Tag: New England

Vermont Marijuana Legalization Bill Advances; New Poll Shows Strong Public Support

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont House Judiciary Committee approved a bill 8-3 Wednesday that would make personal possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older.

“Today’s vote shows just how far this issue has advanced in just this past year,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Most Vermonters agree it makes no sense to continue punishing adults for consuming a less harmful substance than alcohol — especially now that it is legal for adults in Massachusetts and Maine. Vermonters are ready to close the book on marijuana prohibition.”

H. 170, sponsored by Committee Chair Maxine Grad (D-Moretown), Vice Chair Charles Conquest (D-Wells River), and ranking Republican Rep. Tom Burditt (R-West Rutland), would eliminate Vermont’s civil penalty for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana, and it would eliminate penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants. Penalties for possession of more than one ounce of marijuana would also be reduced.

The bill is expected to receive a full vote in the House of Representatives soon. If it passes, it will be considered by the Senate, which approved a measure to regulate marijuana for adult use in 2016.

A new statewide poll released this week finds a substantial majority of Vermont voters are in favor of the policy change proposed in H. 170. Fifty-seven percent said they support allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana. Only 39% are opposed. The Public Policy Polling survey of 755 Vermont voters was conducted March 20-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6%.

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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.

New Hampshire House Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

CONCORD, NH — The state House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve House Bill 640, bringing New Hampshire one step closer to becoming the final state in New England to decriminalize marijuana possession.

The bill, which was approved by a vote of 318-36 by the House, will now be considered by the Senate.

HB 640, sponsored by Rep. Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) and a bipartisan group of 10 co-sponsors, would reduce the penalty for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, which is currently punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000, to a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense within three years, and $350 for a third or subsequent offense within three years of two previous offenses.

“Most representatives agree it is time to stop wasting limited public resources on arrests for simple marijuana possession,” said Matt Simon, the Manchester-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We hope their colleagues in the Senate will agree that our tax dollars and law enforcement officials’ time would be better spent addressing serious crimes.”

HB 640 has faced much less opposition than similar bills that failed in recent years. Only one person testified against it at a public hearing on February 1, and the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which voted 7-6 last year to kill a similar measure (HB 1631), approved HB 640 14-2.

Additionally, Gov. Chris Sununu has consistently said he supports decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, whereas previous governors have been opposed.

“There is very little public support for continuing to criminalize marijuana consumers,” Simon said. “Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and a strong majority of Granite Staters want the Legislature to start treating it that way.”

More than seven out of 10 Granite Staters (72%) would like to see the Legislature decriminalize or legalize marijuana, according to a WMUR Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center in July 2016.

The New Hampshire House approved decriminalization bills in each of the last five years, only to see those bills die in the Senate.

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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.

Over 50 Vermont Attorneys Urge Legislature to End Marijuana Prohibition

MONTPELIER, VT — More than 50 Vermont attorneys have signed a letter urging the Legislature to “reform our state’s outdated and unjust policies towards cannabis by passing a bill to legalize and regulate its cultivation and sale for adult use in 2017.”

The letter will be presented to lawmakers at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on H. 170, which is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. ET in Room 30 of the Vermont State House.

Hose Bill 170 is a bipartisan proposal to eliminate penalties for possession and cultivation of personal amounts of marijuana by adults 21 and older. It also reduces penalties for possession and cultivation of larger amounts of marijuana.

The letter highlights the harms caused by prohibition laws, which it notes are unevenly enforced across racial and geographic lines:

“Vermont’s current cannabis policy — predominantly criminal prohibition, with civil penalties for minor possession — has created an inconsistent and confusing patchwork of enforcement that varies from county to county and town to town. … Regulating possession, cultivation and sale will help end these grossly unjust and potentially unconstitutional disparities.”

The letter also discusses the recent passage of laws regulating marijuana for adult use in Massachusetts and Maine, as well as Canada’s plans to adopt a similar policy later this year:

“It is inevitable that entrepreneurs and businesses in neighboring jurisdictions will establish retail locations as close to Vermont as possible in order to cater to Vermont citizens who wish to be free from the dangers of the unregulated market, as well as the tourists drawn to our state. Rather than watching as cannabis policy is shaped by those around us who do not consider Vermonters concerns, the Legislature should seize the opportunity to design sensible drug policy that puts the public interest, social justice, and the rule of law at the forefront. …

“We cannot afford to wait and watch any longer as other jurisdictions reap the benefits of regulation while we continue to pay for the consequences of prohibition.”

