New York: Senate Legislation Pending To Expand Patients’ Access to Medical Cannabis

Update: The 2017 legislative session came to a close with lawmakers taking no further action on SB 6092 and SB 6308.
Update: On May 11 both bills were referred to the Health Committee.
A pair of bills are pending in the Senate to expand patients’ access to medical cannabis.

Senate Bill 6092 expands the pool of patients eligible for medical cannabis access to include those with Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and a number of other debilitating diseases. It also removes arbitrary caps imposed on the amount of THC permitted in oral products. 

Senate Bill 6308 allows for additional cannabis providers to operate in the state in order to improve patients’ access.

Please use the prewritten letter below to express your support for these measures.

Nevada: Legislation Pending To Permit Social Use

Update: Assembly members failed to take necessary action on SB 236 prior to this year’s legislative deadline.
Update: SB236 passed out of the Assembly Government Operations Committee on May 16.
Update: SB 236 passed the Senate by a margin of 21-12. It will now be sent to the house.
Update: SB 236 was amended in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/12 and it passed as amended.
Update: SB 236 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/3.
Senate legislation is pending, SB 236, introduced by Sen. Tick Segerblom to regulate the social use of cannabis.

The measure allows select businesses to apply for licensing to permit adult marijuana use on their premises. It would also allow event organizers to seek permits to allow adult use at specific events. 

To date, private adult use of marijuana is permitted, but only in a private residence. Passage of SB 236 establishes a regulatory framework to permit adults the option to consume cannabis at specified public places or events. 

Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials to urge them to support this measure. 

Rhode Island: Bill Establishing a Marijuana Legalization Study Committee Awaits Governor’s Signature

Update: Lawmakers have approved legislation establishing a 19-member special legislative commission to assess marijuana legalization and make recommendations. The purpose of the commission is “to conduct a comprehensive review and make recommendations regarding marijuana and the effects of its use on the residents of Colorado and Washington to the extent available, and to study the fiscal impact to those states; and thereafter the potential impact on Rhode Island of legalized recreational marijuana.”
The commission will consist of three members of the House of Representatives, three members of the Senate, one member from Smart Approaches to Marijuana, the President of the Substance Use Mental Health Council of RI or a designee, a member from a pro-legalization organization, the Executive Director of the RI Medical Society or a designee, a member of a local chamber of commerce, the Director of the Department of Health or a designee, the President of the RI Police Chief’s Association or a designee, a designee of the RI Attorney General, a member representing the medical marijuana patients of Rhode Island, an educator in Rhode Island, a mental health professional, a criminal defense attorney, and the President of the RI AFL-CIO.
Several marijuana law reform advocacy groups opposed the measure because they believed it is simply an attempt by lawmakers to push back further debate regarding adult use marijuana legalization. 

The bill now awaits final approval from the Governor.
Update: Sponsors have announced plans to amend their legislation in a manner that would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, effective July 1, 2018. The amended legislation would also establish an advisory committee to issue a report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2018 with recommendations regarding how best to establish a system for taxing and regulating marijuana in Rhode Island. Sen. Miller said, “We are prepared to compromise in a significant way, but there must be progress on the issue this year. Our proposal balances the will of the majority of voters who want marijuana to be legal for adults while respecting colleagues who want to slow things down and get the regulations right.”
Update: Members of the House Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced H. 5551 on May 17, but failed to call The Adult Use of Cannabis Act for a vote. The study bill now awaits action on the House floor while H. 5555 is likely dead for this session.
Update: H. 5551, to establish a study commission to examine marijuana legalization, is scheduled to be heard May 12.
Update: The Senate version of The Adult Use of Cannabis Act was introduced on March 2. It is SB 420. (Seriously, it’s SB420.)
A coalition of Rhode Island lawmakers has reintroduced marijuana legalization legislation in the House, H. 5555: The Adult Use of Cannabis Act

The bill will allow adults 21 and older to possess cannabis and will establish a framework for businesses to cultivate and distribute marijuana. While the language is similar to that of previous bills that have failed to come to a vote, lawmakers this year believe that Rhode Island is ready to catch up to its northeast neighbors.

