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Legislative Update

  • by Jenn Michelle Pedini, NORML Development Director May 21, 2020
    2020 Virginia General Assembly

    2020 Virginia General Assembly

    Richmond, VA: Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has signed legislation (Senate Bill 2 | House Bill 972) decriminalizing marijuana possession. The new law takes effect July 1, 2020 and reduces penalties for offenses involving personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil violation – punishable by a maximum $25 fine, no arrest, and no criminal record.

    Under current law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as criminal misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a criminal record, and the possible loss of driving privileges. According to data from the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, more than 15,000 people were convicted for a first or second marijuana possession offense from July 2018 to June 2019.

    “NORML is proud to have worked alongside Senator Ebbin and Delegate Herring, both longtime champions of evidence-based cannabis policy,” said NORML development director, Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the state affiliate, Virginia NORML. “This victory comes after many years of sustained effort by Virginia NORML and its membership. And while we applaud Governor Northam, his administration, and the legislature for taking this step, it’s critical that they work swiftly to legalize and regulate the responsible use of cannabis by adults and begin undoing the damages prohibition has waged on tens of thousands of Virginians.”

    The new law also seals the criminal records of past marijuana offenders from employers and school administrators, and defines substances previously considered hashish as marijuana.

    The bipartisan, bicameral effort to amend the state’s marijuana possession penalties was led by Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30) and House Majority Leader Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46). Commenting on the bills’ final passage, Sen. Ebbin said, “This is a major step forward for criminal justice reform in Virginia. The prohibition on marijuana has clearly failed, and impacts nearly 30,000 Virginians per year. It’s well past time that we stop doing damage to people’s employment prospects, educational opportunities, and parental rights.

    Delegate Herring added: “[This] is an important step in mitigating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. While marijuana arrests across the nation have decreased, arrests in Virginia have increased. This bill will not eliminate the racial disparities surrounding marijuana, but it will prevent low-level offenders from receiving jail time for simple possession while we move toward legalization in coming years with a framework that addresses both public safety and equity in an emerging market.”

    Governor Northam had previously gone on record in support of decriminalizing marijuana violations and expunging past convictions, as has Attorney General Mark Herring. “Decriminalization is an important first step on Virginia’s path towards legal, regulated adult use, and one many thought was still years away, but we cannot stop now. We’ve shown that smart, progressive reform is possible and we must keep going,” General Herring told Virginia NORML.

    Twenty six states additional states and the District of Columbia have either legalized or decriminalized the adult possession and use of marijuana.

    In March, the legislature approved multiple bills calling on officials to further study marijuana legalization and to make recommendations to lawmakers in advance of the 2021 legislative session.

    In addition to approving marijuana decriminalization, Gov. Northam also signed Senate Bill 1015, which states that no person may be arrested, prosecuted, or denied any right or privilege for participating in the state’s medical cannabis program. The program is expected to be operational and dispensing cannabis products to authorized patients by mid-year.

    “As legislators became more comfortable with medical cannabis products, they recognized that patients and legal guardians of children and incapacitated adults need the protections of lawful possession instead of the affirmative defense. That is what SB 1015 provides — a statutory protection against prosecution, not merely an affirmative defense,” remarked Senator Dave Marsden (D-37), perennial champion of medical cannabis patients in the Commonwealth.

    During the April reconvened session, the legislature accepted Northam’s proposed amendments to Senate Bill 976, which redefines state-approved medical cannabis products previously termed cannabidiol oil or THCA oil as cannabis oil. The bill also allows for an additional five cannabis dispensing facilities in each of the state’s five Health Service Areas.

    Added NORML’s Jenn Michelle Pedini: “Later this year, Virginia patients will finally have access to medical cannabis products and explicit legal protections thanks to Senator Marsden’s legislation. Additional dispensing facilities, telemedicine, and program registration for nonresidents are among some of the many legislative improvements we were able to accomplish this year.”

    In total, eighteen marijuana-related bills succeeded in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly.

     

     

    A complete listing of marijuana-related legislation in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly is available here. For more information, contact Jenn Michelle Pedini, NORML Development Director & Virginia NORML Executive Director.

    Become a member Virginia NORML and join the fight to reform marijuana laws in the Commonwealth. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • by Jenn Michelle Pedini, NORML Development Director April 12, 2020

    Richmond, VA: Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has approved legislation (Senate Bill 2 | House Bill 972) decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses. Northam also recommended technical amendments which must be approved by the legislature before the new law takes effect July 1, 2020.

    The law reduces penalties for offenses involving the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil violation – punishable by a maximum $25 fine, no arrest, and no criminal record.

