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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

  • Charlie Baker (R)

    Massachusetts

    Took OfficeJanuary 8, 2015
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: D+

    Enacted Legislation

    Senate Bill 2371: Permits the courts to expunge certain prior marijuana offenses "if the court determines based on clear and convincing evidence that the record was created as a result of … an offense at the time of the creation of the record which at the time of expungement is no longer a crime." (2018)

    House Bill 3818: Amends the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (Question 4) by imposing a new statewide excise tax of 10.75 percent on top of a 6.25 percent sales tax. It also authorizes cities to impose an additional 3 percent tax. It limits the ability of local communities to ban retail facilities if a majority of voters approved Question 4, but it makes it easier for communities to do so if they opposed the initiative. The law also expands patients' access to medicinal cannabis by permitting nurses and physicians' assistants the ability to recommend cannabis therapy.

    H.4326: An Act further regulating the cultivation of marijuana and marihuana which delayed implementation of marijuana sales into 2018, in defiance of voter approved Question 4. (2016)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Federal officials could be sowing "confusion" with moves against marijuana in states that legalized the controversial substance for recreational and medical use, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday. (1/8/18) (Link)
    The remarks came a day after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an opponent of legal marijuana, rescinded a memo first issued under President Obama that allowed a new industry built around the controversial substance to grow in some states. (1/5/18) (Link)
    Upon signing the long-awaited compromise marijuana bill into law, Gov. Charlie Baker said: "I don't support this," Baker said to reporters in his ceremonial office at the State House. "I worry terribly about what the consequences over time will be." "But look, the people voted this," he added. "And I think it's really important that we put a program in place that delivered a workable, safe, productive recreational marijuana market for them here in Massachusetts." (7/28/17) (Link)

  • Rick Snyder (R)

    Michigan

    Took OfficeJanuary 1, 2011
    Seat Up2018 (term limited out)
    NORML Grade: B-

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 4209, HB 4210, HB 4827, SB 141, and SB 1014: The measures seek to clarify and expand various aspects of the state's medical cannabis law. Specifically, the measures provide qualified patients for the first time with legal protections for their possession and use of non-smoked cannabis derived topicals and edibles, as well as cannabis-based extract products. The measures also license and regulate above-ground, safe access facilities where state-qualified patients may legally obtain medical marijuana. (2016)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Upon signing new rules allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to stay open, Gov. Rick Snyder said:
    "This new law will help Michiganders of all ages and with varying medical conditions access safe products to relieve their suffering. We can finally implement a solid framework that gives patients a safe source from which to purchase and utilize medical marijuana." (9/21/16) (Link)

  • Mark Dayton (D)

    Minnesota

    Took OfficeJanuary 3, 2011
    Seat Up2018 (retiring)
    NORML Grade: C-

    Enacted Legislation

    SF 5: Redefines industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and authorizes institutions of higher learning to cultivate the plant as part of a state-approved research program. (2015)

    SF 1641: Established a limited medical cannabis program consisting of no more than two licensed producers and up to eight distribution centers. The plan fails to permit qualified patients to possess or obtain whole-plant cannabis. Instead, the law mandates that state-licensed distribution centers provide oils, pills, and/or extracts prepared from the plant. Patients are permitted to ingest or vaporize, but not smoke, these medical cannabis preparations. (2014)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Upon signing limited medical marijuana legislation in 2014, Gov. Dayton said "I cannot, and I do not, advocate breaking the law. But as a father, I understand parents who would do anything possible to help their children. If advocates agree to the compromise solution my administration has proposed – which I believe would provide their children with the medication and relief they need as quickly as possible – then something can be accomplished on this issue this session." (3/26/14) (Link)
    On the question of full legalization, Dayton has said: "Alcohol is plenty dangerous… Why would we want to add another drug to the equation?" (1/20/14) (Link)

  • Phil Bryant (R)

