Loading
Action Alert List - Find Your Elected Officials

Current Actions

  • (No Title)
  • Harris Introduces Bipartisan Bill Facilitating Medical Marijuana Research

    On July 25, Representatives Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD-01), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) introduced H.R. 3391 (the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017).

    The Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017 amends the Controlled Substances Act to make marijuana accessible for use by qualified marijuana researchers for medical purposes, and for other purposes.

    Under present law, clinical investigations involving cannabis must meet approval from various federal agencies, including the DEA, the FDA, and the NIDA. Only cannabis provided by the NIDA may be used in clinical trials.

    Please contact your members of the US House and Senate and urge their support for these important measures. 

  • Special Session: Marijuana Decriminalization

    Legislation has been introduced, albeit late, for the 2017 Texas special session to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

    HB 334, introduced by Representative James Moody, was not referred by the deadline BUT that does not mean it is totally dead. A hearing is still expected to be held by Moody on the subject matter.

    HB 334 seeks to amend state law so that possessing up to one ounce of marijuana is a civil violation, punishable by a fine - no arrest, no jail, and no criminal record. Under current state law, first-time marijuana possession offenses are classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. 

    According to the ACLU, Texas arrests over 70,000 individuals annually for simple marijuana possession offenses — the second highest total in the nation, at the cost of over 250 million dollars per year.

    "State penal statutes regarding the possession of small amounts of marijuana are antiquated and costly. The state and local governments expend millions of dollars prosecuting and incarcerating these non-violent drug offenders,” said Sen. Jose Rodriguez. “In addition, those convicted often suffer collateral, disproportionate consequences, such as an inability to find employment or access certain benefits, like student financial aid or housing assistance."

    According to a recent UT/TT poll, only 17% of Texans support marijuana prohibition. 

    Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials in support of this measure.

    For more information, please visit Texas NORML and follow them on Facebook and Twitter

  • Ask Governor Abbott to add medical cannabis to the special session

    During the regular legislative session, more than half of the Texas House, including three out of four physicians, signed onto a bill that would have made the Compassionate Use Program more inclusive. They answered the cries of patients and caregivers who know the benefits cannabis can provide.

    All at once, you can tell your legislators to call upon Governor Abbott to add medical cannabis to the list of topics that can be considered during the special session and send a message right to the Governor.  

    In 29 states (accounting for 62% of Americans), patients with debilitating medical conditions are allowed access to cannabis if their doctors think it will help alleviate their suffering. Texas is not among those 29 states, meaning that we have less freedom than most of our countrymen, including those in Arkansas, North Dakota, and New Mexico. Safe and legal access to medical cannabis for seriously ill patients is supported by more than 80% of Texans, according to the University of Texas.

    Send a message now to ask them to add this important topic to the list of issues to be addressed by the Legislature.

  • Federal: Continue To Protect Lawful Medical Marijuana Programs

    Senate Update: The Senate Appropriations Committee is passed the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment on Thursday, July 27th by a voice vote. 

    House Update: The House Appropriations Committee released its 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which determines the funding levels for numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice. Predictably, the bill does not include language — known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment — limiting the Justice Department from taking action against state-sanctioned medical cannabis producers, retailers, or consumers.

    Representatives Blumenauer and Rohrabacher released the following statement in reponse: 

    “The policy championed by Representatives Blumenauer and Rohrabacher that prevents the Department of Justice from interfering in the ability of states to implement legal medical marijuana laws (previously known as “Rohrabacher-Farr”) has never been included in the base Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittee Appropriations bill. Rather, in previous years, Congress has amended the base CJS bill to include these protections.

    We are exactly where we thought we would be in the legislative process and look forward to amending the underlying bill once again this year to make sure medical marijuana programs, and the patients who rely on them, are protected. Voters in states across the country have acted to legalize medical marijuana. Congress should not act against the will of the people who elected us.”

    Congress re-authorized the amendment as part of a short term government spending package on May 5th, 2017. This bill extends federal funding through September 30, 2017, at which time the appropriation — and the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment -- will expire.

    Initially enacted by Congress in 2014, the amendment maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

    According to recently released nationwide survey data, the majority of Americans are on our side. A whopping 94 percent support the medical use of marijuana. Perhaps most importantly, 71 percent of voters — including strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- say that they “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”

    This amendment is strongly supported by both voters and lawmakers and ensures the safety of millions of patients. Congress must not turn its back on those millions of Americans who rely on these state-authorized programs for their health and wellness. 

    Send a message to your Senators uring them to support and advocate for medical marijuana patients with the form below. 

  • Texas: Amendment To Protect Doctors Right To Recommend Medical Marijuana Pending

    In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed the Compassionate Use Program, allowing those with intractable epilepsy to access medical cannabis to treat their seizures. 

    Because of cannabis’ status as a Schedule I drug under Federal law, it cannot be “prescribed.” It can, however, be recommended and patients can be formally certified by doctors through the state registry. This small change does not expand the program, it simply corrects a small error and provides protection for participating doctors.

    An amendment introduced by Rep. Lucio III's would make this change, thus protecting doctors and bringing Texas state law in line with federal requirements. 

    Please enter your information below to contact your lawmakers in support of this effort. 

  • Texas: Amendment To Protect Doctors Right To Recommend Medical Marijuana Pending

    In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed the Compassionate Use Program, allowing those with intractable epilepsy to access medical cannabis to treat their seizures. 

    Because of cannabis’ status as a Schedule I drug under Federal law, it cannot be “prescribed.” It can, however, be recommended and patients can be formally certified by doctors through the state registry. This small change does not expand the program, it simply corrects a small error and provides protection for participating doctors.

    An amendment introduced by Rep. Lucio III's would make this change, thus protecting doctors and bringing Texas state law in line with federal requirements. 

    Please enter your information below to contact your lawmakers in support of this effort. 

  • Virginia: Tell The Crime Commission to Decriminalize Marijuana

    Members of the Virginia State Crime Commission are seeking written comments from the public regarding the topic of decriminalizing marijuana possession. Under current Virginia law, the possession of one-half ounce of cannabis or less is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

    The commission is studying the issue at the request of Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment, who tasked members to "undertake a study examining a future change to the Code of Virginia regarding criminal penalties related to the possession of small amounts of marijuana." The procedurally required study will be completed October 5 in preparation for the 2018 legislative session.

    Members of the public may submit comments until August 25, 2017. The commission's findings will be presented on October 5.

    Specifically, the study may examine:

    • Consequences experienced by any state that has changed the emphasis of its laws regarding possession of small amounts of marijuana from criminal to civil penalties. 
    • Contemporary research related to marijuana and its effects on users, especially any studies indicating a correlation between its usage and that of opioids or illegal stimulants (methamphetamine and cocaine) as a possible “gateway” drug.
    • The status and strength of current Virginia law related to driving under the influence of marijuana, and the efficacy of existing available technology related to the detection of such use that is admissible in criminal proceedings. 
    • Requirements by the federal government and its agencies related to the Commonwealth’s laws and enforcement of criminal penalties for marijuana possession, including any potential ramifications to the Commonwealth if its laws were in conflict with current federal statutes and regulations related to marijuana enforcement. 
    • If states that have decriminalized possession of marijuana continue to criminalize it on second or third offenses.

    The number of Virginians arrested for violating the state's marijuana possession laws rose 76 percent between 2003 and 2014. In 2010, 88.3% of all marijuana offenses were for marijuana possession (18,756 out of 21,231). Minor marijuana possession violators, many of them young, first-time offenders, should not be punished with a lifelong criminal conviction.

    In line with changes in other states, the majority of Virginians (78%) support reducing the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana to a fine instead of a misdemeanor conviction. 

    Please use the prewritten letter below to contact the Crime Commission and urge them to support decriminalization in Virginia.

  • Virginia: Tell The Crime Commission to Decriminalize Marijuana

    Members of the Virginia State Crime Commission are seeking written comments from the public regarding the topic of decriminalizing marijuana possession. Under current Virginia law, the possession of one-half ounce of cannabis or less is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

    The commission is studying the issue at the request of Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment, who tasked members to "undertake a study examining a future change to the Code of Virginia regarding criminal penalties related to the possession of small amounts of marijuana." The procedurally required study will be completed October 5 in preparation for the 2018 legislative session.

    Members of the public may submit comments until August 25, 2017. The commission's findings will be presented on October 5.

    Specifically, the study may examine:

    • Consequences experienced by any state that has changed the emphasis of its laws regarding possession of small amounts of marijuana from criminal to civil penalties. 
    • Contemporary research related to marijuana and its effects on users, especially any studies indicating a correlation between its usage and that of opioids or illegal stimulants (methamphetamine and cocaine) as a possible “gateway” drug.
    • The status and strength of current Virginia law related to driving under the influence of marijuana, and the efficacy of existing available technology related to the detection of such use that is admissible in criminal proceedings. 
    • Requirements by the federal government and its agencies related to the Commonwealth’s laws and enforcement of criminal penalties for marijuana possession, including any potential ramifications to the Commonwealth if its laws were in conflict with current federal statutes and regulations related to marijuana enforcement. 
    • If states that have decriminalized possession of marijuana continue to criminalize it on second or third offenses.

    The number of Virginians arrested for violating the state's marijuana possession laws rose 76 percent between 2003 and 2014. In 2010, 88.3% of all marijuana offenses were for marijuana possession (18,756 out of 21,231). Minor marijuana possession violators, many of them young, first-time offenders, should not be punished with a lifelong criminal conviction.

    In line with changes in other states, the majority of Virginians (78%) support reducing the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana to a fine instead of a misdemeanor conviction. 

    Please use the prewritten letter below to contact the Crime Commission and urge them to support decriminalization in Virginia.

  • Wisconsin: Bill Filed To Regulate Marijuana Possession, Use, Sales

    Legislation is pending for the 2017-2018 legislative session to regulate the use, growing, and distribution of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.

    The measure, sponsored by Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), permits adults to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis, and to possess marijuana-related paraphernalia. It also establishes regulations for the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana to anyone over the age of 21. Public use of cannabis is subject to a $100 civil fine.

    The bill also establishes a regulated system for the production and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes. It further prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their off-the-job use of cannabis, and mandates insurance providers to provide coverage for patients’ use of medical marijuana.

    Enter your information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this important legislation.

  • New York: Legislation Introduced To Expand Patients’ Medical Marijuana Access

    Update: The 2017 legislative session came to a close with lawmakers taking no further action A 8598.

    Update: On July 10, A. 8598 was referred to committee.

    Legislation is pending in the Assembly, A. 8598, to expand the pool of patients eligible for medical cannabis therapy.

    The measure eliminates the state’s limiting list of qualifying conditions. Rather, it leaves the decision of whether to recommend medical cannabis entirely up to the discretion of each individual physician. 

    It states, “[M]edical marihuana may be used for a condition, or symptom or complication of the condition or its treatment, for which, in the practitioner's professional opinion and review of past treatments, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from primary or adjunctive treatment.”

    Physicians already possess similar discretion when it comes to prescribing pharmaceutical drugs that pose far greater health risks than cannabis. Politicians should not be arbitrarily interfering in this doctor/patient relationship.

    Please enter your e-mail below to urge lawmakers to support A. 8598.

  • National: Tell AAA To Stop Lying About Legalization

    Over the first six months of 2017, the American Automobile Association (aka AAA) has been spreading misinformation and propaganda in a lobbying effort to defeat marijuana legalization legislative efforts in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and other states.

    As reported by Leafly.com, AAA representatives have recently preyed upon unsubstantiated fears regarding the alleged “increased plague of drugged driving” and the claim that “more babies will be born high” on marijuana in their lobbying efforts against adult use regulatory reforms. The distortions do nothing to advance the public debate surrounding legalization, but they do tarnish the organization's reputation.  

    According to federal data, auto accident fatalities have fallen significantly over the past two decades – during the same time that a majority of US states have legalized marijuana for either medical or social use. In 1996 when California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were an estimated 37,500 fatal car crashes on US roadways. This total fell to under 30,000 by 2014.

    Further, a recently published study in the American Journal of Public Health reports that fatal traffic accident rates in legal marijuana states are no different than those in states where cannabis remains illegal. A separate study published last year in the same journal previously reported that the enactment of medical marijuana legalization laws is associated with a reduction in traffic fatalities compared to other states, particularly among younger drivers.

    One would hope that AAA would be nonpartisan in this debate; that they would be the group to separate the facts from the myths so that politicians and law enforcement would be more likely to pursue evidence-based policies with regard to regulating marijuana in a manner that strengthens public safety. Instead they’re largely fearmongering and further politicizing the issue -- calling for the continued criminalization and arrest of millions of Americans who choose to use marijuana privately and responsibly. By doing so, they are arguing in favor of the failed criminal justice policies of the past and they are alienating the 60 percent of Americans who endorse the outright legalization of recreational cannabis by adults (Gallup, 2016).

    There are areas of public policy where AAA is absolutely in agreement with reform advocates, including NORML. For instance, we both agree that driving under the influence of cannabis should be discouraged and legally prohibited, and that the detection of either THC or its metabolites in blood or urine is not indicative of psychomotor impairment and, therefore, should not be used a legal standard of criminal liability.


    Our hope is that some day groups like NORML and AAA can work together to advocate for rational policies that work to keep our roadways safe from the threat of impaired drivers. Specifically, we recognize -- as does AAA -- that there is a need for greater tools and methods  to more accurately determine whether or not someone is under the influence of cannabis, such as via the use and promotion of handheld performance technology.

    Tell AAA that the days of ‘reefer madness’ are over. It’s time for a rational and evidence-based discussion regarding how best to regulate the use of marijuana by adults and how to keep our roads safe.

    Please fill out the pre-written letter below and urge AAA to rethink their stance on marijuana policy.

  • Federal: Amendment To Expand Veterans’ Access to Medical Marijuana

    Update: Identical language was introduced in the House by Representative Earl Blumenauer and cosponsored by 9 Republicans and 9 Democrats. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions blocked the amendment from consideration. 

    Update: The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 24-7 to include the amendment as part of the 2018 MilCon-VA bill. 

    The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, which would expand medical cannabis access to eligible military veterans, is expected to be offered to the 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations (MilCon-VA) bill. 

    Presently, V.A. doctors are forbidden from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician.

    Last year, majorities in both the US House and Senate voted to include similar language as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 MilCon-VA bill. However, Republicans sitting on the House Appropriations Committee elected to remove the language from the bill during a concurrence vote. We must not allow a similar outcome again this year. Lawmakers must stop playing politics with veterans’ health and pass and enact this amendment.

    Veterans are increasingly turning to medical cannabis as an effective alternative to opioids and other conventional medications to treat conditions like chronic pain and post-traumatic stress. A retrospective review of patients' symptoms published in 2014 in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs reported a greater than 75 percent reduction on a scale of post-traumatic symptom scores following cannabis therapy. This is why, in recent months, two of the largest veterans’ rights groups -- AMVETS and the American Legion --  have resolved in favor of patients’ access to cannabis therapy.

    Our veterans deserve the option to legally access a botanical product that is objectively safer than the litany of pharmaceutical drugs it could replace.

    Enter your information below to urge your Senators to support the Veterans Equal Access Amendment.

  • Wisconsin: Measure Pending to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties

    Update: On June 23rd Senate Bill 318 was read for the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.

    Legislation is pending to reduce minor marijuana possession penalties.

    Under current law, possession of any amount is a misdemeanor that carries up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted by a plea or trial.

    Senate Bill 318 amends state law so that marijuana possession offenses (up to 10 grams) are reduced to a civil offense, punishable by a fine of $100.

    The policy proposed by this bill is line with those of numerous other states, including Nebraska and Ohio. Such a change will save taxpayers money and allow police and the courts to re-prioritize their resources toward addressing more serious crimes. 

    Minor marijuana possession offenders, many of them young people, should not be saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it.

    Please contact your elected officials in support of reducing marijuana possession penalties.
  • California: Marijuana Regulation Implementation Bill Signed By Governor

    Update: On June 27 Senate Bill 94 was approved by the Governor.

    Members of the state assembly and senate have passed legislation, Senate Bill 94, regarding the implementation of the Adult Use Marijuana Act and make amendments to the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.

    The legislation imposes various regulatory changes surrounding the licensing of medical and retail facilities.

    A summary of some of these changes appears here.

    Full text of the bill is here.
  • Maine: Protections For Medical Cannabis Patients Receiving Organ Transplants Become Law

    Update: On June 24 LD 764 became law without the Governor's signature. 

    Legislation (LD 764) is before Gov. Paul LePage that will prohibit medical cannabis patients from being denied organ transplants.

    The measure "prohibits a transplant evaluator from determining a qualifying patient to be unsuitable to receive an anatomical gift solely because the qualifying patient uses medical marijuana.”

    No sound scientific evidence exists showing that medical cannabis patients are at any greater risk for adverse effects during transplant surgery. Patients should not be discriminated against solely because of their medical cannabis status. 

    Please send the pre-written letter below and urge the Governor to sign this important legislation.
  • Federal: Legislation To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients Pending In Senate (CARERS Act)

    Update: S. 1374 and HR 2920 were referred to committees

    Legislation has been reintroduced in the Senate, The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act of 2017, S. 1374/HR 2920 to strengthen protections for those compliant with their state’s medical marijuana laws and to impose various changes to federal law. 

    Passage of CARERS 2017 exempts from federal prosecution those who are engaged in the “production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, laboratory testing, recommending use, or delivery of medical marijuana” in instances where these activities comport with state law. Separate provisions in Act exclude cannabidiol from the federal definition of marijuana, permit VA doctors to authorize medical cannabis access to qualified patients, and remove undue federal barriers to clinical trial research to better assess the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis. 

    According to a 2017 Quinnipiac University National poll, 94% of Americans support the use of marijuana by medical patients. 

    Enter your information below to send a pre-written letter to your Senators and Representative to support and co-sponsor the bill.

  • Massachusetts: Lawmakers Reconcile Question 4 Rewrite Bills

    Massachusetts Question 4

    Update: Lawmakers reconciled the House and Senate implementation bills on July 16. The reconciled language, H 3818, imposes a new statewide excise tax of 10.75 percent on top of a 6.25 percent sales tax. Cities also have the option to impose an additional 3 percent tax. Medical marijuana sales will not be subject to taxation. The measure limits the ability of local communities to ban retail facilities if a majority of voters approved Question 4, but makes it easier for communities to do so if they previously opposed the initiative. It also expands patients’ access to medicinal cannabis by permitting nurses and physicians’ assistants the ability to recommend cannabis therapy. The measure now goes to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

    Update: Lawmakers on Monday, July 10, reconvened reconciliation hearings regarding dueling House and Senate bills to implement Question 4. Please continue to contact your elected officials using the letter below to urge them to reject proposed House changes to the voter-approved law.

    Update: H.3776 was amended by the Senate and failed to pass. On June 23rd, a Conference Committee was established to reconcile the differences to change the rules to Question 4. Contact your elected officials now to tell them to implement the law as soon as possible in a manner that respects the outcome of the election. Contact your legislators via email below or click here to find your representatives and give them a call to express your support for the Senate version and opposition to the House bill. 

    Update: The House members reintroduced and passed their version of the Question 4 rewrite on June 21, by a vote of 126 to 28. The bill, which NORML opposes, raises taxes of marijuana sales to as much as 28 percent and also gives municipal officials, rather than voters, final say in deciding whether to have retail facilities in their neighborhoods. The House vote sets up a showdown with the Senate, which is deliberating over their own much more modest implementation bill, S.2097 — one that is supported by the Yes on 4 campaign. MassCann/NORML held a "Kill The Bill Rally at the capital on June 21. 

    Update: The Senate released their own version of new rules on June 16 which is supported by the Yes On 4 campaign. 

    “The House bill repeals the will of the voters–literally,” Jim Borghesani of the Yes on 4 campaign told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens. “They repeal what happened in November of 2016, and replace it with a bill that would be unworkable and that would likely result in significant delays.”

    Update: Governor Charlie Baker has expressed skepticism regarding the proposed tax increase.

    You have spoken. Are your elected officials listening?

    On Election Day, 54 percent of voters decided in favor of Question 4: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act – permitting adults to legally grow and to possess marijuana for personal use, while also establishing regulations governing commercial cannabis cultivation and capping taxes on retail sales.

    Your message could not have been any clearer: It is time to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana.

    But it has become apparent that some powerful politicians and bureaucrats wish to ignore voters’ will and rewrite history.

    Lawmakers have already unduly delayed the implementation of the law. Now they are moving to change the law altogether.

    Members of the House have introduced and passed legislation significantly amending The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. Among proposed changes to the law:

    • The bill would more than double taxes on retail cannabis sales, from 12 percent to as much as 28 percent;
    • The bill would strip local control away from municipal voters and unilaterally give local government officials the power to decide whether or not to ban marijuana facilities in their communities;
    • The bill would restrict the kinds of marijuana edibles products that may be sold and purchased by adults.

    Voters knew full well what they were voting for on Election Day. And now it is time for politicians to respect it.

    Visit Massachusetts NORML to learn more about what you can do in your state.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to demand your lawmakers and Gov. Baker abide by the will of the voters. 

  • Nevada: Governor Signs Bill Imposing New Marijuana-Related Taxes

    Governor Brian Sandoval has signed legislation, Senate Bill 487, imposing new tax rates on marijuana-related business transactions.

    The measure imposes an excise tax of 15 percent on wholesale cannabis sales to both medical and recreational facilities. The measure also imposes an additional ten percent retail sales tax on marijuana or marijuana-related products sold at retail (non-medical) facilities. Revenue from sales taxes will be earmarked to the state’s ‘rainy day’ reserve fund.

    Full text of the law is here

    While NORML generally does not oppose the imposition of reasonable taxation rates on retail cannabis sales, the organization opposes taxes on medical cannabis related transactions.

  • Vermont: Governor/Leadership Agree to Compromise Depenalization Measure, House Balks

    Update: House Republicans blocked consideration of the bill, as reported by the Burlington Free Press. Nearly all House Republicans, who hold 53 seats, voted against the rule suspension for consid ering the marijuana measure. The bill would have allowed adults to possess 1 ounce or less of marijuana, plus two mature or four immature marijuana plants, beginning in July 2018.

    Update: The majority of Senate members approved the new depenalization measure on Wednesday, June 21 — on the first day of the special session. The measure awaits action from the House tomorrow. It is unclear at this time whether House members will suspend the rules to debate the bill. Please call your House member now and urge that they allow debate on this important marijuana law reform legislation.

    Update: Governor Scott and legislative leaders have agreed to a compromise depenalization measure. Lawmakers now need to gain two-thirds agreement among lawmakers in order to suspend House rules so that the issue can be further debated in this week’s special session.

    Update: Lawmakers have sent a revised depenalization bill to Gov. Scott for his consideration during a special legislative session. The bill would eliminate criminal and civil penalities regarding the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and/or the cultivation of two mature plants. The bill also imposes civil fines for marijuana use while in a vehicle. 

    Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday, May 24, vetoed legislation, Senate Bill 22 that sought to eliminate criminal and civil penalties for the adult use and possession of marijuana. 

    The Governor said that he did not support the legislation as written, but that remains open to working with lawmakers over the summer on ways to amend the state’s cannabis policies. Make sure that he does so. 

    Please contact the Governor, as well as your members of the House and Senate, in support of a legislative compromise that will free responsible Vermont adults from the threat of criminal arrest or civil fines for possessing personal use amounts of marijuana.

    Fifty-seven percent of Vermont voters support "allowing adults who are 21 or older to use, possess, and securely grow marijuana.” Please continue to urge lawmakers to implement the will of the people.

  • Nevada: Governor Vetoes Bill Vacating Past Marijuana Convictions

    Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed legislation, Assembly Bill 259, that sought to allow minor marijuana offenders to vacate and seal their past convictions.

    The measure stated: "If a person has been convicted of a misdemeanor for the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana in violation of subsection 4 of NRS 453.336 or for a violation of any other provision of law concerning an offense involving marijuana, if the act constituting such an offense is a lawful act in this State on or after January 1, 2017, the person may petition the court ... for an order: (a) Vacating the judgment; and (b) Sealing all documents, papers and exhibits in the person’s record, minute book entries and entries on dockets, and other documents relating to the case in the custody of such other agencies and officers as are named in the court’s order.”

    Members of the Assembly voted 27 to 15 in favor of the bill. Members of the Senate voted 12 to 9 in support of its passage.

