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  • by Tyler McFadden, NORML NE Political Associate September 18, 2019

    The New Hampshire State House voted today to override Governor Sununu’s veto of HB364, a measure that would have allowed qualified patients to grow up to three mature plants and 12 seedlings, and to possess up to two ounces of home-grown medical cannabis. This provides relief for patients that are homebound or are otherwise unable to make it to a dispensary to obtain their medicine, and from the sometimes exorbitant costs of purchasing their medication from a retail store. 

    The vote was split 259 in favor to 120 opposed. The override effort now goes to the New Hampshire State Senate for consideration. They are expected to vote on Thursday morning.

    Are you a New Hampshire resident? Click here to send a message to your state senator in support of the override effort.

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator May 31, 2019

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

    This week, the US Food and Drug Administration is taking in-person public testimony with regard to the “manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale” of CBD-infused retail products.

    Governor Jared Polis (D) of Colorado signed multiple cannabis reform bills into law that regulate cannabis delivery services and social consumption spaces, and reduce criminal penalties for the possession of large quantities of cannabis.

    Governor Steve Sisolak (D) of Nevada signed legislation into law this week to allow individuals to get their records vacated for offenses that are no longer a crime in the state.

    Members of the New Hampshire Senate voted to delay consideration of a House-passed legalization bill until later this year.

    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. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to HERE.

    Your Highness,
    Carly

    Actions to Take

    Federal

    The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and to provide funding for the expungement of criminal records for those with past marijuana convictions.

    Send a message to your federal lawmakers in support of this important legislation

    Alabama

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 236, to allow qualifying patients with certain debilitating conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis.

    Update: A substitute version of SB 236 that would create a commission to study the use of medical CBD was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/29/19. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

    AL resident? Click here to email your governor in support of medical cannabis access

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 225, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: SB 225 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/29/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

    AL resident? Click here to email your governor in support of industrial hemp production

    Arizona

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1494, to require the Department of Human Services to establish standards related to testing medical cannabis products.

    Update: SB 1494 was approved by the House and Senate on 5/27/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

    AZ resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of testing standards

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1286, to expand patient access to medical cannabis in Arizona.

    The measure would allow additional dispensaries to operate in unincorporated areas of the state that are not within 25 miles of an existing dispensary.

    Update: SB 1286 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/27/19, and now will go to a conference committee to reconcile amendments made to the bill.

    AZ resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expanded patient access

    Illinois

    Legislation is pending, The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, to regulate the use, possession, cultivation, and retail sale of adult use marijuana.

    Update: The bill was approved by the Senate on 5/29/19, and the House of Representatives on 5/30. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

    IL resident? Click here to email your governor in support of legalization

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 2980 / Senate Bill 2023, to amend the Illinois Banking Act and the Illinois Credit Union Act in a manner that facilitates banks and other financial institutions to safely conduct transactions with licensed marijuana businesses.

    Update: SB 2023 was approved by the House Judiciary Criminal Committee on 5/29/19.

    IL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of banking access

     Louisiana

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 138, to remove hemp and “cannabidiol when contained in a drug product approved by the FDA,” from the list of controlled substances.

    Update: HB 138 was heard and approved by the Senate Committee on Judiciary on 5/28/19.

    LA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of descheduling hemp

    Nevada

    Legislation is pending, SB 430, that would expand the pool of individuals eligible for medical cannabis.

    The measure would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those diagnosed with anxiety, autism, opioid addiction or dependence, anorexia nervosa, among others.

    Update: SB 430 was approved by the Assembly on a concurrence vote on 5/28/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

    NV resident? Click here to email your governor in support of medical expansion

    Legislation is pending, AB 132, to protect cannabis consumers from employment discrimination.

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

    Update: AB 132 was approved by the Assembly on a concurrence vote on 5/28/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

    NV resident? Click here to email your governor in support of employment protections

    New Hampshire

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 399, to permit those convicted of past marijuana offenses to seek an expungement of their criminal records.

    Update: HB 335 was approved by the Senate on 5/30/19, and now heads to the governor.

    NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expungement

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 335, to expand access to medical cannabis in New Hampshire.

    The measure would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to authorize additional dispensary licenses in certain geographic areas of the state.

    Update: HB 335 was approved by the Senate on 5/30/19, and now heads to the governor.

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

     New Jersey

    Senate Bill 10 and Assembly Bill 10 would expand patients’ access to medical cannabis.

    The measure facilitates the expansion of additional medical cannabis growers and providers, while also expanding the amount of cannabis a patient may legally purchase and possess. It further expands the pool of licensed health professional who may recommend medical cannabis, and shields registered patients from employment discrimination and the loss of child custody. It also phases out retail sales taxes on medical cannabis, amongst other changes.

    Update: A10/S10 was approved by the Senate on 5/30/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

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

    North Carolina

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 315, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: S. 3156 was heard by the Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee on 5/30/19, and is scheduled for another hearing in the committee on 6/5.

    NC resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

    Oregon

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 420, to expand upon Oregon’s expungement law.

    The measure would direct the Department of Justice to automatically conduct a review of past misdemeanor cannabis convictions, and to “set aside” offenses that are no longer a crime under state law.

    Update: SB 420 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on 5/30/19.

