Delaware Gov. Carney signs expungement bill, two additional marijuana policy reforms sent to his desk!
Delaware's legislature adjourned on June 30, after making some modest but important improvements to marijuana policies. Since the General Assembly holds a two-year session, bills that did not get votes will roll over and pick up where they left off in January 2020.
The legalization bill, HB 110, was approved (8-3) by the House Revenue and Finance committee on June 5 and is now pending in the House Appropriations Committee. To pass HB 110 in 2020, it is very important to keep pressure on the General Assembly and continue our organizing efforts in the interim.
To go the extra mile, let us know if you're up for volunteering to phone bank to generate phone calls in key districts. You can make calls on your own schedule, from home.
Yesterday, Gov. John Carney signed SB 37 into law, which provides for the expungement of certain misdemeanor and felony convictions. This bill will allow for a single cannabis misdemeanor conviction to be expunged after five years and a single cannabis felony conviction to be expunged after seven years.
Additionally, two important bills passed the legislature and are headed to Gov. Carney:
- SB 45, a bill to expand decriminalization to those under 21; and
- SB 24, which would allow patients with any severe and debilitating medical condition to qualify for medical cannabis if they have exhausted other treatments, and the treatments have been ineffective or had prohibitive side effects.
Meanwhile, HB 243, a bill to allow medical patients to grow their own cannabis, was introduced on June 20 and is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
It is past time Delaware end cannabis prohibition and replace it with a system in which cannabis is taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol. After you contact your rep, please forward this message to your family and friends in Delaware.
Together, we can end prohibition in 2020!
Earlier today, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, ending marijuana prohibition in the country's sixth most populous state. This is a tremendous achievement and the first time marijuana sales have been legalized through a state's legislative process rather than a ballot initiative.
I'm proud to say that MPP's staff and lobbying team played a central role in this groundbreaking victory, and it's important to remember that we are only effective because people like you support our work. As we celebrate today, please make a contribution to help us legalize marijuana in more states and at the federal level.
Beginning January 1, 2020, individuals 21 and older in Illinois will be able to legally possess and consume cannabis. Retail marijuana sales are expected to begin at that time. Illinois' new legalization law is also significant because it contains some of the strongest language of any state around equity and social justice, including far-reaching expungement provisions and programs to help communities that have been most impacted by the war on drugs.
Today is another sign of our remarkable progress in recent years. But a majority of Americans still live in a jurisdiction where possessing marijuana is against the law. When you donate to MPP, you become part of a powerful movement that is not only changing laws, but changing lives.
Please don't sit on the sidelines. Join us in our mission of achieving a world with more humane and just marijuana policies.
There are less than two weeks left in Delaware's legislative session to advance the legalization bill. The bill needs a three-fifths supermajority (25 votes) in the House to advance to the Senate, and several representatives have not yet taken a position on legalization. (The bill will pick up where it left off in 2020.)
Here's how you can take action and help advance HB 110:
1. Join us in solidarity at lobby day on Tuesday, June 25.
When: Tuesday, June 25, 12:00 p.m.
Where: Legislative Hall 411 Legislative Avenue, Dover, Delaware 19901 (meet us in the lobby)
Details on how to RSVP here.
2. Volunteer to help generate phone calls to legislators in key districts! We have a system that allows you to volunteer from home. Please email email@example.com for details on how to get started.
3. If you haven't done so already, contact your state rep now and urge them to vote YES on HB 110.
It is important legislators hear from as many of their constituents as possible. Join us for lobby day June 25 to help us send a strong message to the General Assembly to end cannabis prohibition in the First State!
Your state senator could be the deciding vote to push legalization over the finish line. With the legislature adjourning tomorrow, it is very imperative they hear from you TODAY.
Please call your senator to ask them to vote to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. Our automated system makes it quick and easy — it'll look up your state senator when you type in your address and provide talking points.
It is important your senator hears from as many constituents as possible. If you're not comfortable calling, you can send an email here.
It's time to make history!
Last week, HB 110 — a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older — advanced to the full House of Representatives for a vote. The bill needs a three-fifths supermajority (25 votes) to advance to the Senate, and several representatives have not yet taken a position on legalization.
We need your help to advance HB 110! Here’s how you can get involved:
1. Volunteer to help generate phone calls to legislators in key districts! We have a system that allows you to volunteer from home. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to get started.
2. Encourage others to contact their state reps and urge them to vote YES on HB 110. Forward this message to your friends and family, and share the action link on social media.
There are just two weeks left before the legislature adjourns on June 30.
It is important representatives hear from as many of their constituents as possible. Supporters like you can help us send a strong message to the General Assembly to end cannabis prohibition in the First State!
