Delaware cannabis advocates rally for increased medical access with home grow!

Generic 28 January 2020 | 0 Comments

Delaware cannabis patients and advocates will gather in Dover on Wednesday to rally support for The Delaware Patient Right to Grow Act, House Bill 243. This change would allow registered patients and registered caregivers to grow medical cannabis at home. The bill will have a hearing in the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee where committee members accept public comment before voting to release the bill to the full House for consideration.

Hearing details:
Wednesday 1/29/20 @ 2:30PM
House Minority Caucus Room 
411 Legislative Avenue 
Dover, DE 19901

Patients are legally permitted to cultivate medical cannabis in about half of the states that regulate its use and distribution. In almost all cases, these provisions have led to few incidences of abuse or diversion. No state has repealed home cultivation, and there has never been a serious push to do so. 

Allowing patients to grow their own cannabis at home could dramatically increase access.  Delaware has approximately 9000 medical cannabis patients who depend on cannabis as a medicine, but insurance does not cover the cost of cannabis.  For many patients, medical expenses and a reduced ability to work combine to make the price of store-bought cannabis out of reach. For some patients, proximity to a dispensary can often be a challenge as they must drive long distances to access medical cannabis. Securely cultivating cannabis at home alleviates these issues.  Most patients respond best to specific strains of cannabis. Allowing patients, the option to grow specific strains at home assures that they will have an uninterrupted and cost-effective supply of the medicine that is best suited to their own therapeutic needs.

In addition, home cultivation would allow access to parts of the cannabis plant, such as leaves, roots, stalks and seeds, that are usually trimmed away by our current medical dispensaries before being sold.  Whole plant cannabis contains more than 100 distinct cannabinoids and numerous terpenes that also possess a variety of therapeutic effects.  Many scientists now believe that the combined administration of all these parts of the cannabis plant produce a synergistic effect that is necessary for patients to achieve maximum therapeutic benefit.

Delaware patients have waited long enough for home cultivation, lawmakers must act promptly to ensure Delaware patients have the right to grow.

Can’t make it to the hearing? Send a message to your lawmakers now in support of home cultivation rights for Delaware patients

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President Trump: Marijuana Makes You “Lose IQ Points”

Generic 28 January 2020 | 0 Comments

Photo by Gage Skidmore

In a recently released recording of a conversation that President Trump had with Lev Parnas and others, a short conversation about marijuana can be heard where the President espouses long-debunked claims that echo from the propaganda film Reefer Madness.

“Do you think the whole marijuana thing is a good thing?” Trump asked. Many voices at the table quickly reply “no.” A few moments later, Trump added, “It does cause an IQ problem. You lose IQ points … but it’s actually good for opioids.”

Most studies published on the subject refute this claim.

“We found little support for a potential causal effect of cannabis use on cognition, consistent with previous twin studies. Results suggest that cannabis use may not cause decline in cognitive ability among a normative sample of cannabis users.” – Reseachers published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2019

“Associations between cannabis use and cognitive functioning in cross-sectional studies of adolescents and young adults are small and may be of questionable clinical importance for most individuals.” – Researchers published in JAMA Psychiatry, 2018

“It is troubling that in 2020 we still have a president whose views on marijuana are rooted in long debunked rhetoric,” stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “Thankfully, the American people are clearly ‘high IQ’ individuals that have elected to base their views on actual scientific research, which has led the vast majority of them to support ending our failed prohibition and moving towards legalization and regulation.”

For more data, see our full factsheet on Marijuana Exposure and Cognitive Performance.

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Weekly Legislative Roundup 1/25/20

Generic 25 January 2020 | 0 Comments

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

This week, officials with the Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board issued their first-ever permits to retailers who wish to allow customers to consume cannabis on the premises.

Missouri state regulators began issuing the first of nearly 200 licenses to medical cannabis providers. Licensed dispensaries are expected to be operational in Missouri by this spring.

At a more local level, city council members in Springfield, Illinois approved the state’s first marijuana consumption space.

The Austin, Texas city council approved a resolution that will restrict city funds or city personnel from being used to create THC testing protocol and would direct APD to stop citing or arresting individuals for low-level marijuana possession.

Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list, and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and U.S. Congress.

Your Highness,
Carly

Actions to Take

Federal

Chairmain’s bill: The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act (HR 3884 / S. 2227) is bipartisan legislation that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus decriminalizing the substance at the federal level and enabling states to set their own policies.

Send a message to your representatives in support of the MORE Act now

Colorado

House Bill 1089 would prohibit employers terminating an employee for the employee’s lawful off-duty activities that are lawful under state law even if those activities are not lawful under federal law, such as consuming marijuana.

Update: HB 1089 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee at 1:30 on 2/19/2020 in Room LSB-A.

CO resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

Georgia

Legislation is pending, House Bill 550, to remove the threat of jail time for the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana, and instead impose a fine of $300.

The bill also removes the requirement to fingerprint individuals for misdemeanor marijuana charges.

GA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of penalty reductions

Hawaii

Legislation is pending, HB 583 / SB 527, which would authorize licensed medical cannabis facilities to sell edible products.

Update: HB 583 is scheduled to be heard by the House Health Committee on 1/28/20 8:35am in House conference room 329.

HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of edible medical cannabis products

Maryland

Legislation is pending, House Bill 331, to allow registered medical cannabis patients to access their medicine while at school.

The bill requires the Department of Education and the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission jointly to develop guidelines for public schools regarding the administration of medical cannabis to certain students during school hours and school-sponsored after-school activities.

Update: HB 331 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee on 2/5/2020 at 2pm.

MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access in schools

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1663, to allow for the use, possession, and retail sale of marijuana by adults.

The pending measure permits adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or up to five grams of concentrate, and to grow up to six marijuana plants (up to 3 can be mature).

Update: HB 1663 is scheduled for a public hearing and executive session in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 2/5/20 beginning at 10am.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of legalization

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1648, to remove all criminal and civil penalties for the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by adults.

The pending measure permits adults 21 and over to possess up to 3/4 ounce of marijuana and to grow up to six marijuana plants (up to three mature, three immature).

Update: HB 1648 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 1/28/20 at 10am.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of depenalization

House Bill 1386 “prohibits an employer from firing an employee solely because the employee has a positive drug test for cannabis if the employee is a qualified patient.”

Update: HB 1386 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee at 10:00am on 2/5/20 in Legislative Office Building 307.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

House Bill 1614 would reduce the penalties for the possession of large quantities of marijuana from felonies to misdemeanors.

Update: HB 1614 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 1/28/20 at 10am.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of penalty reduction

House Bill 1150 would establish reciprocity, which would allow qualifying patients from out-of-state to purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire.

Update: HB 1150 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on 1/29/20 at 10am.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of reciprocity

Tennessee

Legislation is pending, HB 883/SB 686, to allow individuals convicted of certain cannabis-related offenses, upon the completion of their sentence, to petition the court to have their records sealed.

Update: HB 883 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee at 12pm on 1/28/20 in House Hearing Room III.

TN resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of 

SB 1720 is pending, to allow out-of-state patients to possess up to a half-ounce of cannabis while visiting Tennessee.

TN resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of reciprocity

Vermont

Lawmakers are considering senate-approved legislation, S. 54, to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.

Update: S.54 was heard by several different House committees this week.

VT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of retail sales

Virginia

For the first time in recent history, there is a clear pathway to advance a decriminalization bill, Senate Bill 2, to the desk of Governor Northam, an issue which is a top priority for him in the 2020 General Assembly.

Update: SB 2 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Criminal Law Subcommittee on 1/23/20.

VA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

Legislation is pending, House Bill 212, to protect parents, foster parents, and prospective parents looking to adopt a child.

The measure would prohibit the denial or restriction of custody or visitation rights based solely on the fact that a parent, foster parent, or prospective parent is registered to use cannabidiol or THC-A oil for therapeutic purposes.

Update: HB 212 was approved by the House Courts of Justice – Civil Subcommittee on 1/22/20 by a 5-3 vote.

VA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of parental protections

Washington

Legislation is pending in the House and Senate, HB 1131 / SB 5155, “Allowing residential marijuana agriculture.”

This bill allows adults to cultivate up to six marijuana plants in their home.

Update: HB 1131 was approved by the House Committee on Commerce & Gaming on 1/21/20.

WA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of home cultivation rights

Legislation is pending, House Bill 2740, to protect marijuana consumers from employment discrimination.

The bill would prohibit employers from refusing to hire an individual solely because they use marijuana off the job or test positive for THC on a drug test.

Update: HB 2740 is scheduled for a public hearing in the he House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards at 3:30pm on 1/28/20.

WA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

Wisconsin

Assembly Bill 750 / Senate Bill 683 would create a medical marijuana program that tightly regulates the cultivation, processing, testing, and dispensing of medical marijuana to ensure patients have legal, safe, and reliable access to a consistent product without breaking the law to obtain it.

WI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical marijuana access

West Virginia

Legislation is pending, House Bill 4186, which seeks to protect marijuana consumers from employment discrimination.

The bill would remove marijuana from the list of tested substances that employers must screen for as a requirement of the West Virginia Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act.

WV resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

That’s all for this week!

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Alaska: State Regulators Approve First On-Site Use Locations

Generic 25 January 2020 | 0 Comments

Marijuana consumption sites are coming to Alaska.

This week, officials with the Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board issued their first-ever permits to retailers who wish to allow customers to consume cannabis on the premises.

While a handful of cities in other states — such as West Hollywood, California and Springfield, Illinois — have similarly issued municipal licenses to allow for on-site cannabis consumption, Alaska is the first jurisdiction to provide state approval for such facilities.

In Colorado, state regulators are in the process of facilitating regulations governing the establishment of “marijuana hospitality spaces.” Massachusetts regulators are also in the process of rolling out a pilot program to permit on-site marijuana consumption facilities in up to a dozen self-selected cities throughout the state.

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Missouri: Medical Cannabis Dispensary Licenses Awarded

Generic 25 January 2020 | 0 Comments

State regulators have begun issuing the first of nearly 200 licenses to medical cannabis providers.

This week, officials with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services began the process of confirming applicants. Under the law, which voters approved in 2018, regulators must license a minimum of 24 dispensaries in each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts.

Regulators have already registered 27,000 patients to participate in the cannabis access program. Licensed dispensaries are expected to be operational by this spring.

Additional information about the program is available online here from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.