Marijuana Policy Project | April 19,…
NORML | April 13, 2017
CHARLESTON, WV — Lawmakers in both chambers of the West Virginia legislature have approved a significantly amended version of Senate Bill 386, which seeks to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis program.
The measure now awaits action from Democrat Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously expressed support for…
Marijuana Policy Project | April 7, 2017
CHARLESTON, WV — A medical marijuana bill received final approval in the West Virginia Legislature on Thursday and is headed to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice. He has publicly expressed support for legal access to medical marijuana and is expected to sign the bill into law, making West Virginia the 29th state to…
“Welcome to West Virginia” sign along westbound U.S. Route 48 and West Virginia Route 55 east of Wardensville in Hardy County, West Virginia (Wikimedia/Famartin)
CHARLESTON, WV — The state Senate approved legislation Wednesday evening (28-6) that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
SB 386, the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, is sponsored by Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan).
It would establish an independent 16-member West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission,…
NORML | March 29, 2017
HARRISBURG, PA — Minor marijuana possession offenders are no longer subject to arrest in the city of Harrisburg under a new local ordinance that took effect last week.
The municipal measure, approved by members of the City Council in July, reduces local marijuana possession penalties for first-time and second-time offenders from a criminal misdemeanor to a…
NORML | March 23, 2017
ALBANY, NY — Newly enacted regulatory changes to the state’s medical cannabis program are expected to result in increased patient access.
As of this week, patients suffering from chronic pain conditions are now eligible to qualify for cannabis therapy.
In January, a National Academies review of over 10,000 scientific abstracts acknowledged that “conclusive” evidence exists to support the use of cannabis in pain treatment.
Another change in the program allows physician…
NORML | March 9, 2017
HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania’s auditor general on Monday publicly advocated for the legalization and taxation of retail marijuana sales, arguing that such a policy would bring new jobs and tax revenue to the state.
Speaking at a news conference at the state capitol, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said:
“The regulation and taxation of the marijuana train has rumbled out of the station, and it is time to add a stop in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I make this…
Drug Policy Alliance | February 15, 2017
ALBANY, NY — The New York State Assembly voted this week in support of a bill that will seal the criminal records of people who have been unjustly and unconstitutionally arrested for simple possession of marijuana in public view.
The vote on Assembly Bill 2142 was 95 in favor and 38 opposed.
Over the last 20 years, more than 800,000 New Yorkers have been arrested for simple possession of marijuana. Those convicted face significant barriers to accessing education,…
NORML | February 10, 2017
NEW YORK, NY — Criminal arrests for marijuana possession increased ten percent in 2016 despite former promises from Mayor Bill de Blasio to reduce the city’s total number of cannabis-related prosecutions.
New York City police made over 17,600 arrests last year for which the top charge was marijuana possession in the 5th degree – a class B misdemeanor. Of those charged, 85 percent were either Black or Hispanic. Ninety-six percent were arrested specifically for…
Marijuana Policy Project | January 30, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, MD — State lawmakers are rolling out legislation Monday that would regulate and tax cannabis similarly to alcohol in Maryland.
The proposal consists of two bills — a regulation bill and a tax bill — that will each be filed in the Senate and the House.
The regulation bill, sponsored by Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) and Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), would make possession and home cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis legal…
HWN | January 27, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Lawmakers in the Maryland House of Delegates are expected to introduce a combination of bills Monday that would legalize marijuana for adults.
Two bills are expected to be introduced in each chamber. One proposal would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and regulate its production and sale similarly to alcohol, according to the Washington, DC based Marijuana Policy Project.
The other bill would enact taxes on non-medical marijuana sold in…
Drug Policy Alliance | January 13, 2017
ALBANY, NY — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday his renewed commitment to decriminalizing marijuana possession in his State of the State Book, which outlines his agenda for the 2017 Legislative Session.
New York State first decriminalized personal marijuana possession in 1977, recognizing the harmful impact an arrest could have on young people.
