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Weekly Legislative Roundup 8/17/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

At the state level, North Dakota’s secretary of state’s office determined that activists collected enough signatures to qualify a far-reaching marijuana legalization initiative for the November ballot. The campaign behind one Missouri medical cannabis initiative filed lawsuits seeking to block two other measures from appearing on the ballot.The measure sets no limits on possession amounts or plant counts.

New Jersey’s Senate president said lawmakers are close to agreeing on a final draft of a marijuana legalization bill and that a vote could happen next month. The Oklahoma legislature’s medical marijuana working group heard concerns from law enforcement at a meeting and Utah lawmakers met in an interim committee to discuss medical cannabis issues.

At a more local level, activists in Nelsonville, Ohio are submitting new petitions for a proposed marijuana depenalization ballot measure after errors were identified with their first attempt and activists in Fremont, Ohio qualified a marijuana depenalization measure for the November ballot. The Sacramento, California City Council approved an equity plan intended to let people impacted by the war on drugs participate in the legal cannabis industry.

Following are the bills from around the country 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 …

As Marijuana Legalization Looms, More Edmonton Condo Boards are Banning Smoking Entirely, Dividing Residents

With the legalization of marijuana around the corner, condominium boards across the city are updating their smoking bylaws — with some opting to completely ban smoking on premises. Moreover, with city hall looking to update its own public smoking bylaws, boards across the city are hoping to stay ahead of the curve. “Overall, I think it’s a good idea for boards to at least sit down and discuss whether they want to be proactive about…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/08/17/as-marijuana-legalization-looms-more-edmonton-condo-boards-are-banning-smoking-entirely-dividing-residents/…

What You Need to Know About High Times’ Public Stock Offering

While capital continues to flow into cannabis companies, iconic ’70s stoner company High Times has stepped up with a Reg A+ public stock offering to raise money under the 2012 US Jobs Act.

The deal faces a healthy dose of risk since High Times remains deeply in debt as it seeks to grow its events business and reverse a decline in its magazine and other publishing units.

In an Aug. 3 press release, High Times said it would accept Bitcoin payments for potential investors to buy stock. But in an Aug. 13 filing with regulators, High Times admitted the release was distributed in error and that it would not take Bitcoin as payment for shares. The company did not elaborate on how the mistake was made or why it would not accept Bitcoin.

However, High Times continues to accept checks, credit cards, ACH or wire transfers as payment for subscription to is Reg-A+ share offering.

Lehigh Valley NORML Prepares for Next Push in Pennsylvania!

Greetings from your friends at Lehigh Valley NORML! With Summer rushing by, we just wanted to check in with our supporters. We want to fill you in on recent activities and upcoming meetings, events, and happenings.

As many of you hopefully already know, we have planned a Rally and Lobby Day in Harrisburg for Monday, September 24, along with our friends at Pittsburgh NORML, Keystone Cannabis Coalition, AND ACLU-PA. The Rally is 10-11 AM, with lobbying to follow. We hope that many of you can find the time to join us. To help bring our friends to the rally, we have priced out a chartered bus with TransBridge, seating 56 people. The bus would leave the Lehigh Valley at 7am from the William Penn Rideshare off Route 33, between Freemansburg Avenue and William Penn Highway. And would bring everybody to Harrisburg and then back home around 6pm.

If we fill the bus (56 person capacity), it would cost $25pp at full price. HOWEVER, Lehigh Valley NORML IS PAYING HALF THE COST OF THE BUS, and may have a benefactor to help with the other half. So, with our contribution, a full bus will cost each rider $12.50 ($14pp w/ 50 riders to $20pp w/ 35 riders), but you’ll have to be one of the first to register for the bus. We expect a few backouts and will accept about 100 registrants, BUT only 56 seats …

3C

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/epnal_3c…

MPP Names New Executive Director

Steve Hawkins: “I’m proud to join this incredible team of advocates at such a critical moment in the movement to end marijuana prohibition.”

Steve Hawkins is the Marijuana Policy Project’s new executive director. He replaces acting director Matthew Schweich, who took over for the organization’s co-founder and long time executive director Rob Kampia in December.

Hawkins previously held executive-level positions at the NAACP (executive vice president), Amnesty International USA (executive director) and the Coalition for Public Safety (president).

“The country is moving in the right direction on marijuana policy, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” states MPP board chair Troy Dayton. “Steve is the perfect choice to oversee that work and lead MPP into the future.”

In a press release, Hawkins elaborated: “Throughout my career, I’ve witness the counterproductive efforts of the war on marijuana and its especially devastating impact on communities of color. I’m proud to join this incredible team of advocates at such a critical moment in the movement to end marijuana prohibition.”

MPP Names New Executive Director

Steve Hawkins: “I’m proud to join this incredible team of advocates at such a critical moment in the movement to end marijuana prohibition.”

Steve Hawkins is the Marijuana Policy Project’s new executive director. He replaces acting director Matthew Schweich, who took over for the organization’s co-founder and long time executive director Rob Kampia in December.