A majority of Rhode Island residents, about 60 percent, support legalization and Jared Moffat, Director of Regulate Rhode Island, believes: “It’s time for Rhode Island to look very seriously at this issue and pass a bill. Otherwise, we risk falling behind those other states.” 

Enter your information below and urge the Governor to sign the legalization bill.

Connecticut: Democrats Revive Marijuana Legalization Plan In Budget Fight

Senate and House Democrats are lobbying for provisions to permit the retail sale of marijuana to adults as a way to address the state’s estimated $5 billion budget gap.

The proposal would initially permit state-licensed dispensaries to sell cannabis to non-patients, and then establish regulations to oversee the establishment of commercial producers and retailers. 

The proposed plan is estimated to yield about $60 million in additional revenue for the state next fiscal year, and $180 million by 2018-19.

Earlier this session, lawmakers debated four separate bills seeking to legalize and regulate the marijuana market. Unfortunately, all of these efforts were eventually tabled.

Please contact your elected officials today and urge them to reconsider legalizing marijuana by using the pre-written letter below.

Tell Your Congressional Representative: Join the Cannabis Caucus

Update: Indicating to reporters that a federal crackdown is forthcoming, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said “I’m definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana,” he said. “States they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.” 
Update: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against marijuana. “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, and added that the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.”
With public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws. 

Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition. The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of adults throughout America, 93% of whom support medical marijuana (Quinnipiac, 2017) and 60 percent of whom endorse the outright legalization of recreational cannabis (Gallup, 2016). 

The leadership displayed by Representatives Rohrabacher, Blumenauer, Polis, and Young is a testament to this growing public consensus. The official establishment of this Caucus represents our growing, bipartisan support in Congress.

These House members represent constituents in four of the eight states that have enacted laws regulating cannabis for adult use. Twenty-one additional states have enacted comprehensive medical cannabis laws, and 15 additional states have enacted more limited medical cannabis laws. In total, over 40 US states have adopted laws rolling back cannabis prohibition at the state level, representing 95% of the U.S. House of Representatives and 88% of the Senate.  
Enter your information below to urge your member of Congress to join the Cannabis Caucus. 

Federal: Bipartisan Leaders Reintroduce the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act

Update: HR 2528 was referred to committee on June 18th.
Update: On May 18, Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced HR 2528, The Respect States and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017 which would clarify Congressional intent on the issue but not be as impactful as Rep. Rohrabacher’s HR 975. 
Update: (2/27) Indicating to reporters that a federal crackdown is forthcoming, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said “I’m definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana,” he said. “States they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.” 
Update: (2/23) White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against marijuana. “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, and added that the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.”
Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with six other Republicans and six Democrats, has reintroduced bipartisan legislation, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.

HR 975 states, ‘‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.’’

Passage of this Act would halt federal officials from prosecuting individuals and businesses for violating the Controlled Substances Act in the 29 states that permit either the medical or adult use and distribution of marijuana. According to national polling, 71 percent of voters believe that the federal government should respect these laws and not interfere with them. 

With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, passage of this Act is necessary to ensure that medical marijuana patients and others are protected from undue federal interference. 

Please enter your information below to contact your House member and urge them to support this crucial pending legislation.

Federal: Bill Introduced To End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Update: HR 1227 was referred to committee on March 16th.
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.

