NORML’s Legislative Round Up April 29th, 2016

thumbs_upA legalization initiative has officially qualified the ballot this November and separate legislative measures around the country continue to advance. Keep reading below to learn the latest legislative developments.

Alabama: Members of both chambers approved legislation this week, House Bill 61, to protect qualified patients eligible for CBD therapy under a physician’s authorization from criminal prosecution. The measure, known as ‘Leni’s Law’, seeks to allow qualified patients to possess CBD preparations containing up to three percent THC. The measure passed in the Senate by a vote of 29 to 3 and in the House in a 95 to 4 vote. The measure now awaits action from Gov. Robert Bentley. #TakeAction

California: A prominent GOP Congressman has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which seeks to regulate the adult use, production, and retail sale of cannabis. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) announced, “As a Republican who believes in individual freedom, limited government and states’ rights, I believe that it’s time for California to lead the nation and create a safe, legal system for the responsible adult use of marijuana.” He added: “I endorse the Adult Use of Marijuana Act for the November 2016 ballot. It is a necessary reform which will end the failed system of marijuana prohibition in our state, provide California law enforcement the resources it needs to redouble its focus on serious crimes while providing a policy blueprint for other states to follow.” You can learn more about the initiative here.

Florida: Another Florida municipality has given preliminary approval to a proposed ordinance permitting police to cite, rather than arrest, minor marijuana offenders. Members of St. Petersburg’s Public Safety and Infrastructure Committee voted in favor of the policy that would create a system of fines that would begin at $75 for those caught holding 20 grams or less of cannabis. Two versions of the plan, one that one that would mandate police issue a citation and another that gives the officer the option to do so, will head to the full city council for a final vote in early May. Under state law, possessing any amount of marijuana is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1000 fine.

Maine: Maine voters will decide on election day on a statewide ballot measure seeking to regulate the adult use, retail sale, and commercial production of cannabis. The Secretary of State determined this week that initiative proponents, The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, gathered a sufficient number of signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot. The office had previously attempted to invalidate a significant portion of proponents’ signatures, but that effort was rejected by the courts earlier this month.

If enacted by voters in November, the measure would allow adults to legally possess up to two and one-half ounces of marijuana and to cultivate marijuana (up to six mature plants and the entire yields of said plants) for their own personal use.

North Carolina: House legislation was introduced this week to permit the limited use of medical marijuana. House Bill 983 exempts patients engaging in the physicians-recommended use of cannabis to treat a chronic or terminal illness from criminal prosecution under state law. Qualifying patients must possess a tax stamp issued by the state department of Revenue, and may possess no more than three ounces of cannabis at any one time. The proposal does not permit patients to cultivate their own cannabis, nor does it establish a state-licensed supply source. #TakeAction


lobby_day_2016Don’t forget, NORML’s 2016 National Conference and Lobby Day is being held May 23rd and 24th! We’ll hold an informational seminar where activists from around the country hear from the leaders of the movement, we’ll keep the party going at the Mansion on O St. with our annual award ceremony and finally, we’ll conclude on the Hill where attendees w
ill hear from and meet leaders in Congress who are doing their best to reform our federal marijuana laws! You can register here.

10 thoughts

  1. Just curious but is Texas the only state going nowhere fast with cannabis legalization??? And what progress has Texas made so far besides Greg Assbott’s counterfeit “limited oil bill” ??? We can’t wait for Professor X to get the FK out of our way….

    1. Here in Pennsylvania we’d be just as far behind if we hadn’t gotten rid of Tom Corbett. Tom Corbett would never have passed the Medical Marijuana bill which our other Tom, Tom Wolf passed.

      I hope that Texas moves faster than this, but won’t hold my breath. Won’t hold my breath for PA lowering things too much either, just yet. There is talk of Decriminalizing cannabis, but I don’t know how far it will go.

      I guess we will see.

    2. Hello Texas,
      Texas NORML meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Flamingo Cantina on 6th street in Austin at 8pm. DFW NORML is very active and there are chapters in places like Chorpus Christi too;

      There will be a marijuana march in Austin up Congress Ave from Cesar Chavez to the Capitol on May 14th starting at noon. If you know any veterans, show them the website if they can’t make it and make sure they register in Operation Trapped where NORML is collecting prescription bottles from veterans to be delivered to our Congressman with toy soldiers inside in protest of opiates that are killing our veterans and to draw awareness to the effectiveness of marijuana treatment on PTSD. If they can attend the march, veterans are encouraged to wear their military uniforms and medals and I will gladly push a wheelchair up Congress if we need to.