Hawkins previously held executive-level positions at the NAACP (executive vice president), Amnesty International USA (executive director) and the Coalition for Public Safety (president).

“The country is moving in the right direction on marijuana policy, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” states MPP board chair Troy Dayton. “Steve is the perfect choice to oversee that work and lead MPP into the future.”

In a press release, Hawkins elaborated: “Throughout my career, I’ve witness the counterproductive efforts of the war on marijuana and its especially devastating impact on communities of color. I’m proud to join this incredible team of advocates at such a critical moment in the movement to end marijuana prohibition.”

Texas Medical Marijuana Ad Launched

The Foundation for an Informed Texas (FIT) extends educational program dedicated to rural Texans to cable television. This continues an already successful statewide tour and social media campaign that gives voice to rural Texans. The result of the successful efforts is an expanded rural education effort that combines multiple communications channels, including cable television ads. The first cable ad ran on August 13, 2018, airing on a range of networks including Fox News and MSNBC.

Please support helping FIT expand their program to educate even more Texans!

Texas NORML is extremely proud of our sister organization, Foundation for an Informed Texas!

“Around 62% of Americans can access medical cannabis, including people in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana,” says Jax Finkel, Executive Director of FIT. “However, medical cannabis is legal for less than 1% of Texans—that isn’t medical freedom or the Texas way.”

The issue of medical cannabis is an important one to many rural Texans whose livelihoods depend on physical labor. Pain and inflammation are symptoms that are effectively treated by medical cannabis. The current medical regiment for these conditions are opioids and over-the-counter medication—both of which present dangerous side effects.

“Texans, across party lines, are supportive of access to medical cannabis,” says Ms. Finkel, “The next steps is to ensure that Texans have access to accurate information about the laws and the benefits of medical cannabis.”

In 2017, the Texas legislature saw 78 legislative sponsors of HB 2107—the comprehensive, medical …

Nevada’s Opioid Task Force Continues to Explore Options

Due to growing concerns about the impact America’s opioid crisis is having on his state, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval along with Governors Steve Bullock of Montana, Charlie Backer of Massachusetts, and Kate Brown of Oregon, recently sent a letter to federal lawmakers requesting support for state and local-level initiatives:

“Every day governors face the devastating impact of this disease on our communities, health care system, schools and families,” the letter reads. “Governors need increased financial and technical support to address this crisis and we urge Congress to avoid burdensome requirements on state programs.”

Read more here: https://www.nga.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NGA-Letter-6.7.2018.pdf

In addition to his formal request for Congressional support, Governor Sandoval created the Governor’s Opioid State Action Accountability Task Force to explore, among other things, education and guidelines for treatment options and data collection.

Click here to urge the Governor’s Opioid State Action Accountability Task Force to acknowledge the role that marijuana can play in combating Nevada’s opioid epidemic

When asked about the Governor’s actions, Executive Director of Nevada NORML Madisen Saglibene had this to say: “State data shows that per 100,000 patients, Nevada ranks 2nd highest for hydrocodone and oxycontin addiction in the nation. Furthermore, Las Vegas ranked 4th highest in the nation for methadone, and 7th for codeine. So while we appreciate the efforts of Governor Sandoval, we’re encouraging members the the Governor’s Task Force to consider the positive role access to marijuana can play in addressing this issue.”

Several observational

Legalization Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot in North Dakota

Legalize marijuanaToday, the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office confirmed that LegalizeND has submitted more than enough signatures to qualify a marijuana legalization initiative for the November ballot.

The initiative that will be before voters this fall aims to legalize the use, sale, possession, and distribution of marijuana for anyone 21 years or older.  It would also allow for records to be expunged for individuals who have previously been charged with crimes for activities that would become legal under the initiative.

Commenting on the initiatives approval, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri stated:

“We applaud the hard work and dedication from the campaign and countless volunteers on the ground in North Dakota who went door to door and out into their communities to gather the signatures required to put this on the ballot in November. Marijuana legalization is no longer a regional or partisan issue, with well over 60% of all Americans support ending our nation’s failed prohibition and I expect North Dakota voters to send shockwaves across the country this fall when they join the growing contingent of states who have chosen the sensible path of legalization and regulation over prohibition and incarceration.”

More information, including how to volunteer or donate to the initiative campaign, can be found on LegalizeND’s website HERE.

North Dakota now joins Michigan on the list of states voting to legalize adult use this fall, with Missouri and Utah voting on medical marijuana access.

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/08/13/legalization-initiative-qualifies-for-november-ballot-in-north-dakota/…

Study: Medical Cannabis Access Laws Associated With Fewer Workplace Fatalities

Medical cannabis access programs are associated with year-over-year declines in fatal workplace accidents, according to data published online ahead of print in The International Journal of Drug Policy.

Investigators with Montana State University, Colorado State University, and American University in Washington, DC assessed the relationship between the enactment of medical cannabis laws and workplace accidents between the years 1992 to 2015.

