Vermont Poll Shows Majority Support Making Marijuana Legal

A new poll released by the Castleton Polling InstituteScreen Shot 2015-03-18 at 4.46.33 PM shows that a majority of Vermont residents want to make marijuana legal and regulated for adults.

VTDigger.org reports:

Respondents in the recent poll were asked: “Two states — Washington and Colorado — have legalized and regulated marijuana for recreational use. Do you support or oppose passing a similar law in Vermont to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use?”

Of those surveyed, 54 percent supported the idea with 40 percent opposed. Six percent had no opinion.

Support was particularly strong among young people with 70 percent of respondents age 18-44 (or 161 people) in favor. The results were about opposite for those 65 and older, who opposed legalization 61 percent to 30 percent.

“Clearly, the opposition remains most substantial among voters who are 65-plus and Republicans,” said Matt Simon of the Marijuana Policy Project. “I guess some people remain nostalgic for a simpler time when you could ‘Just Say No’ and be done with the issue, but any realistic person realizes that those days are long gone — that marijuana is here to stay whether we like it or not, and we have to figure out how best to deal with it.”

Vermont lawmakers are currently considering a bill which would tax and regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol.

Texas Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced

Today, Texas State Rep. Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso filed HB 3785 — the comprehensive,Screen shot 2015-03-25 at 5.02.32 PM whole-plant medical marijuana bill that patients and advocates have been campaigning for. This marks a historical moment in Texas, as it is the first bill of its kind to be considered by the Texas Legislature.

HB 3785 proposes a far more comprehensive approach to protecting patients than the two other medical marijuana-related bills introduced in the Texas House this session. The bill establishes a framework for dispensaries, growers, and manufacturers to provide seriously ill patients with the medicine they need.

The qualifying conditions are far broader than other bills, and would include: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and conditions causing wasting, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe muscle spasms.

Registered patients (and their caregivers) would be free from fear of arrest and could legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. They’d also be permitted to grow up to six plants in their home, three of which could be mature plants estimated to yield four ounces each per year.

If you are a Texas resident, please take a moment to contact your Texas legislators about this important bill. We’ve set up a webpage that allows you to email them both in one shot. Supporters are encouraged to personalize the form letter provided if you or a loved one could benefit from legal access to medical marijuana.

Nevada Assembly Misses Historic Opportunity to End Marijuana Prohibition

Earlier today, the Nevada Assembly missed its last opportunity to vote on Initiative Petition 1, which proposes legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and over. Since the legislature did not approvenevada-welcome the measure itself, the measure will appear on the ballot for the 2016 general election. This inaction means Nevadans will have to wait until late next year for the chance to end their state’s destructive and costly prohibition of marijuana.

Please “like” Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada on Facebook so that the campaign can keep you posted as the ballot initiative campaign gets underway. While polls show strong public support, we can’t take victory for granted. We’ll need your help to get the word out and run a strong campaign.

As many in Colorado and Washington have already learned, legalization allows adults who prefer a substance that is safer than alcohol avoid arrest, jail, and damaged futures. The Initiative to Tax and Regulate Marijuana also affords greater access for seriously ill patients, because patients who suffer from conditions that are not currently included in the state medical marijuana program — such as Alzheimer’s disease — lack legal protections. And, of course, legalization saves scarce law enforcement resources for serious crime, while providing revenue to the state.

But while the Nevada Legislature missed this opportunity, history continues to move forward, and Nevada voters will have the final say come November 8, 2016. Please stay tuned for more updates.

New Hampshire House Overwhelmingly Approves Decriminalization Bill

Yesterday, the New Hampshire House passed HB 618, a bill that would reduce the penalty for possessing up to one-half ounce of marijuana to a violation. This was the sixth time the House has approved a marijuana decriminalization bill since 2008, and this time the vote was an overwhelming 297-67!

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Rep. Adam Schroadter

HB 618, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket) and a bipartisan group of seven co-sponsors, would make possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana punishable by a civil fine of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and up to $500 for third or subsequent offenses. Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that treats simple marijuana possession as a criminal offense with the potential for jail time.

The next step will be the state senate, which has rejected previous efforts to decriminalize marijuana possession.

If you are a New Hampshire resident, please contact your senator today!

Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

03.10.2015_Booker Rand Gillibrand Press Conference
Sen. Gillibrand, Sen. Booker, Sen. Paul, and patient advocates at press conference announcing medical marijuana legislation.

Historic legislation was introduced earlier today in the United States Senate. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)  announced the introduction of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act. This is the first time legislation that would make medical marijuana legal under federal law has been introduced in the Senate.

Ask your senators to co-sponsor this historic legislation.

First and foremost, the bill would make production, distribution, and possession of marijuana for medical purposes that’s legal under state law legal under federal law. The bill would also remove barriers to scientific research, allow Veterans Administration physicians to recommend medical marijuana, allow interstate transportation of CBD oils, ensure medical marijuana dispensaries are taxed fairly, and allow all marijuana businesses — including adult-use stores in Colorado and elsewhere — to access the banking system and no longer be forced to operate on a cash-only basis.

There’s no reason your senators shouldn’t be co-sponsoring this bill. Please email their offices and ask them to sign on.

Marijuana Policy Project