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DrugWarRant - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 23:51

Sorry folks – my mind and energies have been elsewhere, and I have been a poor host recently. Hope to change that soon.

I’ll also have some new posts up in the next couple of days (although the comments section is the most important area right now).

Something to think about… I’m looking for someone to help out with the site by putting in the occasional post or even a link to a good story as a contributor. Wouldn’t have technical skills – I could either give you access, or you could email me the item and I’d post it for you.

It must be someone who I recognize – someone who has been a regular contributor here at DrugWarRant – I get offers practically every day from people who want to write boilerplate posts for this site in exchange for link to their drug treatment scam.

So give me a holler if you’re interested!

Categories: Blog Feeds

Michigan legalization campaign wins a big endorsement

MPP Blog - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 12:23

Great news! The Detroit Free Press, one of Michigan’s largest media outlets, has endorsed the Yes on 1 legalization campaign!

The paper’s supportive editorial echoed many of the Yes on 1 campaign’s core messages: marijuana prohibition wastes law enforcement resources, unfairly harms communities of color, and prevents the state from collecting millions in tax revenue that could fund critical social programs. This is a huge boost for Prop 1, but we have to make sure the momentum is carried forward into November.

You can help the Yes on 1 team by making a donation here. Supporters can also promote the effort by picking up Yes on 1 gear from the new campaign store. There, you’ll find some great items, including t-shirts, hoodies, and yard signs, with the official Yes on 1 logo.

We’re just a few weeks away from Election Day (November 6). Michigan residents should visit the Secretary of State’s voter page to get information about polling locations, absentee voting, and more. The deadline to register to vote is October 9. If you’re not already registered, click here for the registration form. Be sure to fill it out and deliver it to your city or town clerk’s office by October 9.

If you have friends or family in Michigan, please forward this email to them and ask them to vote “Yes” on Prop 1. I’m confident that if enough people pitch in, we’ll be celebrating another major victory on November 6.

The post Michigan legalization campaign wins a big endorsement appeared first on MPP Blog.

Categories: Blog Feeds

Are you ready to #SmokeTheVote?

NORML Blog - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:39

Happy National Voter Registration Day!

It’s critically important that we make sure all reform supporters are registered and turnout to vote for pro-cannabis candidates this year for the “Marijuana Midterms.”

With just six weeks until Election Day, NORML is proud to roll out the following educational tools for you to take with you to the ballot booth.

Smoke the Vote: NORML has graded every incumbent and major candidate for federal office throughout the country – making it easy for you to get the facts.

NORML chapters around the country have recorded many of the positions of candidates for state-level offices. This scorecard is meant to be a living document, and with over 10,000 legislators at the state and federal level across the nation, we NEED your help to keep it up to date. If you see that we’re missing a candidate’s position or a great quote from them regarding marijuana policy, send it our way.

NORML Election Central: Learn about the various ballot initiatives around the country and see all of the NORML PAC endorsed candidates.

NORML Voter Registration Tool: NORML has partnered with Rock the Vote making it easy and fast for you and your friends to register to vote!

We need more voices supporting reform in the political process. If our supporters are not registered and voting, lawmakers will not hear the need for legislative action. Make sure your friends, family, and neighbors are registered to #SmokeTheVote and make 2018 the Marijuana Midterms!

Share our Voter Registration Tool on Facebook

Share our Voter Registration Tool on Twitter

Below are a few more resources that should come in handy over the next couple of months.

Resources and Tools for Voter Registration:

Stay informed – Rock The Vote offers voter registration resources, election FAQs, and opportunities to help build the political power of young people in the United States.Voter Registration Deadline – Use U.S. Vote Foundation to find your state’s deadline.

Long Distance Voter – Is a website where you can request an absentee ballot.

Verify your Registration Status – Vote.org offers an online tool to check the status of your voter registration.

Polling Place – Check out Rock the Vote to find a polling location near you.

Additional Resources:

Election Laws: https://bit.ly/2MdVn1s

State Information: https://bit.ly/2xb1SPW

Voting Rights: https://bit.ly/2NrVM57

Categories: Blog Feeds

Exercise your civic duty on National Voter Registration Day

NORML Blog - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 11:44

Are you ready to legalize marijuana? Registering to vote is the first step. Tomorrow is National Voter Registration Day, and you can help NORML make sure everyone knows voting is an essential part of the fight to end the prohibition. It is crucial that supporters of reform register to vote in time to cast their ballots in the November 6th election.

