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Senate Bills

Daines/Merkley Veterans Equal Access Amendment

Permits physicians affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans in states that allow for its therapeutic use. More info

Mikulski Amendment Protecting State Medical Marijuana Laws

Limits the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed operations that are acting in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states. More info

Merkley Marijuana Banking Amendment

Prohibits the US Treasury Department from using federal funds to take punitive actions against banks that provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses that are operating legally under state laws. More info

'N/A' means that the Senator did not have the opportunity to vote on this amendment.

Governors

  • Kay Ivey (R)

    Alabama

    Took Office2017
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: N/A

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    A NORML staffer called the Governor's office on 8/2/2017 and received the following response: "We have no statement on marijuana [nor] has the Governor made any statement on marijuana."

  • Bill Walker (I)

    Alaska

    Took OfficeDecember 1, 2014
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: B+

    Enacted Legislation

    SB 6: Establishes a pilot program "to study the growth, cultivation, [and] marketing of industrial hemp." (2018)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    "Alaskans voted in 2014 to legalize the commercial sale of marijuana. I remain committed to upholding the will of Alaskans on this issue and maintaining our State's sovereign rights to manage our own affairs while protecting federal interests. Today's announcement withdrawing the Cole Memorandum is disappointing. I will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Justice and our Congressional Delegation to prevent federal overreach into Alaska." (1/04/18) (Link)
    Gov. Walker called upon the Trump administration not to rescind federal policies that have served as the foundation for state cannabis industries. "With respect to marijuana, while we share your concern about the dangers of drug abuse, Alaskans voted to establish a regulated industry," the Governor wrote. "We ask that the Department of Justice maintain its existing marijuana policies because the state relied on those assurances in shaping our regulatory framework and because existing policies appropriately focus federal efforts on federal interests." (4/03/17) (Link)
    "Governor Walker signed the letter because Alaska voters passed the initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana. He is upholding the will of the people" Walker's Press Secretary Katie Marquette wrote in an email. (4/03/17) (Link)

  • Doug Ducey (R)

    Arizona

    Took OfficeJanuary 5, 2015
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: F

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    SB 1337: to permit for the licensed production of industrial hemp. (2017)

    Comments

    Governor Ducey opposed a 2016 statewide ballot initiative that sought to legalize adult marijuana use, stating, "I don't know how we make ourselves a stronger state or a better place through this initiative. Almost everything outside of our economy and education that I have to deal with in this state has a common culprit of drug abuse and addiction." (1/13/16) (Link)
    Upon voters' rejection of the measure, he said, "Fortunately, Arizona is a place where common sense can still work. We fought very hard and we won this round." (4/28/17) (Link)

  • Asa Hutchinson (R)

