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All State Governors

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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

  • David Ige (D)

    Hawaii

    Took OfficeDecember 1, 2014
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: C

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 1488: Expands the pool of patients eligible to receive cannabis therapy to include those with lupus, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and autism. It also permits caregivers to engage in medical cannabis cultivation. (2017)

    House Bill 2707: The measure expands the pool of practitioners who may legally recommend cannabis therapy to include advanced nurse practitioners. Separate provisions in the bill removes the prohibition on Sunday dispensary sales and on the possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia by qualified patients.Other language in the bill permits the transportation of medical marijuana across islands for the purposes of laboratory testing, but maintains existing prohibitions banning individual patients from engaging in inter-island travel with their medicine. (2016)

    House Bill 321: Establishes a system of medical dispensaries for the state's nearly 14,000 medical marijuana patients. Once operational, qualified patients will be able to obtain up to four ounces of cannabis or cannabis-infused products, such as oils, tinctures, or lozenges, from a licensed provider every 15 days. (2015)

    SB 2175: Establishes a two-year pilot program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to study the potential use of industrial hemp as a phytomediator (a plant capable of removing toxins from the soil) and as a biofuel. (2014)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    "I support the establishment of dispensaries to ensure that qualified patients can legally and safely access medical marijuana." (7/15/15) (Link)
    Q: Do you support decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana? A: No. (11/1/12) (Link)

  • Butch Otter (R)

    Idaho

    Took OfficeJanuary 1, 2007
    Seat Up2018 (retiring)
    NORML Grade: F

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    HB 1146: A bill to provide CBD as an alternative treatment for children suffering from intractable epilepsy.
    Upon his veto, Gov. Otter said "I don't know what more I or senior members of my administration could have done to help legislators understand our strong opposition to this legislation. Both the House and Senate were told by the Office of Drug Policy, the Department of Health and Welfare, and the Idaho State Police - as well as prosecutors and local law enforcement officers from throughout Idaho - that there were too many questions and problems and too few answers and solutions in this bill to let it become law." (Link)

    Comments

    Asked about legal marijuana in Idaho's neighboring states, Gov. Butch Otter said, "I think it's a big mistake. When the medical marijuana effort was being made, especially across the Pacific Northwest, I talked to several governors that initially had been in favor of it, and when it raised its head in Idaho, in talking with them they said, 'Don't do it, it's a big mistake.'"
    He said, "You're going to create a black market and it'll be in the hands of every schoolkid and it'll be in the hands of every person that wants it. I have said time and time again, not on my watch." (1/5/18) (Link)
    "Among the most pressing concerns facing Idaho, both from the criminal and public health standpoints, is the utter lack of consistency displayed by the Obama administration in enforcement of federal marijuana laws. In that respect, Idaho is a virtual island of compliance, and we are paying the price." Gov. Otter wrote in a letter to President Trump desiring increased federal assistance in cracking down against marijuana. (2/16/17) (Link)

  • Bruce Rauner (R)

    Illinois

    Took OfficeJanuary 12, 2015
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: C+

    Enacted Legislation

    Senate Bill 10: Extends the state's medical cannabis program to 2020. Legislation initiating the program was set to expire in 2018. Other changes to the program include: Adding post-traumatic stress and any terminal illness as qualifying medical conditions; Extending the lifespan of state-issued registry cards from one year to three years in duration; Amending the requirement that physicians must explicitly recommend cannabis therapy. Instead, physicians will only be required to certify that there exists a bona fide doctor-patient relationship and that the patient possesses a qualifying, debilitating medical condition. (2016)
    Senate Bill 2228: Reduces the penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine) to a civil fine of no more than $200 - no arrest and no criminal record. It also decriminalizes related offenses involving the possession of marijuana paraphernalia. (2016) The Governor issued an amendatory veto quashing similar legislation in 2015.