Are you registered to vote? Check the status of your voter registration here.

Ready to register to vote? You can do so by clicking here.

We need more voices supporting reform in the political process. If our supporters are not registered and voting, lawmakers are will not hear the need for legislative action. Make sure your friends, family, and neighbors are registered to vote.

Share our Voter Registration Tool on Facebook

Share our Voter Registration Tool on Twitter

As the old adage goes, elections are decided by those who show up. The 2018 midterm elections will be decisive for marijuana reform. NORML is working to bring as many supporters of responsible marijuana policy to the polls as possible. Will our communities voice be heard on November 6?

Let’s finish what we started. Let’s legalize it.

Categories: Blog Feeds

FBI: Marijuana Arrests Spike For Second Straight Year, Far Outpace Arrests For All Violent Crimes

NORML Blog - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 09:55

The total number of persons arrested in the United States in 2017 rose for the second consecutive year, according to data released today by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, police made 659,700 arrests for marijuana-related violations last year. That total is more than 21 percent higher than the total number of persons arrests for the commission of violent crimes (518,617) in 2017.

Of those arrested for marijuana crimes, just under 91 percent (599,000) were arrested for marijuana possession offenses, a slight increase over last year’s annual totals. Total marijuana arrests in 2017 increased for the second straight year, after having fallen for nearly a decade. The uptick comes at a time when ten states, including California, have legalized the adult use of cannabis – leading to a significant decline in marijuana-related arrests in those jurisdictions.

“Actions by law enforcement run counter to both public support and basic morality,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “In a day and age where twenty percent of the population lives in states which have legalized and nearly every state has some legal protections for medical cannabis or its extract, the time for lawmakers to end this senseless and cruel prohibition that ruins lives.”

As in previous years, marijuana possession arrests were least likely to occur in the western region of the United States, where possessing the plant has largely been either legalized or decriminalized. By contrast, in Midwestern states, marijuana-related arrests comprised over 53 percent of all drug arrests.

The 2017 FBI report, “Crime in the United States,” is available online here.

Categories: Blog Feeds

Weekly Legislative Roundup 9/21/18

NORML Blog - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 09:05

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

This week, reports circulated that  the US Customs and Border Protection Agency will enforce a federal policy denying entry into the United States any individual involved in Canada’s burgeoning marijuana market. Under the policy, US officials are to bar entry to Canadians who acknowledge having consumed marijuana at any time in their past, as well as those who are either employed or invested in legal cannabis enterprises. NORML responded here.

The U.S. Senate’s VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 got one more cosponsor, for a total of five. And The U.S. House’s Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act got two new cosponsors, for a total of three.

At the state level, the New Jersey Department of Health removed the ban that prohibited licensed medical cannabis dispensaries from selling concentrates to patients. Separately, details arose about New Jersey’s soon-to-be-filed marijuana legalization bill, which includes what would be the lowest tax rate in the country, home delivery, social consumption sites, and provisions benefiting small and minority owned businesses, but nothing about home cultivation. Nothing is final yet.

Several New York Assembly committees have scheduled the first of what will be four joint hearings this fall on the prospect of legalizing marijuana in the Empire State. This comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is holding a series of separate listening sessions across the state to gather public input on cannabis legalization.

Mississippi activists kicked off their signature gathering effort for a 2020 medical cannabis ballot initiative. Massachusetts recreational marijuana stores are unlikely to open until late October at the earliest after regulators failed to issue any final licenses at its Thursday meeting. Kentucky lawmakers held an interim hearing on medical cannabis, and the West Virginia Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health met to discuss banking access issues for medical cannabis businesses.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres (R) signed a marijuana legalization bill into law, making the territory the first place in the U.S. to end prohibition without first having a medical cannabis program.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed two bills into law this week,  one preventing marijuana businesses from sharing consumers’ information for commercial purposes, and another clarifying that marijuana distributors can transport products to other distributors and that labs can test home-grown cannabis. Brown also vetoed a bill that would have allowed marijuana businesses to deduct business expenses under the state’s personal income tax law.

