Yesterday, newly elected and returning lawmakers convened for the first day of Tennessee's 2019 legislative session. Since the legislature adjourned last year, voters in Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri enacted medical cannabis laws, bringing the number of medical cannabis states to 32.
But even though 81% of Tennessee voters support medical cannabis, patients either needlessly suffer or risk arrest to find relief from cannabis. Let your lawmakers know you want them to change that.
After your use our automated system to send a quick note to your elected officials, please share this message with other compassionate Tennesseans.
Yesterday, newly elected and returning lawmakers convened for the first day of Wisconsin's new legislative session. Since the legislature adjourned last year, voters in Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri enacted medical cannabis laws, bringing the number of medical cannabis states to 32.
And, on Election Day, more than a million Wisconsinites cast non-binding votes in support of medical marijuana or adult-use programs. In all 11 counties and two cities — both red and blue — where it was on the ballot, medical cannabis measures passed overwhelmingly. Support ranged from 67% to 89%.
Despite that massive show of support, Wisconsin patients either needlessly suffer or risk arrest to find relief from cannabis. Let your lawmakers know you want them to change that this year.
Wisconsin's new governor, Tony Evers (D), supports medical cannabis, but he can only sign a bill if one makes it to his desk. Wisconsin doesn't have a binding, statewide ballot initiative process. As was the case in Illinois and Minnesota, the only way to enact a medical cannabis law in the state is through the legislature.
So please, send a quick note to your elected officials, and share this message with other compassionate Wisconsinites.
Earlier today, newly elected and returning lawmakers convened for the first day of North Carolina's 2019 legislative session. Since mid-June, voters in Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri enacted medical cannabis laws, bringing the number of medical cannabis states to 32.
But even though 80% of North Carolina voters support medical cannabis, patients in North Carolina either needlessly suffer or risk arrest to find relief from cannabis. Let your lawmakers know you want them to change that.
After your use our automated system to send a quick note to your elected officials, please share this message with other compassionate North Carolinians.
Starting on October 26, Oklahoma City’s maximum penalty for simple possession of marijuana will be reduced to a fine of up to $400. The Oklahoma City Council approved the proposal to remove jail time and reduce the penalty for marijuana possession last week. Until the new law takes effect, the maximum fine for possession is $1,200 and six months of jail time.
If you live in Oklahoma, let your lawmakers know the time has come for statewide decriminalization!
Penalizing individuals with jail time and a criminal record for possessing small amounts of marijuana wastes law enforcement resources. It can also lead to a lifetime of harsh consequences, including denial of student financial aid, housing, employment, and professional licenses. You can find more information on decriminalization here.
Please spread the word!
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) will begin accepting medical cannabis applications from patients and prospective businesses on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.! This will make it one of the quickest states to implement a medical marijuana law.
Application materials and FAQs are already available on the OMMA’s site, including for:
OMMA has also opened a call center, which is open Monday through Friday, 8.30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The number is 405-522-6662.
In other news, as you may have seen, the Board of Health and Gov. Mary Fallin signed off on revised final regulations. The revised regs fix the major problems — including by nixing a THC cap and the ban on sales of flower and edible marijuana.
Meanwhile, a legislative working group is continuing to meet on the issue, and the Food Safety Standards Board hasissued recommendations.
Unfortunately, some governmental bodies are moving to restrict patients’ rights: Oklahoma State and the University of Oklahoma are prohibiting medical cannabis on their campuses. And the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigationupdated the state’s Self-Defense Act license application to warn individuals who use medical marijuana that they should answer “yes” when asked if they unlawfully use a controlled substance, which may prevent them from being licensed.
Please spread the word, so that Oklahoma patients can get the protections and safe access they deserve!
Yesterday, the penalty-reduction piece of Oklahoma’s medical marijuana initiative became operational. Individuals possessing up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis face a reduced penalty — a misdemeanor fine of up to $400 — if they “can state a medical condition.”
Meanwhile, regulators made application materials available online for patients and caregivers, along with information for businesses and physicians. It will begin accepting applications on August 25.
In another encouraging development, regulators released proposed revisions to many of the problematic final regulations. The Board of Health will meet on August 1 at 3:00 p.m. to consider them.
