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Right now, the Nebraska Unicameral is debating whether to approve Gov. Pete Ricketts’ appointment of John Kuehn to the State Board of Health.
Kuehn is co-chair of the anti-marijuana group Nebraska SAM. If he is appointed to this position, he could significantly undermine future regulations for medical marijuana if voters approve a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in November.
Please send a message and call your state senator right now. If you’re short on time, calls are the most effective.
With the majority of Americans now supporting marijuana legalization, and with legalization being a key component of broader criminal justice reform — a top issue among voters — primary constituents want to hear where candidates stand on our issue.
As MPP’s director of federal policies, I am currently on the ground for primary week in New Hampshire, attending campaign events and town halls all over the state and relentlessly pursuing the Democratic presidential hopefuls concerning their positions on cannabis.
From Claremont to Nashua, I am engaging with the candidates and working to raise the profile of marijuana policy reform in the presidential election. It’s important that we hold candidates accountable for their positions, and last week, I recorded a short conversation with Joe Biden in which the former vice president appeared to shift from his typical opposition to fully legalizing marijuana.
"I think it is at the point where it has to be, basically, legalized," Biden said in the recording, though it’s unclear whether the former vice president’s position on marijuana legalization has officially changed. You can hear the whole exchange, featured on Politico, here.
Although it sounded like Biden was on the verge of endorsing legalization (as all the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have, Bloomberg excepted), he failed to clarify his position and ultimately, only made it more unclear. As I told Marijuana Moment, “it turned out to be a big nothing.”
At the conclusion of our taped dialogue, however, I urged Biden to raise the issue with the American electorate, discuss it on the debate stage, and address the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws.
These on-the-ground efforts are just one of the ways MPP is working to drive the conversation on federal marijuana policy, both nationally and locally. Help us continue these kinds of exchanges and keep injecting marijuana policy reform into the discussion by making a donation today.
— Don Murphy, Director of Federal Policies
Last week, along with our allies at ACLU-NH and Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire, we launched the Manchester Cannabis Reform Coalition. As the Union Leader reported, the new coalition’s efforts will be focused on convincing Manchester’s three state senators to support legalization.
This important effort needs to be amplified and duplicated by advocates throughout the state. For starters, please email your state legislators today and encourage them to support the upcoming bill to end cannabis prohibition in New Hampshire!
Elected officials need to understand that legalization is more popular than any politician in New Hampshire. Granite Staters know that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol, and we are more than ready to see it treated that way in the “Live Free or Die” state!
If you agree with us that New Hampshire should not be an island of prohibition in a sea of freedom, please support our efforts with a donation. Then, please share this message with your family and friends.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to prevent the federal government from interfering with state laws regulating marijuana for all purposes, including adult use.
"Today's vote is the most significant step Congress has ever taken toward ending federal marijuana prohibition."
- Steven Hawkins, MPP Executive Director
Yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives, an extraordinary milestone was achieved when the body approved a measure by a 267-165 vote to prevent the Department of Justice from using funds to interfere with the implementation of state laws that have legalized marijuana for adults. Since 2014, Congress has renewed a provision that prevented federal interference in states' medical marijuana programs, but this goes further and includes adult-use legalization, too.
The significance of this development cannot be overstated. As MPP Executive Director Steve Hawkins put it this vote means "Congress is recognizing that the federal government must let the states decide on cannabis legalization — and not the other way around." But this win was only made possible with your support.
Please help MPP continue to achieve victories like this by making a contribution to the effort today.
The bipartisan amendment, offered by Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to the House version of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, prohibits the Justice Department, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, from using funds to interfere in the implementation of state laws that allow the use, possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana. The measure is broader than previous amendments, which applied only to medical marijuana laws.
We should all take a moment to savor this seminal achievement and to appreciate how far we've come as a movement. But we can't afford to rest on our laurels, to count on momentum alone to drive future progress, or to assume others will step up to support ending marijuana prohibition nationwide.
Your gift of support today is critical to ensure that MPP has the resources it needs to keep on fighting and winning. Click here to donate now.
The Senate is expected to take up companion legislation in the coming weeks, and it's going to take all the efforts of MPP's policy experts, allies, and coalition partners to push this bill forward. Most importantly, strong and active support from people like you, who know firsthand the injustice and illogic of marijuana prohibition, will be key to moving this legislation across the finish line.
Thank you for all you've done to help us get this far. The MPP mission to end marijuana prohibition has never been so close to being realized, and with your support, we will make that vision a reality.
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.