Medical Marijuana

Wisconsin Gov. Evers proposing decrim, medical cannabis as part of his budget

If you live in Wisconsin, let your state lawmakers know it's time for humane marijuana policies.

Wisconsin is rapidly becoming an island of backwards marijuana laws.

Minnesota and Illinois have both decriminalized marijuana and legalized medical cannabis. Meanwhile, in November, Michigan voters made their state the first in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for adults.

Gov. Tony Evers (D) has a bold vision to improve Wisconsin's marijuana laws. His budget, which will be released in late February, will propose decriminalization and expungement, along with a comprehensive medical cannabis program.

But Gov. Evers can't fix Wisconsin's outdated marijuana laws on his own. His proposal would have to pass the legislature, where Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) is opposed. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) has said he is "open to medical marijuana when it is prescribed by a doctor," but that Evers' proposal goes too far.

That's where you come in: Write your assemblymember and senator to ask them to support Evers' proposal and to push for it to get a vote.

Then, share this message with friends and family so that they, too, can speak up for commonsense cannabis policies.

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General

Idaho: Marijuana decriminalization and hemp legalization bills introduced in the state legislature

Idaho continues to lag behind other states on marijuana policy reform — it is the only remaining state in the country that does not acknowledge any form of medical marijuana under state law. However, lawmakers this year have proposed two bills to move the state in the right direction.

Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise) is cosponsoring legislation with Rep. Bryan Zollinger (R-Idaho Falls) to replace penalties for first-time marijuana possession offenses involving half an ounce or less with a civil infraction and fine of $250 or eight hours of community service. Currently, possession of three ounces or less is a misdemeanor punishable with up to a year in prison.

Reps. Caroline Nilsson Troy (R-Genesee) and Dorothy Moon (R-Stanley) have introduced a bill that would legalize hemp. Sen. Abby Lee (R-Fruitland) is sponsoring the legislation in the Senate. The move comes on the heels of passage of the most recent Farm Bill at the federal level, which removed hemp from Schedule I status and removes barriers to research and development of the crop. But despite the change in federal law, hemp remains classified as marijuana in Idaho. State police recently seized nearly 7,000 pounds of hemp from a truck driver traveling from Oregon to Colorado. The trucker now faces felony trafficking charges.

No bill to legalize medical marijuana has been introduced this year. Use our email tool to contact your state legislators and urge them to support the creation of a compassionate medical marijuana program. Newly-elected Gov. Brad Little recently opened the door to potentially supporting some kind of medical marijuana law.

Please get involved and contact your elected officials. Marijuana prohibition has failed in Idaho, and it's time to enact reform.

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Medical Marijuana

Ark.: Medical marijuana patient cards went into effect last week

Although medical marijuana is not yet available for Arkansas patients, patient ID cards went into effect on February 15, 2019. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission began mailing out ID cards to qualifying patients, and over 7,000 patient ID cards have been approved.

Patients who have a qualifying medical condition and a physician's written certification can apply online.

Recently, the Medical Marijuana Commission awarded licenses to 32 retail medical marijuana dispensaries and five medical marijuana cultivators. Cultivators are expected to have product available for dispensaries by April. Hopefully, Arkansas patients will not have to wait much longer for relief approved by voters over two years ago.

Despite the progress achieved so far for patients, Arkansas still has some of harshest marijuana laws in the country. Possessing marijuana should not be punishable by jail time, and other states – including Mississippi, North Carolina, and Missouri – have decriminalized marijuana. Ask your legislators to impose a civil fine on marijuana possession. Together, we can bring marijuana policy reform to Arkansas.

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Medical Marijuana

Make this the year Tennessee legalizes medical cannabis!

If you live in Tennessee, write your lawmakers to ask them to support the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act.

Two-thirds of Americans now live in states with compassionate laws that allow the medical use of marijuana. Meanwhile, Tennessee patients are stuck with the cruel choice of forgoing a medicine that could bring them relief, uprooting from their home state, or breaking the law to ease their suffering.

Ask your state lawmakers to make this the year that Tennessee joins 32 compassionate states.

Last week, Republican lawmakers introduced twin bills that would finally allow medical cannabis in the Volunteer State. Sen. Janice Bowling and Rep. Ron Travis' Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act would provide relief to patients with around 20 medical conditions, including cancer, chronic pain, seizures, spasms, opioid addiction, and PTSD.

Unfortunately, Gov. Bill Lee (R) said he wants to "explore alternatives before we go there."

You can call Gov. Lee at 615-741-2001 or send him a tweet to respectfully let him know that patients have explored alternatives, but that medical cannabis simply works for some patients where other medicines do not. You can let him know cannabis is far safer than prescription painkillers. While 16,000 Americans die each year from opiates, none have died of a cannabis overdose.

Let your governor know Tennessee patients deserve the same medical freedom patients have in 32 other states.

And don't forget to write your lawmakers. Finally, please spread the word to other Tennesseans, so that they, too, can raise their voices for sensible and humane cannabis policies.

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Medical Marijuana

Nebraska campaign committee files medical marijuana ballot initiative

Today, members of Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws submitted a constitutional amendment proposal to the Nebraska Secretary of State. The campaign, which is supported by MPP, aims to put the language on the ballot for voter approval in the November 2020 election. Read the full text of the proposal here.

Now is a critical time for the campaign to begin building resources to ensure the proposal qualifies for the ballot. Please make a contribution to support this important effort to pass a compassionate medical marijuana law in Nebraska.

If successful, the initiative would establish constitutional protections for patients who receive a recommendation from their physician or nurse practitioner to use medical marijuana. It would also lay the groundwork for the state to establish a regulated system of production and sales to registered patients through dispensaries.

