Tax and Regulate

N.H.: Legalization bill introduced in House!

We will need two-thirds majorities to overcome Gov. Sununu's veto threat — email your state legislators today!

Rep. Renny Cushing's legalization bill has been introduced in the New Hampshire House with a bipartisan slate of 11 cosponsors, and it has been assigned a number: HB 481.

Please email your state representative(s) and senator today and encourage them to support HB 481, the bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis.

It's encouraging that new House Speaker Steve Shurtleff believes the bill can pass even though Gov. Chris Sununu has threatened to veto it. However, a veto override will only be possible if legislators hear from large numbers of their constituents in support of such a bill. If you receive a response from a legislator, it would be very helpful if you could share it with us via email.

HB 481 has been referred to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, and a public hearing has already been scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, in Room 204 of the Legislative Office Building (33 N State St., Concord). Check out our summary of the bill here, and please plan to attend the hearing, if possible, on February 5.

After you email your state legislators, please forward this message to your family and friends!

 

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Tax and Regulate

R.I.: Governor Raimondo backs legalizing marijuana

On Sunday, Gov. Raimondo announced that she will be including a plan to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use in her upcoming budget. This endorsement represents an exciting breakthrough in our years-long effort to end marijuana prohibition in Rhode Island.

Detailed legislation will be available soon. For now, what we know is that the governor aims to establish the most tightly regulated legalization program in the country. Check out this article to read more about the plan.

While we may not agree with all aspects of the proposal – including the ban on home cultivation – we commend the governor for spearheading this initiative. In the coming months, we expect a robust discussion within the General Assembly, and there may be opportunities to amend the legislation.

One thing is for sure: Legalization will finally have the hearing it deserves this year. It's going to be an interesting session, so be sure to stay tuned for more updates on how you can help ensure that legalization crosses the finish line this year.

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Tax and Regulate

Announcing Maryland 2019 Cannabis Legalization Lobby Day

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, February 5 and register today!

Maryland's 2019 legislative session is underway and discussion of legalizing adult-use cannabis has already begun. Please join the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition's lobby day event to demonstrate that Marylanders want the General Assembly to pass legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older this year.

What: Maryland 2019 Cannabis Legalization Lobby Day
When: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 (7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Where: House Building, Room 170, Annapolis, Maryland
Register here.

Prior to meeting your elected officials, we will provide you with an information package including appointment times and locations and suggested talking points.

It is important your lawmakers hear from as many constituents as possible. Help us send a strong message to the General Assembly to end prohibition in 2019 by joining us in solidarity, and sharing this message — or the Facebook event — with your family and friends in Maryland.

We look forward to seeing you February 5. Together, we can end prohibition in 2019.

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Tax and Regulate

N.H.: Medical cannabis, expungement bills scheduled for hearings TUESDAY AFTERNOON!

After the hearings, a public discussion about cannabis legalization will take place Tuesday evening in Peterborough.

The New Hampshire legislative session has begun, and several bills to improve the therapeutic cannabis program have already been scheduled for public hearings on Tuesday afternoon, January 15. There will also be a hearing Tuesday afternoon on a bill that would enable annulment of criminal convictions for possessing three quarters of an ounce or less of marijuana.

The public is welcome to attend these hearings. For each bill, there will be a sign-in sheet where people can register their support or opposition. Any member of the public can also sign up to testify — please let me know at msimon@mpp.org if you would like to testify so we can coordinate.

WHAT and WHEN: Public hearings on these bills in the House Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs, on Tuesday, January 15:

1:00 p.m. — HB 335, relative to therapeutic cannabis dispensary locations
1:30 p.m. — HB 174, relative to alternative treatment center licenses
2:00 p.m. — HB 364, permitting qualifying patients and designated caregivers to cultivate cannabis for therapeutic use
2:30 p.m. — HB 366, adding opioid addiction, misuse, and abuse to qualifying medical conditions undertherapeutic use of cannabis

Public hearing in the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, on Tuesday, January 15:
2:30 p.m. — HB 399, relative toannulment of arrests or convictions for possession of a certain quantity of marijuana

WHERE: Legislative Office Building, 33 N State St., Concord. The medical cannabis bills will be heard in Room 303, and the annulment bill will be heard in Room 204.

In other news, the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript will be hosting a public discussion about legalization on Tuesday evening. Here are the details:

WHAT: Community Conversations, a discussion series that is free and open to the public. This week's program will focus on cannabis legalization and feature panelists from both sides of the debate.

WHERE: Monadnock Center for History and Culture, 19 Grove St., Peterborough

WHEN: 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 15

We expect that the legalization bill will be introduced very soon. Please share this message with your family and friends, and stay tuned for updates!

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Tax and Regulate

Va.: Legislature is now in session; decriminalization and legalization bills introduced

If you live in Virginia, contact your lawmakers and ask them to support marijuana reform bills this session!

The Virginia General Assembly convened to kick off its 2019 legislative session on Wednesday, and several efforts are being made to reform the state's marijuana policies.

Two bills, HB2079 and SB997, have been introduced to decriminalize marijuana, making simple possession a civil fine of $50 for a first violation instead of an offense punishable by up to 30 days in jail. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) also pushed for marijuana decriminalization in his State of the Commonwealth speech.

Additionally, two bills, HB2371 and HB2373, have been introduced to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana in the state for adults 21 years of age or older.

Ask your lawmakers to support marijuana policy reform!

Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C. have stopped jailing their residents for possession of modest amounts of marijuana, and 10 of those states and D.C. have legalized marijuana for individuals over 21. Polling has shown that almost eight out of 10 Virginia residents support replacing criminal convictions with a fine, and 62 percent favor ending marijuana prohibition all together.

Contact your lawmakers today and urge them to make marijuana policy reform a priority in 2019. Then, share this message with your friends and family in Virginia.

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Medical Marijuana

W.Va.: It's time to reform marijuana laws

If you live in West Virginia, urge your elected officials to support cannabis policy reforms in 2019!

West Virginia's 2019 legislative session began yesterday, and several bills are expected to be introduced in the coming days to reform marijuana laws, including a bill to improve the medical cannabis law, a decriminalization bill, and an adult-use legalization bill.

Please email your delegates and senators and urge them to support reforming marijuana laws in 2019!

Legislative leaders have already begun discussing possible reforms, including ways of addressing the banking issue that has prevented rollout of the medical cannabis program, but we must help convince legislators that there is an urgent need to take action.

After you write your legislators, please forward this message to your family and friends!

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Tax and Regulate

Pennsylvania’s governor indicates support for legalization!

If you live in Pennsylvanis, let your lawmakers know it’s time to stop jailing marijuana consumers.

With Pennsylvania’s legislative session just getting underway, it’s already clear that marijuana policy reform is going to be a hot topic of discussion.

At least two legalization bills will be introduced, and Gov. Tom Wolf (D) now says the state should take a “serious and honest look” at ending marijuana prohibition. However, significant obstacles remain, not least of which is opposition from legislative leaders.

That’s why it’s so important you reach out to your state lawmakers. Let them know it’s time to end cannabis prohibition and replace it with thoughtful regulation and taxation.

Unlike Michigan and most other states that have legalized marijuana for adults’ use, Pennsylvania lacks a voter initiative process. That means the only way to end prohibition — or to decriminalize cannabis — is through the legislature.

So, please take a minute to make your voice heard. Your lawmakers represent you, and they want to know how their constituents feel about this issue.

Then, please pass on this message so your friends and family can also speak out against the disastrous war on marijuana.

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Tax and Regulate

Maryland: Legislative session begins today!

If you live in Maryland, let your lawmakers know you want them to pass a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana in 2019!

The Maryland General Assembly convenes today, and discussion of legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana in the state has already begun. Just last week, House Speaker Mike Busch and Senate President Mike Miller announced plans to create a work group to study how to best implement the legalization of marijuana.

Please ask your lawmakers to support ending marijuana prohibition for adults moving forward and ensure that those harmed by prohibition in the past are able to clear their records.

Prohibition sends an incredible number of people through the criminal justice system, and the collateral consequences can have life-altering effects. Baltimore Fishbowl recently reported that post-decriminalization there is still a huge racial disparity in Baltimoreans being arrested for marijuana.

By legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana with measures to expunge records, the number of marijuana-related arrests will be reduced, and those harmed by prohibition in the past can move on with their lives. It will also free up resources so police can focus on more serious crimes.

It is important your lawmakers hear from as many constituents as possible. Please contact your lawmakers today. Then, forward this message to your family and friends in Maryland. Together, we can end prohibition in 2019!

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Tax and Regulate

Minnesota: New legislature, governor bring new hope for legalization

If you're a Minnesota resident, contact your newly elected state legislators today — tell them it’s time for Minnesota to legalize and regulate cannabis!

With the dawn of a new legislative session — and a newly elected governor who supports marijuana legalization — there is renewed hope that the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes may have a path to legalizing and regulating marijuana.

MPP is thrilled to announce we’re bringing on attorney Jason Tarasek as our Minnesota political director. Jason is lobbying lawmakers and working with allies to build a strong coalition to legalize adult-use cannabis. If you’re a member of an organization that might consider supporting legalization, let Jason know.

We’re also looking to engage community leaders who support regulating marijuana — such as local officials, members of the clergy, law enforcement, civil rights leaders, educators, and medical professionals. If you are one of those individuals, or if you know one who is up for supporting the effort, please reach out, too.

And we can’t forget the importance of grassroots pressure. It’s crucial that lawmakers hear that their constituents want them to end the disastrous war on marijuana. You can use our free, automated system to send an email to your newly elected legislators.

Finally, please consider contributing to our Minnesota effort to end cannabis prohibition and sharing this message with friends and family so that they, too, can get involved in this campaign for humane marijuana policies.

 

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont: New year brings new hope for cannabis regulation

If you live in Vermont, contact your newly elected state legislators today — tell them it’s time for Vermont to finish the job and regulate cannabis in 2019!

Cannabis has been legal for adults in Vermont to grow and possess in limited quantities since July 1, 2018, but our work in Montpelier is far from complete. Since policymakers have not yet created a legal, regulated cannabis market, Vermonters continue to miss out on the business and job opportunities, tax revenue, consumer protections, and other benefits that are already being realized in other U.S. states and Canada.

Vermont’s legislative session starts tomorrow, January 9. Please email your newly elected state legislators today and urge them to support efforts to regulate cannabis in 2019!

Now that retail stores have opened in Massachusetts, it’s clear that the political winds in Montpelier are blowing strongly in the right direction. Unfortunately, Gov. Phil Scott still has not come around in support of cannabis regulation, and we know that the prohibitionists won’t go away without a fight. Please help us finish the job and make history by contributing to support our efforts!

After you email your state legislators and make a contribution to our campaign, please share this message with your family and friends and encourage them to join the Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana!

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