Tax and Regulate

BREAKING: House Judiciary Committee passes federal cannabis legalization bill

Urge your U.S. Representative to support the MORE Act on the House floor!

Just moments ago, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee passed the most far-reaching cannabis legalization bill that has ever received a committee vote in Congress. The bill will now be sent to the full House of Representatives. This is a historic moment in our decades-long campaign to end cannabis prohibition at the federal level.

Sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act is a comprehensive approach to fixing our nation’s broken cannabis laws. In addition to federally decriminalizing and descheduling cannabis (thus allowing states to set their own policies), the MORE Act contains strong social equity provisions with an emphasis on restorative justice for communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition. Here are a few things the legislation would do:

  • remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act;
  • require federal courts to expunge prior cannabis-related convictions and provide for resentencing;
  • provide grants and funding to communities most harmed by the war on cannabis — including by assessing a five percent federal tax on cannabis sales, with revenue used to fund programs such as job training, legal aid for those affected by prohibition, and small business loans for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals;
  • lift barriers to licensing and employment in the cannabis industry;
  • block federal agencies from denying public benefits or security clearances due to cannabis use;
  • protect immigrants from being denied citizenship over cannabis; and
  • allow VA physicians to recommend medical cannabis to veterans.

We have two requests:

  1. Contact your representative in support of the MORE Act — help build support for this legislation.
  2. Donate to MPP — provide us with the resources to maintain pressure on Congress to enact landmark federal cannabis reform.

Let’s put an end to cannabis prohibition — with justice for all.

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Tax and Regulate

Michigan: Take action to support marijuana expungement

Click here to send a message to your state senator.

Earlier this month, the Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation to create a simple process for people to expunge marijuana convictions from their records. A package of bills that includes marijuana expungement is expected to receive a vote in the Senate during the first week of December.

Please send a message to your state senator urging them to vote in favor of allowing expungement for past marijuana convictions.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has expressed strong support for the idea and will likely sign the proposal into law if it reaches her desk. 

The legislation could impact an estimated 235,000 residents in Michigan who have been convicted of an offense that is now legal under the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law. These convictions unfairly hold people back and make it much more difficult to secure a job.

Last year, the voters of Michigan decided adults shouldn’t be treated as lawbreakers for using marijuana. But those who were harmed by the war on marijuana are still being punished. Please ask your state senator to support expungement and end this injustice.

Thank you.

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Tax and Regulate

REMINDER: Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition kicks off Thursday!

Panel discussion at the Jupiter Room will feature advocates and legislative leaders — encourage your Manchester area friends to join the MCRC and attend this important event!

If you live in or near Manchester, please join us on Thursday, November 21 as we launch the Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition with an expert panel and Q&A session.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition Kickoff, Featuring Panel and Q&A

WHEN: 6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21

WHERE: Jupiter Hall, 89 Hanover Street, Manchester

WHO: Senator John Reagan (R-Deerfield)
Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton)
Matt Simon, Marijuana Policy Project
Jeanne Hruska, ACLU-NH
Ross Connolly, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire

You can RSVP here at the Facebook event page.

Please mark your calendars for November 21 and share this message with your friends and family in the Manchester area!

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Tax and Regulate

“Be Heard on Cannabis” in Eden Prairie, Eagan, Mankato, and Hibbing next week

Rochester conversation scheduled for Saturday, December 7

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler’s “Be Heard on Cannabis” community conversations are in full swing, giving Minnesotans a chance to weigh in on how to replace cannabis prohibition with sensible regulation. At the end of the process, Rep. Winkler plans to introduce a bill to legalize and regulate cannabis in Minnesota and shepherd it through the House.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming dates, to take part and add your voice to the conversation on how to move forward.

Eden Prairie "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Monday, November 18, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eden Prairie Community Center, Cambria Room, 16700 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Eagan "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Tuesday, November 19, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eagan Community Center, South Oaks Meeting Room, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan, MN 55121

Mankato “Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Wednesday, November 20, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Gustavus Adolphus College Heritage Banquet Room, 800 W College Avenue, Saint Peter, MN 56082

Hibbing "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Saturday, November 23, 2:00 p.m.
Where: Memorial Building little theater, 400 East 23rd Street, Hibbing, MN

Rochester "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: December 7, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Heintz Center at the Rochester Community and Technical College, 851 30th Avenue SE, Rochester, MN

For a list of the hosts and panelists who will lead each community conversation, along with other cities "Be Heard on Cannabis" will visit, check out Rep. Winkler’s "Be Heard on Cannabis" webpage. And stay tuned for updates to the list. The following are expected to host community conversations: Austin, Crystal, Fridley, Maple Grove, New Brighton, Spring Lake Park, and Woodbury.