Criminalization of the offense has continued, however, due to a loophole left in the law by lawmakers that…
Scott Gacek | December 22, 2016
HARRISBURG, PA — Full implementation of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program is still over a year away, but a significant milestone was reached this week when the Department of Health announced where the state’s dispensaries and cultivation facilities will be located, and that applications will be accepted starting in January.
On Wednesday, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy announced that up to twelve grower/processor licensses will be issued across…
Press Release | December 6, 2016
HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy today encouraged individuals interested in applying for a medical marijuana grower/processor and/or dispensary permit to complete a brief survey on the department’s website.
“One of our primary focuses as we continue to develop this program is to make sure that patients with serious medical conditions have access to facilities to obtain medical marijuana.” said Secretary Murphy. “As we…
Drug Policy Alliance | December 2, 2016
NEW YORK—The New York State Department of Health announced Thursday that they will expand New York’s beleaguered medical marijuana program by adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition under New York’s Compassionate Care Law.
This decision by the Department of Health is a victory for patient advocates and for all New Yorkers who suffer from debilitating pain, which medical marijuana has been proven to help treat.
“Medical marijuana is a scientifically proven…
TRENTON, NJ — New legislation has been introduced for the 2016/2017 legislative session that seeks to regulate the adult use and retail sale of marijuana.
Assembly Bill 4193 permits marijuana to be sold at convenience stores to adults aged 19 and older in unlimited amounts. The legislation also seeks to expunge the criminal records of past marijuana offenders.
Says the bill’s sponsor, Assembly member Michael Patrick Carroll:
“To me it’s just not a big deal. It’s already ubiquitous. Anybody who thinks this is somehow going to…
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has finally signed into law a bill passed by the General Assembly earlier this year to allow those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, including veterans, to participate in the Garden State’s medical marijuana program.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is estimated to affect eight million Americans annually, including many military veterans returning from combat, as well as victims and witnesses of violent crimes.
Assembly Bill 457 will allow veterans and…
Governor Jack Markell signs bills to allow medical marijuana use on school grounds; allow those with terminal illness access to medical marijuana
DOVER, DE — Governor Jack Markell has signed legislation into law permitting qualified patients access to medical cannabis formulations while on school grounds.
Senate Bill 181 permits a caregiver to administer cannabis extracts to a patient “in a school bus and on the grounds or property of the preschool, or primary or secondary school in which a minor qualifying patient is enrolled.”
HARRISBURG, PA — State lawmakers in Pennsylvania have approved legislation, House Bill 967, to establish “a pilot program to study the growth, cultivation or marketing of industrial hemp.”
The measure was transmitted to the Governor’s office on Monday, July 11.
This proposal is compliant with Section 7606 of the omnibus federal farm bill authorizing states to sponsor hemp cultivation pilot programs absent federal reclassification of the plant.
More than two dozen states have enacted legislation permitting licensed hemp cultivation in a…
TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Assembly voted in favor of a bill Thursday that would add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of medical conditions that qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program.
The bill, Assembly Bill 457, was approved by a voted 55 to 14, with seven abstentions. Also on Thursday, a companion bill in the Senate, Senate Bill 2345, was approved by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
Under the joint proposals, New Jersey residents who suffer from PTSD would be…
Bill is First Step Toward Comprehensive Plan to Redress Harms of the War on Drugs in Communities of Color; As Legislative Clock Winds Down, Advocates and Assemblymembers Urge Senate to Quickly Pass the Companion Bill in the Senate
ALBANY, NY — On Wednesday, the New York State Assembly voted in support of Assembly Bill 10092, a bill that will seal the criminal records of people who have been unjustly and unconstitutionally arrested for simple possession of marijuana in public view. The bipartisan vote was 99 in favor and 42 opposed.
Advocates urge decriminalization as House Judiciary Committee plans to raise marijuana fines
HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on a bill, House Bill 1422, that seeks to massively increase fines for marijuana possession.