At a more local level, the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma City Council adopted ordinances regulating medical cannabis businesses.

Following are the bills we’ve tracked this week pending before California Governor Jerry Brown, and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level.

Your Highness,
Carly

Priority Alerts

Federal

Decriminalize Cannabis: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is sponsoring the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and to provide funding for the expungement of criminal records for those with past marijuana convictions.

Click here to email your senators in support of this important legislation

California

Assembly Bill 1793 seeks to allow automatic expungement or reduction of a prior cannabis conviction for an act that is not a crime as of January 1, 2017, or for a crime that as of that date subject to a lesser sentence. The bill was approved by the Senate last week.

Update: AB 1793 awaits action from Governor Brown.

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

Senate Bill 1127 would help students with severe medical disabilities attend school by allowing a parent or guardian to come on school grounds to administer medical cannabis to them in non-smoking and non-vaping forms. The bill was already approved by the Senate earlier this year.

Update: After failing to gain enough votes for passage in the Assembly on 8/23, a motion to reconsider was granted and on 8/27, SB 1127 was approved by the Assembly with a 42-29 vote. The bill now awaits action from Governor Brown.

CA resident? Click here to email your Governor in support of allowing students’ medical marijuana at school

Senate Bill 829 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 829 was approved by the full Assembly with a 65-2 vote on 8/29. The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence since it was amended in the Assembly. SB 829 is being heard by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Friday 8/31, and then will go to the Senate floor for a vote.

CA resident? Email your senators in support of supporting compassionate care programs

That’s all for this week!

Categories: Blog Feeds

U.S. territory to legalize, regulate marijuana!

MPP Blog - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 05:34

The remote U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands is so far ahead of the mainland U.S., it’s already late evening there. And the Northern Mariana Islands are also far ahead of the mainland U.S. when it comes to reforming marijuana laws.

The Northern Marianas just made history when it became the first jurisdiction in the U.S. where a governing body enacted legislation to both end marijuana prohibition and establish a system of regulation to replace it! Earlier today, Gov. DLG Torres signed the Taulamwaar Sensible CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018, after it was approved overwhelmingly by the commonwealth’s House and Senate.

All eight state laws that legalized, taxed, and regulated marijuana passed by voter initiative. And earlier this year, the Vermont Legislature enacted a bill that legalized adult-use possession and cultivation of marijuana. However, unlike the Northern Marianas’, Vermont’s law doesn’t include sales. (MPP spearheaded six of those nine campaigns.)

We’re proud of our allies at Sensible CNMI and lawmakers in the Northern Marianas for crafting a comprehensive, thoughtful bill that includes home cultivation, micro-producers, and on-site consumption. And we were honored to play a supporting role.

Check out our summary of the bill here.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Legislature could enact a law to legalize and regulate marijuana soon. Please consider making a generous donation to MPP so we can convince lawmakers in other states and territories to follow the Northern Marianas’ lead!

The post U.S. territory to legalize, regulate marijuana! appeared first on MPP Blog.

Categories: Blog Feeds

Marijuana Law Reform Advocates Head to Harrisburg

NORML Blog - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 14:25

With a state legislative session spanning almost an entire calendar year, supporters of marijuana law reform efforts in Pennsylvania are working overtime to make sure their voices are heard. That’s why members of Lehigh Valley NORML, Pittsburgh NORML, Lancaster NORML and Philly NORML are teaming up with the Keystone Cannabis Coalition and ACLU of Pennsylvania for rally and lobby day next week in the state’s capital of Harrisburg.

Click Here to RSVP Today!

“Marijuana activists in Pennsylvania are poised to introduce an aggressive agenda for reform in 2019 when they fill the Capitol Rotunda at 10am on Monday, September 24,” said Jeff Riedy, Executive Director of Lehigh Valley NORML. “With cannabis arrest counts rising across the state and neighboring states threatening legalization, the time is right for this discussion in Pennsylvania.”

But activists in the Keystone State have come a very long way in just a short amount of time.