Researchers reported: “Legalizing medical marijuana was associated with a 19.5 percent reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities among workers aged 25-44. … The association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities among workers aged 25-44 grew stronger over time. Five years after coming into effect, MMLs [medical marijuana laws] were associated with a 33.7 percent reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities. Medical marijuana laws that listed pain as a qualifying condition or allowed collective cultivation were associated with larger reductions in fatalities among workers aged 25-44 than those that did not.”

Authors described the association as “robust,” suggesting that “it cannot be explained by slowly evolving, but difficult-to-measure factors at the state level such as attitudes or health behaviors.”

They concluded: “The current study is the first to explore the effects of medical marijuana laws on workplace fatalities. Our results suggest that legalizing medical marijuana leads to a reduction in workplace fatalities among workers aged 25–44. This reduction may be the result of workers substituting marijuana in place of alcohol and other substances that …

ASA Activist Newsletter – August 2018

In the August 2018 issue

  • ASA Brings Model Cannabis Legislation to Lawmakers
  • Disabilities Focus of Presentation, Outreach in Chicago
  • ASA Science and Standards Work Has International Reach
  • Upcoming ASA Events
  • PFC Certifying Analytic Labs and other Cannabis Businesses
  • Missouri Voters to Choose Between 3 Medical Cannabis Initiatives
  • ASA Activist Profile, Nic Easley, Denver, Colorado
  • ACTION ALERT: Register to Vote and Vote MMJ

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/asa_activist_newsletter_aug_2018…

NORML PAC Endorses Senator Bernie Sanders for Reelection

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Political Action Committee (NORML PAC) has endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in his campaign for reelection in Vermont.

“Bernie has become one of the most outspoken and visible advocates for ending marijuana prohibition,” stated NORML PAC Executive Director Erik Altieri, “He has called for sensible drug policy throughout his career, made descheduling marijuana a key component of his platform when running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016, and has co-sponsored key pieces of federal legislation such as the Marijuana Justice Act. Senator Sanders doesn’t restrict his fight for reform to backroom meetings and floor speeches in Congress, he takes our message with him as he holds massive rallies and town halls across not just the state of Vermont, but throughout the country. His fire and passion have helped elevate our issue in the national dialogue and we are honored to support his reelection campaign. He is a true leader in the marijuana legalization revolution.”

Click here to Tweet our endorsement. 

Commenting on marijuana prohibition earlier this year, Senator Sanders said:

“Millions of Americans have had their lives impacted by the federal prohibition on marijuana – arrests, convictions and even jail time. Even when people don’t go to jail, the criminal record they receive makes it harder for them to find a job, get housing or go to college. Is this a widespread problem? It sure is. In 2016 alone, over

Two Recalls Hit California Cannabis Market

Just weeks ago, the first voluntary cannabis product recall occurred under California’s new regulations. According to an article on MJBizDaily.com by John Schroyer, the recall for their vaporizer cartridges affects almost 100 dispensaries in California.

Bloom Brands, the company issuing the voluntary recall, mentioned in a press release that batches sold between July 1-19, 2018 were contaminated with the pesticide Myclobutanil and therefore does not meet the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) standards. Below is an excerpt from the press release:

We are working closely with the BCC to remedy this issue and expect clean, compliant products to be back on shelves in three weeks…. At Bloom, we are continuing to work with the BCC and other partners to ensure that the space is properly regulated and safe for all customers. Transparency and safety remain our top concerns and we will provide updates as additional information becomes available. We apologize for any concern or inconvenience this serious misstep has caused. We thank you for your continued trust and confidence in our products.

Then, just days later, Lowell Herb Co. issued a voluntary recall on their pre-rolls. First reported by MJBizDaily.com, it appears the products initially passed multiple lab tests and was cleared for retail sales. Weeks after the batch passed tests, a laboratory reversed its decision, saying the products failed to pass the state’s testing standards. The contaminant in question was not mentioned.

The CCIA post calling out the BCC
The CCIA post calling

New Federal Employment Protections Bill Introduced For Marijuana Consumers

Today, Congressman Charlie Crist held a press conference to announce the introduction of the Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act, HR 6589.

The bipartisan bill would explicitly bar federal agencies from discriminating against workers solely because of their status as a cannabis consumer, or due to testing positive for marijuana use on a workplace drug test.

“Medical marijuana is an issue of compassion, and in the veterans’ community, access is even more important as more and more veterans are turning to cannabis to address chronic pain and PTSD. At the same time, the federal government is the largest employer of veterans; however, private cannabis use even in states that have legalized medical marijuana is prohibited in these positions,” said Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL). “Our bipartisan bill would protect federal employment for those in compliance with their state’s cannabis laws. Because our veterans shouldn’t have to choose between treatment options or job opportunities.”

“The time for the federal government to end the practice of arbitrarily discriminating against current and potential workers for marijuana consumption is now,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “With 47 states having reformed their cannabis laws to be in direct conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act, individuals acting in compliance with state law should not be denied the opportunity to serve their country as public servants.”

Enacted in 1986, the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Program made it a condition for employment that