Weekly Legislative Roundup 5/18/18

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator May 18, 2018

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

    Good news – on Thursday the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee for the first time heard and passed language, known as the Joyce amendment, to restrict funding for the Department of Justice to prosecute state-legal medical marijuana programs.

    At the state level, Governor Jeff Colyer (R) of Kansas signed a bill into law to remove cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana. Until then, Kansas was one of the four states in the US that had not reformed it’s marijuana laws to any extent. Now, it’s just down to three – South Dakota, Idaho, and Nebraska.

    Additionally, Governor Doug Ducey (R) of Arizona signed hemp legislation into law; the Illinois Senate sent a bill to Governor Bruce Rauner (R) to allow medical marijuana for patients at schools; and it’s official that the Michigan legislature will not consider marijuana legalization and will leave it up to the voters in November.

    At a more local level, district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn announced that most minor marijuana-related offenses will no longer be prosecuted. And Allentown, Pennsylvania approved a marijuana decriminalization measure.

    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

    Rhode Island

    Senator Joshua Miller introduced legislation, SB 2895, to regulate adult use marijuana possession and provide for adult use retail sales.

    The measure would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to two marijuana plants in private, and establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, and testing facilities.

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

    Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

    SB 20-62 seeks to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis in the US territory of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

    If passed, the bill would legalize the personal use and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana for adults age 21 or older, and establish a licensing scheme for its commercial production and retail sale. The tax revenue would be used to fund the implementation of the program and other government services.

    Update: SB 20-62 was approved by the Senate on 5/15.

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


    HB 579 and HB 627 seek to expand the state’s nascent medical cannabis program.

    The measures would expand the pool of patients eligible for medical cannabis by permitting physicians to authorize cannabis therapy to those suffering from chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, severe muscle spasms, autism or glaucoma.

    Update: HB 579 was approved by the House on 5/16 by a 55-33 vote. HB 627 was also approved by the House on 5/16, by a 59-27 vote. Both bills now await action from Governor John Bel Edwards.

    LA resident? Click here to email your Governor in support of medical expansion

    New Jersey

    S 10, to expand the state’s medical cannabis program. The measure would increase the number of licenses the Department of Health can issue to new providers in order to meet New Jersey’s increased patient demand.

    Other provisions in the bill would protect medical cannabis patients from employment, housing, and education discrimination.

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


    AB 2069 seeks 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: AB 2069 was supposed to be heard by the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee on 5/16, but the hearing was postponed by the committee.

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


    Additional Actions to Take


    AB 3157 seeks to temporarily reduce tax rates imposed on the retail sale and commercial cultivation of cannabis.

    Update: AB 3157 was supposed to be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/16, but the hearing was postponed by the committee.

    CA resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of lower taxes

    SB 930 seeks to assist financial institutions in safely conducting transactions with licensed cannabis businesses.

    Update: SB 930 will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on 5/22 at 10am in the John L. Burton Hearing Room.

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

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

    49 responses to “Weekly Legislative Roundup 5/18/18”

    1. Julian says:

      As the Hemp Bill attached to the Farm Bill gets postponed over immigration politics we hang on to see which Congressman in the House will join the bicameral conference committee to pass a hemp bill. As I stated in a previous blog, the House Appropriation Committee passing the Joyce amendment is not only good to see the dour expression on the Keebler’s face, or the fact we don’t have to fight over renewing medical marijuana protections every time we have a budget decision, or the holy grail; we don’t have to spell Rohrabacher-Blumenauer anymore! (I’m spelling it out of sheer cathartic relief).

      But another collateral benefit of the Smoke and Re-Joyce amendement is that the members of the House Appropriations Committee are most likely to become members of the Bicameral Conference Committee. These guys are a far cry from world’s worst prohibitionist and House Rules Chair Pete Sessions or ol Chuck the Schuck Grassley from the Senate Judiciary.

      There’s been a lot of money pouring into hemp now that CBD extraction is such a lucrative industry. Texas hasn/t even ironed out our hemp or CBD laws and our pharmacies are selling CBD products over the counter from a wide range of labels besides the three companies monopolizing the watered down epilepsy market we have here.