Although HB 1422 downgrades 30 grams of marijuana or less from a criminal misdemeanor to a summary offense, those convicted will live with the burden of a criminal record.
Legislators, marijuana reform advocates and potential medical marijuana patients will speak in Harrisburg…
Seventy-seven Percent of Patients & Caregivers Surveyed Who Accessed the Program Say They Cannot Afford the Medicine They Need
On January 7th 2016, New York became the 23rd state to rollout its medical marijuana program. The law, which was passed in June of 2014, took eighteen months to implement and has been criticized as being one of the most restrictive and burdensome programs in the country. Since the program was launched, patients and advocates have been frustrated by numerous barriers to accessing the program, including difficulty…
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Announces Continuing Delays in Implementing Program
BALTIMORE, MD — The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), the state agency in charge of establishing Maryland’s medical marijuana program, announced another delay Tuesday in implementation of the medical marijuana law enacted over two years ago in April 2014.
While this delay is only a few additional months, it is the latest in a series of delays that will result in medical marijuana not being available until 41 months after the law’s…
HARRISBURG, PA — Now that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill to make the Keystone State the 24th state to enact a comprehensive medical marijuana program, one of the bill’s primary supporters in the House plans on filing a proposal to reduce penalties for anyone caught possessing small amounts of marijuana in the state.
State Representative Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny County), a key advocate for the recently passed medical marijuana bill in the House, on Thursday announced his intentions to file the proposal in the…
Legislation Rolls Back Medical Marijuana Protections, Criminalizes Patients
WASHINGTON, DC — The Council of the District of Columbia has scheduled a final vote Tuesday on legislation that would permanently prohibit adult consumption of marijuana everywhere but a private residence.
Advocates warn that final passage of this bill will undermine existing laws that protect medical marijuana patients and yield more control over local marijuana policy to Congress, in direct contradiction of calls by Mayor Muriel Bowser and other DC lawmakers for…
HARRISBURG, PA — In front of a crowd of patients and advocates on Sunday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, making Pennsylvania the 24th state in the country to adopt a comprehensive medical marijuana program.
The bill, introduced by Senator Mike Folmer, passed the House of Representatives on April 13 in a vote of 149-46 after nearly a year of delays and debate on amendments, most of which were not ultimately included. The bill will allow patients, with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, seizures, autism,…
On Sunday afternoon, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, making Pennsylvania the 24th medical cannabis state in the country. And with 17 other states offering legal protections for low-THC medical cannabis, there are now 300 million Americans living where their state law is at odds with federal law.
The addition of PA as a medical cannabis state will no doubt help the federal picture, but for Pennsylvanian patients who need access to this medicine, the focus now shifts to implementation of the program.
ASA has observed that…
More than 50% of Americans now live in states with effective medical marijuana laws
HARRISBURG, PA — In a ceremony crowded with patients and supporters at the State Capital on Sunday, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill into law that will provide seriously ill Pennsylvanians with legal access to medical marijuana. The passage of SB 3 makes Pennsylvania the 24th state to allow medical marijuana.
More than half of Americans now live in states with effective medical marijuana laws.
SB 3 would allow patients with a qualifying condition and their…
Once the bill is signed, Pennsylvania will become the 24th state to adopt an effective medical marijuana law
HARRISBURG, PA — A long-awaited bill to establish a medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania received final approval from state lawmakers on Wednesday and is now headed to the desk of Gov. Tom Wolf, who has 10 calendar days to sign it into law.
If Gov. Wolf signs the bill into law, as expected, Pennsylvania will become the 24th state in the nation (in addition to the District of Columbia) to adopt an effective medical marijuana…
HARRISBURG, PA — House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on legislation, Senate Bill 3, to permit the production and use of medical marijuana products to qualified patients.
Members of the Senate initially approved the measure in 2015. House leadership delayed acting on the bill for several months until finally passing an amended version of SB 3 in March.
