This Friday, the Rhode Island House will debate H 5151 Sub A, the budget bill for the coming fiscal year. As written, Article 15 of this legislation would make two significant changes to undermine the state's medical marijuana program.
First, the House budget would require all patients who wish to grow for themselves to register as their own caregiver. Then, it empowers the Department of Business Regulation to establish criteria for caregivers, which may include "eligibility" and "a demonstration of need." Depending on how the department uses this authority, it could effectively eliminate home cultivation for all but a few patients.
Second, while the current budget proposal would increase the number of compassion centers from three to nine, it also raises the annual licensing fee for these facilities to $500,000 a year, which is 10-100 times more than what most other states require for medical marijuana business licenses. This fee will ensure that only people with deep pockets can enter the market, and the increased costs will be passed down to patients in the form of increased prices.
Limiting patients' ability to grow their own medicine while simultaneously increasing costs for patients at the compassion centers is a cruel and unnecessary way to balance the budget. Enough is enough.
Thank you for taking action!
Action has been delayed on legalization, but we're still doing everything we can to pass the medical cannabis home cultivation bill — please call Gov. Chris Sununu today and urge him to sign HB 364 into law!
The New Hampshire Senate has delayed action on the legalization bill, but several cannabis-related bills have been approved by both chambers of the legislature, and they will soon land on the desk of Gov. Chris Sununu.
Most of these bills passed with strong support in both chambers, but the fate of one critical bill remains uncertain. HB 364, which would allow registered patients and caregivers to cultivate a limited supply of cannabis at home, passed the House today in a final voice vote. Unfortunately, the margin of support in the Senate was only 14-10, so we would have to gain two votes in the Senate in order to override a potential veto.
Here are the other cannabis-related bills that appear to be on track to become law:
- HB 399 would allow people who received misdemeanor possession convictions prior to decriminalization to apply to have their records annulled. It passed both chambers in a voice vote. We are very grateful to our allies at ACLU-NH and Americans for Prosperity for their work to help get this bill passed.
- HB 350 would allow physician's assistants to certify patients. It passed both chambers in a voice vote.
- SB 88 would eliminate the three-month waiting period for provider-patient relationships. It has already passed the House (263-90) and the Senate (17-7) and awaits a final vote in the Senate.
- SB 145 would allow alternative treatment centers to reorganize as for-profit businesses. It passed both chambers in a voice vote.
After you call Gov. Sununu and urge him to sign HB 364, please share this important update with your friends and family!
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Senate Finance Chair Liz Krueger have introduced a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. But, there are just days left to get it passed this legislative session, which ends June 19.
The bill was introduced after months of debate between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature on how the state will approach legalization. Gov. Cuomo has said that he would sign the bill, but it does not yet have the 32 votes needed to pass the Senate.
The bill provides that an Office of Cannabis Management will be created and charged with regulating both adult-use and medical cannabis — which was adopted from Gov. Cuomo's earlier proposal. It would also expunge records of those previously convicted of possessing small amounts of cannabis, and 50 percent of the tax revenue would go toward establishing grants to fund programs serving communities that were disparately impacted by cannabis prohibition.
New Yorkers deserve a just, equitable cannabis policy. Contact your lawmakers and Gov. Cuomo today to get legalization across the finish line this session! Then, share the action link with other thoughtful New Yorkers, so that they, too, can raise their voices.
P.S. It saddens us to inform you that Doug Greene, a lifelong cannabis activist who worked tirelessly to reform cannabis policy in New York, passed away last week. His funeral service will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 1:15 p.m. at Knollwood Park Cemetery — 57-80 Cooper Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385.
Lawmakers make major improvements to cannabis policy in 2019.
Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed into law three notable bills to improve cannabis policies this year. Here is a quick overview and why they are so important:
AB 132 prohibits most employers from denying applicants a job if cannabis shows up on a pre-employment drug test. This bill addresses a big concern — cannabis use can be detected for weeks after ingestion, meaning drug screens in no way correlate with impairment. So far, states have been generally unwilling to change employment standards, even when cannabis use is legal outside work hours. This bill is a major development for Nevadans, and MPP wants to see other states take notice.
SB 430 was signed into law last week and expands the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. The bill adds forms of autism, anxiety, and chronic pain — in addition to severe pain, which was already included. A key addition were those individuals who are "dependent upon or addicted to opioids," making medical cannabis an alternative to anyone at risk while taking prescription narcotic medication. This is part of a trend we see around the country, and it's great to see Nevada added to the list of states offering this important alternative.
AB 192 allows individuals to have their past convictions sealed if the conduct — such as marijuana possession — has been legalized or decriminalized. While this is not as expansive as completely removing the conviction, sealing can significantly reduce the stigma and collateral consequences lingering from the failed war on cannabis.
MPP is proud to have led Nevada's legalization initiative in 2016 and important improvements to the medical cannabis law in 2013. Today, lawmakers are making sensible improvements to those programs, and more importantly, the medical and adult-use programs continue to serve the state and its residents.
On Wednesday, the Louisiana Legislature passed HB 358, a bill that would allow patients to inhale (but not smoke) medical marijuana. Louisiana is the only one of the 33 medical marijuana states that does not allow this important method of administration. The bill is now on the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards awaiting his signature.