Local Victories

In late 2014 Philadelphia’s city council decriminalized simple possession of marijuana. Little did they know, their decision would trigger a wave of municipalities across the Commonwealth to adopt similar measures. In the years following, local lawmakers in Pittsburgh, State College, Harrisburg, York, Erie, and most recently, Bethlehem followed suit.

These local victories were celebrated not just by advocates, but also the Commonwealth’s Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who shared the following statement:

“Decriminalization saves millions of dollars spent yearly on marijuana prosecutions. Decriminalization also has human benefits by reducing the loss of income and other social, personal and emotional impacts on those arrested for simply possessing a small amount of marijuana.”

Full statement here: https://bit.ly/2NvfopR

Statewide Victories

Following the flurry of local marijuana law reform victories across the Commonwealth, lawmakers in Harrisburg passed SB 3: The Medical Marijuana Act in 2015 which was later signed into law by Governor Wolf in early 2016. Passage of the law established rules and regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program which permits registered patients to access cannabis oils, pills and tinctures, but due to a restriction against smoking, the availability of marijuana flower was delayed.

After months of pressure from patients and advocacy groups, Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana advisory board recommended several updates to the state’s program. One of which, was allowing the sale of marijuana flower. The catch? It must be consumed using a vaporizer. This means no smoking. Regardless of a few hiccups, dispensaries began serving patients earlier this year.

Looking ahead, advocates are hoping to educate state lawmakers about the benefits of ending the criminalization and harassment of honest, hardworking Pennsylvanians for simply possessing a small amount of marijuana.

“New legislation will be introduced at the rally, as 2019 will mark the first time that PA will have partner bills for decriminalization and legalization in both House and Senate. If Pennsylvanians could vote on cannabis legalization in November, I am confident that we would win,” added Riedy.

Midterm Election

Considering Pennsylvania is one of several states that lacks a ballot initiative process, all marijuana law reform efforts must be pursued through the state legislature. This means, in order to be successful, advocates must educate those who are willing to listen or elect new, more supportive lawmakers to represent them in Harrisburg. So make no mistake, the outcome of this November’s election will certainly have an impact on the future of marijuana in the Keystone State.  

Register To Vote Today!

That’s why we’re encouraging voters in Pennsylvania to support Jon Fetterman, an outspoken supporter of legalizing marijuana, who is running for Lieutenant Governor. Mr. Fetterman was the very first candidate endorsed by NORML PAC for the 2018 midterm elections.

Read more about our endorsement here: https://bit.ly/2OMBjoM

For future updates on marijuana law reform efforts in Pennsylvania, follow Lehigh Valley NORML on Twitter and Facebook!

Categories: Blog Feeds

Voter guide for New Hampshire’s general election published

MPP Blog - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 12:05

Find out where N.H. candidates stand on marijuana policy, then help good candidates win on Nov. 6!

Less than seven weeks remain until the November 6 general election. The winners will have the power to determine New Hampshire’s marijuana policies for the next two years, so it is critically important for supporters of cannabis legalization to become informed and active participants in this year’s election.

Click here to learn where candidates on your ballot stand on marijuana policy!

As our voter guide explains, there are many strong contrasts between candidates’ positions on marijuana policy. In the race for governor, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) has not yet been convinced to support legalization, but Molly Kelly (D) and Jilletta Jarvis (L) have both taken clear positions in support.

The outcome of state Senate races will also be critical for our success, and those contests are often determined by a very small number of votes. If you are able to volunteer to help a good Senate candidate win in your area, please consider doing so. This could end up making a big difference in November!

Click here for a condensed, printable one-page version of our voter guide.

Please share this information with your family and friends. Then, please do what you can to help good candidates win in November!

The post Voter guide for New Hampshire’s general election published appeared first on MPP Blog.

Categories: Blog Feeds

New Jersey getting closer to finally legalizing marijuana

MPP Blog - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 07:11

While the new bill to legalize and regulate marijuana has not yet been revealed to the public, lawmakers and the Murphy administration are reportedly close to reaching a deal. However, it is not yet clear what the legislature intends to do to help people who are still suffering from the collateral consequences of a prior marijuana conviction.