Senate and House members voted this week in favor of a concurrent version of the proposal. The measure now goes before Gov. Tom Wolf, who supports patients’ access to medical cannabis…
If the House votes to concur, SB 3 will finally be sent to the governor for his signature; Pennsylvania would be the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana
HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Senate approved a revised bill Tuesday (42-7) that would allow residents suffering from debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.
The Senate made some technical changes to the version of SB 3 that the House approved last month.
The revised bill will now go back to the House for concurrence. If the House votes to…
House Bill 104 allows licensed dentists, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwifes to recommend medical marijuana to their patients.
ANNAPOLIS, MD — One the final day of session in 2016 for the Maryland General Assembly, the Senate approved House Bill 104 by a vote of 36-10.
The bill expands the number of licensed health care providers who may recommend cannabis therapy to their patients under the Maryland Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission program.
The bill would still been to be signed by Governor Larry…
WASHINGTON, DC — The D.C. Council has once again reversed its position on a law banning the consumption of marijuana anywhere outside a private home, even though it is legal for adults to use and possess up to two ounces of marijuana in the District.
By voting 7-6 Tuesday in favor of B21-107, which would make the “social use ban” permanent, the council ignored its own prior decision to make the ban temporary and set up a task force to study the issue.
The task force, which the council voted to create on February 2, was intended to…
Council Chairman Mendelson Wants Council to Disregard Its Own Task Force Convened to Recommend Way Forward on Marijuana Clubs
WASHINGTON, DC — The Council of the District of Columbia has scheduled a vote today on legislation that restricts adult marijuana use in the District, prohibiting marijuana consumption everywhere but the home.
The legislation is opposed by a majority of District residents and a growing number of councilmembers who oppose limiting consumption of marijuana to private residences, favoring instead the creation of…
Smigiel, a former delegate in Maryland’s House of Delegates from 2003-2015, is challenging anti-marijuana incumbent Andy Harris in the Republican primary.
The NORML PAC has endorsed Mike Smigiel for U.S. House of Representatives in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District.
Smigiel, a former delegate in Maryland’s House of Delegates serving from 2003-2015, is challenging incumbent and anti-marijuana Congressman Andy Harris in the Republican primary.
Congressman Harris became infamous for stepping between Washington D.C. and marijuana…
Once the bill receives final approval from the Senate and a signature from Gov. Wolf, Pennsylvania will become the 24th state to adopt an effective medical marijuana law
HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a bill Wednesday (149-43) that would allow residents suffering from debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. The House-amended version of SB 3 will now go back to the Senate for approval.
The Senate approved the original bill 40-7 in May 2015. The bill then stalled…
HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania is poised to become the 24th US state, plus the District of Columbia, to legalize medical marijuana.
After a long, emotional debate following several days considering amendments, lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania House voted 149 to 43 Wednesday evening to approve a bi-partisan bill to allow medical marijuana in the state.
The bill, Senate Bill 3, now returns to the Senate to approve many significant changes made in the House. Last May, the Senate passed the measure by a vote of 40 to…
HARRISBURG, PA — Following a 10-month delay since the state Senate first approved Senate Bill 3, which will allow residents suffering from specified medical conditions to use medical marijuana with their doctor’s approval, the House Wednesday approved an amended version of the bill.
The Senate is expected to approve the amended bill, and Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has said he will sign it into law.
“Today’s vote comes as huge relief to countless Pennsylvanians,” said Latrisha Bentch of Harrisburg, whose daughter suffers from mesial temporal…
HARRISBURG, PA — While sick Pennsylvanians anxiously await the outcome of an expected vote to legalize medical marijuana in the Pennsylvania House, lawmakers in the Senate voted unanimously to approve a bill to create an industrial hemp cultivation pilot program on Wednesday.
Members of the Senate voted 49-0 to approve Senate Bill 50, the Industrial Hemp Act. Over 20 states have adopted similar laws.
