Prohibition

Maryland: Bill to decriminalize one ounce of cannabis introduced; hearing next week

Ask your lawmakers to support HB 550.

Although Maryland decriminalized simple possession of marijuana back in 2014, thousands of Marylanders continue to have their lives derailed by possession arrests. With your help, that could change this year: Delegate Nick Mosby (D) has proposed a bill to stop many of these arrests by increasing the decriminalized amount from 10 grams to one ounce.

Email your lawmakers today and ask them to support HB 550!

The bill — HB 550 — is scheduled for a House Judiciary Committee hearing next Tuesday. You can voice your support for this important reform by testifying in person or submitting written testimony.

What: Hearing on the decrim fix bill, HB 550

When: Tuesday, February 11, 1:00 p.m. (Note that other bills are also scheduled during this committee meeting, so there could be a significant wait before the bill is called.)

Where: House Office Building, Room 101, 6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD

You can find guidelines on providing testimony here. If you provide oral testimony, you will be limited to three minutes. Please be polite and respectful and dress in business or business-casual attire.

Under HB 550, possession of up to an ounce would be punishable by a civil fine of $100 rather than a criminal penalty that carries possible jail time. Also, a person could no longer be charged with possession with intent to distribute based solely on possession of an ounce or less.

HB 550 would reduce the number of arrests and criminal charges for marijuana possession. Arrests for simple possession can be traumatic, and a criminal conviction can hinder one’s ability to obtain a job, housing, or a college education.

Please take a minute to email your lawmakers and ask them to support HB 550, and consider showing your support at next week’s hearing. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in Maryland and encourage them to do the same.

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Medical Marijuana

Del.: Raise your voice for medical cannabis patients

Ask your lawmakers to allow patients to grow their own medical cannabis.

Although the Delaware General Assembly enacted a medical cannabis law in 2011, many patients continue to needlessly suffer because they can’t afford their medicine.

House Bill 243 would give patients another option — the ability to securely cultivate their own medical cannabis. Let your state legislators know Delaware patients deserve the same freedom patients in most other medical cannabis states enjoy.

You can also speak out in person at a hearing TOMORROW both for HB 243 and for another bill to expand patients’ rights — SB 79. SB 79, which already passed the Senate, would clarify that individuals are not forbidden from possessing or buying a firearm under Delaware law merely because they are medical cannabis patients.

What: Hearing on HB 243 (medical cannabis home cultivation) and SB 79 (medical cannabis patient non-discrimination in firearms rights) before the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

When: Wednesday, January 29, at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Delaware House Minority Caucus Room, 411 Legislative Avenue, Dover, DE 19901

*Note that two other bills are also on the committee’s agenda for this meeting.

If you attend, please dress in business or business casual and treat all lawmakers — even opponents — with respect and courtesy. We’ve seen many lawmakers change their position to support reforms, but aggression and hostility will only make it harder to move these important bills. Please also try to limit your testimony to no more than three minutes.

And finally, spread the word to other Delawareans so that they, too, can raise their voices for compassion.

 

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Prohibition

Md.: Automatic expungement bill introduced; hearing next week!

Show support for HB 83 and other cannabis policy reform efforts in 2020 by joining us for our annual lobby day on Tuesday, February 4 (8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) in Annapolis! Register to join us here.

A bill — HB 83 — has been introduced by Delegate David Moon (D) to provide for automatic expungement of marijuana possession convictions.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for the bill on Tuesday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 101 of the House Office Building — located at 6 Bladen Street in Annapolis. Note that other bills are also scheduled during this committee meeting, so there could be a significant wait before the bill is called.

You can voice your support at the hearing by providing written and/or oral testimony. We particularly encourage testimony from those who have been personally impacted by a marijuana possession conviction.

You can find guidelines on providing testimony here. If you provide oral testimony, you will be limited to three minutes. Please be polite and respectful and dress in business or business casual attire.

HB 83 is an important and just reform that will allow those branded with a marijuana possession conviction to move on with their lives without suffering the harsh collateral consequences a conviction carries.

Conviction records make it more difficult to obtain housing, a job, and a college education. Discriminatory enforcement of marijuana laws means these collateral consequences disproportionately affect people of color.

Please consider showing your support for HB 83 at next week’s hearing, and help spread the word by forwarding this message to your friends and family in Maryland.

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Tax and Regulate

Mass.: Public hearing TOMORROW on vape ban!

If you have been negatively affected by the ban, please testify in person or submit written testimony.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is holding a public hearing tomorrow on the vape ban, and your opinion matters. Testing has shown that tainted vape products are being sold by underground sources, so it is critical for regulators to understand the need for regulated products that have been tested and shown to be free of contaminants.

If you have been negatively affected by the ban, this is a great opportunity to share your perspective with policymakers in person or in writing. Here are the details:

WHAT: Public hearing on regulation of vaping products

WHERE: Public Health Council Room, second floor of the Department of Public Health Building, 250 Washington Street, Boston

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To submit written testimony, which will accepted until 5 p.m., send email to Reg.Testimony@state.ma.us. “Vaping products regulation” should be in the subject line, and department officials ask that all submissions include the sender’s full name and address.

