Tax and Regulate

Mass.: Gov. Baker leaves cannabis consumers behind — again

Contact Gov. Baker and tell him Massachusetts residents should have sensible and safe access to cannabis during the crisis.

Yesterday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker refused to reverse his earlier decision to halt adult cannabis sales. Once again, he said it was because he worries allowing sales will attract visitors from other states.

But a more rational solution exists: limit adult-use cannabis sales to Massachusetts residents only during the ongoing health crisis. If you support this idea, please take a moment to send an email message to Gov. Baker right now, letting him know that Massachusetts cannabis consumers need and deserve safe access to regulated products.

More than 30 Massachusetts cannabis companies published an open letter to state officials this week, expressing support for temporarily restricting adult sales to state residents and committing to taking the same steps as other “essential” businesses to protect public health. When asked about adopting such an approach, Gov. Baker questioned the legality of treating residents and non-residents differently. But as the Boston Globe reported, cannabis policy experts have circulated a memo explaining why the state would be on strong legal ground.

In these challenging times, residents of the Commonwealth deserve safe access to regulated cannabis. Click here to send a message to Gov. Baker, letting him know you support limiting sales to state residents.

Read more

General

Louisiana Legislature convenes; slew of marijuana policy reforms proposed!

Urge your legislators to stop criminalizing cannabis consumers.

Today, Louisiana’s state lawmakers convene in Baton Rouge for their 2020 legislative session. Already more than a dozen bills are pending to improve the state’s cannabis policies.

Write your lawmakers to let them know you want 2020 to be the year Louisiana stops arresting cannabis consumers.

Proposals have been introduced to regulate marijuana for adults’ use, to allow local legalization, to decriminalize simple possession, and to improve the state’s medical marijuana program in various ways — including by allowing whole plant cannabis and expanding qualifying conditions.

Here’s a snapshot at some of the bills that have been introduced:

  • Rep. Edmond Jordan’s HB 626 would set up a system of legal, regulated cannabis sales to adults 21 and older along with permits for personal cultivation. (Unfortunately, it does not appear to remove criminal penalties.)
  • Rep. Ted James’ HB 546 would put a state constitutional amendment on Louisiana’s November 2020 ballot to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older.
  • Rep. Cedric Glover's HB 346 would put a state constitutional amendment on the November 2020 ballot to allow localities to legalize marijuana.
  • Rep. C. Denise Marcelle’s HB 49 would reduce cannabis possession penalties, including by decriminalizing first-offense possession of up to 14 grams. The current penalty includes up to 15 days in jail.
  • Rep. Ted James’ HB 385 would allow whole plant/flower medical cannabis.
  • Rep. Ted James’ HB 386 would allow physicians to recommend cannabis for any condition that is debilitating to the individual patient
  • Rep. Jeremy LaCombe’s HB 455 would allow people receiving hospice or palliative care to qualify for medical cannabis.
  • Rep. Rodney Lyons’ HB 330 would add chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia as a qualifying condition.
  • Rep. Joe Marino’s HB 158 would allow Alzheimer's, ALS, and a few other neurodegenerative diseases to qualify for medical cannabis.
  • Sen. Gerald Boudreaux's SB 267 would remove the sunset on the medical cannabis program.

To weigh in on any of these bills, you can look up your legislator here and give them a call. Or you can use our automated system and rewrite the letter to focus on the issue(s) you care most about.

After voicing your support for marijuana policy reform, please spread the word so that others can join the chorus for humane and sensible marijuana laws!

Read more

Tax and Regulate

Don’t force legal cannabis consumers to pay for new county jailhouse in Pueblo County​

VOTE NO on proposed county tax that would double current local cannabis tax rate

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, and a measure appearing before Pueblo County voters would significantly hike retail cannabis tax rates. Measure 1B would raise local cannabis sales taxes from 3.5% to 6%, and a major part of that new tax is widely expected to pay for a new jailhouse.

If you reside in Pueblo County, please vote NO on Measure 1B. We don't need another tax on lawful cannabis consumers – especially to incarcerate more people.

The proposed new tax is estimated to raise $3.5 million each year from legal cannabis consumers, and much of it is expected to help pay for a planned new $140 million county jail. Many find the tax hike insulting and a sad return to using cannabis to fuel the criminal justice system. Quite simply, cannabis should not be used to lock people up, nor should cannabis taxes.

Many voters have already received their ballots by mail and have until November 5 to turn them in. Residents can register to vote through Election Day. If you plan to mail your ballot in, please do so this week. Don't delay! For a detailed rundown of the candidates, measures, and 24-hour drop-off locations and polling centers, click here.

If you are a Pueblo County voter, please VOTE NO on Measure 1B, and please pass this message along to your network in Pueblo.

Read more

Prohibition

Oklahoma: Put decriminalizing cannabis on the legislature’s agenda

If you're an Oklahoma resident, ask your state lawmakers to stop criminalizing cannabis consumers.

Yesterday, the Oklahoma Legislature kicked off the first day of its 2019 legislative session. Let your lawmakers know it's time for Oklahoma to stop arresting and jailing cannabis consumers.

In September, the Oklahoma City Council reduced the penalty for simple possession of cannabis to a civil fine, after the reform was recommended by Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty.

Ask your legislators to take this modest but important reform to the state level.

Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate in the nation. Let your lawmakers know there are better uses of jail space and law enforcement's time. It's time to stop derailing lives over a substance that is safer than alcohol.

Please take action and spread the word.

Read more