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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

  • Kristi Noem (R)

    South Dakota

    Took OfficeJanuary 5, 2019
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: F

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    “Whether the gateway drug is marijuana or a legal prescription painkiller, the slope toward addiction can often be a slippery one. As governor, I will oppose all attempts to legalize marijuana.” (4/24/18) (Link)

  • Bill Lee (R)

    Tennessee

    Took OfficeJanuary 19, 2019
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Governor Lee has expressed skepticism regarding the efficacy of medical cannabis, stating, "I just want to follow the data, and for me the data is not substantive enough to show that medical marijuana is the right approach right now." (10/28/18) (Link)
    Nonetheless, he has said that he would “consider” signing medical marijuana access legislation if such a measure was approved by the legislature. (10/28/18) (Link)

  • Greg Abbott (R)

    Texas

    Took OfficeJanuary 20, 2015
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: C-

    Enacted Legislation

    Senate Bill 339: Allows physicians to "prescribe" low-THC/high CBD oil preparations of cannabis to qualified patients with intractable epilepsy and permits up to three licensed facilities to produce and dispense it. However, because the law explicitly calls for a doctor's prescription rather than a recommendation, it is unlikely that any licensed physicians will agree to participate in the state's program. (2015)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    Despite his past opposition to legalization, Gov. Abbott has recently suggested that he is willing to consider legislation to reduce the penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses, stating, “One thing I don’t want to see is jails stockpiled with people who have possession of small amounts of marijuana.” (10/2/18) (Link)
    “Governor Abbott opposes the legalization of marijuana in the State of Texas.” (11/15/16) (Link)
    "I remain convinced that Texas should not legalize marijuana nor should Texas open the door for conventional marijuana to be used for medical or medicinal purposes. As governor I will not allow it." (6/1/15) (Link)

  • Gary Herbert (R)

    Utah

    Took OfficeAugust 11, 2009
    Seat Up2020
    NORML Grade: D-

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 3001 replaces the voter-initiated medical cannabis access program with a far more restrictive program. It eliminates patients' option to home cultivate cannabis, it prohibits the dispensing of either processed flower or edible cannabis products (oils, capsules, or topicals are permitted), it narrows the list of qualifying conditions, and it significantly reduces the total number of permissible state-licensed dispensaries, among other changes. (2018)
    HB 195 provides patients with no more than six-months to live the legal option to access cannabis-infused products. Under the law, patients with a physician's recommendation may legally possess up to a one-month supply of products. All cannabis products must be obtained from a state-approved provider. Access to herbal formulations of cannabis is not permitted under the law. (2018)
    HB 197 permits the Department of Agriculture and Food to contract with a third party to cultivate cannabis for the purpose of manufacturing marijuana-infused oils and other related products. These products would be provided to terminally ill patients and also used in state-sponsored research trials. The new program is required to be operational by January 1, 2019. (2018)
    SB 130 establishes rules for the licensed cultivation of industrial hemp for the purpose of manufacturing CBD-infused products. These products must contain a 10 to 1 ratio of CBD to THC. These products are intended to be sold at "cannabidiol-qualified pharmacies" to patients with a written recommendation from a physician. (2018)