      Good ol Greed; Doesn’t even know when to stop eating itself.

    2. Sean says:

      If CNMI does this. They can count on lot of tourists from Japan and other parts of Asia to come and chill out. It would be great, since many Asian countries have draconian drug laws (egged on by the US no doubt). Go CNMI!

    3. Dain Bramage says:

      Traitor Trump just shook down the nation of Qatar (pronounced “cutter”), with a military blockade, until it paid off a personal extortion note for the benefit of his own family: the mortgage payment on his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s failed real estate investments!

      Like Nixon, only worse, Trump is “a crook.” Fuck that ass-clown, now and forever!

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Yes of course it’s relevant to the topic of marijuana legalization. Sheesh! It’s called “perspective.” In a fascist banana republic, the concept of marijuana legalization is meaningless. This is freaking important stuff — where you are and what time it is!!

      • Jimmy says:

        Hey brain dead, I smoke pot and I voted for Trump as I will again, you need to quit listening to fake news like cnn or msnbc they are nothing more than a anti American news org

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Jimmy, I wouldn’t live in your bubble if you paid me.

          • Jimmy says:

            And I don’t want you in my bubble, it’s ironic that I would say that at least everytime you light a blunt or bong or even vape, 50% of the time you probably use one of my business products and even visit one of my shop’s, so,thanks for the money, and for letting me know that all Dumbocrats or liberals read from the same script and therefore can’t think for themselves , so get get yourself a teddy bear to hug and find a yourself a safe bubble to get in.

            • Sean says:

              Jimmy, would you mind sharing the name of your business products? So I can boycott them, you money grubbing sociopath.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              I’ll get behind that boycott, Sean. That’s assuming Jimmy isn’t lying about the whole thing — a foolish bet, always, when it comes to Trump supporters.

        • Julian says:

          Ok, Jimmy,
          Try some Independent News:


          Skip to 6:30 minutes.

          Sorry, Dain, the reporter pronounces Qatar both ways.

          The short of it; what this independent Q&A fails to get to the point of is emoluments. Trump has already been guilty as charged with emoluments by a federal judge. Sure, only 67 Senators can indict a sitting president. But as soon as he leaves office? Jail. Or worse; he simply loses his investments in Trump Organization.
          It’s no wonder why Trump talks about being President “forever.” He knows he’s fu€ked as soon as he leaves office.
          And Kushner and Don Jr.? They’re already fu€ked. What Kushner did in Qatar is not only an emolument for Trump, who owns the disaster investment called 666 Madison Ave, it’s going to take Ivanka down who signed on everything for Daddy.

          It’s all fake news till the judge hits the gavel, Jimmy.

          And interestingly, Dain, the way this all relates to marijuana reform is we are witnessing the collapse of the fossil fuel market to give way to a new sustainable solar, wind, hemp and marijuana economy.

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Julian, that’s a positive thought to consider, a cool balm for my white hot rage. I will indulge in hope for a spell.

        • Sean says:

          Actually I read and watch France 24 myself. Don’t want to be accused by Jimmy of watching fake news.

      • Cody says:

        This site is so biased and politically motivated and heavily moderated in accordance with those beliefs. You can say f trump and hes a this and that expletive, yet, back during the election i would try to bad mouth the shillary and reply to comments made by the writers and it wouldn’t get posted. I didn’t even swear. What a crock, my man got elected anyway righteousness has prevailed MAGAMAGAMAGA

        • Julian says:

          Yeah Cody, I’m biased for marijuana legalization. Guilty as charged. And your “man” is one of the worst prohibitionists this country has ever seen since Reagan or Nixon.

          Have you read the scorecard?

          Have you clicked on the ACT tab?

          Do you really want to legalize marijuana?

