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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

  • Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D)

    New Mexico

    Took OfficeJanuary 1, 2019
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    In January, the Governor announced that she will direct health officials in her administration to make those with opioid dependence eligible for medical cannabis access. (1/15/19) (Link)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    “I am committed to working with the Legislature to move towards legalizing recreational cannabis in a way that improves public safety, boosts state revenues, and allows for New Mexico businesses to grow into this new market. We need to conduct a thorough analysis of recreational cannabis programs in other states, which will help us craft appropriate laws to keep our children safe and to implement effective (driving while intoxicated) enforcement. If we move forward, we must ensure New Mexicans reap the economic benefits of cannabis legalization and we do not jeopardize the current New Mexico medical cannabis industry and existing producers." (9/19/18) (Link)

  • Andrew Cuomo (D)

    New York

    Took OfficeJanuary 1, 2011
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: B+

    Enacted Legislation

    S. 8987A: Permits physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those struggling with opioid abuse or dependence. (2018)

    Assembly Bill 7006: Allows patients with post-traumatic stress eligible for medical cannabis therapy. (2017)
    S 6787: Ensures that industrial hemp will be considered an agricultural product and that it be treated the same way as other crops and seed (2017)
    Senate Bill 7047: Authorizes the growth of industrial hemp to provide research for farmers and businesses (2014)

    AB 7060, SB 5086: Requires the Commissioner of Health to establish emergency access to medical cannabis access for patients with conditions for whom a delay would pose a serious risk to the patient's life or health. (2015)

    Compromised Medical Marijuana Measure (A6357E/S7923): Under the law, state regulators may license no more than five producers of cannabis-based preparations and up to 20 dispensing centers. The program does not permit qualified patients to possess or obtain whole-plant cannabis. Instead, the program mandates that state-licensed distribution centers provide oils, pills, and/or extracts prepared from the plant. (2014)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Following the completion of a 2018 Health Department study concluding, “The positive effects of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts," Gov. Cuomo shifted his position in favor of adult use legalization. In December he announced, “We must ... end the needless and unjust criminal convictions and the debilitating criminal stigma, and let's legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all." He acknowledged that enacting legislation to permit and regulate the retail sale of cannabis to adults is among the Cuomo administration's top 2019 legislative priorities. (12/17/18) (Link)
    In an address to the state legislature regarding a proposed study committee, Gov. Cuomo said “New Jersey may legalize marijuana. Massachusetts already has. On the other hand, Attorney General Sessions says he's going to end marijuana in every state. So you have the whole confluence of different information. I think we should fund [the Department of Health] to do a study. Let them work with state police and other agencies. Look at the health impact and economic impact,” he said during his address. (1/17/18) (Link)
    “It's a gateway drug, and marijuana leads to other drugs and there's a lot of proof that that's true,” the Democratic governor said before attending the grand opening of a new casino. “There's two sides to the argument. But I, as of this date, I am unconvinced on recreational marijuana.” (9/16/14) (Link)

  • Roy Cooper (D)

    North Carolina

    Took OfficeJanuary 1, 2017
    Seat Up2020
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told WXII news he did not think the time was right for the state to consider legalized recreational pot. (2/01/18) (Link)
    According to the 2016 Nonpartisan Candidate Guide, on the question of whether or not to decriminalize or legalize marijuana, Cooper expressed the desire “to move slowly and study the impact in states that have legalized it.” (10/31/16) (Link)

  • Doug Burgum (R)

    North Dakota

    Took OfficeDecember 15, 2016
    Seat Up2020
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    Senate Bill 2154: Delayed implementation of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act. (2017)
    Senate Bill 2344: The law amends the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act. Specifically, it allows only two state-licensed manufacturing facilities and up to eight dispensaries statewide, and it removed provisions permitting patients who do not reside near a dispensary to cultivate their own cannabis. It also prohibits smoking medical cannabis by those under the age of 19. (2017)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Governor Burgum said that he opposed a 2018 ballot initiative that sought to legalize the adult use of marijuana, stating that he is against the “full, unfettered legalization of recreational marijuana.” (8/14/18) (Link)
    Asked by a reporter in 2017 whether he had ever smoked marijuana, Burgum said he did while hitchhiking to Alaska in the summer of 1976…. "Everybody that picks you up when you're hitchhiking to Alaska in 1976 generally wants to share some company and share some other things while you're driving.” (4/13/17) (Link)
    Burgum said the so-called war on drugs has been ineffective, citing societal costs. "Simultaneously, while we're taking a step forward here around legalizing medical marijuana in our state, we also have to take a hard look at ourselves as a society and say what are the real costs of addiction and what can we do to try to prevent the tragedies that often come with addiction," he said. (4/13/17) (Link)

