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Weekly Legislative Roundup 6/1

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML Political Associate June 1, 2018

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

    At the federal level, the U.S. House Rules Committee, and possibly the full House of Representatives, will consider four marijuana amendments next week, on issues ranging from veterans’ access to medical marijuana to water rights for hemp growers.

    This week, it was big victory for patients as a Florida Circuit Court judge ruled that the ban on the smoking of medical marijuana in private by qualified patients is unconstitutional.

    Additionally at the state level, a voter-initiated medical marijuana access measure in Utah has been certified for the November 2018 ballot. Supporters collected almost 154,000 validated initiative signatures from registered voters — which greatly exceeded the total necessary to place the measure on the ballot.

    California NORML and Americans For Safe Access hosted a Citizens Lobby Day in Sacramento on June 4, and Governor Chris Sununu (R) of New Hampshire signed a bill into law to permit additional medical marijuana dispensary locations.

    At a more local level, the mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania signed a marijuana decriminalization measure into law, but the police say they will continue to enforce state law which criminalizes the substance.

    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

    Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

    Senate Bill 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 unanimously by the House Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations (JGO). The next step will be a full House vote.

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

    North Carolina

    House Bill 994 would amend state law so that possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana carries no penalty, rather than a felony conviction. Under current state law, the possession of more than 1.5 ounces of marijuana is classified as a felony punishable by no more than 8 months in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000.

    Update: Senate companion bill SB 791 was introduced on 5/31 and awaits action in the Committee on Rules and Regulations.

    NC resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of decriminalization expansion

    Illinois

    Medical
    SB 336 seeks to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy as an alternative to opioid treatment.

    Update: SB 336 was approved by both houses on 5/31 and now awaits action from Governor Bruce Rauner.

    IL resident? Click here to email Gov. Rauner in support of cannabis as an alternative to opioids

    Hemp
    Senate Bill 2298 provides for the ability for individuals to cultivate hemp with a state license even if they are not part of the state’s Agriculture Department pilot program. That program only permits hemp cultivation as part of a state-sponsored research program. The bill was approved by the House last week, with amendments.

    Update: The Senate concurred on 5/30 and SB 2298 now awaits action from Governor Bruce Rauner.

    IL resident? Click here to email Gov. Rauner in support of industrial hemp

    California

    Expungement

    Assembly Bill 1793 would “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 Appropriations Committee amended AB 1793 and voted to pass it on 5/25. AB 1793 is expected to be heard by the full floor before the 6/1 deadline.

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

    Employment Protections

    Assembly Bill 2069 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 held under submission in committee, effectively killing it for this year.

     

    Additional Actions to Take

    California

    Banking
    Senare Bill 930 seeks to assist financial institutions in safely conducting transactions with licensed cannabis businesses.

    Update: SB 930 was amended and passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on 5/25. The bill was then approved by the Senate by a 29-6 vote on 5/30.

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

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

    State and local taxes currently imposed upon retail cannabis sales can total in upwards of 40 percent. This excessive taxation places an undue financial burden, particularly on patients, many of whom are now unable to consistently afford their medicine.

    Update: AB 3157 was heard by the Assembly Appropriations committee on 5/25 and is now dead for this year after the committee decided to hold the bill under submission.

     

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

    36 responses to “Weekly Legislative Roundup 6/1”

    1. Dain Bramage says:

      Thank you, your Highness Carly.

      “At a more local level, Allentown, Pennsylvania’s mayor signed a marijuana decriminalization ordinance into law, but the police say they will continue enforcing state criminalization.”

      Republicans? How do you feel about this? A Police State? Will you line up behind law enforcement, as usual? The Republican politicians you vote for certainly will.

      • Matt says:

        saw this too, Dain! I posted a review of the DA AND actually contacted the Allentown PD. Told them not to be Martin’s lapdogs, accept the future, and enforce decrim.! Martin is an old DINOSAUR.

        Check this out in MI: Smh, contacted that office, too!

        https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2018/05/29/six-arrested-million-dollar-marijuana-bust-detroit/653948002/

        Gotta protect the community……can’t let marijuana go freeee

        GET ON THE GROUND!

        Prosecutors will use the same old song and dance about a danger to the community and point to the coming legalization as bad news.

        It’s just so typical and disgusting. It is so bad, every time I read stories like this I SLAM the prosecutors and police in online reviews, being VERY careful in what I say, of COURSE.

