virus, is a living cannabinoid system constantly searching for universal homeostasis.

          • Mark Mitcham says:

            Julian, one of the most amazing concepts I have ever encountered relates to the mitochondria you mentioned, and as a result, to our very existence as eukaryotic organisms; that concept is endosymbiosis.

            British Dictionary definitions for endosymbiosis:

            endosymbiosis
            /??nd???s?mb????s?s/
            noun
            1.
            a type of symbiosis in which one organism lives inside the other, the two typically behaving as a single organism. It is believed to be the means by which such organelles as mitochondria and chloroplasts arose within eukaryotic cells.

            There is an amazing book you might like, called Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life.

            From Wikipedia:
            Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life is a 2005 popular science book by Nick Lane of University College London, which argues that mitochondria are central to questions of the evolution of multicellularity, the evolution of sexual reproduction, and to the process of senescence.

            Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life

            Author
            Nick Lane
            Country
            United Kingdom
            Subject
            Evolutionary biology
            Publisher
            Oxford University Press
            Publication date
            2005
            ISBN
            978-0-19-920564-6
            Amongst the theories advanced in the book, Lane endorses the hydrogen hypothesis for the formation of the eukaryotic cell, whereby mitochondria are the original defining characteristic of the structure. He argues that the event was an exceedingly improbable one and questions the likelihood of it having happened elsewhere in the Universe. He also suggests that the necessity for genetic compatibility between mitochondrial and nuclear DNA lies behind the differentiation of biological genders, ensuring that only one sexual partner contributes mitochondrial DNA to offspring.

            Steven Rose in The Guardian said that the book contains “one of the most interesting stories modern biology has to tell”.[1] It was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize in 2006.[2]

            • Mark Mitcham says:

              I think the general idea is, there were originally two branches on the tree of life, two kinds of single-cell, bacteria-like organisms; and sometimes they devoured, or absorbed, one another. But then, some managed to survive on the inside, despite having been “devoured.” The two then developed a new, additional endosymbiotic relationship, which formed the basic eukariotic cell, which is the third branch of life on Planet Earth, and includes just about everything we think of as “creatures,” from trees to people, and from yeast cells to an ordinary fungus — we are all closely related, eukariotic-celled organisms.

            • Mark Mitcham says:

              The mitochondria in our human cells have their own DNA, and are the remnants of that secondary organism that still lives within our cells. Further, we transfer and borrow genes from these internal creatures, and so we are inseparable from our other DNA, and absolutely dependent on it.

              We are the Frankenstein creation — a result of the stitching together of two sets of genes from two different kinds of single-cell bacteria, one existing inside the other in endosymbiosis.

              Truth is much, much stranger than fiction!

            • Mark Mitcham says:

              Here’s a mind-blower: apparently scientists are able to demonstrate that the DNA in our mitochondria matches that of an external bacteria, one of the other two branches of the tree of life, enough to establish a genetic relationship. This is distinct from “our” nuclear DNA.

          • Julian says:

            Thanks for the book reference, Mark. The origins of our mitochondria, the endocannabinoid system, the water molecule in liquid form and the way our living planet and universe exist as a living, breathing, macroorganism has long fascinated me since school-high AP Biology class. Studying the way our endocannabinoid system reaches homeostasis in our own bodies can teach us infinitely about how our planet maintains it’s own living homeostasis.

            It’s fascinating to comprehend that our planet “thinks” through us, and that everything that lives within our organs and flesh and around us within the soil and water has a fluid, shared consciousness. As we consume marijuana, we are invited to become more closely connected to our true eukaryotic nature, our symbiosis with mother earth and the microbial habitats that we are made of, and recognize how precious life is in this thinly balanced frequency of our living universe where fresh liquid water exists.

    6. Julian says:

      One more article that can’t be left out of the weekly legislative round up:

      https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/texas-house-district-32-primary-election

      1,200 Democratic votes and 8 months away from losing Pete Sessions, but whose counting?

