Tag: New England

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


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.

Controversial New Hampshire Marijuana Study Commission to Hold First Meeting Tuesday

CONCORD, NH — On Tuesday, the inaugural meeting of New Hampshire’s marijuana legalization study commission will take place in Concord.

The commission, which was created by the passage of HB 215, is tasked with studying the potential impacts of legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana for adults’ use.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. in Room 201 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. Advocates will be there to observe and participate, despite the concerns they have raised regarding the make-up of the commission.

“This commission has a fantastic opportunity to learn what is really happening in states that have pioneered sensible marijuana regulations,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Sadly, the commission includes staunch opponents of reform such as the Association of Chiefs of Police and New Futures, but supportive organizations such as the ACLU-NH were excluded in the language of the final bill. Additionally, none of the six legislators who were appointed to the commission has ever publicly expressed support for ending marijuana prohibition.”

“Regardless of what this commission decides to recommend, most Granite Staters clearly recognize that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and they’re ready for the state to start treating it that way,” he said.

Eight states have enacted laws legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use, including Massachusetts and Maine, all through ballot initiatives.

poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center in April and May of 2017 found that 68% of Granite Staters support legalizing marijuana.

Tags: , , , ,


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?”

Tags: , ,


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 Advisory Commission to Hold First Meeting Thursday

MONTPELIER, VT — On Thursday, the inaugural meeting of the commission created by Gov. Phil Scott to make recommendations relative to marijuana regulation in Vermont will take place in Waterbury.

The Marijuana Advisory Commission was created through executive order after Gov. Scott vetoed a popular bill that would have made marijuana legal for adults in the Green Mountain State.

At this initial meeting, commissioners will discuss the requirements of the executive order and reporting deadlines, as well as protocol and logistical needs. The meeting will take place at the Vermont Department of Public Safety at 9 a.m. ET and will break into subcommittees at 11 a.m. ET.

“This commission has a fantastic opportunity to learn from what is happening in other states and recommend policies that make sense for Vermont,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “As the commission members work to understand what is really happening in states that have pioneered marijuana regulations, we are hopeful they will conclude that a reasonably regulated approach would be much better than the status quo of prohibition. Most Vermonters recognize that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and they’re ready for the state to start treating it that way.”

Eight states have enacted laws legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use, all through ballot initiatives. In Washington, D.C., voters approved a ballot initiative making personal possession and home cultivation legal for adults 21 and older.

A bill passed by the state legislature earlier this year before being vetoed would have made Vermont the first state to make marijuana legal for adults via its legislative body rather than a ballot initiative.

Tags: , , ,


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.

A Marijuana Drive-Through Could Be Coming to a Corner Near You

Voters in Maine narrowly approved marijuana legalization last November, and since then, the state legislature has been busily trying to come up with rules and regulations for the legal weed market. Now, they are envisioning something of a rarity: allowing customers to buy their weed at drive-up windows.

Of the five states that currently allow legal adult marijuana sales — Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington — only Oregon and Colorado allow for drive-through sales. California, where sales are set to begin January 1, had drive-through sales written into draft regulations, but those proposed regs have had to be pulled and rewritten to comply with a state law merging the recreational and medical markets. Still, drive-through sales may survive the regulatory process there. Massachusetts hasn’t directly addressed the issue, leaving it up to its Cannabis Control Commission to figure out before the state begins sales next summer.

For a measure whose mantra was “treat marijuana like alcohol,” allowing drive-through pot sales seems like a no-brainer.

“If Maine allows it for alcohol, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be allowed for marijuana, the safer substance, so long as Maine puts in place reasonable regulations to protect public safety and the consumer,” David Boyer, director of the Maine chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project told the Portland Press Herald. “The voters want it regulated and taxed like alcohol. The rules should be the same.”

But it’s not a done deal yet. The legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Marijuana Legalization Implementation is still considering the draft bill, and the coming week will be crucial. The bill gets a public hearing Tuesday and legislative debate is set for Wednesday and Thursday. If the committee approves it, it goes before the full legislature next month.

Drive-through sales is one of a subset of non-storefront sales possibilities facing legal pot regulators. Sales by delivery services and online sales are additional bones of contention. The proposed Maine legislation would allow both of those, too, but not all the other legal states do.

It is a sign of significant progress, or course, that the debate has shifted from how hard to punish pot smokers and dealers to how best to accommodate and regulate legal marijuana. But legal marijuana still has a ways to go before we can say it is treated like alcohol.


This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.

Tags: , , , ,


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.

Field Sobriety Tests Can’t Determine Marijuana Impairment, Mass. High Court Rules

Standard roadside field sobriety tests (FST) are not reliable indicators of marijuana-induced impairment, according to a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

Justices determined that there is a lack of scientific consensus as to the validity of FSTs for determining whether a subject is under the influence of cannabis.

