Finally, the New York Legislature has adopted an effective medical marijuana law!
Now that the legislature has passed the bill, it’s up to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to sign it. He was obstructing the bill earlier in the session, but the legislature made several amendments in order to reach a compromise and the governor has indicated he will support it.
Since 2003, MPP has been lobbying alongside allied organizations, patients, and other citizen activists to bring about this victory. Over the last 11 years, MPP has spent nearly $750,000 to pass a medical marijuana law in New York State.
In the early days, we recruited a coalition of more than 1,100 physicians in New York State who endorsed MPP’s legislation. We announced this coalition in a full-page ad in the Albany Times, which made a big splash in the state capitol.
And just a couple weeks ago, MPP produced and aired a pair of TV ads that urged Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R) and Gov. Cuomo to pass the measure this year.
One year ago, Colorado and Washington became the first states to make marijuana legal for adults, and Massachusetts joined the growing list of states that allows marijuana for medical uses. We had a big night last night. Marijuana policy reform measures cruised to victory in states across the nation.
• Portland, Maine became the first city on the East Coast to legalize marijuana. Voters approved Question 1 by a margin of 67-33, removing all penalties for possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana by adults 21 and older. MPP was the largest backer of the initiative, and the huge showing of support in Maine’s most populated city bodes well for our efforts to pass a statewide measure in 2016 to regulate marijuana like alcohol.
• Colorado voters approved a statewide ballot measure 65-35 to establish taxes on legal marijuana sales. Proposition AA was referred to the ballot by the General Assembly in accordance with the historic legalization initiative approved by Colorado voters exactly one year ago today. MPP supported AA because it underscores the benefits of taxing and regulating marijuana sales instead of forcing them into the underground market, as well as helps ensure cooperation from the federal government.
• In Michigan, voters in three cities adopted initiatives to remove local penalties for adult marijuana possession. In the state capital, Lansing, about 62% of voters cast their ballots in support of ending marijuana prohibition. The measures in Jackson and Ferndale also won by sizeable margins.
Now it’s time to start working on racking up even more victories in 2014!
On November 5, voters will decide whether to approve a local ballot initiative that would remove all penalties for possessing up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana by adults 21 and older. Portland is the most populous city in Maine – where we intend to run a 2016 statewide initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol – and a victory on November 5 would provide a dramatic boost to our efforts.
It’s going to be a very close election, so we need your help. You do NOT need to live in Maine to lend your support in one of the following ways:
1. Call Portland voters using our online phone bank. Our allies at Just Say Now have created an easy-to-use system that provides voters’ phone numbers, instructions, and a simple script.
2. Email anyone you know in Portland. We’ve created a page with a pre-written email to send to your friends and relatives. It also includes tools for sharing this message on Facebook and Twitter.
3. Make a donation to MPP. If you support our work to pass local initiatives in Portland and elsewhere, please donate today in order to move the ball forward in Maine and other states.
By taking just a little time out of your day to call some voters, send an email, or make a financial contribution, you can help us make history next week!
In just 25 days, Portland, Maine could become the first East Coast city in the nation to legalize marijuana for adults.
On November 5, voters will decide whether to approve a local ballot initiative that would make the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older.
MPP is part of a coalition that’s backing the local initiative (which is known as “Question 1″), and we recently made national headlines when we launched a series of ads on Portland buses and bus shelters that highlight the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol. Virtually every major media outlet in Maine covered the campaign, and when critics demanded that the ads be taken down, the state’s largest newspaper defended our right to display them.
We’ve made no secret of our plans to support a statewide initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Maine in November 2016 (unless the state legislature does so first). Passing Question 1 in the state’s most populous city will build an incredible amount of momentum and send a message that broader reform will soon come to the entire state.
My latest piece on the Huffington Post provides a summary of what MPP has in store for 2013. In particular, it lays out our general plans to change marijuana laws in states around the country and at the federal level, and it describes how we plan to continue building public support for future reform efforts.
Unless people have been hiding under a rock this past couple months, they know that more than 55 percent of voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana on November 6. As a result, many people have grand expectations of how we’re going to get closer to ending marijuana prohibition in the U.S. this year.
Here is what I think we can reasonably accomplish by the end of 2013…
Check out the column at the Huffington Post to get the details, or you can find out more here on our website.