Medical Marijuana

Alabama Senate approves medical cannabis bill in landslide vote!

Ask your state representative to support this compassionate bill.

Yesterday, the Alabama Senate approved the state’s medical cannabis bill — SB 165 — in a 22-11 vote! The bill now heads to the House of Representatives, where the speaker has not yet committed to letting it receive a vote.

Write your state rep today to ask them to support patients and to urge leadership to let it get a vote. To have even more impact, you can give your state representative a call after sending your email.

Senators debated SB 165 for hours and considered numerous amendments — accepting some and rejecting others.

The bill, which is sponsored by a physician, Sen. Tim Melson (R), would allow qualifying patients to use and safely access medical cannabis preparations. While it is more restrictive than most medical cannabis laws — and does not allow smoking or vaporization — SB 165 would still be a dramatic improvement from current law. For more details, check out our summary.

After you reach out to your own representative, spread the word to other compassionate Alabamians so that they, too, can raise their voices for compassion.

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Medical Marijuana

Alabama Senate could vote on medical cannabis this week!

Urge your state legislators to stand up for patients!

On February 20, Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a medical cannabis bill — SB 165 — in an 8-1 vote. It could get a Senate floor vote as soon as this week!

Please write your state senator and state representative right now to let them know you want them to stand up for Alabama’s patients.

Alabama’s lack of medical marijuana protections is increasingly an outlier. Thirty-three states, including Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas, allow medical cannabis, and Mississippi voters will get to decide the issue directly in November. Polling shows 75% of Alabama voters support medical cannabis.

But because Alabama doesn’t have a citizen initiative process, the only way to bring a compassionate law to the state is for state lawmakers to pass a bill.

While the Senate advanced a compassionate medical cannabis bill in 2019, the House has never voted on the issue. Let’s build a drumbeat of momentum to make 2020 the year that Alabama patients finally get relief.

Write your lawmakers today, and then spread the word to other compassionate Alabamians. To learn more about the bill, check out our summary.

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Medical Marijuana

Kentucky House passes medical cannabis bill!

Patients have already been waiting far too long — urge your senator to support HB 136!

Yesterday, in a huge victory for patients, the Kentucky House voted 65-30 to pass HB 136, a bill that would legalize cannabis for medical use. The bill will now proceed to the Senate for further consideration. You can read a summary of the bill here.

Please contact your senator today and urge him or her to pass this compassionate legislation!

Gov. Andy Beshear has indicated that he strongly supports medical cannabis. However, some Senate leaders remain opposed, so we know that it will be a challenge to get this bill to the governor’s desk.

It’s critical that legislators hear from their constituents who support medical cannabis. After you contact your senator, please share this message with your friends and family.

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Medical Marijuana

S.C.: Tell your lawmakers it’s time to move medical cannabis

Call your state representative and state senator TODAY.

Year after year, the clock has run out on patients in South Carolina.

At a gripping press conference last week, one mother described how she’s been fighting for medical cannabis for six years — half of her daughter’s life — and how other parents have lost their children who medical cannabis may have helped.

Margaret Richardson — who suffers from a rare and excruciating illness — described having to “creep around like a criminal” and running out of the one medicine that has brought her relief. State law, she explained, forces patients to choose between agony and opioids.

Watch the video, share it on Facebook and with your lawmakers, and let it motivate you to light up their phones. (Remember not to be hostile or threatening. As heartbreaking as opposition can be, our goal is to pass legislation and aggressive calls will only make it harder to do so.)

Click here to call your state lawmakers. Our automated system will connect you to their office once you type in your address and provide a sample script. You will probably talk to a staffer. Be sure to mention your lawmaker’s name, which our system will provide. Staffers typically work for between two and four legislators. Finally, if you or a loved one has a serious illness and could benefit from medical cannabis, be sure to mention that.

Thank you for your standing up for patients! Together, we can finally bring a compassionate law to South Carolina.

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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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Medical Marijuana

Minn.: Ask two state senators to be patients’ hero

If you live in Minnesota, ask Senators Michelle Benson and Jim Abeler to improve Minnesota’s medical cannabis law.

A conference committee is winding down its work on possible revisions to Minnesota’s medical cannabis law, and we need your help to convince lawmakers to side with compassion.

Please call Senator Michelle Benson at 651-296-3219 Senator and Jim Abeler at 651-296-3733 TODAY to politely ask them to stand up for patients by including flower (whole plant cannabis) in the Health and Human Services Omnibus Bill.

Currently, only costly extracts are allowed, and many patients cannot continue to access their medicine because they cannot afford it. Allowing non-smoked flower will provide relief to more patients.

The conference committee is made up of five members from the House and five members from the Senate. Our allies have secured the House-side votes, but we need help getting two more senators to vote in favor of the compassionate provisions.

That's where you come in! Please call Senators Benson and Abeler and then share this message with members of your community, so that they, too, can speak out for compassion.

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Medical Marijuana

The New York Times Supports Medical Marijuana for New York

Earlier this week, I wrote about the trend in journalism to blame marijuana for the violent outbursts of murderous youth. While this unscientific blame game will probably continue in the foreseeable future, it’s nice to see that the primary target of my wrath in this instance, The New York Times, has redeemed itself.

On Wednesday, the juggernaut of journalism on the East Coast wrote an editorial urging New York’s Governor Cuomo to follow the lead of New Jersey and allow seriously ill New Yorkers to use marijuana to treat their illnesses. Coming from a publication of their size and prominence, this is a fairly significant statement, and hopefully one that will garner a lot of support for medical marijuana in the near future.

Here is the editorial in its entirety:

There is no good reason to deprive patients with cancer or H.I.V. or Lou Gehrig’s disease of the relief from pain or extreme nausea that could come from using marijuana.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who once opposed his state’s medical marijuana law, has changed his mind, deciding earlier this month to allow six alternative treatment centers to begin dispensing the drug to those in need, possibly by early next year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York needs to change his mind as well.

Governor Cuomo said during his 2010 campaign that he opposed legalization of medical marijuana. Recently, he said he was still opposed but that he was “reviewing” the issue and “we’re always learning and listening, talking and growing. We hope.” It shouldn’t take much more personal growth to make the right call.

Governor Cuomo should ask Governor Christie about how he resolved his own doubts. Mr. Christie could explain how his law is the nation’s most restrictive and how the federal Justice Department has indicated that its agents will rightly direct their energies in New Jersey to go after big-time marijuana traffickers, not doctors or alternative centers helping the desperately ill.

Under New Jersey’s law, doctors can recommend that a patient suffering from a specific disease or condition use marijuana of limited strength. Patients cannot grow their own, and they can only purchase 2 ounces every 30 days. Physicians must register to recommend the marijuana use, and patients and caregivers must undergo background checks to get ID cards.

Mr. Cuomo should champion a similar and humane system and ensure that New York’s residents coping with illness have the same chance at relief.

 

Good recovery, NYT. Please keep it coming!

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