    Governor Sandoval vetoed the measure on June 12.

  • Medical Marijuana as an Alternative to Opioids

    Update: On June 13, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said "I’ve talked to Chuck Rosenberg, the administrator of the DEA and we follow the law and the science. And from a legal and scientific perspective, marijuana is an unlawful drug. It’s properly scheduled under Schedule I. And therefore we have this conflict." The Schedule I classification stipulates that "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." 

    Friday, June 16, the Office of National Drug Control Policy held it’s first meeting of President Trump’s “Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.”

    The Commission is tasked with making recommendations for improving the Federal response to opioid misuse and abuse.

    Best evidence informs us that medical marijuana access is associated with reduced levels of opioid-related abuse, hospitalization, and mortality. For example, a widely publicized study in the esteemed Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine reports that the enactment of medical marijuana legalization laws is associated with year-over-year reductions in opioid analgesic overdose mortality. Overall, researchers determined, “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8 percent lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws.” A similar review by investigators at the RAND Corporation determined, “[S]tates permitting medical marijuana dispensaries experience a relative decrease in both opioid addictions and opioid overdose deaths compared to states that do not.”

    Medical cannabis access is also associated with reduced prescription drug spending. Investigators at the University of Georgia assessed the relationship between medical marijuana legalization laws and physicians' prescribing patterns in 17 states over a three-year period. Specifically, researchers assessed patients' consumption of and spending on prescription drugs approved under Medicare Part D in nine domains: anxiety, depression, glaucoma, nausea, pain, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders, and spasticity.

    Authors reported that prescription drug use fell significantly in seven of the nine domains assessed. "Ultimately, we estimated that nationally the Medicare program and its enrollees spent around $165.2 million less in 2013 as a result of changed prescribing behaviors induced by ... jurisdictions that had legalized medical marijuana,” they concluded. A follow up study by this same team reported this year, “If all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, we estimated that total savings for fee-for-service Medicaid could have been $1.01 billion.”

    Nonetheless, this administration continues to express skepticism with regard to the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana. It’s time they learn the facts!

    Send the pre-written letter below to the ONDCP Commission to educate them to the positive role that cannabis access plays in curtailing opioid abuse. You can also contact the commission at (202) 395-6709.

     

  • New York: Legalization Measure Introduced to Legislature

    Update: The 2017 legislative session came to a close with lawmakers taking no further action on S3040A and A. 3506B. 

    Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) and Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) have introduced a substantially amended version of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) (Senate Bill S3040A/A. 3506B), which would reestablish a legal market for marijuana in New York and create a system to tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and the craft brewery industry for adults over the age of 21. 

    Over the past twenty years, many New Yorkers have been negatively affected by the harms of prohibition in New York. With people of color accounting for nearly 85% of those arrested annually, the MRTA directs the benefits of taxing and regulating marijuana to these communities. Because structural racism is ingrained in marijuana prohibition, it’s important that the MRTA both ends marijuana prohibition and promotes racial justice.

    Significant steps are taken in the amended MRTA to ensure racial justice and a small business-friendly industry, including:

    Creating a micro-licensing structure, similar to New York’s rapidly growing craft wine and beer industry, which allows small-scale production and sale plus delivery to reduce barriers to entry for people with less access to capital and traditional avenues of financing.

    Establishing the Community Grants Reinvestment Fund, which will invest in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the drug war through job training, economic empowerment, and youth development programming.

    Ensuring diversity in New York’s marijuana industry by removing barriers to access like capital requirements and building inclusivity by allowing licensing to people with prior drug convictions. Only people with business-related convictions (such as fraud or tax evasion) will be explicitly barred from receiving licenses.

    Enter information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this important legislation. 

    Connect with Empire State NORML and follow them on Facebook, and Twitter

  • Nevada: Governor Signs Hemp Expansion Law

    Governor Brian Sandoval has signed legislation, Senate Bill 396, expanding the state’s hemp law to permit broader commercial cultivation of the crop.

    The new law permits regulators to license growers to engage in hemp cultivation and to produce edible products derived from hemp.

    Under a 2015 law, hemp could only be produced as part of a university-sponsored pilot program.

  • Florida: Governor Vetoes Funding Effort For Medical Cannabis Research

    Governor Rick Scott vetoed legislation that sought to provide some $3 million in medical cannabis research. The monies were earmarked for the Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Florida. The Governor said that he believed that no additional taxpayer funds were necessary to fund state-sponsored cannabis research. 

  • Oregon: Legislation Pending To Permit Social Use

    Update: SB 307 was referred to committee upon adjournment on July 7th.

    Update: SB 307 had it's most recent public hearing on May 30th. 

    Legislation has been introduced, SB 307 to create a regulatory framework which would allow adults to consume marijuana in a regulated, social setting. 

    The bill is modest and requires approval from local government officials while limiting consumption to outdoor locations.

    Importantly, it provides a safe, regulated alternative to parks, sidewalks, and alleys, where consumers may end up, even when prohibited by law.

    Enter your information below to contact your elected officials in support of SB 307.

  • Rhode Island: Legislation Pending To Increase Medical Cannabis Access

    Update: On June 14, House leadership rejected an amendment to the budget to expand the total number of dispensaries.

    Update: On May 18 the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended measure be held for further study, tabling it for this year.

    SB 176 is currently pending in the Rhode Island Senate. It amends the state's Medical Marijuana Act, which currently only permits three medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the entire state, to permit regulators to license up to six total dispensaries.

    In recent years, the total number of registered medical cannabis patients in Rhode Island has nearly doubled to more than 17,000 people. It is necessary for regulators to license additional dispensaries in order to keep up with this increased demand.

    You can contact your local officials in support of SB 176 by using the pre-written letter below.

  • California: Legislation To Bring Clarity And Protections For Marijuana Industry

    Update: AB 1159 passed the Assembly on 5/15

    AB 1159, would bring much-needed clarity to the medical and recreational cannabis industry and extend protections for individuals and businesses in their dealings with their legal advisors 

    The current conflict between federal and California law regarding the legality of cannabis creates problems for businesses that are unlike any other industry. 

    The fact that cannabis is illegal under federal law - combined with the failure of the current California law to distinguish between what is illegal under federal law in its statutory definition of an illegal contract – discourages clients from pursuing legitimate claims in court. 

    Furthermore, the status quo does not provide appropriate protection for attorney-client privilege. 

    Enter your information below to send a message to your elected officials in support of this effort. 

    Be sure to visit http://www.canorml.org/ and follow California NORML on Facebook and Twitter

  • Illinois: Legislation Pending To Expand Industrial Hemp Cultivation

    Update: SB 1294 passed the Illinois Senate on May 4 and is now pending in the House

    Legislation is pending to regulate the commercial cultivation of industrial hemp.

    The Industrial Hemp Act, SB 1294 seeks to license farmers to "grow, process, cultivate, harvest, process, possess, sell, or purchase industrial hemp or industrial hemp related products” for commercial purposes. It expands upon a 2014 law permitting hemp cultivation for agricultural and academic research.

    Please use the prewritten letter below to urge lawmakers to support this legislation.

  • Nevada: Oppose The Proposed Tax on Medical Marijuana

    Senate Bill 487 would increase the current excise tax on marijuana from two to ten percent of the sales price of the marijuana or product.

    While NORML generally does not oppose the imposition of fair and reasonable sales taxes on the commercial sales of cannabis for recreational purposes, we do not support such excessive taxation on medical sales. Most other states that regulate medical cannabis sales do not impose such taxes and Nevada patients should not be forced to pay these excessive costs.

    Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge them to oppose this measure.

  • Texas: Request To Establish An Interim Committee To Study The Feasibility Of Medical Cannabis

    House Concurrent Resolution (HRC) 149 - Legislation proposed by Texas House Representative Eddie Lucio, III requests that the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives create a joint interim committee to study the feasibility of medical cannabis in Texas. While an HRC is not required to hold an interim committee study, passing this Concurrent Resolution will ensure that the study takes place. 

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Texas patients deserve these same protections. 

    Please be sure to thank Rep. Lucio III on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit Texas NORML to learn how you can help in your area.

    Please enter your information below to contact your state lawmakers and urge them to support HCR 149.

  • Texas: Request To Establish An Interim Committee To Study The Feasibility Of Medical Cannabis

    House Concurrent Resolution (HRC) 149 - Legislation proposed by Texas House Representative Eddie Lucio, III requests that the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives create a joint interim committee to study the feasibility of medical cannabis in Texas. While an HRC is not required to hold an interim committee study, passing this Concurrent Resolution will ensure that the study takes place. 

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Texas patients deserve these same protections. 

    Please be sure to thank Rep. Lucio III on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit Texas NORML to learn how you can help in your area.

    Please enter your information below to contact your state lawmakers and urge them to support HCR 149.

  • Federal: Legislation Pending To Halt Forfeiture Actions Against Marijuana Facilities

    Update: HR 331 was referred to committee.

    Legislation is pending before Congress, HR 331, to halt the federal government from taking civil forfeiture action against properties involved in state-sanctioned, medical marijuana-related conduct.

    If approved, it would “amend the Controlled Substances Act ... to exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by state law.”

    In the past, federal officials have sought to close dispensaries by threatening property owners with civil forfeiture proceedings. Under these proceedings, property may be seized if there exist evidence that it was involved in activities that violate federal law, regardless of whether those activities are licit under state law.

    Presently, the Justice Department is barred from taking such actions because of the passage of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. However, that protection will expire on April 28, 2017 unless renewed by Congress.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge House lawmakers to take action on HR 331.


  • Minnesota: Marijuana Legalization Measures Introduced

    Update: Separate legislation, HF 2714, to amend the Minnesota Constitution to regulate the adult use, cultivation, production, and retail sale of marijuana was introduced May 20.

    HF 927, to permit the adult use, cultivation, production, and retail sale of marijuana has been introduced in the Minnesota House. SF 1320 is pending in the Senate.

    Deputy Minority Leader, State Rep. Jon Applebaum said in support of his House bill, “The world is changing, and Minnesotans are rightfully developing different attitudes on marijuana. Other states’ successes, along with the failed prohibition attempts of others, have validated the need for a statewide conversation on legalizing the personal, recreational use of marijuana.”

    “Ultimately, I envision a billion dollar ‘Made in Minnesota’ marijuana economy, where the products are grown by Minnesota farmers, distributed by Minnesota companies, and sold by Minnesota small business owners," he added. "Ideally, all tax proceeds would be directed towards funding Minnesota’s public schools and would result in lower taxes for Minnesota families.”

    Please urge your lawmakers to support this important legislative effort.

    For more information about statewide marijuana law reform efforts, please follow Minnesota NORML on Facebook here.

  • Delaware: Legislation To Add PTSD To Medical Marijuana Signed By Governor

    Update: The Governor signed SB 24 on July 12. 

    Update: On June 30 Senate Bill 24 passed and was sent to Governor for action.

    Update: On June 22 Senate Bill 24 was reported out of Committee (Health & Human Development) in House with 1 Favorable, 7 On Its Merits.

    Update: On June 1 Senate Bill 24 was referred to the House Health & Human Development Committee. 

    Update: An amended version of SB 24 passed the Senate on May 18 and now heads to the House for consideration. Unfortunately, the bill no longer contains language to add anxiety as a qualifying condition. 

    Senate Bill 24 has been introduced by Senate Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry to expand the list of qualifying conditions to medical marijuana to include anxiety as well as make it easier for those suffering from PTSD to obtain their medicine. 

    Enter your information below to send a pre-written letter to your state officials in support of SB 24.

  • Federal: Bill Introduced To End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

    Update: HR 1227 was referred to committee on March 16th.

    The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017, HR 1227, eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference. 

    With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, and with comments from the Trump administration warning of a coming federal crackdown in adult use states, passage of The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act is necessary to ensure that marijuana consumers are protected from undue federal interference. 

    Enter your information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this pending legislation.

    Additionally, thanks to ACT.tv for their great videos on marijuana policy. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter

  • New York: Senate Legislation Pending To Expand Patients’ Access to Medical Cannabis

    Update: The 2017 legislative session came to a close with lawmakers taking no further action on SB 6092 and SB 6308.

    Update: On May 11 both bills were referred to the Health Committee.

    A pair of bills are pending in the Senate to expand patients’ access to medical cannabis.

    Senate Bill 6092 expands the pool of patients eligible for medical cannabis access to include those with Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and a number of other debilitating diseases. It also removes arbitrary caps imposed on the amount of THC permitted in oral products. 

    Senate Bill 6308 allows for additional cannabis providers to operate in the state in order to improve patients’ access.

    Please use the prewritten letter below to express your support for these measures.

  • Nevada: Legislation Pending To Permit Social Use

    Update: Assembly members failed to take necessary action on SB 236 prior to this year’s legislative deadline.

    Update: SB236 passed out of the Assembly Government Operations Committee on May 16.

    Update: SB 236 passed the Senate by a margin of 21-12. It will now be sent to the house.

    Update: SB 236 was amended in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/12 and it passed as amended.

    Update: SB 236 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/3.

    Senate legislation is pending, SB 236, introduced by Sen. Tick Segerblom to regulate the social use of cannabis.

    The measure allows select businesses to apply for licensing to permit adult marijuana use on their premises. It would also allow event organizers to seek permits to allow adult use at specific events. 

    To date, private adult use of marijuana is permitted, but only in a private residence. Passage of SB 236 establishes a regulatory framework to permit adults the option to consume cannabis at specified public places or events. 

    Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials to urge them to support this measure. 

  • Rhode Island: Bill Establishing a Marijuana Legalization Study Committee Awaits Governor’s Signature

    Update: Lawmakers have approved legislation establishing a 19-member special legislative commission to assess marijuana legalization and make recommendations. The purpose of the commission is "to conduct a comprehensive review and make recommendations regarding marijuana and the effects of its use on the residents of Colorado and Washington to the extent available, and to study the fiscal impact to those states; and thereafter the potential impact on Rhode Island of legalized recreational marijuana."

    The commission will consist of three members of the House of Representatives, three members of the Senate, one member from Smart Approaches to Marijuana, the President of the Substance Use Mental Health Council of RI or a designee, a member from a pro-legalization organization, the Executive Director of the RI Medical Society or a designee, a member of a local chamber of commerce, the Director of the Department of Health or a designee, the President of the RI Police Chief’s Association or a designee, a designee of the RI Attorney General, a member representing the medical marijuana patients of Rhode Island, an educator in Rhode Island, a mental health professional, a criminal defense attorney, and the President of the RI AFL-CIO.

    Several marijuana law reform advocacy groups opposed the measure because they believed it is simply an attempt by lawmakers to push back further debate regarding adult use marijuana legalization. 

    The bill now awaits final approval from the Governor.

    Update: Sponsors have announced plans to amend their legislation in a manner that would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, effective July 1, 2018. The amended legislation would also establish an advisory committee to issue a report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2018 with recommendations regarding how best to establish a system for taxing and regulating marijuana in Rhode Island. Sen. Miller said, “We are prepared to compromise in a significant way, but there must be progress on the issue this year. Our proposal balances the will of the majority of voters who want marijuana to be legal for adults while respecting colleagues who want to slow things down and get the regulations right.”

    Update: Members of the House Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced H. 5551 on May 17, but failed to call The Adult Use of Cannabis Act for a vote. The study bill now awaits action on the House floor while H. 5555 is likely dead for this session.

    Update: H. 5551, to establish a study commission to examine marijuana legalization, is scheduled to be heard May 12.

    Update: The Senate version of The Adult Use of Cannabis Act was introduced on March 2. It is SB 420. (Seriously, it's SB420.)

    A coalition of Rhode Island lawmakers has reintroduced marijuana legalization legislation in the House, H. 5555: The Adult Use of Cannabis Act

    The bill will allow adults 21 and older to possess cannabis and will establish a framework for businesses to cultivate and distribute marijuana. While the language is similar to that of previous bills that have failed to come to a vote, lawmakers this year believe that Rhode Island is ready to catch up to its northeast neighbors.

    A majority of Rhode Island residents, about 60 percent, support legalization and Jared Moffat, Director of Regulate Rhode Island, believes: “It’s time for Rhode Island to look very seriously at this issue and pass a bill. Otherwise, we risk falling behind those other states.” 

    Enter your information below and urge the Governor to sign the legalization bill.

  • Connecticut: Democrats Revive Marijuana Legalization Plan In Budget Fight

    Senate and House Democrats are lobbying for provisions to permit the retail sale of marijuana to adults as a way to address the state’s estimated $5 billion budget gap.

    The proposal would initially permit state-licensed dispensaries to sell cannabis to non-patients, and then establish regulations to oversee the establishment of commercial producers and retailers. 

    The proposed plan is estimated to yield about $60 million in additional revenue for the state next fiscal year, and $180 million by 2018-19.

    Earlier this session, lawmakers debated four separate bills seeking to legalize and regulate the marijuana market. Unfortunately, all of these efforts were eventually tabled.

    Please contact your elected officials today and urge them to reconsider legalizing marijuana by using the pre-written letter below.

  • Tell Your Congressional Representative: Join the Cannabis Caucus

    Update: Indicating to reporters that a federal crackdown is forthcoming, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said "I'm definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana," he said. "States they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not." 

    Update: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against marijuana. “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, and added that the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.”

    With public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws. 

    Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation's nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition. The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of adults throughout America, 93% of whom support medical marijuana (Quinnipiac, 2017) and 60 percent of whom endorse the outright legalization of recreational cannabis (Gallup, 2016). 

    The leadership displayed by Representatives Rohrabacher, Blumenauer, Polis, and Young is a testament to this growing public consensus. The official establishment of this Caucus represents our growing, bipartisan support in Congress.

    These House members represent constituents in four of the eight states that have enacted laws regulating cannabis for adult use. Twenty-one additional states have enacted comprehensive medical cannabis laws, and 15 additional states have enacted more limited medical cannabis laws. In total, over 40 US states have adopted laws rolling back cannabis prohibition at the state level, representing 95% of the U.S. House of Representatives and 88% of the Senate.  

    Enter your information below to urge your member of Congress to join the Cannabis Caucus. 

  • Federal: Bipartisan Leaders Reintroduce the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act

    Update: HR 2528 was referred to committee on June 18th.

    Update: On May 18, Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced HR 2528, The Respect States and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017 which would clarify Congressional intent on the issue but not be as impactful as Rep. Rohrabacher's HR 975. 

    Update: (2/27) Indicating to reporters that a federal crackdown is forthcoming, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said "I'm definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana," he said. "States they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not." 

    Update: (2/23) White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against marijuana. “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, and added that the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.”

    Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with six other Republicans and six Democrats, has reintroduced bipartisan legislation, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.

    HR 975 states, ‘‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.’’

    Passage of this Act would halt federal officials from prosecuting individuals and businesses for violating the Controlled Substances Act in the 29 states that permit either the medical or adult use and distribution of marijuana. According to national polling, 71 percent of voters believe that the federal government should respect these laws and not interfere with them. 

    With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, passage of this Act is necessary to ensure that medical marijuana patients and others are protected from undue federal interference. 

    Please enter your information below to contact your House member and urge them to support this crucial pending legislation.

  • Federal: Bill Introduced To End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

    Update: HR 1227 was referred to committee on March 16th.

    The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017, HR 1227, eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference. 

    With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, and with comments from the Trump administration warning of a coming federal crackdown in adult use states, passage of The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act is necessary to ensure that marijuana consumers are protected from undue federal interference. 

    Enter your information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this pending legislation.

  • New Jersey: Preparing to Pass Legalization In 2018

    Update: A hearing was held June 19. You can watch it HERE

    Political support within the legislature to reform New Jersey’s marijuana laws has never been greater. 

    This year, SB 3195 has been introduced by State Sen. Nicholas Scutari to regulate the adult use, production, and retail sale of marijuana. The House companion bill is A 4872.

    Upon introducing SB 3195, Scutari said: "(T)he negative impacts of the failed "War on Marijuana" cannot be overstated. New Jersey spends more than $100 million a year on enforcement of marijuana laws, and possession made up more than 40 percent of all drug arrests in 2010. We are locking up people for petty charges and creating unfair obstacles to our residents getting jobs and buying homes.’

    The ACLU-NJ found that police make a marijuana possession arrest in New Jersey on average every 22 minutes and that black New Jerseyans were three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite similar usage rates.

    While Scurari’s enthusiasm and history of leadership for sane cannabis policy is greatly appreciated, his bill fails to address two critical issues: 

    • The immediate expungement of criminal records for victims of charges for simple possession of marijuana 
    • The ability for individuals and patients to legally cultivate cannabis for personal consumption. 

    It is our hope that lawmakers will in the future include language addressing these key issues.

    According to a 2015 Rutgers-Eagleton poll, nearly six in ten New Jersey adults support "legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and over." Similar percentages of voters through the country also endorse legalization.

    Eight states, encompassing some 20 percent of the US population, have enacted similar adult use regulations.  

    The Garden State is ripe for reform and it is more important than ever to learn from the successes of the other states and to pass a comprehensive and consumer-oriented bill to be signed into law in 2018. 

    Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge their support for this important measure. 

     

  • Federal: Protect Lawful Medical Marijuana Programs

    Update #2: The House Appropriations Committee released its 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which determines the funding levels for numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice. Predictably, the bill does not include language — known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment — limiting the Justice Department from taking action against state-sanctioned medical cannabis producers, retailers, or consumers.

    Representatives Blumenauer and Rohrabacher released the following statement in reponse: “The policy championed by Representatives Blumenauer and Rohrabacher that prevents the Department of Justice from interfering in the ability of states to implement legal medical marijuana laws (previously known as “Rohrabacher-Farr”) has never been included in the base Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittee Appropriations bill. Rather, in previous years, Congress has amended the base CJS bill to include these protections.

    We are exactly where we thought we would be in the legislative process and look forward to amending the underlying bill once again this year to make sure medical marijuana programs, and the patients who rely on them, are protected. Voters in states across the country have acted to legalize medical marijuana. Congress should not act against the will of the people who elected us.”

    Update #1: House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. The measure reauthorizes and updates the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, as well as a similarly worded amendment protecting state-sponsored industrial hemp programs. Both amendments will remain in effect until September 30, at which time members of Congress will once again need to either reauthorize the language or let the provisions expire. Non-medical retail marijuana businesses operating in the eight states that regulate adult use sales are not protected by this act and still remain vulnerable to federal interference or prosecution.

    Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, maintains that federal funds can not be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.” 

    Congress re-authorized the amendment as part of a short term spending package. This bill extends federal funding through September 30, 2017, at which time the measure — and the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment -- will expire.

    According to recently released nationwide survey data, the majority of Americans are on our side. A whopping 94 percent support the medical use of marijuana. Perhaps most importantly, 71 percent of voters — including strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- say that they “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”

    Please enter your information below to contact members of the incoming Congress and urge them to include these important patient protections as part of any future, long-term appropriations legislation. 

    This amendment is strongly supported by both voters and lawmakers and ensures the safety of millions of patients. Congress must not turn its back on those millions of Americans who rely on these state-authorized programs for their health and wellness. 

  • Nevada: Bill to Amend Traffic Safety Laws Signed By Governor

    Update: AB 135 was signed into law on May 23.

    Legislation awaits action from Gov. Brian Sandoval to amend Nevada’s per se traffic safety laws for carboxy-THC.,

    Assembly Bill 135 eliminates statutes criminalizing the operation of a motor vehicle if a driver has detectable levels of carboxy THC in his/her urine. Carboxy-THC is an non-psychoactive waste product of THC that may be present for days or even weeks post-abstinence. It’s presence in urine is not correlated with psychomotor impairment.

    Unfortunately, however, AB 135 still maintains unscientific per se thresholds for THC (2ng/ml) and 11-hydroxy-THC (5ng/ml). NORML has previously lobbied against the imposition of these THC/blood limits in Nevada because these thresholds are not evidence based. No less than the United States Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) agrees, stating, "It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. ... It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone.” 

    While passage of AB 135 is a step in the right direction, further legislation will continue to be necessary in order to amend Nevada’s traffic safety laws in a manner that no longer inadvertently criminalize responsible adult marijuana consumers. 

  • Atlanta: Support Pending Decriminalization Ordinance

    Update: A meeting was held in committee on Ordinance 1700-1152. You can watch it HERE.

    Municipal legislation is pending, Ordinance 1700-1152, to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses in the city of Atlanta. 