They opined: “There is ongoing disagreement among scientists, however, as to whether the FSTs are indicative of marijuana impairment. In recent years, numerous studies have been conducted in an effort to determine whether a person’s performance on the FST is a reliable indicator of impairment by marijuana. These studies have produced mixed results. … We are not persuaded … that the FSTs can be treated as scientific tests establishing impairment as a result of marijuana consumption.”

As a result, justices ruled that police may only provide limited testimony with regard to a defendant’s FST performance. An officer “may not suggest … on direct examination that an individual’s performance on an FST established that the individual was under the influence of marijuana,” the court determined. “Likewise, an officer may not testify that a defendant ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ any FST, as this language improperly implies that the FST is a definitive test of marijuana use or impairment.”

The court further ruled that a police officer may not testify “without being qualified as an expert [as] to the effects of marijuana consumption [or] offer an opinion that a defendant was intoxicated by marijuana [because] no such general knowledge exists as to the physical or mental effects of marijuana consumption, which vary greatly amongst individuals.”

Attorneys Steven Epstein and Marvin Cable filed an amicus curiae brief in the case on behalf of national NORML.

The case is Commonwealth v. Gerhardt.

Tags: , , , , ,


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’s Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire’s bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana officially took effect on Saturday, making New Hampshire the 22nd state in the nation — and the last of the New England states — to eliminate the possibility of jail time for simple marijuana possession.

“The governor and Legislature both deserve a lot of credit for moving the state forward with this commonsense reform,” said Matt Simon, the Manchester-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Unlike his predecessors, who opposed similar proposals, Gov. Sununu appears to understand that ‘Live Free or Die’ is more than just a motto on a license plate.

“A lot of credit also goes to the House, which has been supporting decriminalization bills since 2008,” Simon said. “It was refreshing to see the Senate finally come to an agreement with the House on this issue in 2017. This is a big step toward a more sensible marijuana policy for New Hampshire.”

HB 640 was introduced by Rep. Renny Cushing and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, where it received overwhelming approval in February (318-36). The Senate amended and approved it on May 11 (17-6), and the House passed the Senate version by a voice vote on June 1. Gov. Sununu signed it on July 18.

This legislation reduces the penalty for possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor — currently punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 — to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine for a first or second offense and a $300 fine for a third offense within three years of the first offense. A fourth offense within three years of the first offense may be charged as a class B misdemeanor, but there would be no arrest or possibility of jail time.

“There is no good reason to continue arresting and prosecuting people for marijuana possession,” Simon said. “Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and Granite Staters are ready to see it treated that way. A very strong majority of state residents support ending marijuana prohibition altogether.

“New Hampshire lawmakers should continue to follow their constituents’ lead on this issue,” Simon said. “Every state in New England is either implementing or strongly considering legislation to regulate marijuana for adult use. It is time for the Legislature to develop a realistic marijuana prohibition exit strategy for New Hampshire.”

More than two-thirds of adults in New Hampshire (68%) support making marijuana legal, according to a Granite State Poll released last month by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

Tags: , , , , , ,


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.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


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.

Maine Lawmakers Want to Change Voter-Initiated Marijuana Legalization Law

Maine Lawmakers Want to Change Voter-Initiated Marijuana Legalization Law | NORML

AUGUSTA, ME — Members of a special legislative committee have called for changes in the state’s voter-initiated adult use marijuana law prior to its full implementation. The full legislature is expected to debate the proposed changes as an emergency bill during a special session this October. Maine voters narrowly approved The Marijuana Legalization Act in November. Provisions in the law […]

Maine Lawmakers Want to Change Voter-Initiated Marijuana Legalization Law | 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.

Court: Marijuana’s Schedule I Status Does Not Justify Workplace Discrimination Against State-Qualified Patients

HARTFORD, CT — A federal district court judge has determined that marijuana’s illicit status under federal law does not preempt statewide protections explicitly prohibiting qualified medical cannabis patients from facing discrimination in the workplace.

The defendant in the case, Bride Brook Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, argued that marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug under the US Controlled Substances Act provided a legal basis for its decision to rescind a job offer to a would-be employee after she failed a drug screen.

United States District Court Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer disagreed. He wrote:

“This lawsuit calls upon me to decide if federal law preempts Connecticut law. In particular, I must decide if federal law precludes enforcement of a Connecticut law that prohibits employers from firing or refusing to hire someone who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes. I conclude that the answer to that question is ‘no’ and that a plaintiff who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes in compliance with Connecticut law may maintain a cause of action against an employer who refuses to employ her for this reason.”

The ruling follows that of a similar decision in Massachusetts in July which determined that state-registered medical cannabis patients may sue a private employer for discrimination if they are fired for their off-the-job marijuana use.

The case is Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company, LLC.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


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.