    OR resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expungement

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 970, to protect state-sanctioned medical cannabis patients, as well as those with prior or pending cannabis convictions, from housing discrimination.

    Update: SB 970 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/28/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

    OR resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of housing protections

    Rhode Island

    Legislation is pending to facilitate equity among those licensed to operate in the medical cannabis industry.

    H. 6069 would require the Department of Business Regulation to prioritize licensing applications submitted by those who live in communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition, and create an economic opportunity fund to provide loans to qualifying businesses.

    H. 6073 and H. 6070 seek to implement policies that would ensure the equitable distribution of medical cannabis business licenses and create an economic opportunity fund to provide loans to qualifying businesses.

    H. 5795 would create funds to offer technical assistance to economically disadvantaged individuals who wish to enter into the medical cannabis industry.

    Update: All four bills were heard by the House Finance Committee on 5/29/19, and then held for further study, killing the bills for this session.

    RI resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of equity in the medical cannabis industry

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 19, 2019

    Sixty-five percent of Americans believe that the use of marijuana by adults “should be legal,” according to national polling data compiled by CBS News. That figure is six percentage points above last year’s total, and is the highest percentage of support ever recorded in a CBS poll.

    Majorities of Democrats and Republicans back legalization, and most respondents agree that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol or other drugs. Fifty-five percent of Americans also acknowledged having personally consumed cannabis, the highest total reported in the poll’s history.

    Most Americans (62 percent), including a majority of Republicans and Democrats, also say that they oppose the federal government taking action to disrupt the production and sale of marijuana in states where it is currently legal.

    The CBS poll results are consistent with those of other recent major surveys, such as those by Gallup (66 percent), Pew (62 percent), and Quinnipiac University (60 percent) — all of which similarly show support for legalization at record or near-record highs.

  • by Tyler McFadden, NORML NE Political Associate February 20, 2019

    In New Jersey, there has been a great deal of progress in the last few years. Several bills have been introduced in the state legislature, ranging from legalization to expungement, and the fight for freedom has never been more widely supported than now. New Jersey residents overwhelmingly support marijuana legalization; in a recent poll conducted by Monmouth University,  62 percent of New Jerseyans support legalizing the responsible adult-use of marijuana, and several members of the New Jersey State Legislature are finally listening to the will of the people and pushing for meaningful marijuana reform. However, marijuana reform has stalled in the past few months. It is urgent that these measures get to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.

    Send a general letter in support of sensible marijuana reform in New Jersey NOW.

    There are three major reform bills in the New Jersey State Legislature during the current legislative session.

    • S. 2318 would allow for expedited expungement of records for those previously convicted of a marijuana crime upon passage of decriminalization or legalization measures in the state of New Jersey, as long as those past violations are no longer considered a crime under state law. It was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/22/2018 and is still stuck in committee. The passage of this bill is incredibly important; legalization alone does not provide a clear roadmap for expungement and the millions of people whose lives have been altered by prior marijuana-related convictions may still be left with the stain of those convictions even after legalization is a reality in New Jersey. For more information on this bill (and similar measure S. 3205) and to send a message to your state lawmaker in urgent support of this legislation, click here.
    • Companion bills S. 2703 and A. 4497 would legalize marijuana for personal adult-use in the state of New Jersey and provides expungement relief for people with certain past marijuana offenses. The bill was voted out of committee on 11/26/2018 and is now on its second floor reading and waiting for a scheduled vote. For more information on this bill and to send a message to your state Senator or state lawmaker in support of this legislation, click here.
    • Companion bills S. 10 and A. 10 would expand patients’ access to medical cannabis through several means. It would allow doctors the discretion to recommend medical cannabis to any patient they believe with benefit, phases out sales taxes on medical cannabis, and establishes additional legal protections for patients and caregivers. It also allows for additional growers and providers and expands on the amount of cannabis a patient may legally purchase and possess. S. 10 is in the amending stage as of 1/31/2019, and A. 10 most recently passed the Assembly Floor on 1/31/2019. For more information on this bill and to send a message to your state Senator or state lawmaker in support of this legislation, click here.

    Send a general letter in support of sensible marijuana reform in New Jersey NOW.

  • by NORML October 24, 2018

    medical cannabis oilOne of NORML’s primary missions is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults. One of the ways we successfully achieve this goal is by authoring and routinely placing op-eds in high-profile, mainstream newspapers and media outlets.

    Below are links to several of NORML’s most recent commentaries:

    “More Americans than ever want marijuana legalized. Lawmakers should listen”
    Otherwords.org

    “Support for marijuana legalization growing like a weed”
    TheHill.com

    “End the arrests. Vote yes on Measure 3”
    The Dickinson Press (North Dakota)

    “This November, not all medical marijuana efforts are created equal”
    The Springfield News-Leader (Missouri)

    “Marijuana dependence: falling sharply”
    The New York Times

    “Marijuana and the mid-terms”
    TheHill.com

    “Republican leadership is denying medical marijuana for veterans”
    The Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida)

    As we rapidly approach the midterm elections, we believe that it is more important than ever that our educational and media outreach efforts reach as many people as possible. Please show your support of NORML’s work by sharing and commenting on these commentaries, and most importantly, by making a contribution here.

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