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  • by Tyler McFadden, NORML NE Political Associate March 29, 2019

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

    The U.S. House Financial Services Committee has passed The SAFE Banking Act, HR 1595 out of committee this week. It now awaits consideration by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

    Guam became the first US territory to send a bill legalizing the adult-use of marijuana to the governor’s desk in 2019. The bill awaits action by Governor Lou Leon Guerrero (D).

    Governor Jim Justice (R) of West Virginia signed legislation into law that allows financial institutions to provide banking services related to the state’s medical marijuana program.

    Governor Gary Herbert (R) of Utah signed legislation into law that strengthens protections for medical cannabis patients and further improves upon the state’s new medical cannabis access program.

    Late last week, the North Dakota State Senate overwhelmingly passed a measure to expand the state’s medical marijuana program. Earlier, a similar bill was overwhelmingly passed in the State House. Despite support in both chambers, the House and Senate need to come to a consensus on a single bill before it can be sent to the governor for his signature.

    New Jersey tabled a scheduled vote to pass adult-use marijuana legalization after falling just a few votes short of the threshold needed to pass. Legalization legislation now awaits another floor date while advocates in New Jersey gain the necessary support to pass it.

    In Texas, the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence passed a marijuana decriminalization bill out of committee this week. The bill would make possession of small amounts of marijuana punishable by a fine with no jail time and no marks would be added to a person’s criminal record.

    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.

    All Power to All the People,

    Tyler

    Actions to Take

    Federal

    End Prohibition: 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.

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

    California

    Senate Bill 34 would exempt compassionate care programs from paying state cannabis taxes when they are providing free medical cannabis to financially disadvantaged people living with serious health conditions.

    Update: SB 34 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development on 4/1/2019.

    CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of compassionate care programs

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 223, to allow medical cannabis to be administered to patients at school.

    The measure permits a parent or guardian to administer medical cannabis to their child patient on school grounds in a non-smoking and non-vaping form.

    Update: SB 223 was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a “do pass” recommendation on 3/26.

    CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of allowing medical cannabis in schools

    Colorado

    House Bill 19-1028 would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

    Update: HB 19-1028 was approved by the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services on 3/14, and then was approved by the Senate on 3/20. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

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

    Connecticut

    Lawmakers in Connecticut have introduced a package of bills specific legalizing and regulating the use and sale of marijuana by adults and facilitating equity in the industry.

    Senate Bill 1085 permits those age 21 and over to purchase and possess up to one and one-half ounces of marijuana. The measure would also allow those with past marijuana possession convictions to petition the court to have their record expunged.

    Separately, House Bill 7371 would establish a regulatory framework for the licensed retail sale of adult-use marijuana.

    Update: There was a Public Hearing for SB 1085 on 3/22 after its passage out of the General Law Committee.

    CT resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of legalization

    Delaware

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 45, to amend certain marijuana penalties for juvenile offenders.

    Under state law, adults face civil penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses. Senate Bill 45 would make this policy consistent for juvenile offenders.

    Update: SB 45 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Social Services on 4/10/2019 at 2:30pm in the Senate Hearing Room.

    DE resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of penalty reductions for juveniles

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 59, to expand medical cannabis access.

    The measure expands the pool of medical professionals who are eligible to recommend medical cannabis by permitting physician assistants and nurse practitioners to issue recommendations to their patients.

    Update: SB 59 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Social Services on 4/10/2019 at 2:30pm in the Senate Hearing Room.

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

    Georgia

    House Bill 324 seeks to establish a regulatory framework to permit the retail sale of medical CBD products to registered patients.

    Update: HB 324 was heard by the Senate Regulated Industries & Utilities Committee on 3/21.

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

    Hawaii

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1383, that would decriminalize certain marijuana possession offenses.

    The bill would impose a civil penalty for the possession of up to three grams of marijuana, punishable by a $30 fine.

    Update: HB 1383 was heard and approved by the Committees on Judiciary and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs on 3/19. The bill was amended to lower the fine from $200 to $30.

    HI resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 673 / Senate Bill 1430, to expand medical cannabis access.

    The measure would protect registered medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination by prohibiting employers from arbitrarily discriminating against employees who legally consume medical cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.

