N.H.: Study commission proposes legalization framework


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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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West Virginia general election is less than one week away!


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Learn where candidates stand on marijuana policy before you vote on Tuesday, November 6!

West Virginia’s general election will take place next Tuesday, November 6. The outcome of state legislative races will be critical in determining the future of marijuana policy in West Virginia. There are also strong contrasts between the candidates in races for U.S Congress:

• State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), who championed West Virginia’s medical cannabis bill and strongly supports federal reforms, is running for an open Congressional seat in District 3. His opponent, Del. Carol Miller (R), voted for the medical cannabis bill, but she also voted to dramatically restrict it, and she won’t commit to supporting federal medical cannabis legislation.

• District 1 candidate Kendra Fershee (D) has expressed strong support for medical cannabis. Her opponent, incumbent Rep. David McKinley (R), has not supported marijuana policy reforms.

• In District 2, incumbent Rep. Alex Mooney (R) has voted to protect state medical cannabis programs from federal interference. His opponent, Talley Sergent (D), has expressed strong support for medical cannabis.

Before you go to the polls, please take time to review MPP’s voter guide, which includes survey responses, votes cast by incumbent legislators, and candidates’ public statements.

After you read our West Virginia voter guide, please share it with your friends and remind them that next Tuesday is Election Day!

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


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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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Maryland: Early voting has begun


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Check out the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition’s voter guide to find out where candidate’s stand on marijuana policy!

Maryland’s General Election Day is less than two weeks away, and early voting is already underway! Now is the perfect time to study up on where your candidates stand on legalizing and regulating cannabis.

The Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition has put together a comprehensive voter guide with the results of their candidate survey. Please check it out, share it on social media, and go make your voice heard!

In the gubernatorial race, here’s a look at where candidates stand: Ben Jealous (D) is a vocal supporter of legalizing and regulating marijuana. Meanwhile, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has not expressed support for legalization, but did recently say it was “worth taking a look at.”

If you are registered to vote, you can cast your ballot early now through Thursday, November 1. If you are not yet registered to vote, you have until November 1. Then, Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 6.

Please forward the message to your network in Maryland, and be sure to get out and vote!

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N.H.: Send Gov. Sununu a message by supporting pro-reform candidates


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Find out where N.H. candidates stand on marijuana policy, then help good candidates win on Tuesday, November 6! 

Last week, Gov. Chris Sununu doubled down on his opposition to marijuana legalization. This is a disappointing development, especially in light of the fact that the legalization study commission’s report is set to be completed next week. Gov. Sununu signed the bill that created the study commission, so it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t wait for its report before taking a firm position on the issue.

Sununu’s general election opponents — Molly Kelly (D) and Jilletta Jarvis (L) — both support legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis for adults’ use. However, Sununu continues to lead in the polls, and it is rare for a first-term governor to lose a re-election bid in New Hampshire.

If Sununu wins on November 6, it will be difficult to pass a legalization bill in 2019, but that doesn’t mean it will be impossible. If enough legislators support ending marijuana prohibition, it will be possible to override a potential veto with a two-thirds majority in the legislature.

Click here to learn where candidates on your ballot stand on marijuana policy!

The outcome of state Senate races will be especially critical for our success in the next legislative session, and those contests are often determined by a very small number of votes. If you are able to volunteer to help a good Senate candidate win in your area, please consider doing so!

Click here for a condensed, printable one-page version of our voter guide.

Please share this information with your family and friends. Then, please do what you can to help good candidates win in November!

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Delaware Election Day is around the corner


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Delaware’s General Election Day is less than two weeks away! Now’s a perfect time to study up on where your candidates stand on legalizing and regulating cannabis.

Our allies at the Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network have put together a comprehensive state legislative voter guide with the results of their candidate surveys and incumbents’ voting records.

Check it out, share it on social media, and don’t forget to vote if you’re able to!

Please also consider stepping up your involvement by volunteering for a supportive candidate, making a donation, and/or attending a candidate forum to ask about the issue.

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

  • House District 12 (Hockessin, Greenville): Krista Griffith (D) supports legalizing and regulating cannabis, while incumbent Rep. Deborah Hudson (R) voted against medical cannabis, decriminalization, and legalizing and regulating cannabis.
  • House District 21 (Pike Creek Valley): Rep. Michael Ramone (R) voted against legalization and regulation and replied in response to DCAN’s survey that he is undecided. Challenger Stephanie Barry (D) is supportive.
  • House District 22 (Hockessin): Guillermina Gonzalez (D) supports legalizing and regulating cannabis, while Michael Smith (R) is opposed.
  • House District 36 (Milford): Bryan Shupe (R) told the League of Women Voters he is currently not supportive of HB 110 (legalization and regulation), while Donald Allan Jr. (D) expressed support in response to DCAN’s survey.
  • Senate District 4 (Greenville, Centerville): Laura Sturgeon (D) is supportive of legalizing and regulating cannabis, while Gregory Lavelle (R) did not respond to DCAN’s candidate survey. Lavalle voted against decriminalization.

