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Maine Campaign Submits More Than Twice Signatures Necessary to Qualify for Ballot

February 4th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

After months of hard work, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Maine  have submitted over 100,000 signatures to the Maine Secretary of State. This effort would not have been possible without the dedication of Mainers who believe in ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition, and the sheer number of signatures is a good indicator of how badly the people want to bring this issue to voters.ME Release Header - NEW

Soon, we will hear back from the Secretary of State, but we are very confident that our campaign collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

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Arizona Legalization Campaign Uses Phoenix Open-inspired Billboard to Educate Voters

February 4th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

This weekend, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of the largest golf events of the year, will take place in Scottsdale. This tournament has been called “The Greatest Party on Grass,” based, in part, on the amount of alcohol consumed at the event. The tournament even has Coors as one of its sponsors.

In response, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol posted a billboard in Phoenix posing the question, “If beer and golf make for the ‘Greatest Party on Grass’… Why can’t adults enjoy a safer party on grass?” As you can see, it is a fun billboard. But the message is quite serious. We as a society let adults enjoy alcohol — as we should — but we punish adults who prefer a safer substance. That’s just wrong.

CRMLA Golf Billboard

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California Medical Association Officially Endorses Marijuana Initiative

February 2nd, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

On Monday, the California Medical Associationcma-logo announced that it was officially supporting the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), which would make marijuana legal for adults in California and regulate it similarly to alcohol.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

CMA officials, in a statement released by the legalization campaign, which is funded by billionaire venture capitalist Sean Parker and supported by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said their rationale was twofold: Under a legal market, cannabis could be monitored, researched, regulated and mitigated to protect the public health; and improper diversion by healthy patients into the medical marijuana system could reduced. They stressed they do not encourage marijuana use and discourage smoking.

“The California Medical Association believes the Adult Use of Marijuana Act is a comprehensive and thoughtfully constructed measure that will allow state officials to better protect public health by clarifying the role of physicians, controlling and regulating marijuana use by responsible adults and keeping it out of the hands of children,” Dr. Steven Larson, CMA’s president, said in prepared remarks.

“Medical marijuana should be strictly regulated like medicine to ensure safe and appropriate use by patients with legitimate health conditions and adult-use marijuana should be regulated like alcohol. This measure – along with the recently-passed medical marijuana bills – will ensure the State of California does both – while keeping the public health and public interest as paramount concerns,” Larson added.

This is the second big statewide organization to endorse the AUMA in as many months. The California State NAACP announced its support for the measure back in January.

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

D.C. Voters Want Mayor to Work Around Congressional Ban on Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol

January 29th, 2016 No Comments Kate Bell

A survey release this week by Public Policy Polling showed that 66% of voters in the District of Columbia support Mayor Muriel Bowser pursuing legal methods to allow D.C. to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol despite a Congressional ban.Flag_Map_of_Washington_DC

Voters overwhelming approved Initiative 71 in 2014, which made marijuana legal in the nation’s capital, but Congress passed a budget rider that prevents the implementation of regulated commercial cultivation and retail establishments. Provisions related to personal possession and limited home cultivation were unaffected by the law and are currently legal in D.C.

This poll shows that the vast majority of D.C. voters would support the mayor using reserve funds to implement a system to tax and regulate marijuana. This would not only show that D.C. rejects Congressional interference with the will of the voters, but also bring the illicit marijuana market out of the shadows and reap millions in tax revenue.

In addition, 61% of voters are in favor of giving adults a safe and lawful place to consume marijuana outside their homes. Supporters including MPP met with the mayor last week, and she said she was open to working with us and our allies on the D.C. Council to move forward on a compromise that would end the blanket ban on use outside the home, currently set to expire on April 13. This will help restore the rights that D.C. voters supported when they voted yes on Initiative 71.

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Vermont Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Regulation Bill

January 29th, 2016 No Comments Matt Simon

VT Coalition logo - SmallThe Vermont Senate Committee on Judiciary approved a bill (4-1) on Friday that would end marijuana prohibition in the state and regulate marijuana for adult use.

S. 241 would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and establish a tightly controlled system of licensed marijuana cultivation sites, testing facilities, and retail stores. It would also create a study commission to examine issues such as edible marijuana products and home cultivation, which would not be allowed under the bill. It would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive under the influence of marijuana. If approved, rulemaking would begin this summer, but the new law would not take effect until January 2018. The bill will now go to the Senate Committee on Finance for consideration.