If you’re a New Jersey resident, please ask your lawmakers to support not only ending marijuana prohibition for adults moving forward, but also ensuring that those harmed by prohibition in the past are able to clear their records and move on with their lives.

New Jersey has been hotly debating the best way to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis since Gov. Phil Murphy made that an important part of his campaign in 2017. MPP continues to advocate for adopting the best practices of other states to ensure that legalization allows opportunities for people impacted by marijuana prohibition and small businesses, and we’re encouraged that these ideas are reportedly being included in the legislation.

However, we want to continue fighting to include criminal justice reform as well. If you live in New Jersey, please help by asking your legislators to include strong expungement provisions now.

The post New Jersey getting closer to finally legalizing marijuana appeared first on MPP Blog.

Categories: Blog Feeds

MPP endorses North Dakota’s legalization ballot measure

MPP Blog - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 12:26

Learn more about the campaign and make a donation here.

Last month, a team of grassroots activists beat the odds and succeeded in qualifying a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for adults in North Dakota. With just a few weeks left until Election Day, they need our help. Today, MPP is endorsing their effort and urging allies to support Measure 3. Click here to read the full text of the measure.

There’s a real chance North Dakotans could approve Measure 3, which would end prohibition and create a process to seal criminal records for nonviolent marijuana convictions, but polling suggests the vote is going to be very close. Every dollar the campaign receives goes towards voter outreach and education. North Dakota has a small population, so your contribution could make all the difference.

Will you make a donation to support the grassroots campaign to legalize marijuana in North Dakota?

A victory for Measure 3 would be huge. It would show that adult-use legalization can win anywhere, even in more rural and conservative states. It would also send a strong message to Congress that federal laws on marijuana are deeply unpopular throughout the country.

2018 is shaping up to be a big year for our movement. There are four marijuana-related state ballot questions in play, and each of them needs your help. Click the logos below to check out the campaigns. Please follow them on social media, spread the word to voters in those states, and donate what you can.

The post MPP endorses North Dakota’s legalization ballot measure appeared first on MPP Blog.

Categories: Blog Feeds

NORML Endorses Utah’s Proposition 2

NORML Blog - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 08:03

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) endorses Proposition 2: The Utah Medical Cannabis Act, which regulates the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis products to qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation.

Seventy-seven percent of adults express support for the law change, according to statewide polling data compiled in March.

“Proposition 2 is the result of years of intransigence on the part of Utah politicians who have time and time again refused to move forward with legislation to provide regulated cannabis access to the array of patients who could benefit from it,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said.

Under legislation enacted by the legislature in 2018, only those patients who are terminally ill may potentially access cannabis-infused products. To date, however, such products are not yet legally available.

“Passage of Proposition 2 will assure that those patients with qualified debilitating conditions who need medical cannabis have access to lab-tested products via a tightly regulated system of licensed, above-ground state-licensed facilities,” Strekal added.

If enacted by voters this November, Utah would become the 32nd state to permit patients’ access to medical cannabis.

Categories: Blog Feeds

NORML Responds to US Border Policy Barring Canadians Involved In Legal Marijuana Market

NORML Blog - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 14:24

NORML staff today responded to reports that the US Customs and Border Protection Agency will enforce a federal policy denying entry into the United States any individual involved Canada’s burgeoning marijuana market. Under the policy, US officials are to bar entry to Canadians who acknowledge having consumed marijuana at any time in their past, as well as those who are either employed or invested in legal cannabis enterprises.

Canada legalized the regulated production and distribution of medical cannabis in 2,000. In June of this year, Canadian lawmakers gave final approval to separate legislation regulating the adult use marijuana market. The new law takes effect on October 17, 2018.

“This is an irrational and discriminatory policy that unduly penalizes tens of thousands of Canadians who pose no health or safety risk to the United States. Let’s be clear: these are people engaged in activity that is legal in their home country of Canada — and it is activity that is also legally regulated in a majority of US states,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “Further, to inappropriately classify those who are either employed or simply have invested in the Canadian cannabis industry, an industry that has been legal in Canada for well over a decade already, as drug traffickers fails to pass the smell test.”

He added, “At a time when public opinion and the culture around marijuana is rapidly shifting, not just in the US but around the world, it is inane for US border officials to maintain such a draconian and backward-looking policy.”