    The measure amends local law so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is punishable by a $75 fine — no arrest, jail time, or criminal arrest record. 

    Annually, over 30,000 Georgians — many of whom reside in Atlanta — are arrested and charged with violating marijuana possession laws. Those arrested and convicted face up to one-year in prison, a $1,000 fine under state law, or up to six months in jail under local statutes. National statistics indicate that African Americans are an estimated four times as likely as whites to be arrested for violating marijuana possession laws, despite using marijuana at rates similar to Caucasians.

    These minor offenders, many of them African American young people, should not be saddled with a criminal arrest record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it.  

    Please urge members of the Council to vote ‘yes' fiscally sensible proposals that will enable police, prosecutors, and the courts to reallocate their existing resources toward activities that will better serve the public. 

    You can find more information from Peachtree NORML at http://www.peachtreenorml.org/ as well as follow them on Facebook and Twitter

  • Atlanta: Support Pending Decriminalization Ordinance

    Municipal legislation is pending, Ordinance 1700-1152, to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses in the city of Atlanta. 

    The measure amends local law so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is punishable by a $75 fine — no arrest, jail time, or criminal arrest record. 

    Annually, over 30,000 Georgians — many of whom reside in Atlanta — are arrested and charged with violating marijuana possession laws. Those arrested and convicted face up to one-year in prison, a $1,000 fine under state law, or up to six months in jail under local statutes. National statistics indicate that African Americans are an estimated four times as likely as whites to be arrested for violating marijuana possession laws, despite using marijuana at rates similar to Caucasians.

    These minor offenders, many of them African American young people, should not be saddled with a criminal arrest record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it.  

    Please urge members of the Council to vote ‘yes' fiscally sensible proposals that will enable police, prosecutors, and the courts to reallocate their existing resources toward activities that will better serve the public. 

    You can find more information from Peachtree NORML at http://www.peachtreenorml.org/ as well as follow them on Facebook and Twitter

  • Alaska: Bill Introduced to Protect Marijuana Industry from Federal Interference

    Update: On May 12th the bill was referred to state affairs.

    State officials in Alaska are considering legislation, HJR 21, to urge the federal government to restrain from interfering in state marijuana laws.

    HJR 21 urges the current Administration to respect previous federal arrangements in regard to state laws and to continue a policy of allowing legalized states autonomy.

    The bill points to several reasons that Alaska would be harmed by a federal crackdown, ranging from economic ramifications to the confusion of law enforcement officers; federal enforcement would ultimately have negative results.

    Enter your information below to urge your lawmakers to stand up for Alaskans.
  • New Jersey: Tell Governor Christie Stop Opposing Marijuana Legalization

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently made public statements calling the notion of regulating adult marijuana use "beyond stupidity."

    Yet, according to a 2015 Rutgers-Eagleton poll, nearly six in ten New Jersey adults support "legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and over." Similar percentages of voters through the country also endorse legalization.

    That's because the majority of Americans realize that the ongoing enforcement of marijuana prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, and disproportionately impacts young people and communities of color. It makes no sense from a public health perspective, a fiscal perspective, or a moral perspective to perpetuate the prosecution and stigmatization of those adults who choose to responsibly consume a substance that is safer than either alcohol or tobacco. 

    In truth, America's real-world experiment with regulating marijuana has been a success. Thirty states, including New Jersey, now regulate the plant's therapeutic use and eight states authorize its use and sale to all adults. These policy changes are not associated with increased marijuana use or access by adolescents or with adverse effects on traffic safety or in the workplace. Marijuana regulations are also associated with less opioid abuse and mortality. In jurisdictions where this retail market is taxed, revenue from marijuana sales has greatly exceeded initial expectations.

    Help us educate the Governor and his staff to the facts on marijuana. Enter your information below to urge Gov. Christie to support legalization. 

  • Texas: Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation Introduced

    Update: The Texas House of Representatives Committee on Public Health approved HR 2107 on May 5 by a vote of 7-2. The bill will now be considered by the Calendars Committee to determine the date of the full House vote. 

    Update: HB 2107 had a hearing on May 2 and after powerful targeted testimony, the number of cosponsors for the bill jumped from 5 to 75.

    Update: A bipartisan House version of SB269 to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Texas has just been introduced by Representative Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, titled HB 2107,

    State Senator Jose Menendez has filed Senate Bill 269, currently making its way through committee, to protect qualified patients who consume cannabis and to provide for the state-licensed production and distribution of the plant.

    SB 269 authorizes the possession, production, and distribution of medical marijuana and marijuana-infused products to qualified patients. Patients would receive cannabis through a network of private dispensaries and operators, similar to pharmacies, regulated under “strict guidelines” by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The state would use existing infrastructure and build upon the registry already established under the Compassionate Use Act, or SB 339, a 2015 bill Sen. Menendez co-authored and helped pass that lets patients with intractable epilepsy receive low-THC cannabis oil.
     
    Thirty states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Texas patients deserve these same protections.
     
    Please enter your info below to contact your state elected officials and urge them to support this pending legislation. For more information please visit Texas NORML's website or find your regional chapter here.
  • New York: Legislation To Add PTSD as a Qualifying Condition

    Update: A. 7006 was approved by the Senate on June 20 by a vote of 50 to 13. The measure now awaits action from the Governor.

    Update: Companion legislation, S. 5629 has passed the Senate Health Committee and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

    Update: A 7006 was referred to committee in the Senate.

    Update: Governor Andrew Cuomo says that he is open to expanding the state’s medical cannabis program to include patients with PTSD.

    Update: The New York Assembly passed A 7006 on May 2. The bill now awaits action by the Senate. 

    Legislation is moving forward, A. 7006, to allow patients with post-traumatic stress eligible for medical cannabis therapy.

    New York is one of the only states with a medical marijuana program that does not allow patients with PTSD access to medical cannabis.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your lawmakers to support this effort. 

  • Maine: Support Measure to Expedite Retail Cannabis Sales

    Legislation is pending to expedite the retail sale of marijuana products to those over the age of 21.

    LD 1448 and LD 1491 would permit licensed medical cannabis dispensaries the opportunity to "sell limited marijuana retail products to a person who is 21 years of age or older.”

    A majority of voters in November approved an initiated measure to permit the possession, production, and retail sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused products. However, emergency legislation signed into law in January delays the implementation of regulations overseeing the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana until at least February 1, 2018.

    Passage of these measures would allow dispensaries to engage in marijuana sales ahead of this date.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge lawmakers to move forward with LD 1448/LD 1491.

  • Colorado: Patients May Use Medical Cannabis While Awaiting Trial

    Legislation was signed into law that permits registered medical cannabis patients to legally use marijuana while on bond in a criminal case.

    Senate Bill 17 states, “[T]he court shall not require as a condition of any bond that [s] person ... with a valid registry identification card … abstain from the use of medical marijuana.” You can read the full text of the new law here.

    Existing law permits qualified patients to engage in cannabis therapy while probation, but only in circumstances where a judge does not object to it. 

    The new law takes effect on August 9, 2017.

    Follow Colorado NORML, Denver NORML, and Southern Colorado NORML

  • California: Oppose Legislation To Ban Vaping In Public Housing

    Update: The Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee voted in favor of AB 62 by a vote of 7-0 on April 27 and now heads to the full Assembly. 

    Legislation introduced by Assemblyman Jim Wood, AB 62, would ban smoking and vaping of tobacco, cannabis, and other medicinal herbs in public housing. 

    Cal NORML opposes the bill on the grounds that it bans cannabis as well as tobacco, making it impossible for medical cannabis patients to inhale their medicine legally. Unlike cannabis users, tobacco smokers are allowed to smoke openly in public, where use of cannabis is banned under Prop 64. There is no reason to think that cannabis poses the same second-hand exposure risks as tobacco.

    Other opponents of AB 62 include the ACLU, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. They argue against the inclusion of electronic cigarettes for reasons including the increased the risk of eviction and therefore homelessness among public housing residents.

    Federal rules already prohibit smoking in public housing, but do not include e-cigarettes. This is because there is no evidence that e-cigs pose a significant public health hazard, as they effectively eliminate harmful second-hand smoke toxins. 

    Meanwhile, NORML continues to hear from seriously ill people thoughout the country who are being evicted for smoking or vaping medical cannabis. Californian patients deserve to be able to consume their medicine.

    Enter your information below to send a message to your state lawmakers urging them to oppose AB 62. 

  • Federal: Remove Restrictions on CBD

    Update: HR 2273 and S. 1008 were referred to committees in their respective chambers.

    A bipartisan coalition of legislators has introduced HR 2273 to legalize the therapeutic use of cannabidiol (CBD).

    Senate companion legislation, S. 1008, is also pending before lawmakers.

    The bill amends the US Controlled Substances Act to exclude CBD and CBD-rich cannabis plants from the federal definition of marijuana. Under the present definition, all of the organic cannabinoids in the plant are classified as Schedule I controlled substances.

    Cannabidiol is non-intoxicating and clinical studies have determined it to be safe and well-tolerated in human subjects. The director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Nora Volkow, acknowledges that CBD is “a safe drug with no addictive effects.” Many patients now utilize CBD, primarily for its anti-convulsant effects.

    Seventeen states now acknowledge the therapeutic use of CBD by statute. However, because CBD products and high CBD-bearing remain illegal federally, patients typically lack a consistent, high-quality legal, in-state supply source for this medicine. 

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge lawmakers to take action on HR 2237.

  • Support The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act)

    Update: A hearing was held for S. 1152 on June 8th.

    Update: A bipartisan group of 9 Senators introduced a Senate version of the SAFE Banking Act (S. 1152) on May 18.

    A bipartisan coalition of more than two dozen co-sponsors have introduced legislation in Congress, The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE Banking Act), HR 2215, to allow state-licensed marijuana-related businesses to engage freely in relationships with banks and other financial institutions.

    If enacted, banks would no longer face the threat of federal sanction for working with marijuana-related businesses and entrepreneurs.

    Currently, hundreds of licensed and regulated businesses do not have access to the banking industry and are unable to accept credit cards, deposit revenues, or write checks to meet payroll or pay taxes. This situation is untenable. No industry can operate safely, transparently, or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions. Congress must move to change federal policy so that these growing number of state-compliant businesses, and their consumers, may operate in a manner that is similar to other legal commercial entities.

    “With the majority of states now allowing for some form of recreational or medical marijuana, we have reached a tipping point on this issue and it’s time for Congress to act,” says Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, one of the bill’s lead sponsors.. “Allowing tightly regulated marijuana businesses the ability to access the banking system will help reduce the threat of crime, robbery and assault in our communities and keep the cash out of cartels.”

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your member of Congress to support The SAFE Banking Act.

  • Vermont: Measure to Expand State’s Medical Cannabis Program Signed By Governor

    Update: Governor Phil Scott signed SB 17 into law on June 9. It takes effect July 1, 2017. 

    Update: Lawmakers sent SB 16 to the Governor on June 2.

    Update: Members of the House gave preliminary approval SB 16 on May 1. Once a final vote is recorded, the measure will be transmitted to the Governor’s office.

    Update: Members of the House Human Services Committee voted 10-0 in favor of SB 16 on April 27.

    Update: Members of the Senate approved the bill on February 17. It now awaits action from the House.

    Legislation is pending, SB 16, to expand the pool of patients eligible for cannabis therapy.

    If approved, SB 16 would permit physicians for the first time to recommend medical marijuana to patients with post-traumatic stress, Crohn’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease. The measure also allows physicians to immediately issue medical cannabis recommendations for patients suffering from cancer, a terminal illness, or under hospice care supervision.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your lawmakers to pass SB 16.

  • Colorado: Legislation to Protect Marijuana Laws From Federal Interference “Postponed Indefinitely"

    Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1 decided to “postponed indefinitely” further action on HB 17, likely killing it for this year.

    Update: Members of the House voted 56 to 7 on April 26 in favor of the bill. It now awaits action from the Senate.

    Legislation is pending to prohibit public employees from assisting federal agents in “arresting a Colorado citizen for committing an act that is a Colorado constitutional right.” Such acts would include the production and sale of marijuana.

    The majority of Colorado voters desire a legally regulated marijuana market. Passage of this act will limit state or local agencies from working with the federal government to undermine these regulations. 

    Senate lawmakers are also debating separate legislation, SB 192, to protect marijuana retailers from federal interference.
    Please use the pre-written letter below to contact your elected officials in support of the effort.

  • Colorado: Measure To Add PTSD as a Qualifying Condition Signed By Governor

    Update: Governor John Hickenlooper signed SB 17 into law on June 6.
    Legislation to make patients with post-traumatic stress eligible for medical cannabis therapy awaits action from Gov. John Hickenlooper.

    Members of the House approved the bill by a vote of 39 to 25. Senate members approved it by a vote of 32 to 2.

    Senate Bill 17 adds “stress disorders” to the list of debilitating conditions for which a physician may recommend cannabis.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge the Governor to sign SB 17 into law. 

  • Washington: Medical Cannabis Expansion Legislation Signed by Governor

    Update: Governor Inslee signed SB 5131 on May 16.

    House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, SB 5131, to expand medical cannabis access. The measure now awaits action from Gov. Jay Inslee.

    Senate Bill 5131 permits "Qualified medical marijuana patients and designated providers to purchase immature plants, clones, or seeds from a licensed producer. In order to purchase plants or clones the patients and providers must hold a recognition card and be entered in the medical marijuana authorization database."

    The bill also allows non-patients over the age of 21 to legally share cannabis with other adults for no remuneration. 

    SB 5131 also calls for a study committee to consider amending state law so that non-patients may cultivate personal quantities of cannabis at home. It states, "Not later than December 1, 2017, the state liquor and cannabis board must provide the appropriate committees of the legislature written findings and recommendations regarding the adoption and implementation of a regulatory and enforcement system for the legalization of marijuana plant possession and cultivation by recreational marijuana users.” Washington is the only adult use marijuana state that does not allow home cultivation. 

    Please use the pre-written letter below and urge the Governor to sign SB 5131 into law.

  • Federal: Bill Introduced To End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

    The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017, HR 1227, eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference. 

    With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, and with comments from the Trump administration warning of a coming federal crackdown in adult use states, passage of The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act is necessary to ensure that marijuana consumers are protected from undue federal interference. 

    Enter your information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this pending legislation. 

  • Tell Senator Fischer: Marijuana Is Not A "Gateway Drug"

    Senator Deb FischerNebraska Senator Debra Fischer has been claiming to her constituents that she opposes marijuana law reform because she believes that it is "a gateway drug to more harmful illicit narcotics."

    In fact, the available science concludes just the opposite.

    Over 60 percent of American adults have tried cannabis, according to data compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control. Statistically, the overwhelming majority of these individuals never go on to try another illicit substance, an empirical reality that persuaded investigators at the RAND Corporation to conclude, ”[M]arijuana has no causal influence over hard drug initiation.”  Moreover, by the time these individuals reach age 30, most of them have significantly decreased their cannabis use  or no longer indulge in the substance at all. 

    Help us educate the Senator and her staff to the facts on marijuana. Enter your information below to inform Sen. Fischer that cannabis is not a gateway drug. 

  • Montana: Measure to Amend State’s Medical Cannabis Program Signed By Governor

    Update: Governor Steve Buillock signed SB 333 into law on May 23.

    Update: In a final vote on Tuesday, the House voted 68-31 for Senate Bill 333, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Mary Caferro of Helena. The Senate passed the bill 34-16 last week.

    House and Senate lawmakers are in the final stages of reconciling legislation, SB 333, to amend the state’s medical cannabis program. The measure is anticipated to be transmitted to the Governor imminently.

    The legislation makes several amendments to I-182, which voters passed in November.

    The measure establishes various rules and regulations regarding the operation of cannabis dispensaries, production facilities, and testing labs. It does not amend the expanded list of qualifying conditions enacted by I-182. However, SB 333 does impose new taxes on medical marijuana gross sales. NORML opposes taxes of medical cannabis. It also reduces the number of seedlings qualified patients are permitted to possess at home from 12 to no more than four. It also imposes limits regarding the total harvest of cannabis permitted per patient. 

  • Federal - House and Senate Measures Seek to Protect Marijuana Businesses and Consumers

    Update: HR 1824 and S 780 were referred to committees.

    Senator Wyden and Representative Blumenauer have introduced legislation in the House and Senate (HR 1824 and S 780) to offer a wide range of legal protections to state-compliant marijuana-related businesses and consumers.

    Specifically, these measures will protect consumers in legal marijuana states by ensuring them access to public housing, financial aid, and by prohibiting them from deportation. They will also expand veterans' access to medical cannabis. These measures will assist businesses by ensuring them access to banking and by protecting them from federally-initiated civil asset forfeiture. They will also permit marijuana-related enterprises to be established on tribal lands free from federal interference.

    Enter your information below to urge your lawmakers to support S. 780 and HR 1824. 

  • Pennsylvania: Measure Pending to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties

    Update: Referred to the House Judiciary Committee on May 8.

    Update: Members of the House Transportation Committee held a hearing for HB 928 on April 25.

    Legislation is pending to reduce minor marijuana possession penalties.

    Under current law, possession of up to 30 grams is third-degree misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine and a driver's license suspension if convicted by a plea or trial.

    House Bill 928 amends state law so that first and second marijuana possession offenses (up to 30 grams) are reduced from misdemeanor offenses to a summary offense, punishable by a fine only.

    Please contact your elected officials in support of reducing marijuana possession penalties.

  • Cory Gardner: Co-Sponsor CARERS Act

    As you well know, 30 states plus the District of Columbia allow the use of medical marijuana, and several other states are currently considering similar legislation. It’s time we start to address this issue on the federal level.

    We are urging Cory Gardner to become a cosponsor of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act (CARERS). If passed by Congress, the CARERS Act would allow qualified patients, doctors, and marijuana-related businesses to engage in state-sanctioned behavior involving the production, sale, or use of medical marijuana without fear of federal prosecution and would codify the patchwork of Justice Department memos that currently dictates federal marijuana policy.

    Cory Gardner should protect citizens who engage in legal activities in Colorado. Enter your information below to urge him to co-sponsor the CARERS Act.

  • Texas: Affirmative Defense Legislation Pending For Medical Patients

    Update: HB 2200 was left in committee and will recieve no further consideration.

    Update: After hearing testimony late Monday 4/24, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee took no action on HB 2200.

    HB 2200, will provide an affirmative defense regarding medical cannabis that would protect patients, caregivers, and doctors.

    Affirmative defense establishes a basic set of facts surrounding marijuana possession cases. If someone with a qualifying medical condition is caught possessing marijuana, an affirmative defense for the individual would likely result in a more lenient punishment.

    This bill would not legalize medical marijuana nor create safe access but would allow for patients to defend themselves if arrested with their medicine and would allow for doctors to freely discuss cannabis options with their patients without fear of losing their licenses. The bill will be considered by the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on April 24th.

    It’s time Texas provided some protection for its citizens suffering from chronic diseases.  

    Enter your information below and urge your Representative to vote for HB 2200.

    For more information, visit https://www.texasnorml.org/

  • Louisiana: Governor Signs Bill to Provide Explicit Legal Protections for Medical Cannabis Recipients

    Update: The Governor signed SB 35 on June 22 and it goes into effect immediately. 

    Update: House members amended and passed SB 35 by a vote of 74 to 21 on June 5. Senate members approved the House changes on June 6. The reconciled bill will be transmitted to the Governor imminently.

    Update: SB 35 was passed on the floor by a 26 to 10 vote.

    SB 35, introduced by Sen. Yvonne Colomb, provides explicit exemptions from arrest and prosecution for persons lawfully in possession of medical marijuana.

    Presently, state regulators are finalizing rules and regulations governing its nascent medical cannabis program, which seeks to permit the production, dispensing, and use of non-herbal preparations of cannabis for qualified patients. Passage of SB 36 amends various criminal statutes to assure that those involved in the program are not inadvertently subject to criminal liability.

    Specifically, it provides immunity from arrest for those enrolled in the program who engage in activities related to the purchase or transportation of medical marijuana related products or paraphernalia. It provides further legal protections for pharmacies, producers, and testing laboratories engaged in medical cannabis related activities. 

    Enter your information below to contact your elected officials in support of this effort.

  • Wisconsin: Governor Signs Measure Expanding CBD-Exemption Law

    Governor Scott Walker has signed legislation, Senate Bill 10, amending the state’s CBD exemption law.

    The state’s CBD law, first signed in 2014, provided a legal exemption for the use of non-spycoactive CBD products by patients with seizure disorders. The new law exempts the use of non-psychoactive CBD products for any "medical condition" for which a physician recommends it. 

    Senate Bill 10 neither provides for an in-state supply source for CBD, nor does it establish a regulated distribution system for CBD-specfic products. 

  • Federal: Tell President Trump To Abolish The Office Of The Drug Czar

    Update: Tom Marino is no longer being considered for the position of Drug Czar.

    The Trump Administration is widely expected to pick Representative Tom Marino for Drug Czar.

    The Trump administration promised to eliminate bureaucratic waste. It should start by eliminating the office of the Drug Czar. 

    The White House Drug Czar is required, by statute, “to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance that is listed in Schedule I” and to “ensure that no Federal funds … shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in Schedule I.” This narrow-minded, Flat Earth mentality refuses to acknowledge the reality that the majority of the country is now authorized to engage in the use of medical cannabis and it mandates that US drug policy be dictated by rhetoric and ideology rather than by science and evidence.

    NORML opposes Marino’s appointment to Drug Czar and we further call for this anti-science position to be abolished entirely.

    The Drug Czar’s office is a remnant of a bygone era when US drug policy was framed as a ‘war’ fueled largely by rhetoric and ideology. In 2017 we can do better and we must. The majority of Americans view drug abuse as a public health issue, they favor regulating cannabis as opposed to criminalizing it, and they are demanding policy changes based on facts.

    Tell President Trump: There is no place for ‘Czars’ in today’s American government, particularly those who still cling to the outdated and failed drug war policies and misplaced ideologies of the past.

  • House/Senate Fail to Reconcile Amendment 2 Implementation Measure

    Update: House and Senate members failed to reconcile Amendment 2 implementation prior to the close of the 2017 legislative session. It will now be up to the Florida Department of Health to produce rules and regulations for the voter-initiated program. It is anticipated that the Department’s rules may be overly restrictive and will likely be challenged in court. Rules for the program must be in place by July.

    Update: Senate members voted 31 to 7 in favor of a slightly amended version of the House bill. The measure now returns to the House for a confirmation vote. Backers of Amendment 2 have threatened to take legal action if the reconciled legislation keeps in place an existing ban on smoked cannabis.

    Update: House members approved an amended version of HB 1397 by a vote of 105 to 9. As amended, the bill permits for edible formulations of cannabis and eases restrictions on vaporization. Patients would need to renew their physician’s recommendation every seven months as opposed to every 90 days. It also permits lawmakers to expand the number of state licensed dispensaries to 17 by July 1, 2018.

    Update: The Florida House of Representatives further amended HB 1397 to be less restrictive and more in line with the Senate's legislation. Final votes are expected this week

    Update: Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee approved SB 406 on April 25.

    Update: Members of the House Health & Human Services committee passed a committee substitute version of HB 1397 on April 24. The bill now awaits action from the full House. Efforts to reconcile the House bill with Senate Bill 406, a broader implementation bill, have so far not been successful.

    Update: Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services passed SB 406 on April 18.

    Update: Members of the House Appropriations Committee passed HB 1397 on April 18.

    On November 8th, more than 71 percent of Florida voters decided in favor of the constitutional amendment, Amendment 2, to allow for the licensed production, use, and dispensing of medical cannabis to patients with a doctor’s recommendation. However, state politicians are contemplating legislative efforts to amend the law in a manner that violates both its spirit and intent.

    For example, House Bill 1397 creates numerous unnecessary barriers for patients. It does not allow for edibles cannabis preparations and it outlaws the smoking of herbal cannabis. Vaporization is permitted but only for those who are diagnosed with a terminal illness. Rather, it mandates patients to use pills, tinctures, patches or suppositories — formulations that are arguably less effective than herbal cannabis. Physicians are also unduly restricted under this measure, as they can not recommend a patients’ medical use of cannabis for longer than a 45-day period, and it mandates a 90-day waiting period prior to issuing recommendations, even for terminal patients.

