Tax and Regulate

Oct. 17: You’re invited to a special event for Michigan’s YES on 1 campaign!

October 12th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Proposal 1, the Michigan legalization ballot initiative, is up in the polls, but it’s still too close for comfort. The opposition campaign is just a couple of big checks away from being able to launch a large misinformation campaign.

We’re in the final weeks of the election, and we need to make sure the Yes on 1 campaign has the resources it needs to educate voters about the benefits of legalizing marijuana. Next week, I hope you’ll join me in Ann Arbor for a special evening to support this important campaign.

RSVP via phone (517-974-2265) or email (robin@regulatemi.org). If you can’t attend, please consider making a contribution directly to the campaign here. And please share the word with other supporters. Let’s win this!

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Uncategorized

Vermont’s Addison County will host two expungement events in October

October 10th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

State’s attorney’s office and legal experts will assist Vermonters with clearing misdemeanor marijuana conviction records on October 12 and 28.

Now that Vermont’s marijuana legalization law has taken effect, the state’s attorney (prosecutor) for Addison County has announced that two expungement clinics will be held to assist Vermonters with having their records cleared of misdemeanor marijuana offenses. Volunteers will assist people who have been convicted of marijuana possession in Addison County with filling out expungement petitions on Friday, October 12 and Sunday, October 28.

WHAT: Addison County Expungement Clinic
WHERE: Probate Court Room, Addison County Court House, 7 Mahady Ct., Middlebury
WHEN: Friday, October 12, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

WHAT: Addison County Expungement Clinic
WHERE: Middlebury College Kirk Alumni Center, 217 Golf Course Rd., Middlebury
WHEN: Sunday, October 28, 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.

A fee may be required. Financial assistance may be available. Click here for more details on the process.

If you have been convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession in another Vermont county, you may wish to call and ask what it would take to have your record expunged. You can find phone numbers for all of Vermont’s state’s attorneys’ offices here.

We are very grateful to the Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office, Vermont Legal Aid, the Center for Justice Reform at Vermont Law School, and the Pennywise Foundation for sponsoring these clinics. Thanks also to drug policy reform advocate Dave Silberman for working to make this happen.

Please share this news with your family and friends!

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Uncategorized

Pennsylvania committee approves partial decrim bill

October 10th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Although 59% of Pennsylvania voters think it should be legal for adults to use marijuana, state law lags far behind popular sentiment. Pennsylvanians found with cannabis can still be locked in a jail cell and branded criminals.

But that could change soon. Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a decriminalization bill, H.B. 928. Unfortunately, however, it first amended the bill to exclude minors and people in vehicles from decriminalization.

If you live in Pennsylvania, ask your state representative to support and fix the decriminalization bill.

Currently, simple possession is a misdemeanor carrying up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500, plus a six-month or one-year driver’s license suspension.

Except in the case of minors, possession in cars, or possession on school property, H.B. 928 would downgrade first and second offense possession of under 30 grams to a summary offense carrying a fine of no more than $300. Subsequent convictions would be misdemeanors carrying up to a $1,000 fine, but with no jail time.

Please take a moment to ask your rep to support H.B. 928, but to work to amend the bill. Let them know: Minors should also not be incarcerated for cannabis, and criminalizing possession in cars will still senselessly ruin lives.

Then, spread the word to others, so that they, too, can raise their voices.

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Medical Marijuana

Major compromise reached in Utah

October 5th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

On October 4 in Salt Lake City, medical marijuana supporters and opponents announced that they have reached an agreement on a compromise medical marijuana law that will be enacted during a November special session after the 2018 election.

Regardless of the outcome of Prop 2 — the medical marijuana ballot initiative that MPP helped to draft — the legislature will enact the compromise bill. Utah Governor Gary Herbert has committed to calling the special session.

MPP strongly supports the agreement because it will ensure that a workable medical marijuana law is enacted and implemented. In Utah, a statutory ballot initiative can be amended or even repealed by a simple majority in the legislature. If Prop 2 passed without any agreement on next steps, patients may have been left waiting years to access legal medical cannabis. This compromise eliminates that uncertainty and ensures legislative leaders are committed to making the law work.

This agreement has the support of the Utah Patients Coalition (the Prop 2 campaign committee), Utah Governor Gary Herbert, the Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, the Utah Senate President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Utah Medical Association.

The compromise bill, while not ideal and cumbersome in certain respects, is workable and provides a path for Utah patients to legally access medical cannabis, including whole-plant products. MPP staff were consulted during the negotiations and provided critical input on the final agreement.

MPP has been assisting the campaign since its inception in early 2017. We helped draft the initiative, and we made significant financial contributions to fund the successful signature drive (and its subsequent legal defense). While we still wish to see Prop 2 pass, both sides have agreed to de-escalate their campaign activities.

MPP would like to thank the many individual donors who supported the Utah Patients Coalition over the last 18 months. Your generosity enabled a successful signature drive. If Prop 2 had not qualified for the ballot, yesterday’s agreement would not have been possible.

Very soon, one of the most conservative states in the country will enact a medical marijuana law. That demonstrates that any state in the country can have a medical marijuana law. MPP will continue to work across the country to achieve that goal.

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Medical Marijuana

California Gov. Brown vetoes several key bills, signs others; medical patients hit the hardest

October 3rd, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

If you live in California, click here to support access on school grounds and tax breaks for donated cannabis. 

Gov. Jerry Brown recently acted on a raft of cannabis bills that passed this year. Here is a quick breakdown of what was signed and what was vetoed.