    Vetoed Legislation

    Senate Bill 33: Amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. Adds "post-traumatic stress disorder" to the definition of "debilitating medical condition." (9/10/15)

    Comments

    Brumleve: Speaking of reform, there's been a lot of talk about the legalization of recreational marijuana. Do you have any opinion on where that should go? Rauner: It's a big controversy. There are some Republicans who support it; some Democrats do; some don't. Here's my view. Medical marijuana was approved before I became governor. We're monitoring that to see how it works, and I think there are some appropriate medical uses for that and we're monitoring it. Recreational marijuana, just for personal use, I think is a huge experiment. We don't know. And the drug has changed - marijuana has changed a tremendous amount over the last 30-40 years. It's very, very potent. We don't know how it impacts the developing brain. We don't know what it does to pregnant women. We don't know a lot of things. Colorado has legalized it. California just legalized it. And what I've recommended is, 'Let's not legalize it in Illinois now. Let's watch what's happening in these other states and learn.' Even the Democratic governor of Colorado, even he's come out in the press and said, 'There's a lot of wild stuff going on in Colorado; there's addiction problems; there's DUI problems; there's crime problems.' He even said, 'Other states ought to watch what's happening here before you move.' So I've said, 'Let's not legalize it here; let's just watch and learn before we do a big experiment on the people of Illinois.' Brumleve: If a bill to legalize recreational marijuana got passed by the Legislature, would you veto it? Rauner: Right now, I would, yeah. I want to see what's happening and what happens in other states before I would support it. (2/28/18) (Link)
    "I do not support legalizing marijuana. I think that's a mistake. You know there's a massive, human experiment going on in Colorado, and California, other places. We should see how that's impacted lives and addiction and hurt young people before we make any decision about it here," Rauner said in an interview on WSIL in Marion. "I do not support legalizing marijuana." (12/4/2017) (Link)

  • Eric Holcomb (R)

    Indiana

    Took OfficeJanuary 9, 2017
    Seat Up2020
    NORML Grade: D+

    Enacted Legislation

    Senate Bill 52: Legalizes the possession, use, manufacture, and retail sale of cannabidiol products. It also provides protections so that employers may not discriminate against anyone using CBD in compliance with the law. (2018)

    House Bill 1148: The law exempts qualified patients who possess cannabidiol from criminal penalties. The measure does not provide a regulated, in state source where patients may legally obtain CBD. (2017)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Cannabis oil is now legal in Indiana, but Governor Holcomb says that doesn't change his opposition to doing the same for medical marijuana.
    CBD oil doesn't get you high, and Holcomb says he's heard from many Hoosiers who believe it's helped them with pain. He says he was happy to make it accessible, after a failed attempt to do so last year. Holcomb says marijuana is a completely different story. He argues it's frequently been a gateway to deadlier drugs. (3/26/18) (Link)
    "Right now, in the world that we're living in, expanding or legalizing drugs of this nature isn't on my list." (10/26/16) (Link)

  • Kim Reynolds (R)

    Iowa

    Took OfficeMay 24, 2017
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: N/A

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    NORML staff reached out in October 2017 for comment, still awaiting a response.

  • Jeff Colyer (R)

    Kansas

    Took OfficeJanuary 31, 2018
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: N/A

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    None

  • Matt Bevin (R)

    Kentucky

    Took OfficeDecember 8, 2015
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Gov. Matt Bevin has said he would consider signing a medical cannabis bill if the legislature passed one (1/11/18) (Link)
    Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said he doesn't support legalization because "there are people overdosing" on marijuana in Colorado. He also called ending prohibition a "sucker's bet." (10/10/17) (Link)

  • John Bel Edwards (D)

    Louisiana

    Took OfficeJanuary 11, 2016
    Seat Up2020
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 225: Adds an exception to the existing law definition of "marijuana" for cannabidiol when it is contained in a drug product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017)
    SB 35: Provides exemptions from arrest and prosecution to persons lawfully in possession of medical marijuana. (2017)