    House Bill 1397 also keeps in place existing caps on the number of state-licensed growers and dispensers. These caps are arbitrary and will not enable providers to keep up with increasing demand.

    A preferable legislative effort is Senate Bill 406. Unlike the dueling House measure, this proposal permits patients to access edible and herbal forms of cannabis, allows for patients to vaporize their medicine, allows out-of-state patients with valid medical cards to obtain medical marijuana, and does not exclude chronic pain patients from being eligible to obtain cannabis. It eliminates the 90-day waiting period for recommending physicians and also extends the time-table of doctors’ recommendations from 45 to 90 days. However, the Senate measure — like the House measure — initially caps the number of available providers and dispensers.

    Although neither of these bills truly satisfies the true intent of Amendment 2, Florida NORML contends that Senate Bill 406 is preferable to the House bill. With amendments to both bills expected, we urge Floridians to support the Senate implementation bill and to continue to advocate for further amendments to expand patients’ access.

    NORML of Florida, Central Florida NORML, Tallahassee NORML, NORML of Miami and Regulate Florida will be in Tallahassee April 18th and 19th to lobby for sensible implementation of Amendment 2.  House and Senate hearings regarding both bills are scheduled for April 18 and public testimony will be permitted.

    Enter your information below to send a message to your lawmakers to protect Amendment 2 and implement a robust medical marijuana program in the Sunshine State. 

  • Hawaii: Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill Signed By Governor

    Update: The Governor signed this legislation on June 22nd. 

    Update: The Senate changes were approved by the House. HB 1488 now awaits the governor's signature.

    Legislation to expand Hawaii’s medical cannabis program has passed both legislative chambers.

    The bill, HB 1488, has passed both the House and Senate. Senate changes to the bill must now be approved by members of the House before it can be sent to the Governor.

    The bill expands the number of qualifying conditions eligible to receive cannabis therapy to include: lupus, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and autism. It also permits patients’ caregivers to engage in medical cannabis cultivation, among other changes. 

    Full text of the measure is available here.

  • Indiana: Lawmakers Approve Dueling CBD Exemption Measures

    Update: Governor Holcolm signed HR 1148 into law on 4/26.

    Update: Governor Erin Holcolm has stated publicly that he will sign HB 1148 into law.

    Update: House Bill 1148 awaits action from the Governor. The finalized version of the bill establishes a patient registry permitting those with a physician’s diagnosis of intractable epilepsy to possess CBD formulations that possess at least five percent cannabidiol and no more than three-tenths percent THC. 

    House and Senate lawmakers have approved separate versions of legislation (House Bill 1148 and Senate Bill 15) to exempt criminal penalties for the possession of CBD extracts by qualified patients.

    Both bills seek to exempt penalties for the use of CBD extracts by patients with treatment resistant epilepsy. The bills differ regarding whether or not the state ought to establish a patient registry and with regard to the percentage of CBD that must be present in order for the substance to qualify as exempt under state law.

    Lawmakers rejected similar proposals in previous legislative sessions.

    If enacted into law, 46 states will allow either the use of marijuana, cannabis-infused products, or CBD products.

  • Georgia: Legislation To Expand CBD Medical Program Becomes Law

    Update: Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Tuesday a measure that expands the state’s medical marijuana program.

    Update: SB 16 has passed both legislative chambers and now awaits the signature or veto of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. Should he fail to take action regarding the bill, SB 16 will become law absent his signature.

    SB 16, a bill to expand Georgia’s CBD-exemption law is awaiting action from Gov. Nathan Deal.

    The bill expands the qualifying pool of patients eligible to possess CBD extracts to include those with autism, epidermolysis bullosa, AIDS, Tourette’s Syndrome, severe peripheral neuropathy, or who are in hospice care. The law also exempts qualified patients registered to use CBD in other states. 

    The measure does not provide a regulated, in state supply source where patients may legally obtain CBD-oil formulations.

  • Federal: House Bill Introduced to Expand Veterans’ Access to Medical Marijuana

    Update: HR 1820 has been referred to committee.

    Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), along with five co-sponsors, has reintroduced H.R. 1820, the Veterans Equal Access Act, which expands medical cannabis access to eligible military veterans.

    Presently, V.A. doctors are forbidden from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician. Passage of H.R. 1820 lifts this prohibition.

    Last year, majorities in both the US House and Senate voted to include similar language as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. However, Republicans sitting on the House Appropriations Committee elected to remove the language from the bill during a concurrence vote. Lawmakers must stop playing politics with veterans’ health and pass H.R. 1820.

    Veterans are increasingly turning to medical cannabis as an effective alternative to opioids and other conventional medications. A retrospective review of patients' symptoms published in 2014 in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs reported a greater than 75 percent reduction CAPS (Clinician Administered Posttraumatic Scale) symptom scores following cannabis therapy.

    Our veterans deserve the option to legally access a botanical product that is objectively safer than the litany of pharmaceutical drugs it could replace.

    Enter your information below to urge your lawmakers to support H.R. 1820, the Veterans Equal Access Act.

  • Federal: End Arbitrary License Suspensions For Minor Marijuana Possession

    Update: HR 1952 was referred to committee.

    Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) with Representatives Amash (R-MI), Jeffries (D-NY), Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Nadler (D-NY), and Love (R-UT) have introduced HR 1952, The Better Drive Act, legislation removing the federal mandate that demands states to suspend the driver's license of individuals with a marijuana possession conviction.

    Under current law, any drug conviction, regardless of whether or not a motor vehicle was involved, results in an automatic suspension of the individual's driving privileges for a period of six months. To date, 38 states have opted out of this mandate. Yet twelve states, home to more than 122 million residents – including Texas, New York, Michigan and Florida -- have not done so. Nearly 200,000 driver licenses are still suspended each year for these non-driving offenses. According to the AAMVA, nearly 4 out of every 10 suspended drivers who lost their license following a conviction for a drug or other type of offense were suspended for non-highway safety reasons.

    Enacted over 25 years ago as a part of the so-called “war on drugs,” this mandate imposed on states does not improve highway safety or help people address substance use. Rather, it has the opposite effect, as this mandate ends up costing minor offenders their ability to get to work and to school, and causes other undue economic hardships.

    This repeal of the federal mandate would have no impact on states ability to suspend licenses for drug offenses or enforce impaired driving statutes.

    Minor marijuana possession offenders ought not to face the undue burden of the loss of one's driving privileges for activities unrelated to driving. This punishment is disproportionate and unrelated to the offense and it needlessly hinders defendant's ability to rehabilitate and to be a successful member of our community.  

    Enter your information below to contact your member of Congress and urge them to support this legislation. 

  • Federal: End The Federal Government's Enforcement of Marijuana Prohibition

    Update: All 3 bills have been referred to committee in their respective chamber.

    Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis have introduced legislation in the House and Senate -- The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act / Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act  -- (SB 776 and HB 1841 / HB 1823) to permit states to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal interference. In addition to removing marijuana from the United States Controlled Substances Act, this legislation also removes enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matter concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales — thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit. An additional excise tax would be levied on the sale of marijuana.  

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for qualified patients, while eight states now regulate the production and sale of marijuana to all adults. An estimated 63 million Americans now reside in jurisdictions where anyone over the age of 21 may possess cannabis legally. Voters support these policy changes. According to a 2017 Quinnipiac University poll, 59 percent of Americans support full marijuana legalization and 71 percent believe that states, not the federal government, should set marijuana policy. 

    These statewide regulatory schemes are operating largely as voters and politicians intended. The enactment of these policies have not negatively impacted workplace safety, crime rates, traffic safety, or youth use patterns. They have stimulated economic development and tax revenue. Specifically, a 2017 report estimates that 123,000 Americans are now working full-time in the cannabis industry. Tax revenues from states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington now exceed initial projections. Further, numerous studies have identified an association between cannabis access and lower rates of opioid use, abuse, hospitalizations, and mortality.

    The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant's medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.

    By contrast, regulating the adult use of marijuana stimulates economic growth, saves lives, and has the support of the majority of the majority of Americans. 

    Enter your information below to send a message to your members of Congress to support this effort. 

  • Federal: Legislation Pending To Cease Penalizing State-Compliant Marijuana Businesses Under the Federal Tax Code

    Update: SB 777 and HB 1810 have both been referred to committee in the Senate and House, respectively.

    The Small Business Tax Equity Act (SB 777 and HB 1810) is pending in the House and Senate to amend the federal tax code so that state-licensed, marijuana-related businesses are no longer unduly penalized by federal laws. NORML supports these legislative efforts.

    These measures amend Section 280E of the Federal Income Tax Code so that state-compliant marijuana operators for the first time can take business deductions for standard expenses such as rent and employee compensation and benefits — just like other legally licensed business entities.

    According to a 2017 report, over 120,000 workers are now employed full time in the legal cannabis industry. Allowing deductions for rent and employee costs would help these businesses grow economically and would provide incentives for hiring additional employees.

    The marijuana industry is an economic generator for America. Businesses in this space should be regulated by the federal tax code in a manner that is fair, that will help stimulate economic growth, and that allows the marijuana industry and those who operate in it to avoid unjustified tax penalties.

    Enter your information below to email your elected officials to support this effort.  

  • Colorado: Bill To Thwart The Federal Government Signed By Governor

    Update: SB 192 was signed into law June 2. 

    Update: S. 192 passed the Senate on May 9 and was transmitted to Governor Hickenlooper on May 18. The bill now awaits his signature or veto.

    Update: House members approved SB 192 on May 3 by a vote of 58 to 5. Because of House amendments, the bill returns to the Senate, which must either re-approve the measure or seek reconciliation.

    Update: Members of the House Finance Committee have referred SB 192 to the Appropriations Committee.

    Update: SB 192 passed the Senate on April 12 and now awaits action from the House.

    Update: The bill passed 4-1 committee in the Republican Senate

    State officials in Colorado are considering legislation, SB 192, to protect the state's adult use marijuana industry in case of a potential federal crackdown. 

    The bill would permit adult use growers and sellers to instantly reclassify their recreational marijuana inventory as medical marijuana "based on a business need due to a change in local, state, or federal law or enforcement policy." In recent weeks, officials from the Trump administration have indicated that they may consider taking action against recreational marijuana providers, but that they will not likely move against state-licensed medical marijuana providers.

    You can contact your local officials in support of SB 192 by using the pre-written letter below.

  • Illinois: Marijuana Legalization Bills Introduced

    Update: Lawmakers held their first hearing on the issue on Wednesday, April 19, at 10am.

    Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate (House Bill 2353 and Senate Bill 316) to legalize the adult use of marijuana and to regulate the commercial cannabis market. 

    The measures permits adults to legally possess personal or grow use quantities of marijuana in private.  Additional provisions establish a regulated market for the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana to adults.

    A new poll by Southern Illinois University shows that sixty-six percent of Illinois voters support the legalization of recreational marijuana if it is taxed and regulated like alcohol.

    Please urge your lawmakers to support this important legislative effort.

    For more information about statewide marijuana law reform efforts, please vist Illinois NORML herefollow Illinois NORML on Facebook and follow ILNORML on Twitter

  • Nevada: Measure Seeks to Vacate Former Marijuana Convictions

    Update: Members of the Assembly failed to move AB 259 prior to the 2017 legislative crossover deadline, thus tabling it for this year.

    Update: AB 259 was heard in the Assembly Corrections, Parole, and Probation Committee on 4/13, and it passed as amended.

    Legislation is pending, Assembly Bill 259, to vacate certain marijuana possession convictions that occurred prior to the plant’s legalization. 

    The measure would permit those with criminal convictions for offenses involving the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana prior to January 1, 2017 to have their convictions vacated.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your elected officials to support this common sense legislation.

  • Federal: Demand That The New US Attorney’s Respect State Marijuana Laws

    On March 10, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for the resignation of the 46 remaining US Attorneys who had been previously appointed under the Obama administration.

    Members of the Senate will now be asked to consider new appointments. Please contact your Senator and urge him/her to consider those US Attorneys who will respect statewide marijuana laws. 

    With 29 states having established medical marijuana programs and eight states having enacted adult-use regulatory laws, it is vital that those appointed to this prestigious position respect the will of the electorate.

    US Attorneys possess broad authority when both interpreting the laws and prioritizing their enforcement. Under the past administration, US Attorneys largely took a ‘hands off’ approach in jurisdictions that had legalized the use of marijuana, as directed by the 2013 “Cole Memo.” Incoming US Attorneys ought to take a similar approach. 

    Tell your Senator to defend the majority of voters who reside in legal cannabis states and to reject those nominees who will not support state marijuana laws. 

  • Maine: Require Insurance to Cover Medical Marijuana Expenses

    Update: LD 1064 was voted down on June 12 and will no longer recieve consideration this year. 

    Update: LD 1064 was heard in committee on 4/4 at 1:00 PM.

    Legislation is pending, LD 1064, to require health insurance policies to cover expenses related to the physician authorized use of medical cannabis.

    The measure states, “A carrier offering a health plan in this State shall provide coverage for marijuana for  medical use for an enrollee who has received certification for the medical use of marijuana from a medical provider.”

    The purchase of medical cannabis is a significant expense for many patients, particularly those dealing with chronic conditions for which cannabis-related products provide relief. Just as health insurance provide financial assistance to offset other medical and health-related expenditures, these policies should also address the medical use of marijuana.

    Please enter your zip code below to urge lawmakers to support this legislation.

  • West Virginia: Legislation Introduced to Legalize Marijuana

    Legislation by Delegate Hornbuckle of Cabell, House Bill 3035, to legalize and regulate the adult use, production, and sale of marijuana is before members of the House Health and human Resources Committee.

    House Bill 3035, allows adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and to cultivate up to six cannabis plants for their own personal use. It also regulates the commercial marijuana market and allows for the production of industrial hemp.

    The West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy projects that the state could generate between $45 to $194 million dollars a year in tax revenue by regulating the commercial cannabis market. 

    Eight states, encompassing some 20 percent of the US population, have enacted similar adult use regulations. 

    Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge their support for this important measure. 

  • Massachusetts: Support Legislation to End Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Consumers

    Update: A hearing for H 113 is scheduled for 07/31/2017 from 01:00 PM-05:00 PM in B-1.

    Update: H.2385 was incorporated into H. 3776, which is the House bill to rewrite the implementation of Question 4. You can follow that legislation by clicking HERE

    Update: A joint hearing for H 2385 was held on 4/3.

    Legislation is pending before the House, H 113, to prohibit employers from discriminating against patients who legally consume marijuana during non-work hours. Additional legislation, H 2385, would expand protections for medical marijuana patients so that they may not be discriminated against with regard to housing, higher education, and child custody issues. 

    Changes in the legal status of marijuana has not been associated with any adverse changes in workplace safety. In fact, a pair of studies from 2016 find that legalization is associated with greater workforce participation and with fewer workplace absences. Most recently, the National Academies of Sciences just-released marijuana and health report found “insufficient evidence” to support an association between cannabis use and occupational accidents or injuries.

    It is time to end this discriminatory policy.

    Those who consume conventional medications legally and responsibly while off the job do not suffer sanctions from their employers unless their work performance is adversely affected. Employers should treat those patients who consume cannabis legally while away from the workplace in a similar manner.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your elected officials to end discrimination against marijuana patients. 

  • Montana: Oppose The Proposed Tax on Medical Marijuana

    Update: HB 529 was tabled in the House Taxation Committee on 3/31. However, separate legislation imposing new taxes on gross sales of medical cannabis, SB 333 awaits action from the Governor and is expected to be signed into law.

    Update: HB 529 was tabled in the House Taxation Committee.

    Update: Members of the House Taxation Committee heard testimony on the bill on March 15. Most witnesses testified against the bill.

    House Bill 529 imposes a special six percent statewide tax upon medical marijuana sales. This tax would be in addition to the imposition of existing state and local taxes.

    While NORML generally does not oppose the imposition of fair and reasonable sales taxes on the commercial sales of cannabis for recreational purposes, we do not support such excessive taxation on medical sales. Most other states that regulate medical cannabis sales do not impose such taxes and Montana patients should not be forced to pay these excessive costs.

    Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge them to oppose this measure.

  • Federal: Demand That The New US Attorney’s Respect State Marijuana Laws

    On March 10, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for the resignation of the 46 remaining US Attorneys who had been previously appointed under the Obama administration.

    Members of the Senate will now be asked to consider new appointments. Please contact your Senator and urge him/her to consider those US Attorneys who will respect statewide marijuana laws. 

    With 29 states having established medical marijuana programs and eight states having enacted adult-use regulatory laws, it is vital that those appointed to this prestigious position respect the will of the electorate.

    US Attorneys possess broad authority when both interpreting the laws and prioritizing their enforcement. Under the past administration, US Attorneys largely took a ‘hands off’ approach in jurisdictions that had legalized the use of marijuana, as directed by the 2013 “Cole Memo.” Incoming US Attorneys ought to take a similar approach. 

    Tell your Senator to defend the majority of voters who reside in legal cannabis states and to reject those nominees who will not support state marijuana laws. 

  • Maryland: Measure Making It Easier To Expunge Criminal Marijuana Convictions Becomes Law

    Update: Senate Bill 949 became law absent the Governor’s signature on May 27. 

    Update: The Senate has passed enrolled SB 949 which means the bill was adopted with the House amendments. SB 949 has now been sent to the governor for approval.

    Update: The Senate refuses to concur with the House amendments, so the Senate is requesting that the House recedes on the amendments for SB 949.

    Update: A hearing for SB 949 was held in the House on 3/29 at 1:00 PM.

    Update: HB 379 has passed the House of Delegates on March 20 and will now be reconciled with SB 949.  

    Update: The Senate passed SB 949 on March 15 and it now will be considered by the House.

    House and Senate legislation is pending to allow those with past criminal marijuana convictions to have those records expunged.

    House Bill 379 / Senate Bill 949 permit those who received a criminal marijuana possession conviction prior to October 1, 2014, to seek expungement of their records.

    Maryland law was amended on that date so that the possession of up to ten grams of cannabis is no longer a criminal offense. 

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your elected officials to support this common sense legislation.

    Further information regarding pending marijuana law reform legislation is available from Maryland NORML.
  • Oklahoma: Hemp Production Legislation Introduced

    Update: SB 704 was read for a second time and referred to committee.

    Legislation has been introduced, Senate Bill 704, to provide for hemp cultivation and manufacturing.

    The measure excludes industrial hemp from the state’s definition of marijuana and provides for its commercial cultivation and export.

    The measure also expands the list of qualifying conditions eligible for CBD treatment under state law. Under this change, patients with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety would be eligible for medicinal cannabis products as long as those formulations are in liquid form and do not exceed 12 percent THC.

    Please use the prewritten letter below to urge lawmakers to support this legislation.

  • Kansas: Legislation Pending To Permit Patients Access to Low-THC Cannabis

    Update: The Kansas legislature is adjourned and the bill will not recieve further consideration this year.

    Update: Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee heard the bill on Wednesday, March 15 at 1:30pm, Room 546-S.

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 2152, to permit qualified patients access to marijuana or extracts containing CBD and low levels of THC.

    The measure would permit patients with Alzheimer's disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder or a condition causing seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy, to possess marijuana or extracts containing no more than three percent THC. The measure also seeks to establish rules governing the state-licensed cultivation of low-THC marijuana strains and the preparation of products derived from such strains.

    While HB 2152 does not legalize medical marijuana outright, it is an important first step in the process of revisiting and revising Kansas’ marijuana laws.

    You can write your lawmakers in support of this penalty reduction by entering your information below.

  • New Mexico: Tell Lawmakers to Override Governor’s Hemp Veto

    Update: Lawmakers have introduced a third hemp research bill, House Bill 530. This bill was passed by the House on March 14 by a vote of 65 to 1, and now awaits senate action.

    Update: Governor Martinez has vetoed the second hemp bill on March 12th. 

    Governor Susana Martinez has vetoed House Bill 144, which sought to establish a hemp research program in compliance with provisions in the federal Farm Bill explicitly authorizing states to engage in licensed activity involving hemp absent federal reclassification of the plant. The Governor provided no public explanation for the veto. 

    The bill has previously passed the House and Senate by votes of 42 to 26 and 30 to 12 respectively.

    New Mexico is one of the only states that fails to recognize hemp as an agricultural commodity rather than as a controlled substance.

    A similar provision, Senate Bill 6, passed the House and Senate by votes of 58 to 8 and 37 to 2.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge lawmakers to override the veto on SB 6.

  • New Hampshire: Patient Cultivation Bill Pending

    Update: HB 472 was re-referred for further study. Lawmakers will not take further action of the measure this session.

    Update: A hearing for HB 472 was held on Tuesday 4/11 at 1:30 PM.

    Update: HB 472 has been introduced to the Senate and referred to committee.

    Update: Members of the House of Representatives have passed HB 472. It now awaits action by the Senate.

    House legislation is pending, HB 472, to permit qualified patients to cultivate their own medicine.

    Under present law, qualified patients must purchase cannabis from one of a handful of state-licensed dispensaries.

    House Bill 472 allows patients to cultivate up to two mature plants and up to 12 seedlings at one time.

    Permitting patients the ability to grow their own personal use of cannabis assures that they have an uninterrupted supply of medicine. Passage of this measure is extremely important for those patients who lack means to reliable transportation or who do not have an operating dispensary in their area. 

    Please use the pre-written letter below to contact your state elected officials and urging them to support this legislative effort. 

  • Oregon: Governor Signs Legislation To Protect Consumer’s Privacy

    Update: Governor Kate Brown on April 17 signed SB 863 into law. The act took effect upon passage. You can read the full text here.

    Update: Members of the House on 4/10 voted 53 to 5 in favor of SB 863. The measure now awaits action from Gov. Kate Brown.

    Update: SB 863 will be heard by the House floor at 11am on Monday 4/3. If approved, the bill goes into effect immediately.

    Update: SB 863 cleared the Senate and is now headed to the House.

    Update: SB 863 was heard on Tuesday March 14.

    Legislation is pending in the Senate, SB 863, to limit the federal government from acquiring data regarding adults and patients who legally purchase marijuana under state law.

    The emergency legislation, which would take immediate effect, mandates that retailers and dispensaries do not maintain customers’ purchase and/or personal identification records beyond 48 hours.

    Sponsors of the bipartisan measure say the privacy protections are in response to recent statements by the Trump administration with regard to a possible enforcement crackdown in adult use marijuana states. 

    “I could see where the federal government would come in and try to gather this information from businesses that have stockpiled it and retained it in their records,” said Sen. Floyd Prozanski, one of the bill’s sponsors. “I think we as legislators have a duty to protect our citizens.”

    Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials regarding this measure. 

  • Nevada: Legislation Pending To Permit Social Use

    Update: SB 236 passed the Senate by a margin of 21-12. It will now be sent to the house.

    Update: SB 236 was amended in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/12 and it passed as amended.

    Update: SB 236 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/3.

    Senate legislation is pending, SB 236, to regulate the social use of cannabis.

    The measure allows select businesses to apply for licensing to permit adult marijuana use on their premises. It would also allow event organizers to seek permits to allow adult use at specific events. 

    To date, private adult use of marijuana is permitted, but only in a private residence. Passage of SB 236 establishes a regulatory framework to permit adults the option to consume cannabis at specified public places or events. 

    Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials to urge them to support this measure. 

  • DC: Legalization Measure Re-Introduced to City Council

    Councilman David Grosso has re-introduced the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act. First introduced in 2014, DC voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot measure.

    The bill will legalize marijuana use for adults over the age of 21 and will allow the city to tax and regulate a commercial market. Due to DC’s unique charter in Congress, however, this provision of the law was gutted in 2014.

    Grosso believes the city “has spoken when it comes to marijuana policy and it's our obligation as the city's elected leaders to carry out the will of the people.” 

    Even DC’s department of health favors the taxation and regulation of marijuana, as it is estimated to generate up to $130 million in sales by 2020. DC citizens’ rights have been trampled long enough. It is time to follow the will of the people and establish a commercial marijuana market.

    Enter your information below to urge your elected officials to vote for the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2017.

    Find out more about DC NORML on their website and follow them on Facebook

  • DC: Legalization Measure Re-Introduced to City Council

    Councilman David Grosso has re-introduced the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act. The bill will legalize marijuana use for adults over the age of 21 and will allow the city to tax and regulate a commercial market. Previous attempts to legalize the commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana in DC have been stymied by the United States Congress, who have budgetary oversight of the district. In 2014, DC residents voted overwhelmingly to legalize the possession and home cultivation of marijuana for adult use.

