Tax and Regulate

Rhode Island: Your legislators need to hear from you about marijuana legalization

If you live in Rhode Island, click here to send a message to your state senator and representative.

We’re just over halfway through this year’s legislative session, and the fate of legalization remains uncertain. A clear majority of Rhode Islanders are ready to end the failed policy of prohibition, but lawmakers may not act unless they hear from their constituents. Help us move the issue forward and contact your state legislators.

Rhode Island will only dig itself into a deeper hole if the General Assembly fails to pass a legalization law this year. Multiple states around us are moving forward with marijuana policy reform legislation, and if Rhode Island becomes an island of prohibition, the state will lose out on an opportunity to gain a foothold in the fastest growing economic sector in the country.

Gov. Raimondo’s proposal to legalize and regulate marijuana could be improved in several ways, and as we advocate for passage of a legalization law this year, we must also urge the General Assembly to adopt amendments around medical marijuana patient access, competition and fairness within the market, and provisions to address the historical injustices of marijuana prohibition.

We need supporters of sensible marijuana policy to take action. Without a broad push for legalization, Rhode Island will continue spinning its wheels while Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other New England states move forward. We need progress this year, and you can help make it happen by sending a message to your state legislators right now.

Thank you.

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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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Tax and Regulate

R.I.’s 2019 legislative session has begun: Take action TODAY and help legalize marijuana!

If you live in Rhode Island, use our simple email action tool to contact your state representative and senator and urge them to make legalization a priority in 2019.

Last week, Rhode Island’s 2019 General Assembly session officially commenced. It’s time to start putting pressure on legislators to make legalizing marijuana for adult use a top priority this year.

Take action now and send a message to your state legislators!

Now that state-licensed marijuana stores have opened in Massachusetts, and Connecticut’s new governor has pledged to make ending prohibition a top priority, there’s much speculation about whether Rhode Island will move forward this year.

Lawmakers are unlikely to act without pressure from their constituents. Take one minute to send your elected officials an email and let them know why it’s time to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.

We’ve been building momentum for legalization in Rhode Island for years, and we have a good feeling about this legislative session.

Let’s make it happen in 2019.

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Medical Marijuana

Maine: Medical marijuana omnibus bill goes into effect today

LD 1539 improves Maine’s medical marijuana program for patients and industry

Today, the omnibus medical marijuana bill that was passed last spring goes into effect. The bill makes major improvements to Maine’s medical marijuana program. Among some of the changes, the legislation:

  • removes the qualifying condition list so that any Mainer can use medical marijuana so long as their doctor thinks it would be helpful for them;
  • eliminates the requirement that a patient must designate a caregiver or dispensary as their sole provider, allowing for more patient choice;
  • adds two more dispensaries to the existing eight dispensaries and removes the cap on the dispensaries after January 1, 2021; and
  • allows for caregivers to open storefront businesses.

More than two years since Maine voters legalized marijuana for adults, adult-use stores have still not opened, largely due to obstruction from departing Gov. Paul LePage. In the meantime, these changes will help improve and expand medical cannabis access, including by making it more affordable.

As for the adult-use program, the state has recently hired BOTEC, out of Washington State, to help write the rules governing commercial marijuana. A significant amount of “rulemaking” has been done at the committee level, and we hope this work is respected. We hope the new governor, Janet Mills, will work diligently to get Maine’s new program off the ground. Please send her team an email, asking for marijuana legalization to be a year one priority.

Adult-use sales are up and running in all three other states where voters legalized marijuana in 2016 — California, Nevada, and Massachusetts. In Nevada, sales began more than a year ago. Please ask Gov.-elect Mills to move forward promptly, and share this with friends and family in Maine.

 

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Tax and Regulate

R.I.: Ask friends and family in Seekonk, Mass. to vote NO on proposal to ban marijuana facilities TOMORROW

local special election will determine the fate of marijuana facilities in Seekonk, Massachusetts tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4. Please help us spread the word and make sure your friends and family vote NO on the proposed ban! Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. at Seekonk High School, 261 Arcade Avenue.

The vote is taking place despite the fact that a proposal to ban adult-use marijuana retail and cultivation facilities was rejected at a recent town meeting on November 19. Town officials, however, have insisted that a special election is still necessary.

Tonight, residents of Newburyport will also have an opportunity to voice their opinion on a possible ballot question to ban marijuana businesses at the town meeting, which starts at 7:00 p.m.

Please alert people you know who live in either of these towns and share the news on social media!

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Tax and Regulate

Mass.: Seekonk to vote on proposal to ban marijuana facilities TOMORROW

A local special election will determine the fate of marijuana facilities in Seekonk, Massachusetts tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4. If you live in Seekonk, please make a plan to vote NO and reject the proposed ban. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. at Seekonk High School, 261 Arcade Avenue.

If you’re not a resident of Seekonk, help us spread the word and make sure your friends and family reject this proposal!

The vote is taking place despite the fact that a proposal to ban adult-use marijuana retail and cultivation facilities was rejected at a recent town meeting on November 19. Town officials, however, have insisted that a special election is still necessary.

Tonight, residents of Newburyport will also have an opportunity to voice their opinion on a possible ballot question to ban marijuana businesses at the town meeting, which starts at 7:00 p.m.

Please alert people you know who live in either of these towns and share the news on social media!

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont election fuels optimism as regulated sales begin in New England

Study commission announces five listening sessions; call Gov. Scott today!

