Prohibition

MPP to Host Delaware Activist Training on Dec. 10

November 22nd, 2016 No Comments Maggie Ellinger-Locke
The Delaware Legislature’s 2017 session begins on January 10. While advocates expect ending cannabis prohibition to be taken up, to move this important issue forward, we need to grow our team of effective activists. That’s where you come in!flag_of_delaware-svg
Please join the Marijuana Policy Project on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Wilmington Public Library for a training to sharpen your citizen lobbying skills! You can RSVP here.
We’ll discuss the legislative process and how to get involved, the contents of the proposed bill to regulate cannabis like alcohol, and we’ll strategize on ensuring a successful legislative session. This training will have a special emphasis on messaging and communication strategies. It should be a fun, educational event featuring role-playing.
Join us to build your skills as an organizer on December 10 at 1 p.m.:
DuPont Room
Wilmington, DE 19801
Please join me next month at the library, and be sure to spread the word on social media and by forwarding this message. We want as many people as possible to get involved in reshaping Delaware’s cannabis policies!

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Prohibition

University of Vermont to Host Public Forum on Marijuana Policy

November 17th, 2016 No Comments Matt Simon
Legislative leaders in Montpelier are describing last week’s victory in Massachusetts as a “game changer” for Vermont. This week, Sen. Dick Sears, chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, told a VPR reporter, “For me, that’s a game-changer, that Massachusetts has voted to legalize. Rep. Maxine Grad, chair of the equally powerful House Judiciary Committee, agreed and said she thought the House would be much more amenable to ending marijuana prohibition now that legalization is definitely coming to a neighboring state.university_of_vermont
It is critical that we continue building momentum for legalization and regulation. We had a very successful event this week, and we’re looking forward to another great event called “Cannabis on Campus” on Thursday, Dec. 1, at the University of Vermont. Here are the details:
WHAT: Cannabis on Campus: The Implications of Reform in Vermont and Beyond
(This event is free and open to the public.)
WHO: Hosted by the Community Development and Applied Economics Department at UVM in partnership with Heady Vermont. Program includes presentations on medical cannabis and hemp, and a debate between MPP’s Matt Simon and SAM-VT’s Margo Austin about legalization and regulation for adult use.
WHEN: Thursday, December 1
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Dudley H. Davis Student Center
University of Vermont
590 Main St.
Burlington, VT 05405
Please forward this message to your friends and family. If you use Facebook, please RSVP and share the event page.

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Uncategorized

What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for Marijuana Policy?

November 17th, 2016 22 Comments Morgan Fox

On the same night that voters in eight states were approving marijuana policy reform initiatives, Donald Trump was on his way to being elected the next President of the United States. the_white_house_in_washington_dcWhile this divisive election has left some people jubilant and others outraged, many are wondering what a Trump presidency will mean for the future of marijuana policy reform efforts as well as the progress we have made so far.

While it is difficult to tell what will happen in the next administration, MPP is hopeful that the current federal policy of not targeting people and businesses in compliance with state marijuana laws will continue in the next administration. Read the rest of this entry »

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General

MPP Receives Award for Community Activism at the 2016 Cannabist Awards

November 17th, 2016 No Comments Marijuana Policy Project

MPP received the Award for Community Activism at the 2016 Cannabist Awards last night during the Cannabis Business Conference and Expo in Las Vegas. Fittingly, the award was accepted by our director of state campaigns, Matthew Schweich, who oversaw MPP’s highly successful initiative efforts in 2016.

Thank you to everyone who voted for us, and an even bigger thank you to all of the volunteers and supporters who help us do the work we do.

matt-schweich-accepting-cannabist-2016-community-activism-award
Matthew Schweich, Director of State Campaigns

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Tax and Regulate

MPP to Host Events in Michigan to Explore 2018 Initiative to Regulate Marijuana

November 16th, 2016 4 Comments Marijuana Policy Project
2000px-seal_of_michigan-svgThis year, MPP was instrumental in passing a number of marijuana policy reform initiatives around the country. We are very interested in bringing our expertise to Michigan for a November 2018 initiative. We’d like to team up with local advocates and make Michigan the first in the Midwest to replace prohibition with sensible regulation.
In mid-December, MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia and Director of State Policies Karen O’Keefe will hold public forums in three major Michigan cities to hear from local advocates, and to discuss what it’ll take to legalize marijuana in the Great Lakes State.
Thursday, Dec. 15, 6:30 p.m.
Grand Rapids Community College
 
Friday, Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.
The Om of Medicine, Ann Arbor
 
Saturday, Dec. 17, 2:00 p.m.
University of Michigan Detroit Center, downtown Detroit
Please spread the word to other sensible Michiganders. Together, we can consign marijuana prohibition to the dustbin of history!

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General

MPP Members Elect New Member to Board of Directors

November 15th, 2016 2 Comments Marijuana Policy Project

The Marijuana Policy Project is proud to welcome Emily Paxhia to the Marijuana Policy Project Board of Directors.

MPP’s dues-paying members elected Ms. Paxhia to the board this week following a seven-day voting period involving three highly qualified candidates. This popularly-elected board member will serve a three-year term, during which she will help guide the overall direction of the organization.