The full letter and list of signers is available 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.

New Hampshire Marijuana Bill Decriminalization Advances; Legalization Bill Killed

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire won’t be joining neighboring states of Maine and Massachusetts in legalizing marijuana, but the Granite State could soon follow the rest of their New England neighbors in treating marijuana possession as a violation, rather than a crime that carries a penalty including the possibility of jail time.

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 14 to 2 on Tuesday to advance a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession, but elected to send a bill that would legalize marijuana for adults to further study, effectively killing the measure for the year.

House Bill 640, sponsored by a bi-partisan coalition of six Republican and six Democrat lawmakers, would would reduce the penalty for marijuana possession of up to one ounce by someone 21 years old or older to a violation, punishable only by a fine. Fines would be set at $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offens, or $350 for a third or subsequent offense.  The bill was advanced on a 14 to 2 vote, and will now be considered by the full House.

Meanwhile, House Bill 656, which would have legalized the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish, and personal cultivation of six cannabis plants, for adults 21 or older was held for further study by a vote of 15 to 1, effectively killing the bill for the year.

New Hampshire has fallen behind the rest of its New England neighbors when it comes to reforming marijuana laws.  Possession of any amount of marijuana in New Hampshire is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $350.

The other five New England states have, at the very least, decriminalized possession of personal amounts of marijuana, eliminating the possibility of jail time and imposing only civil fines.

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), police in New Hampshire make around 2,900 marijuana possession arrests each year.

Despite years of attempts to decriminalize marijuana possession in New Hampshire, the Granite State remains the only New England state where marijuana possession brings the possibility of jail time.  The New Hampshire House approved decriminalization bills in each of the last five years, only to see those bills die in the Senate.

Voters from two of New Hampshire’s neighbors, Maine to the north and Massachusetts to the south, legalized marijuana possession at the polls in November.

Newly elected Governor Chris Sununu has said he would support a marijuana decriminalization bill if it were passed by the state legislature.

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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.

Rhode Island Poll Finds Strong Support for Legalizing Marijuana

“Welcome to Rhode Island sign” at Beach Pond, Hope Valley, RI (Flickr/Morrow Long)

PROVIDENCE, RI — A new poll shows momentum is building behind the effort to end marijuana prohibition in Rhode Island.

Regulate Rhode Island director Jared Moffat held a news conference Tuesday at the State House to discuss the results. He was joined by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Cranston) and Rep. Scott Slater (D-Providence), who recently introduced the Cannabis Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act.

According to the new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP), about three out of five voters in the state (59%) are now in favor of regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol, up from 57% in 2015.

Only about one out of three voters (36%) is opposed.

The statewide survey of 759 registered Rhode Island voters was conducted January 27-29 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%. The full poll results are available here.

“Rhode Island has the opportunity to become the third New England state to regulate marijuana for adult use,” said Miller, chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. “The results of this poll confirm that our constituents want us to follow the same path as Massachusetts and Maine.”

Separate polls of voters in various Rhode Island cities and towns found support for regulating and taxing marijuana is strong throughout the state:

  • Providence: 62% in favor; 31% opposed (354 respondents; MOE +/-5.2%)
  • Cranston: 58% in favor (up from 50% in 2015); 41% opposed (195 respondents; MOE +/-7.0%)
  • Warwick: 61% in favor; 35% opposed (254 respondents; MOE +/-6.2%)
  •  Newport: 64% in favor (up from 58% in 2015); 33% opposed (156 respondents; MOE +/-7.9%)
  • North Kingstown: 53% in favor; 45% opposed (225 respondents; MOE +/-6.5%)
  • Burrillville/Glocester: 70% in favor; 27% opposed (187 respondents; MOE +/-7.2%)

PPP polls conducted in 2015 also found 60% support in Coventry, 63% support in Cumberland, 52% support in Johnston, and 54% support in Narragansett.

