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Weekly Legislative Roundup 4/6/18

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML Political Associate April 6, 2018

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

    I first want to bring your attention to some key developments happening at the state level. A representative from the Lt. Governor’s Office shared that proponents of a 2018 medical marijuana ballot measure in Utah collected 117,000 validated signatures from registered voters — well over the 113,000 required to qualify for the ballot.

    Also at the state level, The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs plans to collect public comment on how marijuana is classified under state law and whether any changes should be made regarding its classification status. The Division will solicit comments during several different public events, or “informal conferences,” in Newark and Trenton this month. Written submissions will also be accepted.

    At a more local level, Albuquerque, New Mexico approved a measure decriminalizing marijuana; Portland, Oregon will use $300,000 in marijuana tax revenue to fund a public education program on safe driving; and voters in Naturita and Berthoud, Colorado will see ballot questions this November on whether or not to allow marijuana businesses to operate.

    Following are the bills from around the country that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.

    Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level.

    Your highness,
    Carly

    Priority Alerts

    Federal

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

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

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

    Connecticut

    House Bill 5394 is pending 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.

    Update: HB 5394 was approved by the Joint Appropriations Committee by a 27-24 vote on 4/5. This marks the first time any committee in the state has ever approved an adult use legalization measure.

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

    Missouri

    House Bill 1488 seeks to establish provisions regarding the legalization of marijuana as well as establish certain licensing requirements.

    Update: HB 1488 will be heard by the House General Law Committee on 4/10 at 5 PM or upon adjournment (whichever is later) in House Hearing Room 5.

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

    New Hampshire

    Senate Bill 388 is pending, to expand the state’s medical cannabis program. It already passed the full Senate last month.

    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.

    Update: The House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on SB 388 on 4/11 at 11am in LOB room 206.

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

    Tennessee

    SB 1710 and HB 1749 would 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: Senator Steve Dickerson, sponsor of SB 1710, killed the bill for this year due to the lack of support from the legislature, but HB 1749 is still scheduled to be heard by the House Health Committee on 4/10.

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

    California

    Expungement
    Assembly Bill 1793 is pending, “to allow automatic expungement or reduction of a prior cannabis conviction for an act that is not a crime as of January 1, 2017, or for a crime that as of that date subject to a lesser sentence.

    Update: The Assembly’s Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing on AB 1793 on 4/17 at 9am.

    CA resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of expunging past convictions

    Employment Protections
    AB 2069, to strengthen employment rights for medical cannabis patients. The bill would explicitly bar employers from discriminating against workers solely because of their status as a medical cannabis patient, or due to testing positive for medical marijuana use on a workplace drug test.

    Update: The Assembly’s Labor And Employment Committee will hold a hearing on AB 2069 on 4/18 at 1:30pm.

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

    Alaska

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

    Update: SB 184 was approved by the Judiciary Committee and referred to the Finance Committee on 3/29.

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

     

    Other Actions to Take

    Hawaii

    House Bill 2729 seeks to allow for out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders to access medical cannabis while visiting Hawaii. 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. The bill already passed the full House last month.

    Update: The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved HB 2729 with amendments on 4/6, and will now go before the full Senate.

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

    Oklahoma

    Legislation is pending, HB 3468, to create the Oklahoma Cannabis Commission, contingent upon the results of State Question 788, the statewide ballot measure that would provide patients with regulated access to medical cannabis. NORML endorses State Question 788.

    Should the voters decide in favor of SQ 788, the Oklahoma Cannabis Commission would serve to address any issues related to the medical marijuana program in Oklahoma and ensure the swift implementation of the provisions outlined in SQ 788.

    OK resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of the Oklahoma Cannabis Commission

    Georgia

    House Bill 65 seeks to expand Georgia’s limited medical cannabidiol (CBD) law.

    The measure would expand the pool of patients eligible to receive an authorization for CBD therapy to include those with post traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain. The bill also creates a study commission to review and make policy recommendations with regard to whether the state should provide in-state production and distribution of CBD products. Lawmakers failed to take action this session on separate legislation which sought to establish rules regulating CBD production and dispensing.