          • Cody says:

            Lol. It’s done already, there’s no going back weed is going to be legalized no matter who is elected. Once the states all fall in line with each other (nebraska will be last) then and only then will the federal government reschedule mj. Besides do you really think one of the slickest businessmen on the planet won’t see the dollar signs of that miraculously happened in his two terms?! It’s in the budget already no unrolling money. Anyway that aside only a dunce would vote based on weed getting legalized especially for a woman that can’t stand long enough for the anthem to play through -_- aaaand did you at all consider the fact i eluded
            to above that no president Hillary trump nor alejandro dwayne mountain dew Herbert comacho would be legalizing it in the next four years anyway when equating who to vote for? Keep at it though guys, we will have brawndo in the sprinklers soon enough.

            @definitelybraindamaged what do you mean i won’t fit in here? Lmao. What do think this is like a forum or something. Do you keep coming back and commenting on all the articles?? This is a news site and i won’t be “here” i just check the weekly Roundup sometimes and then move on to much more important things.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Cody, you’re counting on Democrats to legalize it for you? That is truly pathetic.

              Not only are you not willing to help legalize it, but you’re going to fight legalization by voting Republican, because you assume your side will lose?! You are a sick, sick individual. You are a social parasite.

              Cody, you’re NOT doing well here, in case you haven’t noticed. You’re getting your ass kicked, and you sound like an idiot.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          Cody, it’s just facts.
          Facts are the coin and currency of the debate. If you can’t deal with facts, you won’t do well here.

        • Sean says:

          Cody, they posted your Trumpified comment, so quitcherbitchin!

          • Leroy says:

            Dude has every right to bitch, and he’s absolutely correct about the selective censorship taking place at this site yesterday, today, and surely tomorrow. Senseless censorship at that.

            Fascists calling other people with the same goal of legalization in mind fascists is okay, but don’t you dare say something negative about a Democrat or SOCIALIST, because then you’re guilty of supporting traitors, and you must be censored. Go Berkley, go!

            Repeating 2016 is the goal, obviously. It’s a done deal with plenty of useful idiots still doing the work. But wait, the guys commenting at the NORML website and all the MSNBC pollsters say Democrats rule the world. Blue wave confirmed, no need to worry.

            Hmmm, I posted two comments today, let’s see if they both get approved. If I’d just claim Trump is guilty of treason, I could fit in just fine. Darn.

            • Sean says:

              Stop it Leroy! I read posts on NORML hating on democrats and socialists all the time on this site. You are not being censored. Don’t gaslight me with this nonsense.

            • Leroy says:

              Bullshit, Sean. Total bullshit. Unless you really aren’t paying attention, you know damn well the ratio of liberal dribble compared to anything else around here is overwhelming, and tolerance is severely lacking.

              Way to contribute to the cause, bud. The agenda thanks you, sucker.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Leroy, that’s because there are facts involved here. You have to accept the facts, and not the other way around.

              You’re not entitled to be declared “correct” fifty percent of the time. You gotta earn it! You must do that via the application of intellectual rigor and integrity.

              I don’t think you have what it takes.

            • Sean says:

              Oh come off it, Leroy. NORML lets you and all the other MAGAts post your rubbish all the time. So who’s really BS’ing whom?

            • Leroy says:

              Dain, you’re either a NORML employee or an unemployed idiot doing free work for the NWO and elite puppet masters. Fuck off.

            • Dain Bramage says:

              Thanks, Leroy, I will take that as a compliment. No, I am not paid to write comments, not by NORML or anybody else.

              I do work. I work to live. And I live to take down marijuana prohibitionists like yourself. I don’t believe you support marijuana legalization.

              But thanks for the compliment.
              P.S. The NWO doesn’t pay shit for wage!

            • Leroy says:

              Sean, with respect, my comments were not published ay least 6 times in the last few months. Not a user error, as they were all pending approval, awaiting the moderator. Moderators decided not to publish. A couple of the missing comments were admittedly obnoxious, but certainly nothing worse than the other trash they approve daily. The other comments were simply going against the grain, disagreeing with the narrative. That kind of deliberate censorship is not acceptable.