After years of obstruction in the Nebraska Legislature, it is exciting to see an effort to bring this important issue to voters. If you can, please pitch in $25 or $50 to help the campaign prepare for the work ahead.

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Medical Marijuana

S.C.: Help build support among the religious community

MPP and Clergy for a New Drug Policy are reaching out to clergy – you can help

As South Carolina considers adopting a medical cannabis program, a recent poll shows how supportive South Carolinians continue to be. This support must certainly include members of the faith community.

We are eager to identify individual clergy we might contact and work with on this important issue. If you are a member of the clergy or you know someone who is and who supports this effort, please let us know. Clergy may also sign our online statement of support.

Thirty-three states have already approved cannabis as medicine. 2019 will likely be a pivotal year in the debate in South Carolina. Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy have reintroduced bills this year that would establish a medical cannabis program for seriously ill patients in South Carolina.

Clergy have spoken out for medical cannabis in other states and are raising their voices in South Carolina as well. Clergy for a New Drug Policy, our ally around the U.S, has already begun meeting with individual clergy here. For a recent post on medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids, click here.

Those who choose the safer approach should not be treated like criminals, particularly when they are under the care of a physician.

Please contact us if you are a supportive member of the clergy or know someone who is. Together, we can lay the foundation for a compassionate and regulated program for many of our state's most vulnerable population.

Thank you for your help.

 

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Medical Marijuana

Wyoming: Medical cannabis bill has been introduced!

If you're a Wyoming resident, urge your lawmakers to support HB0278.

Yesterday, House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Eric Barlow (R) introduced a bill to legalize medical cannabis in the Cowboy State! Under House Bill 0278, cannabis would be tested and regulated by the Department of Agriculture.

Please encourage your legislators to champion compassion and common sense by supporting effective medical cannabis legislation.

Unfortunately, Wyoming is one of the 18 states with no effective cannabis law, even though over 70% of Wyomingites support legalizing cannabis for medical use.

Medical cannabis is proven to be effective in the treatment of a variety of debilitating medical conditions, and seriously ill people should not be subject to arrest and criminal penalties for using a safer treatment option than opiates.

Please contact your lawmakers today to ask them to support HB 0278. Then, forward this message to your family and friends in Wyoming!

 

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Medical Marijuana

Lawmakers in Nebraska hear strong testimony in favor of medical marijuana

If you live in Nebraska, take action to support the bill to provide relief to patients.

When it comes to changing hearts and minds on medical marijuana, there's nothing more powerful than a roomful of patients and their loved ones sharing their stories. On Friday of last week, lawmakers listened to hours of testimony in favor of establishing a compassionate law that would end the practice of treating patients as criminals.

Alongside patients who had travelled from across the state and Sen. Anna Wishart — primary sponsor of the bill to legalize medical marijuana  sat MPP's director of state policies, Karen O'Keefe, who explained how the legislation would benefit thousands of Nebraskans.

The momentum for medical marijuana is growing, but we need you in the fight. If you agree that patients and their families deserve compassion, please contact your state senator and ask them to get behind LB 110.

Despite opposition from Gov. Ricketts, the effort to establish a compassionate medical marijuana program in Nebraska is picking up steam like never before. On the same day as the legislative hearing, the 2020 ballot campaign committee, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, held its kickoff fundraiser in Lincoln and over 100 people attended!

Please contribute $10, $25, or $100 to support this important effort.

There are reasons to be optimistic about the prospects for marijuana policy reform in Nebraska. But we need you to get involved.

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Medical Marijuana

Nebraska: Take action to support legislation to legalize medical marijuana

If you live in Nebraska, click here to send a message to your state senator.

The push for medical marijuana is heating up in Nebraska — and we need you to be part of it!

Sen. Anna Wishart recently introduced a bill that would establish a compassionate program for individuals with serious health conditions. With a doctor's approval, qualifying patients would be able to safely access medical marijuana under this legislation.

Please contact your state senator right now and urge them to support LB 110!

Thirty-two states, including Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri, have adopted laws to legalize medical marijuana. It's time for Nebraska to do the same. Take action and forward this email to others so they can contact their state senators, too.

One last thing: While we are hopeful that Nebraskan lawmakers pass Sen. Wishart's bill this year, a newly formed committee, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, is preparing to introduce a 2020 ballot initiative with MPP's support. Sign up to receive email updates from the campaign here, and if you live in or near Lincoln, please attend the campaign's kickoff fundraiser this Friday, January 25! Get more details and RSVP here.

Thank you for your support!

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Medical Marijuana

Ohio: Medical cannabis dispensaries open today

At least five shops are now approved to open, with more on the way

Ohio has now approved five dispensaries to begin serving patients, with most announcing they are opening for the first time today, January 16. This is the final major milestone for a program first adopted by lawmakers in 2016, and a relief to those patients who can now get access.

According to the state's website, CY+ and Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC are opening in Wintersville. There are two shops owned by The Botanist, one in Canton and one in Wickliffe included in the approval list, along with The Forest Sandusky in Sandusky, Ohio. The state's recently updated list is available online here. Many additional dispensaries are expected soon.

While Ohio has one of the most carefully regulated programs in the country, it hasn't been without challenges. Confusion over patient protections since the law was adopted continued throughout the process, and the high regulatory hurdle the state set for operators took longer to implement than many expected – with the state missing its final deadline last September. The program's launch is a relief.

We wish to thank the many supporters who contributed to the bill's passage and adoption following our voter initiative. MPP is pleased that the voter initiative we initiated in 2014 jump-started a serious effort in the legislature to pass such a measure, with today's sales being the final result. Thanks everyone!

Please forward this message to friends, family, and supporters. The big day has finally arrived Ohio!

 

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