    Grosso believes the city “has spoken when it comes to marijuana policy and it's our obligation as the city's elected leaders to carry out the will of the people.” 

    Even DC’s Department of Health favors the taxation and regulation of marijuana, as it is estimated to generate up to $130 million in sales by 2020. DC citizens’ rights have been trampled long enough. It is time to follow the will of the people and establish a commercial marijuana market.

    Enter your information below to urge your elected officials to vote for the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2017.

    Find out more about DC NORML on their website and follow them on Facebook

  • Florida: Marijuana Decriminalization Measures introduced

    Update: Lawmakers took no further legislative action on the bill this legislative session.

    Update: Florida Senate Committee on Criminal Justice met to discuss SB 1662 on Monday 4/17.

    Legislation is pending in the House and Senate, SB 1662 and HB 1403, to amend marijuana penalties so that the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis (28.5 grams) is no longer a criminal offense.

    The bills reclassify minor marijuana offenses for those age 18 and older to a civil offense, punishable by a fine only — no jail and no criminal record.

    Under existing law, the possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Possession of larger quantities is classified as a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. These penalties are some of the strictest in the nation. 

    Annually, police arrest over 40,000 Floridians for marijuana possession violations, one of the highest totals in the country. About 90 percent of all misdemeanor drug arrests in Florida are for marijuana possession. As a result, several cities and counties in Florida in recent years have moved to enact local decriminalization measures. 

    Please contact your state elected officials today and urge them to support this important legislative reform. For additional information on statewide reform efforts, please visit Florida NORML here.

  • Washington: Governor Signs Legislation To Exclude Hemp as a Controlled Substance

    Update: The Governor signed the law on April 27 and it will go into effect July 23, 2017

    Update: The Senate passed HB 2064 48-0 on April 12. The bill will now go to the Governor for their signature or veto.

    Update: Executive action was taken in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on March 22 at 8:00 AM. Majority reported that it do pass.

    Update: HB 2064 held a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on March 9 at 10:00 AM.

    Update: HB 2064 has unanimously passed the House and awaits action in the Senate.

    Legislation is before lawmakers, House Bill 2064, to amend state law so that industrial hemp is not longer classified under the state’s uniform controlled substances act. 

    If passed, hemp plants will no longer be regulated as a controlled substance.

    Please use the prewritten letter below to urge lawmakers to support this legislation.

    For more information about this bill and other pending legislation, please contact Washington NORML.

  • New Mexico: Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Gains Momentum

    Update: Members of the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee passed SB 258 on March 14. It must still pass through one additional committee prior to receiving a House floor vote.

    Update: A Senate substitute version of SB 258 was passed 33 to 9 by members of the Senate. The amended version of the bill now awaits action by the House.  

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 258, to reduce penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses.

    The measure eliminates criminal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one-half of one ounce of cannabis, reducing the offense to a $50 fine. Under present law, this offense is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 15 days in jail and criminal record.

    Under current law, marijuana possession offenses over one ounce are punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

    Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials in support of this important measure.

  • Iowa: Bill Pending to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties
    Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee passed the measure to the full Committee on February 28.

    Senate legislation is pending, SF 280, to reduce penalties involving the possession of five grams of marijuana or less.

    If passed, the measure would classify first time offenses from a serious misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, to a simple misdemeanor, punishable by no more than 30 days in jail and a $625 fine.

    These changes would not apply to subsequent offenders. Senate File 280 does not decriminalize minor marijuana offenses, but it is an important first step in the process of revisiting and revising Iowa’s marijuana laws.

    You can write your lawmakers in support of this penalty reduction by entering your zip code below.

  • Missouri: Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced

    Update: The Missouri legislature is adjourned and the bill will not recieve further consideration this year.

    Update: On May 12 HB 1095 was referred to the House Select Committee on Local, State, Federal Relations and Miscellaneous Business.

    Legislation has been introduced in the House, HB 1095, to legalize the adult use of marijuana and to regulate the commercial cannabis market.

    The measure permits adults to legally possess up to 35 grams (approximately 1 and 1/4 ounces) of marijuana and/or to cultivate up to six marijuana plants. Adults may legally possess the total yield from those plants.

    Additional provisions establish a regulated market for the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana and industrial hemp.

    Please urge your lawmakers to support this important legislative effort.

    For more information about statewide marijuana law reform efforts, please follow Missouri NORML on Facebook here.

  • Federal: Bill Introduced To End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

    The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017, HR 1227, eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference. 

    With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, and with comments from the Trump administration warning of a coming federal crackdown in adult use states, passage of The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act is necessary to ensure that marijuana consumers are protected from undue federal interference. 

    Enter your information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this pending legislation.

  • Vermont: Senate Approves Legislation to Tax and Regulate the Sale of Marijuana

    Update: The House voted to pass S. 22 by vote of a 79 to 66 and the legislation will now go to Governor Phil Scott for his signature or veto. Call the Governors office at (802) 828-3333 and send him an email below. 

    Update: The Senate has passed on May 5 an unrelated bill (S. 22) to include the provisions of H. 170. It maintains House approved language eliminating penalties for the possession and cultivation of personal use amounts of marijuana by July 2018, but also creates a new Marijuana Regulation Commission, to draft legislation by November 1, 2017 that "establishes a comprehensive regulatory and revenue system for an adult-use marijuana market that, when compared to the current illegal marijuana market, increases public safety and reduces harm to public health." The commission's bill would be ready for a vote by January 2018.

    H. 170 will now have to be considered and passed as amended by the House before the legislative session ends Saturday or will not become law. 

    Update: Members of the Senate voted 21 to 9 on April 21 in favor of an unrelated House bill, H. 167, which Senators had amended to include language to legalize the recreational marijuana market. Other Senate amendments in the bill mimic language in H. 170, which eliminates criminal and civil penalties specific to the possession or cultivation of personal use quantities of cannabis. The amended version of H. 167 now returns to the House for further action.

    Update: H 490 has been read for the first time and referred to committee in the House.

    Rep. Samuel Young has introduced H. 490 to regulate the commercial and retail marijuana market.

    H. 490 establishes a regulated system whereby adults may legally obtain marijuana from state-licensed retail providers and sellers.

    Statewide polling reports that a majority of Vermont voters support legalizing and regulating marijuana. According to a RAND Corporation study, regulating the commercial sale of cannabis in Vermont would generate $20 million to $75 million annually in new tax revenue.

    Please enter your information below to urge Governor Scott to sign S. 22

  • North Carolina: Medical Marijuana Legislation Filed

    Update: The bill will not recieve further consideration this year.

    Update: SB 579 and SB 648 both passed their first readings and were referred to committees.

    Update: A Senate version of the bill has been introduced, SB 579, by Senators Joel Ford and Erica Smith-Ingram on April 3 and identical bill, SB 648, by Senators Terry Van Duyn and Valerie Foushee on April 4.

    Update: HB 185 passed the first reading and has been referred to committee.

    Comprehensive legislation to legalize patients use of and access to medical marijuana has been filed by Representatives Kelly M. Alexander, Jr., Becky Carney, Pricey Harrison, and Rodney Moore. Co-sponsors include Representatives John Autry, John Ager, Mary Belk, Deb Butler, Carla Cunningham, Susan C. Fisher, Edward Hanes, Jr., Yvonne Lewis Holley, Howard J. Hunter, III, Philip Lehman, and Brian Turner. 

    HB 185, the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act, permits qualified patients to possess up to 24 ounces of cannabis or grow their own personal supply. Separate provisions in the Act license and regulate the dispensing of cannabis from state-licensed facilities.

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. North Carolina patients deserve these same protections.

    Contact North Carolina NORML to get involved in your area.

    Enter your information below to urge your lawmakers to support the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act.

  • Arkansas: Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Tax Measure

    Update: An amended version of HB 1580 was signed into law and is now Act 1098. It states, “A cultivation facility, dispensary, or other marijuana business shall collect and remit a special privilege tax of four percent from the gross receipts or gross proceeds derived from each sale of usable marijuana."

    Update: The House concurred, and HB 1580 now awaits Governor Hutchinson's signature.

    Update: The Senate approved HB 1580 with a 31-1 vote. The bill already passed the House, but was sent back there for a concurrence vote after amendments were added in the Senate.

    Update: HB 1580 was returned by committee, with recommendation that it Do Pass.

    Update: HB 1580 was referred to committee in the Senate.

    Update: HB 1580 was approved by House lawmakers in a 77 to 3 vote. It now awaits action by the Senate.

    House Bill 1580 imposes a special eight percent statewide tax upon medical marijuana sales. This tax would be in addition to the imposition of existing state and local taxes.

    While NORML generally does not oppose the imposition of fair and reasonable sales taxes on the commercial sales of cannabis for recreational purposes, we do not support such excessive taxation on medical sales. Most other states that regulate medical cannabis sales do not impose such taxes and Arkansas patients should not be forced to pay these excessive costs.

    Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge them to oppose this measure.

  • Colorado: Legislation To Support Marijuana Social Clubs Introduced

    Update: The House Second Reading for Sb 184 is being laid over daily.

    Update: SB 184 passed the House Finance Committee on March 20 by a vote of 8 to 3.

    Update: SB 184 passed the full Senate on Thursday, March 9, by a vote of 25-10 and will now be sent to the House. Gov. Hickenlooper has threatened a veto, saying he opposes any expansion of indoor smoking. 

    Colorado State Senator Bob Gardner and Representative Dan Pabon have introduced legislation, SB 184, The Marijuana Membership Clubs and Public Use Bill, will provide Colorado municipalities with the regulatory framework needed to allow responsible adults the option to socially consume marijuana in a membership club away from the general public.

    Last November, voters In California and Maine approved public marijuana consumption through Proposition 64 and Question 1, but haven't settled on rules. This means Colorado could be first out of the gate with statewide regulations for pot clubs. 

    Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials to urge them to support this measure. For more information about this bill and other pending legislation, please contact Denver NORML.

  • West Virginia: Governor Signs West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act

    Update: Gov. Jim Justice signed SB 386 into law on April 19.

    Update: The House and Senate concurred on an amended version of SB 386 on April 6. A summary of the amended bill is online here. The measure now goes to the Governor, who indicates that he intends to sign it.

    Update: SB 386 passed the House with an amendment by Delegate John Shott, (R-Mercer) that would prohibit herbal marijuana, ban home grown, and charge $50,000 annual fees for growers and processors. 

    Governor Jim Justice, in the past had clearly stated that he supports medical marijuana, so the last hurdle appears to be whether the Senate will agree to the onerous new amendment added by the House.

    Update: SB 386 passed the Senate by a vote of 28-6 and will now head to the House.

    A coalition of Senate lawmakers have introduced legislation, SB 386, which seeks to establish the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act — a state-sponsored program that will permit qualified patients to obtain medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries. A House version of the bill, HB 2677, is also pending.

    Passage of the bill establishes a commission tasked with developing “policies, procedures, guidelines, and regulations to implement programs to make medical cannabis available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner.”

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. West Virginia patients deserve these same protections.

    Please enter your information below to contact your state Senator and urge them to support this pending legislation.

  • California: Support Legislation to Protect Marijuana Laws From Federal Interference

    Update: AB-1578 was passed by members of the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 27 by a 5-2 vote.

    Update: AB 1578 passed the Assembly on June 1 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

    Update: AB 1578 was passed by members of the House Public Safety Committee on April 18 by a vote of 5-2.

    Legislation is pending, Assembly Bill 1578, to try and limit potential federal interference in the state’s marijuana regulatory laws.

    The bill states, “This bill would prohibit a state or local agency, as defined, from taking certain actions without a court order signed by a judge, including using agency money, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to assist a federal agency to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for commercial or noncommercial marijuana or medical cannabis activity that is authorized by law in the State of California and transferring an individual to federal law enforcement authorities for purposes of marijuana enforcement.”

    The majority of Californians desire a legally regulated marijuana market. Passage of this act will limit state or local agencies from working with the federal government to undermine these regulations. 

    Please use the pre-written letter below to contact your elected officials in support of AB 1578. Additional information regarding pending legislation is available from California NORML.

  • Washington: Oppose Measure Seeking to Repeal Marijuana Legalization

    Update: HB 2096 failed to emerge out of committee prior to this year’s legislative deadline. No further action will be taken this year.

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 2096, that seeks to repeal “all laws legalizing the use, possession, sale, or production of marijuana and marijuana-related products.”

    While we do not anticipate this measure gaining traction, please let your lawmakers — and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brad Klippert -- know that you oppose this effort.

    You can e-mail the sponsor here. You can submit public comment on the measure here. You can send a letter to your elected officials by entering your zip code below.

  • Maryland: Oppose Measure To Impose Zero Tolerant Presumptive THC Impairment Standards

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 974, that prohibits individuals from operating a motor vehicle if they have any “detectable level” of THC or its inert metabolite THC-COOH present in their blood. Members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee heard testimony on this bill on March 2nd at 1pm.

    NORML opposes this proposal.

    The presence of low levels of THC or its inert metabolite THC-COOH in blood is an inappropriate and inconsistent indicator of psychomotor impairment. No less than the United States Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) agrees, stating, "It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. ... It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone, and currently impossible to predict specific effects based on THC-COOH concentrations." 

    It should not be presumed that the detection of THC or its THC-COOH metabolite is predictive of psychomotor impairment and such a presumption should not be codified in Maryland’s traffic safety statutes. The imposition and enforcement of this measure risks inappropriately convicting unimpaired subjects of traffic safety violations.

    Enter your information below to let your elected officials know that they should oppose this unscientific proposal.

  • New York: Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions

    Update: The 2017 legislative session came to a close with lawmakers taking no further action on A. 2142 and S. 3809.

    Update: NORML is joining multiple organizations, including Empire State NORML and the Drug Policy Alliance in calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to include the language from A. 2142 and S. 3809 in his budget.

    Update: A. 2142 has passed the state Assembly by a vote of 95 to 38. The Senate has yet to take action on its companion bill, S. 3809.

    Legislation (A. 2142 and S. 3809) is before the Assembly and Senate to seal the records of those who have previously been convicted of the possession of marijuana in public view.

    New York has historically had the highest marijuana-related arrest rate in the nation largely because of questionable arrests made under the 'public view' exception. These arrests primarily target African Americans and Hispanics, and have been roundly criticized by leading politicians and civil rights advocates. (Legislation to close this loophole is pending, and you may contact your lawmakers and urge them to make this change here)

    Passage of A. 2142 and S. 3809 will make it so these hundreds of thousands of minor offenders are no longer stigmatized by their arrest record.

    “I introduced the marijuana sealing bill because drug laws have created a permanent underclass of people unable to find jobs after a conviction,” said Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “One of the most damaging issues derived from the war on drugs is that the policies are inherently racist. Communities of color have been devastated by bad drug policies and hyper-criminalization for the last 40 years. It is an approach that has never worked and has caused significantly more harm than good to our communities and to our families. If today’s moment of increased attention to heroin encourages us to center public health in our drug policy, then we need to ensure that we are making amends to communities of color by alleviating the burden bad policies have had on their lives. Sealing low-level marijuana possession convictions is the first step to reintegrating thousands of New Yorkers who are inhibited daily from accessing employment, housing and an education all due to a conviction on their record for simple possession of marijuana.”

    Enter your information below to contact your New York state elected officials and Governor Cuomo, urging them to support this common sense measure.

  • Tell Your Congressional Representative: Join the Cannabis Caucus

    Update: Indicating to reporters that a federal crackdown is forthcoming, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said "I'm definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana," he said. "States they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not." 

    Update: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against marijuana. “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, and added that the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.”

    With public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws. 

    Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation's nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition. The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of adults throughout America, 93% of whom support medical marijuana (Quinnipiac, 2017) and 60 percent of whom endorse the outright legalization of recreational cannabis (Gallup, 2016). 

    The leadership displayed by Representatives Rohrabacher, Blumenauer, Polis, and Young is a testament to this growing public consensus. The official establishment of this Caucus represents our growing, bipartisan support in Congress.

    These House members represent constituents in four of the eight states that have enacted laws regulating cannabis for adult use. Twenty-one additional states have enacted comprehensive medical cannabis laws, and 15 additional states have enacted more limited medical cannabis laws. In total, over 40 US states have adopted laws rolling back cannabis prohibition at the state level, representing 95% of the U.S. House of Representatives and 88% of the Senate.  

    Enter your information below to urge your member of Congress to join the Cannabis Caucus. 

  • Maryland: Marijuana Legalization Pending

    UpdateCommittee members in the Senate will hear testimony on March 2nd at 1pm. Committee members in the House will hear testimony on March 7th at 1pm. 

    Update: A new Goucher poll cites that 58% of Marylanders support marijuana legalization and only 36% oppose it. 

    HB 1185 and SB 928 are pending in the Maryland House and Senate. These measures seek to legalize and regulate the possession and use of limited amounts of marijuana for adults over the age of 21.

    Under these proposals, adults would be permitted to possess and grow limited quantities of cannabis. The measures would also regulate and license a commercial and retail marijuana market.

    The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law. According to a recent 
    poll by the Washington Post, 63% of Maryland registered voters support the legalization of marijuana for personal use. 

    Please enter your information below and urge your lawmakers to support this important legislative effort.

  • Virginia: Juvenile Expungement Bill Fails In House Committee

    UPDATE: SB 796 has passed the Senate but was tabled on February 15 on a voice vote by the House Courts of Justice, Subcommittee on Criminal Law. The measure will not be considered further this session.

    --------

    Sen. Ryan McDougle has introduced SB 796, which creates a expungement by petition process for individuals under 21 who are convicted of marijuana possession, underage alcohol possession, or use of a false ID.

    McDougle’s bill would protect Virginia citizens from lifelong ramifications that can come from the punishments for juvenile possession or other minor crimes. Saddling teens with a criminal record can make getting a job near-impossible and is an unfair burden to place on an individual.

    Juvenile expungement is not a perfect solution by any means, but it does provide some layer of protection for those under 21.

    For more information, contact Virginia NORML http://www.vanorml.org/ to see how you can help in your area.

    Enter your information below and urge your lawmakers to support juvenile expungement.

  • South Dakota: Two Bills Pertaining to Medical Marijuana Pending

    Update: Governor Dennis Daugaard signed legislation March 27, Senate Bill 95, excluding cannabidiol (CBD) from the legal definition of marijuana.

    The measure reclassifies CBD under state law as a schedule IV controlled substance. You can read the full text here.

    The measure does not establish rules regarding the use of CBD by qualified patients.

    Update: Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee removed the FDA provision from SB 95 and passed it 7 to 3 on March 2.

    Update: SB 95 passed in the Senate on February 21, and was first read in the House and referred to committee on February 23.

    Update: SB 95 was amended by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee so that it will only be excluded from the definition of marijuana once it is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. This amendment essentially makes this bill moot.

    Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 157 by a vote of 7 to 3 on February 14.

    Two bills are pending in South Dakota that provide various protections for medical marijuana users in South Dakota. SB 95 and SB 157 do not establish a South Dakota program, but protect those individuals who are prescribed medical marijuana in another state.

    SB 95 removes cannabidiol from schedule I and places it in schedule IV. Furthermore, it excludes cannabidiol entirely from the definition of marijuana.

    SB 157 protects patients that possess marijuana while they have a valid medical card from another state. The measure “covers patients who have moved to Colorado… or another legal state and done their due diligence for being prescribed medical marijuana.”

    Although neither bill is perfect, both are a step in the right direction and would provide protection to thousands of patients in South Dakota.

    Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge them to protect patients’ access to medical marijuana and cannabidiol.

  • Tennessee: Legislation Pending to Establish a Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Program

    Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary have failed to take any further action regrading SB 860. No further movement is expected on either bill this legislative session.

    Update: The House version of the bill has been tabled for the 2017 legislative session.

    Update: SB 860 was placed on the calendar of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee for March 14 and HB 673 was deferred in Senate Judiciary Committee to March 28.

    Update: SB 1119 and SB 673 were debated by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 7.

    Update: HB 860 and SB 673 have been introduced to the House and Senate, respectively, and referred to committees.

    Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, are sponsoring the legislature's most concerted effort to legalize medical use of marijuana. 

    Under present law, the possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $250 fine. 

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Data from other states finds that the enactment of medical marijuana access is associated with lower rates of opioid abuse and mortality, and does not negatively impact workplace safety, teen use, or motor vehicle safety.

    Please contact your elected officials and urge them to move forward with this effort. 

  • Wisconsin: Legislation Introduced To Legalize Medical Marijuana

    Update: The second bill, Assembly Bill 75, was referred to committee.

    Update: The first bill, Senate Bill 38, was referred to committee.

    Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) introduced a pair of bills seeking to provide qualified patients with legal access to medical cannabis. The first bill establishes a statewide medical marijuana program, while the second bill would poll voters’ attitudes on the issue in the form of a non-binding statewide referendum.

    Speaking at a news conference, Sen. Erpenbach said that the passage of his legislation will put patients “in a situation where they don't have to break the law anymore.” 

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge lawmakers to move forward with permitting patients legal access to cannabis therapy.

  • Oklahoma: Legislation Pending To Establish a Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Program

    Legislation is pending in the House, HB 1877, The Medical Marijuana Act of 2017.

    Passage of the Act would regulate state-licensed dispensaries to provide up to two and one-half ounces of marijuana to qualifying patients. 

    Separate provisions protect the rights of patients from civil sanctions, stating: “An employer shall not discriminate against an individual in hiring, termination or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize an individual, based upon the past or present status of the individual as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver; A person otherwise entitled to custody of, or visitation or parenting time with, a minor shall not be denied custody, visitation or parenting time solely for conduct allowed under this act.”

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Oklahoma patients deserve these same protections.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge lawmakers to move forward with this important legislation. 

    For additional information on statewide reform efforts, please follow Oklahoma NORML director Norma Sapp on Facebook here.

  • Federal: Bipartisan Leaders Reintroduce the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act

    Update: (2/27) Indicating to reporters that a federal crackdown is forthcoming, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said "I'm definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana," he said. "States they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not." 

    Update: (2/23) White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against marijuana. “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, and added that the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.”

    Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with six other Republicans and six Democrats, has reintroduced bipartisan legislation, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.

    HR 975 states, ‘‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.’’

    Passage of this Act would halt federal officials from prosecuting individuals and businesses for violating the Controlled Substances Act in the 29 states that permit either the medical or adult use and distribution of marijuana. According to national polling, 71 percent of voters believe that the federal government should respect these laws and not interfere with them. 

    With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, passage of this Act is necessary to ensure that medical marijuana patients and others are protected from undue federal interference. 

    Please enter your information below to contact your House member and urge them to support this crucial pending legislation.

  • Georgia: Legislation Pending to Reduce Minor Marijuana Possession Offenses

    Update: SB 105 failed to pass the Rules committee and will not be heard for further consideration.

    Update: The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday, February 27, to move forward with SB 105.

    Legislation is pending in the Senate, SB 105, to reduce minor marijuana possession offenses.

    The bill reduces penalties for the possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana from a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine to no more than a $300 fine. 

    "SB 105 fits squarely with Georgia's criminal justice reform efforts," the sponsor stated in a press release. "Georgia has made great strides, but there is still much room to improve in the way that we treat drug offenses. This bill does not impair public safety, but will save many Georgians from having their lives destroyed from a felony conviction. It is my sincere hope that SB 105 can receive bipartisan support and will become law in Georgia."

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your lawmakers to support this common sense sentencing reform effort.

    Additional information on state reform efforts is available from Peachtree NORML here.

  • Minnesota: Marijuana Legalization Measures Introduced

    HF 927, to permit the adult use, cultivation, production, and retail sale of marijuana has been introduced in the Minnesota House. SF 1320 is pending in the Senate.

    Deputy Minority Leader, State Rep. Jon Applebaum said in support of his House bill, “The world is changing, and Minnesotans are rightfully developing different attitudes on marijuana. Other states’ successes, along with the failed prohibition attempts of others, have validated the need for a statewide conversation on legalizing the personal, recreational use of marijuana.”

    “Ultimately, I envision a billion dollar ‘Made in Minnesota’ marijuana economy, where the products are grown by Minnesota farmers, distributed by Minnesota companies, and sold by Minnesota small business owners," he added. "Ideally, all tax proceeds would be directed towards funding Minnesota’s public schools and would result in lower taxes for Minnesota families.”