    Update: HB 65 was approved by the House and Senate, and now awaits action from Gov. Nathan Deal.

    GA resident? Click here to email Governor Deal in support of medical CBD expansion

    Kansas

    Legislation is pending, SB 282, to allow for the possession and retail sale of cannabidiol (CBD) products containing zero percent THC. 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. The bill was already passed unanimously by the Senate earlier this year, and the full House last week, with amendments.

    Update: The Senate did not agree with the House’s proposed changes, so a conference committee of three members from each house were appointed to work out a version of the bill that will be satisfactory to both houses. The report from the Conference Committee is now available, and will require approval from both chambers.

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

    California

    Senate Bill 930 seeks to assist financial institutions safely conduct transactions with licensed cannabis businesses.

    SB 930 would allow financial institutions to work with licensed cannabis businesses to issue certified checks and conduct payroll for certified California employees, pay their state and local taxes and fees while lessening the burden on local government to collect and manage large sums of cash, pay their rent, and invest in California’s economy

    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

    Maryland

    House Bill 698 seeks to expand the state’s nascent industrial hemp pilot program. The bill would “authorize and facilitate the research of industrial hemp and any aspect of growing, cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transporting, marketing, or selling industrial hemp for agricultural, industrial, or commercial purposes.” It already passed the full House last month.

    Update: HB 698 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 4/4, and will now go to Governor Larry Hogan for his signature or veto.

    MD resident? Click here to email Governor Hogan in support of an industrial hemp pilot program

    Missouri

    Senate Bill 547 and House Bill 2034 seek 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. Both bills have already passed their respective chambers.

    Update: A hearing is scheduled for SB 547 in the House Agriculture Policy Committee on 4/10 at 12PM or upon conclusion of morning session-whichever is later in HR 1. HB 2034 is still pending in committee in the Senate.

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

    Iowa

    Senate File 2398 seeks to establish The Iowa Industrial Hemp Act. The bill would allow the Department of Agriculture to establish a research pilot program that engages in the licensed cultivation, production, and marketing of industrial hemp.

    Update: SF 2398 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 4/4, and now awaits action in the House.

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

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

    22 responses to “Weekly Legislative Roundup 4/6/18”

    1. Evening Bud says:

      I’m of course paying close attention to the Albuquerque vote. I don’t wanna jinx anything, so will hold off on further posts on this particular front until the appropriate time.

    2. Josh A Zajdel says:

      This is all great news legalize it ! It’s the best.

    3. Dain Bramage says:

      Do not normalize Fascism. Republicans are not a legitimate political party, they are collaborators with a hostile foreign threat, Putin.

      • Leroy says:

        You’re a liar and a hypocrite with OCD.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Leroy, you forgot to call me crazy!

          • Leroy says:

            I’m a fig newton of your imagination, Mr. Bramage.

            We all know you’re crazy. Even Julian and the others walking the same line as you with a tad less insanity now you’re off your rocker.

            • Leroy says:

              *know

              Before Dain uses my spelling error as proof of Russia.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Leroy, who’s crazy depends on which side of the fence you’re on. I know this much — I wouldn’t want your job. I wouldn’t want to have to defend a traitor.

              That’s why Traitor Trump can’t keep a lawyer!

    4. Dain Bramage says:

      Mitch McTurtle is too slow on hemp, too little too late. No points for Mitch.

    5. Dain Bramage says:

      Any Democrat is better than any Republican. Fuck McConnell.