    Arkansas

    Took OfficeJanuary 13, 2015
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    Act 740: Prohibits the smoking of marijuana in any place where smoking tobacco is prohibited, in the presence of a child under age 14 or a pregnant woman, in a motor vehicle, and in a place where it could affect a person not authorized to use marijuana. It also bans anyone under age 21 from smoking medical marijuana. (2017)
    Act 1080: Imposes a special privilege tax of four percent from the gross receipts or gross proceeds derived from each sale of usable marijuana. (2017)
    Act 1098: Ammends the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 to allow for a 8 percent statewide "special privilege" tax on medical marijuana sales. This tax is in addition to the already existing state and local taxes placed upon these facilities by the Amendment. (2017)
    Act 740: Amends the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 to prohibit the smoking of marijuana in any location in Arkansas where smoking tobacco is prohibited. Additionally, the law prohibits the smoking of medical cannabis in the presence of a child under the age of 14, in the presence of a pregnant woman, in a motor vehicle, and in a place where it could affect a person not authorized to use marijuana. (2017)
    Act 981: Establishes the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Research Program to assess the agricultural and economic potential of industrial hemp production. (2017)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Hutchinson, the former head of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, said he was concerned about the costs of regulation and enforcement if voters approve legalizing marijuana for patients. "You can imagine the enforcement issues, the regulatory issues that are involved in this," he said. "I do not see any tax boon to the state. I see more of a tax drain to the state. ...It will not help us in the direction we need to go in Arkansas in terms of increased economic success in this state." (9/28/16) (Link)
    Governor Hutchinson claims that legalizing medical marijuana access in Arkansas would be a drain on the state's resources. (8/26/16) (Link)
    He adds: "Our democracy is not going to fall if you legalize marijuana. But I think you have to ask yourself, what is the best thing for our country? And you can take two approaches to it. You can say, well, there's been some mistakes in past policy on marijuana enforcement, and so we ought to adjust those policies. And that's actually what's happening all across the country. It's such a small, miniscule percent, particularly for people who are in federal custody because of a marijuana possession offense. It just doesn't happen. So look at it: Texas, Arkansas, many states are looking at incarceration policy, making adjustments, and you've got to be a pretty serious drug offender in order to go to jail for, you know, breaking the law. And so you can adjust current policy, we've done it with drug treatment courts, we're putting more money in the treatment side, alternatives to incarceration, for those that have an addiction problem. That's the path I would like to see, if you see mistakes made, let's adjust those. And I think that's what Europe has done." (7/01/13) (Link)
    "Let's think about what happens if you legalize marijuana all across this country. One, I think it would generate tax revenues. I'm on the conservative side, and there's a lot of libertarians who don't believe in strong government but support marijuana legalization. It's ironic to me that if you legalize marijuana, what are you going to create? A huge government bureaucracy. That's what's happening in Colorado. You've got to have licensing authority. You've got to have tax collection authority. You've got to have enforcement authority. So you're going to create a huge regulatory body in every state and the federal government if you legalize it across the board, to collect the taxes and to make sure the enforcement is there. Arkansas we have the Arkansas lottery scholarships, lottery money coming in which funds our scholarships. Well, we're going to be having pot scholarships, because you're going to have revenue coming in to generate it, and the public's going to sell it because you're gonna be able to send your kids with scholarships based upon marijuana tax revenue. You're going to have retail shops, you're going to have distribution, you're going to have cultivation, all highly regulated. That's the path we've got to go. I believe it would increase harm. So two paths you can take, and I believe the best one is keep it criminalized, keep it illegal conduct, but let's make the adjustments from lessons that we've learned over the last two decades." (7/01/13) (Link)

  • Jerry Brown (D)

    California

    Took OfficeJanuary 3, 2011
    Seat Up2018 (term limited out)
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    Senate Bill 94: Imposes various regulatory changes surrounding the licensing of medical and retail marijuana facilities. (2017)

    Assembly Bill 21: Amended a drafting error in the The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act by removing an apparent March 1, 2016 deadline for localities to establish their own cultivation regulations or else forfeit that authority to the state. It also removed objectionable language authorizing local governments to prohibit patients from cultivating, storing, donating, or processing marijuana for their own personal use, and by doing so, reaffirms that qualified patients have the right under state law to engage in personal cultivation absent a city or state license. (2016)

    Assembly Bill 266, Assembly Bill 243, Assembly Bill 643: The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which consists of three separate bills, creates a new state agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs to develop rules and licensing procedures for authorized medical cannabis dispensaries. (2015)
    Assembly Bill 258: Allows medical marijuana patients to receive organ transplants. Hospitals in California have frequently denied patients from receiving organ transplants solely based on their status as medicinal marijuana consumers. Passage of AB 258 ends these discriminatory practices. (2015)

    SB 566: Reclassified industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity; establishes regulations for licensed cultivation of the crop, but requires authorization from the federal government before such cultivation can move forward.(2013)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    The governor vetoed a measure intended to impose new penalties regarding the use of marijuana on beaches and state parks. It was a provision tucked inside a larger bill designed to prevent people from smoking cigarettes in these areas." If people can't even smoke on a deserted beach, where can they?" Brown wrote in a statement accompanying the veto. "There must be some limit to the coercive power of government." (10/6/17) (Link)
    Gov. Jerry Brown released a 79-page proposal in April of 2017 outlining his administration's solutions for resolving differences between existing medical marijuana laws and the ballot measure that legalized the adult use of recreational pot in November. (Link)

  • John Hickenlooper (D)

    Colorado

    Took OfficeJanuary 11, 2011
    Seat Up2018 (term limited out)
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 1266: Allows persons who were convicted of misdemeanors for marijuana-related behaviors that are no longer illegal to petition for the sealing of criminal records relating to such convictions. (2017)
    Senate Bill 17: Adds PTSD to the list of debilitating conditions eligible for medical cannabis treatment. (2017)
    Senate Bill 192: Protects the state's adult use marijuana industry in case of a potential federal crackdown. The bill permits adult use growers and sellers to reclassify their recreational marijuana inventory as medical marijuana based on changes in state, local, or federal law. (2017)
    Senate Bill 178: Permits registered medical cannabis patients to legally use marijuana while on bond in a criminal case. (2017)