    Under current law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as criminal misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a criminal record, and the possible loss of driving privileges. According to data from the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, more than 15,000 people were convicted for a first or second marijuana possession offense from July 2018 to June 2019.

    “Virginians have long opposed the criminalization of personal marijuana possession, and Governor Northam’s signature turns that public opinion into public policy,” said NORML Development Director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the state affiliate, Virginia NORML.

    The new law also seals the criminal records of past marijuana offenders from employers and school administrators, and defines substances previously considered hashish as marijuana.

    The bipartisan, bicameral effort to amend the state’s marijuana possession penalties was led by Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30) and House Majority Leader Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46). Commenting on the bills’ final passage, Sen. Ebbin said, “This is a major step forward for criminal justice reform in Virginia. The prohibition on marijuana has clearly failed, and impacts nearly 30,000 Virginians per year. It’s well past time that we stop doing damage to people’s employment prospects, educational opportunities, and parental rights.

    Delegate Herring added: “[This] is an important step in mitigating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. While marijuana arrests across the nation have decreased, arrests in Virginia have increased. This bill will not eliminate the racial disparities surrounding marijuana, but it will prevent low-level offenders from receiving jail time for simple possession while we move toward legalization in coming years with a framework that addresses both public safety and equity in an emerging market.”

    Governor Northam had previously gone on record in support of decriminalizing marijuana violations and expunging past convictions, as has Attorney General Mark Herring. “Decriminalization is an important first step on Virginia’s path towards legal, regulated adult use, and one many thought was still years away, but we cannot stop now. We’ve shown that smart, progressive reform is possible and we must keep going,” General Herring told Virginia NORML.

    In March, the General Assembly approved multiple bills calling on officials to further study marijuana legalization and to make recommendations to lawmakers in advance of the 2021 legislative session.

    In addition to approving marijuana decriminalization, Gov. Northam also signed Senate Bill 1015, which states that no person may be arrested, prosecuted, or denied any right or privilege for participating in the state’s medical cannabis program. The program is expected to be operational and dispensing cannabis products to authorized patients by mid-year. Northam also approved Senate Bill 976 expanding and improving this program, and suggested technical amendments which must be approved by the legislature before taking effect on July 1.

    “As legislators became more comfortable with medical cannabis products, they recognized that patients and legal guardians of children and incapacitated adults need the protections of lawful possession instead of the affirmative defense. That is what SB 1015 provides — a statutory protection against prosecution, not merely an affirmative defense,” remarked Senator Dave Marsden (D-37), longtime champion of medical cannabis patients in the Commonwealth.

    Added NORML’s Jenn Michelle Pedini: “Later this year, Virginia patients will finally have access to medical cannabis products and explicit legal protections thanks to Senator Marsden’s legislation. Additional dispensing facilities, telemedicine, and program registration for nonresidents are among some of the many legislative improvements we were able to accomplish this year.”

    In total, sixteen marijuana-related bills succeeded in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly.

     

    A complete listing of marijuana-related legislation in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly is available here. For more information, contact Jenn Michelle Pedini, NORML Development Director & Virginia NORML Executive Director.

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator March 14, 2020

    NORML's Legislative Action CenterWelcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

    Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center 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 U.S. Congress.

    Your Highness,

    Carly

    Actions to Take

    Veteran Access: HR 1647, the Veterans Equal Access Act, would allow V.A. doctors to fill out the state-legal medical marijuana recommendations. Presently, V.A. doctors are forbidden from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician.

    Update: HR 1647 was approved by the House Veterans Affairs Committee on 3/12/20.

    Send a message to your lawmakers in support of HR 1647

    Alabama

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 165, to establish a medical marijuana access program for qualified patients with a physician’s recommendation to access medical marijuana from licensed retail outlets.

    It would not allow patients to smoke herbal marijuana or vape, but would allow forms including pills, oils, lozenges and patches. 

    Update: SB 165 was approved by the Senate on 3/12/20. The bill now heads to the House.

    AL resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical marijuana access

    Arizona

    Legislation is pending, HCR 2045, that seeks to arbitrarily cap the potency of cannabis flowers at two percent THC. NORML opposes the passage of this legislation.

    Update: HCR 2045 was approved by the House on 3/10/20. The bill now heads to the Senate.

    AZ resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in opposition to THC limits

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 2359, to reduce barriers to employment for those harmed by the War on Drugs.

    The bill would prevent applicants from being denied occupational licenses for having previous drug charges, including for cannabis.

    Update: HB 2359 was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on 3/12/20.

    AZ resident? Send a message to your senators in support of reducing employment barriers

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 2049, that would expand the pool of individuals eligible for medical cannabis.

