Washington: Support Legislation to End Workplace Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Consumers

Update: HB 1094 did not pass before the legislative crossover and likely will not be passed this year. 
Update: A public hearing for HB 1094 was held in the House on January 26.
Legislation is pending before the House, HB 1094, to prohibit employers from discriminating against patients who legally consume marijuana during non-work hours.

The bill amends existing law so that: “An employer  may not refuse to hire a qualifying patient, discharge or bar a qualifying patient from employment, or discriminate against a qualifying patient in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of the qualifying patient’s: (i) Status as a qualifying patient; or (ii) Positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites.”

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

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. Most recently, the National Academies of Sciences just-released marijuana and health report found “insufficient evidence” to support an association between cannabis use and occupational accidents or injuries.

It is time to end this discriminatory policy.

Those who consume other medications legally and responsibly while off the job do not suffer sanctions from their employers unless their work performance is adversely affected. Employers should treat those patients 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 patients. 

Wyoming: Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Introduced

UPDATE: This bill has been defeated and a new bill has been introduced that is much narrower in scope. 

Wyoming State Rep. Mark Baker has introduced HB 157 to decriminalize the possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana. 

Baker’s bill is more robust than previous year’s legislation and marks a shift in attitude among state lawmakers.

More than 70% of Wyoming residents support decriminalization. Currently under state law, first-time marijuana possession offenses are classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Wyoming should change its archaic laws and join the majority of the country in decriminalizing marijuana possession.  

Enter your information below to contact your state elected officials and urge them to support this pending legislation. 

Contact the Buffalo Common Council to sponsor the BCA

The Buffalo Common Council has received and filed our legislation that WNY NORML has sponsored called the BCA or Buffalo Cannabis Act. This would make Buffalo police issue citations rather than make arrests for Cannabis Position. We have also requested that Buffalo be more included in the states Medical Cannabis Program.
Please enter your infomation below to email the Buffalo City Council to support this measure. 
To find out more, visit WNY NORML’s website and follow WNY NORML on Facebook. 

Kentucky: Legislation to Establish a Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Program

Update: SB 57 did not pass before the legislative crossover and likely will not be voted on this year. 
Legislation filed by Senator Perry Clark of Louisville, SB 57, seeks to establish a statewide, comprehensive medical marijuana program.

Senate Bill 57, The Cannabis Compassion Act, establishes regulations overseeing the establishment of state-licensed dispensaries to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients. It also permits patients to home cultivate their own supply of medical cannabis.

Senator Clark said: “Too many Kentuckians have had their lives stymied with criminal records as a result of nonviolent marijuana convictions. That is wrong. It is time to stop making criminals out of citizens due to outdated and ridiculous laws concerning cannabis.”

Under present state law, the possession of any amount of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 45 days in jail, a fine, and a criminal record.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Data from other states finds that the enactment of medical marijuana access is associated with lower rates of opioid abuse and mortality, and does not negatively impact workplace safety, teen use, or motor vehicle safety.

Kentucky patients deserve these same protections.

Enter your information below to contact your Senator and urge their support for this measure. 

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.

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.

Mississippi: Legislation Introduced to Establish a Medical Marijuana Pilot Program

Update: This bill has been defeated in committee. 


Legislation is pending, House Bill 179, to establish a pilot program to provide qualified patients with legal access to medical marijuana products.

Under this program, patients would be permitted to obtain up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and/or cannabis-infused products, such as extracts or edibles, from a state-licensed dispensing facility. Regulators must begin accepting initial applications from dispensaries and testing facilities by January 1, 2018. 

Patients must be diagnosed with one of the following debilitating conditions to qualify for access: cancer, glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), seizures, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, and/or intractable pain. Home cultivation is not permitted under the proposal. The measure also seeks to restrict patients from smoking cannabis, but does not prohibit vaporization. 

While NORML believes that such restrictions on smoking are unnecessary, we also are doubtful that such prohibitions can feasibly be enforced. Further, this legislation is more expansive than the state’s existing CBD-specific law, which only applies to patients with intractable epilepsy and has failed to provide needed relief to the patient community. Ultimately, we would like to see this measure amended to include patients’ right to home grow.

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.

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