Tag: Activism

Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Advocates Urge Towns to Allow Regulated Businesses, Follow Marshfield Example

A supporter holds up a “Yes on 4” sign at the 2016 Boston Freedom Rally (Scott Gacek/The Daily Chronic)

BOSTON, MA — Towns passing legal cannabis bans and moratoriums are guaranteeing continued market control by criminals and street dealers, the group behind the legalization measure passed by voters last November said today.

The group praised Marshfield voters for rejecting a measure at a town meeting yesterday that would have banned marijuana retail facilities in the town.

“Very simply, if cannabis isn’t sold by regulated and taxed retailers, it will continue to be sold by criminals who don’t check IDs and don’t care about the safety of their product,” said Jim Borghesani, Massachusetts spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project and former communications director for the Yes on 4 campaign. “Marshfield voters made a responsible decision yesterday to make sure their town takes commerce away from street dealers and puts significant new tax dollars in the town coffers.”

Borghesani added that the legislature’s decision to change the law passed by voters made it easier to ban marijuana businesses without a clear mandate from local residents.

“While we accepted the overall legislative compromise this past summer, we believe it was a mistake to create two classes of municipalities in the state when it comes to local bans,” Borghesani said. “The legislative changes to the law passed last year have allowed local officials to ban businesses without a convincing mandate from local voters.”

One “no” town, Mashpee, passed a moratorium this week at a town meeting attended by only 320 voters. There are 10,848 registered voters in Mashpee.

“Unfortunately, these decisions are being made by a very small percentage of voters in some towns. We’re hopeful that more towns will follow Marshfield’s example, and we will be working to inform local voters about upcoming ban proposals,” Borghesani said.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

VA Secretary Shulkin Still Hasn’t Responded to The American Legion’s Call for Marijuana Research

VA Secretary David Shulkin

The American Legion has been calling on the federal government for over a year – specifically the Veterans Affairs Department – to support research into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in treating veterans with PTSD.

Many veterans have said that they have been able to eliminate or reduce their dependency on other drugs, specifically opioids, by using cannabis.

The Legion recently ramped up their efforts to convince VA Secretary David Shulkin to expand research into the therapeutic and medicinal effects of cannabis by sending him a letter demanding for his direct involvement in making sure the medical marijuana study meets its goals.

That letter was sent on September 19th. 17 days ago.

Has Secretary Shulkin or the Dept. of Veterans Affairs responded? No. Have either even acknowledged receipt of the letter? To public knowledge, no.

Why hasn’t Sec. Shulkin or the VA responded? Is he going to listen to the nation’s largest Veterans advocacy group? One that is pleading for help that our veterans so desperately need and deserve? Great question. The American Legion seems to be wondering the same thing.

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The Legion has been expressing their frustration on Twitter for Sec. Shulkin’s failure to act on this pressing issue.

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Secretary Shulkin is doing himself, our veterans, and to a larger extent, our nation, a huge disservice by not acknowledging the Legion’s cry for help and support.

Join us in calling upon Secretary Shulkin to listen to the pleas of Veterans by sharing one of more of the following tweets:

Why hasn’t @SecShulkin responded to @AmericanLegion call for help? https://twitter.com/AmericanLegion/status/911576050043408384

.@SecShulkin failure to act on this issue is hurting our veterans. @AmericanLegion
https://twitter.com/AmericanLegion/status/913010589668188160

RT to help the @AmericanLegion call upon @SecShulkin to take action on behalf of veterans

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Marijuana Advocates Urge Rhode Island Study Commission to Stick to Fact-Finding

Regulate Rhode Island

(photo: Regulate Rhode Island via Facebook)

Debate on regulating marijuana “should take place in the General Assembly among legislators elected by the people”

PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Island House Speaker Mattiello announced his appointments to the marijuana study commission on Wednesday, completing the appointment process and clearing the way for the committee to begin gathering information on how legal marijuana is working in other states.

The Senate President announced his appointments last month.

The study commission, created during the 2017 legislative session, is comprised of 19 individuals and is tasked with compiling information from states that have made marijuana legal for adults and regulated it similarly to alcohol.

Advocates for marijuana policy reform are urging the commission to limit their role to fact-finding and allow elected representatives and their constituents to determine the best policy for Rhode Island.

The following statement was issued by Matthew Schweich, director of Regulate Rhode Island:

“The study commission should spend its time compiling data from other states and examining how Rhode Island could legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana. We do not think it would be appropriate for the study commission to provide a final recommendation as to whether Rhode Island should ultimately adopt a legalization policy. That debate must take place in the General Assembly among legislators elected by the people. A temporary study commission comprised of political appointees is not an appropriate venue for that debate.