    The measure would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder as well as opioid use disorder.

    Update: HB 2049 was approved by the House Rules Committee on 3/9/20 by a 5-3 vote, and was then approved by the full House on 3/12/20.

    AZ resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

    Hawaii

    Senate Bill 2543 would prohibit an employer from discriminating against a person in hiring, termination, or condition of employment based on the person’s status as a medical cannabis cardholder or a positive drug test for THC.

    Update: SB 2543 scheduled to be heard by the House Committee on Labor & Public Employment on Thursday 3/12/20 at 9am in House conference room 309.

    HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 2787, to regulate medical cannabis delivery services.

    The bill allows the department of health to issue permits to medical cannabis dispensaries for the delivery of medical cannabis and cannabis products to qualifying patients or primary caregivers if certain conditions are met.

    Update: SB 2787 is scheduled to be heard by the House Committee on Health on Thursday, 3/12/20 9am in House conference room Auditorium.

    HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of delivery services

    Legislation is pending, HB 2097 / SB 2024, which would authorize licensed medical cannabis facilities to sell edible products.

    Update: HB 2097 was heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health on 3/13/20.

    HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of access to edibles

    Iowa

    HF 2589 would:

    Allow physicians assistants, podiatrists, advanced registered nurse practitioners, and advanced practice registered nurses to recommend medical cannabis to their patients;

    Remove the prohibition of patients and caregivers with disqualifying felony offenses from receiving a medical cannabis recommendation;

    Replace the existing 3% potency cap on THC with a 4.5 gram per 90 day limit;

    Update: HF 2589 was approved by the House of Representatives on 3/10/20 by a 52-48 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate.

    IA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in opposition to THC limits

    Maryland

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 550, to expand the state’s marijuana decriminalization law.

    If passed, the bill would amend penalties so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is classified as a civil rather than a criminal offense, rather than the current threshold of ten grams.

    Update: HB 550 was approved by the House on 3/11/20. The bill now heads to the Senate.

    MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of expanded decriminalization

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 83, to automatically expunge certain prior cannabis convictions.

    The bill would require all court records and police records relating to certain charges of possession of marijuana to be automatically expunged if the possession charge is the only charge in the case. If marijuana possession was not the only charge, one must wait four years before becoming eligible for automatic expungement.

    Update: HB 83 was approved by the House on 3/12/20.

    MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of automatic expungement

    House Bill 617 / Senate Bill 604 would also develop guidelines for public schools regarding the administration of medical cannabis to students

    Update: HB 617 was approved by the House Health and Government Operations on 3/12/20.

    MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access in schools

    Massachusetts

    Legislation is pending, S. 1119 / H. 4522, to protect registered medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination.

    This measure prohibits employers from arbitrarily discriminating against employees who legally consume medical cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.

    Update: H. 4522 was approved by the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy on 3/9/20.

    MA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

    Legislation is pending to allow licensed on-site cannabis consumption.

    1. 4524 would permit cities within Massachusetts to license certain establishments where cannabis is sold to also permit social consumption via city voter initiative or ordinance.

    Update: H. 4524 was approved by the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy on 3/9/20.

    MA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of social consumption

    Mississippi

    Mississippi voters will receive the opportunity to vote this November on whether or not to allow medical marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions.

    Under Speaker Gunn’s pressure, House members of the Mississippi Legislature did pass the alternate proposal, HCR 39, that will now go to the Senate for a vote. If approved, this alternative would appear alongside Initiative 65 on the November ballot to confuse voters and split the vote, which threatens and dilutes the possibility of medical marijuana passing in November at all.

    This alternate, more restrictive proposal is a clear attempt by lawmakers and House Speaker Philip Gunn to undermine and confuse voters and to kill medical marijuana in Mississippi altogether.

    Update: HCR 39 was approved by the House of Representatives on 3/11/20. The bill now heads to the Senate.

    MS resident? Send a message to your senators in opposition to this alternative initiative

    New Hampshire

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 420, permit qualifying patients to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

    The measure would permit patients to grow up to three mature plants and 12 seedlings, and to possess up to eight ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.

    Update: SB 420 is scheduled for Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee hearing and a decision making next week.

    NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of home cultivation rights

    House Bill 1150 would establish reciprocity, which would allow qualifying patients from out-of-state to purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire.

    Update: HB 1150 was approved by the House on 3/11/20. The bill now heads to the Senate.

    NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of reciprocity

    Oklahoma

    House Bill 3227 would allow licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to contract with licensed medical marijuana transporters to deliver marijuana products to patients, legal guardians of patients who are minors, and caregivers at private residences.