      BTW, you’re doing a great job of it Carly Wolf… keeping track of weekly marijuana reform these days is like trying to triple rotate joints in a weed circle with Snoop Dog, Willie Nelson and Cypress Hill. After two rotations I’d be like “I’m pregnant! Just leave me pregnanalone! I can’t handle this $#!+! I’m OUT!”

    7. Jeff Newberry says:

      What about Ohio???

      • Jeff Newberry says:

        It sickens me that back in 2015 Ohio’s Issue 3 was rejected for a “better plan.” Here we are 3 years later and Ohio hasn’t made a solid step forward. Think about all the Ohio citizens when Cannabis could have mitigated all that suffering and dying. Ohio citizens had to flee to other states to find treatment and relief. All Ohio citizens and politicians who rejected Issue 3 was concerned about was whose pockets would be lined with money. Instead they should have been concerned with safe and legal access for those suffering and dying. Why does money matter more then the well being of our Ohio citizens. Issue 3 could have been amended afterwards to make it better but it would have potentially saved lives and ended the suffering for many Ohio citizens. After Issue 3 failed I gave up on Norml since they wouldn’t support Cannabis reform. Norml still doesn’t support Ohio reform and when Ohio laws do change as well as the federal laws change I will be sure to point out how Norml refused Cannabis reform.

        • Julian says:

          Ask not what NORML can do for you but what you can do to be NORML. This is the library… you are the law student. Go out, organize, network and participate. Find your team. Write down and type up your team principals. Legalization is going to be a little different for each state. But don’t blame NORML when NORML is You!

        • Dain Bramage says:

          @ Jeff Newberry,

          There is an inherent conflict of interest between the free-market Capitalism of corporate America, and marijuana legalization.

          Personally, I’m a Bernie Sanders style democratic socialist. Having said that, I think it was wise of the marijuana legalization movement at large to keep their proverbial eye on the ball, prioritize their objectives, and not try to bite off more than they could chew by challenging corporate America directly in legalization initiatives. Drug testing, for example: I hate it as much as anybody; but the first priority is to stop the arrests. From a moral perspective, in our legalization crusade, perhaps nothing is more outrageous than the taking of a child from a parent over marijuana. If there is, it is a horror I don’t want to think about. But again, we must prioritize with steely-eyed clarity, for results.

          In Ohio, I held my nose and supported the Corporate Monopoly Money Grab Initiative, for the same concerns: stopping the arrests.

          But when it failed, I shrugged and said, “Leave it to corporate America to fuck up an idiot-proof task.”

          • Evening Bud says:

            Dain, good post. Free-market Corporate capitalism has been working in overdrive these past decades to fill up the prisons. That’s of course part of the reason that it opposes MJ legalization.

            BTW, I’m also a Bernie supporter, and also supported Ohio’s (admittedly weak) attempt at legalization.

      • Sean says:

        You just wait, Leroy. We will be waiting for you on election day in November.

    8. Julian says:

      And to think there even existed the possibility that Trump would intervene in Singapore after an American made a valiant attempt to escape a prison on death row for an ounce of weed to treat his Chrone’s disease… y’know, like Trump did so compassionately for those three Americans in China who stole some sunglasses… But now that Singapore is freshening up a deal for a Trump Tower, he’s all dictatored out and is actually modeling his drug policy after their execution of drug dealers.

      Think this only applies to drug policy? That’s the kind of hubris and disregard we make with how our government treats American Indians until we wake up one day and realize we all live on a reservation. We’re all connected. Let’s hope Pensylvania demonstrates more caution during tomorrow’s special election.

      Trump is going to talk to North Korea to figure out how we can be more like them.

      Meanwhile Sessions admits the federal government doesn’t have the resources to enforce marijuana prohibition.

      • Leroy says:

        So much of your ranting is filled with bullshit propaganda. To anyone paying attention, it does appear as if you’re on the job with the ridiculous comments/short essays you post routinely.