    Update: HB 673 was heard and approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health on 3/21. The bill was amended to strip out provisions that would allow the sale of medical cannabis edible products and permit physician assistants to issue recommendations. But a provision to protect patients from employment discrimination was added.

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

    Senate Bill 1353 seeks to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: SB 1352 was heard by the House Committee on Judiciary on 3/18.

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

    Illinois

    House Bill 902 – The Cannabis Legalization Equity Act would regulate the use, possession, cultivation, and retail sale of adult-use marijuana.

    The measure would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to 224 grams of marijuana and cultivate up to 24 mature plants in their home.

    Update: HB 902 was heard in the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee on 3/19.

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

    House Bill 2493 allows those convicted of possessing up to 30 grams of cannabis to petition the court to have their records automatically expunged.

    House Bill 2734 would call for a review of past convictions and would establish a process to automatically expunge the records of individuals who were convicted of certain marijuana possession offenses.

    House Bill 2621 would allow individuals to petition the court for expungement of marijuana possession convictions for activity that has since been decriminalized.

    House Bill 3392 would automatically limit access to criminal records of individuals who have completed all court orders and have gone ten years without any additional felony or misdemeanor convictions.

    Update: All four bills were heard in the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee on 3/19.

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

    House Bill 2980 / Senate Bill2023 would 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: HB 2980 was heard in the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee on 3/19. SB 2023 was approved by the Senate Financial Institutions Committee on 3/20.

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

    A majority of the members of Illinois’ House of Representatives have added their names as cosponsors to a resolution urging lawmakers hit the brakes on the marijuana legalization debate.

    The resolution states, “Lawmakers should not rush irresponsible legislation purely for tax revenues but should consider the health and safety of Illinoisans as their first priority when considering the question of legalization.”

    IL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in opposition to stalling the legalization debate

    Kansas

    Legislation is pending, SB 233 / HB 2173, to establish an industrial hemp program to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: HB 2173 was approved by the House Committee on Agriculture on 3/20.

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

    Maine

    Legislation is pending, LD 1374, to allow licensed dispensaries and caregivers to home deliver medical cannabis to select patients.

    ME resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis delivery services

    Maryland

    Legislation is pending, HB 33 / SB 893, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those struggling with opioid abuse or dependence.

    Update: SB 893 was approved by the Senate on 3/15, and recently had a hearing in the House Health and Government Operations Committee on 3/27.

    MD resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of cannabis as an alternative to opioids

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 857 / House Bill 17, to allow licensed dispensaries to sell edible medical cannabis products.

    Update: SB 857 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 3/15, and recently had a hearing in the House Health and Government Operations Committee on 3/27.

    MD resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis edible products

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 854, to mandate employers and/or their insurers to provide worker’s compensation for those who may require medical cannabis therapy as a result of an occupational injury.

    MD resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of workers compensation for medical cannabis

    Minnesota

    Legislation is pending, HF 766 / SF 1070, to expand access to medical cannabis in the state.

    The measure would:

    • Authorize each dispensary to open four additional locations in specified areas throughout the state
    • Allow specific formulations of medical cannabis to be administered to qualified patients on school grounds

    Update: HF 766 was heard by the House Committee on Health and Human Services Finance Division on 3/28.

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

    Missouri

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1095, reduce marijuana offense penalties in Missouri. This measure would reduce the penalty for the possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana or marijuana concentrate from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. It also reduces the penalty for the delivery of up to 100 grams of marijuana or marijuana concentrate from a felony to a civil infraction.

    Update: HB 1095 is scheduled for a hearing in the Special Committee on Criminal Justice on 4/4/2019 at 8:00am in House Hearing Room 1.

    MO resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of decriminalization.

    Montana

    House Bill 498 would allow qualified patients to access medical cannabis while on either probation or parole.

    Update: HB 498 had a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/27/2019.

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

    Nevada

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 228, to expand Nevada’s medical cannabis access program.

    The proposed changes:

    • Allows wellness service providers such as massage therapists, reflexologists, and structural integration practitioners to recommend and administer cannabis and hemp infused products for therapeutic purposes;
    • Prohibits a practitioner from refusing to prescribe a controlled substance to a patient solely because the patient uses marijuana; and
    • Establishes a Cannabis Control Commission to oversee the state’s medical marijuana access program.

