Tax and Regulate

Penn.: More stops announced for legalization listening tour

Online comments are being accepted now, too.

At Lt. Gov. John Fetterman's first stops on his marijuana legalization listening tour, supporters made a passionate case to end marijuana prohibition. They also outnumbered opponents.

Let's keep up the momentum.

Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has also begun accepting online input on whether the state should legalize marijuana for adults' use. Submit your thoughts here.

You can let the governor know the reasons why you support making marijuana legal, and make a pitch for an inclusive, diverse industry. Let him know if it's important to you that legalization include expunging past convictions.

Please also make a plan to attend one of the lieutenant governor's stops on his listening tour, which will include all 67 counties. Here are his upcoming stops:

Erie
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jefferson Educational Society
3207 State Street

Warren
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Warren Public Library, Slater Room
205 Market Street

Washington (Washington County)
Monday, February 18, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
59 E. Strawberry Avenue

Waynesburg (Greene County)
Tuesday, February 19, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
51 W. College Street, Waynesburg

New Bloomfield (Perry County)
Wednesday, February 20, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
New Bloomfield VFW
71 Soule Road
(This is in lieu of a stop this past Tuesday that was postponed due to winter weather.)

Dubois (Clearfield County)
Thursday, February 21, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Penn State Dubois Auditorium
1 College Place

Port Royal (Juniata County)
Sunday, February 24, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Friendship Fire Co. No. 1
212 W. Fourth St.

Johnstown (Cambria County)
Tuesday, February 26, 6:00. to 7:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
101 Community College Way

Meadville (Crawford County)
Wednesday, February 27, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Allegheny College
549 Park Avenue

Consider arriving early: The Mechanicsburg stop was standing-room-only, and some people were turned away because the space was at capacity.

This is a great opportunity to build momentum for commonsense, humane marijuana laws. Don't miss your chance to let the governor and lieutenant governor know it's time to stop branding Pennsylvanians criminals for a substance that's safer than alcohol. And please spread the word to help grow the chorus for reform.

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Medical Marijuana

Make this the year Tennessee legalizes medical cannabis!

If you live in Tennessee, write your lawmakers to ask them to support the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act.

Two-thirds of Americans now live in states with compassionate laws that allow the medical use of marijuana. Meanwhile, Tennessee patients are stuck with the cruel choice of forgoing a medicine that could bring them relief, uprooting from their home state, or breaking the law to ease their suffering.

Ask your state lawmakers to make this the year that Tennessee joins 32 compassionate states.

Last week, Republican lawmakers introduced twin bills that would finally allow medical cannabis in the Volunteer State. Sen. Janice Bowling and Rep. Ron Travis' Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act would provide relief to patients with around 20 medical conditions, including cancer, chronic pain, seizures, spasms, opioid addiction, and PTSD.

Unfortunately, Gov. Bill Lee (R) said he wants to "explore alternatives before we go there."

You can call Gov. Lee at 615-741-2001 or send him a tweet to respectfully let him know that patients have explored alternatives, but that medical cannabis simply works for some patients where other medicines do not. You can let him know cannabis is far safer than prescription painkillers. While 16,000 Americans die each year from opiates, none have died of a cannabis overdose.

Let your governor know Tennessee patients deserve the same medical freedom patients have in 32 other states.

And don't forget to write your lawmakers. Finally, please spread the word to other Tennesseans, so that they, too, can raise their voices for sensible and humane cannabis policies.

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Tax and Regulate

Penn. lt. governor's legalization listening tour kicks off today

If you live in Pennsylvania, write your state lawmakers to ask them to support regulating — not prohibiting — cannabis for adults' use.

In the past two months, the conversation about whether Pennsylvania should legalize and regulate marijuana for adults has picked up steam.

In December, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said the state should take a "serious and honest look" at legalization. Then, in January, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced a statewide listening tour on legalization that begins today in Harrisburg.

The first stops on his tour are:

Harrisburg, Dauphin County
Tonight, Monday, February 11, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, 3301 N. Front Street

Newport, Perry County
Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 12, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Newport Public Library, 316 N. 4th Street

Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County
Wednesday, February 13, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
American Legion Post 109, 224 W. Main Street

Erie
Saturday, February 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State Street

Warren
Saturday, February 16, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Warren Public Library, Slater Room

Stay tuned for more stops: The lieutenant governor plans to visit all 67 counties on his tour. You can also check out stops on his Facebook page.