        You’re one of several at this site. Beyond legitimate discussion. Probably making your rounds from one site to the next. I hope your masters pay you fairly. Would be a shame if they pay you nickles while forcing you to write about an increase in minimum wage in America to 15 bucks.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Methinketh thou doth protest too much, Leroy. Which can mean only one thing: YOU are the paid troll around here, just as I suspected all along.

          You ain’t slick, Troll Farm!

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Minimum wage “in America” you say?
          Oops! Little slip of the tounge, eh, Leroy? Or should I say “Ivan?” How’s the weather in Moscow, Troll Farm?

          • Leroy says:

            Context of “in America” was directed at Julian, as I’d implied HE was the foreign troll. But nice try. I do believe it’s that kind of “twisting my words” that led us down the bogus Russia rabbit hole in the first place.

            I do admit to trolling you guys (from Governor Brown’s liberal empire), but I’m not on payroll. Just blowing off steam, and honestly you guys say some of the dumbest shit, I can’t help myself sometimes. It pains me to read foolishness from people that may actually be well intentioned but choose the narrow vision of reality, bullet pointed by CNN,MSNBC,or countless other sources that only look for the gotcha moments while pushing narratives instead of truths supported by evidence.

            We are lacking objectivity more than ever. Instead, it’s me against you. If I like it, that’s your queue to hate it, and vice versa. It’s disgusting, and very few people work to diffuse the danger.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Well, Leroy, you’re not scoring any points here, because you are not addressing the facts. You are scoffing at liberals, and insulting liberals, but you are not engaging in meaningful dialogue.

              Your pro-Trump propaganda is not going to fly around here, because we’re not gullible enough to believe that Trump is good for marijuana legalization — he’s not, he’s an enemy, and everybody fucking knows it.

              Liberals don’t need bots or trolls or Russians or rednecks to tell us what to think, you should know that by now.

              Fuck Trump.

            • Julian says:

              Leroy:

              What does “being American” mean to you?

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Leroy, you used the word “evidence.” Now walk your talk. If you say there is no evidence of Russian back-channels, you are not walking your talk; rather, you’re merely talking out your ass.

              Want to be taken seriously? Then acknowledge some basic facts, for christsake. Otherwise, fuck off.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              I still say you’re Russian troll farm. If I’m wrong, it’s the Republicans’ fault, they refuse to take measures to prevent this kind of Russian cyberwarfare tactic, and thus I must defend against it personally.

              Prove you’re not a Russian, show me your birth certificate!

            • Leroy says:

              @Brain Damaged,
              Facts? Hillary pulled some shit that you and I would both be locked up for (you’re okay with that), and she deflected by using the Russia word. Snowball effect. Libs, dems, idiots, all piled on. No evidence of collusion still to this day. Period. When you argue that, you’re a liar dealing in unconfirmed, fictional bullshit.

              Birth certificate? San Diego, born and raised, on the playground is where i spent most of my days.

              I’ll sooner kick your ass in person. SoCal, come see me.

              Pro Trump? Mother fucker! I am a realist, ya bitch. You buy into the propaganda while I shove it up your ass. Trump, Hillary, Sanders? It’s a crying shame we ever had to choose from that mess, but no goddamn way would I ever vote for the shit the dems served up. I regrettably had to vote for the childish ego, because it was the right thing to do.

              What basic facts haven’t I acknowledged? Remember, legit facts are backed up by indisputable proof. Is there proof of a back channel to Russia? If there were, Trump would be in cuffs right fucking now, you lying sack of shit. I don’t have to like Trump to acknowledge that truth, see how this works??

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Leroy, I don’t believe you.
              You are a Paid Russian Troll. I could walk around San Diego all day long, and you wouldn’t say shit, because you are in Moscow.

              I heard Trump collude with Russia with my own ears, you idiot; he said it on national television. Are you fucking deaf? He said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you are able to find the missing 30,000 emails.” That’s collusion.

