Tax and Regulate

Michigan: The fight for marijuana policy reform moves to the local level

After Prop 1's victory last November, we celebrated the end of marijuana prohibition in Michigan. But the effort to move marijuana policy reform forward isn't over. The frontlines have now shifted to cities and towns, where many municipalities are imposing bans on marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions.

It's not only about holding the line. Local activism opens up the possibility of more progress, too. Organizers in Ann Arbor, for example, are working to put a social use initiative on the ballot in 2020.

We encourage supporters of sensible marijuana policies in Michigan to get involved in political spaces at the local level in two main ways:

  • Get to know your city council members and attend local meetings. Express your views on how you think legal marijuana could benefit your community — just remember to always be respectful.

  • Help organize a local petition effort to repeal bans on marijuana businesses. Prop 1 allows residents to place certain marijuana policy questions on the ballot, provided they collect enough signatures, equal to 5% of the number of votes cast for governor. Click here to see a map of cities and towns where bans have already been enacted or are pending.

In some communities, bans on marijuana businesses are being imposed despite the fact that a majority of residents voted for Prop 1. We cannot sit on the sidelines while the will of the voters is ignored by city officials.

Let's bring our movement for sensible marijuana policies to the local level in 2019!

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Tax and Regulate

Penn.: More stops announced for legalization listening tour

Online comments are being accepted now, too.

At Lt. Gov. John Fetterman's first stops on his marijuana legalization listening tour, supporters made a passionate case to end marijuana prohibition. They also outnumbered opponents.

Let's keep up the momentum.

Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has also begun accepting online input on whether the state should legalize marijuana for adults' use. Submit your thoughts here.

You can let the governor know the reasons why you support making marijuana legal, and make a pitch for an inclusive, diverse industry. Let him know if it's important to you that legalization include expunging past convictions.

Please also make a plan to attend one of the lieutenant governor's stops on his listening tour, which will include all 67 counties. Here are his upcoming stops:

Erie
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jefferson Educational Society
3207 State Street

Warren
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Warren Public Library, Slater Room
205 Market Street

Washington (Washington County)
Monday, February 18, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
59 E. Strawberry Avenue

Waynesburg (Greene County)
Tuesday, February 19, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
51 W. College Street, Waynesburg

New Bloomfield (Perry County)
Wednesday, February 20, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
New Bloomfield VFW
71 Soule Road
(This is in lieu of a stop this past Tuesday that was postponed due to winter weather.)

Dubois (Clearfield County)
Thursday, February 21, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Penn State Dubois Auditorium
1 College Place

Port Royal (Juniata County)
Sunday, February 24, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Friendship Fire Co. No. 1
212 W. Fourth St.

Johnstown (Cambria County)
Tuesday, February 26, 6:00. to 7:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
101 Community College Way

Meadville (Crawford County)
Wednesday, February 27, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Allegheny College
549 Park Avenue

Consider arriving early: The Mechanicsburg stop was standing-room-only, and some people were turned away because the space was at capacity.

This is a great opportunity to build momentum for commonsense, humane marijuana laws. Don't miss your chance to let the governor and lieutenant governor know it's time to stop branding Pennsylvanians criminals for a substance that's safer than alcohol. And please spread the word to help grow the chorus for reform.

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Tax and Regulate

Penn. lt. governor's legalization listening tour kicks off today

If you live in Pennsylvania, write your state lawmakers to ask them to support regulating — not prohibiting — cannabis for adults' use.

In the past two months, the conversation about whether Pennsylvania should legalize and regulate marijuana for adults has picked up steam.

In December, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said the state should take a "serious and honest look" at legalization. Then, in January, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced a statewide listening tour on legalization that begins today in Harrisburg.

The first stops on his tour are:

Harrisburg, Dauphin County
Tonight, Monday, February 11, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, 3301 N. Front Street

Newport, Perry County
Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 12, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Newport Public Library, 316 N. 4th Street

Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County
Wednesday, February 13, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
American Legion Post 109, 224 W. Main Street

Erie
Saturday, February 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State Street

Warren
Saturday, February 16, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Warren Public Library, Slater Room

Stay tuned for more stops: The lieutenant governor plans to visit all 67 counties on his tour. You can also check out stops on his Facebook page.

