Prohibition

State Lawmakers to Hold Hearing Thursday on Bill to Legalize Possession and Cultivation of Cannabis in New Hampshire; Pre-hearing News Conference at 12:30 p.m.

Prior to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee hearing on HB 1648, bill sponsors Rep. Carol McGuire and Rep. Renny Cushing will join leaders of ACLU-NH, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire, and the Marijuana Policy Project to discuss the proposal

CONCORD, N.H. — The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on HB 1648, legislation that would legalize possession and limited cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older in New Hampshire. 

Sponsors of HB 1648, including Rep. Carol McGuire (R-Epsom) and Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton), will join supporters of the bill for a pre-hearing news conference at 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of the New Hampshire Legislative Office Building. Participants will include leaders from ACLU-NH, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire, and the Marijuana Policy Project. 

“The time has come to end our outdated policy of punishing adults for possessing cannabis,” McGuire said. “It does not make sense for New Hampshire to remain an island of prohibition.” 

A summary of HB 1648 is available here.

WHAT: News conference and hearing on HB 1648, the bill to legalize possession and limited cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older in New Hampshire

WHEN: Thursday, January 23; news conference at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by the hearing at 1:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: News conference in the lobby of the New Hampshire Legislative Office Building, 33 N. State St., Concord; the hearing will be held in Rooms 210-211

WHO: Rep. Carol McGuire (R-Epsom), sponsor of HB 1648

Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton), cosponsor of HB 1648

Richard Van Wickler, superintendent, Cheshire County Department of Corrections, representing Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Jeanne Hruska, political director, ACLU-NH

Ross Connolly, deputy director, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire

Matt Simon, New England political director, Marijuana Policy Project

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Prohibition

Md.: Automatic expungement bill introduced; hearing next week!

Show support for HB 83 and other cannabis policy reform efforts in 2020 by joining us for our annual lobby day on Tuesday, February 4 (8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) in Annapolis! Register to join us here.

A bill — HB 83 — has been introduced by Delegate David Moon (D) to provide for automatic expungement of marijuana possession convictions.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for the bill on Tuesday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 101 of the House Office Building — located at 6 Bladen Street in Annapolis. Note that other bills are also scheduled during this committee meeting, so there could be a significant wait before the bill is called.

You can voice your support at the hearing by providing written and/or oral testimony. We particularly encourage testimony from those who have been personally impacted by a marijuana possession conviction.

You can find guidelines on providing testimony here. If you provide oral testimony, you will be limited to three minutes. Please be polite and respectful and dress in business or business casual attire.

HB 83 is an important and just reform that will allow those branded with a marijuana possession conviction to move on with their lives without suffering the harsh collateral consequences a conviction carries.

Conviction records make it more difficult to obtain housing, a job, and a college education. Discriminatory enforcement of marijuana laws means these collateral consequences disproportionately affect people of color.

Please consider showing your support for HB 83 at next week’s hearing, and help spread the word by forwarding this message to your friends and family in Maryland.

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Medical Marijuana||Tax and Regulate

All hands on deck for cannabis policy in New Hampshire!

We are holding an advocacy workshop this evening in Manchester, and there will be legislative hearings on medical cannabis bills Wednesday afternoon and on the legalization bill Thursday afternoon.

There will be several opportunities to support cannabis policy reform in New Hampshire this week. This is a very important time to make sure your voice is being heard in Concord!

Here are the three events that will be taking place:

TUESDAY — Cannabis Legalization Advocacy Workshop

WHEN: Tuesday, January 21, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Americans for Prosperity, 340 Granite Street (First Floor), Manchester
Click here for more details and to RSVP.

WEDNESDAY — Public Hearings on Medical Cannabis Home Cultivation Bill and Other Bills

WHEN: The hearings will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. Legislators will testify first, followed by members of the public. Click here for more details on the bills and hearings.
WHERE: Legislative Office Building, Room 101, 33 North State Street, Concord (behind the capitol building)
Click here to RSVP.

