Tax and Regulate

N.H. voters send prohibitionists packing

November 14th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Election results put legalization on the agenda for 2019

Last week, New Hampshire voters sent a strong message to Gov. Chris Sununu and the political establishment: it’s time to end marijuana prohibition! Although Sununu (a prohibitionist) won re-election, his margin of victory over legalization supporter Molly Kelly was smaller than anticipated. Most importantly, the Democratic party — which added support for legalization to its platform earlier this year — gained control of both chambers of the legislature.

The Senate, in particular, promises to be much less hostile to reform advocates in 2019. To illustrate, here are a few senators who were voted out last week:

• Sen. Gary Daniels (R-Milford) voted no on all cannabis reform bills throughout his time in the House and Senate. Voters replaced him with Rep. Shannon Chandley (D-Amherst), who has been much more reasonable on cannabis policy as a member of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

• Sen. Kevin Avard (R-Nashua) voted against a 2018 bill that would have allowed registered patients to cultivate their own limited supply of cannabis. Voters replaced him with a legalization supporter, former Rep. Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline).

• Sen. Bill Gannon (R-Sandown) strongly opposed all sensible marijuana policy reforms throughout his time in the House and Senate. This was supposed to be a safe Republican district, but voters chose to replace Gannon with legalization supporter Jon Morgan (D-Brentwood).

The odds of passing a legalization bill improved significantly as a result of the election. However, in order to achieve victory in the House and Senate, we will need a robust effort to educate and persuade undecided legislators.

After the election, I published a commentary in the Union Leader, making the case that “cannabis is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and most residents of the ‘Live Free or Die’ state are ready to see it treated that way.”

Please help us get our 2019 campaign off to a great start by contributing to the Marijuana Policy Project today!

Then, please share this message with your family and friends!

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Tax and Regulate

Connecticut: Voters put legalization on the agenda for 2019

November 13th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Governor-elect Ned Lamont strongly supports ending marijuana prohibition; lawmakers will begin considering new bills in January

Last week, Connecticut voters made it possible that marijuana prohibition will be brought to an end during the next legislative session. For the first time in history, Connecticut has voted elect a governor, Ned Lamont, who supports the legalization, regulation, and taxation of cannabis for use by adults.

“It’s an idea whose time has come, and I’m going to push it in the first year,” Lamont said while campaigning.

Of course, a governor doesn’t have the power to end marijuana prohibition by himself. In order to put a legalization bill on Gov. Lamont’s desk in 2019, our coalition members will all need to step up and help convince representatives and senators to vote in favor.

The Marijuana Policy Project and the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana are committed to making the Nutmeg State one of the next states to legalize and regulate cannabis. Please help us get our 2019 campaign off to a great start by contributing to our efforts today!

Please share this message with your family and friends, and encourage them to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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Tax and Regulate

Illinois: Cannabis reform candidates J.B. Pritzker, Kwame Raoul, Bob Morgan cruise to victory

November 7th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Yesterday’s blue wave in Illinois poised to become a green wave next session

Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, who has been a vocal supporter of legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adults’ use, appears to have handily won yesterday’s gubernatorial election. While official election results are still pending, both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times reported a margin of victory of around 55% of the vote.

In the race for state attorney general, cannabis reform supporter Sen. Kwame Raoul also notched a win with around 54% of the vote. Both J.B. Pritzker and Kwame Raoul were rated A+ candidates by MPP leading up to the election for their strong positions in support of sensible marijuana policy.

And a hearty congratulations go out to friend-of-the-movement Bob Morgan, who won the 58th District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives! Morgan headed up the successful launch of the state’s medical cannabis program, and as a private attorney, Bob has continued to be engaged in cannabis reform. He is a welcome addition to the General Assembly.

Yesterday’s results come as Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy prepare to introduce a revised bill for the session starting in January that would legalize cannabis for adults in Illinois. This moment is a huge step toward the bill’s passage and an exciting moment for those who seek an end to cannabis prohibition in Illinois.