Before you attend, check out our background materials — such as the top 10 reasons to regulate cannabis and a snapshot of how things are going in Colorado and Washington six years into legalization. You can draw from our materials as you make the case for a more humane approach to cannabis.

In other exciting news, Rep. Jake Wheatley (D) and 26 cosponsors introduced a bill to relegate cannabis prohibition to the dustbin of history. Change will not happen overnight, given the opposition of legislative leaders. But with time and effort, we can end prohibition in the Keystone State.

So make your voice heard: Write your lawmakers in support of legalizing and regulating cannabis, and plan to speak out during the statewide listening tour. And don't forget to spread the word to other thoughtful Pennsylvanians.

Sincerely,

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Tax and Regulate

Minnesota: Join us for a forum on legalization in St. Paul on Tuesday evening

This coming Tuesday, February 12, please join Minnesota Political Director Jason Tarasek, Rep. Mike Freiberg, Sen. Michell Benson, and Ken Winters for a forum on marijuana policy, which follows a discussion on tax reform. The forum is hosted by the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice.

What: A forum on tax legislation and marijuana legalization, hosted by the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice.
When: Tuesday, February 12, tax discussion begins at 6:30 p.m., marijuana discussion begins around 7:45 p.m.
Where: Mitchell Hamline School of Law auditorium, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

The event will also be streamed online here: https://mitchellhamline.zoom.us/j/725771811?status=success

Rep. Freiberg recently introduced legislation to legalize adult-use marijuana in Minnesota. The companion bill in the Minnesota Senate is authored by Sen. Melisa Franzen and Sen. Scott Jensen, a Republican who is also a physician. Although Gov. Tim Walz (DFL) supports legalization and House leadership (DFL) is very open to it, the Senate leader, Paul Gazelka (R), is opposed. It is far from certain that the legislation will pass this year, but it's crucial lawmakers hear that this is an issue voters care about.

If you haven't already, please write your legislators to let them know it's past time Minnesota stop the failed and destructive war on marijuana.

We hope to see you on Tuesday! Please spread the word so others can join us!

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Tax and Regulate

Maryland: Marijuana legalization bills have been introduced!

If you live in Maryland, contact your lawmakers today and ask them to support HB0656 and SB0771.

This week, lawmakers introduced legislation to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older! Earlier this year, 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. 

Delegate Eric Luedtke and Senator Will Smith have introduced a pair of bills, HB0656 and SB0771, to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older and automatically expunge convictions for possession and cultivation that would become legal under the bill. You can read a summary of the bill here

Meanwhile, Delegate David Moon has introduced a constitutional amendment bill, HB0632, to legalize marijuana for adults’ use, which would require voter approval in 2020.

Email your state legislators today to urge them to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older!

The majority of Marylanders support ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. It is time for Marylanders to pressure the General Assembly to end marijuana prohibition and expunge records for past convictions.

Please contact your lawmakers today. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in Maryland. Together, we can end prohibition!

 

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Alaska: Governor's appointment to Marijuana Control Board threatens voter-approved program

If you live in Alaska, click here to voice your opposition to the appointment of Vivian Stiver to the board.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy shocked many last month when he sacked Marijuana Control Board Chairman Brandon Emmett and appointed Vivan Stiver to the board post. Ms. Stiver is a well-known opponent of the adult-use program in Alaska, and many see the move as an ominous attempt to undermine the voter-approved law.

Click here to send a message to your lawmakers in the House and Senate telling them that you oppose the appointment of a prohibitionist to the Marijuana Control Board.

Voters approved the state's adult-use law in 2014 by historic margins. Since then, the state has launched a program that generates jobs, revenue, and avoids much of the harm created by marijuana prohibition. The transition from prohibition to regulation has been a success.

But despite clear advances, there have been detractors, and few are as well-known as Vivian Stiver. From her failed attempt to ban businesses in Fairbanks in 2017, to opposing individual licenses, few opponents have been as notorious as Vivian Stiver. If there is a bright spot in her record, it's that she has been ineffective at imposing prohibition policies so far. That may soon change.