The bill, which authorizes instituions of higher education to conduct agricultural pilot programs in hemp cultivation research under…
HARRISBURG, PA — After almost a year of delays, a medical marijuana legalization bill may soon pass the Pennsylvania House. Since the week began, lawmakers have been busy debating many amendments to Senate Bill 3, the medical marijuana bill that was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate last spring.
Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, House lawmakers debated and voted on dozens of amendments to the proposal, with very few passing. There were upwards of an estimated 220 potential amendments to the bill — many redundant — in…
HARRISBURG, PA — Ten months after the state Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve a popular bi-partisan bill to legalize non-smokable forms of medical marijuana in the Keystone State, the Pennsylvania House is finally scheduled to vote on the measure.
Floor debate and a vote is expected on Monday, March 14, on Senate Bill 3. The bill is scheduled for a second consideration on the House calendar.
The bill enjoys strong bipartisan support, including primary co-sponsors Senators Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery County) and Mike Folmer…
Marijuana Arrests Down 85% After First Year; Congress Continues to Prevent District from Taxing and Regulating Marijuana
WASHINGTON, DC — Friday marks the one year anniversary of the implementation of marijuana legalization in the District of Columbia.
In the 2014 election, District voters overwhelmingly passed Ballot Initiative 71 with 70% support, legalizing the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allowing individuals to grow up to six plants in their home.
Overall, marijuana arrests decreased by…
NORML PAC is pleased to announce it’s endorsement of Braddock, PA Mayor John Fetterman in his campaign to be elected to the United States Senate representing the state of Pennsylvania.
Mayor John has made marijuana law reform an important topic of his campaign.
When asked about his position towards eliminating criminal penalties for the responsible use of marijuana by adults his campaign responded:
“As a small town mayor of a community of color, Mayor John has seen first hand how the War on Drugs has failed and how it has…
TRENTON, NJ — A bill that would establish protections for medical marijuana patients in the workplace has been filed in the New Jersey Assembly.
If passed, Assembly Bill 2482, filed by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Burlington), would prevent employers from taking adverse employment actions against authorized medical marijuana patients who use medical cannabis during their off-hours.
The proposal states:
“Unless an employer establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the lawful use of medical marijuana has impaired the…
HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) made a surprise appearance at a medical marijuana rally at the Capitol on Monday, calling out House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) for stalling a medical marijuana bill that passed the Senate last year.
“This has actually passed the Senate. Republicans and Democrats both voted for this,” Wolf told supporters Monday. “We have the votes in the House. We can get this done. We need to get this done.”
“There are people suffering,” Wolf continued. “We need to get this across…
To all Pennsylvania and US lawmakers, court officials, and law enforcement officers—
I am a taxpaying Pennsylvania native, Reverend, Eagle Scout, and medical cannabis user for ADHD, depression, and anxiety. I have consulted with several excellent doctors and therapists, from various US states and other developed nations of the world including Germany, Israel, and Denmark— all of whom have seen that it is fitting and proper to recommended cannabis to me, including the great Dr Allan Frankel (http://www.greenbridgemed.com/ ). As a…
Council Creates Taskforce to Explore Creation of Designated Spaces for Marijuana Use
WASHINGTON, DC — The Council of the District of Columbia voted Tuesday to halt consideration of legislation that would permanently ban adult consumption of marijuana outside the home, and instead moved forward with the creation of a task force to explore the establishment of regulated places where adults can legally consume marijuana in the District.
“The will of District voters was upheld today by the Council, which voted unanimously to move forward on…
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson Pushes Bill Through the Council Despite Strong Opposition from the Public and Councilmembers
WASHINGTON, DC — The Council of the District of Columbia plans to vote Tuesday on legislation that restricts adult marijuana use in the District, prohibiting marijuana consumption everywhere but the home. The legislation is opposed by a majority of District residents and a growing number of councilmembers who oppose limiting consumption of marijuana to the home, favoring instead the creation of regulated places…
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