“A strong and growing majority of voters support our proposal to regulate marijuana,” Rep. Slater said. “Our job is to represent the people of this state, and their position on this issue is pretty clear. It’s time to replace the senseless policy of marijuana prohibition with a sensible policy of regulation.”

The Cannabis Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow one mature marijuana plant in an enclosed, locked space. It would establish the Office of Cannabis Coordination within the executive branch, which would be charged with coordinating among state agencies to establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, processing facilities, and testing facilities. The legislation would also create a 23% excise tax on retail marijuana sales in addition to the standard 7% sales tax.

“Most Rhode Islanders recognize prohibition has failed and seem to view regulating marijuana is a no-brainer,” Moffat said. “Regulation better protects young people, improves public health and safety, and creates more economic opportunities for workers and entrepreneurs in our state. No matter how you look at it, this is clearly a smart path for us to take. Lawmakers would be wise to follow the will of their constituents.”

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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.

Vermont Marijuana Legalization Hearings Start Thursday

MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers will start legislative hearings on a proposal to legalize marijuana in Vermont on Thursday.

The Vermont House Committee on Judiciary is slated to hear testimony on House Bill 170, which would legalize limited marijuana possession and personal cultivation for adults 21 or older.  The bill being considered is sponsored by the committee’s chairman, vice-chair, and ranking Republican.

If passed, HB 170 would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and up to ten grams of concentrates by adults.

Adults would be allowed to grow up to two mature and seven immature cannabis plants in a private residence.

The proposal would also reduce existing penalties for those who possess greater quantities of marijuana.

The bill does not address commercial production or retail sales of marijuana, however.

Last year, the Vermont Senate voted to approve a bill that would have legalized up to one ounce of marijuana by adults and establish a regulated system of retail marijuana sales.  That bill was defeated in the House by a significant margin, despite being supported by then-Governor Peter Shumlin (D), who had had pushed for the state legislature to legalize marijuana in his final State of the State Address last January.

Under current Vermont law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a civil violation punishable by a fine of up to $200 for a first offense. Possession of one to two ounces of marijuana and cultivation of up to two marijuana plants are criminal misdemeanors punishable by a fine and up to six months in jail.

Parts of voter-approved initiatives recently passed in Massachusetts and Maine have already taken affect, legalizing marijuana possession by adults in Vermont’s neighbors to the north and south.

The full text of House Bill 170 can be found here.  Vermont’s 2017-2018 Legislative Biennium runs through mid-May 2017.

Vermont residents can click here to contact their elected officials regarding House Bill 170.

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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.

Vermont Bill Filed to Legalize Adult Possession, Cultivation of Marijuana

Vermont Bill Filed to Legalize Adult Possession, Cultivation of Marijuana | TJ Baker

MONTPELIER, VT — Lawmakers in Vermont have filed a bill that would legalize marijuana possession for adults 21 or older. House Bill 170, sponsored by Reps. Maxine Grad (D), Charles Conquest (D), and Thomas Burditt (R). If passed, the bill would eliminate all civil and criminal penalties for possession of up to two ounces of […]

Vermont Bill Filed to Legalize Adult Possession, Cultivation of Marijuana | The Daily Chronic


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 is Now Legal in Maine as Question 1 Takes Effect

PORTLAND, ME — A voter-approved initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine officially takes effect today, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

“Maine voters made it clear that it’s time to end the failed and costly policy of punishing adults for their choice to responsibly use marijuana,” said Alysia Melnick, an attorney with the Yes on 1 campaign. “This is a win for personal privacy, personal responsibility, and civil liberties. Now that the law has taken effect, our efforts must turn to the timely and effective implementation of the remaining parts of the law, to ensure that all Maine taxpayers benefit.”

Under Question 1, which voters approved in November and Gov. Paul LePage certified on December 31, adults 21 years of age and older can legally possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana, grow up to six flowering marijuana plants and 12 non-flowering plants, and possess the marijuana harvested from those plants inside their residence. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public and to drive while impaired by marijuana. The law will not affect employers’ drug-testing policies or their rights to prohibit marijuana use by employees.

The Legislature is in the process of establishing a regulated system of marijuana cultivation and sales, which is currently scheduled to be up and running by February 1, 2018.