Alaska needs board members who support the regulatory path voters have taken, rather than oppose it. Please send a message to your lawmakers and voice your opposition to this ill-considered and harmful appointment.

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Tax and Regulate

N.H.: Public hearing on legalization bill will take place Tuesday in House!

We will need two-thirds majorities to overcome Gov. Sununu’s veto threat. If you live in New Hampshire, email your state legislators today!

New Hampshire’s legalization bill, HB 481, has been scheduled for a public hearing next Tuesday beginning at 1:00 p.m. Since there is expected to be a large turnout from both supporters and opponents, the hearing has been moved to Representatives Hall. Here are the details:

WHAT: Public Hearing on HB 481 in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee

WHERE: Representatives Hall, 33 N State Street, Concord 

WHEN: 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 5

Members of the public are welcome to testify. If you are interested in attending the public hearing, please click here for more information on how the process works and how you can make a positive impact with your testimony. You can read a summary of HB 481 here, and the full text is available here.

If you haven’t already done so, please email your state representative(s) and senator today and encourage them to support HB 481.

If you receive a response from a legislator, it would be very helpful if you could share it with us via email.

Please forward this message to your family and friends!

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Tax and Regulate

Maryland 2019 Legalization Lobby Day less than one week away

We are now less than one week away from our lobby day event! The time is now to pressure the General Assembly to pass legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older. If you haven't already, be sure to register today, and join us in Annapolis.

What: Maryland 2019 Cannabis Legalization Lobby Day
When: Tuesday, February 5 (7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Where: House Building Room 170, Annapolis, Maryland
Register here.

Prior to meeting with your elected officials, we will provide you with an information package including appointment times and locations and suggested talking points.

It is important your lawmakers hear from as many constituents as possible. Help us send a strong message to the General Assembly to end prohibition by joining us in solidarity. Also be sure to share this message — or the Facebook event — with your friends and family in Maryland.

See you in Annapolis next week! Together, we can end prohibition.

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Hawaii: Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on marijuana legalization bill!

If you live in Hawaii, contact your lawmakers today and ask them to support SB686!

Tomorrow, a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What: SB686 Hearing
When: Thursday, January 31, 9:00 a.m.-11:25 a.m.
Where: Lumi ' Council 016 / Conference Room 016, State Capitol, 415 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96813

Voice your support by providing oral or written testimony! Those wishing to provide oral testimony will be limited to two minutes. If you testify, please be polite and respectful, dress in business or business casual attire, and avoid repeating points that have already been made. You can always briefly note you agree with previous supportive testimony, and ask the committee to approve SB686.

You can also provide written testimony here.

After the hearing, be sure to ask your lawmakers to support replacing marijuana prohibition with thoughtful regulation. Ending prohibition would reduce the number of marijuana-related arrests, displace the illicit marijuana market, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

It's past time adults be allowed to use a substance that is safer than alcohol. With your help, Hawaii can take a more thoughtful approach to marijuana.

 

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Minnesota lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to legalize marijuana!

If you're a resident of Minnesota, ask your lawmakers to replace prohibition with thoughtful regulation.

Exciting news! Yesterday, Senators Melisa Franzen (DFL) and Scott Jensen (R) and Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL) introduced bills to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults who are 21 years or older.

Write your state senator and state representative today to ask them to support SF 619 and HF 420.

Although the DFL-controlled House and DFL governor are the most receptive they've ever been to ending cannabis prohibition, significant challenges remain. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R) has said the bill has no chance in his chamber. But don't despair: Major change typically takes time.

It's crucial that lawmakers hear from supportive constituents so we can build support for passage, whether it happens this year, next, or in 2021 — after the next state Senate election. If this is a voting issue for you, you can let your legislators know you won't be supporting them if they stand in the way of humane marijuana policy.

Prohibition sends an incredible number of people through the criminal justice system, and the collateral consequences can have life-altering effects. . 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 the state. Together, we can end prohibition in Minnesota!

P.S. Please be sure to check out Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation ("MRMR") a new organization MPP helped launch.

 

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