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Tax and Regulate

Michigan: It’s all up to you now — get out there and vote for Prop 1!

November 6th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Election Day is finally here. With the help of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters across the state, the YES on 1 campaign has done all it can to educate the voters of Michigan about the benefits that Proposal 1 will bring to the state.

Now, all that’s left is to go out and VOTE! Find your polling location and set a time to go there today. Polls close at 8:00 pm ET tonight.

Having trouble finding your polling location? Please email us and we would be happy to help.

Michigan is poised to become the 10th state in the country to officially end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. Be part of this historic reform effort and vote YES on Prop 1!

This has been a long campaign, stretching back for two years. Now is when we bring it over the finish line. VOTE TODAY!

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Tax and Regulate

N.H.: Study commission proposes legalization framework

November 5th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

After you vote tomorrow, you are welcome to attend a marijuana legalization debate at New England College in Henniker!

Last week, New Hampshire’s study commission on marijuana legalization published its final report. The commission did not take a position on legalization, but it did make 54 recommendations to the legislature, including the following:

  • Marijuana should be referred to as cannabis in any future legislation.
  • If cannabis is legalized for adults’ use, limited home cultivation should be allowed.
  • If cannabis is legalized, a Cannabis Commission should be created to license and regulate cannabis cultivators, testing labs, product manufacturers, and retail stores.

You can read the full report here. Overall, this is a much more useful report than we originally expected from the study commission, which was stacked with prohibitionists. Although it does contain some problematic language, the report will help to inform the legislature about the issue when it convenes in January.

We expect that your calendars are already marked for Election Day tomorrow. If you are available tomorrow evening after you vote, you’re welcome to join me and other panelists for a cannabis legalization debate at New England College.

WHAT: Debate: Should New Hampshire Legalize Cannabis?

WHERE: New England College, Simon Center Great Room, 98 Bridge Street, Henniker

WHEN: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHO: Six panelists including Richard Van Wickler, Superintendent of Cheshire County Department of Corrections, Kate Frey, vice-president of advocacy at New Futures, and MPP’s New England Political Director Matt Simon

Finally, please click here to learn where candidates on your ballot stand on marijuana policy! Then, please share this information with your family and friends and remind them to vote on November 6!

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Tax and Regulate

Michigan’s legalization vote is a defining moment for the legalization movement

November 2nd, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Bringing legalization to the Midwest would be a game changer — support the YES on 1 campaign today

It’s incredible to see the progress we have made in recent years. Marijuana has been legalized for adults in nine states and Washington, D.C., and polls show two out of three Americans want to end the failed policy of prohibition.

But our opponents think they can stop our momentum — and they’re spending a lot of money to defeat Prop 1 in Michigan.

A win in Michigan would demonstrate the strength of our movement. But imagine the headlines if Prop 1 fails. Project SAM and their prohibitionist allies will claim that the tide is turning. Politicians in Congress would take note, and if they think voters are changing their mind, our reform efforts at the federal level could be jeopardized.

We have to prove the anti-legalization voices wrong. Make a donation to the YES on 1 campaign to help them fight back against their opposition’s fear tactics.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol produced a series of powerful ads. These TV and digital ads tell the truth about legalization, and they are the perfect antidote to the opposition’s demonstrably false attack ads. Your contribution will go directly towards helping the campaign share these messages with more Michigan voters.

There’s not much time left. Election Day is just a few days away. We can’t emphasize enough how important Prop 1 is for the future of our legalization movement. Please, get in the fight and support the campaign today.

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Connecticut’s race for governor may determine state’s future on marijuana policy

November 1st, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Democrat Ned Lamont strongly supports ending marijuana prohibition, while Republican Bob Stefanowski says the issue shouldn’t be a priority.

The Connecticut general election will take place next Tuesday, November 6. If you’re not sure how or where to vote, please visit the Secretary of State’s website for more information.

