Weekly Legislative Roundup 10/19/18

Generic 20 October 2018 | 0 Comments

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

Some news from across the border to start off, this week Canada became the second nation to explicitly legalize the social use, possession, cultivation, and retail production and sale of cannabis. The new law will also include pardons of all criminal possession charges of less than 30 grams.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking public comments specific to whether changes ought to be recommended regarding the international classification of cannabis as a controlled substance. Members of the public have until October 31, 2018 to submit their comments to the FDA for consideration. They’ve already gotten at least 2,000 submissions. Click here to submit your own comments quickly and easily now.

In Congress this week, the Senate bill to encourage the Department of Veterans affairs to study medical cannabis (VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act) got one new cosponsor, for a total of six.

The House bill to increase military veterans’ access to medical cannabis (Veterans Equal Access Act) got one new cosponsor, for a total of 29.

At the state level, four New York Assembly committees held a joint hearing in Manhattan on marijuana legalization proposals.

Utah Democratic lawmakers will hold a town hall meeting on medical cannabis next Wednesday 10/24. They’ll discuss the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, Proposition 2, and the medical cannabis landscape more broadly.

Rhode Island regulators added autism spectrum disorders as medical cannabis qualifying conditions, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed legislation into law prohibiting marijuana-infused alcoholic beverages.

At a more local level, the mayor of Ocean Springs, Mississippi is helping to collect signatures for the state’s proposed 2020 medical cannabis ballot measure.

A draft Seattle, Washington 2019 legislative agenda says the city supports state legislation to allow marijuana delivery services and cannabis vaping lounges, as well as expunging misdemeanor convictions.

Following are the bills  that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act 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 at the federal level.

Your Highness,
Carly

Priority Alerts

Federal

Penalize States that Maintain Criminalization: The Marijuana Justice Act would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.

Click here to email your federal lawmakers and urge them to support this important legislation

New Jersey

A4510 seeks to create a state bank to provide financial services to licensed marijuana business operating in accordance with state law.

The measure would permit the bank to make loans to, and accept deposits from, any marijuana-related business. Currently, many financial institutions are discouraged from interacting with the cannabis industry because of the plant’s illegal federal status.

NJ resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expanded banking access

That’s all for this week!

Tagged in , , ,

NORML Welcomes David Crosby to Advisory Board

Generic 20 October 2018 | 0 Comments

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is pleased to welcome world famous musician David Crosby (founding member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Byrds) to its Advisory Board.

Commenting on joining the organization, David Crosby stated:

“I’d like cannabis to be legal everywhere. I knew people who were in jail for years over a couple of joints and it’s just not right. I do feel a responsibility to stick up for people who have been stuck in jail for it unfairly, and that is why I’m partnering with NORML to lend my name and talents to help end our multi-decade failure that is prohibition. Bottom line is: It should be legal and people shouldn’t be going to jail for it, and I want to reinforce that to the degree that I can.”

“People are looking at the success in places like Colorado and Oregon. The places that have done it are winning and they will have money for schools, roads, and hospitals and are no longer arresting otherwise respectable adults for consuming marijuana. I’m proud to join the NORML Advisory Board to help bring this sensible policy to the entire country.”

NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri welcomed Crosby to the Advisory Board, saying:

“We are absolutely ecstatic that David wants to lend his considerable talents and celebrity to help advance the cause of marijuana law reform. While we have made great progress in ending our country’s failed prohibition, with nine states plus the District of Columbia legalizing the adult use of marijuana and 31 states allowing for medical access, there is still much work to be done. Despite all our gains, over 650,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related offenses last year. Together with David, we will continue to fight for legalization across the country. We will end this disastrous war on marijuana consumers that has gone on for far too many decades and ruined far too many lives.”

Music legend David Crosby is best known for being a founding member of two of the world’s most successful rock bands – CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG – as well as THE BYRDS. The globally-recognized, Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist, author and activist has had an unparalleled career and sold over 35 million albums worldwide. His songs are heard by millions around the world each day. and he has twice been inducted into the prestigious Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He now serves on the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Advisory Board alongside other notable advocates such as country music legend Willie Nelson, former Dallas Cowboy Mark Stepnoski, Harvard Professor Emeritus Lester Grinspoon, and movie and television producer Ann Druyan.

Tagged in , , ,

Music Legend David Crosby: Join Me and NORML and Let’s Legalize Marijuana Nationwide

Generic 19 October 2018 | 0 Comments

David Crosby

Hello. My name is David Crosby. You might know me as a founding member of rock legends The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. But today I’m wearing a very different hat. Today, I am writing to you to personally introduce myself as the newest member of NORML’s Advisory Board.

Why have I decided to become involved with NORML? It’s simple. I’d like cannabis to be legal everywhere, and I – like the good folks at NORML – feel a responsibility to stick up for those people who have been punished as a result of this oppressive and senseless policy. That is why I’m partnering with NORML to lend my name and talents to help end this multi-decade failure that is marijuana prohibition.

TOGETHER, WE CAN END FEDERAL PROHIBITION. JOIN US.

Let’s face it. I, like all of you, believe that people should not be arrested or go to jail for the responsible use of a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol, tobacco, or most prescription drugs. And I’ve looked at the success of states like Colorado and Oregon that have elected to move in a different direction. That is why I’m proud to become a part of America’s oldest and most well-recognized marijuana law reform organization, and that’s why I’ve joined NORML’s Advisory Board to help bring these sensible policies to the entire country.

