NORML’s Legislative Round Up March 11th, 2016

thumbs_upLegislative sessions around the country are moving quickly with several already coming to a close. It’s important to stay updated on pending measures in your state because NOW is the time to contact your elected officials using our #TakeAction Center urging their support for marijuana law reform. Keep reading to get this week’s latest legislative highlights!


Florida: House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, House Bill 307, to permit medical marijuana access to people diagnosed with terminal illnesses. Florida law already permits for the production of strains of cannabis high in CBD to be dispensed to qualified patients with cancer, muscle spasms, and intractable seizures. However, to date, this program has yet to be operational. House Bill 307 seeks to expand state-licensed medical marijuana production to also include strains dominant in THC. The measure now awaits action from Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Maine: The Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a ballot initiative that is seeking to put the question of marijuana legalization before voters in the state this November, is suing the state of Maine for invalidating 26,779 signatures. The campaign had originally turned in 99,229 signatures from registered voters by the February 1st deadline in hopes of meeting the required number of 61,123 valid signatures to make the ballot. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap invalidated the signatures because the signature of the notary who signed the petitions allegedly did not match the signature on file with staff.

Nebraska: Legislation remains pending, LD 643: the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act, to permit qualified patients to legally possess and cultivate cannabis. The measure permits patients permits patients to grow up to 12 plants and/or to possess up to six ounces of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The bill also establishes licensed compassion centers to provide cannabis to qualified patients. #TakeAction

New York: Legislation has been introduced, A 9510, to expand the pool of medical professionals who can provide written recommendations for marijuana to qualifying patients. If passed, the legislation would allow physician assistants and nurse practitioners who are in good standing with the state to provide written certifications to qualifying patients. New York legalized medical marijuana in 2014, however the law is one of the most restrictive in the country. Patients may only use non-smokable forms of marijuana and many are struggling to find physicians who can certify them access to medical marijuana preparations. This pending legislation would increase the number of medical professionals eligible to participate in the program, thereby increasing access to those patients who so desperately need it. #TakeAction

Oklahoma: House lawmakers have approved legislation, House Bill 2835, to expand the pool of patients eligible to possess cannabidiol (CBD) under a physician’s authorization. If passed, those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, chronic pain, neuropathic pain, spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or due to paraplegia, intractable nausea and vomiting, appetite stimulation with chronic wasting diseases, and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or bipolar affective disorder would be allowed access to CBD. The bill now awaits Senate action. #TakeAction

Utah: Lawmakers have adjourned for 2016 without taking action to expand medical cannabis access to seriously ill patients. Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee voted 8-4 on Monday, March 7, against the passage of Senate Bill 73, the Medical Cannabis Act. A separate measure, SB 89, was approved by members of a House committee however, lawmakers ultimately failed to back the measure, alleging that the law would be too expensive to implement.

Vermont: Members of various House Committee are anticipated to begin taking testimony next week with regard to Senate Bill 241, to regulate the adult use, production, and sale of cannabis. Members of the Senate previously voted 17 to 12 in favor of the legislation, which is backed by Gov. Shumlin. Now the measure faces a potentially uphill battle in the House, starting with the House Judiciary Committee. It is vital that House representatives hear from you in support of SB 241. #TakeAction

Virginia: Members of the House of Delegates and the Senate have decided in favor of Senate Bill 701, which permits for the in-state production of therapeutic oils high in cannabdiol and/or THC-A (THC acid). The Governor has untilApril 11 to act on the bill. #TakeAction

Washington: Governor Jay Inslee decided on Wednesday, March 9th, to veto legislation, Senate Bill 6206, which sought to establish licensed hemp production. House and Senate lawmakers had previously approved legislation, which would have authorized “The growing of industrial hemp as a legal agricultural activity” in accordance with federal legislation permitting such activity as part of a state-authorized program.

10 thoughts

  1. Those who live in Vermont should seriously consider contacting their Reps! I could call them from NM, but it would have far less impact than if a Vermonter called. So do yourselves a favor, citizens of Vermont, and urge your Reps to support Senate Bill 241.

    To the NORML editors: In regards to the situation in Maine, even tho 26,000 signatures have been deemed invalid by the state, it seems to me that that still leaves some 73,000 signatures valid, or more than enough to qualify. Am I missing something here? In any event, I still think the state’s naked attempt at invalidating so many signatures should be challenged in court.

    [Paul Armentano responds: The Maine signature count is being challenged in court.]

  2. Its sad that WI is not one of those progressive states, and has huge canabigotry like Scott Walker and Kathy Tomas to just name a few.

    By the end of this year, I see myself moving to a green state so I can finally receive my medicine.