    SB 271: Permits physicians to 'recommend' rather than 'prescribe' medical cannabis therapy. The change allows doctors to authorize cannabis without running afoul of federal law, which prohibits the prescription of a schedule I controlled substance. The measure also expands the pool of conditions eligible for cannabis therapy. (2016)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Louisiana's governor Tuesday (Jan. 9, 2018) asked President Donald Trump to shield states' medical marijuana programs from federal prosecutors, urging him to "ensure the safe distribution of this life-changing form of treatment." (1/9/18) (Link)
    The letter sent to the White House by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards came in response to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement last week that he was ending an Obama-era policy that kept federal authorities from cracking down on legalized pot. (1/9/18) (Link)
    The Department of Justice's actions "jeopardize this treatment for those who need it in Louisiana and other states, and I am requesting your support in allowing states like Louisiana to offer marijuana as a form of medical treatment without the threat of federal prosecution," Edwards wrote in the letter, also sent to the state congressional delegation. (1/9/18) (Link)
    "I personally know too many individuals and really particularly children who are suffering from medical conditions, and traditional medicines are not providing relief," Edwards said. "I quite frankly think the state ought not be between the doctor and the parents when it comes to what might be best for those children." He added that he does not want a situation where parents feel they must move out of Louisiana in order to get access to medical marijuana. (5/19/16) (Link)
    "I am not willing to make this unavailable -- continue to make this unavailable to people with medical conditions such as those currently in the bill simply because I'm fearful that at some point it might lead to creep," Edwards said. "There's no way while I'm governor, and I suspect thereafter, that we're going to be legalizing recreational use of marijuana." (5/5/16) (Link)

  • Paul LePage (R)

    Maine

    Took OfficeJanuary 5, 2011
    Seat Up2018 (term limited out)
    NORML Grade: D-

    Enacted Legislation

    LD 88: An act to delay the implementation of certain portions of the Marijuana Legalization Act. (2017)
    LD 764: An act to limit the exclusion of a patient from eligibility for an organ transplant based on medical marijuana use. (2017)

    LD 726: Permits qualified patients to use medical marijuana while admitted in Maine hospitals. This measure does not require hospital staff to administer medical marijuana to a patient and will only allow for patients to consume cannabis preparations in a smokeless form. The law also establishes licensing protocols for marijuana testing facilities and the labeling of medical cannabis products. (2016)

    LD 4: Seeks to permit licensed hemp cultivation by removing a legislative requirement, enacted by state lawmakers in 2009 that mandated the federal government to reclassify hemp prior to the state's issuance of cultivation permits. (2015)

    LD 1739: Expands the pool of those who can legally advise patients on the use of medicinal marijuana from physicians to 'medical providers' - a classification that includes certified nurse practitioners. (2014)

    LD 1062: Expands the state's list of qualifying conditions to include post-traumatic stress, inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis), and other debilitating movement disorders, such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. Law took effect on September 28, 2013. (2013)

    Vetoed Legislation

    LD 389: An act to facilitate access to banking for state-licensed medical marijuana business. (2018)
    LD1650: Governor LePage vetoed legislation that sought to fully implement regulatory aspects of the voter-approved Marijuana Legalization Act. Specifically, this legislation would have licensed retail marijuana production and sales. (2017)
    LD 1641 (Overridden): An act to amend the Marijuana Legalization Act regarding retail marijuana testing facilities. (2017)

    Comments

    Governor LePage said that he "cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine" upon vetoing legislation to implement the voter-approved legalization effort. (11/03/17) (Link)
    "Question 1 (the 2016 voter-initiated Marijuana Legalization Act) is not just bad for Maine, it can be deadly. … We do not need to legalize another drug that could lead to more deaths."(10/14/16) (Link)

  • Larry Hogan (R)

    Maryland

    Took OfficeJanuary 21, 2015
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: C-

    Enacted Legislation

    (Not signed, became law absent the Governors signature) SB0949: Authorizing a person to file a petition for expungement at a specified time if the person was convicted of possession of marijuana. (2017)

    HB 443: Permits the Department of Agriculture to authorize institutions of higher education to cultivate industrial hemp for academic research purposes. Members of the Senate voted 45 to zero in favor of the bill. House members voted 136 to zero in favor of the measure. (2016) HB 104: Expands the pool of medical professionals who can provide written recommendations for marijuana to qualifying patients. Passage of this legislation allows nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, among other medical professionals, who are in good standing with the state to provide written certifications to qualifying patients. (2016)

    Vetoed Legislation

    SB 517: Amended existing criminal penalties regarding the possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia from a misdemeanor to a civil violation, and established a civil fine of up to $500 for offenses involving the use of marijuana in public. Lawmakers overrode the Governor's veto in 2016.

    Comments

    None

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.