    HB 105: Permits the State Department of Agriculture to engage in the cultivation of cannabis containing no more than three-tenths of one percent THC for research purposes, including the study of whether extracts from the plant may be used as viable therapeutic agents. Separate provisions in the measure exempt qualified patients with intractable epilepsy from state prosecution if they possess extracted oils containing 15 percent or more of cannabidiol. (2014)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    With regard to the prospects of a 2018 statewide medical marijuana use initiative, the Governor said in a statement: "We need to be cautious as we test and introduce cannabis into our formulary. I believe the consequences of this initiative, even if they are unintended, will do more harm than good." (3/29/18) (Link)
    "I do believe that people support marijuana use for medicinal purposes. I'd support it, too. I just want to have science behind it making sure we understand it does do something good. Not just an anecdotal," he said.
    Asked if he would vote for the (2018 medical use) initiative, the governor replied: "You've got to read the initiative, it's not just do you support marijuana for medical purposes. The devil's in the details as we say." (3/26/18) (Link)
    "On medical marijuana: If there's science behind it, I'm all for it. I don't know that we have the science yet.” (3/18/18) (Link)
    "It ought to be a controlled substance just like anything else. It ought to be approved by the FDA. It ought to be in fact prescribed by a doctor and administered by a pharmacist," Herbert told Rolling Stone. "We probably ought not to have self-medication. The physiology of different people would require probably different quantities of the medicine, and I just think that's prudent.” (2/26/18) (Link)
    During a Fox13 interview, Herbert was asked the following: “Based on what the legislature did this session regarding legalizing medical marijuana, should those dealing with chronic pain be satisfied with the progress or should they put even more support behind a ballot initiative to make medical marijuana legal in Utah?”
    “From the perspective of developing policy, we've got to have the right laws in place. We can't just turn a blind eye like federal government has done in this past administration… that's not good policy. And certainly there's anecdotal evidence, a lot of science out there kinda leads up to believe that appropriate use for medicinal marijuana would be something we ought to encourage, but we ought to have the science to back it up. But I can tell you, the jury is still out on this. I've talked with Governor Hickenlooper over on Colorado, he was against recreational use of marijuana. He knows many states have used the medicinal aspect of marijuana to lead to recreational use. And he's told me, as he's told other governors, be very careful, we're having it in Colorado, watch, it's not all turning out to be the plus we thought it was going to be, and we ought to be careful. And that really means let's take it step by step by step by step and get to the right place. We're not there now, I think we're on the right road going the right direction. If we had a cooperative federal government, so we could get the research done, I think that would enhance our opportunity to get there quicker.” (3/19/17) (Link)

  • Phil Scott (R)

    Vermont

    Took OfficeJanuary 5, 2017
    Seat Up2018
    NORML Grade: B+

    Enacted Legislation

    H. 511: Removed criminal and civil penalities for the personal possession and limited home cultivation of cannabis, making Vermont the first state to authorize recreactional use of the substance by an act of a state legislature. This was the second opportunity for Gov. Scott to sign such legislation. He vetoed a similar bill in 2017. (2018)

    S.16: Senate Bill 16 amends the state's existing medical cannabis law by allowing physicians to immediately issue medical cannabis recommendations for patients suffering from cancer, a terminal illness, or under hospice care supervision. It also expands the pool of patients eligible for cannabis therapy to include those with post-traumatic stress, Crohn's disease, or Parkinson's disease. (2017)

    Vetoed Legislation

    S.22: An act relating to eliminating penalties for possession of limited amounts of marijuana by adults 21 years of age and older. (2017)

    Comments

    Governor Scott is the first Governor to sign legislation passed by both chambers depenalizing the possession and use of marijuana by adults. He acknowledged doing so with “mixed emotions.” (1/22/18) (Link)
    In regard to the legislation to legalize the personal possession and home cultivation of marijuana, Govenor Scott said “It's not a high priority for me, but I did make a commitment that I was supportive of the bill that was put together” (12/1/17) (Link)

  • Ralph Northam (D)

    Virginia

    Took OfficeJanuary 13, 2018
    Seat Up2021
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    HB 1251/SB 726: To eliminate the qualifying conditions list for the state's limited cannabidiol program, and allow doctors the sole discretion to decide when to recommend medical cannabis extracts. Increases the supply of CBD oil or THCA-A oil a pharmaceutical processor may dispense from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply. (2018)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    The Governor emphasized the need to decriminalize marijuana in his 2019 State of the Commonwealth speech, stating: "Making simple possession of marijuana a civil penalty will ease overcrowding in our jails and prisons, and free up our law enforcement and court resources for offenses that are a true threat to public safety.” (1/9/19) (Link)
    "There are a lot of lives that are ruined by making mistakes and being put in jail," he said in an interview with WTOP radio on Wednesday. "That's something (decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses) that I ran on in 2017, and there were actually some folks on both sides of the aisle that were discussing it but it didn't happen. But we'll continue to pursue that as we move forward." (3/29/18) (Link)
    "We need to change sentencing laws that disproportionately hurt people of color. One of the best ways to do this is to decriminalize marijuana. African Americans are 2.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in Virginia. The Commonwealth spends more than $67 million on marijuana enforcement? -- money that could be better spent on rehabilitation.
    As a doctor, I'm becoming increasingly convinced by the data showing potential health benefits of marijuana, such as pain relief, drug-resistant epilepsy, and treatment for PTSD. By decriminalizing it, our researchers can better study the plant so doctors can more effectively prescribe drugs made from it." (2/13/17) (Link)

  • Jay Inslee (D)

