Prohibition

DOJ Task Force Recommends No Change in Federal Marijuana Policy

A Dept. of Justice task force subcommittee on marijuana policy is not recommending any policy changes that would target state-legal marijuana programs or businesses operating in compliance with state laws, according to a report by the Associated Press. The task force asked for continued study and dialogue on the issue. The recommendations are meant to inform ongoing policy decisions and are non-binding.

Since August 2013, Dept. of Justice policy has been not to enforce federal marijuana laws against individuals or businesses in states that are complying with state medical or adult-use marijuana laws, provided that one of eight federal priorities is not implicated.

You can find out more about federal policy here.

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Research

Delaware Legislature Enacts Cannabis Regulation Task Force

Early Saturday morning, as the 2017 Legislative session came to a close, the Delaware General Assembly passed a resolution establishing a task force to discuss how to tax and regulate cannabis in the First State. While we’d hoped to end marijuana prohibition outright this year in Delaware, this is an important step forward.

The task force will be composed of agency heads, lawmakers, advocates, and other stakeholders. Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and Rep. Helene Keeley, sponsors of the Delaware Marijuana Control Act, will co-chair the committee.

This task force is good news for Delawareans who have worked tirelessly for years on this issue, and success is closer than ever. This fall, policymakers will take a serious look at what a post-prohibition Delaware will look like. The task force will issue a report to the Legislature in January 2018. This leaves plenty of time for lawmakers to vote on replacing marijuana prohibition with sensible regulation.

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Medical Marijuana

MPP Exploring Options for Ohio Medical Marijuana Initiative in 2016

2000px-Seal_of_Ohio.svgMPP was all over the news this past week when we initiated the process of putting a medical marijuana initiative on the November 2016 ballot in Ohio.

MPP communications director Mason Tvert issued the following statement:

MPP is committed to working with local patients, advocates, and professionals to pass a well-written initiative that ensures seriously ill Ohioans are able to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. We are in the very initial stages of this process — filing a committee, starting to build a campaign team, and conducting outreach to potential coalition partners and donors. MPP has helped pass several state medical marijuana laws through the initiative process and through state legislatures. We are looking forward to working with our allies in Ohio to produce the most effective and responsible medical marijuana system possible.

This initiative and campaign will be very different from the broader and ultimately unsuccessful 2015 initiative to legalize marijuana for medical and adult use.

State lawmakers are also contemplating medical marijuana legislation. The House recently announced it is launching a task force that will meet with medical professionals and representatives from business and law enforcement to discuss the issue. Meanwhile, members of the Senate announced they would be touring the state to hear testimony from Ohio residents.

It's great to see some legislators are finally taking this issue seriously and MPP would support well-written, comprehensive medical marijuana legislation if it is brought forward. In the meantime, we feel it is important to move forward with plans for an initiative in the case that the legislature fails to take action this year. That seems quite likely given the discouraging remarks some legislative leaders have been making in the news.

 

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