New Mexico: Senate Legislation Pending To Legalize Marijuana

Update: House members have tabled SB 278 for the 2017 legislative session, and will not take any further action.
Update: Members of the House Business and Industry Committee voted 9-1 on Monday, February 27, to defeat House Bill 89. 
State Representatives Bill McCamley and Javier Martinez introduced HB 89, the Cannabis Revenue & Freedom Act to regulate the cultivation and retail sale of marijuana in the state. Companion legislation, SB 278, introduced by Sen. Gerald Ortiz, is also pending in the Senate.

”It is either going to happen sooner or it is going to happen later and if it happens sooner we can realize the economic benefits now.” McCamley said.

The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of adults in New Mexico, 61 percent of whom now endorse legalizing and regulating cannabis, according to a 2016 ABQ Journal poll.

Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans’ consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for state lawmakers to acknowledge this reality. It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and it is time for lawmakers to seriously consider common-sense regulations governing cannabis’ personal use by adults and licensing its production.

Enter your information below to contact your state contact your state Senator and urge him/her to support SB 278.

New Hampshire: Lawmakers Sign Off On Legalization Study Commission

Update: The House has adopted the Senate changes. The bill is expected to be transmitted to the Governor imminently.
Update: The Senate passed HB 215 with an amendment on June 1. The bill will now return to the House for approval. 
Update: The bill received a favorable Senate committee report on May 25.
Update: A hearing for HB 215 is being held on Tuesday 4/11 at 11:00 AM.
Update: HB 215 passed the House on Thursday, March 8 on a voice vote. It will now be referred to the Senate.
Update: Members of the House Ways and Means Committee passed HB 215 by a vote of 18-1.
Legislation is pending in the New Hampshire House, HB 215, to establish a commission to study the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana.

Police in New Hampshire arrest some 2,900 individuals annually for simple marijuana possession offenses. The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of New Hampshire adults, 62 percent of whom now endorse legalizing and regulating cannabis, according to a 2016 WMUR Granite State Poll.

Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans’ consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for state lawmakers to acknowledge this reality. It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and it is time for lawmakers to seriously consider common-sense regulations governing cannabis’ personal use by adults and licensing its production.

Washington: Legislation Pending to Permit Home Cultivation

Update: HB 1212 did not pass before the legislative crossover and likely will not be passed this year. 
Update: Members of the House Committee on Commerce and Gamine have passed a substitute version of HB 1212 to permit the cultivation of up to six plants and/or 24 ounces of usable marijuana harvested from those plants. The bill is now before the House Committee on Rules and the House Committee on Finance.
Washington state Representative Brian Blake has introduced legislation that is currently in committee, House Bill 1212 to allow adults the option to legally cultivate personal use amounts of marijuana in a private residence.

Presently, eight states permit adults to obtain marijuana via retail sales. All of these states except Washington also permit adults the option to cultivate cannabis.

NORML believes that criminalizing the personal cultivation of cannabis is an arbitrary prohibition that has absolutely no basis in public safety.

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 Washington NORML.

New Mexico: Legislation Before Governor to Expand Medical Cannabis Program

Update: Governor Susana Martinez vetoed HB 527 on April 7.
Update: SB 177 was tabled in lieu of HB 527. An amended version of HB 527 is now before the Governor, having passed the House by a vote of 45 to 16 and the Senate by a vote of 28 to 9.
Update: SB 177 has passed the Senate by a vote of 29-11 and now is in the House for consideration. 
An amended version of House Bill 527 amends state law so that qualified patients may not be denied organ transplants. It also expands the pool of qualifying conditions for which a physician may legally recommend cannabis therapy, to include indications such as Crohn’s disease, chronic pain, hepatitis C, neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, and post-traumatic stress, among other conditions. It also establishes reciprocity for non-residents.
An estimated 20,000 New Mexicans legally utilize medical marijuana under this state program.
Enter your information below below to contact Gov. Martinez and urge her to sign HB 527 into law. 

Nebraska: Lawmakers Move Medical Marijuana Bill

Update: The bill stalled on general file without reaching a formal vote of the Legislature.
Update: LB 622 has advanced out of committee by a vote of 6 – 1. 
LB622 will allow patients with conditions such as Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, opioid addictions and some types of cancer to obtain marijuana. Qualified patients would not be permitted to grow cannabis and would have to obtain non-smoked, cannabis-infused formulations from state-licensed providers. A version of this legislation debated last year was narrowly defeated by lawmakers.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Nebraska patients deserve these same protections. 
For more information, visit Omaha NORML to learn how you can help in your area.

Please enter your information below to contact your state lawmakers and urge them to support LB622.

Oregon: Legislation to End Workplace Discrimination Against Adult Marijuana Consumers Stalls Among Lawmakers

Update: The Oregon Register Guard reports that lawmakers will not take further action on SB 301 this legislative session, stating that the measure lacked support to pass a Senate floor vote. “Key backer Sen. Floyd Prozanski, a Eugene Democrat, acknowledged … the demise of Senate Bill 301 in the face of virulent business opposition and skepticism among some other Senate Democrats,” the paper reported.

Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 301 with amendments on April 18 by a 3-2 vote.

Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee debated SB 301 on Tuesday, February 21.
Legislation is pending before the Senate, SB 301, to prohibit employers from discriminating against adults who legally consume marijuana during non-work hours.