              And backchannels? How much more proof do you need? If the Russian put a backchannel up your ass, you would deny it.

              You stand exposed, Troll Farm.
              The more Russian propaganda you spew, the more i am onto you.

              Southern California, your ass.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Leroy… your challenge was to acknowledge the existence of evidence, not to demand proof in response. You are a fraud and a phony. No intellectual integrity, only propaganda.

              You failed spectacularly.

              Oh yeah. You a Russian troll farm. No doubt about it.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              “Trump in cuffs.”
              Leroy, that’s the one goddamn thing you’ve said which I actually agree with. The sooner, the better!

            • Leroy says:

              Funny how I imply you’re a fake and you turn it around on me and repeat it over and over. And that makes it true. That’s how you and people like you operate. Insist something is true until thousands of other morons believe it and shout the same bullshit to thousands of other morons, and out keeps going until millions of dumb mother fuckers sincerely believe the sky is falling.

              “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you are able to find the missing 30,000 emails.”
              Exactly! That was the moment it all started. In public, with a smirk. A jab from Trump aimed at Hillary and her missing emails. And the response was, ohhhhhh see, Trump is talking to Russia, you all heard him, ohhhhhh busted! And it continued from there, as silly as it is. It’s so unreal they were able to start the witch hunt from a joke. And here we are today. Countless dollars wasted and no collusion to show for it.

              My challenge was to acknowledge the existence of evidence not insist on proof? Do you even hear yourself?? Show me proof! What evidence? Suspecting something (from a biased perch) is not the same as having real evidence.

              Dain, with all your silly finger pointing and refusal to look at things objectively, you’re as abnoxious as Trump. If i wasn’t so busy cussing you out, you’d be very offputting.

            • Sean says:

              Tick tock tick tock, Leroy. We’ll see you at the polls this November.

            • Leroy says:

              @Sean, yes sir, you will. And while i long for the end of prohibition, there are so many important issues that guide my vote.

              I don’t believe for a second Hillary would have done anything for legalization by now or ever, so a vote for Trump came with fingers crossed on this issue. And I honestly believe we’ll see movement before the term is up. It’s not all doom and gloom, Congress will move in our favor and Trump will be onboard. The AG is the problem. I like to think Trump is talking about other drugs when he says stupid shit, but I’m not a fortune teller the way everyone else is here. Perhaps all drugs should be legal, but that’s not an issue I’m passionate about. He’ll let cannabis be decided by the states, that’s a fortune I have faith in.

              But far as blue versus red, wake up! I vote for the best person, not the ideology. My shit doesn’t stink in that regard, compared to all the mindless zombies on the left and the right. And marijuana and the human rights issue is not what drives my vote. Because, I understand people are still caught up with the stigma, and some otherwise good people, even politicians, are dead wrong about cannabis, but if the other guy, the other option to vote for, is pro legalization but wants to take other rights away or believes in socialism, they don’t get my vote. The candidates need to be the best overall for my country and my family.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Leroy, that’s so weak. You can’t try any harder than that?

              Treason is just a big joke to you? No. No, treason ain’t no joke. You must be the only one laughing. Trump ain’t laughing. Mueller ain’t laughing. I sure as fuck don’t find it amusing.

              That’s weak sauce, Leroy.

            • Julian says:

              Anyone who comes to a marijuana reform blog dedicated to help sick people stay out of jail that feels the need to say “I’m not on the payroll,” …is on “the payroll.”

              Get a real job, Leroy. We’re legalizing marijuana, and the payroll is getting lit up and smoked.

            • Leroy says:

              Dain, I’m starting to suspect you’re a special case, like serious mental issues. I support you and hope you find the help you need soon.

              Where o where did I ever say I approve of treason? I would punch you in the face if you said that to my face. But you’re too chicken shit to run your mouth in person. Oh wait, I’m in Moscow, that’s the ticket. Sure punk.