The study commission should be viewed as a fact-finding mission with the purpose of providing data and other findings so that each member of the General Assembly can make an informed decision on the question of legalizing marijuana. The study commission must not dictate what that decision should be.

Nearly 60% of Rhode Islanders now support legalization. Massachusetts will be opening stores within driving distance of our borders by next summer. Whether Rhode Island politicians like it or not, legal marijuana will soon be accessible to adults in our state.  

Political leaders should accept the reality that maintaining a policy of prohibition will accomplish very little in terms of limiting the availability of legal marijuana to our residents.

Rhode Island voters understand that legalization will improve public health and public safety by removing marijuana from the unregulated market and putting it behind the counters of licensed, tax-paying businesses. It is time for our state to end the injustice of punishing adults for using a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol and is legal in neighboring states.

Massachusetts is moving ahead to implement its legalization law, and the debate in Rhode Island now centers on a simple question: how many millions of dollars of tax revenue and how many hundreds of jobs shall we forfeit to Massachusetts?”

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Mass. Legalization Advocates Seek Assurances From Cannabis Control Commission

A supporter holds up a “Yes on 4” sign at the 2016 Boston Freedom Rally (Scott Gacek/The Daily Chronic)

BOSTON, MA — The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the group behind the marijuana legalization measure passed by voters last November, said today that the newly appointed Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) members who opposed Question 4 should make clear that their personal positions will not impact their board responsibilities or cause further delays in implementing the law.

The group also called for the CCC Chairman, Steven Hoffman, to request that the governor and the Legislature provide adequate funding to get the legal sales system up and running on the current schedule.

“A strong majority of Massachusetts voters passed Question 4 last November. Since then, we’ve seen a six-month delay, a deeply flawed legislative rewrite process, blown deadlines, and now a five-person regulatory board stacked with four legalization opponents. These developments in no way instill confidence that the implementation of legal marijuana sales will be any better than the state’s dreadful medical marijuana rollout,” said Jim Borghesani, Massachusetts spokesman for MPP and former communications director for the Yes on 4 Campaign.

Borghesani called for the four anti-legalization commissioners to publicly commit to adhering to the current timeline for implementation, which would allow retail sales to adults to begin on July 1, 2018.

“We want assurances, and we think the voters deserve assurances. There is too much at stake to simply sit back and hope for the best. We want to see solid commitments to advancing the will of the voters,” Borghesani said.

Matthew Schweich, Director of State Campaigns for MPP and former campaign director for the Yes on 4 Campaign, called upon CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman to request from the governor and the Legislature the level of funding necessary to implement the law without any further delays.

“Supporters of legalization, which include a majority of Massachusetts voters, have cause for concern. By a significant margin, the individuals responsible for implementing this public policy opposed its creation less than a year ago. If the CCC is truly committed to upholding the will of the people without any further delays, then Chairman Hoffman will publicly request the funding necessary to allow legal sales of marijuana to begin on July 1, 2018,” said Schweich.

State Treasurer Deb Goldberg earlier this year proposed a first-year CCC budget of $10 million. However, the current budget includes just $1.2 million for the CCC.

“The legalization policy will soon be generating millions of dollars in tax revenue for the Commonwealth, but that can only happen if the Legislature provides the funds to establish the program and regulations, and that will only happen if the CCC is committed to meeting its deadlines,” Schweich said.

Massachusetts’ track record on medical marijuana — with only 12 dispensaries open five years after voters approved the medical measure — justifies concerns about the adult-use rollout, Borghesani added.

“We heard time and time again that state officials wanted to ‘get this right,’ which is precisely what they said about medical marijuana. We need to be assured that this rollout is not going to be a repeat of the medical marijuana debacle,” said Borghesani.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Utah Advocates Launch 2018 Medical Marijuana Signature Drive

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Advocates hoping to place an initiative on Utah’s midterm election ballot next year will officially launch their signature collection campaign on Thursday.

The Utah Patients Coalition, backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, will kick off the signature collection campaign at a Thursday morning event at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City.

Volunteers will begin collecting signatures in downtown Salt Lake City immediately following the event, which will include a press conference and speeches from campaign leaders, patients and suporters.

Last week, the group’s proposal, the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, received approval from the state to begin collecting signatures.

The group needs to collect over 113,000 valid signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.