Here is Ms. Paxhia’s bio from Poseidon Asset Management, where she is currently a managing partner:

Emily shifted her focus entirely to the cannabis industry in 2013. Since that time, she has taken her experience of researching markets, companies and strategic opportunities and turned it entirely to the world of cannabis. Her focus on understanding where the market is headed, rather than where it has been has been, is critical to building a diverse portfolio of companies that span the sector.

emilypaxhia
Emily Paxhia

With 15+ years in working with Fortune 500 companies to develop products, to resolve strategic errors, and to address new target audiences has been beneficial to continuing to build Poseidon’s portfolio companies along their path to success. 

Emily brings a qualitative lens to the review and due diligence process and has aimed to be connected and involved in as many aspects of the industry as possible. She has been seen speaking at WomenGrow Events, MJ Business Journal Conference, ArcView, Opal Investment Conferences, KQED, World Agritech Summit, Hemp Industries Association conferences, YPO and WPO events, etc. She sits on the boards of portfolio companies and also the National Hemp Association. Emily’s drive to grow the portfolio is catalyzed by her intense love of the industry and her desire to provide returns to their Limited Partners.

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Prohibition

Bills to Reduce Marijuana Penalties Introduced in Texas

November 15th, 2016 6 Comments Heather Fazio
Nov. 14 was the first day bills could be filed in Texas for the 2017 legislative session, and Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) didn’t waste any time. He introduced HB 81, which would replace possible arrests and jail time with a civil fine for low-level possession of marijuana. As a former prosecutor and the current Vice Chairman of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, Rep. Moody is a champion of sensible marijuana policy because he has seen how current laws are failing our communities.
moody
Rep. Joe Moody
Sen. Jose Rodríguez, also of El Paso, introduced a Senate companion bill, SB 170.
The bill, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), would make possession of one ounce or less of marijuana a non-criminal offense punishable by a fine of $250. Under current law, possession of two ounces or less is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail.
In addition to preventing arrests and traumatic incarceration, reducing possession to a civil penalty would stop marking marijuana consumers for life with a devastating criminal record that can derail dreams. Collateral consequences from a conviction include limiting access to higher education, employability, and occupational licensing — plus, it results in the automatic suspension of a person’s drivers license. These penalties are harsh and unreasonable.

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Tax and Regulate

Denver Approves Groundbreaking Social Use Initiative

November 15th, 2016 4 Comments Marijuana Policy Project

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-53-11-amDenver voters have approved a ballot initiative to allow social cannabis use in certain private businesses. Initiated Ordinance 300 (I-300) was too close to call on Election Day, but once all the ballots were counted, it ended up receiving a solid 53.5% of the vote.

I-300 creates a pilot program for permitting private establishments to allow adult cannabis consumption in designated areas. The city will only issue permits to establishments that have received formal support from their officially recognized neighborhood organization or business-improvement district, and recipients will be required to follow a number of guidelines. A full description of I-300 is available on the Yes on 300 campaign’s website.

The passage of I-300 is generating a ton of media attention around the country and abroad.

Mashable reports:

“This is a groundbreaking law that reflects the shift taking place in the public attitudes toward marijuana,” Mason Tvert, Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Mashable.

“By allowing adults to use marijuana in certain private establishments, we can reduce the chances that they are going to use it in public, like on the street or in the park. This is a community-focused measure that ensures neighborhoods will have the final say over what is and is not allowed,” Tvert said.

“We believe this will allow communities and businesses to test the waters to see what works, then move forward with the best plans possible. We are hopeful this will produce a system that can serve as a model for other cities and towns in Colorado and throughout the nation,” Tvert told Mashable.

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Tax and Regulate

Four States End Marijuana Prohibition

November 15th, 2016 7 Comments Marijuana Policy Project

On Election Day, voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada declared an end to the war on marijuana in their states by approving initiatives to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol for adults. This historic event was by far the biggest victory for drug policy reform to date, and will help pave the way for progress around the country.recreational

There are now eight states where marijuana is legal for adults to possess and where cultivation and retail sales are regulated and taxed. Marijuana possession and cultivation are legal in the District of Columbia, but Congress has prevented the city from regulating the non-medical marijuana industry.

This means that marijuana is legal for 66.5 million Americans, or about 21% of the population.

Unfortunately, a similar initiative in Arizona is trailing while the final votes are being counted, but advocates are already preparing to continue the fight in the legislature and possibly at the ballot in coming years.

Support for ending marijuana prohibition is increasing across the nation, according to recent polls. Marijuana initiatives out-performed a number of successful politicians in some states as well. During President-elect Trump’s campaign, he voiced support for leaving marijuana policy up to the states. Advocates are hopeful that the next administration will support the will of the people and continue the federal policy of non-interference until Congress is able to pass meaningful marijuana policy reform.

 

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Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Initiatives Sweep Election Night

November 15th, 2016 5 Comments Morgan Fox

All four of the medical marijuana initiatives being considered by states on Election Night were approved by voters, adding to the considerable momentum of marijuana policy reform sweeping the country. Voters in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota approved initiatives for new medical marijuana programs, and Montana voted to significantly expand access and improve its existing program.

medicalAs of now, there are effective medical marijuana laws on the books in 28 states and the District of Columbia, covering 198 million Americans (or roughly 62% of the population). Patients in states without legal, safe, and reliable access to medical marijuana should continue to put pressure on their elected representatives to pass sensible reforms at the state and federal level. Together, we can make sure the seriously ill aren’t treated like criminals for much longer.

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