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ACTIVISM

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator December 14, 2018

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

    There’s been some key developments in Congress this week, including the passage of The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka ‘The Farm Bill’) by both the U.S. House and Senate. The hemp-specific provisions of the Act amend the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 so that hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law. This would pave the way for states to commercially regulate hemp and hemp-derived products as they see fit. The President is anticipated to sign the bill into law in the coming days.

    Additionally, newly introduced legislation, the Maintaining Appropriate Protections For Legal Entry (MAPLE) Act, would ease the tension for Canadians involved in the newly legal marijuana industry trying to enter the United States. The measure would provide protections for individuals whose actions are “lawful in the State, Indian Tribe, or foreign country in which the conduct occurred” or that was “subsequently made lawful under the law or regulation of such jurisdiction,” in regard to the emerging legal status of marijuana in the United States and internationally. You can send a message to your Representative in support of The Maple Act by clicking here.

    At the state level, it’s official that legalization legislation in New Jersey will not be passed before the end of this year. Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin, along with Governor Murphy, still have not decided on key details of the proposal, including tax rates and the governing body that would oversee the regulated industry.

    Lawmakers in Nebraska have established a campaign committee called Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws that will aim to qualify a 2020 medical cannabis ballot measure, and possibly even adult use as well. Click here to read more.

    As New York State begins to draft adult use marijuana legalization legislation, the state’s Department of Health, in partnership with NYU and RAND, are funding a survey to gain insight on individuals’ first hand experience with cannabis consumption. The survey responses will help shape what the legislation will entail, and what the adult use market will look like. Click here to submit your response.

    Following are the bills 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. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

    Your Highness,
    Carly

    Priority Alerts

    Federal

    Penalize States that Maintain Criminalization: The Marijuana Justice Act would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.

    Click here to email your federal lawmakers and urge them to support this important legislation

    Missouri

    A state lawmaker has pre-filed legislation, House Bill 157, to eliminate criminal and civil penalties specific to the adult possession and cultivation of marijuana.

    If passed, the measure would permit those age 21 or older to privately possess up to two ounces of marijuana or cultivate up to six marijuana plants, three of which may be mature.

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

    Legislation has been pre-filed, HB 238, to protect the privacy of registered medical marijuana patients.

    The measure would prohibit the state government from sharing medical marijuana user or registry info with the federal government.

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

    California

    Legislation has been re-introduced by Sen. Bob Hertzberg [D], SB 51, to assist financial institutions in safely conducting transactions with licensed cannabis businesses.

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

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director

    An effort to undermine Michigan’s Proposition 1, a voter approved initiative that legalized adult-use marijuana failed to gain support in the Senate. In a last-ditch effort to deny Michigan residents the legal right to grow marijuana in their home, Senate Majority Leader Meekhof introduced SB 1243 that would have stripped the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act of language that allows adults to grow 12 plants at home for personal use.

    Due to a limited timeframe and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle unwilling to support the bill, Majority Leader Meekhof’s effort to undermine the will of voters failed miserably. With the Legislature scheduled to adjourn next week, marijuana consumers in Michigan have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season!

    “When Senator Meekhof introduced SB 1243, the advocate community in Michigan coalesced like mercury. Everyone was unified in opposition to overreaching bill so we were able to apply a lot of pressure in both chambers of the legislature,” said Brad Forrester, Board Member of Michigan NORML. “I would like to think that’s the reason the bill failed, but frankly, it failed because it was a bad bill and even Meekhof’s own colleagues couldn’t bring themselves to support it.”

    Read more here: https://www.freep.com/story/news/marijuana/2018/12/13/michigan-marijuana-bill/2300912002/

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Dispel the myths with the NORML Fact Sheets. For more information follow Michigan NORML on Facebook, Twitter, and visit their website

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director December 13, 2018
    Legal Marijuana Sales Being in Canada

    Legal Marijuana Sales Being in Canada

    Following Canada’s decision to become the first country in North America to legalize the use and retail sale of cannabis, the US Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection Agency published a memorandum affirming that those Canadians either involved or invested in the legal cannabis industry may be barred admission into the United States. The agency modified their policy directive on October 9, 2018, acknowledging: “A Canadian citizen working in … the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the US for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the United States. However, if a traveler is found to be coming to the US for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”

    In response to this hard-line position, Representative Earl Blumenauer, the founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, has introduced the Maintaining Appropriate Protections For Legal Entry Act (HR 7275), or The MAPLE Act for short.