Don't miss your chance to let your elected officials know it's time to stop punishing Minnesotans for a substance that's safer than alcohol. You may want to consider making a pitch for an inclusive, diverse industry, for allowing home cultivation, and for expunging past convictions.

Even if you're not able to make it, you can still make your voice heard. Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman has an online survey you can complete here. Finally, please spread the word by email or social media to help grow the chorus for reform.

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Tax and Regulate

Michigan: The wait for legal marijuana stores will soon be over

Regulators have announced December 1 as the first day of adult-use sales

Big news! Starting next month, Michiganders will be able to legally purchase marijuana from regulated businesses. Yesterday, officials with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced that a “dozen or so” existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be authorized to open their doors and sell a portion of their supply to adults 21 and older on December 1.

It’s been just over a year since voters approved Proposal 1, which ended marijuana prohibition and paved the way for the establishment of a legal marijuana market. Since then, state regulators have worked expeditiously to establish a regulatory framework for legal sales. Compared to other legalization states, Michigan’s implementation timeline has been fairly quick.

In just a few weeks, adults in Michigan will be able to legally purchase marijuana from a licensed business. This is a huge milestone, because shifting marijuana sales into a regulated environment is a win for public health and public safety. And this was one of the primary goals when MPP decided to launch the legalization ballot initiative campaign back in 2017. This is what it looks like when we win.

Thanks to the hard work of the MPP staff and campaign team, volunteers, generous donors, and the wisdom of the voters, we’re seeing the beginning of a new chapter of marijuana policy in Michigan.

But marijuana remains federally illegal, and there are still only 11 legal states, so please consider contributing to MPP to help us bring reform to the rest of the country.

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Prohibition

N.H.: Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition kicks off on November 21!

Panel discussion at the Jupiter Room will feature advocates and legislative leaders — mark your calendar and encourage your friends to attend this important event!

It has been another very frustrating year for cannabis policy reform advocates in New Hampshire, and Manchester’s three state senators are a big part of the reason. Despite the fact that their state party’s platform calls for legalization of cannabis, Democratic Senators Donna Soucy, Lou D’Allesandro, and Kevin Cavanaugh all voted to kill the bill that would have allowed limited home cultivation by qualifying patients.

If you’re wondering how this could have been possible, check out this article describing the role of Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano and Mayor Joyce Craig in bringing about the defeat of HB 364.

It’s clear that activists need to become more organized and active in the Queen City. If you live in or near Manchester, please join us on Thursday, November 21 as we launch the Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition with an expert panel and Q&A session. Here are the details:

WHAT: Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition Kickoff, featuring expert panel and Q&A

WHEN: 6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, November 21

WHERE: Jupiter Hall, 89 Hanover Street, Manchester

WHO: Sen. John Reagan (R-Deerfield)
Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton)
Matt Simon, Marijuana Policy Project
Jeanne Hruska, ACLU-NH
Ross Connolly, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire

You can RSVP here at the Facebook event page.

Please mark your calendars for November 21 and share this message with your friends and family in the Manchester area!

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Prohibition

Va.: General Election results increase momentum for marijuana policy reform

Ask your lawmakers to make marijuana policy reform a priority in 2020!

Both chambers of the Virginia Legislature flipped in Tuesday’s General Election. Democrats now hold the majority in the state Senate and House of Delegates going into the 2020 legislative session. Marijuana reform efforts have stalled in previous legislatures, but with new leadership, there is new opportunity.

Now is a great time to let your lawmakers know you want them to make marijuana policy reform a priority in 2020.

There has been increasing momentum from elected officials — including Attorney General Mark Herring, Governor Ralph Northam, and Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R) — to decriminalize marijuana possession.

Polling has also shown that 76 percent of Virginians support decriminalizing marijuana possession and 61 percent support ending marijuana prohibition altogether.

It is past time for Virginia to reform its marijuana laws to stop criminalizing marijuana consumers. In 2018, police agencies reported nearly 29,000 marijuana arrests. Under current law, a simple marijuana possession charge is punishable by a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Please urge your lawmakers to decriminalize or legalize cannabis in 2020. Then, forward this message to your family and friends in Virginia.