THURSDAY — Public Hearing on the Cannabis Legalization Bill

WHEN: Advocates will gather for a press conference at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 23. The hearing will begin at 1:30 p.m. Legislators will testify first, followed by members of the public. Please note that the hearing may last several hours.
WHERE: Legislative Office Building, 33 North State Street, Concord (behind the capitol building) — Press conference in lobby; hearing in Rooms 210-212.
Click here to RSVP.

You can read a summary of the legalization bill, HB 1648, here.

Please mark your calendars and share this message with your friends and family. If you can’t make it to the workshop this evening but are interested in testifying at one of the hearings, please email Matt Simon directly, and he will send you more information.

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Prohibition

N.H.: Public hearing on new legalization bill set for January 23!

To prepare, join advocates for a workshop in Manchester on Tuesday, January 21 — also, email your state legislators today and ask for their support!

The state legislature convened last week, and a public hearing has already been scheduled for the new legalization bill, HB 1648, on Thursday, January 23. This would be a great day for you to visit the state house and voice your support!

Here are the details:

WHAT: Public hearing on HB 1648

WHEN: Advocates will gather for a press conference at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 23. The hearing will begin at 1:30 p.m. Legislators will testify first, followed by members of the public. Please note that the hearing may last several hours.

WHERE: Legislative Office Building, 33 North State Street, Concord (behind the capitol building) — Press conference in lobby, hearing in Rooms 210-212

WHO: All supporters of HB 1648 are welcome to sign in and/or testify in support. You can RSVP here on Facebook.

Since the Senate and governor have already made it clear that they’re not ready to support legalizing and regulating cannabis sales in 2020, we have decided to refocus efforts in support of this bill, which would simply legalize possession and limited home cultivation for adults 21 and older — similar to Vermont’s legalization law. You can read a summary of HB 1648 here.

To help supporters prepare for the hearing, our allies at Americans for Prosperity have offered to host an advocacy workshop at their Manchester office on Tuesday, January 21, and we would love to have you join us! Here are the details:

WHAT: Cannabis Legalization Advocacy Workshop

WHEN: Tuesday, January 21, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Americans for Prosperity, 340 Granite Street (first floor), Manchester

WHO: Supporters of HB 1648

You can RSVP here at the Facebook event page.

Please mark your calendars and share this message with your friends and family. If you can’t make it to the workshop but are interested in testifying at the hearing, please email me directly, and I will send you more information.

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Tax and Regulate

Florida: Legalization bill introduced!

Ask your lawmakers to support legalizing and regulating cannabis for adults 21 and older!

On Monday, January 13, Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) introduced a bill, SB 1860, to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. A House companion bill, HB 1389, was also introduced.

Meanwhile, it was announced this week that marijuana legalization will not make it to the ballot for voters to decide on in 2020. However, the state legislature could still legalize cannabis for adult use.

Ask your lawmakers to support SB 1860/HB 1389 to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult use!

Here are a few things the proposed legislation would do:

  • Allow adults to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis in a form for smoking from a licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC);
  • Eliminate the requirement that MMTCs be vertically integrated — meaning businesses would not have to grow, sell, and process cannabis — they could just perform one of the functions;
  • Direct the Department of Health to develop procedures to issue and renew licenses for the cultivation, processing, retail sale, and transportation of cannabis;
  • Provide for expungement of criminal records for past cannabis convictions; and
  • Direct the Department of Agriculture to issue a study on the effects of home cultivation.

By legalizing cannabis for adults 21 and older, Florida can reduce the number of cannabis-related arrests, displace the illicit market, and free up law enforcement resources to focus on serious crimes.

Ask your lawmakers to follow the will of the majority of Floridians to end prohibition and replace it with a system of regulation. Then, forward this message to your networks and encourage them to do the same.

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Medical Marijuana

S.C.: Medical cannabis a big topic as lawmakers reconvene

Click here to send a message in support of relief for patients and veterans.

