Tax and Regulate

Maryland Begins Session With Marijuana Policy on the Agenda

Maryland’s legislative session began earlier this month, and there are several cannabis policy issues already on the agenda. MPP and our allies in the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition are supporting an effort to let the people of Maryland decide whether the state should tax and regulate cannabis for adults.

Unlike many other states, Maryland citizens can’t collect signatures to put an issue on the ballot. In order for the people to vote on an issue, lawmakers must pass a bill that puts a constitutional amendment on the ballot. We hope that Maryland lawmakers will allow voters to put an end to the ineffective, costly, and unfair policy of cannabis prohibition and replace it with a system that allows adults to lawfully consume a substance that is safer than alcohol.

In other news, the legislative black caucus introduced a bill that would license additional businesses that could go to women and minority-owned businesses in light of a disparity study that found these groups were at a disadvantage in the licensing processes. And Sen. Bobby Zirkin, chairman of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, has introduced bills that would expand Maryland’s decriminalization law, SB 127 and SB 128.

If you are a Maryland resident, please contact your lawmakers and tell them you want the chance to vote on legalization this year.

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Tax and Regulate

Nevada Legalization Ballot Initiative Launched

[caption id="attachment_7684" align="alignright" width="300"]05.27.2014_Sen Tick Segerblom and Joe Brezny at petition launch Sen. Tick Segerblom and Joe Brezny[/caption]

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol launched a signature drive Tuesday in support of a 2016 ballot measure that would end marijuana prohibition in Nevada. State Sen. Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) and former Nevada Republican Senate Caucus Executive Director Joe Brezny were the first to sign the petition at a news conference in Sen. Segerblom's law office.

The initiative would make private possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older. It would establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, licensed cultivation facilities, licensed manufacturing facilities, licensed testing facilities, and licensed distributors. It also establishes a 15% excise tax on wholesale transactions and directs all tax revenue from the tax to be spent on education.

In order to qualify for the 2016 ballot, the campaign must submit more than 100K valid signatures by Nov. 11, 2014.

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