    Mississippi

    Took OfficeJanuary 10, 2012
    Seat Up2020 (term limited out)
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 1231: Permits patients with intractable epilepsy the opportunity to possess cannabis extracts that contain more than 15 percent cannabidiol and no more than 0.5 percent THC. The law does not provide an in state supply source for these products (2014)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Bryant said he remains opposed to any effort to legalize marijuana or its derivatives outside of the bill. Regarding the subject of full legalization, he has said: "We're not going to consider it in Mississippi as long as I'm Governor." (11/18/14) (Link)

  • Eric Greitens (R)

    Missouri

    Took OfficeJanuary 9, 2017
    Seat Up2020
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    "It is simple, there is no stoned path to prosperity." (3/18/16) (Link)
    On medical marijuana he said Missouri must be a compassionate state and help children with epilepsy. (3/18/16) (Link)

  • Steve Bullock (D)

    Montana

    Took OfficeJanuary 7, 2013
    Seat Up2020 (term limited out)
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    SB 333: Makes minor amendments to Initiative 182, the state's 2016 voter-initiated medical marijuana law, and imposes new taxes on medical marijuana gross sales. (2017)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Governor Bullock has expressed concerns about legislative efforts to restrict Montana's voter-initiated medical cannabis law, stating, "I am concerned about the ability of thousands of patients with serious medical conditions to access a treatment that has been approved by their doctors." (3/29/16) (Link)
    He has also expressed opposition to the federal infringement on the Second Amendment rights of those who use cannabis lawfully, stating that ATF's edict that marijuana users may not own or possess firearms or ammunition "implicates serious legal issues under the Second Amendment, and the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fifth Amendment. The ATF letter does not take this into account, even though the controlling federal regulation recognizes that a person who uses a controlled substance in a manner prescribed by a physician is not disqualified from possessing or buying ammunition or guns" under federal law. (10/4/11) (Link)

  • Pete Ricketts (R)

    Nebraska

    Took OfficeJanuary 8, 2015
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: F

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    "As the use of marijuana has been legalized in some states, including our neighbor Colorado, we have been able to observe the impact the legalization of marijuana has had not only in their state, but as well as our own. Legalization of marijuana for any purpose has proven to be a risky proposition because the controls placed on its use in other states have fallen short. Sheriffs I visit with along the Colorado-Nebraska border tell me that the Colorado law has led to increased criminal activity, placing a greater burden on law enforcement in our state.
    While Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana, states like California, who attempted to limit marijuana use to a medical purpose, have seen their system abused by marijuana users who access dispensaries for recreational use. While attempts to circumvent the FDA review process may be driven by good will, any legalization effort outside this process puts Nebraskans at risk. For this reason, marijuana should not receive special treatment. Just like any other dangerous drug, marijuana should be subject to the same thorough examination by the FDA to study any potential adverse effects, appropriate treatment schedules, drug interactions, and long-term effects among other topics." (4/28/15) (Link)

  • Brian Sandoval (R)

    Nevada

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

    Enacted Legislation

    AB422: Transfers medical marijuana regulation to the Department of Taxation; revises provisions relating to registry identification cards and letters of approval for nonresident medical marijuana use; prohibits the Department of Taxation from requiring a medical marijuana dispensary determine whether a person has exceeded the legal limits for possession; prohibits the use of a vending machine to dispense marijuana; revises taxation and tax reporting for marijuana establishments. (2017)
    Assembly Bill 135: This legislation eliminated statutes criminalizing the operation of a motor vehicle if the driver has detectable levels of carboxy THC in his/her urine. It does not amend statutes criminalizing driving a motor vehicle with trace levels of THC present in one's blood. (2017)
    Senate Bill 487: Imposed a new excise tax of 15 percent on wholesale cannabis sales, and imposes an additional 10 percent retail sales tax on marijuana or marijuana-related products sold at retail (non-medical) facilities. (2017)
    Senate Bill 396: Expands the state's 2015 hemp law to permit licensed growers to engage in hemp cultivation and to produce edible products derived from hemp. (2017)