  • Mike DeWine (R)

    Ohio

    Took OfficeJanuary 14, 2019
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: F

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Governor DeWine is “against the legalization of recreational marijuana,” and falsely claims that its legalization in other jurisdictions has led to increased use among young people. (9/19/18) (Link)
    He opposed a proposed 2018 statewide ballot initiative that sought to prevent many low-level drug use and possession offenders from being sent to state prisons. (Link)
    As state Attorney General, he declined to comment on whether he believed it is appropriate for the federal Justice Department to prosecute those who use medical marijuana and are compliant with their state laws. (1/4/18) (Link)

  • Kevin Stitt (R)

    Oklahoma

    Took OfficeJanuary 14, 2019
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: D+

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Governor Stitt personally opposes adult use legalization, stating, “Marijuana legalization is “not right for Oklahoma, and I will be the first one out there telling people that.” (10/2/18) (Link)
    That said, during the election campaign, he pledged that he would respect the outcome of any marijuana-related voter initiative, even if he personally voted ‘no' on it. (10/2/18) (Link)
    Governor Stitt says that he opposes efforts to interfere with the sanctity of the patient/doctor relationship, including decisions by a physician to recommend cannabis therapy. “I do not believe the government should get in the way of a decision made between a doctor and a patient to treat serious health issues. I would support medical marijuana in these instances. I do not support legalizing recreational marijuana at this time as there are too many unintended consequences that we are seeing play out in other areas of the nation.” (6/13/18) (Link)

  • Kate Brown (D)

    Oregon

    Took OfficeFebruary 18, 2015
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: A

    Enacted Legislation

    SB 863: This legislation limits the ability of the federal government from acquiring data regarding adults and patients who legally purchase marijuana under state law by mandating retailers to destroy their customer records 48 hours after a purchase is made. (2017)

    SB 1511: Allowed adults 21 and older to immediately become eligible to purchase marijuana extracts and marijuana infused edibles from Oregon dispensaries. (2016)
    HB 4904: Exempts financial institutions that provide financial services to marijuana related businesses, researchers and laboratories from any criminal law of this state” if it can be substantiated that their clients are engaging in state-compliant behavior. (2016)

    SB 460: Expedited adult use retail marijuana sales. (2015)
    SB 364: Allows for expungement of some past marijuana convictions. (2015)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Gov. Kate Brown mounted a vigorous defense of the state's regulation of cannabis against federal interference.
    "States are the laboratories of democracy, where progressive policies are developed and implemented for the benefit of their people," she said in a statement. "Voters in Oregon were clear when they chose for Oregon to legalize the sale of marijuana and the federal government should not stand in the way of the will of Oregonians." (1/04/18) (Link)
    In August 2017, Brown sent an open letter to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions defending marijuana legalization in Oregon, stating: “Despite the concerns surrounding legalization of marijuana, there can be no denying that Oregon has benefitted from this industry. Oregon has already realized $60.2 million in revenue and created over 16,000 jobs for Oregonians. Tax revenue from the marijuana industry is used to fund schools, to provide mental health and drug treatment and to assist both state and local law enforcement. This does not even take into account cost savings to the criminal justice system.”
    The full letter can here found here: (8/22/17) (Link)

  • Tom Wolf (D)

    Pennsylvania

    Took OfficeJanuary 20, 2015
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 163: Amends traffic safety laws so that those convicted of drug-related offenses unrelated to driving are no longer subject to a revocation of their license. (2018)
    HB 2477: Amends state law to facilitate state-sponsored medical cannabis research. The measure states: "It is the intention of the General Assembly to create a mechanism whereby this Commonwealth's medical schools and hospitals may provide advice to grower/processors and dispensaries in the areas of patient health and safety, medical applications and dispensing and management of controlled substances, among other areas. It is the further intention of the General Assembly to create a mechanism whereby the Commonwealth may encourage research associated with medical marijuana." (2018)