Senate Bill 301 states, “It is an unlawful employment practice for any employer to require, as a  condition of employment, that any employee or prospective employee refrain from using a substance that is lawful to use under the laws of this state during nonworking hours.”

Passage of this act would not prohibit employers from sanctioning employees who are under the influence at work.

Portland NORML’s Legislative Committee, in conjunction with the Oregon Chapter of the Employment Lawyers of America, worked on the drafting and filing of this important legislation. 
Changes in the legal status of marijuana has not been associated with any adverse changes in workplace safety. In fact, a pair of studies from 2016 find that legalization is associated with greater workforce participation and with fewer workplace absences. 

Those who consume alcohol or prescription drugs legally and responsibly while off the job do not suffer sanctions from their employers unless their work performance is adversely affected. Employers should treat Oregonians who consume cannabis legally while away from the workplace in a similar manner.

Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your elected officials to end workplace discrimination against marijuana consumers. 

New York: Support Legislation To Expand State’s Medical Marijuana Law

Update: Members of the Senate Health Committee killed SB 1087 on April 25.
Update: Notice of committee consideration was requested on 3/13.

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1087, to expand the state’s medical marijuana law by removing the existing prohibition on herbal cannabis preparations.

Under existing law, qualified patients are forbidden from obtaining whole-plant cannabis. Instead, they are required to access only cannabis-infused oral products such as oils, pills, or extracts prepared from the plant. “Smoking” or inhaling herbal cannabis is not defined as a “certified medical use.”

These restrictions unnecessarily limit patients’ choices and deny them the ability to obtain rapid relief from whole-plant cannabis in a manner that has long proven to be relatively safe and effective.

Senate Bill 1087 amends the law so that the possession and inhalation of herbal cannabis is no longer illegal.

Please enter your information below to write your state elected officials and urge them to make this common sense change to New York’s medical marijuana law.

Federal: Legislation Pending To Halt Forfeiture Actions Against Marijuana Facilities

Update: HR 331 was referred to committee.

Legislation is pending before Congress, HR 331, to halt the federal government from taking civil forfeiture action against properties involved in state-sanctioned, medical marijuana-related conduct.

If approved, it would “amend the Controlled Substances Act … to exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by state law.”

In the past, federal officials have sought to close dispensaries by threatening property owners with civil forfeiture proceedings. Under these proceedings, property may be seized if there exist evidence that it was involved in activities that violate federal law, regardless of whether those activities are licit under state law.

Presently, the Justice Department is barred from taking such actions because of the passage of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. However, that protection will expire on April 28, 2017 unless renewed by Congress.

Please use the pre-written letter below to urge House lawmakers to take action on HR 331.

Indiana: Pending Legislation Seeks to Provide Medical Marijuana Access

Update: Lawmakers failed to take action on SB 255 during the 2017 legislative session, instead moving forward with a far more limited CBD-exemption bill.

A Senate lawmaker has reintroduced legislation, SB 255, to regulate marijuana access to qualified patients.

The measure, sponsored by Democrat Sen. Karen Tallian, establishes a statewide medical marijuana program to permit qualified patients — including patients with arthritis, migraine, PTSD, and seizures — to legally obtain cannabis products and to engage in cannabis therapy.

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

For more information, please contact Indiana NORML here or visit their Facebook page here.

Additional information regarding statewide efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Indiana is available from Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis, which may be contacted via Facebook here. On Sunday, January 15, the American Legion of Indiana passed a resolution calling on state lawmakers to provide medical marijuana access.

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

New York: Legislation Pending to Eliminate ‘Public View’ Marijuana Possession Arrests

Update: The 2017 legislative session came to a close with lawmakers taking no further action on SB 482 and AB 332.
Update: SB 482 and AB 332 have both been referred to committees.
Legislation has been filed for the 2017 legislative session to eliminate the ‘public view’ loophole exception in New York state’s marijuana law. Abuse of this provision has led to hundreds of thousands of needless marijuana arrests in recent years, primarily in New York City, despite the possession of the plant being decriminalized in the state since 1977. 

Under current law, private possession of marijuana is punishable by nothing more than a simple citation and fine. By contrast, the possession of small amounts of marijuana in a manner that is “open to public view” is classified as a criminal misdemeanor. This loophole has often been used to continue arresting a disproportionate number of minorities, largely as a result of ‘stop and frisk’ policies. Promises from law enforcement in recent years to correct this abuse have not come to fruition. 

Senate bill 482 seeks to address this loophole by striking the ‘open to public view’ language from the statute for instances involving the possession of 15 grams or less or marijuana. Assembly Bill 332  also seeks to amend state law by explicitly stating that a person may not be charged with possession ‘open to public view’ if he/she has been compelled to do so by a law enforcement officer.

New York had the highest marijuana-related arrest rate in the nation in 2013, largely because of arrests made under the ‘public view’ exception. Over 80 percent of those arrested were either Black or Hispanic. Between 2015 and 2016, marijuana possession arrests in New York City rose ten percent. Ninety-six percent of those arrested were charged under the public view provision. Eight-five percent of those arrested were either Black or Hispanic.

Minor marijuana possession violators, many of them young, first-time offenders, do not deserve this punishment.

Enter your information below to contact your New York state elected officials and urge them to support this common sense measure.

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