    SB 305: Permits the limited cultivation of industrial hemp. (2015)

    SB 374: Established rules and regulations for the establishment of up to 66 medical marijuana dispensaries; also amended possession limits for qualified patients from one-ounce to two and one-half ounces and increases plant cultivation limits from three mature plants to twelve; established sales and excise tax rates for the retail sale of medical cannabis. (2013)

    Vetoed Legislation

    AB295: Vacating and sealing marijuana conviction records. (2017)

    Comments

    Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said he opposes marijuana lounges and is concerned such facilities could spark the ire of the federal government. (9/12/17) (Link)
    In his 2017 State of the State address, Gov. Sandoval said "Last November, voters approved Question 2, which legalized recreational use of marijuana. While I did not support it, I respect the will of the voters who did." (1/17/17) (Link)

  • Chris Sununu (R)

    New Hampshire

    Took OfficeJanuary 5, 2017
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 640: This legislation reduces penalties specific to the possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana and up to five grams of hashish from a criminal misdemeanor to a non-criminal violation. (2017)
    HB 157: House Bill 157 adds "moderate to severe chronic pain" as a qualifying illness for medical cannabis therapy. (2017)
    HB 160: House Bill 160 adds PTSD and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome as qualifying illnesses for medical cannabis therapy. (2017)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    While indicating his intention to sign decriminalization bill HB 640 into law, Sununu called it "common sense marijuana reform." (5/11/17) (Link)
    Governor Sununu is against legalization but in favor of decriminalization: "We'll let the legislature go through their process and we'll see where it ends up but I do believe in the decriminalization aspect of marijuana. Obviously not the full legalization. Those are two very different issues." (4/19/17) (Link)

  • Phil Murphy (D)

    New Jersey

    Took OfficeJanuary 16, 2018
    Seat Up2021
    NORML Grade: A

    Enacted Legislation

    Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order this past January calling on regulators to review the state's eight-year-old medical cannabis access program and to recommend ways to increase participation from patients and physicians. "Our goal is to modernize the program in New Jersey, bring it up to current standards, and put patients first," he said (1/23/18) (Link)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    We must also make sure we are investing not just in individuals, but also in entire communities – particularly our long-overlooked urban neighborhoods. We must recommit to opening the doors to economic opportunity for the thousands of young men and women – especially young men and women of color – jailed for non-violent drug-related offenses. Our current system has failed them, and put a mark on them that they will carry for their entire lives, preventing them from furthering their educations or getting jobs.
    It's the principal reason I advocate for legalizing adult-use marijuana. According to research, New Jersey spends upwards of $140 million per year adjudicating low-level marijuana possession offenses. And, marijuana-related arrest rates are tilted three-to-one against African-Americans, even though rates of marijuana use are similar among races.
    These resources must have a better use, whether to tackle the trafficking of illegal guns, provide stronger community policing, or to crack the back of our opioid epidemic, which was devastating our urban centers long before it made headlines.
    I greatly respect those in this chamber who have proposed decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, and I thank them for recognizing the importance of doing what's right and just for those who carry criminal records for past possession arrests. But decriminalization alone will not put the corner dealer out of business, it will not help us protect our kids, and it will not end the racial disparities we see.
    If these are our goals – as they must be – then the only sensible option is the careful legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana sales to adults.
    Legalization will allow us to reinvest directly in our communities – especially the urban neighborhoods hardest hit by the misguided War on Drugs – in their economic development, in health care and housing, child care and after-school programs, and other critical areas. These investments will pay dividends far greater than the cost of mass incarceration.
    I did not come to this overnight, myself. After all, we are the parents of four children under the age of 21. But from the standpoint of social justice, and from the standpoint of protecting our kids and lifting up our communities, I could not arrive at any other conclusion. - 2019 Budget Address (3/13/18) (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.