Earlier today, lawmakers reconvened in Columbia to continue their 2019-2020 session. Both the House and Senate are picking up the medical cannabis discussion where they left off. We need your help to make sure the legislature finally gives patients the relief they deserve.

Send your lawmakers a message in support of these bills right now. Our automated system makes it quick and easy to write your lawmakers. You can send a pre-drafted letter, make edits to share your story, or compose your own letter.

Here is a quick summary of where things stand, next steps, and how supporters can help.

Twin bills were introduced last year — one in the House and one in the Senate. Sen. Tom Davis (R) is the lead sponsor behind the Senate bill, S. 366, which was assigned to the Senate Medical Affairs Committee. In 2019, a Senate subcommittee held hearings and advanced the bill with some amendments. The full committee began work on the bill last Spring and is expected to take the bill up again in the coming weeks.

Over on the House side, Rep. Peter McCoy (R) sponsors the bill, H. 3660, which has been posted for a Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee (“3M”) subcommittee hearing next Tuesday.

We want pressure to continue during the session, so please stay tuned. Right now, you can take a moment to send a message to your Senator and House member in support. Help us ensure 2020 will be the year we finally see a law pass. Support S. 366 and H. 3660 today!

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Medical Marijuana

Kansas Legislature convenes for 2020 session this week

Email your lawmakers today and ask them to support a compassionate medical cannabis program!

The legislature kicked off its 2020 session yesterday.

Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has reiterated her support for legalizing medical cannabis, making it part of her personal agenda for 2020. But, a bill must clear the legislature first.

Now is a great time to pressure your legislators to make medical cannabis a priority this year.

It is past time Kansas join the majority of states and establish a well-regulated, compassionate medical cannabis program. Kansas is now surrounded on three sides by states that have legalized either medical cannabis or cannabis for adult use, and 68 percent of Kansans support the medical use of cannabis.

People who could benefit from medical cannabis should not have to wait — and in some cases cannot wait — for the right to use it legally. Please email your lawmakers today and urge them to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program.

Together, we can help Kansas patients access the medicine they deserve.

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Tax and Regulate

Delaware Legislature kicks off its 2020 session today

Ask your lawmakers to support HB 110!

The General Assembly begins its 2020 legislative session today. Last year, HB 110, a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adult use was introduced and passed the House Revenue and Finance Committee (7-1). The bill is now pending action this session in the House Appropriations Committee.

Please email your lawmakers today and ask them to support HB 110!

Delawareans deserve a just, equitable cannabis policy. Replacing cannabis prohibition with sensible regulation would reduce the number of cannabis-related arrests, free up law enforcement resources to focus on more serious crimes, and generate a new source of revenue for the state.

Check out our full summary of HB 110 here.

You can take further action by attending the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network’s Citizens’ Cannabis Lobby Day! Help spread the word by sharing the event on Facebook.

When: Thursday, January 16, 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Where: Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Avenue, Dover, DE

Ask your state legislators to stand with 61% of Delawareans and support HB 110. After your contact your lawmakers, please help us spread the word by forwarding this message to your networks in Delaware.

Together, we can end prohibition in the First State!

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Tax and Regulate

New Approach Montana Submits 2020 Marijuana Legalization Ballot Initiatives for State Review

Secretary of State and Attorney General must review the proposed initiatives before signature collecting can begin

New Approach Montana, a statewide political campaign working to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, today submitted two complementary 2020 ballot initiatives to the state government for review. The first is a statutory initiative that would legalize marijuana in Montana for adults aged 21 and over and establish a regulatory framework for cultivation and sales. The second is a constitutional amendment that would allow the legal minimum age for marijuana consumption to be 21.

“Montanans support legalizing marijuana and setting the minimum age at 21,” said Pepper Petersen, spokesperson for New Approach Montana. “Our initiatives will give voters the opportunity to approve those laws at the ballot box on Election Day. It’s time for Montana to stop wasting law enforcement resources that could be spent fighting more serious crime. We can shift marijuana out of the illicit market and into licensed, regulated, and tax-paying businesses. At the same time, we can create jobs and generate significant new revenue for the state.”