VT commercial screenshotThe Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana is working to build support for the bill and keep up the momentum. It recently launched a  television ad, produced by the Marijuana Policy Project, which features former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney. Cheney was also the subject of a series of web ads launched earlier this month.

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Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Launches TV Ad Campaign

January 28th, 2016 No Comments Matt Simon

 

The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana released a new television ad this week, produced by the Marijuana Policy Project, featuring Vermont’s former top law enforcement official. The ad began airing statewide on Tuesday and will appear on WCAX, CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC through Sunday.VT commercial screenshot

In the ad, titled “Time to End Prohibition (Again),” former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney points out that “marijuana prohibition has caused a lot of the same problems” as Alcohol Prohibition. The ad ends with Cheney urging viewers to contact their state senators and tell them, “It’s time to end prohibition and start regulating marijuana in Vermont.”

In a news release, MPP’s Montpelier-based New England political director, Matt Simon, said:

“Mr. Cheney decided to appear in this ad for the same reason he served as the state’s top law enforcement official. He cares strongly about the safety and wellbeing of Vermont citizens. 

“There are a lot of current and former law enforcement officials out there who support ending prohibition and regulating marijuana. It’s important that citizens and lawmakers hear from them.”

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Delaware Supporters to Lobby State Lawmakers Thursday

January 25th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

This Thursday, the Cannabis Bureau of Delaware Cannabis Bureau of Delawarewill be hosting a lobby day to urge lawmakers to support ending marijuana prohibition in the First State. Residents who want to see real marijuana policy reform should  set up an appointment with your elected representatives to let them know why you think it is time Delaware joins Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington in making marijuana legal for adults.

Unlike the four states that already tax and regulate marijuana, Delawareans cannot vote on ballot initiatives to change existing laws. This is why it is so important that you make your voice heard.

Register here to lobby on Thursday, January 28 in Dover.

We will begin with a training session with John Flaherty, Director of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, who has 20 years of experience as a lobbyist. He will guide us through best practices, helping you to become a more effective advocate.

If you can’t make it to speak up for sensible marijuana policy in person, you can send your legislators a quick message using our automated system.

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Vermont Coalition Launches Ad Campaign with Former State Attorney General

January 12th, 2016 No Comments Matt Simon

On Tuesday, the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana held a press conference to announce the launch of an ad campaign featuring former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney highlighting the benefits of regulating marijuana.

Cheney served as Vermont attorney general from 1973 to 1975. Previously, he served as an assistant attorney general and was elected Washington County states attorney. He has held a variety of other civic positions and is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

The ads can be viewed here.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Vermont Governor Asks Legislature to End Prohibition

January 8th, 2016 No Comments Matt Simon

Yesterday, in his state of the state address, Gov. Peter Shumlin asked the Vermont Legislature to develop and pass a marijuana regulation bill in the 2016 session. “I will work with you,” he told legislators, “to craft the right bill that thoughtfully and carefully eliminates the era of prohibition that is currently failing us so miserably.”

Gov. Peter Shumlin. VTD/Josh Larkin
Gov. Peter Shumlin. VTD/Josh Larkin

This is great news, but passage of a marijuana regulation bill is far from being a done deal in Montpelier. Senate committees will begin working out the details very soon, but many legislators remain either opposed or on the fence.

If you are a Vermont resident, please contact your lawmakers and tell them you agree with Gov. Shumlin that it’s time to end prohibition.

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Oregon Now Accepting Marijuana Business Applications

January 5th, 2016 No Comments Chris Lindsey

Monday marked the start of the application process for those seeking to operate a business that would serve the adult retail market in Oregon.2000px-Seal_of_Delaware.svg Applicants can now apply to be a non-medical marijuana producer, processor, wholesaler, laboratory, or retailer, or obtain a research certificate, on the state’s website.

Those with questions may send them to [email protected] or call (503) 872-6366. A comprehensive FAQ has been set up for those interested in the state’s recreational program.

This stage marks an important milestone in the transition now underway in the state. Currently, medical marijuana dispensaries participating in early-start recreational sales can provide cannabis for adult consumers, with dedicated shops serving the adult market coming online late this year. Monday also marked the first day that sales taxes apply for retail transactions. Participating medical dispensaries are now taxed at 25% for non-patient sales, but the sales tax could be as low as 17% for those with retail licenses.

State licensing officials report they will focus on cultivation and testing lab applications at the outset to help ensure production can begin as early as possible, and licenses could be issued in the spring. Retail shops are expected to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

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