“We plan to gather the first signatures by next week and be finished prior to the 2018 legislative session in January,” said DJ Schanz, campaign co-director for Utah Patients Coalition. “Our volunteers—many of them patients or caregivers themselves—have been ready and eagerly waiting; it feels good to know we will have scheduled events in the coming weeks for those who have waited years for this.”

The proposed initiative would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions to legally and safely access medical cannabis with the recommendation of their doctor.

It limits the number of dispensaries and cultivators, allows local zoning for medical cannabis facilities, prohibits using medical cannabis in public view, maintains the illegality of driving while intoxicated, and closely mirrors the legislation passed by the Utah Senate in 2016.

Home cultivation of cannabis and smoking marijuana by patients would not be permitted.

Recent polling has found that an overwhelming majority of Utah voters support the proposal.

Information for those wishing to donate or help gather signatures will be posted at UtahPatients.org.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Time Running Out on South Dakota’s 2018 Marijuana Signature Drives

Advocates hoping to place marijuana initiatives on the 2018 ballot in South Dakota have less than 90 days to collect the remaining signatures needed.

New Approach South Dakota is currently circulating two petitions they hope to place before voters in November 2018.

One of the petitions would legalize marijuana for medical purposes, while the other would legalize the possession of marijuana for adult use, as well as tax and regulate marijuana sales in the state.

Each petition needs at least 13,871 valid signatures by November 2017 in order to be placed before voters in 2018.

To read the petitions and for more information about volunteering or adding your signature to the petitions, check out New Approach South Dakota’s website.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Missouri Medical Marijuana Drive Reaches Signature Milestone

Proponents of a Missouri voter initiative effort to legalize and regulate the therapeutic use and distribution of cannabis statewide have gathered over 50,000 signatures over the past several weeks.

Advocates must collect a total of 160,000 signatures by May 6, 2018 in six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts in order to qualify the measure for the 2018 electoral ballot.

The initiative permits patients, at the discretion of a physician, to cultivate limited quantities of marijuana or to obtain cannabis and cannabis-infused products from licensed facilities.

The group behind the effort, New Approach Missouri, includes members of both national NORML as well as its state and local affiliates.

To date, the signature gathering effort has largely consisted of volunteers.

Proponents sought to place a similar effort on the 2016 ballot. That effort failed after the courts upheld the decision of St. Louis-area election authorities to reject some 2,000 signatures in the state’s second Congressional district.

Marijuana law reform advocates are also presently gathering signatures for voter-initiated efforts in Michigan and Utah.  A statewide initiative legalizing the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma has already qualified for the 2018 electoral ballot.

Missouri residents can find petition locations here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Tell AAA to Stop Lying About Marijuana Legalization

Over the first six months of 2017, the American Automobile Association (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.

Send a message to AAA telling them to put the brakes on lobbying against legalization efforts

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 fear-mongering 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).

Tell AAA to stop distorting the truth, send their public affairs department a message right now

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.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Michigan Marijuana Legalization Drive Reaches 100,000 Signatures

Proponents of a Michigan voter initiative effort to legalize and regulate the personal use and retail sale of cannabis statewide has gathered over 100,000 signatures in the past six weeks.

Advocates must collect a total of 252,523 valid signatures from registered voters by mid-November in order to qualify the measure — the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act — for the 2018 electoral ballot.

The initiative permits those over the age of 21 to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to the commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

The coalition behind the effort, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, is partnership between the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association, Michigan NORML, MI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section.

Proponents sought to place a similar measure on the Michigan ballot in 2016. That effort was ultimately turned back when lawmakers imposed and the courts upheld new rules limiting the time frame during which signatures could be collected.

Marijuana law reform advocates are also presently gathering signatures for voter-initiated efforts in Missouri and Utah. A statewide initiative legalizing the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma has already qualified for the 2018 electoral ballot.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Action Alert: Tell the Senate to Expand Veterans’ Access to Medical Cannabis

Approximately 8 million adults suffer from PTSD, including many military veterans. (WikiMedia Commons/USMC)

This Wednesday, July 12th, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee will convene to discuss the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This legislative debate provides lawmakers with the opportunity to expand much needed medical marijuana access to our nation’s veterans.

Presently, V.A. doctors in states where cannabis therapy is permitted are forbidden from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a medical cannabis recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician. This issue can be solved by the approval of the Veterans Access Amendment, which ends these cruel and unnecessary restrictions on V.A. doctors and their patients.

Send a message to your Senators NOW demanding equal access for veterans.

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. We must not allow a similar outcome again this year.

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.

Write your Senator RIGHT NOW and urge them to support the Veterans Equal Access Amendment!

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.