Voters who care about marijuana policy reform should know that there is a very clear contrast between the candidates for governor:

  • Democratic candidate Ned Lamont strongly supports legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana. “It’s an idea whose time has come, and I’m going to push it in the first year,” he said.
  • Republican candidate Bob Stefanowski does not currently support legalization. “Maybe at some point we should look at legalizing marijuana … but we’ve got so many fundamental problems in this state… Let’s fix the economy first,” he said.

Please share this information with your friends and family and remind them to vote on Tuesday, November 6!

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New poll shows Rhode Islanders support legalization by 20-point margin

November 1st, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

A new survey confirms that an overwhelming majority of Rhode Island voters support legalizing marijuana for adults. The poll, commissioned by WPRI 12 and Roger Williams University and conducted by Fleming & Associates, found that 56% of respondents favor ending marijuana prohibition, while only 37% were against the idea. Another 7% were undecided.

Leaders in the General Assembly have consistently refused to allow legislators to vote on marijuana legalization in recent years. This new poll provides further evidence that these politicians are out of touch with the Rhode Island people.

Legal marijuana sales will start in Massachusetts any day now, and the new Rhode Island legislative session begins in January 2019. With the public solidly on the side of reform, there is no excuse for delay, and there is no excuse for the General Assembly to not vote on legalization in this upcoming year.

The Marijuana Policy Project and Regulate Rhode Island are planning to mobilize constituents and organize an effective campaign to call on the General Assembly to vote on a legalization bill during the upcoming session.

Stay tuned for more updates soon!

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Tax and Regulate

New Mexico: Election Day is less than one week away

October 31st, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Do you know where your candidates stand on  marijuana policy?

New Mexico’s General Election Day is less than one week away, and early voting has already begun! If you are registered to vote, you may cast your ballot early through Saturday, November 3.

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has said she would support legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use under certain circumstances, while Steve Pearce (R) remains unsupportive. Both candidates are supportive of New Mexico’s medical marijuana program.

Check out the state’s website here for more voting information, including where you can cast your ballot. You can find more information on current marijuana policy in New Mexico here.

Please forward this to your family and friends, and be sure to get out and vote!

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Tax and Regulate

Minn.: Election Day is less than one week away!

October 31st, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Check out the Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization’s cannabis voter guide!

Minnesota’s General Election Day is less than one week away! You can vote early in person until Monday, November 5. You can also register and vote on Election Day!

The Minnesota Campaign for Full Legalization (MCFL) has put together a state legislative voter guide with results of their candidate survey and incumbents voting records. (Note that an F grade may not mean the candidate is opposed; they may simply not have responded to the survey.)

Here are a handful of competitive races where candidates differ on marijuana prohibition:

• House District 3A (International Falls): Incumbent Rob Ecklund (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating cannabis and also cosponsored marijuana legalization/regulation bills, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Randy Goutermont (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 11A (Moose Lake, Barnum, Scanlon): Mike Sundin (DFL) cosponsored bills to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults’ use, HF 926 and HF 4541. Challenger Jeff Dotseth (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 19A (North Mankato): Jeff Brand (DFL) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Kim Spears (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey. There is no incumbent in the district.

• House District 37A (Spring Lake Park): Incumbent Erin Koegel (DFL) expressed support for legalizing and regulating marijuana and also cosponsored a marijuana legalization and regulation bill, HF 2714. Challenger Anthony Wilder (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 56A (Savage): Challenger Hunter Cantrell (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Drew Christensen (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

• House District 57B (Rosemount): Challenger John Huot (DFL) supports legalizing and regulating marijuana, while incumbent Anna Wills (R) did not respond to MCFL’s survey.

Meanwhile, in the gubernatorial race, Tim Walz (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults’ use, while Jeff Johnson (D) opposes legalization but supports medical marijuana.

Please check out MCFL’s voter guide, forward this to your network in Minnesota, and be sure to get out and vote!

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