Delaware doesn’t have a voter initiative process, so the only way to legalize cannabis in the First State is via the legislature and governor. So, please be sure to get out to vote and spread the word!

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6. You can find your polling place and read your sample ballot here.

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Texas: Marijuana policy voter guide released, early voting begins October 22


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Our allies at Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy released a voter guide for the upcoming election. Early voting starts today, so please check it out, spread the word, and head to the polls!

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy’s coalition partners surveyed state and federal candidates and provided their unedited responses. They also included voting records from the last two legislative sessions for state-level incumbents.

Find out where your candidates stand.

Early Voting: October 22 – November 2, 2018
Election Day: November 6, 2018

For more information on where, how, and when to vote, visit VoteTexas.Gov.

Unfortunately, Texas doesn’t allow voters to collect petitions to put initiatives on the ballot. Only state lawmakers can initiate changes to the state’s marijuana policies. Who gets elected in November will be key to deciding when and if Texas enacts a medical cannabis law and stops criminalizing cannabis consumers.

So, please get educated and get voting!

Many thanks to Heather Fazio of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, Texas NORML, and everyone else who worked on the voter guide!

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Vermont general election voter guide published


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Early voting is already underway for the Vermont general election, which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 6. Before you vote, please check out our legislative voter guide to learn where candidates for state representative and state senator stand on marijuana policy. Then, please read our guide on the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

This year, we sent candidates a survey consisting of only one question: “Do you support regulating and taxing the production and sale of cannabis in Vermont for use by adults 21 and older?” Our voter guides include responses from candidates for state representative, state senator, and governor, in addition to public statements and incumbent legislators’ votes on the legalization bill. If a candidate in your district has not responded to the survey, we encourage you to reach out to them directly and ask their position!

For information on where and how to vote in Vermont, click here.

Again, please take time to read our voter guide for state legislative races and our gubernatorial voter guide before you vote in the November 6 general election. Please share the voter guides with your family and friends!

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South Carolina: November 6 is General Election Day!


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South Carolina’s general election, set for Tuesday, November 6, is just 21 days away. The governor’s race and every House of Representatives seat is on the ballot. This is a particularly important election as lawmakers are expected to vote on a medical cannabis bill in 2019, and it will likely need the support of the governor. Those in office will have a huge impact on the future of South Carolina’s patients and their treatment options.

Our voter guide is now available online. It includes all House candidates who either co-sponsored the 2018 medical cannabis bill or who responded to our questionnaire on medical cannabis support. It also includes committee votes and the candidates for governor. While James Smith (D) is a strong supporter of allowing medical cannabis, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said he would not sign a bill unless law enforcement signs off — which they show no inclination of doing.

Voters’ choices this year will have a huge impact on the future of cannabis policy in the state. If you are registered to vote, know where your candidates stand, and be sure to vote!

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you have until October 17. For more information, including polling places and other key information, check out the state’s elections website here.

 

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The Illinois general election is around the corner


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The Illinois general election takes place on November 6. It’s fast approaching, and voters this year will have a huge impact on the future of cannabis policy in Illinois. Lawmakers continue to look closely at ending marijuana prohibition and legalizing cannabis for adults 21 and over, and the differences between the two major party candidates for governor couldn’t be bigger on this issue: JB Pritzker (D) has come out in strong support of legalizing and regulating marijuana, while Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) remains opposed.

Take a minute to check out our Illinois Voter Guide and see where the candidates on your ballot stand on cannabis reform. Not all the candidates have a voting history on cannabis bills in the state House or Senate, but for those that do, we’ve summarized the voting record on key cannabis-related bills over the past several years.

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you have until October 21 to register online. For more information, including where you can cast your ballot and when voting locations will be open, check out the state’s website here.

In nearby Michigan, voters will have an opportunity to legalize marijuana themselves. But in Illinois, there’s no citizen initiative process, so only lawmakers can end the wasteful and cruel policy of prohibition. This year’s elections will likely have a huge impact on the future of cannabis policy in Illinois. Now is the time for voters who support a better path for Illinois to make their voice heard.

 

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