    Please urge your lawmakers to support this important legislative effort.

    For more information about statewide marijuana law reform efforts, please follow Minnesota NORML on Facebook here.

  • Arizona: Governor Vetoes Legislation Permitting Commerce In Industrial Hemp

    Update: Governor Doug Ducey vetoed the measure on May 22. He said that he did so because lawmakers failed to include adequate funding to make the proposed program operational. 

    Update: House members approved the measure by a vote of 53 to 2 on May 9.

    Update: House members on May 8 gave preliminary approval to a slightly amended version of SB 1337.

    Update: Members of the House Standing Committee and the House Appropriations Committee both passed SB 1337 by votes of 7 to 1 and 12 to 1 respectively.

    Update: SB 1337 passed in the Senate with a vote of 26-4 and is being transmitted to the House.

    Update: Senate Bill 1337 was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee by a 10 to zero vote, and by the Senate Commerce and Public Safety Committee by a 6 to 1 vote. 

    Legislation is pending, SB 1337, to permit for the licensed production of industrial hemp.

    The proposal redefines hemp as a legal agricultural product and finds, “[T]he development and use of industrial hemp can improve the economy.”

    It adds, “The purpose of the [legislation] is to promote the economy and agriculture in this state by allowing the development and regulation of industrial hemp.”

    Arizona is one of the only states that fails to recognize hemp as an agricultural commodity rather than as a controlled substance.

    Please use the prewritten letter below to urge lawmakers to support this legislation.

  • Florida: Oppose Bill To Impose Presumptive THC Impairment Standards

    Update: Action for HB 237 was indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.

    Update: HB 237 was first read to the full House on Tuesday, March 7.

    HB 237 seeks to prohibit individuals from operating a motor vehicle if they have 5 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter in their blood.

    NORML opposes this proposal.

    The presence of low levels of THC in blood is an inappropriate and inconsistent indicator of psychomotor impairment. No less than the United States Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) agrees, stating, "It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. ... It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone." 

    It should not be presumed that the detection of THC is predictive of psychomotor impairment and such a presumption should not be codified in Florida's traffic safety statutes. The imposition and enforcement of this measure risks inappropriately convicting unimpaired subjects of traffic safety violations.

    Enter your information below to let your representative know that you oppose this unscientific proposal.

  • Iowa: Governor Signs Measure Expanding CBD Access

    Update: Governor Branstad signed HF 524 into law on May 12. You can add his statement here. HF 524 repeals and replaces the state’s more restrictive 2014 CBD exemption law, which was set to expire later this year.

    Update: Governor Branstad said it is “likely” that he will sign HF 524 into law on April 24.

    Update: In a last minute deal by Iowa state lawmakers, both chambers passed an amended version of HF 524 on the final day of the legislative session. The measure expands the state’s existing CBD exemption law, which was set to sunset this year, and expands it. Specifically, HF 524 permits patients with various qualifying conditions, Parkinson's disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizures, AIDS and HIV, Crohn's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, to possess CBD with up to 3% THC. The bill also seeks to establish regulations for the manufacturing and dispensing of CBD products within the state.  The bill now goes to Governor Terry Branstad (R) for his signature or veto.

    UpdateSB 506 passed the Senate by a vote of 45-5 on April 17. This bill would recognize cannabis as medicine by moving it from Schedule I to Schedule II. The bill subsequently allows for the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, amnong others with medical cannabis.  It also establishes a medical advisory board to recommend additional uses, and allows for up to four manufacturers and 12 dispensaries in the state. Herbal cannabis and home cultivation would still be illegal. 

    Update: Senate Study Bill 1190, labeled The Compassionate Use of Cannabis Act, was approved Wednesday morning, April 12 on a 3-0 subcommittee vote and it cleared Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday afternoon. Sen. Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, said the bill could be approved by the full Senate as early as Monday, which would send the measure to the House for consideration.

    Update: With only days to go in the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers have introduced Senate Study Bill 1190 to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program. Please use the pre-written letter below to urge swift action on this measure.

    Update: Committee reported to recommend amendment and passage of House Study Bill 164.

    Update: House Study Bill 132 is dead for this year’s session.

    Update: House Study Bill 132 has passed out of the Public Safety Subcommittee and now awaits action by members of the full Committee.

    Legislation is pending in the House, HF 199, to establish a statewide medical marijuana program. Under HF 199, qualified patients with intractable pain and other conditions would be able to obtain cannabis from state-licensed facilities. Similar legislation is also pending in the Senate, SF 205. A third effort, led by Republicans, Senate Study Bill 1176 is also pending.

    A more narrow version of this program is proposed by separate legislation, HF 198.

    While the program proposed by the measures is a fairly narrow one, it is far superior to the state’s existing CBD-specific law, which only applies to patients with intractable epilepsy and fails to provide an in-state supply source for CBD-related medicine. (Separate legislation, House Study Bill 132 is now pending to amend this law so that CBD-dominant strains may be grown in state under a state license.) This law will sunset later this year unless extended by the legislature. House Study Bill 164 would extend the lifespan of this program indefinitely. 

    Please use the prewritten letter below to urge your elected officials to support this effort.

  • Tennessee: Support Measure To Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties

    Update: SB 265 failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Update: HB 297 and HB 831 were taken off notice for cal. in Criminal Justice committee.

    Update: HB 831 has been placed on cal. Criminal Justice committee for March 21.

    Update: HB 297 has been placed on cal. Criminal Justice Committee for March 15.

    Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 8 voted 6 to 3 to kill SB 265.

    Update: SB 1116 has a hearing scheduled for March 28.

    Several pieces of legislation are pending to amend marijuana possession penalties.

    HB 831 and SB 1116 seek to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

    Separate legislation is pending in the House and Senate — SB 265 and HB 297 — to reduce penalties associated with the possession of one-eighth of marijuana (3.544 grams) to a $50 fine-only offense. However, under these bills, simple possession would still remain classified as a misdemeanor.

    Under present law, the possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $250 fine. 

    Please contact your elected officials and urge them to move forward with this effort to reduce marijuana possession penalties.

  • Vermont: Governor Vetoes Marijuana Depenalization Measure; Says He Remains Open To Working With Lawmakers This Summer

    Update: Lawmakers have sent a revised depenalization bill to Gov. Scott for his consideration during a special legislative session. The bill would eliminate criminal and civil penalities regarding the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and/or the cultivation of two mature plants. The bill also imposes civil fines for marijuana use while in a vehicle. 

    Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday, May 24, vetoed legislation, Senate Bill 22 that sought to eliminate criminal and civil penalties for the adult use and possession of marijuana. 

    The Governor said that he did not support the legislation as written, but that remains open to working with lawmakers over the summer on ways to amend the state’s cannabis policies. Make sure that he does so. 

    Please contact the Governor, as well as your members of the House and Senate, in support of a legislative compromise that will free responsible Vermont adults from the threat of criminal arrest or civil fines for possessing personal use amounts of marijuana.

    Fifty-seven percent of Vermont voters support "allowing adults who are 21 or older to use, possess, and securely grow marijuana.” Please continue to urge lawmakers to implement the will of the people.

  • Wyoming: Oppose Senate Changes To Marijuana Penalty Reform Bill

    Update: Lawmakers failed to reconcile the House and Senate versions of HB 197, killing it for this legislative session.

    Update: The Senate has passed the amended version of HB 197 by a 20 to 10 vote. The measure now must be reconciled with the House.

    Update: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved HB 197, however the scope of the bill has been narrowed enough that NORML now opposes this legislation. HB 197 now only covers the possession of marijuana infused products weighing up to three grams. Due to the changes, Wyoming NORML has also withdrawn support of the bill.  Frank Latta, Executive Director of WY NORML, stated, "A lot of us worked for several years to reach a compromise we could live with," but that the Senate changes are too much to tolerate.

    Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have proposed amendments to HB 197 that largely gut the bill.

    As passed by the House by a 56 to 2 vote, HB 197 reduces existing marijuana possession penalties from up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine to no more than 20 days in jail and a $200 fine for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders would face stricter penalties under the proposal.

    But recently approved changes by members of the Senate eliminate these penalty reductions.

    House and Senate leaders must now reconcile the two versions of the bill.

    NORML urges you to tell your lawmakers to reject the Senate changes and to approve HB 197 in the manner in which it was passed by the members of the House.

    For more information about legislative efforts in the state, please visit Wyoming NORML http://www.wyomingnorml.org/.

  • North Dakota: Governor Signs Senate Measure Amending Voter-Initiated Medical Marijuana Law

    Update: Governor Doug Burgum signed SB 2344 on April 18. You can read the full text of the measure here.

    Update: Members of the House and Senate have reconciled SB 2344. The measure now awaits action from Gov. Doug Burgum, who intends to sign it into law. The measure allows only two state-licensed manufacturing facilities and up to eight dispensaries statewide (These facilities are anticipated to be operational within 12 to 18 months after law’s passage). It removes provisions in Measure 5 permitting patients who do not reside near a dispensary to cultivate their own cannabis. Amendments that sought to prohibit smoking herbal formulations of cannabis were not included in the final version of SB 2344, although qualified patients under the age of 19 will now be mandated only to consume cannabis in ways other than smoking.

    Update: The bill passed through the Senate with the required majority. It will now go through a conference committee of three senators and three house members to negotiate the final details.

    Update: SB 2344 cleared a House committee on April 3 with additional changes including the removal of the prohibition of herbal cannabis and a reduction of the annual patient application fee from $200 to $50. The bill will now go to a vote in the full House and requires a 2/3rds majority due to the fact that it changes a voter-passed initative. If passed in the House, the two versions of the bill will have to go through reconciliation.

    Update: SB 2344 passed the Senate by a vote of 40-6, exceeding the two-thirds majority needed for amending the ballot measure. The bill now awaits further action by the House.

    Update: Members of the Senate Human Services Committee have recommended passage of Senate Bill 2344. In response to voters’ concerns, they have amended the language so that the definition of ‘usable marijuana’ includes herbal forms of the plant but only in cases where such a formulation has been explicitly recommended by a physician. The amended language also removes provisions that would have allowed patients to petition the state to expand the list of qualifying conditions. NORML believes that these changes, as well as many others, undermine voters’ intent. The North Dakota Democratic Party has also raised various concerns regarding SB 2344. The measure now awaits action by the full Senate.

    Senate legislation is pending, Senate Bill 2344, to significantly rewrite the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act.

    Sixty-four percent of voters approved the law on Election Day. Lawmakers should respect the public’s will and implement this law as initiated.

    Unfortunately, SB 2344 makes several unacceptable changes to the Act. Specifically, it eliminates provisions permitting specific patients the option to cultivate their own medicine, and reduces the quantity of medicine that patients may legally obtain. It also caps the number of medical cannabis cultivators and dispensaries to no more than four and eight, respectively.

    Separate legislation, SB 2514, to delay the implementation of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act to a date to be chosen by the legislature has already been signed into law.

    Lawmakers’ decision to seemingly disregard the will of their constituents is both arrogant and troubling. Whether or not one supports marijuana law reform, one should find legislators’ attitudes and actions an affront to the democratic process. Americans have been told time and time again that ‘elections have consequences.’  There should not be a ‘marijuana exception’ to this longstanding principle.

    Voters made their opinions on marijuana policy clear at the ballot box in November. Lawmakers in these jurisdictions have a responsibility to abide by the will of the people and to do so in a timely manner. Please urge them to do so by rejecting SB 2344.

  • South Dakota: Legislation Pending to Eliminate Internal Possession Offenses

    Update: SB 129 was killed in the Senate on Tuesday February 21.

    More than a dozen lawmakers are backing legislation, Senate Bill 129, to eradicate the state’s marijuana possession by ingestion law.

    Under the law, one can be charged with a felony drug offense if their past use of a marijuana shows up on a blood or urine test. In the case of cannabis, byproducts of THC may be detectable for several weeks after one has ceased using it.

    The measure does not amend penalties for the physical possession of marijuana.

    The 2001 law was upheld by the state Supreme Court in 2004.

    South Dakota is one of the only states that criminalizes the internal possession of marijuana or other controlled substances, and it is the only state that defines the activity as a felony offense.

    For more information, visit South Dakota NORML to learn what you can do in your area. 

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge lawmakers to vote ‘yes’ on SB 129.

  • Tennessee: Legislation Seeks to Nullify Citywide Decriminalization Ordinances

    Update: HB 173 was signed into law by the Governor on April 12.
    Update: Members of the Senate passed HB 173 on March 28. It now goes to the Governor who has indicated that he will likely "defer to the will of the Legislature" and not veto the bill.

    Update: Members of the House have passed HB 173 by a vote of 65 to 28 March 23. The measure now awaits action from the Senate.

    Update: HB 173 has been passed out of subcommittee and now awaits action by the full House Criminal Justice Committee.

    Legislation is before the Governor, HB 173, to nullify the enactment of citywide marijuana decriminalization ordinances and to prevent additional municipalities from enacting similar marijuana reform measures.

    The intent of the bill is to override the passage of recent citywide measures in Nashville and Memphis — both of which passed local ordinances last year making minor marijuana possession offenses a non-arrestable citation. 

    By contrast, state law classifies marijuana possession as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a criminal record.

    Please urge Gov. Bill Haslam to veto this measure and to allow cities the flexibility to decide their own marijuana policies. 

     

  • Bill Seeks to Reschedule Marijuana Under the CSA

    Update: An additional bill which would reschedule marijuana to a Schedule III drug, HR 2020

    Legislation is pending in the US House, HR 715, to amend the Controlled Substances Act so that marijuana is no longer classified as a Schedule I controlled substance and so that cannabidiol (CBD) is excluded from the federal definition of cannabis.

    Cannabidiol is a non-mood altering constituent in the marijuana plant that possesses a variety of therapeutic effects, particularly anti-seizure properties. Over a dozen states recognize by statute that CBD is safe and therapeutically effective.

    Further, the cannabis plant’s schedule I classification has long been inconsistent with the available evidence. Most recently, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive report acknowledging that "conclusive or substantial evidence" exists for cannabis' efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. This finding is incompatible with the plant’s Schedule I status, which opines that it possess “no accepted medical use in the United States.” Twenty-nine states now permit physicians to authorize marijuana therapy to qualified patients.

    While simply rescheduling marijuana under federal law, rather than descheduling it entirely, will not end federal prohibition, it will bring about some needed changes in law. At a minimum, it would bring an end to the federal government’s longstanding intellectual dishonesty that marijuana ‘lacks accepted medical use.’ It would also likely permit banks and other financial institutions to work with state-compliant marijuana-related businesses, and permit employers in the cannabis industry to take tax deductions similar to those enjoyed by other businesses. Rescheduling would also likely bring some level of relief to federal employees subject to random workplace drug testing for off-the-job cannabis consumption.

    Other provisions in the measure seek to remove federal regulations restricting cannabis research and seek to limit federal interference in state-authorized medical marijuana programs.

    For these reasons, we urge your support for HR 715 while also recognizing that ultimately cannabis must be removed from the Controlled Substances Act altogether. Passage of HR 715 is a first step in this process.

  • Wyoming: Legislation Introduced to Legalize Marijuana for Adult Use

    Update: HJR 11 was tabled on February 3. It will not be considered any further this session. 

    ------

    Wyoming lawmakers are debating HJR 11, a joint resolution to legalize marijuana for adults over the age of 21.

    This resolution legalizes and regulates the commercial cultivation and retail sale of marijuana to adults over the age of 21. Under this measure, adults would be able to legally possess up to three ounces of cannabis and grow up to six plants in the privacy of their home.

    Support for legalization in Wyoming is growing year after year. 

    It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and for lawmakers to implement common-sense regulations governing cannabis' personal use by adults and licensing its production.

    Enter your information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support HJR 11.

    For more information, visit Wyoming NORML to learn what you can do in your area.

  • Kansas: Support Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Reform

    Update: Members of the Committee on Federal and State Affairs decided on March 10 to move forward with substitute language which only permits physicians to recommend “non-intoxicating cannabinoid medicines.” Based on these changes, NORML is now of the belief that HB 2152 is a better alternative for patients.

    Update: A hearing was held to debate and discuss SB 155 on February 20.

    Legislation is pending before lawmakers, SB 155, to establish regulations governing a comprehensive medical marijuana program.

    SB 155 would permit qualified patients to grow their own medical marijuana or to obtain it from a licensed dispensary, while also educating physicians who seek to recommend cannabis therapy.

    Kansas is one of fewer than a dozen US states that has taken no action to reform its medical marijuana laws. Please urge your House and Senate lawmakers to support these comprehensive legislation.

    Additional information is available from http://www.bleedingks.org.

    A separate, more narrow measure — SB 178 — is also pending. You can read the full text of the measure here.

  • New Hampshire: Marijuana Legalization Legislation Pending Before House Lawmakers

    Update: HB 656 has been "retained in committee" and will not receive further consideration.

    Legislation is making its way through the New Hampshire House, HB 656, to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adult use.

    Members of the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety heard testimony regarding the bill on Wednesday, February 2, at 2pm. 

    Police in New Hampshire arrest some 2,900 individuals annually for simple marijuana possession offenses. The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of New Hampshire adults, 62 percent of whom now endorse legalizing and regulating cannabis, according to a 2016 WMUR Granite State Poll.

    Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans' consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for state lawmakers to acknowledge this reality. It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and it is time for lawmakers to seriously consider common-sense regulations governing cannabis' personal use by adults and licensing its production.

    In addition to the legislation in the House, Senator Jeff Woodburn announced his plans to introduce a bill that includes a firm date to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in New Hampshire. Although a legalization bill has passed through the House in the past, the Senate has met stiff resistance and Woodburn’s powerful backing of a bill is a boost that New Hampshire will join the states who are already benefiting from legalization.

    Enter your information below to contact your House Representative and urge them to support this legislation. 

  • Maryland: Constitutional Amendment introduced to Legalize Marijuana

    Update: The House held a hearing about HB 1236 on March 3 at 1pm, and a hearing about SB 891 on March 2 at 1pm.

    Update: A new Goucher poll cites that 58% of Marylanders support marijuana legalization and only 36% oppose it.

    HB 1236 and it's companion bill SB891 would amend the Maryland Constitution to ensure citizens have the right to possess, smoke, and cultivate marijuana.

    The Amendment would also require the General Assembly to establish a regulatory structure for “the transfer of cannabis by purchase or sale.”

    If enacted, the law would legalize the possession of up to two ounces and the cultivation of up to six plants.

    However, as a constitutional amendment, the initiative requires a three-fifths majority in both houses of the Maryland General Assembly followed by approval by the voters of Maryland.

    According to a recent poll by the Washington Post, 63% of Maryland registered voters support the legalization of marijuana for personal use. 

    Please enter your information below and urge your lawmakers to support this important legislative effort.

  • Arkansas: Oppose The Legislation To Indefinitely Delay Medical Marijuana Implementation

    Update: Senate Bill 238 has been tabled and will not receive further action this session.

    Senate legislation is pending, SB 238, to indefinitely halt the enactment of the state’s voter-initiated medical marijuana law. 

    Specifically, the measure states that Arkansas patients may not legally access medical marijuana until the substance has been federally legalized. 

    This arrogant piece of legislation is a direct attempt to undermine an election outcome. Fifty-three percent of voters decided in November in favor of Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. State lawmakers have responsibility to abide by the will of the people, to do so in a timely manner, and to not let patients needlessly suffer.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to tell your lawmakers to reject SB 238 and other legislative efforts to undermine the will of the people.

  • Arkansas: Oppose Bill To Impose Presumptive THC Impairment Standards

    Update: Lawmakers failed to move SB 130 out of committee. No action will be taken on this measure this legislative session.

    SB 130 prohibits individuals from operating a motor vehicle if they have 5 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter in their blood. NORML opposes  this proposal.

    The presence of low levels of THC in blood is an inappropriate and inconsistent indicator of psychomotor impairment. No less than the United States Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) agrees, stating, "It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. ... It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone." 

    It should not be presumed that the detection of THC is predictive of psychomotor impairment and such a presumption should not be codified in Arkansas traffic safety statutes. The imposition and enforcement of this measure risks inappropriately convicting unimpaired subjects of traffic safety violations.

    Enter your information below to let your Senator know that you oppose this unscientific proposal.

  • Arkansas: Governor Signs Legislation Limiting Medical Cannabis Smoking

    Update: A modified version of HB 1400 was signed into law. Act 740 prohibits the smoking of marijuana in any place where smoking tobacco is prohibited, in the presence of a child under age 14 or a pregnant woman, in a motor vehicle, and in a place where it could affect a person not authorized to use marijuana. It also bans anyone under age 21 from smoking medical marijuana. You can read the Act here.

    Update: HB 1400 passed the House and Senate and is being transmitted to the Governor.

    Update: Senate members voted 15 to 10 on March 6 to reject SB 357. Although the sponsor has indicated his intent to bring the issue up again, this Senate vote represents a significant victory for patients and voters.

    Update: SB 357 was returned by the committee with recommendation that it Do Pass.

    Update: House Bill 1400 has been filed and referred to committee.

    Update: The Senate version of this bill, SB 357, has passed Committee and now awaits action on the Senate floor.

    Legislative efforts are pending to amend the state’s voter-initiated medical marijuana law in a manner that would restrict qualified patients from smoking herbal preparations of the plant. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson indicates that he favors the plan. 

    NORML opposes this effort to fundamentally change the law for the following reasons.

    The inhalation of herbal cannabis is associated with the rapid onset of drug effect while the oral consumption of other preparations, such as oils, extracts, or pills, is associated with significantly delayed onset. For patients seeking rapid relief from symptoms, such as those suffering from severe nausea, seizures, or spasms, inhaling herbal cannabis is the fastest and most effective route of administration. Inhaling cannabis also permits patients to better regulate their dose.

    Further, the effects of orally ingested cannabis are far less predictable in comparison to inhaled cannabis. This is because there exists far greater variability in the ways that marijuana is metabolized when it is consumed orally — meaning that patients may experience disparate and even dysphoric effects from dose to dose, even in instances where the dose is standardized. 

    Finally, many alternative forms of cannabis delivery, like lozenges and tinctures, have not been subject to clinical testing for safety and efficacy. By contrast, hundreds of controlled trials exist regarding subjects’ inhalation of cannabis. For instance, an exhaustive report released by the National Academies of Sciences in January determined  that there is “conclusive” evidence that the use of whole-plant cannabis is “effective for the treatment of chronic pain.”

    Please use the pre-written letter below to inform lawmakers and the Governor that these proposed restrictions unnecessarily limit patients’ choices and deny them the ability to obtain rapid relief from whole-plant cannabis in a manner that has long proven to be relatively safe and effective.

  • North Dakota: Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Introduced

    Update: House Bill 1340 was defeated on the House floor on Thursday, February 16, by a 54 to 35 vote.

    Legislation is pending in the House to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and marijuana-related paraphernalia. 

    House Bill 1340 amends existing law so that activities involving the possession of marijuana, marijuana-related paraphernalia, or the internal possession of marijuana are reduced from criminal misdemeanors to non-criminal infractions — punishable by a fine only, no arrest, no jail, and no criminal record.

    Under existing law, marijuana possession of one ounce or less is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine, while the possession of greater amounts are classified as a felony offense punishable by up to five years in prison. Possessing marijuana-related paraphernalia is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

  • New Hampshire: Legislators Approve Measures To Expand Patients’ Medical Marijuana Access

    Update: Governor Sununu on June 28 signed legislation, HB 160, adding moderate to severe post-traumatic stress disorder and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome other as qualifying conditions. The new law takes effect August 27, 2017.

    Update: Governor Chris Sununu signed HB 157 into law on June 16. The law adds “moderate to severe chronic pain” as a qualifying illness for medical cannabis. The new law takes effect in 60 days.

    Update: Members of the House and Senate have approved a reconciled version of HB 160.

    Update: HB 157 has been approved by both legislative chambers. 

    Update: Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on May 4 passed HB 160 out of Committee.

    Update: Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on April 20 passed HB 157 out of Committee.

    Update: HB 157 and HB 160 were both referred to Senate committees.

    Update: Bills to add chronic pain (HB 157) and PTSD (HB 160) to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana have passed the House. They will now be referred to the Senate.

    Update: The Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee voted to pass bills that would add chronic pain and PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. The bills passed by 12-6 and 9-8 margins respectively. 