    This legislation provides protections for individuals whose actions are “lawful in the State, Indian Tribe, or foreign country in which the conduct occurred” or that was “subsequently made lawful under the law or regulation of such jurisdiction,” in regard to the emerging legal status of marijuana in the United States and internationally.

    You can send a message to your Representative in support of The Maple Act by clicking here. 

    There have already been examples of the United State’s punitive border policy needlessly wrecking lives. In one such example, an individual received a lifetime ban from entering the United States on November 14th simply because he was an investor in a legal Canadian marijuana business.

    It is crucial that the United States recognizes the rights of both our citizens and our international allies to be able to travel freely between our two nations, and to reform federal border policies to acknowledge this new reality.

    Click here to tell your lawmaker to support The Maple Act. 

  • by Jax Finkel, Texas NORML Executive Director

    We already have a lot of events on the calendar for 2019. Check out few highlights below!

    Tuesday, January 8, 2019 – Opening Day – Capitol Meet & Greet

    Join Texas NORML and Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy at the Capitol on the first day of the 86th legislative session! Opening day is one of ceremony and gratitude. It’s a great day to visit your legislator’s Capitol office and meet his/her staff. It’s not a day for lobbying, but certainly offers an opportunity to enrich your relationship with your legislators. Complimentary Breakfast Thanks to GRAV Labs!

    Follow event page for updates.

     


    Saturday, January 12, 2019 – Capitol Advocacy Workshop

    This training event is designed to help you become a more effective advocate for marijuana law reform in Texas and to prepare you to lobby effectively for our bills during the Legislative Session. This training event will offer you the tools you need to make effective arguments, dispel common myths, confidently communicate with your legislators, and positively affect policy during the upcoming legislative session. Please pre-register for this event so we can have adequate supplies for all attendees.

    Follow event page for updates.

     


    Thursday, February 7, 2019 – Texas Marijuana Policy Lobby Day

    Our broad coalition and united efforts will bring about more responsible marijuana policies in the Lone Star State! We are excited to team up with our coalition members to host another huge Lobby Day. Our broad coalition and united efforts will bring about more responsible marijuana policies in the Lone Star State. Since there will be hundreds of Texans participating, it is imperative that you pre-register for this event.

    Follow the event page for updates and more information on caravans from Houston and DFW.


    We also will be hosting our Monthly Meetings, several other special events at the Capitol (including Veteran, Patient and Senior Lobby Days), Direct Actions every other week during the session and multiple educational exhibits. Keep up to date by following our Event Page or adding our calendar to yours!

    Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Dispel the myths with the NORML Fact Sheets. For more information follow Texas NORML on Facebook, Twitter, and visit their website!

  • by Mary Kruger, Executive Director, Roc NORML December 12, 2018

    How much cannabis do you consume? How much do you pay for your cannabis? How much extra would you pay for cannabis delivery? How often do you share your cannabis with friends?

    New York State plans to legalize cannabis for adult-use with the 2019 Budget in April. The time is NOW to make your voice heard loud and clear!

    The New York State Department of Health, in partnership with NYU and RAND, want to know your (anonymous) answers to these questions, and more! Please take this short survey to offer your first hand experience as a cannabis consumer, advocate, or supporter in New York. Answers will be used to help shape the legislation currently being drafted that is going to determine what the the adult-use cannabis market will look like.

    Survey responses are requested ASAP, but will be accepted until January 15th. Please send this survey to your friends and family, pull out your phone during holiday parties and ask people to fill it out, and talk to your co-workers (if they’re cool) and ask them the fill out the survey. We need to get at least 1,000 cannabis consumers, advocates, and supporters to fill out the survey. Will you help us reach this goal?

    Click here to submit your survey response now.

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