    Washington

    Took OfficeJanuary 16, 2013
    Seat Up2020
    NORML Grade: A

    Enacted Legislation

    In January 2019, Gov. Inslee announced his intent to provide an expedited process for granting clemency to those with past marijuana-related convictions. Under the proposed plan, those convicted of a marijuana misdemeanor after January 1, 1998 will have their record vacated. It is estimated that 3,500 individuals will be eligible for expungement. (1/4/19) (Link)
    SB 5131: Amends the state's medical cannabis law so that qualified medical marijuana patients and designated providers can purchase immature plants, clones, or seeds from a licensed producer. (2017)
    House Bill 2064: Amends state law so that industrial hemp is no longer classified as a controlled substance under the state's uniform controlled substances act. (2017)

    SB 6206: Authorizes “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. (2016)

    HB 1276: Defines any consumption of marijuana while in a moving vehicle as a traffic violation. The statute further requires that any cannabis possessed in a moving vehicle must be located in a sealed container in either the trunk, glove compartment, or some other area that is inaccessible to the driver or passengers. (2015)
    SB 5052: Imposed the establishment of a voluntary registration system for qualified patients, reduced the number of plants that patients may legally cultivate and possess, and imposed new regulations of physicians who authorize medical cannabis. (2015)

    Vetoed Legislation

    SB 6177: Relating to marijuana research license. (2016)

    Comments

    Upon announcing his plans to expunge the records of past marijuana offenders, Inslee's office issued the following statement: “For decades, people have faced criminal prosecution for behavior that is no longer considered a crime in Washington,” the Inslee administration stated in a press release. “[F]orgiving these convictions will allow people to move on with their lives without these convictions causing additional burdens on people, their families, their employers and their communities. This is a small step, but one that moves us in the direction of correcting injustices that disproportionately affected communities of color. A successful pardon of a marijuana possession conviction can assist with barriers to housing, employment and education.” (1/4/19) (Link)
    Gov. Jay Inslee issued the following statement upon news that the U.S. Department of Justice would announce its decision to rescind the Cole Memorandum that has allowed Washington and other states to implement common-sense marijuana laws:
    “If news reports are accurate, today's forthcoming announcement from Attorney General Sessions is the wrong direction for our state. It is also disrespects Washington voters who have chosen a different path for our state. I am especially frustrated that this announcement comes after Sessions has refused offers from Attorney General Ferguson and myself to meet with him to discuss these policies in person, after he has disregarded the input that we and other state leaders have provided to his department." (1/04/18) (Link)
    “If you don't sell this product to children, if you keep violent crime away from your business, if you pay your taxes and you don't use this as a front for illicit activity, we're going to be able to move forward,” Inslee said. (8/30/14) (Link)

  • Jim Justice (R)

    West Virginia

    Took OfficeJanuary 16, 2017
    Seat Up2020
    NORML Grade: C-

    Enacted Legislation

    SB 386: The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act establishes regulations for the state licensed production and dispensing of medical cannabis products to qualified patients. (2017)

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    In his 2019 State of the State address, Gov. Justice called for passage of banking legislation to allow West Virginia’s medical marijuana law to go forward on July 1, but said, “I am adamantly, etched-in-stone against recreational marijuana.” (1/9/19) (Link)
    On enacting SB 386, Gov. Justice said “With great pleasure, I'm going to sign this into law and I think all of us will feel like we're doing something good for families out there.” (4/19/17) (Link)

  • Tony Evers (D)

    Wisconsin

    Took OfficeJanuary 7, 2019
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: B

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    "I'm not opposed to it (adult use legalization). I'd support it, but I do believe there has to be a more thoughtful, rigorous conversation around it as a state. So I would love to have a statewide referendum on this... medical marijuana -- that can be done without a referendum.” (8/3/18) (Link)

  • Mark Gordon (R)

    Wyoming

    Took OfficeJanuary 7, 2019
    Seat Up2022
    NORML Grade: D

    Enacted Legislation

    None

    Vetoed Legislation

    None

    Comments

    "I am not in favor of legalizing marijuana. There is maybe some discussion that can be had about medical marijuana, but I am not particularity in favor of doing that until we've had a very full conversation about what that means. So I am not in favor really of legalizing that. My understanding is that there are some alternatives that are prescription based. So the dosage is known, the purity is known, and we're taking risks for our patients." (8/14/18) (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.