P.S.: If you have suffered from a marijuana possession arrest and are interested in getting more involved in marijuana policy reform efforts in Virginia, please reach out to state@mpp.org.

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Medical Marijuana

Iowa: Regulators approve adding PTSD as qualifying condition

Ask your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program!

On Friday, November 1, the board that oversees Iowa’s low-THC medical cannabis program recommended adding PTSD and intellectual disability with aggression to the program’s list of qualifying conditions. Now, the Iowa Board of Medicine must agree with these additions before they are added.

Expanding the list of qualifying conditions is an important victory for some patients. Unfortunately, the board rejected adding opioid dependency and Alzheimer’s disease as qualifying conditions.

Please ask your legislators to ensure that as many patients as possible who could benefit from medical marijuana have access!

The board also recommended that state legislators replace the current three percent THC potency cap with a purchasing limit of 4.5 grams of THC over 90 days. Removing the THC cap would significantly improve Iowa’s medical cannabis program, which is currently leaving most seriously ill Iowans behind.

It’s time for Iowa to have a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Take action by emailing your lawmakers today. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in Iowa and encourage them to do the same.

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Medical Marijuana

Kentucky general election will take place November 5

Candidates for governor and attorney general have debated medical cannabis — find out where they stand before you go to the polls!

Kentucky’s general election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5, and the candidates for governor and attorney general have all been talking about cannabis policy. Here’s a brief overview of what they’ve been saying:

In the race for governor, incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has indicated support for medical cannabis, but he has been harshly critical of Colorado and other states that have legalized for adult use. During a recent debate, he asked, “How’s that working out for Illinois?” (Illinois’ legalization law does not take effect until January 1, 2020.) The Democratic candidate, Attorney General Andy Beshear, has indicated strong support for medical cannabis, and Libertarian candidate John Hicks supports legalization for both medical and adult use.

When the two candidates for attorney general appeared on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight” on October 14Daniel Cameron (R) said, “I think we need a discussion about medical marijuana,” but he seemed to defer to law enforcement on the issue, saying, “I think they’re a little bit leery.” Former Attorney General Greg Stumbo (D) said he strongly supports medical cannabis, and he will “push for and advocate” decriminalizing possession of small amounts. Notably, Stumbo sponsored a medical cannabis bill during his time in the General Assembly.

Finally, in the race for treasurer, challenger Michael Bowman (D) supports medical cannabis and has called for “a conversation” about legalization. A web search did not reveal any public comments on the issue from incumbent Allison Ball (R).

State legislators do not face re-election this year, but now would be a great time to remind them that you want to see Kentucky pass a medical cannabis law in 2020! Write your legislators today.

After you write your legislators, please share this message with your friends and family and remind them to vote on Tuesday, November 5!

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Tax and Regulate

“Be Heard on Cannabis” stopping in Bemidji on Saturday

Mid-November community conversations planned in Eden Prairie, Eagan, and Monkato

This fall, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler is leading "Be Heard on Cannabis" community conversations across Minnesota to explore how to replace cannabis prohibition with sensible regulation. At the end of the process, Rep. Winkler plans to introduce a bill to legalize and regulate cannabis in Minnesota and shepherd it through the House.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming dates, to take part and add your voice to the conversation on how to move forward.

Bemidji "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Saturday, October 26, 11:00 a.m.
Where: Bemidji City Hall, 317 4th Street NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Eden Prairie "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Monday, November 18, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eden Prairie Community Center, Cambria Room, 16700 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Eagan "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Tuesday, November 19, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eagan Community Center, South Oaks Meeting Room, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan, MN 55121

Mankato "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Wednesday, November 20, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Gustavus Adolphus College Heritage Banquet Room, 800 W College Avenue, Saint Peter, MN 56082

For a list of the hosts and panelists who will lead each community conversation, along with other cities "Be Heard on Cannabis" will visit, check out Rep. Winkler's "Be Heard on Cannabis" webpage. And stay tuned for updates to the list. The following are expected to host community conversations: Austin, Crystal, Fridley, Hibbing, Maple Grove, New Brighton, Rochester, Spring Lake Park, and Woodbury.

Don't miss your chance to let your elected officials know it's time to stop punishing Minnesotans for a substance that's safer than alcohol. You may want to consider making a pitch for an inclusive, diverse industry, for allowing home cultivation, and for expunging past convictions.

Even if you're not able to make it, you can still make your voice heard. Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman has an online survey you can complete here. Finally, please spread the word by email or social media to help grow the chorus for reform.

 

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