New Jersey: Preparing to Pass Legalization In 2018

Update: A hearing was held June 19. You can watch it HERE. 
Political support within the legislature to reform New Jersey’s marijuana laws has never been greater. 
This year, SB 3195 has been introduced by State Sen. Nicholas Scutari to regulate the adult use, production, and retail sale of marijuana. The House companion bill is A 4872.
Upon introducing SB 3195, Scutari said: “(T)he negative impacts of the failed “War on Marijuana” cannot be overstated. New Jersey spends more than $100 million a year on enforcement of marijuana laws, and possession made up more than 40 percent of all drug arrests in 2010. We are locking up people for petty charges and creating unfair obstacles to our residents getting jobs and buying homes.’
The ACLU-NJ found that police make a marijuana possession arrest in New Jersey on average every 22 minutes and that black New Jerseyans were three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite similar usage rates.
While Scurari’s enthusiasm and history of leadership for sane cannabis policy is greatly appreciated, his bill fails to address two critical issues: 
The immediate expungement of criminal records for victims of charges for simple possession of marijuana 
The ability for individuals and patients to legally cultivate cannabis for personal consumption. 
It is our hope that lawmakers will in the future include language addressing these key issues.
According to a 2015 Rutgers-Eagleton poll, nearly six in ten New Jersey adults support “legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and over.” Similar percentages of voters through the country also endorse legalization.
Eight states, encompassing some 20 percent of the US population, have enacted similar adult use regulations.  
The Garden State is ripe for reform and it is more important than ever to learn from the successes of the other states and to pass a comprehensive and consumer-oriented bill to be signed into law in 2018. 
Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge their support for this important measure. 
 

Federal: Protect Lawful Medical Marijuana Programs

Update #2: The House Appropriations Committee released its 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which determines the funding levels for numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice. Predictably, the bill does not include language — known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment — limiting the Justice Department from taking action against state-sanctioned medical cannabis producers, retailers, or consumers.
Representatives Blumenauer and Rohrabacher released the following statement in reponse: “The policy championed by Representatives Blumenauer and Rohrabacher that prevents the Department of Justice from interfering in the ability of states to implement legal medical marijuana laws (previously known as “Rohrabacher-Farr”) has never been included in the base Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittee Appropriations bill. Rather, in previous years, Congress has amended the base CJS bill to include these protections.
We are exactly where we thought we would be in the legislative process and look forward to amending the underlying bill once again this year to make sure medical marijuana programs, and the patients who rely on them, are protected. Voters in states across the country have acted to legalize medical marijuana. Congress should not act against the will of the people who elected us.”
Update #1: House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. The measure reauthorizes and updates the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, as well as a similarly worded amendment protecting state-sponsored industrial hemp programs. Both amendments will remain in effect until September 30, at which time members of Congress will once again need to either reauthorize the language or let the provisions expire. Non-medical retail marijuana businesses operating in the eight states that regulate adult use sales are not protected by this act and still remain vulnerable to federal interference or prosecution.
Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, maintains that federal funds can not be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.” 

Congress re-authorized the amendment as part of a short term spending package. This bill extends federal funding through September 30, 2017, at which time the measure — and the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment — will expire.

According to recently released nationwide survey data, the majority of Americans are on our side. A whopping 94 percent support the medical use of marijuana. Perhaps most importantly, 71 percent of voters — including strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — say that they “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”

Please enter your information below to contact members of the incoming Congress and urge them to include these important patient protections as part of any future, long-term appropriations legislation. 

This amendment is strongly supported by both voters and lawmakers and ensures the safety of millions of patients. Congress must not turn its back on those millions of Americans who rely on these state-authorized programs for their health and wellness. 

Alaska: Bill Introduced to Protect Marijuana Industry from Federal Interference

Update: On May 12th the bill was referred to state affairs.
State officials in Alaska are considering legislation, HJR 21, to urge the federal government to restrain from interfering in state marijuana laws.

HJR 21 urges the current Administration to respect previous federal arrangements in regard to state laws and to continue a policy of allowing legalized states autonomy.

The bill points to several reasons that Alaska would be harmed by a federal crackdown, ranging from economic ramifications to the confusion of law enforcement officers; federal enforcement would ultimately have negative results.

Enter your information below to urge your lawmakers to stand up for Alaskans.

1 224 225 226 227 228 239
Right Menu Icon