Categories: Blog Feeds

Voter guide updated for Maryland’s November general election

MPP Blog - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:12

The Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition just updated our voter guide for Maryland’s general election on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. All 188 of Maryland’s lawmakers are up for election this year, and we’ve graded the marijuana policy positions of those that responded to our candidate survey. We hope this guide is helpful as you prepare to vote!

Maryland’s 2018 gubernatorial election is also important for marijuana policy reform. Democratic candidate Ben Jealous has repeatedly declared his support for legalizing and regulating marijuana. The Maryland Green Party and Libertarian Party of Maryland, both members of the coalition, are also fielding candidates who support legalization, Sean Quinn and Ian Schlakman.

Unfortunately, Republican candidate (and current governor) Larry Hogan’s views on the topic are not entirely clear. Please help us get his position firmly on the record! Consider attending a campaign event (listed on his Facebook page or Eventbrite) and respectfully asking him to explain his views. Or, you can send him an email. If you get a response, or just hear him comment on marijuana policy reform, please let us know.

And of course, don’t forget to register to vote! You must register by October 16, 2018 to vote in this election.

The post Voter guide updated for Maryland’s November general election appeared first on MPP Blog.

Categories: Blog Feeds

Weekly Legislative Roundup 9/14/18

NORML Blog - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:11

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

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved legislation (HR 5634: The Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018) to facilitate federally-approved clinical trials assessing the efficacy of whole-plant cannabis. The vote marks the first time that lawmakers have ever decided in favor of easing existing federal restrictions which limit investigators ability to clinically study marijuana in a manner similar to other controlled substances.

On the other hand, a congressional conference committee opted not to include a Senate-passed provision in a bill to fund the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The measure is known as the Veterans Equal Access Amendment, which sought to facilitate veterans’ access to medical cannabis in jurisdictions that regulate it.

Also, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), one of Congress’s more ardent drug warriors—signed on as a cosponsor of the STATES Act, to remove the threat of federal intervention and prosecution in states that regulate marijuana use and sales.

At the state level, New Mexico’s health secretary approved adding obstructive sleep apnea as a medical cannabis qualifying condition, but rejected adding opioid addiction, muscular dystrophy, Tourette’s syndrome, eczema and psoriasis. Separately, regulators are holding a series of public meeting next month to receive feedback on proposed hemp rules.

Vermont’s marijuana legalization study committee held a meeting. And California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill prohibiting the marketing of cannabis products on websites used by minors.

At a more local level, Brooklyn, New York’s district attorney is moving to expunge thousands of marijuana convictions. And Manhattan’s district attorney is moving to vacate misdemeanor marijuana warrants. He appeared in court to move to dismiss 3,000 marijuana cases dating back to 1978.

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania City Council amended a proposed marijuana penalty reduction ordinance, with a final vote expected later this month. The Green Bay, Wisconsin Common Council is considering lowering fines for marijuana possession. And Oklahoma City, Oklahoma’s City Council heard testimony on a proposed marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

Following are the bills we’ve tracked this week pending before California Governor Jerry Brown, and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level.

Your Highness,
Carly

Priority Alerts

Federal

Decriminalize Cannabis: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is sponsoring the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and to provide funding for the expungement of criminal records for those with past marijuana convictions.

Click here to email your senators in support of this important legislation

California

Assembly Bill 1793 seeks to allow automatic expungement or reduction of a prior cannabis conviction for an act that is not a crime as of January 1, 2017, or for a crime that as of that date subject to a lesser sentence. The bill was approved by the Senate last week.

Update: AB 1793 awaits action from Governor Brown.

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

Senate Bill 1127 would help students with severe medical disabilities attend school by allowing a parent or guardian to come on school grounds to administer medical cannabis to them in non-smoking and non-vaping forms. The bill was already approved by the Senate earlier this year.

Update: After failing to gain enough votes for passage in the Assembly on 8/23, a motion to reconsider was granted and on 8/27, SB 1127 was approved by the Assembly with a 42-29 vote. The bill now awaits action from Governor Brown.