Before you attend, check out our background materials — such as the top 10 reasons to regulate cannabis and a snapshot of how things are going in Colorado and Washington six years into legalization. You can draw from our materials as you make the case for a more humane approach to cannabis.

In other exciting news, Rep. Jake Wheatley (D) and 26 cosponsors introduced a bill to relegate cannabis prohibition to the dustbin of history. Change will not happen overnight, given the opposition of legislative leaders. But with time and effort, we can end prohibition in the Keystone State.

So make your voice heard: Write your lawmakers in support of legalizing and regulating cannabis, and plan to speak out during the statewide listening tour. And don't forget to spread the word to other thoughtful Pennsylvanians.

Sincerely,

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Tax and Regulate

Minnesota: Join us for a forum on legalization in St. Paul on Tuesday evening

This coming Tuesday, February 12, please join Minnesota Political Director Jason Tarasek, Rep. Mike Freiberg, Sen. Michell Benson, and Ken Winters for a forum on marijuana policy, which follows a discussion on tax reform. The forum is hosted by the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice.

What: A forum on tax legislation and marijuana legalization, hosted by the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice.
When: Tuesday, February 12, tax discussion begins at 6:30 p.m., marijuana discussion begins around 7:45 p.m.
Where: Mitchell Hamline School of Law auditorium, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

The event will also be streamed online here: https://mitchellhamline.zoom.us/j/725771811?status=success

Rep. Freiberg recently introduced legislation to legalize adult-use marijuana in Minnesota. The companion bill in the Minnesota Senate is authored by Sen. Melisa Franzen and Sen. Scott Jensen, a Republican who is also a physician. Although Gov. Tim Walz (DFL) supports legalization and House leadership (DFL) is very open to it, the Senate leader, Paul Gazelka (R), is opposed. It is far from certain that the legislation will pass this year, but it's crucial lawmakers hear that this is an issue voters care about.

If you haven't already, please write your legislators to let them know it's past time Minnesota stop the failed and destructive war on marijuana.

We hope to see you on Tuesday! Please spread the word so others can join us!

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Tax and Regulate

Maryland: Marijuana legalization bills have been introduced!

If you live in Maryland, contact your lawmakers today and ask them to support HB0656 and SB0771.

This week, lawmakers introduced legislation to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older! Earlier this year, House Speaker Mike Busch and Senate President Mike Miller announced plans to create a work group to study how to best implement the legalization of marijuana. 

Delegate Eric Luedtke and Senator Will Smith have introduced a pair of bills, HB0656 and SB0771, to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older and automatically expunge convictions for possession and cultivation that would become legal under the bill. You can read a summary of the bill here

Meanwhile, Delegate David Moon has introduced a constitutional amendment bill, HB0632, to legalize marijuana for adults’ use, which would require voter approval in 2020.

Email your state legislators today to urge them to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older!

The majority of Marylanders support ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition. It is time for Marylanders to pressure the General Assembly to end marijuana prohibition and expunge records for past convictions.

Please contact your lawmakers today. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in Maryland. Together, we can end prohibition!

 

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Tax and Regulate

Alaska: Governor's appointment to Marijuana Control Board threatens voter-approved program

If you live in Alaska, click here to voice your opposition to the appointment of Vivian Stiver to the board.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy shocked many last month when he sacked Marijuana Control Board Chairman Brandon Emmett and appointed Vivan Stiver to the board post. Ms. Stiver is a well-known opponent of the adult-use program in Alaska, and many see the move as an ominous attempt to undermine the voter-approved law.

Click here to send a message to your lawmakers in the House and Senate telling them that you oppose the appointment of a prohibitionist to the Marijuana Control Board.

Voters approved the state's adult-use law in 2014 by historic margins. Since then, the state has launched a program that generates jobs, revenue, and avoids much of the harm created by marijuana prohibition. The transition from prohibition to regulation has been a success.