The initiatives were hand-delivered to the Secretary of State and the Legislative Services Division today, starting a review process that will also involve the Attorney General and the Governor’s budget director.

New Approach Montana is sponsoring both initiatives, which were were drafted with the assistance of Montana voters, stakeholders, and policy experts.

“These initiatives are the result of a collaborative and diligent drafting process,” said Petersen. “We held seven community listening sessions across the state and received input from hundreds of Montana voters. We’ve spoken with community, church, and tribal leaders. Montana lawyers with experience in ballot initiative drafting and litigation have carefully vetted the details. We’ve received input from Montanans with expertise on our state’s existing medical marijuana program, civil rights, and fiscal policy. We have covered every base.”

The statutory initiative establishes a legalization policy that builds upon Montana’s existing medical marijuana framework.

“It was important to us that Montana entrepreneurs and businesses would be in a strong position to compete in the legalization market, and our initiative ensures that will be the case,” said Petersen. “We have every confidence that this uniquely Montanan approach to marijuana legalization, regulation, and taxation will gain widespread support at the ballot box in November.”

After the Attorney General has approved the final petitions, New Approach Montana must gather 25,468 signatures to qualify the statutory initiative for the 2020 ballot and 50,936 signatures to qualify the constitutional initiative.

New Approach Montana determined that it was necessary to amend the state constitution if Montana was going to follow the example of every other legal state by restricting marijuana to those 21 years and older.

“There is strong precedent for changing the Montana constitution to restrict marijuana to those 21 years and older,” said Petersen. “As a state, we amended the constitution in 1986 to allow the legislature to restrict alcohol sales to those 21 and over. Our 2020 constitutional amendment adds just two words to existing constitutional language that addresses alcohol, so that marijuana can be age-restricted in the same manner.”

The statutory initiative allows possession of up to an ounce by adults aged 21 and older, establishes the Montana Department of Revenue as the regulatory agency, gives Montana medical marijuana providers first entry into the expanded marijuana market, and reduces the tax on medical marijuana from two percent to one percent.

The initiative sets a 20% sales tax on marijuana (this would not apply to medical marijuana) and allocates the tax revenue to land, water, and wildlife conservation programs, veteran services, substance abuse treatment, long-term health care, local governments where marijuana is sold, and general revenue for the state.

“Our campaign’s initial analysis found that a 20% marijuana sales tax would generate over $37 million per year in new revenue by 2025,” Peterson said.

More information, including the full texts of the initiatives, can be found at: www.newapproachmt.org.

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Tax and Regulate

Special elections TOMORROW could be crucial for cannabis legalization

If there’s an election in your town, find out where candidates stand before you vote! If not, please contact your representatives and senators today.

Two special elections for state representative are being held in Connecticut tomorrow (Tuesday, January 14), and these races could be critical to our success on cannabis legalization in 2020. If you live in one of these two districts, we strongly encourage you to vote! State legislative districts are relatively small, and we’ve seen races decided by a single vote.

To find out where candidates stand, we sent them surveys consisting of one simple question: “Would you support legislation to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older?” Here are the details on who is running and where they stand on the issue:

In the 48th Assembly District (portions of Colchester, Lebanon, Mansfield, and Windham), Brian Smith (D-Colchester) responded yes to our survey. Mark DeCaprio (R-Lebanon) did not respond. During a public forum, DeCaprio indicated that he does not support legalization.

In the 132nd Assembly District (portions of Fairfield), Jennifer Leeper (D-Fairfield) responded yes to our candidate survey. Brian Farnen (R-Fairfield) did not respond.

If you have friends or family living in one of these districts, please forward this message to them and remind them to vote tomorrow! If you’re not sure about your voter registration status or where to vote, click here for more information.

Finally, if you don’t live in one of these districts, please email your elected officials right now and urge them to support ending marijuana prohibition in 2020!

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