    Multiple bills are pending before lawmakers to expand the pool of patients eligible to qualify for medical marijuana therapy. 

    In particular, these measures would permit patients with conditions like chronic pain and post-traumatic stress to obtain legal access to marijuana.

    Most recently, an exhaustive report released by the National Academies of Sciences determined that there is “conclusive” evidence that cannabis is “effective for the treatment of chronic pain.” Authors concluded, “In adults with chronic pain, patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids (constituents found organically in the marijuana plant) are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction of pain symptoms.”

    Data reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and elsewhere has also determined that rates of opioid-related abuse and mortality decline in jurisdictions where patients have medical cannabis access.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your lawmakers to expand New Hampshire’s medical cannabis program.

  • Washington: Support Legislation to End Workplace Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Consumers

    Update: HB 1094 did not pass before the legislative crossover and likely will not be passed this year. 

    Update: A public hearing for HB 1094 was held in the House on January 26.

    Legislation is pending before the House, HB 1094, to prohibit employers from discriminating against patients who legally consume marijuana during non-work hours.

    The bill amends existing law so that: “An employer  may not refuse to hire a qualifying patient, discharge or bar a qualifying patient from employment, or discriminate against a qualifying patient in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of the qualifying patient's: (i) Status as a qualifying patient; or (ii) Positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites.”

    Passage of this act would not prohibit employers from sanctioning employees who are under the influence at work.

    Changes in the legal status of marijuana has not been associated with any adverse changes in workplace safety. In fact, a pair of studies from 2016 find that legalization is associated with greater workforce participation and with fewer workplace absences. Most recently, the National Academies of Sciences just-released marijuana and health report found “insufficient evidence” to support an association between cannabis use and occupational accidents or injuries.

    It is time to end this discriminatory policy.

    Those who consume other medications legally and responsibly while off the job do not suffer sanctions from their employers unless their work performance is adversely affected. Employers should treat those patients who consume cannabis legally while away from the workplace in a similar manner.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your elected officials to end workplace discrimination against marijuana patients. 

  • Hawaii: Oppose Bill To Impose Presumptive THC Impairment Standards

    Update: SB 17 did not pass before the legislative crossover and likely will not be voted on this year. 

    Update: SB 17 passed the first reading and was referred to committee.

    Legislation is pending, SB 17, that seeks to establish a per se limit of “five nanograms or more per milliliter of active tetrahydrocannabinol” for anyone driving a motor vehicle. 

    NORML opposes this proposal.

    The presence of low levels of THC in blood is an inappropriate and inconsistent indicator of psychomotor impairment. No less than the United States Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) agrees, stating, "It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. ... It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone." 

    It should not be presumed that the detection of THC is predictive of psychomotor impairment and such a presumption should not be codified in Hawaii traffic safety statutes. The imposition and enforcement of this measure risks inappropriately convicting unimpaired subjects of traffic safety violations.

    Enter your information below to let your Senator know that you oppose this unscientific proposal.

  • Hawaii: Marijuana Legalization Measures Pending

    Update: No legalization bill passed before the legislative crossover and likely will not be voted on this year. 

    Multiple pieces of legislation are pending to legalize the possession and use of limited amounts of marijuana for those over the age of 21.

    According to 2014 statewide poll, 66 percent of Hawaii voters support the taxation and regulation of marijuana. 

    The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law.

    Please enter your information below and urge your lawmakers to support ending the prohibition of marijuana.

  • New York: Legalization Measure Introduced to Legislature

    Update: A newly formed campaign, Start Smart NY, was launched on June 12 to support legalization. Empire State NORML is a member of the coalition supporting it's efforts. 

    Update: The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, State Senate Bill S3040, has been referred to the Finance Committee.

    Senator Liz Krueger (D) has introduced the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is making its way through the New York General Legislature.

    The act legalizes possession and cultivation, and would establish a market for legal marijuana for adults 21 and older. 

    The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant's medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.

    Enter information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this important legislation. 

  • Connecticut: Oppose The Bill To Impose Presumptive THC Impairment Standards

    Update: Lawmakers failed to move AB 6198 out of committee. No action will be taken on this measure this legislative session.

    Assembly Bill 6198 prohibits “a person from operating a motor vehicle with a concentration of marijuana in the blood” of 5 ng/ml or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in his or her blood. 

    NORML opposes this proposal.

    The presence of low levels of THC in blood is an inappropriate and inconsistent indicator of psychomotor impairment. No less than the United States Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) agrees, stating, "It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person's THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. ... It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone." 

    It should not be presumed that the detection of THC is predictive of psychomotor impairment and such a presumption should not be codified in Connecticut traffic safety statutes. The imposition and enforcement of this measure risks inappropriately convicting unimpaired subjects of traffic safety violations.

    Enter your information below to let your member of the Assembly know that you oppose this unscientific proposal.

    Connecticut is one of a growing number of states where lawmakers are considering regulating cannabis for adults. NORML will continue to update you in the coming weeks as this proposal moves forward during legislative session. You can sign up to receive information about Connecticut NORML's upcoming lobby days here. 

  • Hawaii: Multiple Decriminalization Measures Pending

    Update: No decriminalization bill passed before the legislative crossover and likely will not be voted on this year. 

    Lawmakers in the House and Senate are once again considering multiple legislative bills to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults. 

    According to an analysis of 2010 marijuana arrests data, Hawaii police make some 1,500 marijuana possession arrests annually. Minor marijuana possession offenders, many of them young people, should not be saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it.  

    Additionally, 77 percent of Hawaii residents believe jail time is inappropriate for marijuana possession. 

    However, Gov. David Ige — a former proponent of decriminalizing marijuana — is now expressing reluctance to move forward with such a change.

    Enter your information below to contact your elected officials, including the Governor, and urge them to support decriminalizing marijuana offenses.   

  • Rhode Island: Marijuana Legalization Measure Introduced

    Update: H. 5551, to establish a study commission to examine marijuana legalization, is scheduled to be heard May 12.

    Update: H. 5555 was heard on April 11 but was "held for futher study."

    Update: House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s office says it is unlikely that the legislation would get a floor vote in the House. 

    Update: The Senate version of The Adult Use of Cannabis Act was introduced on March 2. It is SB 420. (Seriously, it's SB420.)

    A coalition of Rhode Island lawmakers has reintroduced marijuana legalization legislation in the House, H. 5555: The Adult Use of Cannabis Act

    The bill will allow adults 21 and older to possess cannabis and will establish a framework for businesses to cultivate and distribute marijuana. While the language is similar to that of previous bills that have failed to come to a vote, lawmakers this year believe that Rhode Island is ready to catch up to its northeast neighbors.

    A majority of Rhode Island residents, about 60 percent, support legalization and Jared Moffat, Director of Regulate Rhode Island, believes: “It’s time for Rhode Island to look very seriously at this issue and pass a bill. Otherwise, we risk falling behind those other states.” 

    Enter your information below and urge your state Representative, Senator, and Governor to support the legalization bill.

  • Wyoming: Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Introduced

    UPDATE: This bill has been defeated and a new bill has been introduced that is much narrower in scope. 

    --------------

    Wyoming State Rep. Mark Baker has introduced HB 157 to decriminalize the possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana. 

    Baker’s bill is more robust than previous year’s legislation and marks a shift in attitude among state lawmakers.

    More than 70% of Wyoming residents support decriminalization. Currently under state law, first-time marijuana possession offenses are classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Wyoming should change its archaic laws and join the majority of the country in decriminalizing marijuana possession.  

    Enter your information below to contact your state elected officials and urge them to support this pending legislation. 

  • Arizona: Measures Introduced To Regulate Marijuana Retail Sales

    Update: HB 2003 was not given consideration before the Arizona Legislative Crossover date therefore will not be voted on this year. 

    Arizona Representative Mark Cardenas has introduced legislation to permit the cultivation and retail sale of marijuana for adults.

    House Bill 2003 would regulate the commercial cultivation and retail sale of marijuana to adults over the age of 21. The measures also permit individuals to cultivate marijuana for their own personal use. 

    Arizona’s penalties pertaining to the possession and/or sale of cannabis are among the toughest in the nation. Under present law, marijuana possession is classified as a felony, punishable by up to two years in jail. 

    Arizona is one of a growing number of states where lawmakers are considering regulating cannabis for adults. NORML will continue to update you in the coming weeks as this proposal moves forward. For more information on legislative efforts in Arizona, please contact Arizona NORML here.

    Enter your information below to contact your House representatives and urge them to support HB 2003.

  • Arizona: Measure introduced To Defelonize Minor Marijuana Offenses

    Update: HB 2002 was not given consideration before the Arizona Legislative Crossover date therefore will not be voted on this year. 

    Arizona Representative Mark Cardenas has introduced legislation, House Bill 2002, which is making its way through committee, to defelonize minor marijuana possession offenses.

    Arizona’s penalties pertaining to the possession and/or sale of cannabis are among the toughest in the nation. Under present law, marijuana possession is classified as a felony, punishable by up to two years in jail. Annually, an estimated 20,000 Arizonans are arrested for violating marijuana possession laws.

    House Bill 2002 will reclassify minor marijuana possession offenses from a felony to a civil offense, punishable by a fine only — no arrest, no criminal prosecution, and no criminal record.

    Enter your information below to contact your House representative and urge them to support HB 2002.

    Arizona is one of a growing number of states where lawmakers are considering regulating cannabis for adults. NORML will continue to update you in the coming weeks as this proposal moves forward.

    For more information on legislative efforts in Arizona, please contact Arizona NORML here.

  • Virginia: Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Introduced

    Legislation is pending to eliminate criminal penalties for marijuana possession offenses.

    Senate bill 1269 provides a civil penalty of no more than $100 for a first-time marijuana possession violation -- no arrest, no jail time, and no criminal record. 

    Under current law, a first offense is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum 30-day jail sentence. Subsequent offenses are a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    The bill further protects Virginians by ensuring that a driver’s license suspension can apply only to criminal violations or to civil violations by a minor.

    The number of Virginians arrested for violating the state's marijuana possession laws increased 76 percent between the years 2003 and 2014, at a time when arrests for similar violations were falling nationwide, according to an assessment of arrest data provided by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Police.

    Presently, Virginia police make over 22,000 annual marijuana possession arrests — one of the highest totals of any state in the nation. Minor marijuana possession offenders, many of them young people, should not be saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it.

    The number of African Americans arrested for possessing marijuana climbed from 4,991 in 2003 to 10,293 in 2014 - an increase of 106 percent, the report determined. In 2013, African Americans accounted for nearly half (47 percent) of possession arrests, but comprised only 20 percent of the state population.

    The policy proposed by this bill is line with those of numerous other states, including Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, and Nebraska. Such a change will save taxpayers money and allow police and the courts to reprioritize their resources toward addressing more serious crimes. 

    Enter your information below to contact your state lawmakers and urge them to support Senate Bill 1269. 

    Stay up to date with this and other NORML activities by following Virginia NORML on Facebook and register for the Virginia 2017 Cannabis Conference and Lobby Day.

  • Virginia: Virginia Moves to Re-Approve Cannabis Oil Bill

    Victory: Virgina Governor Terry McAuliffe signed SB 1027 into law on March 16.

    Update: SB1027 has been passed unanimously by both the House (99-0) and Senate (38-0) and now heads to the Governor to be signed into law or vetoed. The Governor's Action deadline is midnight on March 27.

    Senator David Marsden has introduced a bill to re-approve a previously passed act that will regulate the instate production of cannabis oil for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. 

    SB 1027 ensures that patients suffering from the debilitating condition will not have to break federal law to import cannabis oil from out of state.

    The bill also allows pharmaceutical processors, after obtaining a license, to manufacture and distribute cannabis oil products. This arrangement further secures patients’ access to the treatment.  

    Although more than a dozen states now explicitly exempt criminal prosecution for qualified patients who possess CBD extracts, to date only Florida and Missouri provide for in-state production of these products.

    Enter your information below below to contact the Governor and urge them to support SB 1027.

    Also follow Virginia NORML on Facebook and visit their website at www.vanorml.org

  • Contact the Buffalo Common Council to sponsor the BCA

    The Buffalo Common Council has received and filed our legislation that WNY NORML has sponsored called the BCA or Buffalo Cannabis Act. This would make Buffalo police issue citations rather than make arrests for Cannabis Position. We have also requested that Buffalo be more included in the states Medical Cannabis Program.

    Please enter your infomation below to email the Buffalo City Council to support this measure. 

    To find out more, visit WNY NORML's website and follow WNY NORML on Facebook. 

  • New Hampshire: Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

    Update: Governor Chris Sununu signed HB 640, which amends possession penalties for up to 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana and up to five grams of hashish, into law on July 18. The new decriminalization law takes effect in 60 days.

    Update: The House concurred with the amended Senate bill on June 1 and the bill will soon be transmitted to the Governor. 

    Update: The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted to approve the Senate's amended version of HB 640 on May 23.

    Update: Gov. Chris Sununu tweeted on May 11 that he “looks forward” to signing HB 640 into law.

    Update: Members of the Senate on May 11 voted 17 to 6 in favor of HB 640. Because the Senate amended the bill’s language, it must return to the House for a concurrence vote. Once reconciled, the bill goes to the Governor.

    Update: Governor Chris Sununu has reiterated his support for decriminalizing marijuana.

    Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amended version of HB 640 on May 2. As amended, the measure eliminates criminal penalties for the possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana. The full Senate its anticipated to vote on the measure on May 11. 

    Update: State Sen. Bradley is pushing for an amendment that would remove the decriminalization paragraph (and thus the whole point) from the bill.

    Update: HB 640 had a Senate hearing April 11 but a vote was not taken. 

    Update: Members of the full House approved HB 640 on March 8 by a vote of 318 to 36. The measure now awaits action from the Senate.

    After nearly a decade of frustration, 2017 may finally be the year that New Hampshire voters successfully see marijuana possession decriminalized.

    HB 640, sponsored by 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats, will amend criminal penalties for marijuana possession is pending in the House, where lawmakers have overwhelmingly supported such efforts for eight years in a row. However, legislators this year are hopeful that, for the first time, they also have sufficient votes to also clear the Senate.

    In addition, new Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said during his campaign he would support decriminalizing marijuana.

    New Hampshire is the only New England state that has not either decriminalized or legalized adult marijuana use. But this year opposition has melted away as New Futures, a substance abuse nonprofit and past opponent, announced they will not oppose the measure.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to contact your state elected officials and urging them to support this legislative effort. 

  • Kentucky: Legislation to Establish a Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Program

    Update: SB 57 did not pass before the legislative crossover and likely will not be voted on this year. 

    Legislation filed by Senator Perry Clark of Louisville, SB 57, seeks to establish a statewide, comprehensive medical marijuana program.

    Senate Bill 57, The Cannabis Compassion Act, establishes regulations overseeing the establishment of state-licensed dispensaries to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients. It also permits patients to home cultivate their own supply of medical cannabis.

    Senator Clark said: “Too many Kentuckians have had their lives stymied with criminal records as a result of nonviolent marijuana convictions. That is wrong. It is time to stop making criminals out of citizens due to outdated and ridiculous laws concerning cannabis.”

    Under present state law, the possession of any amount of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 45 days in jail, a fine, and a criminal record.

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Data from other states finds that the enactment of medical marijuana access is associated with lower rates of opioid abuse and mortality, and does not negatively impact workplace safety, teen use, or motor vehicle safety.

    Kentucky patients deserve these same protections.

    Enter your information below to contact your Senator and urge their support for this measure. 

  • Kentucky: Legislation Reintroduced to Legalize Marijuana in 2017

    Update: SB 76 did not pass before the legislative crossover and likely will not be voted on this year. 

    Legislation introduced by Senator Perry Clark of Louisville, Senate Bill 76, is making it's way through Senate committees and seeks to legalize the possession and use of limited amounts of marijuana for those over the age of 21.

    SB 76, the Cannabis Freedom Act, allows adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, to cultivate up to five cannabis plants, to store excess cannabis lawfully grown for personal use at the location where it was cultivated; and to transfer up to one ounce of cannabis to another person age 21 or older without remuneration.

    Eight states, encompassing some 20 percent of the US population, have enacted similar adult use regulations. 

    Enter your information below to contact your Senator and urge their support for this important measure. 

  • New Mexico: Senate Legislation Pending To Legalize Marijuana

    Update: House members have tabled SB 278 for the 2017 legislative session, and will not take any further action.

    Update: Members of the House Business and Industry Committee voted 9-1 on Monday, February 27, to defeat House Bill 89. 

    State Representatives Bill McCamley and Javier Martinez introduced HB 89, the Cannabis Revenue & Freedom Act to regulate the cultivation and retail sale of marijuana in the state. Companion legislation, SB 278, introduced by Sen. Gerald Ortiz, is also pending in the Senate.

    ”It is either going to happen sooner or it is going to happen later and if it happens sooner we can realize the economic benefits now.” McCamley said.

    The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of adults in New Mexico, 61 percent of whom now endorse legalizing and regulating cannabis, according to a 2016 ABQ Journal poll.

    Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans' consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for state lawmakers to acknowledge this reality. It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and it is time for lawmakers to seriously consider common-sense regulations governing cannabis' personal use by adults and licensing its production.

    Enter your information below to contact your state contact your state Senator and urge him/her to support SB 278.

  • New Hampshire: Lawmakers Sign Off On Legalization Study Commission

    Update: The House has adopted the Senate changes. The bill is expected to be transmitted to the Governor imminently.

    Update: The Senate passed HB 215 with an amendment on June 1. The bill will now return to the House for approval. 

    Update: The bill received a favorable Senate committee report on May 25.

    Update: A hearing for HB 215 is being held on Tuesday 4/11 at 11:00 AM.

    Update: HB 215 passed the House on Thursday, March 8 on a voice vote. It will now be referred to the Senate.

    Update: Members of the House Ways and Means Committee passed HB 215 by a vote of 18-1.

    Legislation is pending in the New Hampshire House, HB 215, to establish a commission to study the legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana.

    Police in New Hampshire arrest some 2,900 individuals annually for simple marijuana possession offenses. The continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of New Hampshire adults, 62 percent of whom now endorse legalizing and regulating cannabis, according to a 2016 WMUR Granite State Poll.

    Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans' consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for state lawmakers to acknowledge this reality. It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and it is time for lawmakers to seriously consider common-sense regulations governing cannabis' personal use by adults and licensing its production.

  • Washington: Legislation Pending to Permit Home Cultivation

    Update: HB 1212 did not pass before the legislative crossover and likely will not be passed this year. 

    Update: Members of the House Committee on Commerce and Gamine have passed a substitute version of HB 1212 to permit the cultivation of up to six plants and/or 24 ounces of usable marijuana harvested from those plants. The bill is now before the House Committee on Rules and the House Committee on Finance.

    Washington state Representative Brian Blake has introduced legislation that is currently in committee, House Bill 1212 to allow adults the option to legally cultivate personal use amounts of marijuana in a private residence.

    Presently, eight states permit adults to obtain marijuana via retail sales. All of these states except Washington also permit adults the option to cultivate cannabis.

    NORML believes that criminalizing the personal cultivation of cannabis is an arbitrary prohibition that has absolutely no basis in public safety.

    Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials to urge them to support this measure.

    For more information about this bill and other pending legislation, please contact Washington NORML.

  • New Mexico: Legislation Before Governor to Expand Medical Cannabis Program

    Update: Governor Susana Martinez vetoed HB 527 on April 7.

    Update: SB 177 was tabled in lieu of HB 527. An amended version of HB 527 is now before the Governor, having passed the House by a vote of 45 to 16 and the Senate by a vote of 28 to 9.

    Update: SB 177 has passed the Senate by a vote of 29-11 and now is in the House for consideration. 

    An amended version of House Bill 527 amends state law so that qualified patients may not be denied organ transplants. It also expands the pool of qualifying conditions for which a physician may legally recommend cannabis therapy, to include indications such as Crohn’s disease, chronic pain, hepatitis C, neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, and post-traumatic stress, among other conditions. It also establishes reciprocity for non-residents.

    An estimated 20,000 New Mexicans legally utilize medical marijuana under this state program.

    Enter your information below below to contact Gov. Martinez and urge her to sign HB 527 into law. 

  • Nebraska: Lawmakers Move Medical Marijuana Bill

    Update: The bill stalled on general file without reaching a formal vote of the Legislature.

    Update: LB 622 has advanced out of committee by a vote of 6 - 1. 

    LB622 will allow patients with conditions such as Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, opioid addictions and some types of cancer to obtain marijuana. Qualified patients would not be permitted to grow cannabis and would have to obtain non-smoked, cannabis-infused formulations from state-licensed providers. A version of this legislation debated last year was narrowly defeated by lawmakers.

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Nebraska patients deserve these same protections. 

    For more information, visit Omaha NORML to learn how you can help in your area.

    Please enter your information below to contact your state lawmakers and urge them to support LB622.

  • Oregon: Legislation to End Workplace Discrimination Against Adult Marijuana Consumers Stalls Among Lawmakers

    Update: The Oregon Register Guard reports that lawmakers will not take further action on SB 301 this legislative session, stating that the measure lacked support to pass a Senate floor vote. "Key backer Sen. Floyd Prozanski, a Eugene Democrat, acknowledged ... the demise of Senate Bill 301 in the face of virulent business opposition and skepticism among some other Senate Democrats,” the paper reported.

    Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 301 with amendments on April 18 by a 3-2 vote.

    Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee debated SB 301 on Tuesday, February 21.


    Legislation is pending before the Senate, SB 301, to prohibit employers from discriminating against adults who legally consume marijuana during non-work hours.

    Senate Bill 301 states, “It is an unlawful employment practice for any employer to require, as a  condition of employment, that any employee or prospective employee refrain from using a substance that is lawful to use under the laws of this state during nonworking hours.”

    Passage of this act would not prohibit employers from sanctioning employees who are under the influence at work.

    Portland NORML's Legislative Committee, in conjunction with the Oregon Chapter of the Employment Lawyers of America, worked on the drafting and filing of this important legislation. 

    Changes in the legal status of marijuana has not been associated with any adverse changes in workplace safety. In fact, a pair of studies from 2016 find that legalization is associated with greater workforce participation and with fewer workplace absences

    Those who consume alcohol or prescription drugs legally and responsibly while off the job do not suffer sanctions from their employers unless their work performance is adversely affected. Employers should treat Oregonians who consume cannabis legally while away from the workplace in a similar manner.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge your elected officials to end workplace discrimination against marijuana consumers. 

  • New York: Support Legislation To Expand State’s Medical Marijuana Law

    Update: Members of the Senate Health Committee killed SB 1087 on April 25.

    Update: Notice of committee consideration was requested on 3/13.

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1087, to expand the state’s medical marijuana law by removing the existing prohibition on herbal cannabis preparations.

    Under existing law, qualified patients are forbidden from obtaining whole-plant cannabis. Instead, they are required to access only cannabis-infused oral products such as oils, pills, or extracts prepared from the plant. “Smoking” or inhaling herbal cannabis is not defined as a “certified medical use.”

    These restrictions unnecessarily limit patients’ choices and deny them the ability to obtain rapid relief from whole-plant cannabis in a manner that has long proven to be relatively safe and effective.

    Senate Bill 1087 amends the law so that the possession and inhalation of herbal cannabis is no longer illegal.

    Please enter your information below to write your state elected officials and urge them to make this common sense change to New York’s medical marijuana law.

  • Federal: Legislation Pending To Halt Forfeiture Actions Against Marijuana Facilities

    Update: HR 331 was referred to committee.

    Legislation is pending before Congress, HR 331, to halt the federal government from taking civil forfeiture action against properties involved in state-sanctioned, medical marijuana-related conduct.

    If approved, it would “amend the Controlled Substances Act ... to exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by state law.”

    In the past, federal officials have sought to close dispensaries by threatening property owners with civil forfeiture proceedings. Under these proceedings, property may be seized if there exist evidence that it was involved in activities that violate federal law, regardless of whether those activities are licit under state law.

    Presently, the Justice Department is barred from taking such actions because of the passage of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. However, that protection will expire on April 28, 2017 unless renewed by Congress.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to urge House lawmakers to take action on HR 331.


  • Mississippi: Legislation Introduced to Establish a Medical Marijuana Pilot Program
    Update: This bill has been defeated in committee. 
    -----------------------
    Legislation is pending, House Bill 179, to establish a pilot program to provide qualified patients with legal access to medical marijuana products.

