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N.H.: Study commission proposes legalization framework

MPP Blog - Mon, 11/05/2018 - 10:08

After you vote tomorrow, you are welcome to attend a marijuana legalization debate at New England College in Henniker!

Last week, New Hampshire’s study commission on marijuana legalization published its final report. The commission did not take a position on legalization, but it did make 54 recommendations to the legislature, including the following:

  • Marijuana should be referred to as cannabis in any future legislation.
  • If cannabis is legalized for adults’ use, limited home cultivation should be allowed.
  • If cannabis is legalized, a Cannabis Commission should be created to license and regulate cannabis cultivators, testing labs, product manufacturers, and retail stores.

You can read the full report here. Overall, this is a much more useful report than we originally expected from the study commission, which was stacked with prohibitionists. Although it does contain some problematic language, the report will help to inform the legislature about the issue when it convenes in January.

We expect that your calendars are already marked for Election Day tomorrow. If you are available tomorrow evening after you vote, you’re welcome to join me and other panelists for a cannabis legalization debate at New England College.

WHAT: Debate: Should New Hampshire Legalize Cannabis?

WHERE: New England College, Simon Center Great Room, 98 Bridge Street, Henniker

WHEN: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHO: Six panelists including Richard Van Wickler, Superintendent of Cheshire County Department of Corrections, Kate Frey, vice-president of advocacy at New Futures, and MPP’s New England Political Director Matt Simon

Finally, please click here to learn where candidates on your ballot stand on marijuana policy! Then, please share this information with your family and friends and remind them to vote on November 6!

The post N.H.: Study commission proposes legalization framework appeared first on MPP Blog.

Categories: Blog Feeds

Congress’ Leading Marijuana Prohibitionist Trails In Latest Poll

NORML Blog - Mon, 11/05/2018 - 09:11

Texas Republican and ardent marijuana prohibitionist Pete Sessions trails by four points in his re-election bid, according to polling data released yesterday. According to the survey results, Sessions is behind Democratic challenger Colin Allred by a margin of 46 percent to 42 percent in the race for Texas’ 32nd Congressional District.

As a member of Congress, Sessions has been one of the nation’s most vocal and powerful forces against our efforts to enact sensible marijuana policy reforms. Speaking publicly on the issue earlier this year, Sessions opined: “Marijuana is an addictive product, and the merchants of addiction make it that way. They make it to where our people, our young people, become addicted to marijuana and keep going.”

As I wrote last month in my ‘Marijuana and the midterms” op-ed in The Hill, “Pete Sessions has used his position as Chairman of the House Rules Committee to block House floor members from voting on over three-dozen marijuana-related amendments during his leadership tenure.” His actions have almost single-handedly killed a number of popular, bipartisan-led reforms — such as facilitating medical cannabis access to military veterans and amending federal banking laws so that licensed marijuana businesses are treated like other legal industries.

Representative Sessions received an ‘F’ grade in NORML’s latest Congressional Scorecard. By contrast, his Democratic challenger received a B+ grade as a result of his stated support for cannabis decriminalization and medical marijuana access.

Texas’ 32nd Congressional District represents the city of Garland and the northeastern section of Dallas.

Categories: Blog Feeds

No Reason To Relent

NORML Blog - Mon, 11/05/2018 - 07:30

Marijuana legalization is a prominent and pivotal issue in the 2018 elections, with thousands of local, state, and federal candidates around the country advocating for an end to our decades-long, failed policy of prohibition.

Our issue is no longer a regional one confined to deep blue states on the West Coast or the Northeast. Advocating for comment sense marijuana policy reform has gone nationwide. Voters increasingly agree with us that the battle for legalization goes hand-in-hand with our battle for improved civil liberties, personal freedom, racial justice, and sound economics.

We are winning this fight, but that is no reason to relent in our struggle. We must double down and end this war on cannabis and those who consume it once and for all.

That is why we built Smoke the Vote – the most comprehensive listing of state and federal candidates’ positions on marijuana reform ever created.

Click here to share our scorecard on Facebook

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Click here to share our scorecard on Instagram

When I first came to NORML as the Executive Director, our movement was in a precarious position. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was gearing up his rhetoric for a war on marijuana, and we seemed destined for a head-on collision between states and the Department of Justice. A few months later, Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo that provided cover to states with legalization, thus providing an opening for the federal government to once again begin to prosecute state legal marijuana patients or businesses.

But how quickly the tides can change. Unfortunately for Sessions, his outspoken opposition and not so veiled threats have largely blown back in his face. While Jeff Sessions may live like it’s 1956, the rest of us are in 2018. Sixty-eight percent of American voters are on our side and believe we need to end our failed racist prohibition on cannabis and legalize it for adult use.

We have won the hearts and minds of the people. Americans from all political persuasions, demographics, and regions of the country are saying “enough is enough, we will not go back.”

We will not continue to lock up over 650,000 of our fellow citizens each year for the simple possession of a plant that is objectively safer than currently legal alcohol and tobacco. We will not put patients into handcuffs for using cannabis to alleviate their suffering. We will not allow jackbooted thugs to continue to knock down doors in communities of color and tear apart families. We will not continue to fuel a school to prison pipeline that is destroying the future of countless promising students. We will not continue to allow money to flow to drug cartels when it can be going to state tax coffers to fund new school construction and important social programs.

Prohibitionists, with their flat earth mentality, are attempting to push back against the inevitable. They continue to flail against the forward march of progress — endlessly defending a policy will go down in history books as a national embarrassment, much like alcohol prohibition or Jim Crow laws. Their names will be listed as ignorant enablers of racist and anti-American policies — a footnote to be laughed at in disbelief. That is, if they are remembered at all.

But this victory is only possible if the American marijuana majority votes!

Click here to share our scorecard on Facebook

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In response to prohibitionists’ last-ditch efforts to slow our momentum, they have inadvertently converted new vocal supporters to our cause. And they have shaken many of our elected officials out of their state of complacency. Former ravenous drug warriors like Senator Schumer and Senator Feinstein now subscribe to the gospel of comprehensive reform. Republican lawmakers, once largely unified in their opposition, are now taking up leadership roles in the fight for federal marijuana reform. Representative David Joyce of Ohio and Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado have become strong and necessary allies. Our fight is now mainstream and bipartisan, as we always knew it should be.

With the wind at our backs, we must redouble our efforts. 2018 is truly shaping up to be the Marijuana Midterms and we need to make sure all of our supporters are informed and ready to vote. Much still remains at stake.

With every single member of the House of Representatives up for reelection, as well as pivotal Senate offices, we are in the position to shape the makeup of Congress to our liking. This election will determine who chairs those committees that will be critical in order to move our federal legislation forward. It provides the opportunity to vote out prohibitionists and vote in reformers. Candidates from across this country, with our encouragement, have added support for ending marijuana prohibition to their campaign platforms because we have shown them it is no longer a political liability, but a political opportunity to put oneself on the right side of history. With more Americans running for office than ever before, we can help usher in a new era of federal leadership that truly represent their constituents’ wishes when it comes to marijuana policy.

And it is not just federal candidates who are embracing cannabis reform, this change also taking place at the state level. While we need reformers in Congress to finally end this prohibition, we also need state legislators and governors to approve and defend our state-level reform efforts. In Colorado’s race for Governor, one of our longest and most ardent supporters, Jared Polis, overwhelmingly won his contested primary with the support of NORML — support he highlighted again and again on the campaign trail. In Pennsylvania, John Fetterman blew away his competition in the race for Lt. Governor. Fetterman is now likely to win on the Democratic ticket with Governor Tom Wolf in November. Fetterman has spoken at numerous NORML events, worked with us to push for change in the Keystone state, and, should he be victorious next week, he will be able to help make decriminalization and legalization a reality.

In the final run-up to Election Day, we must do everything we can to educate and mobilize voters.

Click here to share our scorecard on Facebook

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Click here to share our scorecard on Instagram

Together, we have already accomplished so much. When we stand shoulder to shoulder and fight with one voice against these unjust laws, we will cross that final finish line.

Together, we WILL legalize marijuana nationwide.

See you at the polls,
Erik

Erik Altieri
NORML Executive Director

 

Categories: Blog Feeds

Vote. And vote well.

DrugWarRant - Sat, 11/03/2018 - 07:50

If you haven’t already voted in advance, be sure to vote on Tuesday.

Of course, here at DrugWarRant, we are fully aware that change rarely comes from politicians, but rather, as we’ve been doing, from educating the people so that they make the politicians follow.

And we’ve succeeded extremely well — more and more candidates at least support legalization of marijuana and are often willing to talk about the shortcomings of the drug war.

Still, there is an opportunity on Tuesday to get a few more elected officials in office who are on the right side.

NORML has a very handy guide called Smoke the Vote. Simply enter your 9-digit zip code, and they’ll give you a list of all the candidates and their grade on marijuana legalization. Very handy.

Categories: Blog Feeds

Here Are the Ohio Cities Voting on Marijuana This Tuesday November 6th

NORML Blog - Fri, 11/02/2018 - 11:10

With the marijuana midterms right around the corner, it’s imperative that you know who you’re voting for, what issues are going to be on your ballot, and where your voting location is leading up to Election Day this Tuesday November 6th. To see who the most pro-cannabis reform candidates are in your district, check out our Smoke the Vote scorecard and voter guide.

In addition, if you live in any of these cities, be sure to vote YES on the following marijuana ballot initiatives.

Dayton

Shall the Dayton Revised Code of General Ordinances be amended to decriminalize specific misdemeanor marihuana and hashish offenses?

Garrettsville

“Shall the proposed ordinance to lower the penalties for misdemeanor marihuana offenses to the lowest penalties allowed by state law be adopted?”

Windham

“Shall the proposed ordinance to lower the penalties for misdemeanor marihuana offenses to the lowest penalties allowed by state law be adopted?”

Fremont

“Shall the proposed Sensible Marihuana Ordinance which lowers the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by state law be adopted?”

Norwood

“Shall the proposed ordinance adding Section 513.15 Marijuana Laws and Penalties to the City of Norwood Municipal Code, which would lower the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by state law, be adopted?”

Oregon

“Shall the proposed Sensible Marihuana Ordinance which lowers the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by state law be adopted?”

Make sure you know where your polling location is, who the most cannabis friendly candidiates are, and be sure to get to the polls on November 6th to #SmokeTheVote!

Categories: Blog Feeds

Weekly Legislative Roundup 11/2/18

NORML Blog - Fri, 11/02/2018 - 09:26

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

A bit of news from across the border to start; Mexico’s Supreme Court struck down the country’s prohibition of marijuana by issuing two separate rulings, setting binding precedent that the country’s ban on consuming marijuana is unconstitutional. The nation’s Congress has 90 days to repeal cannabis bans now considered unconstitutional.

Let’s talk about Election Day, which is this Tuesday, November 6th, 2018. Don’t forget to vote if you haven’t already! No matter where you live, or what political party you identify with, your vote counts. It matters. It can make a difference. It’s your civic duty to exercise your right to vote. Make sure you know where your voting location is. And, make sure you know who and what is on your ballot, so you can make an informed decision. Also check out NORML’s voter guide and scorecard to see who the most cannabis friendly candidates are this election, and get ready to #SmokeTheVote!

In Congress this week, The U.S. House bill to require the federal government to study the effects of legalizing marijuana (Marijuana Data Collection Act) got two new cosponsors, for a total of 33.

At the state level, Utah lawmakers and advocates are working to tweak provisions of proposed medical cannabis compromise legislation. The House speaker also held a public forum on the issue.

New Hampshire’s marijuana legalization study committee released a lengthy report looking at policy considerations for the potential end of prohibition.

New Mexico lawmakers held a hearing on allowing medical cannabis at schools. Separately, a New Mexico judge ruled that the state’s 450-plant limit on medical cannabis dispensaries is arbitrary and capricious and has no factual basis.

Maine regulators are estimating that the first recreational marijuana stores could open next year.

Colorado regulators will host a Marijuana Science and Policy Work Group meeting on Monday.

Oregon regulators will hold a public hearing on technical changes to marijuana rules on November 16.

Colorado regulators are inviting people to submit comments on proposed changes to medical cannabis rules. You can submit your own comments here.

Ohio regulators are now accepting petitions to add additional medical cannabis qualifying conditions. You can submit your own petition here.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed a bill into law to stop revoking driver’s’ licenses from people convicted of drug offenses and other crimes unrelated to motor vehicle operation.

At a more local level, San Francisco, California’s mayor announced the expansion of the city’s cannabis equity program. And Manhattan’s district attorney announced that marijuana prosecutions are down 94% in the first quarter of a newly implemented policy.

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

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

Your Highness,
Carly

Priority Alerts

Federal

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

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

New York

A11390 seeks to require public health insurance programs to cover medical marijuana related costs.

The measure amends state law so that publicly funded health programs, including the largely-publicly funded Essential Plan, would treat medical cannabis like any other legal prescription drug “for the purposes of coverage under medical assistance.”

NY resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of medical marijuana coverage

Categories: Blog Feeds

Michigan’s legalization vote is a defining moment for the legalization movement

MPP Blog - Fri, 11/02/2018 - 08:11

Bringing legalization to the Midwest would be a game changer — support the YES on 1 campaign today

It’s incredible to see the progress we have made in recent years. Marijuana has been legalized for adults in nine states and Washington, D.C., and polls show two out of three Americans want to end the failed policy of prohibition.

But our opponents think they can stop our momentum — and they’re spending a lot of money to defeat Prop 1 in Michigan.

A win in Michigan would demonstrate the strength of our movement. But imagine the headlines if Prop 1 fails. Project SAM and their prohibitionist allies will claim that the tide is turning. Politicians in Congress would take note, and if they think voters are changing their mind, our reform efforts at the federal level could be jeopardized.

We have to prove the anti-legalization voices wrong. Make a donation to the YES on 1 campaign to help them fight back against their opposition’s fear tactics.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol produced a series of powerful ads. These TV and digital ads tell the truth about legalization, and they are the perfect antidote to the opposition’s demonstrably false attack ads. Your contribution will go directly towards helping the campaign share these messages with more Michigan voters.

There’s not much time left. Election Day is just a few days away. We can’t emphasize enough how important Prop 1 is for the future of our legalization movement. Please, get in the fight and support the campaign today.

The post Michigan’s legalization vote is a defining moment for the legalization movement appeared first on MPP Blog.

Categories: Blog Feeds

NORML Chapter Newsletter

NORML Blog - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 17:29

Everyday NORML Chapters from around the country invest countless hours in advocating for meaningful marijuana law reforms on the local, state and federal level! Below is a brief rundown of some of their most recent accomplishments.

Arizona NORML’s Candidate Report Card Takes Center Stage Before Midterm Elections

“The latest poll conducted on cannabis legalization in Arizona indicates 63 percent of Arizonans support adult-use cannabis legalization, according to OH Predictive Insights in February. This is way up from 2016, when an Arizona Republic poll showed just 50 percent of voters in favor of legalization.”

Read more from Tucson Weekly!

Follow Arizona NORML on Instagram and Twitter and become a member today!

Members of Indiana NORML testified before Indiana’s Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services

Steve Dillon, Executive Director, Indiana NORML

“Medical marijuana could reduce opiate overdose deaths, said attorney Steven Dillon, chairman of Indiana NORML. Last year, 1,840 Hoosiers died from opioid overdoses, an 18 percent increase over the previous year, he said. There was a 25 percent decrease in opioid overdoses in medical marijuana states.”

Read more from the Tribune Star!

Follow Indiana NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

David Phipps, Communications Director, Indiana NORML

“Giving that vague response, that is lighting a fire under the public and that is encouraging them to get more involved going into the General Assembly and that’s where I think the magic will happen.”

Read more from News and Tribune!

Follow Indiana NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Members of Indiana NORML Host Community Discussion About Medical Marijuana

“Jack Cain, vice chair of the Indiana chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which has been lobbying for changes in marijuana laws, said Indiana lawmakers won’t abandon their opposition until they begin hearing from their constituents.”

Read more from The Goshen News!

Follow Indiana NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Members of Springfield NORML Host Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Amendment 2

“At the town hall were t-shirts, buttons, and flyers; all up for grabs to advertise the need for medical marijuana. While there are three different medical marijuana measures on the ballot, most of the advocates at the town hall are for  Amendment 2”

Read more from Ozarks First!

Follow Springfield NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

NORML Women of Washington Expands Efforts With New Chapter  

“In recent years, the groups have promoted a need for people to legally grow their own plants at home; removing non-violent marijuana convictions handed down prior to legalization; and updating employment protections for responsible cannabis use by adults.”

Read more from The Spokesman Review!

Follow NORML Women of Washington on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Members of Texas NORML’s Veterans Outreach Rally in Support of Access to Medical Marijuana

“The group believes marijuana is a better medicine to help manage PTSD and other disabilities veterans often face. More than two out 10 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder also have substance use disorder.”

Read more from Spectrum News Austin!

Follow Texas NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

NORML Leaders in the Media

Ashley Weber, Executive Director, Colorado NORML

“That narrative is “demonizing cannabis” and unfairly feeding “reefer madness” in the state, said Ashley Weber with Colorado NORML, a pro-marijuana organization that advocates for cannabis law reforms.”

Read more from The Gazette!

Follow Colorado NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Brian Seamonson, Board Member, Madison NORML

“This is changing people and actually saving people’s lives everyday. It’s time that Wisconsin steps up and gives us an opportunity like that, too,”

Read more from 27 News!

Follow Madison NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

Brian Seamonson, Board Member, Madison NORML

“They vary from strict recreational questions, to medicinal questions. Some of the referendums have both a medicinal and a recreational question on them,” said Brain Seamonson with Madison NORML.

Read more from NBC 15!

Follow Madison NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

Chris Goldstein, Executive Director, South Philly NORML

“There is a capricious and arbitrary nature to this that plays out every day,” said Chris Goldstein, an area organizer with NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Read more from The Inquirer!

Follow South Philly NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

Corey Mendes, Executive Director, Southeast Texas NORML

“Corey Mendes is the Executive Director of the non-profit organization NORML, he believes people should not be arrested for possession of marijuana, but says the governor’s proposal is a good step forward.”

Read more from KFDM News!

Follow Southeast Texas NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Dale Geringer, Executive Director, California NORML

“Nowhere does Prop 64 say that it is intended to impede free donations of medicine to needy patients. The purposes and intents section of the initiative is clear that it pertains only to adult-use marijuana, and does not override Prop 215,”

Read more from The Bay Area Reporter!

Follow California NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Dan Linn, Executive Director, Illinois NORML

“It’s going to be part of a broader wave of young people going to the polls,” Linn said. “When there’s such an obvious difference between the two major party candidates, this issue will cause a lot of younger people to support the Democrat.”

Read more from the Chicago Tribune!

Follow Illinois NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Edward Wicker, Executive Director, San Diego NORML

“I think that the mayor was pretty clear that he has no genuine interest in having a dialogue that would better inform him and city officials about the benefits of having a regulated cannabis business,” Wicker said. “His mind appeared to be closed.”

Read more from The Coast News Group!

Follow San Diego NORML on Facebook and become a member today!

Eric Marsch, Executive Director, Southeastern Wisconsin NORML

“It would mean it’s a lot easier to pressure legislators to legalize cannabis here,” Marsch said. “It’s going to help move the ball forward.”

Read more from TMJ4 Milwaukee!

Follow Southeastern Wisconsin NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Eric Marsch, Executive Director, Southeastern Wisconsin NORML

“I really do think we’re coming to a turning point,” says executive director of SE WI NORML Eric Marsch. “The number of positive responses we’ve gotten is very encouraging.”

Read more from Urban Milwaukee!

Follow Southeastern Wisconsin NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Evan Nison, Executive Director, New Jersey NORML

“Cannabis consumers are not looking to dose children with cannabis,” said Evan Nison, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of NORML, a group pushing marijuana legalization, the Associated Press reported last year. “That is not something that I’ve ever heard of anybody ever being interested in doing or wanting to do or would think is ethical.”

Read more from The Kansas City Star!

Follow New Jersey NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Jack Porcari, Executive Director, Western New York NORML

“When people look at the stereotype of lazy stoner. If we get rid of prohibition, then we will allow people to have higher level jobs.”

Read more from WIVB 4!

Follow Western New York NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Jack Porcari, Executive Director, Western New York NORML

“Jack Porcari, the executive director of the Western New York chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said Thursday currently legal substances, such as alcohol, present the same, if not more substantial risks in the same categories.”

Read more from the Niagara Gazette!

Follow Western New York NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Jax Finkle, Executive Director, Texas NORML

“He said he doesn’t want people sitting in jails, and we agree with that. People should not be in jail for possession of a plant, and so we look forward to those conversations with his office.”

Read more from the Texas Standard!

Follow Texas NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Jay Selthofner, Executive Director, Northern Wisconsin NORML

“I’m advocating for voting yes because it’s the right thing to do,” explained Selthofner. “Nobody should go to jail for a plant. This is cannabis, this is marijuana. This is not a dangerous substance.”

Read more from Fox 11 News!

Follow Northwest Wisconsin NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Jeri Shepard, Board Member, Colorado NORML

“The so-called Drug War has nothing to do with sobriety and everything to do with control AND is designed to go after people of color and poor people. Note that law enforcement and the private prison industry have incentives to lock people up.”

Read more from Herald and News!

Follow Colorado NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Kevin Oliver, Executive Director, Washington NORML

“Kevin Oliver, executive director of the Washington chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the sudden nature of the announcement, and the targeting specifically of candy and not other products that would also appeal to children, made the liquor board’s actions suspect.”

Read more from The Spokesman Review!

Follow Washington NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

“The point is to design a system that encourages people to come into the legal, regulated marketplace and design the economics so that there’s less incentive to participate in the black market.”

Read more from Hometown Life!

Follow Michigan NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

“Legalization does not increase youth access. We now have more than 10 peer-reviewed studies which found that liberalized marijuana laws do not lead to increased teen use. Licensed merchants check for ID — bootleggers do not.”

Read more from Petoskey News-Review!

Follow Michigan NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

“Medical is not affected by legalization. It specifically is protected. So patients and caregivers will maintain all the rights and options that they currently have,”

Read more from the Morning Sun!

Follow Michigan NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Matthew Abel, Executive Director, Michigan NORML

“Even if there are more people in accidents with cannabis in their system, the drug is not necessarily to blame for those accidents,”

Read more from Spartan Newsroom!

Follow Michigan NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

Mikel Weisser, Executive Director, Arizona NORML

“The meeting, he said, spelled the end for the 24 bills NORML had worked on for the past year, which included mandatory testing, lower card fees and other reforms to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.”

Read more from Tucson Weekly!

Follow Arizona NORML on Instagram and Twitter and become a member today!

TJ Desormeaux, Deputy Director, Southeast Texas NORML

“We want to help the community with factual-based knowledge and letting them know what they can and cannot do,” says Desormeaux. “Again, try to get it where doctors can prescribe patients marijuana if needed.”

Read more from 12 News Now!

Follow El Paso NORML on Facebook and Twitter and become a member today!

For more than 45 years NORML chapters have been the driving force behind policy decisions on the local and state level. Have you connected with your local NORML chapter? If there isn’t one in your community, please email NORML Outreach Director Kevin Mahmalji at KevinM@NORML.org for help with starting your own!

Ready to start a NORML chapter in your hometown? Click here to find out how!

Categories: Blog Feeds

Mexico: Supreme Court Strikes Down Marijuana Ban

NORML Blog - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 09:31

Justices for Mexico’s Supreme Court have ruled that laws criminalizing the private use and cultivation of cannabis by adults are unconstitutional. Justices opined, “The effects caused by marijuana do not create an absolute prohibition on its consumption.”

In accordance with the ruling, lawmakers may enact regulatory policies governing adults’ personal marijuana use, but they must repeal those laws that broadly prohibit marijuana use per se. By contrast, neither commercial marijuana production or sales are addressed by the Court’s ruling.

In September, South Africa’s highest court similarly struck down laws criminalizing the personal, private consumption of cannabis by adults.

Mexican lawmakers in 2009 decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis (5 grams or less) and other substances. Last month, Canada began licensing the retail production and sale of cannabis to those 18 years and older.

Categories: Blog Feeds

Missouri: Not All Medical Marijuana Efforts are Created Equal #YesOn2

NORML Blog - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 08:59

NORML Recommends:
YES on Amendment 2
NO on Amendment 3
NO on Proposition C

Voters this November have the opportunity to make Missouri the 32nd state to allow for the physician-recommended use of marijuana, and based on the latest polling data, they will likely do so.

Therefore, the important question before voters is no longer if the Show-Me State should legalize medical cannabis access, but how Missouri will do so.

That is because not one, not two, but three medical marijuana measures (two constitutional amendments and one statutory measure) will appear on the ballot on Election Day. But not all of these measures are created equal, and it will be up to voters to decide which one of these three is ultimately in the best interest of Missouri’s patients.

On Election Day, NORML urges voters to stand with New Approach Missouri and vote “yes” for Amendment 2. Quite simply, Amendment 2 — unlike its competitors — puts the interests of patients first.

Amendment 2 will let doctors — not legislators or bureaucrats — decide if marijuana is the appropriate option for their patients. Every day, we entrust physicians to use their discretion with regard to assisting their patients in making the right decisions. Amendment 2 upholds the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship and leaves these important medical treatment decisions up to those who know best: Missouri’s practicing physicians.

While a competing effort, Amendment 3, proposes the highest tax rate in the nation for medical cannabis products sold at retail (15%), Amendment 2 would set one of the lowest. The revenue raised by the retail sale of medical cannabis will go directly to the Missourian Veterans’ Health and Care Fund and will be used to help provide those in the state who put their lives on the line with necessary health services.

While much has been written about the obvious flaws of the competing constitutional amendment, Amendment 3, these criticisms are worth repeating. While Amendment 2 is supported by a diverse coalition of patient advocates, Amendment 3 was funded entirely by one person, who drafted his amendment for his own personal benefit. It also puts this same funder largely in charge of overseeing the state’s medical marijuana program. This is hardly in the best interest of Missouri patients.

Amendment 2, on the other hand, places the program’s oversight in the hands of the Missouri Department of Health. It also creates a robust statewide system for production and distribution of medical cannabis, with strict deadlines in place to ensure that qualified patients do not have to unduly wait for dispensaries to become operational.

Finally, and most importantly, Amendment 2 is a constitutional amendment, which makes it more resilient to legislative tampering and intervention. By contrast, lawmakers can choose to amend Proposition C largely at their discretion, regardless of what voters decide.

If you read each of these proposals closely, one clear choice emerges. Amendment 2 creates a broad and patient-centric program that is designed to be implemented in a timely manner and withstand any legislative challenges along the way. The other two can’t say the same. Not all ballot measures are created equal and that is why we encourage all voters to support the superior one this Election Day. Vote YES on Amendment 2. Vote No on Amendment 3 and Prop C.

Categories: Blog Feeds

Connecticut’s race for governor may determine state’s future on marijuana policy

MPP Blog - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 07:38

Democrat Ned Lamont strongly supports ending marijuana prohibition, while Republican Bob Stefanowski says the issue shouldn’t be a priority.

The Connecticut general election will take place next Tuesday, November 6. If you’re not sure how or where to vote, please visit the Secretary of State’s website for more information.

Voters who care about marijuana policy reform should know that there is a very clear contrast between the candidates for governor:

  • Democratic candidate Ned Lamont strongly supports legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana. “It’s an idea whose time has come, and I’m going to push it in the first year,” he said.
  • Republican candidate Bob Stefanowski does not currently support legalization. “Maybe at some point we should look at legalizing marijuana … but we’ve got so many fundamental problems in this state… Let’s fix the economy first,” he said.

Please share this information with your friends and family and remind them to vote on Tuesday, November 6!

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Georgia: Early voting ends Friday, November 2; Election Day is Tuesday

MPP Blog - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 07:33

For supporters of sensible marijuana policies, the choice for governor couldn’t be more clear.

Georgia’s general election is coming up on Tuesday, November 6, and there is national attention on Georgia’s choices for governor. Before you vote, we want to let you know about the stark differences between the candidates’ stances on marijuana policy reform.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) opposes in-state cultivation of medical marijuana, even though thousands of medical cannabis patients in Georgia lack reasonable access to the low-THC oils they are allowed to possess. Kemp would perpetuate the harmful contradiction in the state program, treating seriously ill patients like second class citizens. Turning to adult-use, his website says he “is not in the camp of being pro-recreational marijuana.” MPP gives Brian Kemp an F for failing the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Stacey Abrams, former House minority leader, has been clear in her support improving state cannabis laws. Not only does she support in-state cultivation and oversight in a well-regulated program, she also supports removing criminal penalties for possession as Atlanta did last year, and will even consider ending marijuana prohibition once the other reforms are made. In stark contrast to her opponent, MPP rates Stacey Abrams with an A for the support she offers for sensible cannabis policy.

You can find a summary of Georgia’s current low-THC law, Haleigh’s Hope Act, here.

For more information on early voting and Election Day voting, including where you can cast your ballot and when voting locations will be open, check out the state’s elections website here.

Please forward this to your network, and be sure to get out and vote!

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Penn.: Election Day is almost here!

MPP Blog - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 07:27

Do you know where your candidates stand on marijuana policy?

Pennsylvania’s General Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 6. If you are registered to vote, find your polling location here, and please be sure to go cast your ballot!

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who signed the state’s medical marijuana legislation, is supportive of statewide decriminalization. He has said Pennsylvania is not yet ready to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults’ use. Scott Wagner (R) is opposed to legalization and regulation and believes marijuana is a gateway to other drugs.

You can find more information on Pennsylvania’s current marijuana policies here.

Please forward this message to your network in Pennsylvania, and don’t forget to get out and vote!

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New poll shows Rhode Islanders support legalization by 20-point margin

MPP Blog - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 07:00

A new survey confirms that an overwhelming majority of Rhode Island voters support legalizing marijuana for adults. The poll, commissioned by WPRI 12 and Roger Williams University and conducted by Fleming & Associates, found that 56% of respondents favor ending marijuana prohibition, while only 37% were against the idea. Another 7% were undecided.

Leaders in the General Assembly have consistently refused to allow legislators to vote on marijuana legalization in recent years. This new poll provides further evidence that these politicians are out of touch with the Rhode Island people.

Legal marijuana sales will start in Massachusetts any day now, and the new Rhode Island legislative session begins in January 2019. With the public solidly on the side of reform, there is no excuse for delay, and there is no excuse for the General Assembly to not vote on legalization in this upcoming year.

The Marijuana Policy Project and Regulate Rhode Island are planning to mobilize constituents and organize an effective campaign to call on the General Assembly to vote on a legalization bill during the upcoming session.

Stay tuned for more updates soon!

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NORML Submits 10,000+ Written Comments to the FDA for the Reconsideration of International Marijuana Prohibition

NORML Blog - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 06:23

On October 31, NORML hand delivered over 10,000 comments written by YOU, recommending that the World Health Organization (WHO) re-think their current prohibition of marijuana.

Along with two of our fantastic interns, I drove to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) building in Rockville, Maryland. Earlier this month, The FDA put out a request for public comments on the international scheduling of cannabis. They’re going to use the comments as a response to the WHO as they review the abuse potential, medical efficacy, and other aspects of 16 controlled substances, one of them being marijuana.

Currently, under international treaties, cannabis is scheduled in the most restrictive category. And as we all know, it does not belong there due to it’s widespread therapeutic and medical uses and very low potential for abuse.

In NORML’s latest comments to the FDA, it opined that “cannabis be removed from the international drug conventions so that nations that wish to do so may further expand their regulations governing cannabis’ use, possession, production, and dispensing for either recreational or medical use.”

Comments from NORML members totaled 10,117, making up just under 50% of the total comments submitted to the FDA nationwide.

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West Virginia general election is less than one week away!

MPP Blog - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 09:47

Learn where candidates stand on marijuana policy before you vote on Tuesday, November 6!

West Virginia’s general election will take place next Tuesday, November 6. The outcome of state legislative races will be critical in determining the future of marijuana policy in West Virginia. There are also strong contrasts between the candidates in races for U.S Congress:

• State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), who championed West Virginia’s medical cannabis bill and strongly supports federal reforms, is running for an open Congressional seat in District 3. His opponent, Del. Carol Miller (R), voted for the medical cannabis bill, but she also voted to dramatically restrict it, and she won’t commit to supporting federal medical cannabis legislation.

• District 1 candidate Kendra Fershee (D) has expressed strong support for medical cannabis. Her opponent, incumbent Rep. David McKinley (R), has not supported marijuana policy reforms.

• In District 2, incumbent Rep. Alex Mooney (R) has voted to protect state medical cannabis programs from federal interference. His opponent, Talley Sergent (D), has expressed strong support for medical cannabis.

Before you go to the polls, please take time to review MPP’s voter guide, which includes survey responses, votes cast by incumbent legislators, and candidates’ public statements.

After you read our West Virginia voter guide, please share it with your friends and remind them that next Tuesday is Election Day!

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Beware of this frightful marijuana menace!

NORML Blog - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 08:56

It’s time exorcise this demon!

It’s not the myth of “marijuana-laced candy,” devilish ghouls, or vampire bats that are terrifying Americans this Halloween. It’s Jeff Sessions.

This monster wants to lock up law abiding citizens who choose to responsibly consume marijuana. This fiendish freak shrieks “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” This reefer madness zombie believes marijuana has no medical use and is as dangerous as heroin. And, this Department of Justice demon thinks marijuana is fueling the opioid epidemic, not helping to save lives.

While you’re enjoying your trick-or-treat haul, burn a few calories by standing up to this goblin. Tell Congress to cast a spell to stop Jeff Sessions.

The trick’s on Sessions. Today, one in five Americans live where the adult-use of marijuana is legal, the majority of citizens live where medical marijuana is legal, and over 66% now believe that marijuana should be legal.

Hanging garlic around your neck can’t protect you from Jeff Sessions. Help NORML exorcise prohibitionists like him. It’s time to drape the death shroud on prohibition.

Happy Halloween!
The NORML Team

P.S. Our efforts are supported by thousands of mere mortals throughout the country as we work to advance marijuana reform in all 50 states and the federal level. Can you kick in $5, $10, or $20 a month to help nail the coffin shut on prohibition?

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New Mexico: Election Day is less than one week away

MPP Blog - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 08:18

Do you know where your candidates stand on  marijuana policy?

New Mexico’s General Election Day is less than one week away, and early voting has already begun! If you are registered to vote, you may cast your ballot early through Saturday, November 3.

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has said she would support legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use under certain circumstances, while Steve Pearce (R) remains unsupportive. Both candidates are supportive of New Mexico’s medical marijuana program.

Check out the state’s website here for more voting information, including where you can cast your ballot. You can find more information on current marijuana policy in New Mexico here.

Please forward this to your family and friends, and be sure to get out and vote!

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Minn.: Election Day is less than one week away!

MPP Blog - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 08:18

Check out the Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization’s cannabis voter guide!

Minnesota’s General Election Day is less than one week away! You can vote early in person until Monday, November 5. You can also register and vote on Election Day!

The Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization (MCFL) has put together a state legislative voter guide with results of their candidate survey and incumbents voting records. (Note that an F grade may not mean the candidate is opposed; they may simply not have responded to the survey.)

Here are a handful of competitive races where candidates differ on marijuana prohibition:

• House District 3A (International Falls): Incumbent Rob Ecklund (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating cannabis and also cosponsored marijuana legalization/regulation bills, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Randy Goutermont (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 11A (Moose Lake, Barnum, Scanlon): Mike Sundin (DFL) cosponsored bills to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults’ use, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Jeff Dotseth (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 19A (North Mankato): Jeff Brand (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Kim Spears (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey. There is no incumbent in the district.

• House District 37A (Spring Lake Park): Incumbent Erin Koegel (DFL) expressed support for legalizing and regulating marijuana and also cosponsored a marijuana legalization and regulation bill, HF 2714. Challenger Anthony Wilder (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 56A (Savage): Challenger Hunter Cantrell (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Drew Christensen (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 57B (Rosemount): Challenger John Huot (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Anna Wills (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

Meanwhile, in the gubernatorial race, Tim Walz (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Jeff Johnson (D) opposes legalization but supports medical marijuana.

Please check out MCFL’s voter guide, forward this to your network in Minnesota, and be sure to get out and vote!

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Alaska: It’s not too late to submit written comments supporting on-site cannabis consumption rules

MPP Blog - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 07:01

Written comments can be submitted by email until 4:30 tomorrow, November 1

The Marijuana Control Board is still accepting written comments on proposed rules for on-site use, which may be submitted by email until 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, November 1. Oral comments may also be submitted at a hearing to be held on Wednesday, December 19.

A link to the state’s announcement on the public comment period is available here, and the proposed rules are available here. Those who would like to submit comments by email may direct them to amco.regs@alaska.gov.

Under the proposal, a retailer could obtain an endorsement allowing it to sell adults 21 or over up to a gram of cannabis, which could be consumed at the premises. Products containing THC or other cannabis ingredients could also be sold, in addition to non-cannabis food and non-alcoholic beverages. Concentrates would be prohibited. Significant security and access provisions would apply, but these seem reasonable, and local communities would have final say.

Adoption of the proposed rules would be a significant step forward and a solution to a pressing challenge, and it is likely these rules would provide a model for other states considering on-site use.

Please consider contributing to the discussion and submitting your comments in support, and please forward this message to those in your network!

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