        Here is that Peachtree story about the little boy and marijuana!!!!

        https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/06/02/marijuana-seizure-treatment-georgia-illegal-parents-lose-custody/666807002/

        SO WRONG! Have to go, still on the crashing computer, but working hard, new job, lol!

        Come on Canada! My passion for legalization only grows more empowered with these horrible stories!

        We must legalize, NOW!!

        • Matt says:

          Will be back with more stories when I find a more stable computer. Until then, short, brief posts from my television computer, which only types one letter at a time and cannot copy and paste, lol. Sad, I know

          Matt

          • Matt says:

            and thanks for the updates, Your Highness Carly! 🙂 I think the Canada weed vote is Thurs.

            THIS WEEK!

        • Evening Bud says:

          Matt,

          Thanks for the link. Twiggs County, Georgia–talk about the land that time forgot. That poor kid and those poor parents; it’s tough when you’re going up against such unadulterated, willful ignorance.

      • Joseph Bonsignore says:

        If a political figure signed into law a decriminalized bill all local employees ( police ) should respect such law and work to create a solidarity state , the year is 2018 let get over this stigma of cannabis !

        • carl vagg says:

          americans for safe access yesterday presented representations to who as to scheduling..
          along with other legitimate groups and national representatives of various countries, this update of outdated incl wrong or absent information is and will be a game-changer..

          absence of vital fundamental information on human brain endo-cannabinoid system [!] alone
          changes how who or any decisionmaker can now understand cannabis cbd’s as part of, this important therapeutic brain system..

          now it is no longer a matter of wondering why or how cannabis can mediate even cure epilepsy, cancer, pain, disorders of aging, etc and so on,
          as our wonderful endo-cannabinoid system and its cbds have now been placed before who ecdd as part of who deliberations as to scheduling..
          no-one can ignore this reality, now..
          this will influence who recommendations..
          happy days…

    2. Matt says:

      GEORGIA SEIZURE CASE, parents lose custody, Twiggs County. Unable to post link, but Google it! Peachtree NORML, take point!

    3. Matt says:

      GEORGIA SEIZURE CASE, parents lose custody, Twiggs County. Unable to post link, but Google it! Peachtree NORML, take point!

    4. Matt says:

      stand with those parents!

    5. Matt says:

      there is also a crowdfunding page for the parents out there! Let’s get some REAL justice for them and their son!

    6. Joshua Shump says:

      I am in trouble and don’t know where else to post. Please help. gofundme.com/please-helpneed-lawyer

      • Julian says:

        Joshua, you could start by using an anonymous moniker (nobody cares, but if it makes you feel better), then tell what the problem is and what state you are in. There is a reference guide for lawyers on this webpage.
        Best advise; don’t give consent to search your person, home or vehicle and know what a Motion to Supress Evidence is. Good luck.

    7. Miles says:

      I am delighted that Tom Garrett (R-VA) has 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. Assuming that bill was to pass I wonder if Mr. Garrett would then work to legalize and regulate for adult use in Virginia. It is a pity but I’ve become very untrusting in this time of Trump.

      I just might, for the first time in my life, vote for a Republican. That is a big maybe however since, as a party, it is the Democrats that are more likely to do the right thing and legalize it. I tend to see the Democrats as the party of most Americans and the Republicans as the party for wealthy Americans and big corporations.

      For many years it has really pissed me off that after serving in the USMC, thus risking my life for this country, while believing in the motto: The Land of the Free, that I can’t use a plant that definately helps me to live a better life without possibly getting put in jail or prison for it. Knowing what I know now, I would NOT join the military to serve my country.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Miles,
        Do as you please, of course; but I caution you: you will further empower Traitor Trump if you vote for Tom Garrett (R-VA).

        I don’t think it’s worth it. Anything good for marijuana legalization that a Republican can do, a Democrat can do better — particularly if we take back the House and Senate.

      • Julian says:

        Don’t hold your breath Miles:

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/federalnewsradio.com/mike-causey-federal-report/2018/05/big-retirement-plan-cuts-what-are-the-odds/amp/

        Either the GOP retires them or bates candidates into a primary where they back the Republican opponent, like they did to my Republican state Rep, Jason Isaac, after he said he would support mmj “even if it costs me an election.” Well, it did. And now I’m a chair of my precinct for Democrats… the last chance for conservative agriculture.

        • Evening Bud says:

          Well Julian, that seems to explain why Garrett suddenly has the courage to do the right thing–he’s retiring!!

          Seems most of the GOpers these days who are “doing the right thing” are retiring, lol. Political cowardice on full display, lol.