    House Bill 1267: Permits qualified patients to access medical marijuana while on probation or parole. Colorado was one of the first states to permit medical marijuana use to parolees by statute. (2015)

    SB 155: Earmarks up to $10 million within the state's medical marijuana program fund to be utilized specifically to "gather objective scientific research regarding the efficacy of administering marijuana and its component parts as part of medical treatment." The law also establishes a 'scientific advisory council,' which may include expert participants from around the nation, to evaluate research proposals and make recommendations in regards to funding requests. (2014)

    HB 1317, HB 1318: Establishes regulations regarding the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis to those over age 21; proposes excise tax and sales tax rates for commercial production and retail sales of cannabis; tax rates must be approved by voters. (2013)
    SB 241: Creates a program within the Department of Agriculture to regulate the commercial production of industrial hemp. State-licensed producers are not required to also seek federal permission to engage in hemp production. (2013)

    Vetoed Legislation

    SB 17-111: Would have provided the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) rulemaking authority to modify vertical integration requirements for medical marijuana increases and granted an exception to such requirements for inventory transfer between identically owned licenses. (2017)

    Comments

    "We haven't seen the big spike that I was worried about seeing of teenagers at greater frequency smoking. But now, I'm not sure I'd reverse the vote." (5/24/16) (Link)
    He adds: "I think we've made real progress. And there might be a way to have a better system come out of this. … I am not as negative as I was. I am cautiously optimistic, like we might actually do this. This is going to be one of the biggest experiments of the 21st century." (5/24/16) (Link)
    During a 2016 appearance on 60 Minutes, Governor Hickenlooper has reconsidered his initial stance with regard to legalizing marijuana. He had initially said that if he could "wave a magic wand" to reverse voters decision to regulate marijuana in 2012, he would, stating, "Colorado is known for many great things. Marijuana should not be one of them." (5/16/16) (Link)
    He later pivoted his position: "If I had that magic wand now, I don't know if I would wave it," he said. "It's beginning to look like it might work." (5/16/16) (Link)

  • Dan Malloy (D)

    Connecticut

    Took OfficeJanuary 5, 2011
    Seat Up2019
    NORML Grade: B-

    Enacted Legislation

    House Bill 5450: Protects nurses who administer medical marijuana to qualified patients in hospital settings from any criminal, civil, or disciplinary action. Other provisions in the bill expand the pool of patients eligible for cannabis therapy to include those under the age of 18 and seek to establish a state-sponsored research program. (2016)

    HB 5476: Calls on the three state agencies, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Consumer Protection, and the Department of Economic and Community Development to evaluate the feasibility of legalizing the possession, production, and sale of industrial hemp "for the purpose of encouraging economic development and increasing the number of new businesses in this state. (2014)

    House Bill 5389: Regulates the use, possession, licensed cultivation, and dispensing of medical cannabis products to qualified patients. (2012)

    Senate Bill 1014: Reduces the penalties for the adult possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by one year in jail and a $1,000 fine) to a non-criminal infraction, punishable by a $150 fine, no arrest or jail time, and no criminal record. (2011)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    "As Canada moves in that direction, as Massachusetts and Vermont, it's going to be a neighborhood thing, and I understand that," Malloy told Rolling Stone. While he remains lukewarm on recreational marijuana, he did pen a blunt letter to US Attorney General Sessions on it. "I told him to stop messing around with marijuana, because it really isn't important," Malloy said. "I have not taken the opportunity to endorse marijuana, but that's very different than spending resources trying to combat marijuana use. And, quite frankly, if you're going to be serious about opioids, you can't be screwing around with marijuana."(2/26/18)(Link)
    "I don't believe that (legalizing marijuana) in our best interest. I think we've taken what I consider to be the right steps with marijuana and that is to stop using our laws on marijuana as a first step to lead to a criminal record so we decriminalized marijuana. I'm not an advocate for legalizing marijuana." (2/18/16) (Link)
    Gov. Malloy pushed for substantive reforms early in his tenure – enacting both decriminalization and medical marijuana legislation in his first two years in office. However, he has also consistently opposed supporting broader efforts to legalize and regulate adult marijuana use.
    "We decriminalized small amounts, but we didn't legalize. And … we have moved forward with medical marijuana and I think that's about as far as we go. I don't think tax revenue should have anything to do with the discussion about whether you legalize marijuana, quite frankly. They are two distinct issues." (2/24/14) (Link)

  • John Carney (D)

