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.
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.
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!
The Delaware General Assembly convened to kick off its 2019 legislative session today! Several new lawmakers were elected on Election Day, and popular support for legalization continues to grow.
Ending prohibition in 2019 would put an end to the underground marijuana market and reduce the number of marijuana-related arrests. The sooner the state acts, the sooner it will be able to generate millions of dollars in revenue.
You can also take action and show your support by attending Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network’s Citizens’ Cannabis Lobby Day 19. Register to attend here.
When: Thursday, January 10, 2019 — 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Where: Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Avenue, Dover, DE 19901
It is important legislators hear from as many constituents as possible. Contact your lawmakers today and mark your calendars for Citizen’s Lobby Day 19. Then, please forward this message to your network in Delaware.
Together, we can end prohibition in 2019!
The walls of marijuana prohibition have crumbled all around New Hampshire. It is now legal for adults in all three neighboring states to grow and possess cannabis, and retail sales will soon become a reality in Massachusetts, Maine, and Canada.
Sadly, Gov. Chris Sununu continues to oppose legalization, in part because he continues to rely on terrible advice from New Hampshire’s so-called “drug czar,” former Manchester police chief David Mara. Last week, during an appearance at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Mara went on camera and offered an incredibly weak argument in defense of the status quo.
In other news, Senate Democratic leader Jeff Woodburn has launched an online petition calling for Sununu to support legalization. Sen. Woodburn announced last month that he intends to sponsor a bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis in 2019.
If you are a New Hampshire resident, please call Gov. Sununu’s office today — tell him it’s time to stop listening to Chief Mara and start listening to the people of New Hampshire, who overwhelmingly support ending marijuana prohibition!
Residents of Vermont are seeing the fruits of our movement’s tireless efforts to reform harmful and ill-conceived marijuana laws. Adults can now legally possess, consume, and grow limited amounts of marijuana. Read our summary of the law here.
MPP was a primary driving force behind this victory – and we’re currently on the front lines of legalizing marijuana in many other states, too.
Days like these are powerful reminders of what we can achieve together. Many of you have made one-time contributions in the past and others make monthly donations. Thank you. You are part of these victories, too. We are only able to do this work because thousands of allies across the country support our work.
MPP has big plans to continue changing marijuana laws around the country in the next two years. Through the dedicated work of our teams throughout the country, we could see up to eight more states legalize by mid-2020. But what we can achieve is limited by our funding. Our success depends on you.
Together, we are bringing the era of marijuana prohibition to an end. Let’s keep going.
New Jersey lawmakers and Gov. Phil Murphy agree that the state needs revenue to fund important priorities, such as improving the transit system, but disagree on how to get it. One thing leaders do agree on, however, is taxing the sale of cannabis: The Assembly and Senate budgets contain $69 million from marijuana taxes. That figure is more than could realistically be earned from medical cannabis sales tax alone, but is a small amount compared to what the state will eventually earn from taxing and regulating marijuana. However, this conservative projection makes sense given the time it will take to get adult-use sales up and running after the bill is passed.
It’s great that more and more lawmakers recognize that marijuana prohibition has failed, and that the state can benefit from taxing and regulating it. However, we want to urge lawmakers to ensure that the harms of prohibition are addressed in the legalization bill.
Asw. Annette Quijano, Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, recently held a hearing (at which MPP testified) on her bill to help do just that, by ensuring that people with a marijuana offense on their record will have meaningful access to expungement if New Jersey legalizes cannabis. Unfortunately, the current legalization bills do not go far enough.
If you are a New Jersey resident, please ask your lawmakers to support legalization and to ensure that New Jersey gives people an opportunity to benefit from legalization instead of continuing to be burdened with the collateral consequences of a criminal record.
Canada moved another step closer to ending its prohibition of marijuana on Thursday when the Senate approved legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use. Bill C-45 will now head back to the House of Commons, which has already approved a previous version.
Once approved in the House, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is expected to move quickly to implement the legislation, with legal adult sales beginning as soon as August. Canada will be just the second country — and the first G7 nation — to legalize marijuana for adults at the national level. The first was Uruguay, where legislation was signed into law in December 2013 and a limited number of pharmacies began selling marijuana to adults in July 2017.
“Canada is demonstrating extraordinary leadership on marijuana policy,” said Mason Tvert, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It is setting an example not only for the U.S., where reform is already progressing at the federal level, but for countries around the world where there has been little to no debate on the subject.”
The Canadian legislation creates an overarching national regulatory framework and enables each province to establish its own system of licensing and regulating marijuana businesses. Adults will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, and all products will be sold in plain packaging with clearly marked labels. Home cultivation is allowed at the federal level, but it can be banned at the provincial level.
“This legislation will allow adults in Canada to start purchasing marijuana safely and legally from licensed businesses rather than tracking it down through illegal and potentially dangerous channels,” Tvert said. “Products will be tested, packaged, and labeled to ensure they are not contaminated and that consumers know what they’re getting. This newly regulated market will also create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue.”
Nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws making marijuana legal for adults 21 and older, and eight of those laws include systems for regulating the cultivation and sale of marijuana.
“Marijuana prohibition is a failed U.S. policy experiment that was replicated by countries around the world,” Tvert said. “It has caused far more problems than it has solved, and governments would be wise to follow Canada’s example by revisiting their marijuana policies and exploring alternatives.”
Earlier today, Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced bipartisan legislation to end the federal government’s war on marijuana and protect states’ rights to enact their own marijuana policies.
The STATES Act is the most significant piece of marijuana-related legislation ever introduced in Congress. With its bipartisan backing in the Senate, it symbolically signals the eventual end of marijuana prohibition at the federal level.
This legislation reflects the position the president took on marijuana policy during his campaign, and it comes shortly on the heels of the positive comments he made to Sen. Gardner. The president has a unique opportunity to get behind historic legislation that enjoys solid support on both sides of the political spectrum. Read more about the bill.
Members of both parties agree it’s time for the federal government to let states set their own policies for marijuana. Please ask your lawmakers to back this important legislation.
The resolution delves deeply into the history of marijuana prohibition, recognizing the racist foundations of the earliest marijuana laws being used to discriminate against people of color, through the racial disparity that exists in marijuana enforcement to this day.
The Caucus called on Congress to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, and for state lawmakers to regulate marijuana for adult use and seal previous marijuana-related criminal records.
You can read the full resolution here.
On Thursday, state officials informed the supporters of The Initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona that the initiative has qualified for this November's ballot as Proposition 205. In less than three months, the people of Arizona will determine whether to end marijuana prohibition and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
Eighty-three years ago, Arizona voters approved a ballot measure to repeal the failed policy of alcohol prohibition,” said J.P. Holyoak, chairman of the Yes on 205 campaign. “This November, we will have the opportunity to end the equally disastrous policy of marijuana prohibition. Prop 205 would establish a more sensible system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol.
Prop 205 would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana; establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol; and enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sales, from which a majority of the revenue would be directed to Arizona schools and education programs. The Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee estimated the initiative would generate more than $123 million in annual tax revenue and license fees by 2020, including more than $55 million per year for K-12 education and full-day kindergarten programs.
For more information, visit http://RegulateMarijuanaAZ.org.