              You argue with me on this issue, it only means you’re okay with stifling opposing views, because that’s exactly what they do here frequently. No clear violations of policy. Just a moderator that likes to skip publishing certain comments whenever the mood strikes.

            • Sean says:

              Leroy, for my part, I’m not ok with any opinion being stifled. But NORML does reserve the right to publish or not publish comments, it’s their site. I have had a couple of comments that weren’t posted. But that’s NORML’s right. They are not a government entity, and they are not violating our rights. Leroy, my eyes don’t deceive me. I see illiberal and anti-progressive comments posted on NORML. Now you and I can quibble about percentages, but pro-Trump comments and responses do make it. If they didn’t I wouldn’t have Trumpified responses to some of my posts or the posts of others. If this is such an issue, then this is something that you need to take up with NORML. Finally Leroy, I find it ironic that Trump supporters come on this site demanding respect, graciousness and civility, when their hero, Trump doesn’t even attempt to model it himself. And at the risk of posting a non-sequitor, Trump who tells football players who want to exercise their free conscience to leave the country. Well fancy that, a draft dodger telling someone to leave the country. How you are ok with this Leroy, God only knows.

            • Leroy says:

              Sean, it’s not a matter of government entity or not. NORML can certainly censor as they wish. I just feel it is bad form. It’s disappointing to me for NORML to be part of the problem with propaganda and inciting idiocracy. Legalization is absolutely NOT only for progressive Democrats. Alienating conservative voters is plain stupid and insulting. I grew up thinking NORML was pretty “far out” man, but recently I’ve come to see it a little less favorably.

              You’re right, some opposing views get published here, but the conversation is truncated far too often as a result of mods being slow to approve comments or as a result of rejecting the comments. It’s 2018 and extremely easy to run a website professionally.

              To be clear, Trump is not my hero. Why people at this site feel the need to say shit like that is beyond me. It’s hard to carry on a civilized discussion when my genuine thoughts and perspective is met with “LIAR!” or accusations of being a Russian troll or a racist or a fan of Donald mother fucking Trump. The latter, fyi, is so aggravating. I think Trump is a douche, but unfortunately most of his adversaries are even douche-ier, and I’m smart enough to know it. Makes me a smart mother fucker, by the way.

              -to be continued-

            • Leroy says:


              Dammit Sean. Trump didn’t do shit with the NFL players. The media you put your faith in continues not to admit people like LEROY mother fuckin Jones was calling out the NFL and the dumb ass kneelers before Trump said anything! That’s bad journalism. Trump doesn’t tell me how to think, dude.

              Yes, if you hate our country, get the hell out of it! Makes all the sense in the world, Sean. That’s Hitlerian? Nationalism is that bad a concept these days, huh?

              You can exercise your free speech outside of the football field. Outside of that tax exempt football field! Those players can stand for whatever they believe in while wearing their street clothes. But that’s just my opinion. This isn’t a Trump issue, for crying out loud. If they want to kneel, I can stop watching. I don’t have to watch. Consequently, that affects the bottom line, so obviously things will change. I’m a bad person for preferring football without the highlighting of social injustices being thrown at me by multi millionaires? Fuck that. I used to watch most games. Why would I tolerate people pissing on the flag before each competition begins? Are they kneeling with solutions?? Nope, no solutions. So fuck that noise, homeboy.

              I won’t touch the draft dodger comment, because I really don’t know if it’s based on truth or not. I’m thinking it’s probably another falsehood you heard from an enemy of America or your nightly liberal (propaganda) news, but I can’t be bothered to research it.

              Ps – legalize it
              (to stay relevant, I guess)

    4. Matt says:

      Good news, thanks Carly….on the dying laptop that always shuts off with NO notice now, so have to run, but this will be fixed soon.

      Keep up the fight friends. The FUTURE depends on us!

    5. Matt says:

      RI and the North Marinaras, great work, expansion of legalization is a win for everyone in the GLOBAL world community, so hated sadly by some today. Legalization sets us free 🙂

      • Matt says:

        forgive the typos, plx, Northern Marianas

        • Dain Bramage says:

          What? Slow down, Son, you’re not making sense.