    Delaware

    Took OfficeJanuary 17, 2017
    Seat Up2020
    NORML Grade: C

    Enacted Legislation

    SB 24: Removes a requirement that a psychiatrist sign an application for someone seeking to use medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (2017)
    HB 210: This bill allows minors subject to debilitating medical conditions not specifically listed in § 4906A(b) the same petition process to have their condition considered as that allowed for adults. (2017)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Against legalization but willing to hear from proponents. (5/24/17) (Link)
    "I'm not in favor of [the state legalizing and taxing marijuana]. We ought to learn from the experience of other states that are doing it. I don't think we ought to be out on the edge of that curve." (1/30/17) (Link)

  • Rick Scott (R)

    Florida

    Took OfficeJanuary 4, 2011
    Seat Up2018 (term limited out)
    NORML Grade: D+

    Enacted Legislation

    SB 6A: This bill creates a public records exemption for identifying information of patients, caregivers and physicians in the medical marijuana use registry and certification process. (2017)
    SB 8A: Created guidelines for the Florida Department of Health to implement Amendment 2, passed by 71 percent of Florida voters in 2016. It also amended various provisions in the voter-approved law. Specifically, Senate Bill 8A amends the state's voter approved medical cannabis law by prohibiting the possession of marijuana "in a form for smoking" and bars the use of herbal cannabis except in instances where it is contained "in a sealed tamper-proof receptacle for vaping," among other significant changes. (2017)
    Senate Bill 1726: Directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to authorize and oversee the development of industrial hemp pilot projects at certain universities. These pilot projects may be developed in partnership with public, nonprofit, and private entities. (2017)

    House Bill 307: Permitted medical marijuana access to people diagnosed with terminal illnesses. (2016)

    Senate Bill 1030 and SB 1700: Legalized the state-licensed production, dispensing, and use of products produced from strains of marijuana that are high in cannabidiol (CBD) but low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but only for an extremely small number of qualifying patients. (2014)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Upon signing the legislation to enact Question 2 for medical marijuana, Governor Scott said "The constitutional amendment was passed overwhelmingly, and I'm glad the House and Senate were able to come together for a bill that makes sense for our state." (6/23/17) (Link)
    Upon signing the Charlottes Web bill in 2014, Governor Scott said "As a father and grandfather, you never want to see kids suffer. The approval of Charlotte's Web will ensure that children in Florida who suffer from seizures and other debilitating illnesses will have the medication needed to improve their quality of life." (6/16/14) (Link)
    By contrast, Gov. Scott in 2014 opposed the passage of a broader voter-initiated amendment to legalize more conventional strains of cannabis to additional patient populations. "I have a great deal of empathy for people battling difficult diseases and I understand arguments in favor of this initiative," Scott said. "But, having seen the terrible effects of alcohol and drug abuse first-hand, I cannot endorse sending Florida down this path and I would personally vote against it." (5/2/14) (Link)

  • Nathan Deal (R)

    Georgia

    Took OfficeJanuary 10, 2011
    Seat Up2018 (term limited out)
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    SB 16: Expands the pool of patients eligible to possess CBD extracts under state law to include those with autism, epidermolysis bullosa, AIDS, Tourette's Syndrome, severe peripheral neuropathy, or those in hospice care. The law also exempts qualified patients registered to use CBD in other states from criminal prosecution in Georgia. The measure does not provide a regulated, in state source where patients may legally obtain CBD. (2017)

    House Bill 1: Permits qualifying patients to obtain a physicians authorization to possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis-infused oils. Under the law, these oil products must be dominant in cannabidiol (CBD) and possess no more than five percent THC. (2015)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Gov. Deal has repeatedly expressed skepticism with regard to imposing further expansions of the state's limited CBD law, particularly to reforms that would permit in-state cultivation. (4/24/16) (Link)
    "Doctors worry they will lose their license. Look at the very small number of doctors who have signed up on our registry to say that we would even approve the use of what we have already authorized," Deal said after the State of the State speech. "If the medical community has not embraced it more thoroughly, I don't know how the expansion of maladies that are covered would help." (1/4/16) (Link)
    "Commercially, I am told, that's not a big enough demand base to be able to sustain a growing operation," he said, adding: "And the information I've received from the law enforcement component causes me to have more concerns than I did before." (12/3/15) (Link)
    "I still don't think we have sufficient information or ability to control something of that nature if we start production and processing here in our state," Deal said. (12/2/15) (Link)

This information is continually being updated. If you have an additional public comment that we do not have record of or any additional information please email politics@norml.org.