Tag: Pending Legislation

Vermont House Blocks Marijuana Legalization Compromise Bill

MONTPELIER, VT: Members of the House voted Wednesday to block a marijuana legalization compromise bill, H. 511, from further consideration this legislative session.

The vote came after Senate members approved the bill, which eliminated civil and criminal penalties for the private possession and cultivation of small quantities of marijuana.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott — who had vetoed an earlier version of the bill in May — had also recently expressed his support for the revised legislation.

Further action on the bill during this week’s special veto session required the votes of three-quarters of the House. But only a majority voted to take action on the bill, with almost all Republican House members voting ‘no.’

If enacted, the bill would have permitted adults to legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis and to grow up two mature plants at home.

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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 Senate Passes Marijuana Legalization Compromise Bill

MONTPELIER, VT — Another bill that would make marijuana legal for adults in Vermont was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, the first day of a two-day veto session.

House Bill 511 reflects a compromise between legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Scott, who vetoed a similar bill, S. 22, in late May. It will now go the House, where it is unclear if a substantial number of House Republicans will agree to waive rules and allow its consideration during the veto session.

A three-quarters vote of the House will be required for the bill to be taken up on Thursday. If the House does not pass the bill during the veto session, H. 511 could receive a vote when the House next convenes.

The legalization language was added as an amendment to H. 511, a bill dealing with highway safety that had already passed the House. It would eliminate Vermont’s civil penalty for adults possessing one ounce or less of marijuana beginning in July 2018 and remove penalties for possession of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants. It would also create a study commission to develop legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. The amended bill would extend the time allotted by S. 22 for the commission to submit its report, add additional agency directors and the defender general to the commission, and increase penalties for dispensing marijuana to minors or exposing them to marijuana smoke in cars.

“Vermont is poised to make history by becoming the first state in which the legislature and governor end the disastrous policy of marijuana prohibition. Just over a year from now, adults will have the same freedoms to grow and possess cannabis that our neighbors in Maine and Massachusetts enjoy,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The question is no longer ‘if’ Vermont will stop penalizing adult cannabis consumers, but ‘when’.”

“There is no good reason for the House to delay passage of this modest and sensible legislation,” Simon said. “Now that Gov. Scott has agreed with the House and Senate that marijuana should be legal for adult use, House Republicans should follow the governor’s lead and vote to advance this compromise. Failing to waive the rules will only mean the marijuana regulatory commission has less time to do its important work.”

Fifty-seven percent of Vermont voters support allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana, according to a statewide survey of 755 registered voters conducted in March by Public Policy Polling. Only 39% are opposed.

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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 York Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana for PTSD

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

The bipartisan proposal is headed to the governor’s desk after passing 50-13 in the Senate on Tuesday; it received overwhelming approval in the Assembly last month

ALBANY, NY — A bipartisan proposal to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for New York’s medical marijuana program has received final approval from state lawmakers and is headed to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Senate passed S 5629 on Tuesday (50-13), and the Assembly version, A 7006, received overwhelming approval in May (131-8).

“State lawmakers are standing up for thousands of New Yorkers who are suffering from PTSD and might benefit from medical marijuana,” said Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We hope Gov. Cuomo will do the same and sign this important legislation. With a single swipe of his pen, he can help countless people find relief.”

“Military veterans, first responders, and victims who have survived assault all deserve society’s respect and the best available treatments; they should not have to abandon their homes and move to another state in order to seek access to medical marijuana,” said Michael Krawitz, executive director of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. “This is compassionate and commonsense legislation that is widely supported by the public as well as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.”

Twenty-six of the 29 states with medical marijuana programs allow patients with PTSD to qualify. In one of the states that do not, Alaska, marijuana is legal and regulated for adults 21 and older.

Bills to add PTSD to state medical marijuana programs have been approved and signed into law in Colorado and Vermont this year.

Legislation to add PTSD has also been approved in both chambers of the New Hampshire Legislature and is currently awaiting the governor’s signature.

“In the past year, 11 more states have approved allowing trauma survivors to use cannabis for PTSD. Now only three medical cannabis states exclude PTSD patients,” Bell said. “Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and his colleagues should be commended for addressing the needs of New York residents who are dealing with this terrible condition, including our veterans. By signing this legislation, Gov. Cuomo can ensure New Yorkers don’t get left behind.”