After you've asked the governor to sign the bill, please spread the word to others in Louisiana.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week on combating the opioid epidemic, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin made a comment that is a perfect example of the kind of entrenched ignorance that MPP has been battling for nearly 25 years. Referring to his home state of Illinois, which only days ago passed a landmark, MPP-backed bill to legalize cannabis for adult use, Sen. Durbin remarked that:
"We've had medical marijuana. I've been to one of those clinics. It was almost a laughing matter."
Really, Senator? Ready access to life-changing medical treatments is basically a joke to you?
- It's not a joke for parents who have to drive across state lines, risking their livelihood and their freedom, in order to procure the only medicine available that can successfully treat their child's multiple sclerosis symptoms — just because their state is run by people who share your outdated perspective on medical marijuana.
- It's not a joke to the veterans suffering from severe PTSD who can't get a prescription at their local VA hospital because the federal government inserts its prohibitionist restrictions between them and their physicians.
- And it's certainly no joke to the greater than 10 million people located in prohibition states who are suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, debilitating arthritis, anorexia, cerebral palsy, chronic pain, or the numerous other afflictions for which medical marijuana is an effective treatment.
To them, and to us, medical marijuana is no laughing matter at all. With your contribution today, we can continue to fight for life-saving access for medical cannabis patients.
Please help us send Senator Durbin a clear message that it's past time for attitudes like his to evolve, that the harm caused by failed prohibitionist policies is both ongoing and urgent, and that he should use his national profile to shine a light on the problem — not to belittle the issue.
Thank you for standing up for medical cannabis patients. Together we can overcome the ignorance and misinformation — and ensure a brighter future for those who are still being denied safe access to the medicine they need.
We must continue building support for legalization, but first, we need to make sure chronic pain is approved as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.
A new poll just came out, and it confirms (yet again) that Connecticut residents strongly support legalizing cannabis and expunging criminal records for low-level offenses. Sadly, the legislature ended its regular session yesterday without voting on any of the bills that would have ended cannabis prohibition.
It's disappointing that our opponents were able to create enough uncertainty and confusion to delay our progress. However, we've come a long way — three committees advanced bills to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis this year. If we can ramp up our efforts, we are optimistic we can get past the finish line in 2020. Please help us continue to build our coalition by making a contribution today. Please also "like" our coalition on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
Unfortunately, your help appears to be needed on another issue. You might think it would be a no-brainer for Connecticut to approve chronic pain as a qualifying condition for the medical cannabis program, but the discussion about whether to do so has been "tabled for a future meeting" by the Board of Physicians.
Finally, please share this message with your family and friends!
Volunteers needed — email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
The Nebraska Legislature has adjourned for the year, and once again, prohibitionist lawmakers have prevented the passage of medical marijuana legislation. But the fight is far from over. The vast majority of Nebraskans support medical marijuana, and if a medical marijuana measure appears on the ballot in 2020, there's an excellent chance it will pass.
Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws is leading the charge, and they need your help. Last weekend, they collected an impressive 1,400 signatures in just two days, but there's still a long road ahead. They need as many volunteers as possible to meet their goal by the end of the summer.
Below are several volunteer opportunities coming up this weekend. Please contact the campaign field coordinators by emailing email@example.com to let them know which events you can attend.
LINCOLN - Haymarket Farmers Market
Saturday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
OMAHA - Old Market Farmers Market
Saturday 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
LINCOLN - New Kids on the Block concert - Pinnacle Bank Arena
Saturday 6 - 8 p.m.
OMAHA - Aksarben Village Farmers Market
Sunday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
LINCOLN - College View Farmers Market
Sunday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The campaign cannot qualify for the 2020 ballot without supporters like you. If you can, please get involved and volunteer today.
Yesterday, a bill was barely defeated that would allow for inhalation of medical marijuana. Right now, patients are severely limited on how they can use medical marijuana.
But there's still hope! The legislature is back in session this weekend, and there is a chance to reconsider the bill and have another vote as soon as TODAY. Please write your senator right now in favor of allowing patients to use medical marijuana through inhalation.
Many patients with severe pain, spasms, and nausea need the immediate relief inhaled cannabis provides. Louisiana is the only one of the 33 medical cannabis states that fails to allow this important mode of administration.
It's so important to contact your elected officials, so please do so NOW. Then, spread the word to others in Louisiana, so that they, too, can speak up for a workable medical cannabis program.
Late last week, Gov. Kim Reynolds vetoed HF 732, a bill that would have dramatically improved Iowa's medical marijuana program, including by allowing patients to use cannabis with the amounts of THC that works for them. The bill originally passed overwhelmingly in the House and Senate.
Patients in Iowa are suffering, and Gov. Reynolds has exacerbated their pain. It's inexcusable to withhold medicine that we know helps patients.
Contact Gov. Reynolds today and tell her "Shame on you for hurting Iowa patients!" You can shoot her an email through our automated system, or post to her Twitter or Facebook page. Remember not to say anything that is abusive, as that will only hurt our efforts.
After contacting the governor, email Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer. Speaker Upmeyer refuses to bring the legislature back in session to override the governor's veto. Click here and tell Speaker Upmeyer to "Bring the legislature back to help Iowa patients."
Take action and then forward this email to your friends and family. It's time for Iowa to have a comprehensive medical marijuana program.