    Update: SB 3227 was approved by the House on 3/10/20 by a 73-20 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate.

    OK resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of delivery services

    Pennsylvania

    Under current Pennsylvania state law, a person is guilty of DUI if he or she drives with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance or its metabolite under the Controlled Substance Act in his or her blood.

    House Bill 2337 would amend this law and treat medical cannabis patients the same as patients using a prescription medication.

    PA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of amending the DUI law

    South Carolina

    Legislation is pending to regulate medical cannabis distribution and access, H. 3660 / S. 366: The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, but it prohibits the inhalation or smoking of herbal medical cannabis.

    Update: S. 366 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs on 3/19/20.

    SC resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical marijuana access

    Tennessee

    State lawmakers are considering legislation, HB 2454 / SB 2334, to allow registered patients to use, possess, and consume medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

    Legislation is pending from 2019, SB 486 / HB 637, to provide qualifying patients access to medical cannabis via licensed retailers.

    Update: SB 486 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/17/20. SB 2334 was approved by the Senate Government Operations Committee on 3/11/20 by a 6-3 vote. HB 2454 is schedule for a hearing in the House Health Committee at 8am on 3/17/20. 

    TN resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access

    Legislation is pending, HB 883/SB 686, to allow individuals convicted of certain cannabis-related offenses, upon the completion of their sentence, to petition the court to have their records sealed.

    Update: SB 686 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/17/20.

    TN resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of record sealing

    Utah

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 350, to amend the state’s existing zero-tolerance per se traffic safety law, which makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with trace levels of inactive marijuana metabolites in one’s blood or urine.

    Provisions in HB 350 explicitly states that this criminal prohibition would no longer apply to those who test positive for the presence of the carboxy-THC metabolite.

    UT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of amending the DUI law

    Vermont

    Lawmakers are considering senate-approved legislation, S. 54, to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.

    Update: The compromise bill for S.54 was heard in House and Senate committees this week.

    VT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of retail sales

    Legislation is pending, S. 114, to expunge the records of those convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses.

    The measure also depenalizes activities involving the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana.

    Update: S. 114 was heard by the Senate Committee on Judiciary on 3/11/20.

    VT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of expungement

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director March 12, 2020

    On March 12th, the House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) passed two separate pieces of legislation pertaining to cannabis policy.

    “Our veterans put their lives on the line to defend our country, the absolute least we owe them is to ensure they are taken care of when they return to civilian life,” stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “It is imperative that we approve legislation such as the Veterans Equal Access Act so that the countless vets suffering from post-traumatic stress and other debilitating disorders have access to the safe and effective option of medical marijuana treatment.”

    The first bill, HR 712, known as the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2019, would direct the Veterans Administration to conduct research on marijuana in regards to a wide variety of ailments commonly associated with service-related issues. This bill was introduced by Congressman Lou Correa (D-CA) and a similar version of this bill also passed in HVAC but was not considered on the floor of the House.

    The second bill, HR 1647, known as the Veterans Equal Access Act of 2019, would allow V.A. doctors to fill out the state-legal medical marijuana recommendations. Presently, V.A. doctors are forbidden from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician. Originally introduced years ago by Congressman Earl Blumenauer, this marks the first time that the bill has been considered by HVAC.

    After the passage, Rep. Blumenauer said, “Today was a monumental day for our veterans. We have been working for years to reform this counterproductive policy that forces veterans outside of the VA to receive legal medical cannabis treatment for chronic pain and PTSD. This is the culmination of the tremendous work of our movement, but we will not be finished until this becomes the law of the land . We must reform our federal cannabis policy.”

    Both bills were only assigned to the HVAC, so now it is up to the House Majority to schedule floor time for the whole chamber to cast their votes.

    In the United States, the veterans population consumes cannabis at rates far higher than the general population, with the majority reporting their use for medical purposes. According to polling conducted by the American Legion, 22% of veterans said they themselves “use cannabis to treat a mental or physical condition.”

    It is critical that the full House cast their votes on the Veterans Equal Access Act this year. You can send a message to your Representative in support of HR 1647 in less then 30 seconds by clicking here. 

    You can learn more about marijuana and veterans issues by reading the NORML factsheet. 

     

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator February 29, 2020

    NORML's Legislative Action CenterWelcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

    Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center 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 U.S. Congress.

    Your Highness,

    Carly

    Actions to Take

    Federal

    The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act (HR 3884 / S. 2227) is bipartisan legislation that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus decriminalizing the substance at the federal level and enabling states to set their own policies.