    Update: SB 228 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on 4/1/2019.

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

    New Hampshire

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 481, to allow for the use, possession, and retail sale of marijuana by adults.

    Update: The House Ways and Means Committee submitted a report with an “ought-to-pass with amendment” recommendation for HB 481 on 3/28.

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

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 364, to 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 two ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.

    Update: HB 364 had a hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on 3/26/2019.

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

    Legislation is pending, HB 350, to expand medical cannabis access.

    The measure expands the pool of medical professionals who are eligible to recommend medical cannabis by permitting physician assistants to issue recommendations to their patients.

    Update: HB 364 had a hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on 3/26/2019.

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

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 459, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: HB 459 was approved by the New Hampshire House of Representatives on 3/19.

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

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

    Update: HB 399 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on 4/2/2019 at 10:30am.

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

    New Jersey

    Senate Bill 2703 and Assembly Bill 4497: The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act would regulate adult use marijuana sales and also provide for the expungement of certain past records.

    Update: S. 2703 was scheduled for a full floor vote on 3/25/2019, but the vote was cancelled after falling just a few votes shy of the threshold needed for passage. The bill now awaits another vote that has yet to be scheduled.

    NJ resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of legalization

    1. 3205 / A. 4498, would make more crimes eligible for expungement — including offenses involving controlled dangerous substances — and cut the wait time down to five years. It also includes a “clean slate” process that will wipe away all offenses at once for anyone who has a clean record for 10 years after their last offense. Many more serious crimes would not be eligible.

    Update: S. 3205 was heard and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/18, and A. 4498 was heard and approved the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 3/18. The bills are scheduled to be considered by the full chambers on Monday 3/25.

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

    Senate Bill 10 and Assembly Bill 10 seek to 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: A. 10 was heard and approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 3/18. The bills awaiting scheduled floor votes.

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

    New Mexico

    Senate Bill 406:

    • Allows medical practitioners to recommend medical cannabis for several new conditions, including PTSD, Parkinson’s, and severe chronic pain;
    • Prohibits employers from taking adverse action on an employee due to a positive drug test result or their status as a patient
    • Allows primary caregivers to obtain a license to grow medical cannabis;
    • Removes medical cannabis use as a violation of probation or parole;
    • Protects patients who require organ transplants

    Update: SB 406 was approved by the House of Representatives on 3/16, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

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

    New York

    Legislation is pending, S.4117, that would prohibit the eviction of tenants for using medical marijuana for a certified medical use.

    Update: S. 4117 had a hearing in the Senate Housing, Construction and Community Development Committee on 3/26.

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

    North Carolina

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 168, to expand the state’s medical CBD exemption law.

    The measure expands the pool of individuals eligible for a medical CBD exemption to include those diagnosed with autism, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and Mitochondrial disease.

    Update: S. 168 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 3/20.

    NC resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expanded medical CBD exemptions

    North Dakota

    House Bill 1417 allows physicians to explicitly authorize patients diagnosed with cancer to legally possess greater quantities of cannabis than are generally allowed under the law.

    Separately, House Bill 1519 would permit providers to recommend medical cannabis to those diagnosed with 13 additional conditions, including anorexia nervosa, anxiety, opioid use disorder or withdrawal, and autism.

    A third measure, House Bill 1283, would allow physicians assistants to recommend medical cannabis to their patients.

    And a separate measure, House Bill 1364, would permit edible medical cannabis products, as long as they do not appeal to minors.

    Update: HB 1417, 1519, and 1283 were all approved by the Senate Human Services Committee. HB 1364 was reported out of committee without a recommendation.

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

    Oklahoma

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 868 / House Bill 2628, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: SB 868 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on 4/1/2019 at 3:00pm and HB 2628 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Wildlife on 4/1/2019 at 10:00am.  

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

    Oregon

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 3169, which seeks to allow licensed cannabis businesses to safely conduct transactions with financial institutions.

    If passed, this legislation would allow banking institutions and credit unions to organize as limited charter cannabis financial institutions.

    Update: HB 3169 had a publice hearing in the House Economic Development Committee on 3/25.