In other news, it has now been one full year since the advent of retail sales to adults. As the Boston Globe has reportedthere are now 33 stores open, and the state has logged $393.7 million in sales, suggesting that the program — despite its slow start — has produced nearly $67 million in state revenue and up to $11.8 in revenue for municipalities.

Please share this important news with your family and friends!

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Tax and Regulate

Del.: HB 110 hearing scheduled for Wednesday, June 5!

If you live in Delaware, write your lawmakers today and ask them to support HB 110.

The House Revenue and Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for HB 110, legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 5 at 2:30 p.m. in the House Chamber of Legislative Hall – 411 Legislative Ave, Dover, DE 19901.

Please ask your legislators to support legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adults 21 and older.

You can voice your support at the hearing by providing written or oral testimony. We particularly encourage testimony from supportive law enforcement, clergy, substance abuse and medical professionals, educators, and those who have been harmed by marijuana prohibition.

For more information on HB 110, you can read our summary here. Here you can find more information on providing testimony. If you provide oral testimony, you will be limited to two minutes. Please be polite and respectful, dress in business or business casual attire, and avoid repeating points that have already been made.

Written testimony can be submitted by emailing it to Chairman John Viola beforehand or by providing 11 copies to the committee staff in person at the hearing.

In other news, the Delaware Cannabis Policy Coalition is in the process of growing our network of supporters. If you are a member of an organization that might be interested in joining our coalition, we would love to hear from you.

Help us send a strong message to the General Assembly to end cannabis prohibition in the First State! Please show your support at the upcoming bill hearing, contact your lawmakers, and forward this message to your friends and family in Delaware.

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Medical Marijuana

Did your N.H. state senator vote for or against patients?

If you live in N.H., follow up with your senator today; public hearing on legalization bill continues at 9 a.m. TOMORROW

Last Thursday, the Senate voted 14-10 to pass HB 364, a bill that would allow home cultivation of cannabis for registered patients and caregivers. The bill would allow up to three mature cannabis plants, three immature plants, and 12 seedlings for each patient.

Please take a moment to find out whether your senator voted for or against patients, and send a follow up message! All you have to do is type in your contact information, and our automated system will load a “thank you” or “I’m disappointed in you” letter based on how your senator voted.

And, if you haven’t already done so, please call Gov. Sununu’s office today and urge him to stand up for patients!

In other news, the Senate Judiciary Committee will resume its public hearing on HB 481, the adult-use legalization bill, beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) in Room 100 of the State House. If you didn’t testify on April 23, your testimony will be welcome! Here are details on how to sign up, and here are some talking points in support.

After you follow up with your state senator and call Gov. Sununu, please share this message with your family and friends.

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Tax and Regulate

Md.: Details on legalization work group announced; bill hearings scheduled!

If you live in Maryland, sontact your lawmakers today and ask them to support HB 656 and SB 771.

Yesterday, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller created a work group to study legalizing marijuana for adult use. The work group, which was announced in December, will be analyzing legalization-related topics such as the impact on the criminal justice system, how to promote participation by small, minority-owed and woman-owned businesses, public health effects, and how the state should license and tax the industry. The group's report is due by December 31, 2019.

Please ask your state delegate(s) and senator to support legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older!

In other news, the hearings for the bills to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adult use this session have been scheduled. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hear Sen. Will Smith's SB 771 on Tuesday, February 26 at 12:00 p.m. Del. Eric Luedtke's twin bill, HB 656, will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 6 at 1:00 p.m. You can find a summary of the bills here. The House Judiciary Committee will also hear Del. David Moon's constitutional amendment bill to legalize marijuana for adult use on Wednesday, March 6 at 1:00 p.m.

Note that many bills are on the committees' agendas, so the cannabis bills may not be heard until several hours later.

You can voice your support by providing written or oral testimony at the hearings! We particularly encourage testimony from supportive law enforcement, clergy, substance abuse and medical professionals, educators, and those who have been harmed by marijuana prohibition.

You can find details on how to provide testimony for the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee here and for the House Judiciary Committee here. If you provide oral testimony, you will be limited to three minutes. Please be polite and respectful, dress in business or business casual attire, and avoid repeating points that have already been made.

Please show your support at the upcoming bill hearings, contact your lawmakers, and spread the word to your friends and family in Maryland. Together, we can end prohibition!

 

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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

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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Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire Looks At Medical Marijuana Legislation

New Hampshire lawmakers met Thursday to discuss medical marijuana legislation. The House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs heard four hours of testimony from supporters of H.B. 573, a bill that would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to obtain and use medical marijuana upon receiving recommendations from their doctors. The bill permits up to five centers to dispense marijuana to patients, and it states that patients would be allowed to grow small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

A subcommittee will now examine the proposal, and on March 5, the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs will meet for a vote. A similar bill passed with bipartisan support in both legislative bodies in 2012, but it was vetoed by then Governor John Lynch. Gov. Maggie Hassan has expressed support for medical marijuana legislation.

To read more about the proceedings, check out WMUR-TV’s coverage on the topic.

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