But despite clear advances, there have been detractors, and few are as well-known as Vivian Stiver. From her failed attempt to ban businesses in Fairbanks in 2017, to opposing individual licenses, few opponents have been as notorious as Vivian Stiver. If there is a bright spot in her record, it's that she has been ineffective at imposing prohibition policies so far. That may soon change.

Alaska needs board members who support the regulatory path voters have taken, rather than oppose it. Please send a message to your lawmakers and voice your opposition to this ill-considered and harmful appointment.

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Medical Marijuana

Nebraska campaign committee files medical marijuana ballot initiative

Today, members of Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws submitted a constitutional amendment proposal to the Nebraska Secretary of State. The campaign, which is supported by MPP, aims to put the language on the ballot for voter approval in the . Read the full text of the proposal here.

Now is a critical time for the campaign to begin building resources to ensure the proposal qualifies for the ballot. Please make a contribution to support this important effort to pass a compassionate medical marijuana law in Nebraska.

If successful, the initiative would establish constitutional protections for patients who receive a recommendation from their physician or nurse practitioner to use medical marijuana. It would also lay the groundwork for the state to establish a regulated system of production and sales to registered patients through dispensaries.

After years of obstruction in the Nebraska Legislature, it is exciting to see an effort to bring this important issue to voters. If you can, please pitch in $25 or $50 to help the campaign prepare for the work ahead.

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Prohibition

Oklahoma: Put decriminalizing cannabis on the legislature’s agenda

If you're an Oklahoma resident, ask your state lawmakers to stop criminalizing cannabis consumers.

Yesterday, the Oklahoma Legislature kicked off the first day of its 2019 legislative session. Let your lawmakers know it's time for Oklahoma to stop arresting and jailing cannabis consumers.

In September, the Oklahoma City Council reduced the penalty for simple possession of cannabis to a civil fine, after the reform was recommended by Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty.

Ask your legislators to take this modest but important reform to the state level.

Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate in the nation. Let your lawmakers know there are better uses of jail space and law enforcement's time. It's time to stop derailing lives over a substance that is safer than alcohol.

Please take action and spread the word.

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Medical Marijuana

S.C.: Help build support among the religious community

MPP and Clergy for a New Drug Policy are reaching out to clergy – you can help

As South Carolina considers adopting a medical cannabis program, a recent poll shows how supportive South Carolinians continue to be. This support must certainly include members of the faith community.

We are eager to identify individual clergy we might contact and work with on this important issue. If you are a member of the clergy or you know someone who is and who supports this effort, please let us know. Clergy may also sign our online statement of support.

Thirty-three states have already approved cannabis as medicine. 2019 will likely be a pivotal year in the debate in South Carolina. Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy have reintroduced bills this year that would establish a medical cannabis program for seriously ill patients in South Carolina.

Clergy have spoken out for medical cannabis in other states and are raising their voices in South Carolina as well. Clergy for a New Drug Policy, our ally around the U.S, has already begun meeting with individual clergy here. For a recent post on medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids, click here.

Those who choose the safer approach should not be treated like criminals, particularly when they are under the care of a physician.

Please contact us if you are a supportive member of the clergy or know someone who is. Together, we can lay the foundation for a compassionate and regulated program for many of our state's most vulnerable population.

Thank you for your help.

 

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Tax and Regulate

N.H.: Public hearing on legalization bill will take place Tuesday in House!

We will need two-thirds majorities to overcome Gov. Sununu’s veto threat. If you live in New Hampshire, email your state legislators today!

New Hampshire’s legalization bill, HB 481, has been scheduled for a public hearing next Tuesday beginning at 1:00 p.m. Since there is expected to be a large turnout from both supporters and opponents, the hearing has been moved to Representatives Hall. Here are the details:

WHAT: Public Hearing on HB 481 in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee

WHERE: Representatives Hall, 33 N State Street, Concord 

WHEN: 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 5

Members of the public are welcome to testify. If you are interested in attending the public hearing, please click here for more information on how the process works and how you can make a positive impact with your testimony. You can read a summary of HB 481 here, and the full text is available here.

If you haven’t already done so, please email your state representative(s) and senator today and encourage them to support HB 481.

If you receive a response from a legislator, it would be very helpful if you could share it with us via email.

Please forward this message to your family and friends!

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