Possession and limited cultivation of cannabis has been legal for adults in Vermont since July 1, but sales in the state remain illicit, unregulated, and untaxed. Fortunately, the November election paved the way for the state to legalize and regulate retail sales in 2019. The Vermont Democratic Party officially endorsed legalization and regulation at its convention in August, and then it expanded its legislative majorities in November, increasing the likelihood that the House and Senate will agree to pass a cannabis regulation bill.

Unfortunately, Gov. Phil Scott, who was re-elected, has said that he thinks Vermont “isn’t ready” for retail cannabis. However, now that sales to adults have begun in Massachusetts and Canada, he may be convinced to evolve on the issue in 2019.

Please call Gov. Scott’s office today and respectfully urge him to support regulating cannabis in Vermont!

Gov. Scott needs to hear that regulating cannabis will create jobs, spur economic development, and produce tax revenue while taking money and power away from organized crime. If he isn’t willing to evolve, we may need to override his veto by earning support from two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate.

Additionally, the study commission has announced that it will be holding five listening sessions around the state. All sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m., and members of the public will be welcome to comment.

• Monday, November 26 in Rutland – Asa Bloomer Building, 2nd Floor, Room 266, 88 Merchants Row
• Wednesday, November 28 in Williston – Williston Central School Auditorium, 195 Central School Drive
• Monday, December 3 – Morse Center, Black Box Theatre, St. Johnsbury Academy, 1000 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, VT
• Wednesday, December 5 – Vermont Veteran’s Home, 325 North Street, Bennington, VT
• Thursday, December 6 – White River Junction National Guard Armory, 240 Main Street, White River Junction, VT

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Tax and Regulate

Legal marijuana businesses open their doors in Massachusetts today!

Nearly two years ago, voters in Massachusetts approved Question 4, the initiative MPP spearheaded to dismantle and replace marijuana prohibition. After decades of seeing lives ruined by marijuana arrests and watching an illicit market thrive, Massachusetts voters realized that it was time for a different approach. 

Starting today, a new chapter begins. Massachusetts is now the seventh state where adults 21 and older can legally purchase marijuana products from regulated businesses. 

All over the country, we’re seeing the benefits of treating marijuana similarly to alcohol. In states like Colorado and Washington, marijuana arrest rates have plummeted. New tax revenue is bolstering schools and local communities. Law enforcement agencies are solving serious crimes like assault and burglary more quickly. Massachusetts made the right decision in 2016, and it is only just beginning to reap the rewards. 
 
Victories like these are only possible thanks to the tireless efforts of thousands of volunteers and activists who refuse to sit on the sidelines. I’m proud MPP was able to play a lead role in the Yes on 4 campaign — but we can’t do this work without people like you who fight alongside us. 

As we celebrate this milestone in Massachusetts, let’s resolve to make 2019 another year that leads to historic reform. With record popular support, and newly elected governors and lawmakers who support legalization, we have the opportunity to pass laws in several states that lack the ballot initiative process. But, there’s a lot of work to do to turn that popular support into new laws. Your contribution ensures we can continue changing laws across the country. 

 

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General

Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform!

Another election, and another historic night for marijuana reform.

Michigan has passed legalization! MPP played a central role in this campaign from start to finish. From coordinating the initiative drafting to overseeing the production of TV ads, MPP staffers worked alongside a excellent campaign team for two years to make Michigan the first state in the Midwest to adopt legalization. This is a huge win that will maintain our momentum in Washington, D.C. to pass a landmark federal reform bill through Congress in the near future.

Utah passed medical marijuana! MPP led the drafting process and played an important supporting role throughout the campaign. We are so proud of the Utah Patients Coalition team on this historic win that will end the heartless policy of criminalizing patients. If we can pass medical marijuana in Utah, then we can pass it in any state in the country…and we will.

In Missouri, voters approved medical marijuana, and they chose the best of the three possible initiatives. We congratulate our allies in the marijuana reform movement for this important win that will help patients access the medicine they need.

Sadly, North Dakota did not pass its legalization initiative. In such a conservative state, it was always an uphill battle. The proponents ran a strong campaign, but in a midterm year, the electorate was always going to be a challenge. North Dakota passed medical marijuana in 2016. It’s only a matter of time before the state adopts legalization, either via ballot initiative or legislative action.

As a movement, we won three out of four states. And for MPP, we’ve now played a leading role in seven of the 10 states that have legalized marijuana for adults (Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Michigan).

We couldn’t do this work without the support of voters, allies, activists, and donors. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made these crucial victories last night possible.

In other great news, voters elected at least seven governors who support ending marijuana prohibition — Ned Lamont in Connecticut, JB Pritzker in Illinois, Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico, Tim Walz in Minnesota, Gavin Newsom in California, Jared Polis in Colorado, and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan. For more details, check out our elections page.

 

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Tax and Regulate

New poll shows Rhode Islanders support legalization by 20-point margin

new survey confirms that an overwhelming majority of Rhode Island voters support legalizing marijuana for adults. The poll, commissioned by WPRI 12 and Roger Williams University and conducted by Fleming & Associates, found that 56% of respondents favor ending marijuana prohibition, while only 37% were against the idea. Another 7% were undecided.

Leaders in the General Assembly have consistently refused to allow legislators to vote on marijuana legalization in recent years. This new poll provides further evidence that these politicians are out of touch with the Rhode Island people.

Legal marijuana sales will start in Massachusetts any day now, and the new Rhode Island legislative session begins in January 2019. With the public solidly on the side of reform, there is no excuse for delay, and there is no excuse for the General Assembly to not vote on legalization in this upcoming year.

The Marijuana Policy Project and Regulate Rhode Island are planning to mobilize constituents and organize an effective campaign to call on the General Assembly to vote on a legalization bill during the upcoming session.

Stay tuned for more updates soon!

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