S 5629 was introduced by Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) with a bipartisan coalition of seven co-sponsors, including Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), who previously opposed medical marijuana legislation. A 7006 was introduced by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried (D-Manhattan) with a bipartisan coalition of more than three dozen co-sponsors.

“We are grateful to Sen. Diane Savino and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried for their leadership on this bill and other medical marijuana issues,” Bell 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.

Vermont Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill

Vermont Governor Phil Scott

Governor Phil Scott has signed legislation, Senate Bill 16, expanding the state’s thirteen-year-old medical marijuana program.

The measure permits physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients with Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress, and Parkinson’s disease, and expedites access for patients with cancer or a terminal illness.

The bill also expands the number of permissible dispensaries in the state and allows existing operators to open one additional location each.

There are over 3,800 residents currently enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program.

The new changes in law take effect on July 1, 2017.

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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.

Bipartisan CARERS Act Medical Marijuana Bill Reintroduced in US Senate

The United States Capitol in Washington, DC (Wikimedia/David Maiolo)

WASHINGTON, DC — United States Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Corey Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) reintroduced a bill Thursday that would end the federal prohibition of medical marijuana. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) also signed on to the legislation as original co-sponsors.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (or CARERS) Act of 2017 would allow individuals and entities to possess, produce, and distribute medical marijuana if they are in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. It would also open up avenues to medical marijuana research and allow physicians employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states where it is legal. The bill also proposes excluding cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana, from the federal government’s definition of “marijuana.”

This is the second time the CARERS Act has been introduced. It was first introduced on March 10, 2015, during the 114th Congress.

Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico have enacted effective medical marijuana laws. An additional 19 states have adopted laws that recognize the medical value of marijuana but are unworkable or exceptionally limited.

According to an April poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, 94 percent of U.S. voters support allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes, including 96 percent of Democrats, 90 percent of Republicans, and 95 percent of independents.

“The reintroduction of the CARERS Act is the first of many steps we hope this Congress will take to end the federal prohibition of medical marijuana,” Don Murphy, director of conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “The addition of Sens. Lee and Murkowski as original co-sponsors should inspire other Republicans to seriously consider this legislation and the absurd federal overreach that it seeks to correct. Marijuana is effective in the treatment of several debilitating conditions. The federal government should not be meddling in state laws that allow it or obstructing research into its many medical benefits.

“Polls show overwhelmingly strong support for medical marijuana, and it spans the political spectrum. There is no better example of an issue that garners the level of bipartisan support necessary to pass meaningful legislation. Twenty-nine states and our nation’s capital have enacted effective medical marijuana programs, and an additional 19 states have adopted laws that recognize marijuana’s medical value. There is no rational reason to continue prohibiting seriously ill patients from using this medicine or punishing those who provide it to them,” added Murphy.

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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.

Florida Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Implementation Measure

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Members of the House and Senate have approved legislation to implement November’s successful Amendment 2 – a voter-initiated constitutional amendment regulating the use of medical cannabis.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has pledged to sign the bill into law.

Lawmakers passed the measure on the final day of Florida’s special legislative session.

The measure prohibits patients from inhaling herbal preparations of cannabis, among other restrictions that proponents say violate the initiative’s original intent.

One the measure’s key backers, Orlando attorney John Morgan has said that he intends to sue the state over the proposed changes.

Under the law, patients diagnosed with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis – or who suffer from chronic pain related to any of these diseases – are eligible to receive a 70-day supply of cannabis-infused oils or edible products from a limited number of state-licensed dispensing facilities.

Florida’s medical access law must be operational by October.

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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.

Colorado Governor Signs Law Allowing Medical Cannabis for PTSD

DENVER, CO — Governor John Hickenlooper has signed legislation, Senate Bill 17, permitting physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients suffering from post-traumatic stress.

PTSD is the first new qualifying condition to be added since the state legalized medical cannabis in 2001.

Members of the Colorado Board of Health had previously rejected efforts to include PTSD as a qualifying condition, opining that sufficient evidence did not yet support its efficacy.

More information 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.

