Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
A bit of news from across the border to start; Mexico’s Supreme Court struck down the country’s prohibition of marijuana by issuing two separate rulings, setting binding precedent that the country’s ban on consuming marijuana is unconstitutional. The nation’s Congress has 90 days to repeal cannabis bans now considered unconstitutional.
Let’s talk about Election Day, which is this Tuesday, November 6th, 2018. Don’t forget to vote if you haven’t already! No matter where you live, or what political party you identify with, your vote counts. It matters. It can make a difference. It’s your civic duty to exercise your right to vote. Make sure you know where your voting location is. And, make sure you know who and what is on your ballot, so you can make an informed decision. Also check out NORML’s voter guide and scorecard to see who the most cannabis friendly candidates are this election, and get ready to #SmokeTheVote!
In Congress this week, The Marijuana Data Collection Act got two new cosponsors, for a new total of 33.
At the state level, Utah lawmakers and advocates are working to revise provisions of medical marijuana compromise legislation. The House speaker also held a public forum on this issue.
New Hampshire’s marijuana legalization study committee finalized a report examining policy considerations for the potential end of prohibition.
New Mexico lawmakers held a hearing on permitting medical cannabis on school grounds. Also, a New Mexico judge ruled that the state’s 450-plant limit on medical cannabis dispensaries has no factual basis.
Maine regulators making guesses that the first recreational marijuana stores will begin sales next year.
Oregon regulators will hold a public hearing on marijuana rule changes on November 16.
Regulators in Colorado are hosting a working group meeting on Monday. Regulators in the state are also taking public comments on changes to medical cannabis rules. You can submit your own comments here.
Regulators in Ohio started accepting petitions to add new medical cannabis qualifying conditions. You can submit your own petition here.
Governor Tom Wolf (D) of Pennsylvania signed a bill into law to end the practice of revoking driver’s licenses from people convicted of drug offenses and other crimes that have nothing to do with operating a motor vehicle.
At a more local level, the mayor of San Francisco, California stated that the city is expanding their cannabis equity program. And Manhattan’s district attorney said marijuana prosecutions are down 94% in just the first quarter of a newly implemented policy.
Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.
Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level.
Penalize States that Maintain Criminalization: The Marijuana Justice Act would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.
A11390 seeks to require public health insurance programs to cover medical marijuana related costs.
The measure amends state law so that publicly funded health programs, including the largely-publicly funded Essential Plan, would treat medical cannabis like any other legal prescription drug “for the purposes of coverage under medical assistance.”