      • Miles says:

        Thank you for the feed back Dain Bramage and Julian.

        The last thing I would ever want to do is anything that would benefit Trump!

        I’m thinking that, in all seriousness, the only way I would support Republican Tom Garrett is if he changed parties to become a Democrat or if the Democratic challenger is a supporter of prohibition.

        We just can’t trust them and that is what is truly sad!

        • Dain Bramage says:

          For what it’s worth…

          First thing I like to do with a Republican, or Democratic, politician is to go to their official website, go directly to their “issues” section, and take a quick look at their topics.

          This is how I check to see if they are a RWNJ, a true progressive, or a DINO.

          The “Issues” topics I scan for are Drug Policy, Civil Rights, and Healthcare.

          Healthcare: If they oppose Obamacare, they are RWNJ’s. Fuck ’em. (That includes Tom Garrett R-VA.)

          If Civil Rights and/or Drug Policy do not appear in their “Issues” list at all, they are either RWNJ’s or DINO’s. Fuck ’em.

          If they support marijuana legalization, and oppose mandatory minimums, and support criminal justice reform, they are probably true progressives; and, unless there is some other outstanding issue in play, they will have my support.

    8. Dain Bramage says:

      Steve Schmidt (Jun 2, 2018): The only sane Republican left, other than Mueller?

      “A clear line has been drawn with the release of Trumps legal memo. Make no mistake, it is a direct attack on the rule of law and a declaration of absolute power on the part of the President. It’s thesis must be attacked relentlessly. The American Republic is worth fighting for.”

      “Any member of Congress that supports the legal thesis of the Trump letter is a friend of illiberalism and unfaithful to their constitutional oaths. There is no room for debate or disagreement here. Supporting this crazy theory is an assault on the Republic.”

      “Sinclair Lewis said ‘When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.’ Make no mistake about the intentions of the men making this argument. They are trying to radically change the nature of American democracy. Their arguments are unpatriotic.”

      “The American people will now get to watch a disgusting display of political cowardice as Paul Ryan and all the rest line up behind Trumps assertion of absolute power like Vichy Sheep. Freedom is being attacked by the very people sworn to preserve it.”

    9. Sean says:

      What CNMI is doing is very important and should be supported enthusiastically. Imagine the look on Filipino President Duterte’s face when some of his constituents fly to CNMI to take a break from his genocidal drug war. This is a middle finger to the murderous hangman drug warriors of southeast Asia.

    10. Jimmy says:

      Im like alot of you, marijuana needs to be legal everywhere, I will continue to smoke no matter what, but Obama had 8 yrs to due something too, and never did,( he only took the lobbist money and ran) so don’t blame just the Republicans for this, there is no one congressman or senator in office today that needs to be there tomorrow, vote them all out!!!!!!!!!

      • Miles says:

        I continue to be sorely disappointed by Obama’s lack of effort regarding legalizing the herb! This in spite of his usage and the way he acted to cool during his campaigning.

        It is possible he didn’t do more since it was a sure bet the Republican Congress would never support that effort.

        • Dain Bramage says:

          That’s right, Miles. The Republicans blocked and opposed every single thing he tried to do, and they haven’t changed one iota. As President Obama himself once said, pondering his own achievements: “Imagine what I could have done if I had had just a little help.”

      • Julian says:

        That’s moldy propaganda youre peddling their Jimmy. You are not “like everyone” in that most of us in the legalization movement know full well state legalization would not have happened in Colorado and Washington if Obama had not signed the Cole memos, which were fortunately an obsolete threat in federal court by the time Trump and Sessions reversed them.

        Perhaps the greatest evidence that you are regurgitating propaganda is that if Obama had truly “done nothing” for mj legalization Trump would have been forced to legalize out of spite. But even that I wonder about; Trump, at the end of the day, is a treasonous Russian agent for Putin, and Putin needs marijuana illegal so banks can point the other way at all his political laundering. It will be a day to remember when Trump finally runs out of racist rope in November. And mj legalization votes are helping that happen. Just ask state Republicans in Michigan what they’re afraid of during upcoming elections.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Get with the program, Jimmy! President Obama has completed his two terms! Your constant false equivalencies are growing wearisome…

      • sk says:

        Obama might have been a bit of a bummer, but GOP is still actively interfering with legalization, and still largely in support of these nanny-state policies. I don’t think this can really be denied, especially as time after time it’s progressive democrats that are sponsoring and submitting cannabis measures – even from red states like Montana and Alaska that have some form of legalization. Any republican from a legal state should be ashamed of their party.

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