Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
A bit of news from across the border to start; Mexico’s Supreme Court struck down the country’s prohibition of marijuana by issuing two separate rulings, setting binding precedent that the country’s ban on consuming marijuana is unconstitutional. The nation’s Congress has 90 days to repeal cannabis bans now considered unconstitutional.
Let’s talk about Election Day, which is this Tuesday, November 6th, 2018. Don’t forget to vote if you haven’t already! No matter where you live, or what political party you identify with, your vote counts. It matters. It can make a difference. It’s your civic duty to exercise your right to vote. Make sure you know where your voting location is. And, make sure you know who and what is on your ballot, so you can make an informed decision. Also check out NORML’s voter guide and scorecard to see who the most cannabis friendly candidates are this election, and get ready to #SmokeTheVote!
In Congress this week, The U.S. House bill to require the federal government to study the effects of legalizing marijuana (Marijuana Data Collection Act) got two new cosponsors, for a total of 33.
At the state level, Utah lawmakers and advocates are working to tweak provisions of proposed medical cannabis compromise legislation. The House speaker also held a public forum on the issue.
New Hampshire’s marijuana legalization study committee released a lengthy report looking at policy considerations for the potential end of prohibition.
New Mexico lawmakers held a hearing on allowing medical cannabis at schools. Separately, a New Mexico judge ruled that the state’s 450-plant limit on medical cannabis dispensaries is arbitrary and capricious and has no factual basis.
Maine regulators are estimating that the first recreational marijuana stores could open next year.
Colorado regulators will host a Marijuana Science and Policy Work Group meeting on Monday.
Oregon regulators will hold a public hearing on technical changes to marijuana rules on November 16.
Colorado regulators are inviting people to submit comments on proposed changes to medical cannabis rules. You can submit your own comments here.
Ohio regulators are now accepting petitions to add additional medical cannabis qualifying conditions. You can submit your own petition here.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed a bill into law to stop revoking driver’s’ licenses from people convicted of drug offenses and other crimes unrelated to motor vehicle operation.
At a more local level, San Francisco, California’s mayor announced the expansion of the city’s cannabis equity program. And Manhattan’s district attorney announced that marijuana prosecutions are down 94% in the first quarter of a newly implemented policy.
Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.
Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level.
Penalize States that Maintain Criminalization: The Marijuana Justice Act would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.
A11390 seeks to require public health insurance programs to cover medical marijuana related costs.
The measure amends state law so that publicly funded health programs, including the largely-publicly funded Essential Plan, would treat medical cannabis like any other legal prescription drug “for the purposes of coverage under medical assistance.”