            • Leroy says:

              Julian, NORML has always been about reforming marijuana laws. Sick people are not the main focus. They are part of the big picture. I know you know that already, but let’s not mislead people by acting like it’s a save the sick people campaign when it’s really about everyone, sick or not.

              If I say I’m not on payroll, it certainly does NOT mean I actually am on the payroll. But yet another example of how you twats think. I think I’ve gotten enough special treatment to know you and the OCD-Trump hater Dain are also not trolling, but it’s sad that I can’t be sure. Quite concerning.

              Love me some Rocky IV, though. Right? Right? Can I get a amen, comrads???

            • Mark Mitcham says:

              Trump cannot laugh. Ever. It’s part of the deal he cut with Lucifer.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Leroy, you didn’t say you approve of treason. I said it. Your support for Traitor Trump makes you complicit.

              As far as my mental issues, you don’t know the half of it! I am way too far gone to care what you think of me. Irrelevant. You would have to be someone who’s opinions I respect, for me to care — but you’re not.

              As far as the insults, I can dish out the profanity, and I can take it, too; so that part is a wash, I figure. A non-issue.

              As far as hitting me in the face? You can try, but I’m not worried. Still gonna say my piece. Empty threats, Creampuff! If that’s what you want, that’s your problem, not mine. See you never.

              See, that’s the difference between you and me. I put my faith in the pen. You put yours in the sword — or in this case, your knuckle-dragging fists. I promote civilization; you promote violence.

              I’ll pass on your Rocky movies, too. I prefer… Rocky Horror Picture Show. I don’t need your opinion on that, either.

              Let’s not hang out.

            • Negative Nancy says:

              Leroy, the term “comrades” is not commonly used in America. Try “friends” or “ladies and gentlemen.”

            • Leroy says:

              Right over your head, huh Nancy? That’s okay.

            • Leroy says:

              Dain, you’re not righteous. There, I said it. Someone needed to. You may think typing furiously in your parents’ basement and targeting anyone that disagrees with your insanity concerning marijuana, Trump, Republicans, and treason is a noble fight, but you’re staining this site with the smell of lunacy in your fascist attempt at silencing others with different views. You may be too big a pussy to consider face to face discussions, but that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly standing for anti violence while trying to rally the people in a civilized manner. You’re very clearly promoting a divided community while pretending to be this website’s (and the entire legalization movement’s) guard dog.

              You’re a clown. Somewhat entertaining, though.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          You sound tired, Leroy. Honestly, you’re a little off your game. Why don’t you ask Putin for a couple days off?

        • Evening Bud says:

          Leroy, your conservative rant is sad. The biggest difference between Julian’s posts and yours is that he actually informs with his. You oppose a $15 minimum wage? Your corporate masters must be proud (you are proving to be such a useful idiot for them).

        • Julian says:

          Let me guess… it was “Trump wants us to be more like North Korea”?

          Or perhaps you missed the sarcasm in the oxy moron “Trump … compassionately”?

          You aren’t blowing my high. I would only quote to you the words of Robert Nesta Marley;

          “Open your eyes and look within;
          Are you satisfied with the life you’re livin?”

          “None but ourselves can free our own minds.”

        • Julian says:

          Here you go Leroy, this will make you feel better:

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2018/03/14/daily-202-pennsylvania-special-election-shows-gop-still-hasn-t-found-a-winning-midterms-message/5aa869a730fb047655a06c49/?utm_term=.e7ceb2f15ad7

          “Then [The GOP/ Russia/Koch brothers/Trump] accused [Conor Lamb, the Democrat currently leading by less than 800 votes] of letting dangerous drug dealers get off the hook for their crimes with lenient sentences.”

          How’s that for failed propaganda? I mean, after all, Lamb’s victory is worth celebrating on a website dedicated to marijuana reform, isn’t it ol Leroy?

        • Sean says:

          You just wait, Leroy. We will be waiting for you on election day in November.