    6. Julian says:

      Paste and copy to the prescripted letter in the Federal Act link above to 1227:

      President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are calling on the death penalty for lethal drug dealers. Then they should start with opioid-peddling Big Pharma:
      https://www.alternet.org/drugs/if-you-want-kill-drug-dealers-start-big-pharma?akid=16915.2366751.i6Ha-g&rd=1&src=newsletter1090802&t=22

      Meanwhile, longitudinal studies from the Journal of the American Medical Association reveal that opioid addiction is reduced by %37 and opioid related suicides by %24 where whole plant marijuana is legalized either medically or through responsible adult recreational state markets:
      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2677000

    7. Julian says:

      The FDA is seeking public comment over re (or De) scheduling marijuana under international drug control treaties and conventions:

      https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA_FRDOC_0001-8331

      Comments are due by April 23rd.

      NORML emphasizes the need to DEschedule, and not REschedule, noting that cocaine is a schedule 2 substance and continues to thrive on the black market. In order to sustain equitable, safe and affordable treatment for everything from neurological disease, opioid addiction and overdose, or even restoring the cooperation and communication between law enforcement and our comunities, a fairly taxed legal market for both medical marijuana and responsible adult use must be maintained. Young people don’t need to be denied an occupation or financial aid because of a whole plant remedy that even the DEA admits has killed no one. Furthermore, imposing tarrifs on soy and corn have made hemp a necessary economic commodity that cannot afford the antiquated, archaic barriers of Prohibition of marijuana, which until made legal, will remain an existential threat to international security, and the sustained homeostatic balance and survival of our species on earth.

    8. Julian says:

      Cultural economic Reperations, Appropriations, and expungement of disproportionate incarceration and arrest records needs to have a defined separation of legal reform. Articles like the following by Liz Pozner, managing editor for Alternet:

      https://www.alternet.org/drugs/white-people-trying-ayahuasca-peyote-cultural-appropriation-indigenous-cultures?akid=16917.2366751.n76NiV&rd=1&src=newsletter1090842&t=18

      …risk embelishing the stereotype that “white” American consumers accused of appropropriating indigenous medicines like Ayahuasca into recreational psychadelic therapy lack mixed race or even indigenous identities. By failing to ackowledge our complex American racial identities and origins, we face a dilemma where self percieved “white” Americans fall victim to the propaganda of white privilege, and in doing so (as a consequence of falling victim to false privilege based on “white” complexion) reject the traditional medicine passed down through their own indigenous ancestory. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. understood that racial and socioeconomic equality could not be achieved unless “white” society was not recognized as victims of racial propaganda and the denial of our American heritage and medicinal tradition.

      An excellent example of this transcrepency in “white” American medicinal/drug culture is Representative MarkWayne Mullin, R-OK, who being of “white” complexion and part Cherokee is descended from a very important Doctor and Healer in Cherokee medicine, Dr. Richard Foreman, who wrote the book “The Cherokee Physician” during the mid 1700’s, introducing traditional indigenous whole plant medicine to American culture at a time when mercury, blood letting and doctors not washing their hands were standard medical practice.

      (continued…)

    9. Julian says:

      Unfortunately, Rep. Mullin bought into the “white privilege” indentity. At a time during the recession when “black” Cherokees were being disbanded from Federally recognized tribes, (later to regain their status in a recent Federal court case), Mullin was denying laws to protect indigenous women from rape on federal lands. Where did the disconnect occur? Was it the health fund for the Cherokee nation during a recession? Mullin would do well to have read his ancestors’ own book on healing. And we all as Americans could learn from the failed social and medical US policies imposed on indigenous reservation systems as they are systems eventually applied to us all.

      What does this have to do with marijuana reform?

      In Liz Pozner’s article she makes a confusing correlation to “white” marijuana and ayahuasca markets:

      “White people’s drug usage in general is filled with hypocrisies beyond the realm of cultural appropriation. Just look to the current irony of marijuana in the U.S.: while white men dominate the burgeoning legal industry, making millions in profits, black and brown people are still disproportionately punished for possessing and selling it.“

      Here, Pozner illustrates the disproportionate incarceration of people of color in our criminal justice, health and marijuana law but she lacks a critical concept about “white” and indigenous medicinal culture that has many juxtaposed overlaps.
      (Continued)…
      .

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