Prohibition

Maryland: Bill to decriminalize one ounce of cannabis introduced; hearing next week

Ask your lawmakers to support HB 550.

Although Maryland decriminalized simple possession of marijuana back in 2014, thousands of Marylanders continue to have their lives derailed by possession arrests. With your help, that could change this year: Delegate Nick Mosby (D) has proposed a bill to stop many of these arrests by increasing the decriminalized amount from 10 grams to one ounce.

Email your lawmakers today and ask them to support HB 550!

The bill — HB 550 — is scheduled for a House Judiciary Committee hearing next Tuesday. You can voice your support for this important reform by testifying in person or submitting written testimony.

What: Hearing on the decrim fix bill, HB 550

When: Tuesday, February 11, 1:00 p.m. (Note that other bills are also scheduled during this committee meeting, so there could be a significant wait before the bill is called.)

Where: House Office Building, Room 101, 6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD

You can find guidelines on providing testimony here. If you provide oral testimony, you will be limited to three minutes. Please be polite and respectful and dress in business or business-casual attire.

Under HB 550, possession of up to an ounce would be punishable by a civil fine of $100 rather than a criminal penalty that carries possible jail time. Also, a person could no longer be charged with possession with intent to distribute based solely on possession of an ounce or less.

HB 550 would reduce the number of arrests and criminal charges for marijuana possession. Arrests for simple possession can be traumatic, and a criminal conviction can hinder one’s ability to obtain a job, housing, or a college education.

Please take a minute to email your lawmakers and ask them to support HB 550, and consider showing your support at next week’s hearing. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in Maryland and encourage them to do the same.

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Tax and Regulate

Washington: Home cultivation bill advancing!

Contact your elected officials today and urge them to support allowing home cultivation!

Eleven states have legalized cannabis for adults’ use, and Washington is one of only two that does not allow home cultivation. Fortunately, legislation is advancing in Olympia that would legalize home cultivation of up to six plants per person and 15 per household.

Please contact your elected officials and urge them to support HB 1131 and SB 5155!

To have an even greater impact, show up in person at the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow, and sign in to register your support. Be sure to dress professionally and be respectful.

When: Wednesday, February 5, 3:30 p.m.

Where: House Appropriations Committee, House Hearing Room A, John L. O'Brien Building, 504 15th Ave SW, Olympia, WA

What: Sign in to register your support for home cultivation — HB 1131

Much like home brewing of beer, there is no good reason to deny adults the freedom to grow their own cannabis. For many Washingtonians, such as those who don’t live near a retail store, home cultivation would provide an ethical and cost-effective alternative to purchasing from the illicit market.

HB 1131 has already passed the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming in a 9-2 vote, and it has been scheduled for a hearing in the Appropriations Committee tomorrow afternoon. An identical bill, SB 5155, has been introduced in the Senate.

After you email your elected officials, please share this message with your friends and family!

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Medical Marijuana

Del.: Raise your voice for medical cannabis patients

Ask your lawmakers to allow patients to grow their own medical cannabis.

Although the Delaware General Assembly enacted a medical cannabis law in 2011, many patients continue to needlessly suffer because they can’t afford their medicine.

House Bill 243 would give patients another option — the ability to securely cultivate their own medical cannabis. Let your state legislators know Delaware patients deserve the same freedom patients in most other medical cannabis states enjoy.

You can also speak out in person at a hearing TOMORROW both for HB 243 and for another bill to expand patients’ rights — SB 79. SB 79, which already passed the Senate, would clarify that individuals are not forbidden from possessing or buying a firearm under Delaware law merely because they are medical cannabis patients.

What: Hearing on HB 243 (medical cannabis home cultivation) and SB 79 (medical cannabis patient non-discrimination in firearms rights) before the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

When: Wednesday, January 29, at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Delaware House Minority Caucus Room, 411 Legislative Avenue, Dover, DE 19901

*Note that two other bills are also on the committee’s agenda for this meeting.