    Send a message to your representatives in support of ending the federal prohibition on marijuana

    Alaska

    Senate Bill 8 is pending to seal the convictions of past marijuana possession offenders.

    The measure prohibits the release of past records for any marijuana offense that is no longer defined as a crime under state law.

    Update: SB 8 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 1:30pm on  3/4/20.

    AK resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of sealing past convictions

    Arizona

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 2359, to reduce barriers to employment for those harmed by the War on Drugs.

    The bill would prevent applicants from being denied occupational licenses for having previous drug charges, including for cannabis.

    Update: HB 2359 was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives on 2/24/20.

    AZ resident? Send a message to your senators in support of reducing employment barriers

    Florida

    A proposal being considered by House lawmakers seeks to arbitrarily cap the potency of cannabis flowers. NORML opposes the passage of this legislation.

    Update: Amendment # 850798 by Senator Gayle Harrell (R-25) was filed today on SB 230 to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee Mon. 3/2/20 from 12-6pm.

    FL resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in opposition to arbitrary THC limits

    Georgia

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 268 and House Bill 528, to allow those convicted of simple marijuana possession to petition the court to restrict access to their records.

    Update: HB 528 is scheduled for consideration by the Subcommittee of Judiciary on 3/5/20 and 3/6/20.

    GA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of record restriction

    Hawaii

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 2787, to regulate medical cannabis delivery services.

    The bill allows the department of health to issue permits to medical cannabis dispensaries for the delivery of medical cannabis and cannabis products to qualifying patients or primary caregivers if certain conditions are met.

    Update: SB 2787 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 2/25/20.

    HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of delivery services

    Legislation is pending, HB 2097 / SB 2024, which would authorize licensed medical cannabis facilities to sell edible products.

    Update: HB 2097 was approved by the House Finance Committee on 2/27/20, and was then approved by the full House on 2/28/20. The bill now heads to the Senate.

    HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of access to edibles

    Maine

    LD 1621 / SP 518 would allow licensed dispensaries to home deliver adult use cannabis to consumers 21 and older, only in jurisdictions that allow delivery services to operate.

    Update: LD 1621 is scheduled for a public hearing in the State House on 3/2/20 at 10am.

    ME resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of delivery

    New Hampshire

    House Bill 1386 “prohibits an employer from firing an employee solely because the employee has a positive drug test for cannabis if the employee is a qualified patient.”

    Update: HB 1386 is scheduled for a executive session in the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee at 1pm on 3/4/2020 in Legislative Office Building 104.

    NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1343, which seeks to eliminate the possession of marijuana as grounds for the denial of an individual’s pretrial release.

    Update: HB 1343 is scheduled for a Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Executive Session at 1pm on 3/3/20 in Legislative Office Building 204.

    NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of amending pretrial release requirements

    Rhode Island

    H7765 would prevent employers from refusing to hire or discriminating against individuals for marijuana use and positive test results.

    H7878 would prohibit employment discrimination by the state of Rhode Island against medical marijuana users. The act also requires reasonable accommodations be provided by the state employer.

    RI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

    Virginia

    Legislation is pending, HB 972, which reduces penalties for offenses involving the possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana to a civil violation – punishable by a maximum $25 fine, no arrest, and no criminal record.

    Update: HB 972 was approved by the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations on 2/25/20.

    VA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1015, to make participation in Virginia’s medical cannabis program legal under state law.

    Currently, patients, caregivers, agents, pharmaceutical processors and their employees are only afforded an affirmative defense for participating in the state-licensed program.

    Update: SB 1015 was approved by the House on 2/27/20. The bill now heads to the governor.

    VA resident? Send a message to your governor in support of a state-legal medical cannabis program

    Vermont

    Lawmakers are considering senate-approved legislation, S. 54, to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.

    Update: S.54 was approved by the House. The bill will now go to conference committee to reconcile the changes between the House and Senate versions.

    VT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of retail sales

    Legislation is pending, S. 114, to expunge the records of those convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses.

    The measure also depenalizes activities involving the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana.

    Update: S. 114 was heard by the Senate Committee on Judiciary on 2/25/20.

    VT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of expungement

    West Virginia

    Senate Bill 752 would:

    • Permit regulators to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states to allow certain out-of-state patients to use and transport medical marijuana while visiting West Virginia;
    • Remove the prohibition on the dispensing of dry leaf medical cannabis;
    • Allow accredited colleges, universities, or medical schools to be eligible to participate in marijuana research;
    • Add ulcerative colitis to the list of qualifying medical conditions

    Update: SB 752 was approved by the Senate on 2/26/20. The bill now heads to the House.

    WV resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

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