Medical Marijuana Legislation to Be Filed in US House, Senate

WASHINGTON, DC — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives is introducing comprehensive medical marijuana legislation on Thursday.

The move comes just days after the revelation that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to Congressional leaders requesting the deletion of a current budget rider preventing the Justice Department from interfering with state medical cannabis laws.

The new bills would protect state-legal medical marijuana activity from federal interference, allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical cannabis, remove CBD from the Controlled Substances Act and expand research on marijuana.

Initial sponsors of the legislation are: Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mike Lee (R-UT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rand Paul (R-KY), Al Franken (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). A House version will also have bipartisan backing.

Building off of similar legislation that earned a substantial number of cosponsors in both chambers last Congress, the new versions contain some changes intended to garner even more support.

In particular, the new legislation removes earlier provisions aimed at increasing marijuana businesses’ access to banks and to reschedule cannabis. Separate pending bills address these issues.

Tom Angell, founder and chairman of Marijuana Majority, released the following statement:

“A majority of states now have comprehensive medical marijuana laws on the books, and a supermajority of Americans support letting patients access cannabis without fear of arrest. It’s well past time for Congress to modernize federal law so that people with cancer, multiple sclerosis and PTSD don’t have to worry about Jeff Sessions sending in the DEA to arrest them or their suppliers. The diverse group of lawmakers behind this new legislation shows that medical cannabis is an issue of compassion, not partisan politics.”

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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.

Proposed Changes to Massachusetts Marijuana Law “Insults Voters”

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

BOSTON, MA — The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy has voted to advance a bill to repeal and replace the marijuana legalization measure approved by voters in November, angering supporters who are calling the proposal an “insult to voters.”

According to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), who carefully crafted the language of the voter-approved Question 4, the proposal approved by Beacon Hill lawmakers this week “bears very little resemblance to the legalization law passed by 1.8 million voters in November.”

“The bill would undermine efforts to replace the unregulated market with a system of licensed businesses,” says Will Luzier, MPP’s campaign manager for Question 4. “It would take away the right of voters to decide on local marijuana policy, and it could impose a tax rate on marijuana that exceeds 50%. It authorizes the sharing of information with the FBI on cannabis commerce, including employees and medical patients. It also makes the Cannabis Control Commission — the entity that will regulate marijuana businesses — less unaccountable.”

The proposed changes to Question 4, which was approved by 54 percent of voters last November, could be voted on by the full House as early as Thursday.

This is not the first change to the marijuana legalization law.  As written, Question 4 called for regulated marijuana sales to start in January 2018.  Last December, in a sparsely attended special session, lawmakers quickly and quietly passed a bill that delayed marijuana sales until July 2018.

Increased Taxes

Among the most notable changes proposed by lawmakers is a massive increase in taxes on recreational marijuana sales, more than doubling the maximum tax imposed on retail cannabis sales.

The language of Question 4 imposes an excise tax of 3.75% in addition to the state sales tax of 6.25%, adding a total 10% sales tax at the point of sale. Local communities have the option to add an additional 2% sales tax, making the total possible tax 12%.

The proposed changes to the law call for a much higher excise tax of 16.75%, in addition to the 6.25% sales tax, making the total minimum tax statewide 23%.  Cities and towns could then tack up to 5% more in local taxes, bringing the total possible maximum tax to 28%, more than double the rate approved by voters.

Medical marijuana sales would remain tax-free.

“The House proposal in no way improves the measure passed by voters. It weakens it and it insults voters in the process,” Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Yes on 4 campaign, said in a statement. “Its irrational tax increase will give drug dealers the ability to undercut the legal market, and its removal of ban authority from local voters will give a handful of selectmen the ability to overrule the opinion of their own constituents.”

Rep. Mark Cusack (D-Braintree) is co-chair of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy, the committee who wrote the proposed legislation behind closed doors, largely in secret.  Cusack touted the proposed changes to the bill as necessary, claiming the will of Bay State voters has not been compromised.

“The voters voted to allow people 21 years of age and above to be able to access a regulated and safe marketplace. That is exactly what this bill does,”Cusack told the Boston Globe. “The ballot question is fundamentally flawed.’’

Cusack says the higher tax rate is “a responsible tax rate” and is necessary to fund regulation while generating additional income for the state.