I know that many of you have been involved with NORML for many years, and for that I’m grateful. It is because of people like you that NORML has been able to move popular opinion and change laws. So today, let me say ‘thank you’ for your time and efforts, and I’m looking forward to joining you and NORML in the fight to end marijuana prohibition in America once and for all.

WILL YOU JOIN ME IN STANDING WITH NORML IN THE FIGHT FOR NATIONWIDE LEGALIZATION BY DONATING TODAY?

Tagged in , , ,

Review: Thousands Of Peer-Reviewed Studies Specific To Medical Cannabis Have Been Published Over Past Decade

Generic 19 October 2018 | 0 Comments

The total number of peer-reviewed scientific papers dedicated to cannabis, and the therapeutic use of cannabis in particular, has increased exponentially in recent years, according to data published the journal Population Health Management.

Israeli researchers assessed trends in the number of scientific publications specific to cannabis as compared to all scientific publications during the years 2000 to 2017. They reported: “The overall annual number of scientific publications … increased 2.5 times between 2000–2017 from 531,664 to 1,282,229. In contrast, the corresponding number for publications on cannabis increased 4.5 times … and increased 9-fold for publications on medical cannabis.”

Overall, authors identified just over 29,000 cannabis-centric scientific papers published during the study period, with over 3,300 of those dedicated to the subject of medical marijuana. Papers specific to medical cannabis were most likely to address its use in the treatment of HIV, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, nausea, or epilepsy.

Over 60 percent of the papers were classified as “original research,” and 66 percent of all scientific papers originated from authors in the United States.

Commenting on the findings, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “These results stand in stark contrast to the popular narrative that we lack adequate scientific understanding of cannabis and its effects. In fact, ample studies already exist to contradict cannabis’ federal, schedule I status as a substance without medical utility, lacking acceptable safety, and possessing a high potential of abuse.”

He added, “More clinical research is welcome, but unfortunately science has never driven marijuana policy. If it did, the United States would already have a very different policy in place.”

An abstract of the study, “Trends in publications in medical cannabis from the year 2000,” appears online here.

Tagged in , , ,

Canadian Legalization Day Is Here

Generic 17 October 2018 | 0 Comments

Today, Canada becomes the second nation to explicitly legalize the social use, possession, cultivation, and retail production and sale of cannabis. The new law marks the culmination of an effort led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who promised in 2015, shortly after taking office, to legalize and regulate the marijuana market.

Further, the new law will include expungements of all possession criminal charges of less than 30 grams.

Trudeau was not always in favor of legalization. In fact, for many years he opposed it. That was until he met face-to-face with NORML Canada advocates Kelly Coulter and Andrea Matrosovs in 2012. They presented Trudeau with pro-legalization arguments that he’s still using today as prime minister.

According to the Toronto Star:

Coulter told Trudeau flatly that decriminalization would not keep gangs and organized crime out of the marijuana business. “Al Capone would have loved it if alcohol had only been decriminalized,” she said — a line she often used when talking to politicians.

“I saw the light go on in his eyes,” Coulter said. “He was seeing this as a politician, realizing ‘I can sell this,’ ” she recalled.

Speaking with the Huffington Post in 2013, Trudeau acknowledged that he reversed his position after speaking with NORML members admitting their “line of argument did a long way towards convincing me.” Their conversation persuaded Trudeau that legalizing marijuana use for adults would be the best way for the government to regulate sales, provide consumer safety, and keep it out of the hands of kids.

The Act, Bill C-45, permits those age 18 and older to legally possess (up to 30 grams) and grow cannabis (up to four plants of any size per household). Individual provinces possess the authority to enact additional regulations with respect to distribution, such as raising the legal age limit to purchase cannabis or by restricting home grow operations.

The Act also federally licenses commercial producers of cannabis and certain cannabis-infused products, while permitting provinces to regulate retail sales in public (government operated) and private stores, subject to local rules. Online cannabis sales will also be permitted in certain provinces.

While fewer than 200 total retailers are anticipated to be operational on day one of the new law, additional facilities are anticipated to be operational in the near future. Cannabis-infused edible products are anticipated to be regulated and available at retail stores early next summer. The new social use regulations do not amend Canada’s existing medical marijuana access laws, which have been in place since 2001.

In anticipation of the law change, the US Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection Agency published a memorandum in September affirming that those Canadians either involved or invested in the legal cannabis industry may be barred admission into the United States. The agency later updated their policy directive on October 9, 2018, acknowledging: “A Canadian citizen working in … the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the US for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the United States. However, if a traveler is found to be coming to the US for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”

But what about America? We still have a long way to go to achieve the kind of freedom Canadians are celebrating today.

NORML is hard at work making sure Americans have the information they need when they head to the polls on November 6 to elect the most pro-reform candidates in history with our Smoke the Vote voter guide to legalizing marijuana. We’re arming advocates around the country with the persuasive arguments and undisputed facts necessary to have conversations like the one that changed Trudeau’s mind. We aren’t stopping until responsible marijuana consumers are no longer subject to arrest anywhere in America. We need your help to make this goal a reality.

Make a pledge today of $25, $50 or $100 to make sure NORML has the resources to legalize marijuana in the US!

Together, we can legalize marijuana in America, end the arrest of responsible consumers, and make sure there is access to safe, quality products at affordable prices. Together, we’ll keep fighting for our freedom.

Tagged in , , ,