If you attend, please dress in business or business casual and treat all lawmakers — even opponents — with respect and courtesy. We’ve seen many lawmakers change their position to support reforms, but aggression and hostility will only make it harder to move these important bills. Please also try to limit your testimony to no more than three minutes.

And finally, spread the word to other Delawareans so that they, too, can raise their voices for compassion.

 

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Prohibition

State Lawmakers to Hold Hearing Thursday on Bill to Legalize Possession and Cultivation of Cannabis in New Hampshire; Pre-hearing News Conference at 12:30 p.m.

Prior to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee hearing on HB 1648, bill sponsors Rep. Carol McGuire and Rep. Renny Cushing will join leaders of ACLU-NH, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire, and the Marijuana Policy Project to discuss the proposal

CONCORD, N.H. — The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on HB 1648, legislation that would legalize possession and limited cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older in New Hampshire. 

Sponsors of HB 1648, including Rep. Carol McGuire (R-Epsom) and Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton), will join supporters of the bill for a pre-hearing news conference at 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of the New Hampshire Legislative Office Building. Participants will include leaders from ACLU-NH, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire, and the Marijuana Policy Project. 

“The time has come to end our outdated policy of punishing adults for possessing cannabis,” McGuire said. “It does not make sense for New Hampshire to remain an island of prohibition.” 

A summary of HB 1648 is available here.

WHAT: News conference and hearing on HB 1648, the bill to legalize possession and limited cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older in New Hampshire

WHEN: Thursday, January 23; news conference at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by the hearing at 1:30 p.m. ET

WHERE: News conference in the lobby of the New Hampshire Legislative Office Building, 33 N. State St., Concord; the hearing will be held in Rooms 210-211

WHO: Rep. Carol McGuire (R-Epsom), sponsor of HB 1648

Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton), cosponsor of HB 1648

Richard Van Wickler, superintendent, Cheshire County Department of Corrections, representing Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Jeanne Hruska, political director, ACLU-NH

Ross Connolly, deputy director, Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire

Matt Simon, New England political director, Marijuana Policy Project

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Prohibition

Md.: Automatic expungement bill introduced; hearing next week!

Show support for HB 83 and other cannabis policy reform efforts in 2020 by joining us for our annual lobby day on Tuesday, February 4 (8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) in Annapolis! Register to join us here.

A bill — HB 83 — has been introduced by Delegate David Moon (D) to provide for automatic expungement of marijuana possession convictions.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for the bill on Tuesday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 101 of the House Office Building — located at 6 Bladen Street in Annapolis. Note that other bills are also scheduled during this committee meeting, so there could be a significant wait before the bill is called.

You can voice your support at the hearing by providing written and/or oral testimony. We particularly encourage testimony from those who have been personally impacted by a marijuana possession conviction.

You can find guidelines on providing testimony here. If you provide oral testimony, you will be limited to three minutes. Please be polite and respectful and dress in business or business casual attire.

HB 83 is an important and just reform that will allow those branded with a marijuana possession conviction to move on with their lives without suffering the harsh collateral consequences a conviction carries.

Conviction records make it more difficult to obtain housing, a job, and a college education. Discriminatory enforcement of marijuana laws means these collateral consequences disproportionately affect people of color.

Please consider showing your support for HB 83 at next week’s hearing, and help spread the word by forwarding this message to your friends and family in Maryland.

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Tax and Regulate

Mass.: Public hearing TOMORROW on vape ban!

If you have been negatively affected by the ban, please testify in person or submit written testimony.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is holding a public hearing tomorrow on the vape ban, and your opinion matters. Testing has shown that tainted vape products are being sold by underground sources, so it is critical for regulators to understand the need for regulated products that have been tested and shown to be free of contaminants.

If you have been negatively affected by the ban, this is a great opportunity to share your perspective with policymakers in person or in writing. Here are the details:

WHAT: Public hearing on regulation of vaping products

WHERE: Public Health Council Room, second floor of the Department of Public Health Building, 250 Washington Street, Boston

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To submit written testimony, which will accepted until 5 p.m., send email to Reg.Testimony@state.ma.us. “Vaping products regulation” should be in the subject line, and department officials ask that all submissions include the sender’s full name and address.