Among the bills signed into law:
  • AB 1793 allows adults convicted of cannabis-related offenses that are no longer considered illegal to have them automatically removed from their records.
  • SB 1294 creates equity provisions that will allow cannabis business licensees who qualify to get access to low- or no-interest loans and grants.
  • AB 2215 requires the Veterinary Medical Board to establish guidelines for licensed veterinarians to discuss the use of cannabis on animals.
  • AB 2020 allows cannabis to be sold and consumed at special events.
Unfortunately, Gov. Brown vetoed several important bills:
  • SB 1127 would allow medical cannabis to be administered on school property for registered patients.
  • SB 829 would exempt cannabis from taxes when donated free of charge to dispensaries for their low-income patients.
  • SB 1863 would allow licensed cannabis companies to deduct standard business expenses under the state’s personal income tax.
Lawmakers are now considering whether they have the two-thirds votes to override the vetoes. Click here to send a message to your lawmakers in support of tax breaks for cannabis donated to needy patients and protections for medical cannabis patients at schools. Cannabis policy made big strides this year, but there is more to do.

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Tax and Regulate

Analysis: Michigan legalization measure would generate $520 million in new tax revenue over five years

October 2nd, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

A recent study of the potential fiscal impacts of legalizing marijuana in Michigan found that passage of Prop 1 would generate over half a billion dollars in additional revenue for the state in the first five years of implementation. Read local coverage of the analysis here.

Much of the revenue generated from marijuana would be directed to Michigan’s roads, schools, and local communities, which are currently underfunded.

The report, conducted by marijuana policy consulting firm VS Strategies, made predictions based on a model that drew upon analysis of multiple data sources. By 2023, the study predicts that total annual marijuana sales will exceed $800 million in Michigan. Read the detailed findings of the analysis here.

Election Day is just over a month away, and voters will soon be receiving absentee ballots. There’s not much time left, and the YES on 1 campaign needs your help to ensure the measure passes. Chip in with a contribution today to help them dispel the fear tactics and propaganda of their prohibitionist opponents.

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Prohibition

New Oklahoma City ordinance reduces penalty for marijuana possession!

October 1st, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Ask your state lawmakers to take this reform to the state level.

Starting on October 26, Oklahoma City’s maximum penalty for simple possession of marijuana will be reduced to a fine of up to $400. The Oklahoma City Council approved the proposal to remove jail time and reduce the penalty for marijuana possession last week. Until the new law takes effect, the maximum fine for possession is $1,200 and six months of jail time.

If you live in Oklahoma, let your lawmakers know the time has come for statewide decriminalization!

Penalizing individuals with jail time and a criminal record for possessing small amounts of marijuana wastes law enforcement resources. It can also lead to a lifetime of harsh consequences, including denial of student financial aid, housing, employment, and professional licenses. You can find more information on decriminalization here.

Please spread the word!

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Penn. legalization and regulation bill has been introduced!

October 1st, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Ask your legislators to end marijuana prohibition in Pennsylvania!

The drum beat for sensible marijuana policy is picking up in Pennsylvania!

Last Monday, Rep. Jake Wheatley introduced a bill that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 or older. This bill would also expunge the records of people who have been convicted of certain cannabis offenses.

If you are a Pennsylvania residentemail your state legislators today urging them to support HB 2600!

Ending marijuana prohibition would let adults make their own decisions about a substance that is safer than alcohol. Earlier this year, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a report estimating that legalization could generate more than $580 million in tax revenue for the state.

In other exciting news, on Tuesday Lancaster City Council decriminalized simple possession and use of marijuana! Possession of marijuana or related paraphernalia will be now be classified as a summary offense – carrying a fine or community service – rather than a misdemeanor.

Please spread the word so that together, we can end prohibition in the Keystone State.

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General

Register to vote and make your voice heard!

September 28th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Click here for help registering in your state.

Election Day may not be until Tuesday, November 6, but in many states voter registration deadlines are coming up soon! MPP has teamed up with non-profit Rock the Vote to make it easier for our subscribers to register in their state. Just click here, and their simple tool will help you fill out the voter registration form in your state or tell you where to register online, if your state allows that.

After you fill out their form online, you’ll get an email with your official registration form attached, and all you have to do is print it and mail it in! Easy. Can’t make it to the polls on Election Day? You can also click here if you want to learn more about voting policies in your state, like early voting or voting by mail, as well as whether you can vote if you have a prior conviction.

Voters in Utah, Michigan, North Dakota, and Missouri will get to vote on marijuana initiatives this year, and MPP or our coalition partners have released voter guides in New Hampshire and Maryland. Click here to learn more, and please get out and vote!

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Tax and Regulate

Ask candidates for the Maryland Legislature to commit to supporting marijuana policy reform

September 27th, 2018 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

The latest Goucher poll shows that 62% of Marylanders “support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.” Unfortunately, Maryland’s lawmakers have lagged behind the public on this issue — but this could change in November’s election. If you are a Maryland voter,  please let the candidates in your district know that this issue is important to you. (And don’t forget to check out the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition’s Voter Guide here.)

If you are interested in hearing more about MPP’s work — and meeting our new executive director, Steven Hawkins — please consider attending the Spark! Maryland networking event on October 4 at 6:30 p.m. at The Reserve at Two Rivers, 4105 Mountain Road, Pasadena, MD 21122. You can purchase tickets here.

Marylanders are ready to join the eight other states that have legalized and regulated marijuana for adults 21 and older. Click here to ask the people who want to represent you in the General Assembly if they’re ready too.

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