But not all lawmakers are on board with the legislature’s re-write of the citizen initiated referendum, including Cusack’s co-chair for in the joint committee, Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville).

“This proposed bill directly assaults the will of the voters,” Sen. Jehlen told the Boston Herald, noting that the proposed 28% would be among the highest tax rates in the eight states that have legalized retail marijuana sales.

“If you keep more people in the illicit market, you’re not getting their taxes,” she told CBS News. “Second, if you raise the tax too high, you keep people in the illicit market.”

Also prominent among the many changes to the marijuana law is transferring the authority to restrict or ban cannabis related businesses.  As approved by voters, the current marijuana law requires municipal officials who want to ban or restrict marijuana related businesses from operating in their communities to get final approval from voters via a referendum.

The proposed changes to the marijuana law strip that final say from voters, giving local lawmakers unilateral authority to ban or limit dispensaries, cultivation facilities, and other marijuana related businesses operating in their communities.

“The removal of ban authority from local voters will give a handful of selectmen the ability to overrule the opinion of their own constituents,” says Borghesani.  “We think that will be problematic and could usher in a new era of prohibition.”

“The public has always been ahead of legislators on this issue, in Massachusetts and every other state. To turn around and alter something the public passed and take power away from voters, and give it to elected officials who have not been leaders and have shown a reluctance to embrace new marijuana public policy is a big mistake and a dramatic revision of the bill passed by voters,” Borghesani added.

Home Cultivation

While home cultivation of up to 12 plants per household remains in the proposed law, advocates are concerned that the law opens the door for the Cannabis Control Commission, the agency created to oversee the state’s marijuana industry, to reduce the plant limit or impose restrictions and regulations on home grows.

According to the proposed changes to the law, the commission would be allowed to “establish rules and regulations on the unlicensed manufacture of marijuana or marijuana products within a person’s primary residence.”

Advocates fear the language could allow regulators to require expensive home cultivation licences, home grow site inspections, or reduced plant limits.

Changes to Oversight

The third major change to the law involves the Cannabis Control Commission, the governing agency established by Question 4 to regulate the marijuana industry in Massachusetts.  Under current law, the state treasurer has the sole authority to hire and fire the three members of the Commission.

But under the proposed changes to the law, the Commission would be expanded to five people, and give the treasurer, Governor and Attorney General each the ability to appoint one member to the Commission. The other two seats would be filled by a majority vote of the thee appointed members.

The Commission would still be a part of the treasurer’s office, and they do not appear to support the proposed changes.

“While we are still reviewing all the details of the bill, it is apparent that this structure does not provide operational authority or accountability within the treasurer’s office, which we believe is critical to have a safe, secure, and efficient implementation,” Chandra Allard, a spokesperson for state treasurer Deborah Goldberg, told the Boston Globe.

Medical Marijuana

While most of the outcry regarding the proposed changes to the marijuana law come from supporters of recreational marijuana, medical marijuana advocates are concerned with a provision in the proposed bill that strips oversight of the state’s medical marijuana program from the Department of Public Health and reassigns it to the Cannabis Control Commission, placing all of the state’s marijuana oversight — both medical and recreational — under one governing body.

While this consolidation could be helpful in reducing bureaucratic oversight, advocates fear that could place the state’s medical marijuana program at risk in the current political climate.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but while the Obama Administration mostly looked the other way, the Trump Administration’s Justice Department, under the leadership of longtime marijuana foe Attorney General Jeff Sessions, appears to be leaning towards a federal crackdown of recreational, and possibly medical, marijuana sales.

House Expected to Vote Thursday

The bill is expected to be introduced to the House on Thursday. While the bill advanced out of committee by a 10-1 vote, some committee members say their support for the bill, as written, ends there.

“With deep reservations I will be supporting this out of committee but I will not at all hesitate to vote no on the floor … if this bill continues in the shape and form as it is,” Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Boston) told the Boston Herald.

If you are a Massachusetts resident, the Marijuana Policy Project is asking you to please call your state representative and tell them not to vote for this bill when it is presented for a vote.  You can do so by clicking here.

“We must not allow politicians to repeal and replace the will of the people, especially when their proposed changes are so flawed and misguided,” they say.