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

    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 is scheduled for a work session in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on 4/8/2019 at 8:00am.

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

    Rhode Island

    1. 5290 would protect registered medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination. The measure would prohibit employers from arbitrarily discriminating against employees who legally consume medical cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.

    Update: H. 5290 had a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on 3/26/2019.

    RI resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis patients.

    1. 5828 would establish a system for the regulation and taxation for the adult-use and cultivation of marijuana in the state of Rhode Island. The bill would allow for the personal possession of up to one ounce of cannabis outside the home and up to five ounces of cannabis in a person’s primary residence. It also allows for the cultivation of up to two cannabis plants in a person’s home, with one or fewer being mature.

    Update: H. 5290 had a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on 3/26/2019.

    RI resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis patients.

    South Carolina

    1. 3660 / S. 366: The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, would regulate medical cannabis distribution and access, but it prohibits the inhalation or smoking of herbal medical cannabis.

    Update: S. 366 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs on 4/4/2019 at 10:00am in the Gressette Room 308.

    SC resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access

    Legislation is pending, H 3449, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: H 3449 was heard in the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee on 3/21.

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

    Tennessee

    Legislation is pending, SB 256/HB 235, to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Tennessee.

    The measure would remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

    Update: HB 235 has a hearing scheduled in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on 4/3/2019.

    TN resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

    Legislation is pending, SB 260/HB 234, to allow out-of-state medical cannabis patients to legally possess their medicine while visiting Tennessee.

    Under this measure, patients who are registered to use medical cannabis in those 33 jurisdictions that permit its therapeutic use may legally possess up to a half-ounce of cannabis while visiting Tennessee.

    Update: HB 234 has a hearing scheduled in the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on 4/3/2019.

    TN resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of out-of-state protections

    Legislation is pending, SB 357 / HB 844, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: HB 844 was heard by the House Rules Committee on 3/21.

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

    Vermont

    1. 54 would establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.

    Update: S. 54 was heard by the House Committee on Government Operations on 3/27.

    VT resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of regulation

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 58, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: S. 58 was approved by the Senate Committees on Finance, Agriculture, and Appropriations on 3/22.

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

    Washington

    Legislation is pending, SB 5605 / HB 1500, to allow individuals with prior misdemeanor cannabis convictions to apply to the sentencing court to have their record vacated.

    Update: SB 5605 recently had a hearing in the House Committee on Public Safety on 3/25, and is scheduled for an executive session in the House Committee on Public Safety on 4/2/2019 at 3:30pm.

    WA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of vacating past records

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1095 / Senate Bill 5442, to allow medical cannabis to be administered to patients at school.

    Update: HB 1095 had a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education on 3/27.

    WA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of allowing medical cannabis in schools

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 5276, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: SB 5276 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Committee on Commerce & Gaming.

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

     

  • by Tyler McFadden, NORML NE Political Associate March 25, 2019

    Big news out of Connecticut today, as a bill to legalize the adult-use and retail sale of marijuana has passed through a critical vote in the General Law Committee with a 10-8 majority. In addition to legalizing adult-use and establishing a regulated retail market, the bill also includes strong social justice language that incentivizes minority participation in the state’s marijuana market. It also establishes a commission that would be tasked with studying the impacts of provisions not already included in the legislation, such as homegrow and microbusinesses.

    Next up for the bill is a vote in the state legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Thursday, March 28th. Should it pass through committee and successfully pass a floor vote, the bill will go to the governor’s desk. Governor Lamont has been very vocal about his support for marijuana legalization in the state, frequently referring to reform as one of his administration’s top legislative priorities.

    If Connecticut successfully passes and enacts marijuana legalization into law, it would become the first state to pass a regulatory framework for the retail sale of marijuana through the state legislature, rather than as a ballot measure for popular vote.

    Major reform is within reach in Connecticut. If you’re a Connecticut resident, click here to send a message to your state lawmakers in urgent support of legalization!

    _________________________________________________________________________

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

    In some big news out of New Jersey, several marijuana reform bills have been voted out of their committees and are awaiting floor votes.

