Tax and Regulate

“Be Heard on Cannabis” stopping in Bemidji on Saturday

Mid-November community conversations planned in Eden Prairie, Eagan, and Monkato

This fall, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler is leading "Be Heard on Cannabis" community conversations across Minnesota to explore how to replace cannabis prohibition with sensible regulation. At the end of the process, Rep. Winkler plans to introduce a bill to legalize and regulate cannabis in Minnesota and shepherd it through the House.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming dates, to take part and add your voice to the conversation on how to move forward.

Bemidji "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Saturday, October 26, 11:00 a.m.
Where: Bemidji City Hall, 317 4th Street NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

Eden Prairie "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Monday, November 18, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eden Prairie Community Center, Cambria Room, 16700 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55346

Eagan "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Tuesday, November 19, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eagan Community Center, South Oaks Meeting Room, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan, MN 55121

Mankato "Be Heard on Cannabis" Community Conversation
When: Wednesday, November 20, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Gustavus Adolphus College Heritage Banquet Room, 800 W College Avenue, Saint Peter, MN 56082

For a list of the hosts and panelists who will lead each community conversation, along with other cities "Be Heard on Cannabis" will visit, check out Rep. Winkler's "Be Heard on Cannabis" webpage. And stay tuned for updates to the list. The following are expected to host community conversations: Austin, Crystal, Fridley, Hibbing, Maple Grove, New Brighton, Rochester, Spring Lake Park, and Woodbury.

Don't miss your chance to let your elected officials know it's time to stop punishing Minnesotans for a substance that's safer than alcohol. You may want to consider making a pitch for an inclusive, diverse industry, for allowing home cultivation, and for expunging past convictions.

Even if you're not able to make it, you can still make your voice heard. Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman has an online survey you can complete here. Finally, please spread the word by email or social media to help grow the chorus for reform.


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Tax and Regulate

Maine Legislature Overrides Marijuana Regulation Bill Veto

Today, the Maine House and Senate overrode Gov. LePage’s veto of the Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee’s bill that establishes a regulatory framework for marijuana sales.

LD 1719 creates the rules for licensing and regulating marijuana producers, processors, and retail establishments and sets the tax rates for adult-use marijuana. The bill does not implement the portion of the voter-approved initiative that calls for social consumption lounges.

While the bill was by no means perfect, we are glad that the state is moving forward with implementation, and soon there will be a legal way for adults to purchase marijuana.

Here is the link to LD 1719 if you are interested in reading the full text of the bill.

We are disappointed that social clubs were removed from the law and that adults may now only cultivate three plants at home instead of six. We will be working with the next legislature and governor to improve upon the work the legislature has accomplished. To that end, we have sent a survey to the candidates running for governor, asking if they will make implementation a priority once elected. Stay tuned for the results of the survey before the June primary election.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Dept. Of Health Asking for Patient Input on Medical Marijuana Regulations

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has asked patients and caregivers to complete a brief survey to help gauge public interest in the medical marijuana program. The responses will be considered as part of the process of drafting medical marijuana regulations relating to patients and doctors.
The patient survey takes less than five minutes to complete and asks just 12 questions, including where you live in Pennsylvania,255px-flag_of_pennsylvania-svg what condition you seek to treat, and the types of treatments in which you are interested. You can also submit comments about the implementation process.
The Department of Health is also seeking public input from individuals interested in applying for a grower/ processor and/or dispensary permit — that survey is available here. The department is seeking to engage the community to determine both the level of interest in seeking these permits and where potential applicants intend to open these types of facilities.
Your answers to these surveys will be considered in the drafting of regulations related to doctors and patients.
MPP will continue to advocate for the strongest possible medical marijuana program for patients, but we need your help. Make sure Pennsylvania’s program includes you and your loved ones by completing the patient survey by December 14.

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Historic National Support for Marijuana!

A new Gallup poll released yesterday shows that a record-high of 50% of Americans believe the use of marijuana should be made legal. That’s up from 46% just one year ago.

This is the first time we've hit the 50% mark on this highly respected annual survey, so this is significant.

Even the folks at Gallup seem to have a sense something historic is happening. As they noted in the release accompanying the survey results, “If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes.”

On average, public support for making marijuana legal was increasing by 1.4% annually from 1995 to 2010. So the fact that there has been an increase of 4% in a single year not only shows that we’re making continued progress, but that we’re actually seeing an acceleration in progress.

As you know, MPP is spearheading a signature drive in Colorado for a ballot initiative that -- if passed in November 2012 -- would make the possession, use, and regulated production and distribution of marijuana legal for adults. This initiative is the best chance we’ve ever had to end marijuana prohibition in any state.

And today’s national Gallup poll shows that the Colorado polling is spot on. Specifically, recent Colorado polling has shown that at least 51% of Colorado voters support ending marijuana prohibition, which makes sense given that Colorado voters are more supportive than voters nationwide.

We need your help to turn these poll numbers into election results. Each signature needed to get the initiative on the ballot in Colorado costs $1 to collect. Would you please sponsor 10, 50, 100, or even 1,000s of signatures so that the campaign can wrap up the signature drive and start educating voters about the initiative?

Thank you.


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War on Marijuana Failed, New Drug Survey Shows

Sep 10, 2009 Kate Zawidzki

drug czar, drug war, marijuana, NSDUH, survey, Walters

The new National Survey on Drug Use and Health is out, and it puts the final nail in the coffin of the war on marijuana conducted by George W. Bush’s drug czar, John Walters.

Walters’ fanaticism about marijuana is epitomized by a November 2002 letter sent to the nation’s prosecutors by his deputy, Scott Burns, claiming that “no drug matches the threat posed by marijuana.” Walters carpet-bombed the nation with anti-marijuana propaganda – TV, radio and print ads, reports, press conferences, news releases, etc. – and quickly began to follow up with exaggerated claims of success.

That game is now over. Compare the just-released 2008 data to the 2002 survey, the first to reflect Walters’ policies:

In 2002, 94.9 million Americans admitted having used marijuana at some point in their lives. In 2008, that figure had grown to 102.4 million. In percentage terms, that’s an increase from 40.4 percent in 2002 to 40.6 percent in 2008 – unchanged, statistically speaking. For current (past 30 days) use, the pattern is similar: 14.6 million or 6.2 percent in 2002, 15.2 million or 6.1 percent in 2008. The slight declines of a couple years ago have now been entirely erased and were likely no more than statistical noise.

The drug war industrial complex will never admit it, but the most intensive anti-marijuana campaign since the days of “Reefer Madness” produced exactly nothing.

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