  3. Maine; What is the likelyhood of a judge hearing the case, verifying the notarizations and demanding a verdict before elections in November of this year?

    Vermont; With our nation’s first Legislatively initiated recreational legalization of marijuana passing the state Senate and facing a show down with the Vermont House, who are the districts that need the most convincing and how can we as NORML members help our fellow activists in those districts take action? Can we shoot a commercial? Clearly, a notarized petition to state Congressman may not fare well… (Oh yeah, that was Maine…)

    Washington; is Governor Inslee getting paid to keep the hemp coming from Canada? For fuck’s sake, the Hemp Industries of America are based in Seattle; Couldn’t he just ASK them how many jobs he’s turning away? Or is Washington’s medicinal marijuana growing community scared of the price of their stock falling in gray-area competition with local hemp farms? What a STUPID, selfish veto!

  4. The Health Disorder; patenting, profit and prohibition from special local districts to our Federal institutions, that continues to value the costic, pharmaceutical single-molecule, GE patent-for-profit model over providing quality affordable health care.

    The Solution; Certified Nurse Practitioners with the authority to provide whole plant medicinal strains of cannabis directly to the patient’s residence, where certifications, publically insured service and the medicinal cannabis itself is paid for by fairly taxed revenue from the recreational sale of marijuana.

    Fuck private insurance, fuck the FDA. Fuck NIDA.

    With local lawmakers, FDA trials and NIDA taking their sweet @$$ time to pass comprehensive legislation for medicinal marijuana, the interim response to this formal delay has been the passage of legislation described above in New York. States like Texas would do well to take example.

    Action was spurred on by N.P. Heather Manus who had recent success with such legislation in Arizona. Her work to provide care and cannabis to veterans suffering from opiate addiction and PTSD revealed the term PTSGrowth, or the healing of neurological disfunction by neurogenesis, which is stimulated by the consumption of whole plant cannabis.

    To allow certified nurse practitioners to enter the domain of children suffering with seizures with whole plant cannabis will lead to the homes of families with severely autistic children too ashamed and fatigued to face society. This movement has been underscored by the growing outrage at the disfunction of our rigged and tortured systems through special districts, DEA, NIDA, FDA, the CDC (and whoever the WHO works for).

    Certified N.P.s with whole plant cannabis; An open-sourced, non GE, non patented cure for the epidemic of misdiagnosis, price gouging and opiate peddling within our overprescribing society, brought to you by the sales tax revenue of the enlightened, inseperable cannabis consuming community.

  5. Noticeably, Pennsylvania is not in the legislative roundup, and duly so because although medical marijuana legislation is to be heard in the state’s House on Monday, March 14, it doesn’t stand a chance of becoming law.

    Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced over 100 amendments, which will kill the legislation.

    Scuttlebutt has it that Pennsylvania politicians will keep dicking around with cannabis legislation, and not pass anything until after California legalizes in the election this fall and in turn the feds allow cannabis banking and basically get out of the way for states to legalize. And that, after the UN gets itself out of the way of international legalization at their big palaver coming up.

    Here’s the Daily Chronic’s take on it:

    Here’s a local tv station report that menions over 100 amendments:

    Here’s the MPP link to send a canned e-mail to your Pennsylvania representative to urge them to be pro-legalization:

    Here’s the link to High Times about the upcoming UN opportunity to get them to remove cannabis from any kind of prohibitive Schedule and any kinds of international treaties, as well:

  6. I am 72 years of age. I have post polio, fibromalgia, arthritis, vertigo issues. In Minnesota I now could probably be prescribed marijuana. I want to plant my own, so I really know what I am getting /taking. (Besides I can’t afford to purchase it).But no our elected officials both here and nationally need to get their heads out of the sand and do some personal research.

  7. @ Mary Anne. I totally agree. One should be allowed to grow for personal consumption, precisely because that is the only 100% sure way to know exactly what basically isn’t on the cannabis. You will know if there were no pesticides and fungicides used, and you will know what kind of fertilizer and soil were used. You will know if the variety of your cannabis is like an easy-to-grow houseplant or is more challenging such as an African Violet.

    A lab would still have to do the testing for potencies of THC and CBD, etc. if that were a concern.

    You still see cannabis being recalled in Colorado because of pesticides and what have you.

  8. Iam sick and tired of peeing in a bottle for a job.Ive been a pot smoker since i was 19 years old. how is alcohell and tobaco legal and i cant hit a joint once…Bunch of hipocrats arroget bullies r running the show…Living off the blood and sweat of pot smokers…Stop the bull shit… Iam 61 now and ive had all iam gona take…

  9. Monitor what’s going on in your state and click some links that could make things happen.

    Sounds like a pretty good plan. Easy, too.

Leave a Reply