Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/30/18

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML Political Associate March 30, 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. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) intends to introduce a bill to legalize industrial hemp next month.

    At the state level, Governor Phil Murphy (D) of New Jersey made dramatic changes to the state’s regulatory program. Changes include: reduced cost of the medical marijuana registry for patients by 50%; reduced cost for veterans, seniors, and those on disability by 90%; expanded the qualifying conditions list to include Tourette syndrome, chronic pain, and other conditions; among others.

    Also at the state level, Regulators in Iowa awarded five businesses medical cannabis dispensary licenses, and activists in North Dakota are saying they’ve gathered over half the needed signatures to certify a marijuana legalization ballot initiative.

    At a more local level, New Orleans, Louisiana marijuana arrests have significantly dropped after the implementation of a measure that allows police to issue summonses for minor possession violations.

    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,

    Priority Alerts


    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


    The Connecticut Legislature is considering several bills to to regulate and tax the retail sale of marijuana to adults. HB 5111 and HB 5112 are still pending in the Joint Committee on General Law, and HB 5458 died in a House committee last week.

    Update: The General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee held a hearing on 3/28 on another proposal, HB 5394, to develop a plan to legalize and regulate the retail sale of marijuana in the state and to provide for substance abuse treatment, prevention, education and awareness programs and measures.

    CT resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of legalization efforts

    South Carolina

    Legislation is pending, H 3521 and S 212: The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, to allow for the physician-authorized use of marijuana for patients with specific debilitating medical conditions. If passed, the bill would provide patients with regulated access to medical cannabis via licensed providers.

    Update: The Senate Medical Affairs Committee approved S 212 on 3/29 on an 8-6 vote, after it was approved by the subcommittee on a 3-2 vote last week. H3521 was tabled after the House Medical, Military, and Public and Municipal Affairs Committee held a hearing, but the Chairman didn’t put the bill on the agenda.

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


    Medical Extracts
    State Representative Jeremy Faison (R) and State Senator Steve Dickerson (R) have introduced legislation, SB 1710 and HB 1749 to establish a limited medical marijuana access program in Tennessee.
    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/SB 1710 was significantly amended at the request of the sponsor. As amended, the measure depenalizes the possession of CBD extracts by qualified patients, and also provides protections to those from out of state. It does not provide an in-state regulated supply system for CBD products. Members of the House Criminal Justice Committee approved the amended bill on 3/28.

    HB 1749 will be heard by the Health Committee on 4/3, and SB 1710 will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee also on 4/3.

    TN resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of CBD extracts

    Medical Cannabis
    Legislation is pending, HB 830 and SB 1119, to establish a medical marijuana access program.

    The bill would provide qualified patients with access to cannabis therapy through licensed dispensaries or pharmacies, under the supervision of a certified practitioner. The bill would also prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals solely because of their status as a medical cannabis patient.

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

    New Jersey

    Legislation is pending, S2426 and A3740, to further expand the state’s medical marijuana law.

    The measures provide doctors the discretion to recommend medical marijuana to any patient for whom they believe it will provide a benefit.

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

    New Hampshire

    Legislation is pending, SB 388, to expand the state’s medical cannabis program.

    The bill would authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a second dispensary location in the geographic area that includes Carroll, Coos, and Grafton counties for therapeutic cannabis. Currently there are only four licensed dispensaries operating across the state to serve an estimated 3,500 patients.

    Update: SB 388 passed the Senate on 3/22, and now awaits action in the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee.

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


    Additional Actions to Take


    Legislation has been introduced by Sen. Bob Hertzberg [D], SB 930, to assist financial institutions to safely conduct transactions with licensed cannabis businesses.

    Update: SB 930 will be heard by the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee on 4/18 at 1:30pm in Room 112.

    CA resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of banking access


    Legislation is pending, HB 2729, to allow for out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders to access medical cannabis while visiting Hawaii. It already passed the House earlier this month.

    Other provisions in the bill prohibit employers from either discriminating against or taking punitive actions against employees solely based on their medical cannabis use or patient status.

    Update: HB 2729 will be heard by the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday 3/29 at 10:50am in Conference room 211.

    HI resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of reciprocity


    HB 2913 is pending: The Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program. If passed, this bill would allow universities to cultivate hemp for research and development purposes. It already passed the House unanimously earlier this month.

    Update: HB 2913 was approved by the Senate Agriculture and Wildlife Committee on 3/27, and is now awaiting action from the Appropriations Committee.

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


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

    Update: SB 263 was approved by the House on 3/28 by a 123-1 vote. It now awaits action from the Governor.