        • Sean says:

          @Leroy: You said in your reply to me that marijuana and human rights don’t drive your vote or words to that effect. While I appreciate your honesty, marijuana legalization and human rights will always drive my vote. And it will continue to drive my vote for the foreseeable future.

          • Leroy says:

            Well to be clear, human rights are important. I consider access to cannabis to be a human right. But if a candidate aligns with my thinking on everything except marijuana, I can’t just disregard the overall value of the candidate in question and vote for some other idiot that happens to be an advocate for legal cannabis but is wrong on the other issues. To let one single issue drive your vote is irresponsible.

            The majority wants legal marijuana, and I believe it’s going to happen soon. I know a hell of a lot of good people that still view marijuana in a negative light. It’s understandable considering the history of lies we’ve all lived through, and deprogramming takes a while for some people.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Leroy, it is quite clear that your reason for commenting on this blog is not to promote marijuana legalization, but rather, to promote the alt-right TRAITORS, a position YOU say is better than supporting a Democrat. Your passions, if not your intelligence, are evident indeed.

              But this is not an alt-right blog. And yet you post as regularly as any dedicated reformer. This makes no sense… Unless you are a paid Russian troll. I think you are exactly that.

              Your pitch is not for legalization, but for fascism. You have failed to acknowledge any of the complex issues preventing legalization from occurring: police forfeitures, Big Pharma, Republican intransigence, and so on. That’s because you live in a fact-free bubble. Your only consistent position is white supremacy, which makes you a rotten human being.

              Julian has asked whether you’ve ever clicked the “ACT” tab, or sent a letter. Apparently not. What the fuck do you do to help? Nothing.

              You say you’re trolling the left; in fact, you are trolling NORML itself, and the entire marijuana legalization movement. You are an enemy to us who want to see marijuana legalized.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              …And one more thing, Leroy. I’m getting tired of your threats of violence against me. So stop calling me out, because I am not going to have a duel with you, you fucking throwback. If you want me, come and get me; otherwise, go fuck yourself.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              It is standard bullshit operating procedure to tell someone who has views you don’t give a fuck about, that their concerns are “important.” You see the same trick often enough, eventually you figure it out.

              Leroy says “Well to be clear, human rights are important. I consider access to cannabis to be a human right. But…”

              Bullshit!

            • Leroy says:

              Dain, I’m not required to click the Act link. I just don’t have to be that engaged. It’s a matter of time, personal knowledge, or lack there of, and various other reasons I just don’t need to bother going into with you. So suck it, jerk.

              I haven’t promoted alt-right traitors. And there you go again, rinse and repeat, with the Russian accusations. Must be more true now than the other 30 times you said it.

              Give me one example of fascist behavior on my part, please. This could be eye opening for me.

              I disagree with your insanity, and that makes me fascist?? Hypocrisy! Guilty of the exact things you’re accusing me of. And now I’m promoting white supremacy!!!!???? Get out of town, you can’t be serious! How do you make these ridiculous leaps?

              I am not trolling the left, you buffoon. I’m trolling you. A mentally ill lunatic accusing everyone that disagrees with him and his ideology as a treasonous traitor. You should read your comments before posting them. You do a major disservice to NORML.

              And I should dial it down a bit myself, true. I’ll delete a few cuss words before I click the button in the future, but the sentiment that you’re a raging asshole won’t change.

              And run your mouth enough, buddy… someone’s going to get in your face. You don’t get to play victim, sweetheart.

              I read your remarks posted to a different blog, and you’re literally asking people to get into it with you. It’s not a request for civilized dialogue. You’re a belligerent instigator begging for people to fall for it so you can cry and pretend you’re just legalizing marijuana. Laughable.

              I lurk here more than I post. Been that way for many years. I remember when you weren’t all over this site, it was a far more peaceful environment. Now it’s a damn UC Berkeley protest all over the place with you yelling and crying and throwing chairs through windows to try and silence the fascists. The irony.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Leroy, You’re saying YOU DIDN’T KNOW Trump was a white supremacist when you voted for him? Oh, bullshit.

            • Leroy says:

              I don’t believe he’s a white supremacist. I’ve not seen or heard anything that convinces me that it’s even close to being the case. I realize some folks like you have thrown out that accusation, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Propaganda, sure.

              But if he is a white supremacist, that’s fucked up. Yet I still wouldn’t vote for Hillary. She’s entirely more wicked than Trump and most other people on the planet. Third party is cute but I’m in the camp that believes it’s a wasted vote until changes are made to our election process.

              You won’t convince me I’m a bad person guilty of the things you accuse Trump of, and I’m not complicit of anything. That’s pure garbage.

    9. Commen Ter says:

      The Democrats and Republicans, the Trumpers and the Hillary lovers, the Bernie lovers and the Soros shills. You aren’t *thinking* for yourselves.

      One of the major reasons cannabis has been placed in the “illegal” category is because it is a threat to the establishment. This very powerful substance is capable of promoting “strange ideas”. It promotes free thought outside of the status quo, and can quickly threaten their control structure if we get too many people with these dangerous “strange ideas”. All you commenters who play sides against each other are playing their game, not *our* game. I’d strongly suggest everyone stop playing their game because their game is always immoral, violent, and unjust!

      In this constitutional republic, large groups of opinions don’t have the AUTHORITY to implement what these groups of criminals have been getting away with for all these years. We have never been following the law of the land. The preamble makes it clear that our servants are there to promote liberty, and when is the last time you have seen that? Stop playing their game and get your head on straight. They never had the authority to criminalize a plant! Voting to get back what should already be is fine, but instead we should be arresting those who immorally and without authorization, kidnap and violate non-violent users/growers of a plant! These politicians who are breaking their oath, and joining a criminal conspiracy against *us* should not be tolerated by *us*. Instead we play their game and get split up into a bunch of bickering groups of mind washed drones. cont .. ->

      • Commen Ter says:

        They don’t have the authority to take our money and spend it for us. This de-facto process is tolerated, but it doesn’t make it moral, and it doesn’t make it legal. You people that want to “tax the rich” have good intentions. Instead you should be looking at the regulations that are creating the ability for those “rich” to get ahead off the backs of the little guy who can’t afford to buy politicians. Stop allowing politicians to use authority they don’t have, and these “evil rich folk” won’t have a leg up in the first place, and the poor will naturally fizzle into productive wealth generators.

        No one has the authority to vote to take money from individuals for goods and services they didn’t sign up for. No one has the authority to vote and prevent someone from using a plant. No one has the authority to vote and tell people what kinds insurance they must buy. No one has the authority to vote and tell individuals what kind of paperwork they need to freely travel the rights of ways we call roads. No one has the the authority to vote and take guns away to continue to erode the equal power structure of “we the people”. That’s right folks, the 2nd amendment is about balance of power, not hunting. Lets make a deal with them. You give up your guns first.

        Everyone in these comments seem to ignore how we got this way in the first place. The balance of power! De-facto authority is still immoral and illegal authority, even if it’s with good intentions. Someone voting for cannabis to be illegal may have good intentions, but most here already know they are wrong and many suffer for it. This principle should be accepted across the board for all issues, not just cannabis. People with good intentions can cause unintended consequences. This is specifically why the framework of liberty was put in place. To protect the minority from the majority’s best intentions. Responsibility is freedom!

        Peace! (the real kind)

        • Dain Bramage says:

          @ Common Term,
          Oppose the NRA, not the 2nd Amendment. Oppose the GOP and Putin infiltration, not the 2nd Amendment. Oppose Trump, not the US Constitution. Support gun control, not Fascism.

        • Negative Nancy says:

          Resist Trump.

        • Julian says:

          Commen,

          You’re using a vague vocabulary for a highly arbitrary Constitutional conversation. The Preamble is decieving, given that it’s a declaration of ideas without legal enforcement. Jefferson, Franklin and Morris get to say “We the people… life liberty and justice…” and wax poetic with the words “self evident that all men were created equal” without making the words law.

          “Self-evident?” Said the slaveowners? So what does that mean? “Well, it’s self evident we were created equal so let’s not turn it into law or we’ll lose all our slaves!”

          Today, a tyrannical Russian/corporate coup under a finasteride-saturated President, billionaire-controlled Congress and rogue Supreme Court majority has taught us that anything moral that was ever taken for granted and not written down is apparent permission for the GOP to demoralize our national heritage and security. The Dems take poison money too, but at least they still govern! http://www.norml.org/congressional-scorecard

          Without citing specific amendments, cases, laws or people you must realize you are causing the divisions you seek to condemn?

          Here, I’ll give you an example: The 10th amendment guarantees my state’s rights to reform it’s own criminal justice system no matter what kind of sick, corporate private prison or war camp reservation our federal government is turning into. And I have the right to express that through resolution to the Democratic party along with rejecting PAC money both foreign and domestic.

          I agree we should not allow petty divisions weaken us before corporate dogma. But we must be clear about our Constitutional rights.

          Ben Franklin should have stuck with the unanimous direct democracy the Haudenosenee had established before a greedy electoral college slipped in and ruined the American Republic.

          • Commen Ter says:

            Principles and intent of the constitutions are law. It is intentionally vague for our protection, not for theirs. There was a great new idea that never yet existed, and always was something we have to do are darnedest to work towards(Slavery was never legitimate, and slavery hasn’t ended). Nothing is perfect, but we are pretty darn close when it comes to the framework. We the people interpret liberty and make each individual servant 100% accountable.
            We could get into a lengthy discussion about how democracy doesn’t work, and violates the minority. We could get into unnecessarily complex case law, but you have already been compromised siding with one criminal group over the other. You come up with excuses for the same group that is using you and violating you.
            There is no “at least”, because there is no difference. The only difference is who they use, and who they deceive. These criminals aren’t your team. They aren’t even their own team. They are taking you away from the team that you truly belong to. It is up to we the people to run this world, and they are our servants. We only need to be left alone! Get your head out of your rear end and stop this nonsense. My congressional scorecard has a lengthy prison sentence for 99% of these racketeers.

            • Julian says:

              Comm,

              You are allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good. I simply don’t have time to drag you out of that, you have to see that for yourself. Want to cut through all the Constitutional misinterpretation and bad laws? Click on the ACT tab and contact your Reps. Until then your fomenting at an imperfect, dual party capitalist oligarchy is a mere distraction.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              “Democracy doesn’t work?”
              That’s your pitch?
              Why don’t you just call yourself mini-Putin?

              If “we” and “us” includes the NRA, the GOP, the KKK, the Nazis, Russian gangsters, and Traitor Trump and his supporters, then count me out, white man! Fuck all that!

              Keeping my Democracy, thank you.

        • Commen Ter says:

          Far out responses! So righteous! You guys come up with this stuff all on your own? Comment bots? Talking points? Broken records? I feel bad that independent thinkers get drowned out by this dribble. You people are being so used that it’s humiliating. It’s disgusting what they have done to the intelligence of humanity. Good day.

          • Leroy says:

            Agreed.

          • Julian says:

            “They”? You claim intelligence yet you claim no citation or reference to your derrogatory, baseless pronouns. Now we KNOW you are a distracting little troll.

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Aw. Don’t be mad. All we want to do is legalize marijuana. But then, here you fascists come along, pretending to be all “hemp friendly” and shit, but you bring that scumbag traitor Trump, and his Master, Putin, to the party. That was very, very wrong of you.

            That fucking shit is flat-out unacceptable. You should goddamn well know that without being told.

            Now, you’re in our fucking way. So, we will go right through you. Seriously, did you really expect us stoners to roll over and become Nazis, just because you know how to say the word “marijuana?” Foolish of you.

            Maybe that’s how it works in Russia, but not around here.

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