    Senate Bill 2703 and Assembly Bill 4497 have both passed out of their committees and are set to be voted on as early as Monday, March 25th. These bills would legalize the personal possession of one ounce or less of cannabis and would regulate and tax the adult-use and retail sale. Some highlights of this landmark legislation are-

    • Expedited expungement of past misdemeanor marijuana convictions
    • Taxing marijuana sales at three-percent, which will be collected by or paid to municipalities wherever retail stores exist
    • Incentives to promote socio-economic, racial, and gender equity in the state’s cannabis industry

    Governor Phil Murphy, one of the driving forces of marijuana legalization in the state since taking office in January, has already signaled his intent to sign a legalization bill once it gets to his desk. However, the margins in the New Jersey State Legislature are still very close, with a slight majority of the legislators being in favor of legalizing marijuana for adult-use in the state. With several state lawmakers still on the fence about legalization, input from residents of New Jersey is of paramount importance. Legalizing marijuana would result in dozens of positive impacts for New Jerseyans and cannot happen without the support of reform-minded residents who are committed to personal freedom in New Jersey.

    Are you a New Jersey resident? Click here to send a message to your legislators in support of legalizing marijuana in the Garden State.

     

    Other legislation, Senate Bill 3205 and Assembly Bill A4498 have both passed out of their committees and are awaiting scheduled votes. These bills would allow for the expedited expungement of certain marijuana-related convictions after marijuana legalization is signed into law in New Jersey. It reduces the wait time for expungement and expands the list of convictions eligible for expungement upon marijuana legalization in the state.

    Are you a New Jersey resident? Click here to send a message to your legislators in support of this effort.

     

    Separate legislation, Senate Bill S10 and Assembly Bill A10 have both passed out of their committees and are awaiting scheduled votes. These bills would expand the state’s medical marijuana program to allow for greater accessibility and protections for qualified patients. It increases the amount of medical cannabis a qualified patient is legally allowed to purchase and possess, protects patients from losing their jobs or custody of their children simply because of their status as a medical patient, and phases out retail sales taxes on medical marijuana to make the program more affordable for patients.

    Are you a New Jersey resident? Click here to send a message to your legislators in support of this effort.

     

    ___________________________________________________

     

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

    A.1617, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), has been re-introduced this legislative session. The bill would legalize the adult possession, use, and regulated sale of marijuana.

    Over the past twenty years, many New Yorkers have been negatively affected by the harms of prohibition in New York. With people of color accounting for nearly 85% of those arrested annually, the MRTA directs the benefits of taxing and regulating marijuana to these communities. Because structural racism is ingrained in marijuana prohibition, it’s important that the MRTA both ends marijuana prohibition and promotes racial justice.

    Significant steps are taken in the amended MRTA to ensure racial justice and a small business-friendly industry, including:

    • Creating a micro-licensing structure, similar to New York’s rapidly growing craft wine and beer industry, which allows small-scale production and sale plus delivery to reduce barriers to entry for people with less access to capital and traditional avenues of financing.
    • Establishing the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund, which will invest in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the drug war through job training, economic empowerment, and youth development programming.
    • Ensuring diversity in New York’s marijuana industry by removing barriers to access like capital requirements and building inclusivity by allowing licensing to people with prior drug convictions. Only people with business-related convictions (such as fraud or tax evasion) will be explicitly barred from receiving licenses.

    Our communities can’t wait. The decades of marijuana prohibition had created a stain on the fabric of our society, and urgent action is needed to begin to right the wrongs of the War on Drugs. Adult-use cannabis legalization must be passed in the state budget, and support for the MRTA goes a long way towards making that a reality. Freedom simply cannot wait any longer.

    Click here to send a message to your New York State Assemblymember in urgent support of this effort.

     

    We also encourage you to plug in with Empire State NORML. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and visit their webpage HERE.

    ______________________________________

  • by NORML March 11, 2019

    Happy birthday, NORML!49 years ago, Keith Stroup founded NORML to end marijuana prohibition. Now, 10 states and DC have legalized the adult-use of marijuana, and more than two-thirds of the country has legalized medical cannabis. We’ve moved mountains, thanks to good people like you.

    support norml

    Our birthday wish this year is simple: let’s legalize America. Today, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating the progress we’ve made and stand strong with us in the fight for freedom.

    Happy birthday, NORML!

     

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