          Not trying to give you shit, Matt, but if you want to be a reporter, a ring master, you have a lot of good scope and energy; however, I suggest you add a little more substance to your references to places and things. It would enrich your commentaries.

    6. Leonette says:

      Love to get Texas off and running. I moved here from Oregon where I could go to any clinic for Marijuana. Now in Texas NOT!

      • Julian says:

        Aside from telling you to vote Democratic, join us at http://www.texasnorml.org and get ready to legalize mmj in January. Check out the state voter guide on the link. We need people registering as witnesses in the Health committee to get a floor vote ASAP. Check out the NORML chapter guide on this webpage to find the one nearest you. Getting DFW NORML to elect Collin Allred and get rid of the Green Goblin, Pete Sessions out of Dallas County is a major priority.

    7. Dain Bramage says:

      Dain Bramage Is a troll.
      Its great news to hear Kansas creep forward.

    8. TheOracle says:

      I’m interested in what Bill deBlasio’s team comes up with in their 30 days to stop the police from scooping folks up into the criminal justice system for marijuana.


      Just issuing a summons instead of making an arrest is a non-solution.


      Bill, I already told you to do things the Dutch way, with the gedoogbeleid, horeca vergunningen voor koffieshop, and the BIBOB test in order to have cannabis coffeeshops where people can buy their weed and smoke it, too. Folks are still going to be smoking it outside and selling it outside like a nuisance in Maastricht has because of their stupid wietpas/weedpass.

      The feds are NOT going to be able to enforce prohibition on their own in a city the size of New York. Bill, look into how the Dutch get away with it.

      • Julian says:

        I mentioned this on another blog, but I’m concerned that the NYDA failing to prosecute over a 15 day lock up for mj possession will result in people serving more than their due time with an arrest record for failure to process their case.
        This of course is catastrophic for people who can’t afford an attorney, but we know some Childish Gambino is gonna get locked up by mistake in NYC and cause the Chief of Police a coranary of court fees.

        Stop locking us up for profit. We are going to sue you.

        • TheOracle says:

          I don’t want the NYPD to do anything to bring people into the criminal justice system simply for conducting cannabusiness and consumption by giving them a place to buy it and consume it such as an Amsterdam style coffeeshop. After you’ve done that and there are places indoors then they can bitch about it going on out in the open, unregulated.

          I want to be able to ask a NY cop about shops where I can go to buy and consume cannabis and have them politely tell me and give me directions, just as in Amsterdam. I would like to be able to sit out on a street café like in Amsterdam and be able to partake of it without law enforcement looking on, the police doing nothing about it.

          For the price you pay for a hotel in a NYC you need to have a place for the cannatourists as well as your teetotalers. They can start expunging cannabis offenses from people’s records soon enough for me.

          Keep this summer’s July legalization timeline.

          It’s like. If you haven’t organized a meeting of all the states in the NE and Midatlantic that want to implement adult recreational, along with Canada, to legalize all in tandem at the same time, you know, implementation, what are you waiting for, deBlasio? If not Bill then who and where? Someone needs to do something to make that happen.

          • Julian says:

            I’ll be right there with you Oracle. “Waitor… do you have any cannabutter for this hemp roll?”
            The price of access to a rooftop hotel lounge is already going up in smoke and we havent even legalized federally yet!

    9. TheOracle says:

      NBC’s Dateline did a GREAT JOB getting across why cannabis should be legalized.

      Senator Gillibrand mentioned that she was hoping for it to be legalized within two years. The sooner the better. IMHO any prohibitionist politicians who still insists upon getting in the way of legalization ought to have some patients wheeled into their offices like happened in Virginia, and if they still vote against legalization I wouldn’t consider it mudslinging if their political opponents ran TV ads using this issue against them. Vote out the prohibitionists!

      Watch it here.


      If only other major news shows would jump on the cannabis ratings bandwagon. 60 Minutes is in the lead, so let’s go CBS!


    10. TheOracle says:

      NYC legalize. Synthetic weed is totally heinous.

      Enough said: