Federal: Bill Introduced To End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017, HR 1227, eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference. 
With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, and with comments from the Trump administration warning of a coming federal crackdown in adult use states, passage of The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act is necessary to ensure that marijuana consumers are protected from undue federal interference. 

Enter your information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this pending legislation.

Vermont: Senate Approves Legislation to Tax and Regulate the Sale of Marijuana

Update: The House voted to pass S. 22 by vote of a 79 to 66 and the legislation will now go to Governor Phil Scott for his signature or veto. Call the Governors office at (802) 828-3333 and send him an email below. 
Update: The Senate has passed on May 5 an unrelated bill (S. 22) to include the provisions of H. 170. It maintains House approved language eliminating penalties for the possession and cultivation of personal use amounts of marijuana by July 2018, but also creates a new Marijuana Regulation Commission, to draft legislation by November 1, 2017 that “establishes a comprehensive regulatory and revenue system for an adult-use marijuana market that, when compared to the current illegal marijuana market, increases public safety and reduces harm to public health.” The commission’s bill would be ready for a vote by January 2018.

H. 170 will now have to be considered and passed as amended by the House before the legislative session ends Saturday or will not become law. 
Update: Members of the Senate voted 21 to 9 on April 21 in favor of an unrelated House bill, H. 167, which Senators had amended to include language to legalize the recreational marijuana market. Other Senate amendments in the bill mimic language in H. 170, which eliminates criminal and civil penalties specific to the possession or cultivation of personal use quantities of cannabis. The amended version of H. 167 now returns to the House for further action.
Update: H 490 has been read for the first time and referred to committee in the House.
Rep. Samuel Young has introduced H. 490 to regulate the commercial and retail marijuana market.
H. 490 establishes a regulated system whereby adults may legally obtain marijuana from state-licensed retail providers and sellers.
Statewide polling reports that a majority of Vermont voters support legalizing and regulating marijuana. According to a RAND Corporation study, regulating the commercial sale of cannabis in Vermont would generate $20 million to $75 million annually in new tax revenue.
Please enter your information below to urge Governor Scott to sign S. 22

North Carolina: Medical Marijuana Legislation Filed

Update: The bill will not recieve further consideration this year.
Update: SB 579 and SB 648 both passed their first readings and were referred to committees.
Update: A Senate version of the bill has been introduced, SB 579, by Senators Joel Ford and Erica Smith-Ingram on April 3 and identical bill, SB 648, by Senators Terry Van Duyn and Valerie Foushee on April 4.
Update: HB 185 passed the first reading and has been referred to committee.
Comprehensive legislation to legalize patients use of and access to medical marijuana has been filed by Representatives Kelly M. Alexander, Jr., Becky Carney, Pricey Harrison, and Rodney Moore. Co-sponsors include Representatives John Autry, John Ager, Mary Belk, Deb Butler, Carla Cunningham, Susan C. Fisher, Edward Hanes, Jr., Yvonne Lewis Holley, Howard J. Hunter, III, Philip Lehman, and Brian Turner. 
HB 185, the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act, permits qualified patients to possess up to 24 ounces of cannabis or grow their own personal supply. Separate provisions in the Act license and regulate the dispensing of cannabis from state-licensed facilities.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. North Carolina patients deserve these same protections.

Contact North Carolina NORML to get involved in your area.

Enter your information below to urge your lawmakers to support the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act.

Arkansas: Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Tax Measure

Update: An amended version of HB 1580 was signed into law and is now Act 1098. It states, “A cultivation facility, dispensary, or other marijuana business shall collect and remit a special privilege tax of four percent from the gross receipts or gross proceeds derived from each sale of usable marijuana.”
Update: The House concurred, and HB 1580 now awaits Governor Hutchinson’s signature.
Update: The Senate approved HB 1580 with a 31-1 vote. The bill already passed the House, but was sent back there for a concurrence vote after amendments were added in the Senate.
Update: HB 1580 was returned by committee, with recommendation that it Do Pass.
Update: HB 1580 was referred to committee in the Senate.
Update: HB 1580 was approved by House lawmakers in a 77 to 3 vote. It now awaits action by the Senate.
House Bill 1580 imposes a special eight percent statewide tax upon medical marijuana sales. This tax would be in addition to the imposition of existing state and local taxes.

While NORML generally does not oppose the imposition of fair and reasonable sales taxes on the commercial sales of cannabis for recreational purposes, we do not support such excessive taxation on medical sales. Most other states that regulate medical cannabis sales do not impose such taxes and Arkansas patients should not be forced to pay these excessive costs.

Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge them to oppose this measure.

Colorado: Legislation To Support Marijuana Social Clubs Introduced

Update: The House Second Reading for Sb 184 is being laid over daily.
Update: SB 184 passed the House Finance Committee on March 20 by a vote of 8 to 3.
Update: SB 184 passed the full Senate on Thursday, March 9, by a vote of 25-10 and will now be sent to the House. Gov. Hickenlooper has threatened a veto, saying he opposes any expansion of indoor smoking. 
Colorado State Senator Bob Gardner and Representative Dan Pabon have introduced legislation, SB 184, The Marijuana Membership Clubs and Public Use Bill, will provide Colorado municipalities with the regulatory framework needed to allow responsible adults the option to socially consume marijuana in a membership club away from the general public.
Last November, voters In California and Maine approved public marijuana consumption through Proposition 64 and Question 1, but haven’t settled on rules. This means Colorado could be first out of the gate with statewide regulations for pot clubs. 

Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials to urge them to support this measure. For more information about this bill and other pending legislation, please contact Denver NORML.

West Virginia: Governor Signs West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act

Update: Gov. Jim Justice signed SB 386 into law on April 19.
Update: The House and Senate concurred on an amended version of SB 386 on April 6. A summary of the amended bill is online here. The measure now goes to the Governor, who indicates that he intends to sign it.
Update: SB 386 passed the House with an amendment by Delegate John Shott, (R-Mercer) that would prohibit herbal marijuana, ban home grown, and charge $50,000 annual fees for growers and processors. 
Governor Jim Justice, in the past had clearly stated that he supports medical marijuana, so the last hurdle appears to be whether the Senate will agree to the onerous new amendment added by the House.
Update: SB 386 passed the Senate by a vote of 28-6 and will now head to the House.
A coalition of Senate lawmakers have introduced legislation, SB 386, which seeks to establish the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act — a state-sponsored program that will permit qualified patients to obtain medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries. A House version of the bill, HB 2677, is also pending.

Passage of the bill establishes a commission tasked with developing “policies, procedures, guidelines, and regulations to implement programs to make medical cannabis available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner.”

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. West Virginia patients deserve these same protections.

Please enter your information below to contact your state Senator and urge them to support this pending legislation.

California: Support Legislation to Protect Marijuana Laws From Federal Interference

Update: AB-1578 was passed by members of the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 27 by a 5-2 vote.
Update: AB 1578 passed the Assembly on June 1 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Update: AB 1578 was passed by members of the House Public Safety Committee on April 18 by a vote of 5-2.
Legislation is pending, Assembly Bill 1578, to try and limit potential federal interference in the state’s marijuana regulatory laws.

The bill states, “This bill would prohibit a state or local agency, as defined, from taking certain actions without a court order signed by a judge, including using agency money, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to assist a federal agency to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for commercial or noncommercial marijuana or medical cannabis activity that is authorized by law in the State of California and transferring an individual to federal law enforcement authorities for purposes of marijuana enforcement.”

The majority of Californians desire a legally regulated marijuana market. Passage of this act will limit state or local agencies from working with the federal government to undermine these regulations. 

Please use the pre-written letter below to contact your elected officials in support of AB 1578. Additional information regarding pending legislation is available from California NORML.

Washington: Oppose Measure Seeking to Repeal Marijuana Legalization

Update: HB 2096 failed to emerge out of committee prior to this year’s legislative deadline. No further action will be taken this year.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 2096, that seeks to repeal “all laws legalizing the use, possession, sale, or production of marijuana and marijuana-related products.”

While we do not anticipate this measure gaining traction, please let your lawmakers — and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brad Klippert — know that you oppose this effort.

You can e-mail the sponsor here. You can submit public comment on the measure here. You can send a letter to your elected officials by entering your zip code below.

Maryland: Oppose Measure To Impose Zero Tolerant Presumptive THC Impairment Standards

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 974, that prohibits individuals from operating a motor vehicle if they have any “detectable level” of THC or its inert metabolite THC-COOH present in their blood. Members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee heard testimony on this bill on March 2nd at 1pm.
NORML opposes this proposal.

The presence of low levels of THC or its inert metabolite THC-COOH in blood is an inappropriate and inconsistent indicator of psychomotor impairment. No less than the United States Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) agrees, stating, “It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person’s THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. … It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone, and currently impossible to predict specific effects based on THC-COOH concentrations.” 

It should not be presumed that the detection of THC or its THC-COOH metabolite is predictive of psychomotor impairment and such a presumption should not be codified in Maryland’s traffic safety statutes. The imposition and enforcement of this measure risks inappropriately convicting unimpaired subjects of traffic safety violations.

Enter your information below to let your elected officials know that they should oppose this unscientific proposal.

New York: Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions

Update: The 2017 legislative session came to a close with lawmakers taking no further action on A. 2142 and S. 3809.
Update: NORML is joining multiple organizations, including Empire State NORML and the Drug Policy Alliance in calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to include the language from A. 2142 and S. 3809 in his budget.
Update: A. 2142 has passed the state Assembly by a vote of 95 to 38. The Senate has yet to take action on its companion bill, S. 3809.
Legislation (A. 2142 and S. 3809) is before the Assembly and Senate to seal the records of those who have previously been convicted of the possession of marijuana in public view.
New York has historically had the highest marijuana-related arrest rate in the nation largely because of questionable arrests made under the ‘public view’ exception. These arrests primarily target African Americans and Hispanics, and have been roundly criticized by leading politicians and civil rights advocates. (Legislation to close this loophole is pending, and you may contact your lawmakers and urge them to make this change here)
Passage of A. 2142 and S. 3809 will make it so these hundreds of thousands of minor offenders are no longer stigmatized by their arrest record.
“I introduced the marijuana sealing bill because drug laws have created a permanent underclass of people unable to find jobs after a conviction,” said Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “One of the most damaging issues derived from the war on drugs is that the policies are inherently racist. Communities of color have been devastated by bad drug policies and hyper-criminalization for the last 40 years. It is an approach that has never worked and has caused significantly more harm than good to our communities and to our families. If today’s moment of increased attention to heroin encourages us to center public health in our drug policy, then we need to ensure that we are making amends to communities of color by alleviating the burden bad policies have had on their lives. Sealing low-level marijuana possession convictions is the first step to reintegrating thousands of New Yorkers who are inhibited daily from accessing employment, housing and an education all due to a conviction on their record for simple possession of marijuana.”
Enter your information below to contact your New York state elected officials and Governor Cuomo, urging them to support this common sense measure.

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