December 14, 2018
Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
There’s been some key developments in Congress this week, including the passage of The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka ‘The Farm Bill’) by both the U.S. House and Senate. The hemp-specific provisions of the Act amend the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 so that hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law. This would pave the way for states to commercially regulate hemp and hemp-derived products as they see fit. The President is anticipated to sign the bill into law in the coming days.
Additionally, newly introduced legislation, the Maintaining Appropriate Protections For Legal Entry (MAPLE) Act, would ease the tension for Canadians involved in the newly legal marijuana industry trying to enter the United States. The measure would provide protections for individuals whose actions are “lawful in the State, Indian Tribe, or foreign country in which the conduct occurred” or that was “subsequently made lawful under the law or regulation of such jurisdiction,” in regard to the emerging legal status of marijuana in the United States and internationally. You can send a message to your Representative in support of The Maple Act by clicking here.
At the state level, it’s official that legalization legislation in New Jersey will not be passed before the end of this year. Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin, along with Governor Murphy, still have not decided on key details of the proposal, including tax rates and the governing body that would oversee the regulated industry.
Lawmakers in Nebraska have established a campaign committee called Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws that will aim to qualify a 2020 medical cannabis ballot measure, and possibly even adult use as well. Click here to read more.
As New York State begins to draft adult use marijuana legalization legislation, the state’s Department of Health, in partnership with NYU and RAND, are funding a survey to gain insight on individuals’ first hand experience with cannabis consumption. The survey responses will help shape what the legislation will entail, and what the adult use market will look like. Click here to submit your response.
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. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.
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.
A state lawmaker has pre-filed legislation, House Bill 157, to eliminate criminal and civil penalties specific to the adult possession and cultivation of marijuana.
If passed, the measure would permit those age 21 or older to privately possess up to two ounces of marijuana or cultivate up to six marijuana plants, three of which may be mature.
Legislation has been pre-filed, HB 238, to protect the privacy of registered medical marijuana patients.
The measure would prohibit the state government from sharing medical marijuana user or registry info with the federal government.
Legislation has been re-introduced by Sen. Bob Hertzberg [D], SB 51, to assist financial institutions in safely conducting transactions with licensed cannabis businesses.