The first round of pardon applications, which you can access here, will be accepted until Aug. 10
Great news! In a unanimous decision last week, North Dakota's Pardon Advisory Council voted to allow individuals previously convicted of certain marijuana crimes to apply to have those offenses pardoned.
The new policy, supported by Gov. Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, will wipe the slate clean — free of charge — for thousands of North Dakota residents with marijuana possession convictions on their records. This is a victory for justice and advocates of sensible marijuana policy reform. It will eliminate many hardships, such as obstacles to employment and housing, faced by individuals with prior marijuana records.
The attorney general estimates that up to 175,000 prior convictions will be eligible for pardon. Help spread the word and share the application with others. People who have struggled for years under the weight of a criminal record for marijuana deserve a chance to build a better life.
Yesterday, Gov. David Ige let a modest decriminalization bill — HB 1383 — become law without his signature. Effective January 11, 2020, possession of three grams or less of marijuana will be punishable by a $130 civil fine. The bill also provides for the expungement of criminal records for convictions of possession of three grams or less of marijuana.
Hawaii is now the 26th state to stop jailing residents for possessing modest amounts of marijuana. However, three grams is the smallest possession limit of any decriminalization or legalization state. Unfortunately, with such a low possession limit, needless marijuana arrests will continue. A more sensible approach would be to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol.
In other news, Gov. Ige has unfortunately vetoed a bill that would allow limited transport of medical cannabis between the islands. The bill — HB 290 — was approved by the legislature in May.
While the decriminalization law is an extremely timid step forward, there is still work to be done to improve Hawaii's marijuana laws. Contact your lawmakers today, then forward this message to your family and friends in Hawaii.
Yesterday, Gov. David Ige announced that he will allow a modest decriminalization bill, HB 1383, to become law. The bill will make possession of three grams or less of marijuana punishable by a $130 fine. Under current law, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The bill will take effect on January 11, 2020.
This bill will save some Hawaiians from traumatic arrests, possible jail time, and life-altering criminal records. However, it's an extremely timid step forward. Three grams is the smallest possession limit of any decriminalization or legalization state. Unfortunately, with such a low possession limit and steep fine, lives will continue to be needlessly derailed. And, decriminalization does nothing to control the illicit market.
A more sensible approach would be to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older. Eleven states — including every state on the West Coast — have chosen this approach. Hawaii is lagging behind.
By legalizing taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and older, Hawaii would dramatically reduce marijuana arrests, displace the illicit market, and ensure consumers have a safe, tested product.
Contact your lawmakers today! With your help, Hawaii can take a more sensible approach to marijuana
HB 481 won’t receive a committee vote until December, but we’re still working to pass bills to allow home cultivation and enable annulments for past convictions — contact your senator about the annulment bill today!
On Tuesday, New Hampshire’s Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously decided to postpone action on the legalization bill until later this year. Three of the five senators on the committee said they wanted to spend more time working on HB 481 and understanding the details before bringing it to a vote in the full Senate, so it’s clear that this is only a temporary setback. The committee will vote on the bill before the end of 2019, and it will come before the Senate in January 2020.
We are now turning our attention to two critical bills that need our help to get across the finish line. One very important bill, HB 399, would allow people who received misdemeanor possession convictions prior to decriminalization to apply to have their records annulled. It has already passed the House in a voice vote, and it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. However, the committee vote was only 3-2 (Senators Shannon Chandley and Sharon Carson voted no), so victory remains far from certain.
No Granite Stater should have to be burdened with a criminal record for having possessed small amounts of cannabis prior to decriminalization. Please email your state senator today!
Meanwhile, the medical cannabis home cultivation bill will receive a final vote in the House on May 23, and we expect it to pass by an overwhelming margin. After that, it will proceed to Gov. Chris Sununu’s desk. Call Gov. Sununu’s office today and urge him to support HB 364!
Please share these important updates with your friends and family!
This year, Alaska lawmakers have a chance to stop derailing lives for some old cannabis convictions. Criminal records can make it difficult to get a job, housing, or further one's education. It's outrageous that Alaskans are still haunted by records for conduct that is now legal.
SB 8 would prohibit the state from disclosing records of marijuana possession cases involving personal-use amounts of cannabis before voters legalized adult-use marijuana in 2014.
Following decades of marijuana prohibition, many find themselves limited by criminal histories that remain frozen in time, even as states continue to update cannabis laws. SB 8 would help protect individuals who got in trouble when laws were different.
Under the current proposal, the protection would apply for those who were not charged with any other type of offense and would be limited to marijuana cases involving less than an ounce. The text of the measure is available online here.
As the failure of marijuana prohibition is left behind, we shouldn't also leave behind those who were exposed to the criminal justice system for choosing a substance that is safer than alcohol. Click here to express your support for SB 8.
And please forward this message to those who also support this important protection!