      The next legislative session for Texas starts in January until about April or May of next year. This is when NORML members and Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy team up to lobby for more access to the existing “teacup” law for severe epilepsy including, but not limited to;

      -Increasing the ratio of THC from .5% to amounts that compassionately treat and prevent seizures

      -Allowing doctors to recommend instead of prescribe marijuana so they don’t get their license taken away

      And expanding the bill to include veterans with PTSD or anyone suffering from seizures, so that any physician can recommend, not just two “epileptologists.”

      Some of our momentum in Texas may come from outside. With Pennsylvania legislatively initiated as the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana, and Hillary announcing she is %100 for mmj, the DEA may very well reschedule mj to sch. II in July, allowing Texas doctors to diagnose with Federal permission after all. There is a dispensary opening north of Dallas early next year.

    3. Texas: Do they really have 65,000 kids in state prison for multiple convictions small mats pot? The corporate prisons are cashing in huh? Longer the time, the more money! Lobbyist cashing in also. Unreal.

  2. Thanks, Danielle. Unbelievably, I see people saying to vote “No” on the Adult Use of Marijuana Act for California because it infringes on our freedoms and rights. Those people have clearly lost their mind. Now that the wealthiest 1% owns all of the land, corporations, advertisements, and politicians, we are in no position to bargain for something more generous. Try re-reading the first chapter of “1984” by George Orwell if you don’t believe me. Why do the majority keep voting for a police state? Please join me in voting “Yes” on AUMA, the six plants and keep the yield locked up sounds reasonable to me, and we’ll go on to better things from there. My dream is to watch live pod casts from weed cafes around the globe where a group of eggheads smokes and discusses something philosophical, but that is way in the future.

  3. Nah, Ohio’s neck and neck with TX as far as lagging behind on progress on this issue. The decrim status means little if you can still have your license (and presumably livelihood) suspended with a conviction. And it still keeps marijuana available only from illegal-and by definition unaccountable-sources. That means you have no idea of the THC/CBD content other than your own rating, you don’t know if it’s laced/sprayed with something you might not want to smoke, and there’s no quality control, so every now and then you get some moldy crap where the thc has broken down to nonexistent. That’s where decrim gets you.

  4. California is the hammer that will finally lead to the end of cannabis prohibition IF it legalizes adult retail. Although more banks are handling cannabis cash and state budgets eagerly filling budget holes with cannabis cash, it’s very unlikely the Do-Nothing-Congress will do anything pro-cannabis. DC politicians, their surrogates, and their propagandist opinion piece columnists and writers who endeavor to tell the public what they should think and how to think are stuck in a prohibitionist time loop within a prohibitionist echo chamber. Too few of them are willing to get out in front to take the lead and go in the direction the American public wants. I doubt Obama will do anything before the fall elections to improve the lot of the cannabis community, for fear that Hillary might have to co-opt Bernie’s legalization stance instead of her position of pandering to Big Pharma by going only so far as to say that cannabis should be removed from Schedule I so that research on it can be done more easily, basically.

    Here I am slaving away at my thankless crummy job that most people absolutely would not do, and then you can’t even come home from putting up with all kinds of shit and having to do your job with a smile and polite tone of voice and all, and the political system is stacked against you, doesn’t want to do any harm reduction making sure the weed you buy is safe. I can’t afford to go to Alaska only to have to leave the rest behind. Same for Colorado, costs too much and no place to vaporize, and you can’t legally smoke it outside in public. DC would be in affordable driving distance, but I don’t expect any progress there any time soon. In fact, I expect the feds to swoop in and prohibitionist everything up, jerks that they are getting their jollies out of other people’s misery.

  5. In the language of the Adult Use Marijuana Act (AUMA), it states that’s licensee’s have to be continuous California residents since January 1, 2015. There is a sunset provision on this clause for December 31, 2019.

    So basically if you are not a CA resident as of 1.1.2015 you can’t run a dispensary or grow operation? That seems a big unfair. What is NORML’s take on this?

    In addition, will adult non-residents allowed to patronize a cannabis retail outlet under the AUMA or is CA residency required in order to purchase?


    [Editor’s note: In most all states with either legalized cannabis or medical access there are residency requirements for owners (and investors). The AUMA proposal is consistent with other states. In time, after cannabis prohibition ends and legal access for adults begins in earnest, it will not be too long after that residency requirements (or, for example, that cannabusiness employees must be registered with the state or that cannabusiness owners and employees can’t have a felony, etc…) are no longer required to be lawful cannabusinesses.

    Once cannabis prohibition ends in CA, all adults over 21 years of age, resident or not, can legally purchase, possess and responsibly use cannabis products.]

  6. Tennessee (the Volunteer State) appears unready to volunteer for much of anything concerning marijuana. Our Governor did pass a CBD bill, but it’s worthless as there is no provision for state manufacture, so what’s the point??? How pathetic! You have to become a criminal (going to a MMJ state) to help your child with Dravet’s Syndrome???? Thanks a helluva lot Bill Haslam for NOTHING!!

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