Draft revisions (summarized here) would make several welcome changes, including:
• Removing the ban on selling smokeable cannabis and edibles;
• Removing the THC cap;
• Removing the requirement that pharmacists dispense cannabis;
• Making the physician registration optional;
• Removing the requirement that doctors subject all “females of childbearing age” to a pregnancy test before recommending cannabis; and
• Removing the limitation on hours of operation, which banned Sunday sales.
However, we still have some concerns, including that:
• Patients who are tenants must obtain their landlords’ written permission to cultivate. Given federal law, even landlords who are open to cultivation may be unwilling to assent in writing.
• Physicians must to “ascertain” if a female is pregnant or likely to become pregnant before recommending cannabis. This strong language may essentially require pregnancy tests for many women, which is patronizing and invasive and drives up costs.
• Physicians must provide an in-person medical exam within 30 days of the certification. Oklahoma allows telemedicine for most medications.
Comments can be submitted to email@example.com.
These proposed revisions follow a lawsuit filed by the Oklahoma ACLU on behalf of advocates, and advice from Attorney General Mike Hunter that some regulations exceeded the department’s authority.
If you live in Oklahoma, please speak out and spread the word. Congratulations again to everyone who worked to pass SQ 788!
The Department of Health had been working for three months on regulations in case the initiative passed and swiftly released draft emergency regulations. MPP and many other advocates and patients submitted comments raising concerns, flagging several regulations that included onerous restrictions inconsistent with SQ 788.
Unfortunately, yesterday the Board of Health met to consider those regulations and approved almost all of the regulations we expressed concern about. They also added new restrictions — such as prohibiting the sale of smokeable cannabis.
• Prohibit cannabis from being sold with more than 12% THC in infused products and prohibit plants from exceeding 20% THC.
• Prohibit dispensaries from selling smokeable, flower cannabis, and edible cannabis.
• Require each dispensary to have a pharmacist on staff.
• Require physicians to register before making recommendations, complete medical cannabis-specific training, and screen patients for substance abuse, mental health issues, and whether the patient presents a risk for diversion.
• Require physicians to perform a pregnancy test on “females of childbearing years” before recommending cannabis.
These restrictions will deprive some patients of the medicine that works best for them, while driving up costs and driving down doctor participation.
Advocates are considering next steps, including possible litigation. Stay tuned for updates. Also, we want to express our hearty congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to pass SQ 788!
Despite an advertising blitz from opponents in the final days before the election, the Yes on 788 team emerged victorious. Thanks to the campaign’s efforts — and the voters of Oklahoma — tens of thousands of patients will soon be able to safely access medical marijuana with approval from their doctor.
The passage of State Question 788 highlights the strength and diversity of public support for laws allowing the medical use of marijuana. It is noteworthy that this measure passed in such a red state during a primary election, when voter turnout tends to be older and more conservative than during a general election.
Oklahoma lawmakers now plan to pass legislation to implement State Question 788. Read a summary of SQ 788 here.
The win in Oklahoma shows that our movement for sensible and compassionate marijuana policies is growing stronger and stronger. Later this year, voters in Utah and Michigan will also have an opportunity to approve legalization initiatives. Please consider supporting these important efforts:
Later in June, Oklahomans will head to the polls and decide whether patients with serious health conditions should be allowed to safely access medical marijuana. If you know anyone living in Oklahoma who supports sensible marijuana policies, make sure they go vote on June 26.
The grassroots group backing the initiative, Yes on 788, is doing an excellent job with a limited budget, and polls look encouraging. Roughly 60% of Oklahomans say they favor the initiative. But opponents are misleading voters about what the initiative would do, and this could be a close one.
Tens of thousands of patients in Oklahoma would see their lives and well-being improve if voters pass State Question 788. No family should have to watch a loved one suffer from a debilitating medical condition while a safe and effective treatment is available.
There’s a lot at stake. Let’s cheer on Oklahoma and support their effort to provide compassion and relief to patients who need it.
Over the past two weeks, MPP members have been voting for the Marijuana Policy Project’s next official T-shirt, and on Thursday, April 12 we’ll be ready to announce the winning design. Tomorrow is the last day of members-only voting, so be sure to cast a vote for your favorite design today!
To learn more about MPP’s 2018 T-shirt Design Contest and view the guidelines for voting, please visit our contest webpage.
MPP members comprise the core of our supporters, providing the vital resources we need to change laws across the country. With medical marijuana likely on the ballot this year in Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri, and an adult-use legalization initiative on the ballot in Michigan this November, the next few months are crucial for our movement.