    KS resident? Click here to email your Governor in support of hemp research

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

    51 responses to “Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/30/18”

    1. Dain Bramage says:

      Guns don’t kill people unless people have guns.

      People have always killed people, no doubt; but no one has ever been shot by an unarmed person.

      Even by an unarmed black man! It’s not possible.

      Fuck the police state!

      Strict gun regulations, or, as the second amendment puts it, “well regulated” guns, is a no brainer.

      Even Dain Bramage can figure that much out.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        I love the second amendment, because it DICTATES strict gun regulations.

        That’s what makes the NRA a terrorist organization. Un-American doesn’t cut it.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        The police don’t need military grade weaponry. If there is a hostile militia like the NRA running loose in USA, which there is, then call out the National Guard and defeat them!

        • ChickenFarmer says:

          The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense and resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.[8]

          While both James Monroe and John Adams supported the Constitution being ratified, its most influential framer was James Madison. In Federalist No. 46, Madison wrote how a federal army could be kept in check by state militias, “a standing army … would be opposed [by] a militia.” He argued that state militias “would be able to repel the danger” of a federal army, “It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.” He confidently contrasted the federal government of the United States to the European kingdoms, which he contemptuously described as “afraid to trust the people with arms.” He assured his fellow citizens that they need never fear their government because “besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition”.[9][10]

        • Julian says:

          Now on this, we can agree. With the one caveat is that the Coast Guards’ boats aren’t equipped to stop the wire transfers from foreign banks turning stolen Russian rubles into dollars in NRA bank accounts across the Atlantic that turn and purchase an extreme right wing coup in our government. For that, we need to elect PAC-refusing candidates like Beto Orourke or Kristen Gillibrand. And if the Primaries are closed and the Dems are rigged against gun and marijuana legalization like Debbie Washmoney Shultz sells our freedom for stock options in Big Pharma and Big Prisons in Broward County, then support Tim Canova who just announced he is running as an Independent.

    2. Dain Bramage says:

      Republican Fascism. Propaganda TV.
      Let John Oliver illustrate:

    3. Matthew says:

      Don’t offend folks with Act Blue.
      Bad Deal!

      • Juian says:

        Just because Democrats use ACT Blue for donations does not mean donating to NORML or any of its chapters will send money to Democrats. NORML PAC is registered to endorse, but Democrats are alreadyleading candidates that refuse PAC money like Beto Orourke. I know; I lobbied National NORML to give PAC money to Beto and he REFUSED.
        So now I’ve dumped every Republican and am going all in for the Dems.
        And as for your cry of “offense”? That’s more absurd than a kid crying about wasp stings after throwing rocks at the nest.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        I will say it explicitly: to hell with Republicans, they are fascists, and that is bad for you, for me, for NORML, and for cannabis consumers world-wide.

    4. Cannabliss says:

      I wish this political party trashing would end, both parties have there mentors and bad apples. Stop trashing the Congress for showing some initiative, HR 1227, removing marijuana from the controlled substances act. The renewability, for the states alone, is worth the effort and this will open the market for more scientific research, which is currently being restricted, censored, falsified and ignored. Instead of the unaccountable policy of denial, when will we all, finally wake up and smell the terpenes?

      • Julian says:

        If it’s of any consolation, Cannabliss, when I say I’ve “dumped every Republican” I’m referring to those I can vote for. I believe Dana Rohrabacher is a Russian spook and should get voted out, but I’ve lobbied hard for the Rohrabacher Blumenauer amendment we still have in place, thanks to citizen lobbying from the ACT link on this webpage.

        I used to back my local state Rep, Jason Isaac, Republican, who worked hard to pass a mmj bill through the Health Committee, stating in tears “I don’t care if lose elections over this, it’s the right thing to do.” Unfortunately, the GOP had him run for federal Congress for Lamar Smith’s retiring seat then they turned on him and backed one of these Koch-sucking prohibitionist loonies and pushed him out of the primaries. From having two mj reforming candidates were back to hoping the Dems win district 21 in Texas.

        But we as mj advocates can bet on both horses too.

        On the Republican side, we only need to convince 1,200 of the 7000 Republicans who voted against Pete Sessions in Dallas County during the primaries to either stay at home, vote Dem or leave Pete blank, and we get rid of the single worst prohibitionist in Congress.

        On the Dem side, Tim Canova just announced he’s running as an Independent against the Democrats’ biggest prohibionist in Congress, (even worse than Joe Kennedy), and that’s Debbie Washmoney Shultz. If we can wipe her out in the Florida primary were on our way to federal marijuana legalization reform in 2019 with bipartisan support.

    5. Anonymous says:

      I can not believe some of you commentators, wow.

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