CA resident? Click here to email your Governor in support of allowing students’ medical marijuana at school

Senate Bill 829 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 829 was approved by the full Assembly with a 65-2 vote on 8/29. The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence since it was amended in the Assembly. SB 829 is being heard by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Friday 8/31, and then will go to the Senate floor for a vote.

CA resident? Email your senators in support of supporting compassionate care programs

That’s all for this week!

Categories: Blog Feeds

Justice for Botham: Law Enforcement and Media Attempt to Slander Murder Victim Over Marijuana

NORML Blog - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 11:47

After the murder of Botham Jean by Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, in his own home, some, but not all, of the search warrants that were executed were released to public record. One of which, that was released the same day as Botham Jean’s funeral, listed a small amount of marijuana among the items found in Jean’s apartment.

Commenting on the developments, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri stated:

“The release of a Dallas police affidavit into the public record regarding marijuana found in Botham Jean’s apartment is nothing more than an attempt by law enforcement and the media to posthumously criminalize and cast aspersions on a man who by all accounts is guilty of nothing other than sitting quietly in his own home. Over half of all Americans have consumed marijuana at some point in their lives and to pretend in any way the possession of a plant that is objectively safer than alcohol or tobacco provides legitimacy to his extrajudicial execution is disgusting and egregious. Whether or not the victim possessed marijuana is irrelevant to the case and a sad attempt to slander an otherwise innocent person. Botham Jean and his family need and deserve justice, not a pathetic attempt at a smear campaign.”

You can read more about this developing situation here and here.

Categories: Blog Feeds

Kentucky NORML Newsletter for September 2018

NORML Blog - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 07:37

State News:

On Sept. 7th, 2018, the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee held a meeting to discuss medical marijuana and the bill being proposed by Rep. Nemes (R-), Rep. St. Onge (R-), Rep. Hart (R-) and Rep Sims (D-). They discussed their bill and invited Louisville resident Cassie Everett and her family to speak at the event. Link to article Link

Kentucky Farmers Find Hemp More Profitable Than Tobacco. Link to article

McLean Businessman Among State-Approved Cannabis Growers Link to article

Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, presents information on proposed legislation on medical marijuana for the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly during the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations. Link to article

National News:

A Rare Moment of Bi-Partisan Agreement is Underway for Sen. McConnell Sponsored “Hemp Farming Act” (Link to article).

Upcoming Events:

September 14th – Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations – 10 am – The Capitol, Frankfort, KY

September 18th – KY NORML General Meeting –  One Love Hemp Dispensary, 1908 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, KY 40205. Meeting from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM.Ice Cream Social Put on by Cozmic Gardens from 5 PM – 6:30 PM. 20% of all sales at One Love Hemp Dispensary from 5PM-Close (8 PM) go to benefit KY NORML.

October 5th – Commemorating the Victims of Prohibition – On October 2nd, 1937, the United States enacted the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act which effectively outlawed cannabis. Three days later, on October 5th, the FBI and the Denver police raided the Lexington Hotel and arrested Samuel R. Caldwell and Moses Baca. Caldwell and Bacca are recognized as the first citizens convicted of selling and possessing cannabis. Both men served the entirety of their sentences, with Caldwell dying shortly after his release from four years of hard labor.

October 18th – Economic Development and Workforce Transportation – 10 AM, Lexington, KY (more info to come)

October 25th – Appropriations and Revenue Committee Meeting – 1 PM, Northern Kentucky (more info to come)

KY NORML‘s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to influence legislators for the expansion of our hemp industry, implementation of medicinal cannabis, and laying the foundation for responsible adult use.

To support KY NORML you can DONATE HERE or purchase some of our apparel below! Your donations help pay the bills and allow us to function and continue to make a difference in our state! Can you kick in $5$10 or $20 to help us keep going?

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Congressional Committee Approves Legislation To Facilitate Clinical Cannabis Research

NORML Blog - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 11:10

Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted today in favor of legislation (HR 5634: The Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018) to facilitate federally-approved clinical trials assessing the efficacy of whole-plant cannabis. The vote marks the first time that lawmakers have ever decided in favor of easing existing federal restrictions which limit investigators ability to clinically study marijuana in a manner similar to other controlled substances.