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senate Finance Chair Liz Krueger have introduced a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. But, there are just days left to get it passed this legislative session, which ends June 19.
The bill was introduced after months of debate between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature on how the state will approach legalization. Gov. Cuomo has said that he would sign the bill, but it does not yet have the 32 votes needed to pass the Senate.
The bill provides that an Office of Cannabis Management will be created and charged with regulating both adult-use and medical cannabis — which was adopted from Gov. Cuomo's earlier proposal. It would also expunge records of those previously convicted of possessing small amounts of cannabis, and 50 percent of the tax revenue would go toward establishing grants to fund programs serving communities that were disparately impacted by cannabis prohibition.
New Yorkers deserve a just, equitable cannabis policy. Contact your lawmakers and Gov. Cuomo today to get legalization across the finish line this session! Then, share the action link with other thoughtful New Yorkers, so that they, too, can raise their voices.
P.S. It saddens us to inform you that Doug Greene, a lifelong cannabis activist who worked tirelessly to reform cannabis policy in New York, passed away last week. His funeral service will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 1:15 p.m. at Knollwood Park Cemetery — 57-80 Cooper Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385.
With the New York Legislature in the final weeks of its 2019 legislative session, we need you to take action NOW to help get the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act across the finish line.
Just last week, the Illinois Legislature passed a landmark cannabis regulation bill, and New York can do the same — if we can get lawmakers to act!
In fact, New York's Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act closely mirrors the Illinois legislation — with far-reaching expungement provisions for prior convictions, funding for communities harmed by the war on drugs, social equity measures, and funding to ensure people from impacted communities are able to enter the cannabis industry.
This week, Assembly Majority Leader and bill sponsor Crystal Peoples-Stokes said she believes the Assembly support is there to pass the bill, and Gov. Cuomo signaled his continued support for legalization. But New York lawmakers MUST make passage a legislative priority, as the bill has to advance before the session ends on Wednesday, June 19.
The New York bill would not just ensure marijuana is legalized, but legalized the right way — rooted in racial, economic, and social justice.
A big thanks goes to the Drug Policy Alliance for leading legalization efforts in New York. And thanks in advance for your help!
We must continue building support for legalization, but first, we need to make sure chronic pain is approved as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.
A new poll just came out, and it confirms (yet again) that Connecticut residents strongly support legalizing cannabis and expunging criminal records for low-level offenses. Sadly, the legislature ended its regular session yesterday without voting on any of the bills that would have ended cannabis prohibition.
It's disappointing that our opponents were able to create enough uncertainty and confusion to delay our progress. However, we've come a long way — three committees advanced bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis this year. If we can ramp up our efforts, we are optimistic we can get past the finish line in 2020. Please help us continue to build our coalition by making a contribution today. Please also "like" our coalition on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
Unfortunately, your help appears to be needed on another issue. You might think it would be a no-brainer for Connecticut to approve chronic pain as a qualifying condition for the medical cannabis program, but the discussion about whether to do so has been "tabled for a future meeting" by the Board of Physicians.
Finally, please share this message with your family and friends!
Today, Delaware's House Committee on Revenue and Finance voted 8-3 in favor of HB 110, a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. It now heads to the full House where it needs a three-fifths supermajority (25 votes) to advance to the Senate.
Last year, the legalization bill fell short of the needed supermajority in the House. So, it is very important your state representatives hear from you.
You can ready our full summary of the bill here.
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 revenue source for the state.
Ask your state rep to stand with 61 percent of Delawareans and vote YES on HB 110. After you contact your representative, forward this message to your networks in Delaware — or share the action link on social media — and encourage them to do the same.
Together, we can end prohibition in the First State!
The House Revenue and Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for HB 110, legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 5 at 2:30 p.m. in the House Chamber of Legislative Hall – 411 Legislative Ave, Dover, DE 19901.
You can voice your support at the hearing by providing written or oral testimony. We particularly encourage testimony from supportive law enforcement, clergy, substance abuse and medical professionals, educators, and those who have been harmed by marijuana prohibition.
For more information on HB 110, you can read our summary here. Here you can find more information on providing testimony. If you provide oral testimony, you will be limited to two minutes. Please be polite and respectful, dress in business or business casual attire, and avoid repeating points that have already been made.
Written testimony can be submitted by emailing it to Chairman John Viola beforehand or by providing 11 copies to the committee staff in person at the hearing.
In other news, the Delaware Cannabis Policy Coalition is in the process of growing our network of supporters. If you are a member of an organization that might be interested in joining our coalition, we would love to hear from you.
Help us send a strong message to the General Assembly to end cannabis prohibition in the First State! Please show your support at the upcoming bill hearing, contact your lawmakers, and forward this message to your friends and family in Delaware.