“Now that adults can legally possess and consume marijuana, they need places where they can legally purchase it,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “The next step is to take the criminal element out of production and sales. We are hopeful that the legislature will respect the will of the voters and work quickly to establish a sensible regulatory system.”

Marijuana is now legal for adults in eight states, including Maine, as well as in the District of Columbia. The measures approved by voters last November in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada took effect on November 9, December 15, and January 1, respectively. The laws in Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. were adopted in November 2014, and the laws in Colorado and Washington were adopted in 2012.

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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.

New Hampshire Marijuana Legalization Bill to Receive Hearing Wednesday

CONCORD, NH — Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House will hold a hearing on a Republican-backed bill to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older on Wednesday.

The bill, House Bill 656, is sponsored by Reps. Glen Aldrich, Caleb Dyer, Brandon Phinney, and Nick Zaricki, all Republicans.  The proposal is not related to a similar measure filed in the Senate by Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D).

Members of the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will hear testimony regarding the bill on Wednesday, February 2, at 2 pm.

If passed, HB 656 would legalize  the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and up to five grams of hashish for adults 21 or older.  Adults would be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home.

Gifting of up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six immature cannabis plants to another adult without compensation would also be authorized.

Retail sales of marijuana would be subject to a 15 percent sales tax.

House Bill 656 would also legalize the cultivation, possession, and use of industrial hemp.

The bill also creates a civil violation for those age 18 through 20 caught possessing marijuana, imposing a $200 fine but no jail time. Currently,  possession of any amount of marijuana in New Hampshire is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $350.

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), police in New Hampshire make around 2,900 marijuana possession arrests each year. All of New Hampshire’s New England neighbors have decriminalized marijuana possession, and two bordering states — Maine and Massachusetts — have legalized marijuana possession for adults.  Similar legalization measures are expected to be considered this year in the remaining New England states as well.

New Hampshire could generate an estimated $30 million annually in taxes from legalizing marijuana, which also has strong public support. According to a WMUR/Granite State Poll released earlier this year, 62% of New Hampshire adults support legalizing marijuana.

New Hampshire’s 2017 regular legislative session begins January 4, and runs through the end of June.

New Hampshire residents who wish to contact their representatives in Concord in support of this legislation can do so here.

The full text of the bill can be found 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.

Marijuana Possession Officially Becomes Legal in Maine on Monday

PORTLAND, ME — A voter-approved initiative to legalize marijuana in Maine will officially take effect on Monday, making it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana.

“The era of marijuana prohibition in Maine is finally coming to an end,” said David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, who served as campaign manager for the Yes on 1 campaign. “Responsible adult marijuana consumers will no longer be harassed and treated like criminals. Police will be able to spend more time addressing serious crimes rather than punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.”

Under Question 1, which voters approved in November and Gov. Paul LePage certified on December 31, adults 21 years of age and older can legally possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana, grow up to six flowering marijuana plants and 12 non-flowering plants, and possess the marijuana harvested from those plants inside their residence. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public and to drive while impaired by marijuana. The law will not affect employers’ drug-testing policies or their rights to prohibit marijuana use by employees.

The Legislature is in the process of establishing a regulated system of marijuana cultivation and sales, which is currently scheduled to be up and running by February 1, 2018.

“Now that adults can legally possess and consume marijuana, they need places where they can legally purchase it,” Boyer said. “The next step is to take the criminal element out of production and sales. We are hopeful that the Legislature will respect the will of the voters and work diligently to establish a sensible regulatory system.”

Marijuana is now legal for adults in eight states, including Maine, as well as in the District of Columbia. The measures approved by voters last November in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada took effect on November 9, December 15, and January 1, respectively. The laws in Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. were adopted in November 2014, and the laws in Colorado and Washington were adopted in 2012.

“Every time a state makes marijuana legal for adults, support for enacting similar laws grows in other states,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, which backed the Question 1 campaign in Maine, as well as the successful campaigns in Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Nevada. “Legislatures around the country are considering proposals to regulate marijuana like alcohol this year. Why cling to a policy as wasteful, problematic, and antiquated as marijuana prohibition while your neighbors are moving forward with more sensible policies?”

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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.