    HB 967: The bill allows for registered individuals to grow, cultivate, and/or market industrial hemp. Agencies, colleges, and universities are permitted to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. It also creates the Hemp Research Board, which is responsible for developing regulations, applications for registration, inspections, a database of registered persons, registration fees, and guidelines for labeling and testing. (2016)
    SB 3: Permits regulators to license up to 25 marijuana cultivators and processors, and up to 150 dispensary locations to provide cannabis products to qualified patients who possess a recommendation from select physicians. This narrow program does not permit patients to grow their own marijuana, nor does it allow for for patients to inhale herbal cannabis. (2016)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    In late 2018, Gov. Wolf shifted his position toward one that is sympathetic to the merits of adult use legalization, tweeting: “More and more states are successfully implementing marijuana legalization, and we need to keep learning from their efforts. Any change would take legislation. But I think it is time for Pennsylvania to take a serious and honest look at recreational marijuana.” (12/19/18) (Link)
    Gov. Tom Wolf vowed to protect Pennsylvanians from what he called “backwards attacks” by the federal government on the state's new medical marijuana program.
    Wolf's stance came following former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement that he is doing away with the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country. (1/04/18) (Link)
    Although a supporter of medical marijuana, Wolf in early 2017 was still unsure about full scale legalization in Pennsylvania.
    “I don't think Pennsylvania is ready for it,” Wolf told NBC10 Wednesday. “I think that's important. This is a democracy and you can't move ahead of the electorate.”
    “How do you do it?” Wolf continued. “How do you regulate it? Who can buy it? How do you tax it?” (3/08/17) (Link)
    Rather, Wolf has publicly expressed support for decriminalizing marijuana (3/7/17) (Link)

  • Gina Raimondo (D)

    Rhode Island

    Took OfficeJanuary 6, 2015
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 8355: Permits those with past convictions for crimes involving the possession of less than one ounce of cannabis to petition the court to seek an order of expungement. It states, "[W]here the court has determined that all conditions of the original criminal sentence have been completed, ... the court [will] order the expungement without cost to the petitioner." (2018)

    HB 7142: Makes post-traumatic stress patients eligible for medical cannabis treatment and accelerates access to those patients in hospice care. (2016)
    HB 8232: Creates the "Hemp Growth Act" to treat hemp as an agricultural product that may be legally produced, possessed, distributed and commercially traded. The Department of Business Regulation will be responsible for establishing rules and regulations for the licensing and regulation of hemp growers and processors. The Department is also authorized to certify any higher educational institution in Rhode Island to grow or handle or assist in growing or handling industrial hemp for the purpose of agricultural or academic research. (2016)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    “We’re not an island, in fact. Like it or not, we’re going to be incurring public safety and public health expenses because it’s legal in Massachusetts... And I think it is time for us to put together our own regulatory and taxing framework.” (1/13/19) (Link)
    In her 2018 proposed budget, Gov. Raimondo proposed increasing in the number of medical marijuana dispensaries from three to 15. (1/18/18) (Link)
    “The governor's primary concerns are safety and proper regulation, and she will give strong consideration to legalization legislation that adequately addresses these concerns, whether a bill reaches her desk this year or in the future,” Raimondo spokesman David Ortiz said. (4/17/17) (Link)

  • Henry McMaster (R)

    South Carolina

    Took OfficeJanuary 24, 2017
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    H 3559: To permit the Department of Agriculture to license the cultivation of industrial hemp for research and development purposes (2017)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    While campaigning for re-election in 2018, Gov. McMaster affirmed that he opposes legalizing marijuana for adult use, stating, “Law enforcement officials have made it clear that we are not in a position to appropriately regulate medical marijuana.” (10/14/2018) (Link)
    In an interview with ABC Columbia, McMaster was asked about legalization in South Carolina. “From what I have learned about, and what I know and what I've seen, it's a bad idea to legalize marijuana. It would hurt the people, particularly the young people.” (2/16/17) (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.