Update: The Salem News is reporting that legislative leaders have decided to postpone a vote until next week.

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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.

Advocates Slam Rhode Island Marijuana Study Bill, Won’t Participate in Commission

Regulate Rhode Island

(photo: Regulate Rhode Island via Facebook)

H 5551, which is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday, calls for a study commission that includes representatives of the NAACP, Direct Action for Rights and Equality, and Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, but those organizations are ‘not interested in helping lawmakers once again avoid a vote on legalization’

PROVIDENCE, RI — The Regulate Rhode Island coalition says its members will not participate in the marijuana study commission that would be created by H 5551, calling it a “flawed delay tactic” on the part of legislative leaders.

Instead, they are urging lawmakers to hold a vote on a compromise approach that would make marijuana legal for adults beginning in July 2018 and establish an advisory board to make recommendations for regulating and taxing marijuana in Rhode Island.

The most recent version of H 5551, which is scheduled for a vote in the House on Wednesday, names several members to the proposed 22-person study commission, including, “the President of the Rhode Island Chapter of the NAACP, or designee,” “the Director of the local chapter of DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality), or designee,” and “a local representative of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR), to be appointed by the Board President of the DFCR.”

All three organizations are part of the Regulate Rhode Island coalition, and will not participate in the commission if H 5551 is enacted because they are “not interested in helping lawmakers once again avoid a vote on legalization,” according to a statement issued by Regulate Rhode Island.

Instead, Regulate Rhode Island is continuing to call on House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio to allow legislators to vote on a compromise proposal that was announced last week by Sen. Joshua Miller and Rep. Scott Slater.

It would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older on July 1, 2018 and establish an advisory board to draft a report with recommendations for how to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use.

“The proposed study commission is not a good faith effort to analyze the issue, it is a flawed delay tactic,” said Jared Moffat, director of Regulate Rhode Island. “It would engage in the same legalization debate that has already taken place during the legislative process. It is not intended to find a solution to Rhode Island’s marijuana prohibition problem; it is intended to avoid one. The only people who benefit from delaying legalization — which is what this study commission would do — are the illegal dealers who are currently profiting from selling marijuana.

“Regulate Rhode Island’s members will not participate in the study commission because we are not interested in helping lawmakers once again avoid a vote on legalization. Sen. Miller and Rep. Slater have proposed a very reasonable compromise that deserves an up-or-down vote in the House and Senate this year. Rhode Islanders deserve to know where their elected officials stand on this issue. We call on House Speaker Mattiello and Senate President Ruggerio to stop stalling and allow our legislators to vote on legalization,” Moffat added.

“I appreciate the thought of including the NAACP in the study commission, but I cannot participate in and thereby legitimize this flawed process,” said Jim Vincent, president of the Rhode Island chapter of the NAACP. “The residents of our state have expressed their desire to see marijuana legalized, and it is the legislature’s job to decide on whether we should move forward or not. Leaving that question up to a 22-person study commission after several years of public debate has already taken place is inappropriate.”

“I don’t understand why the General Assembly refuses to vote on a bill to legalize marijuana,” says Dr. James Crowley, co-chair of Regulate Rhode Island and a spokesperson for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. “DFCR cannot see the value of being part of a study commission that appears intended to slow down the process by repeating the tired anti-legalization arguments that are contradicted by medical evidence. From the physicians’ perspective, legalization is a no-brainer.”

“The war on drugs has decimated communities of color. Today’s politicians should be championing policies that correct this, not resisting them. I hope voters remember who they were come November 2018,” added Fred Ordoñez, executive director of Direct Action for Rights and Equality.

“This eight month long, 22-member study commission will only delay efforts to reform Rhode Island’s failed policy of marijuana prohibition, said Matthew Schweich, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It is hard to believe that a study commission could provide helpful recommendations on how to implement a policy of legalizing and regulating marijuana when that same study commission cannot agree on whether the policy should even exist. That is the fundamental problem with this bill and the reason why many consider it a stall tactic. Given that a strong majority of Rhode Islanders supports legalization, the General Assembly should set aside the study commission and hold a vote on the compromise bill before the end of the session.”

Regulating and taxing marijuana in Rhode Island could generate up to $50 million in new tax revenue for the state.

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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.