“The federal hurdles in place that currently discourage clinicians from engaging in clinical cannabis research have long been onerous and irrational,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “It is high time that lawmakers recognize this problem and take action to amend it so that investigators may conduct the same sort of high-quality clinical research with cannabis that they do with other substances.”

Currently, federal regulations mandate that investigators participating in FDA-approved clinical trials involving cannabis must obtain marijuana from a single, federally-licensed source, the University of Mississippi. However, many of those familiar with their product have criticized its quality, opining that it possesses subpar potency, is often poorly manicured, and that it does not accurately reflect the wide variety of cannabis products and strains available to consumers.

As the result of a lawsuit, DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner in 2007 ruled that expanding the pool of federally licensed providers would be “in the public interest.” The agency ultimately rejected that decision. In 2016, the DEA publicly changed its stance and amended regulations in a manner to permit additional applicants to apply for federal licensure to grow marijuana. However, the United States Attorney General’s office has failed to take action on any pending 25 applications submitted following the 2016 rule change.

House Bill 6534, sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and 40 cosponsors mandates the Attorney General to take action on these pending federal applications, and to approve at least two additional marijuana manufacturers within a year. The measure also explicitly permits the Veterans Affairs office to engage in clinical trials involving the cannabis plant.

While some Democrats on the Committee, as well as some drug policy reform organizations, expressed criticism with regard to a provision in the bill restricting applicants with a drug-related conviction, lawmakers indicated that they would consider revising this language prior to the bill receiving a vote on the House floor.

Armentano concluded: “While this vote marks a step forward, it must also be acknowledged that despite existing barriers to research, ample studies already exist to contradict cannabis’ federal, schedule I status as a substance without medical utility, lacking acceptable safety, and possessing a high potential of abuse. More clinical research is welcome, but unfortunately science has never driven marijuana policy. If it did, the United States would already have a very different policy in place.”

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NORML Endorses Michigan’s Proposal 1

NORML Blog - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 10:12

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is pleased to endorse Proposal 1: The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, which will appear on November’s electoral ballot.

The initiative permits those over the age of 21 to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

“NORML endorses Proposal 1 because it will bring an end to the criminal arrest and prosecution of tens of thousands of adults annually, while generating new economic and tax revenue for the state of Michigan,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Voters in recent years have consistently voted ‘yes’ on these types of adult use ballot measures, and we believe that Michigan’s voters will similar embrace this common-sense proposal.”

Over 56 percent of likely voters say they back the passage of Proposal 1, according to polling data released this week by The Detroit News. Among voters between the ages of 18 and 39, over 70 percent support the ballot initiative.

If enacted by voters this November, Michigan will become the tenth US state to regulate adult marijuana use.

Proponents of the effort, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, include members of Michigan NORML, the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association MI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section.

Commenting on the endorsement, Rick Thompson of the Michigan NORML Board of Directors stated, “The people of Michigan have waited a long time and suffered for decades as cannabis was criminalized. By bringing an end to that sad chapter in our state’s history, we hope to be an inspiration to cannabis advocates in other states, and that our Coalition’s language is used as the new starting point for legalization proposals across America.”

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New poll on the Michigan legalization campaign

MPP Blog - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 07:00

A new poll shows the Michigan marijuana legalization campaign ahead with 56% support. While we remain cautiously optimistic about success on Election Day, we are not out of the woods yet.

A well-funded opposition campaign could still emerge. If that happens, we would likely see misleading TV and online ads telling voters that legalization has failed in Colorado, California, and beyond.

The Michigan campaign needs resources in order to present voters with the facts on this issue: prohibition has proven to be an utter failure and legalization policies are working effectively in other states.

There are just 55 days until Election Day. I know you get many such requests, but will you make a $20 donation today to support legalization in Michigan?

Michigan is a very important campaign for these reasons:

– Michigan would be the first state in the Midwest to legalize, putting pressure on nearby states including Illinois and Ohio;
– Michigan would become the second most populous state in the country to fully legalize marijuana; and
– A victory in Michigan would further increase pressure on Congress to pass federal reform in 2019.

This November, let’s make Michigan the 10th state to legalize marijuana.

The post New poll on the Michigan legalization campaign appeared first on MPP Blog.

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