In other news, it has now been one full year since the advent of retail sales to adults. As the Boston Globe has reportedthere are now 33 stores open, and the state has logged $393.7 million in sales, suggesting that the program — despite its slow start — has produced nearly $67 million in state revenue and up to $11.8 in revenue for municipalities.

Please share this important news with your family and friends!

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Tax and Regulate

Del.: HB 110 hearing scheduled for Wednesday, June 5!

If you live in Delaware, write your lawmakers today and ask them to support HB 110.

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.

Please ask your legislators to support legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adults 21 and older.

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.

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Tax and Regulate

TOMORROW (Wed. 5/29): Rhode Island’s House Finance Committee to hear cannabis equity bills

We have known for years that marijuana prohibition laws disproportionately harm communities of color. A 2013 ACLU report analyzing FBI arrest data found that black Rhode Islanders were nearly three times more likely to be arrested than whites for marijuana possession from 2001 to 2010.

State Representatives Anastasia Williams and Marcia Ranglin-Vassell have introduced legislation (H 5795, H 6069, H 6070, and H 6073) to address the disparate impacts of marijuana prohibition, and tomorrow afternoon, the House Finance Committee will hold a hearing to discuss their proposals. Collectively, the bills would direct regulators to study the disproportionate harms of marijuana arrests, establish programs to assist business applicants who have been affected, create an economic opportunity fund for reinvestment in communities most harmed by prohibition, and require marijuana business licenses to be distributed more equitably.

You can find details about the hearing and links to each of the bills here. If you are able to attend, please consider testifying in support of cannabis equity in front of the committee. The committee will meet at roughly 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, May 29) in Room 35 of the State House (82 Smith Street, Providence).

Thank you.

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Medical Marijuana

Did your N.H. state senator vote for or against patients?

If you live in N.H., follow up with your senator today; public hearing on legalization bill continues at 9 a.m. TOMORROW

Last Thursday, the Senate voted 14-10 to pass HB 364, a bill that would allow home cultivation of cannabis for registered patients and caregivers. The bill would allow up to three mature cannabis plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings for each patient.

Please take a moment to find out whether your senator voted for or against patients, and send a follow up message! All you have to do is type in your contact information, and our automated system will load a “thank you” or “I’m disappointed in you” letter based on how your senator voted.

And, if you haven’t already done so, please call Gov. Sununu’s office today and urge him to stand up for patients!

In other news, the Senate Judiciary Committee will resume its public hearing on HB 481, the adult-use legalization bill, beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) in Room 100 of the State House. If you didn’t testify on April 23, your testimony will be welcome! Here are details on how to sign up, and here are some talking points in support.

After you follow up with your state senator and call Gov. Sununu, please share this message with your family and friends.

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Medical Marijuana

N.H. Senate committee approves home cultivation of medical cannabis!

If you live in N.H., urge your senator to support HB 364; hearing on legalization bill will continue May 7

For the first time in history, a New Hampshire Senate committee has voted to approve a bill allowing home cultivation of medical cannabis. HB 364, which has already passed the House in a voice vote, was voted “ought to pass” yesterday in a 3-2 vote of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

For the sake of patients who are still struggling because of limited access to cannabis, please contact your senator right now and urge him or her to support HB 364!

HB 364 would allow possession of three mature plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings for each patient. The bill is critically important because many patients are unable to afford the products that are available at dispensaries, which are not covered by health insurance. For some patients, home cultivation is simply the best, most affordable option.

Additionally, for those who were not able to testify at yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the legalization bill (HB 481), there will be another opportunity to testify on Tuesday, May 7, beginning at 9 a.m. in State House Room 100. There were so many people waiting to speak that they decided to continue the hearing. Please mark your calendars for May 7 right now!

After you contact your senator in support of the home cultivation bill, please share this message with your family and friends.

 

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