    Under this program, patients would be permitted to obtain up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and/or cannabis-infused products, such as extracts or edibles, from a state-licensed dispensing facility. Regulators must begin accepting initial applications from dispensaries and testing facilities by January 1, 2018. 

    Patients must be diagnosed with one of the following debilitating conditions to qualify for access: cancer, glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), seizures, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, and/or intractable pain. Home cultivation is not permitted under the proposal. The measure also seeks to restrict patients from smoking cannabis, but does not prohibit vaporization. 

    While NORML believes that such restrictions on smoking are unnecessary, we also are doubtful that such prohibitions can feasibly be enforced. Further, this legislation is more expansive than the state’s existing CBD-specific law, which only applies to patients with intractable epilepsy and has failed to provide needed relief to the patient community. Ultimately, we would like to see this measure amended to include patients’ right to home grow.

  • Indiana: Pending Legislation Seeks to Provide Medical Marijuana Access

    Update: Lawmakers failed to take action on SB 255 during the 2017 legislative session, instead moving forward with a far more limited CBD-exemption bill.

    A Senate lawmaker has reintroduced legislation, SB 255, to regulate marijuana access to qualified patients.

    The measure, sponsored by Democrat Sen. Karen Tallian, establishes a statewide medical marijuana program to permit qualified patients — including patients with arthritis, migraine, PTSD, and seizures -- to legally obtain cannabis products and to engage in cannabis therapy.

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Indiana patients deserve these same protections.

    For more information, please contact Indiana NORML here or visit their Facebook page here.

    Additional information regarding statewide efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Indiana is available from Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis, which may be contacted via Facebook here. On Sunday, January 15, the American Legion of Indiana passed a resolution calling on state lawmakers to provide medical marijuana access.

    Please enter your information below to contact your state Senator and urge them to support this pending legislation.


  • New York: Legislation Pending to Eliminate ‘Public View’ Marijuana Possession Arrests

    Update: The 2017 legislative session came to a close with lawmakers taking no further action on SB 482 and AB 332.

    Update: SB 482 and AB 332 have both been referred to committees.

    Legislation has been filed for the 2017 legislative session to eliminate the 'public view' loophole exception in New York state's marijuana law. Abuse of this provision has led to hundreds of thousands of needless marijuana arrests in recent years, primarily in New York City, despite the possession of the plant being decriminalized in the state since 1977. 

    Under current law, private possession of marijuana is punishable by nothing more than a simple citation and fine. By contrast, the possession of small amounts of marijuana in a manner that is "open to public view" is classified as a criminal misdemeanor. This loophole has often been used to continue arresting a disproportionate number of minorities, largely as a result of 'stop and frisk' policies. Promises from law enforcement in recent years to correct this abuse have not come to fruition. 

    Senate bill 482 seeks to address this loophole by striking the 'open to public view' language from the statute for instances involving the possession of 15 grams or less or marijuana. Assembly Bill 332  also seeks to amend state law by explicitly stating that a person may not be charged with possession 'open to public view' if he/she has been compelled to do so by a law enforcement officer.

    New York had the highest marijuana-related arrest rate in the nation in 2013, largely because of arrests made under the 'public view' exception. Over 80 percent of those arrested were either Black or Hispanic. Between 2015 and 2016, marijuana possession arrests in New York City rose ten percent. Ninety-six percent of those arrested were charged under the public view provision. Eight-five percent of those arrested were either Black or Hispanic.

    Minor marijuana possession violators, many of them young, first-time offenders, do not deserve this punishment.

    Enter your information below to contact your New York state elected officials and urge them to support this common sense measure.

  • Virginia: Governor to Act on Legislation to Amend Driver’s License Suspension Policy For Drug Offenders

    Update: The Governor signed both bills, effective 7/1/2017.

    Update: SB 1091 and HB 2051 have both passed the full Senate and the House of Delegates. The measure now awaits action from the Governor. A spokesman for Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he will sign the bill.

    State Senators Adam Ebbin (D), Bill Stanley (R) and Delegate Les Adams (R) have introduced SB 1091 and HB 2051 respectively, legislation that would remove the mandatory driver's license suspension currently imposed for those with a marijuana possession conviction.

    Under current law, any drug conviction, regardless of whether or not a motor vehicle was involved, results in an automatic suspension of the individual's driving privileges for 6 months.

    These pieces of legislation remove the mandatory suspension for adults, leaving it up to the judiciary's discretion to determine the most appropriate enforcement action. Juveniles will still face an automatic license suspension for any drug related conviction. 

    Email your Virginia state Senator and Delegate to support these bills by inputting your information code below.

    Stay up to date with this and other NORML activities by following Virginia NORML on Facebook.

  • Missouri: Multiple Medical Marijuana Bills Pending

    Cannabis pills

    Update: The Missouri legislature is adjourned and the bill will not recieve further consideration this year.

    Update: A hearing was held on 4/26 for SB 56.

    Two separate legislative proposals are pending to allow qualified patients to obtain and legally consume marijuana.

    The preferable of the two bills, Senate Bill 56, permits the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to “grant licenses for the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of marijuana for medical use.” Importantly, it authorizes qualified patients and caregivers the opportunity to cultivate their own cannabis at home. This option ensures that patients will have an uninterrupted supply of medical cannabis if there is a delay in the establishment of state licensed dispensaries or if they do not reside near such a facility. 

    Separate legislation, Senate Bill 153, is also pending. However, this legislation significantly limits patients’ options to self-medicate in the manner that they believe is best. For example, it does not allow patients to cultivate their own supply of medicine, and it also places potential restrictions on how patients may consume their medicine. 

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Missouri patients deserve these same protections.

    Statewide polling data compiled in 2016 determined that 62 percent of voters support regulating medical marijuana access. In September, Secretary of State Jason Kander called on lawmakers to move swiftly to legalize medical cannabis, stating, "The Missouri General Assembly should pass legislation to allow medical marijuana so Missouri families that could greatly benefit from it don't have to watch their loved ones continue suffering.” If lawmakers fail to act this year, advocates are anticipated to place the measure on the 2018 ballot.

    Please enter your zip code below to contact your state elected officials and urge them to support Senate Bill 56. For more information please visit Missouri NORML’s page.

  • South Carolina: Compassionate Care Medical Marijuana Act Introduced
    Thumbs Up

    Update: SB 212 and HB 3521 failed to receive action before the legislative crossover dates, and are dead for this legislative session.

    Update: Members of the House subcommittee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs voted 3-0 on February 21 to report HB 3521 for consideration before the full Committee

    Update: Testimony was taken on S. 212 before the Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee on February 16. Among those testifying in favor of the bill included former US Attorney for the District of South Carolina Bill Nettles. 

    Update: The Charleston Post and Courier has endorsed the S.C. Compassionate Care Act.

    Update: South Carolina Gov. Henry McMasters says he opposes legalizing marijuana, calling it a “bad idea.”

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 212 and House Bill 3521, to establish a program to provide qualified patients with legal access to medical marijuana products.

    Under this program, patients would be permitted to obtain up to two ounces of cannabis and/or cannabis-infused products, such as extracts or edibles, from a state-licensed dispensing facility. 

    Patients must be diagnosed with one of the following debilitating conditions to qualify for access: “cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Parkinson's disease, neural-tube defects, or the treatment of these conditions; or a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; neurological disorders; or severe and persistent muscle spasms including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.” The measure also restricts patients from smoking cannabis, but does not prohibit vaporization. 

    While NORML believes that such restrictions on smoking are unnecessary, we also are doubtful that such prohibitions can feasibly be enforced. Further, this legislation is more expansive than the state’s existing CBD-specific law, which only applies to patients with intractable epilepsy and has failed to provide needed relief to the patient community. Ultimately, we would like to see this measure amended to include patients’ right to home grow.

    The Senate bill appears to have broad legislative support. According to this news story, correspondents were unable to find any lawmakers to go on record in opposition to the bill.

    A separate, broader measure is pending in the House. House Bill 3128, the Put Patients First Act, permits qualified patients to engage in cannabis therapy and to obtain cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries. Under this act, qualifying patients may possess “up to two ounces of a usable form of marijuana.” They also have the option of cultivating their own cannabis at home.

    A second, more narrow bill, House Bill 3162, seeks to provide medical marijuana access for certain military veterans. It allows those who were discharged in honorable fashion and later diagnosed with PTSD “to possess twenty-eight grams or one ounce or less of marijuana or ten grams or less of hashish.”

    Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted statewide provisions allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. South Carolina patients deserve these same protections.

    Please enter your information below to contact your state elected officials and urge them to support medical marijuana access in South Carolina.

  • Connecticut: Adult Use Marijuana Regulatory Bills Filed In House and Senate

    Legalization

    Update: Lawmakers are not anticipated to vote on any legalization bills this legislative session, though advocates remain hopeful that the issue will be raised during future budget negotiations.

    Update: SB 11 had a hearing on March 22.

    Update: Rep. Melissa Ziobron, sponosor of HB 5314, said “One of my goals in proposing legislation to legalize marijuana is to promote a healthy and substantive discussion on the issue. I feel that the legalization of marijuana is inevitable and, as such, Connecticut should be at the forefront of the movement in order to set the standard for effective policy.”

    Update: Lawmakers have scheduled a pair of hearings in March to debate these various legalization proposals. Members of the Public Health Committee heard testimony on Tuesday, March 7. Members of the Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on Wednesday, March 22.

    Multiple pieces of legislation to legalize the adult use of marijuana and to regulate its commercial distribution is pending in both the state House and Senate.

    Representatives Toni Walker and Robyn Porter have introduced HB 6518, which is making its way through the House, to regulate the personal use and retail sale of marijuana by adults. 

    Reps. Melissa Ziobron (R), and Juan Candelaria (D) also have similar measures, HB 5314 and HB 5539. HB 5314 has been reserved for public hearings and HB 5539 is still being debated in committee.

    The House Speaker has previously acknowledged that he expects these bills to receive full hearings this session, so it is vital that your lawmakers hear consistent support for these measures from voters like you. 

    On the Senate side, SB 11, introduced by Sen. Martin Looney, has been referred to committee and also seeks to legalize and regulate personal use of marijuana.

    According to a March 2015 Quinnipiac University poll of Connecticut voters, 63 percent favor permitting adults to legally possess personal use quantities of cannabis.

    Connecticut is one of a growing number of states where lawmakers are considering regulating cannabis for adults. NORML will continue to update you in the coming weeks as this proposal moves forward during legislative session. You can sign up to receive information about Connecticut NORML's upcoming lobby days here. 

    Enter your information below to contact your state lawmakers and urge them to support these important reform efforts.

  • Gov. Asks “Why Do We Need Medical Marijuana?” Here’s Why:

    Cannabis over pills

    Update: On Tuesday, February 28, a special committee -- the 17-member Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation -- charged with facilitating Maine’s transition into a legal marijuana marketplace will hold a meeting to hear public comments on the process as well as to review the dozens of marijuana-related bills pending in the Legislature.

    Governor Paul LePage recently suggested abolishing Maine’s medical marijuana program – a program that was approved by a majority of voters on two separate occasions.

    In a December 15 radio interview, Gov. LePage said that he sees “no need” to continue to implement a separate medical cannabis program in Maine when adult use becomes legally regulated. “Why do we need medical marijuana?” he asked. “We’ve got to get rid of medical marijuana.”

    Tell the Governor ‘no.’

    Tens of thousands of Mainers have grown to rely on this program for safe, above ground access to a substance that provides them with symptomatic relief. It is unfair to ask them to switch from their trusted providers to new retailers who may have little or no experience providing for patients’ needs.

    Further, many of these patient populations use cannabis to treat chronic conditions, whereas adult non-patient users may only consume cannabis intermittently. It is inappropriate to subject these patients to the litany of taxes associated with retail cannabis. Other medicines are not subject to such taxes and those patients explicitly using cannabis as a medicine should not be forced to pay inflated retail prices.

    Finally, many patients utilize niche products, such as marijuana-infused salves and tinctures high in cannabinoids other than THC – the primary mood-altering component in cannabis. It is questionable whether retailers catering to the adult use market will continue to produce or provide these specialized products and formulations, potentially leaving patients out in the cold.

    Ultimately, patients’ motivations for accessing cannabis and the type of cannabis they seek to obtain are very different than that of non-patients. As a result, NORML urges Governor LePage to keep the existing medical marijuana program in place while simultaneously working to implement the state’s new adult use regulations swiftly and in accordance with the will of the majority of Maine voters.  

  • VP-Elect Pence: Where will the new administration take cannabis policy?

    After the 2016 Presidential campaign dust has settled, Michigan NORML had a distrubing thought: with their states electoral votes as well as the White House going to Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence, what will happen to the good people in Michigan who are being helped by the state's medical marijuana program? Futhermore, how will cannabis policy change under the new administration at the federal level?

    In that spirit, Michigan NORML crafted the letter below to send to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence in the hopes of gaining clarity and has recruited over 50 other NORML chapters from across the country to sign-on. 

    Add your name to join NORML's national network in keeping up the pressure to bring an end to the war on responsible marijuana users. 

  • Texas: Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation Introduced

    Update: The Texas House of Representatives Calendar Committee refused to schedule a vote for HR 2107 and it will not recieve any futher consideration this session. Watch the video from the bills sponsors, State Representatives Eddie Lucio III and Jason Issac.

    Update: The Texas House of Representatives Committee on Public Health approved HR 2107 on May 5 by a vote of 7-2. The bill will now be considered by the Calendars Committee to determine the date of the full House vote. 

    Update: HB 2107 had a hearing on May 2 and after powerful targeted testimony, the number of cosponsors for the bill jumped from 5 to 75!

    Update: A bipartisan House version of SB269 to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Texas has just been introduced by Representative Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, titled HB 2107,

    State Senator Jose Menendez has filed Senate Bill 269, currently making its way through committee, to protect qualified patients who consume cannabis and to provide for the state-licensed production and distribution of the plant.

    SB 269 authorizes the possession, production, and distribution of medical marijuana and marijuana-infused products to qualified patients. Patients would receive cannabis through a network of private dispensaries and operators, similar to pharmacies, regulated under “strict guidelines” by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The state would use existing infrastructure and build upon the registry already established under the Compassionate Use Act, or SB 339, a 2015 bill Sen. Menendez co-authored and helped pass that lets patients with intractable epilepsy receive low-THC cannabis oil.
     
    Thirty states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing patients access to cannabis therapy. Texas patients deserve these same protections.
     
    Please enter your info below to contact your state elected officials and urge them to support this pending legislation. For more information please visit Texas NORML's website or find your regional chapter here.
  • President-Elect Trump: Will You Support State Marijuana Laws?

     

  • Massachusetts: Reject Tax Hike — No More Changes to Question 4

    Massachusetts Question 4

    You have spoken. Are your elected officials listening?

    On Election Day, 54 percent of voters decided in favor of Question 4: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act – permitting adults to legally grow and to possess marijuana for personal use, while also establishing regulations governing commercial cannabis cultivation and capping taxes on retail sales.

    Your message could not have been any clearer: It is time to legalize and regulate the adult use of marijuana.

    But it has become apparent that some powerful politicians and bureaucrats wish to ignore voters’ will and rewrite history.

    Lawmakers have already unduly delayed the implementation of the law. Now they are moving to change the law altogether.

    Members of the House on Thursday, June 15, are scheduled to hear and vote on legislation significantly amending The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. Among proposed changes to the law:

    • The bill would more than double taxes on retail cannabis sales, from 12 percent to as much as 28 percent.;
    • The bill would strip local control away from municipal voters and unilaterally give local government officials the power to decide whether or not to ban marijuana facilities in their communities;
    • The bill would restrict the kinds of marijuana edibles products that may be sold and purchased by adults.

    The arrogance and hubris lawmakers are showing toward voters is shocking, and is typified by the comments of Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg who earlier this year pronounced: “I believe that when voters vote on most ballot questions, they are voting in principle. They are not voting on the fine detail that is contained within the proposal.”

    It’s time for you to send another clear message to your lawmakers: Abide by voters’ decision or suffer the consequences.

    Voters knew full well what they were voting for on Election Day. And now it is time for politicians to respect it.

    Visit Massachusetts NORML to learn more about what you can do in your state.

    Please use the pre-written letter below to demand lawmakers and Gov. Baker abide by the will of the voters.

  • Urge Your Senator To Oppose Jeff Sessions For US Attorney General
    Jeff Sessions receives an F grade from NORML

    Senate lawmakers are only days away from taking a vote that may have a drastic impact on the future of marijuana policy.

    Sessions recently was questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee and during his confirmation hearing, he failed to give a straight answer with regard to how the Justice Department should respond to states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use and left the door open for federal enforcement,

    What is Senator Session’s record on marijuana policy? Think about this.

    Senator Sessions has a long and consistent record of opposing any efforts to reform marijuana policy, and he once notoriously remarked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan “was okay until I found out they smoked pot.” He is a staunch proponent of the long-discredited ‘gateway theory,’ and has called on federal officials to return to the ‘Just Say No’ rhetoric of the 1980s. He was one of only 16 US Senators to receive a failing grade from NORML in our 2016 Congressional Report Card because of statements like these:

    “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.”

    “[Marijuana] cannot be played with, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about, and trying to send that message with clarity, that good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

    During the 2015 confirmation hearings for outgoing US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Sen. Sessions made clear that he opposed the Obama administration doctrine to allow states the flexibility to impose marijuana legalization absent federal interference, stating: “I hope that you will cease to be silent (on the issue of marijuana legalization), because if the law enforcement officers don’t do this, I don’t know who will. And in the past, attorneys general and other government officials have spoken out and I think kept bad decisions from being made.”

    Fast-forward to today: Senator Sessions is on the cusp of becoming the top law enforcement officer in the United States. That is, unless your members of the US Senate hear a loud and clear message from you!

    If confirmed by the US Senate to be US Attorney General, Sen. Sessions will possess the power to roll back decades of hard-fought gains. He will have the authority to challenge the medical marijuana programs that now operate in 29 states and the adult use legalization laws that have been approved in eight states. In short, the appointment of Sen. Sessions would be a step backwards at a time when the American public is demanding we push marijuana legalization forward. He is the wrong man for the job, and he represents a clear and present danger to the marijuana law reform movement. 
    Please enter your information below to tell your Senates to ‘Just Say No’ to Sen. Sessions as Attorney General.

  • Texas: Lawmakers Introduce Marijuana Decriminalization Legislation

    Update: The Texas Statehouse ended their session without holding a vote on HB 81. You can read Texas NORML's Executive Directors statement on it HERE

    Update: HB 81 is scheduled for a vote by the full House on May 11. 

    Update: HB 81 cleared committee on a 4-2 bipartisan vote April 3 and now goes to the Calendars Committee in hopes of being scheduled for a floor vote. The Chair of the Calendars Committee is Rep. Todd Hunter, who voted for HB 81 when it was before the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee this session. We hope that this will have a positive bearing on the rest of the Calendars Committee. You can view additional members of the Calendars Committee HERE.

    Legislation has been introduced for the 2017 legislative session to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. 

    House Bill 81, filed by Representative Joe Moody and cosponsored by Representative Jason Isaac, seeks to amend state law so that possessing up to one ounce of marijuana is a civil violation, punishable by a fine - no arrest, no jail, and no criminal record. Under current state law, first-time marijuana possession offenses are classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. 

    According to the ACLU, Texas arrests over 70,000 individuals annually for simple marijuana possession offenses — the second highest total in the nation, at the cost of over 250 million dollars per year.

    “This bill is about good government and efficient use of resources,” said Rep. Joe Moody. “Arrests and criminal prosecutions of low-level marijuana cases distract law enforcement and prosecutors, leaving fewer resources for violent crime.”

    Senator Jose Rodriguez has also introduced a Senate companion bill, SB 170, which is currently making its way through committee. 

    "State penal statutes regarding the possession of small amounts of marijuana are antiquated and costly. The state and local governments expend millions of dollars prosecuting and incarcerating these non-violent drug offenders,” said Sen. Jose Rodriguez. “In addition, those convicted often suffer collateral, disproportionate consequences, such as an inability to find employment or access certain benefits, like student financial aid or housing assistance."

    According to a recent UT/TT poll, only 17% of Texans support marijuana prohibition. 

    Please enter your information below to contact your elected officials in support of this measure.

    For more information, please visit Texas NORML and follow them on Facebook and Twitter

  • Delaware: Legalization Bill Tabled, Lawmakers Form Task Force

    Update: The 2017 legislative session came to a close with lawmakers taking no further action on HB 110. However, legislators did approve a resolution establishing a task force to study marijuana legalization and make recommendations to the legislature by January 2018.

    Please contact DE NORML to find out how you can help push reform in 2018. 

    Update: Members of the House Revenue and Finance Committee voted 7 to 2 on May 10 to move HB 110 to the House floor. Because the measure seeks to amend criminal penalties, it requires a two-thirds majority from House members to move to the Senate for further consideration. The vote marks the first time that state lawmakers have ever approved legislation seeking to legalize and regulate the adult use marijuana market.

    Update: Legislation, HB 110, the Delaware Marijuana Control Act, was introduced on March 30.

    Senate Majority Whip Margaret Rose Henry has introduced HB 110 to legalize and regulate the adult use and retail sale of marijuana. The measure establishes a regulated commercial market for cannabis cultivation and retail sales, but does not permit unlicensed, home cultivation.

    Senator Henry, the author of the state’s medical marijuana legislation said at a recent Medical Marijuana Act Oversight Committee meeting, "Education is suffering. Revenue from legalizing marijuana could help struggling schools and seniors, among other causes and close major budget deficits in Delaware.” 

    According to recent polling data compiled by the University of Delaware, sixty-one percent of state voters favor legalizing marijuana.

    Enter your information below to contact your lawmakers and urge them to side with the majority of Delaware voters.

    Delaware is one of a growing number of states where lawmakers are considering regulating cannabis for adults. NORML will continue to update you in the coming weeks as this proposal is introduced and moves forward during legislative session. For more information on legislative efforts in Delaware, please contact Delaware NORML.

  • Federal: Protect Lawful Medical Marijuana Programs

    Update: House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. The measure reauthorizes and updates the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, as well as a similarly worded amendment protecting state-sponsored industrial hemp programs. Both amendments will remain in effect until September 30, at which time members of Congress will once again need to either reauthorize the language or let the provisions expire. Non-medical retail marijuana businesses operating in the eight states that regulate adult use sales are not protected by this act and still remain vulnerable to federal interference or prosecution.

    Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, maintains that federal funds can not be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.” 

    Congress re-authorized the amendment as part of a short term spending package. This bill extends federal funding through September 30, 2017, at which time the measure — and the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment -- will expire.

    According to recently released nationwide survey data, the majority of Americans are on our side. A whopping 94 percent support the medical use of marijuana. Perhaps most importantly, 71 percent of voters — including strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- say that they “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”

    Please enter your information below to contact members of the incoming Congress and urge them to include these important patient protections as part of any future, long-term appropriations legislation. 

    This amendment is strongly supported by both voters and lawmakers and ensures the safety of millions of patients. Congress must not turn its back on those millions of Americans who rely on these state-authorized programs for their health and wellness. 

  • Federal: Bipartisan Coalition Introduces The Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2016

    A bipartisan coalition of House and Senate lawmakers have proposed legislation, the Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2016, to expedite clinical investigations into the safety and efficacy of cannabis.

    Passage of the measures — House Bill 5549 and Senate Bill 3077 -- would expedite federal reviews of clinical protocols involving cannabis. It would also eliminate existing production limits for research grade cannabis and allow for investigators to access cannabis from sources other than NIDA’s University of Mississippi cultivation facility. It also mandates an FDA review of relevant cannabis studies to be performed within five years after the passage of the act.

    Under present law, clinical investigations involving cannabis must meet approval from various federal agencies, including the DEA, the FDA, and the NIDA. Only cannabis provided by the NIDA may be used in clinical trials.

    “Despite the fact that over 200 million Americans now have legal access to some form of medical marijuana, federal policy is blocking science. It’s outrageous,” said co-sponsor, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon in a prepared statement. “We owe it to patients and their families to allow for the research physicians need to understand marijuana’s benefits and risks and determine proper use and dosage. The federal government should get out of the way to allow for this long overdue research.”

    Please contact your members of the US House and Senate and urge their support for these important measures.