Chris Christie Has Zero Credibility on Drug Policy

From Forbes:

Legalize marijuanaAccording to Erik Altieri, Executive Director of the decades-old drug reform nonprofit NORML, Christie has spent much of time as governor (and, as it happens, much of the opioid epidemic) fighting the rising tide of calls for cannabis reform in his state. Last week, as part of opioid-themed comments, Christie even called the ever more crucial and commonplace drive to bring regulated adult and medical cannabis use to New Jersey “total stupidity” and “baloney,” and described any tax revenues from the industry as “blood money.”

“We are in the midst of the public health crisis on opiates,” Christie said. “But people are saying pot’s OK. This is nothing more than crazy liberals who want to say everything’s OK.”

In response, NORML released an open letter to the governor days later, explaining in simple terms how scientific and social research have repeatedly shown that cannabis offers rather the opposite of “baloney” in the face of opioid addiction. Citing years of evidence-based conclusions, the letter pointed out, “It makes no sense from a public health perspective, a fiscal perspective, or a moral perspective to perpetuate the prosecution and stigmatization of those adults who choose to responsibly consume a substance that is safer than either alcohol or tobacco.” It continued:

“In truth, America’s real-world experiment with regulating marijuana has been a success. Thirty states, including New Jersey, now regulate the plant’s therapeutic use and eight states authorize its use and sale to all adults. These policy changes are not associated with increased marijuana use or access by adolescents or with adverse effects on traffic safety or in the workplace. Marijuana regulations are also associated with less opioid abuse and mortality . In jurisdictions where this retail market is taxed, revenue from marijuana sales has greatly exceeded initial expectations.”

Altieri explained by phone that the new tactic is one of many advocates have tried over the years in order to convince Christie and lawmakers like him to accept the science on cannabis, and to invest in further study rather than stalwart opposition. Rather than acknowledge evidence that cannabis is a cheap, relatively quite safe method of treating pain and other conditions, and even effective for helping addicts quit much harder drugs, however, Christie has stayed his anti-pot course throughout, according to Altieri.

“Governor Christie has 0% credibility on drug policy, or any other policy, for that matter,” Altieri said. “When it comes to cannabis’ relationship to opioids from real-world experience, not bluster and rhetoric, states that have medicinal and recreational cannabis laws on the books see lower rates of overdose, lower rates of use, and lower rates of opioids being prescribed to patients.”

“This cannot be disputed,” Altieri added. “This is happening on the ground in many states, and he should know this better than others, having seen data on his own state, despite his protestations and attempt to block it.”

But at this point, Altieri said, whether such outreach finally touches Christie’s heart and brain, unlikely as it may be, is no longer of import to the state of New Jersey.

“In consistent polling, 60% of New Jersey residents support legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis, in line with the national average, and that’s three times the number of residents that support Governor Christie in his current position,” he said. “He further weakens his position by displaying his ignorance to basic and readily available science. We know that marijuana has a very low harm profile, that you can’t overdose on it, and that the side effects tend to be minor and temporary. Unlike opioids.”

Altieri continued, “It’s important to point out that Christie will be gone by the end of this year, and that so far, every single Democratic candidate for governor and a number of Republican candidates have come out in support of legalization. So it’s really a question of not if but when in New Jersey. And there’s nothing Chris Christie can do about it.”

 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

LIVE IN NEW JESREY? CLICK HERE TO CONTACT GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE AND CORRECT THE RECORD.

New Mexico: Governor Vetoes Bill To Expand State’s Medical Cannabis Program

3410000930_95fc2866fa_zRepublican Gov. Susana Martinez has vetoed legislation, House Bill 527, which would have greatly expanded the state’s decade-old medical cannabis program.

For those keeping track, this is the third marijuana-related bill the Governor has vetoed this legislative session. In March, Gov. Martinez rejected without explanation a pair of measures that sought to license the cultivation of industrial hemp in compliance with Section 7606 of the Federal Farm Act. Governor Martinez previously received a ‘F’ grade on NORML’s 2016 Gubernatorial Report Card.

In her veto statement of HB 527, the Governor opined that she did not favor adding new qualifying conditions by legislative action. She specifically expressed concerns regarding the use of cannabis for those suffering from opioid dependence, and for those patients registered in other states. Studies report that the use of cannabis is associated with a reduction in opioid use, abuse, mortality, and hospitalizations.

Had HB 527 been signed into law, it would have permitted qualified patients to receive organ transplants, it would have expanded the list of qualifying illnesses for which medical cannabis may be recommended, and it would established reciprocity for non-residents, among other changes.

NORML Releases Gubernatorial Report Card: Learn Where Your Governor Stands On Marijuana Policy

Governors Scorecard

With the 2016 election only days away, NORML is pleased today to release of our first ever Gubernatorial Scorecard. Inspired by NORML’s Congressional Scorecard, this extensive database assigns a letter grade ‘A’ through ‘F’ to every state governor based upon his or her comments and voting records specific to matters of marijuana policy.

Public opinion in support of marijuana law reform is at an all-time high. Nonetheless, few federal lawmakers are espousing views on cannabis policy that comport with those of the majority of their constituents. As a result, most legislative activity specific to marijuana policy is taking place at the state level. America’s governors are our nation’s most powerful, state-elected officials and they therefore play a key role in this ongoing legislative debate. NORML’s new Scorecard provides voters in all 50 states with pertinent information regarding where their governor stands on issues surrounding cannabis policy.

KEY FINDINGS

  • 28 US governors received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (17 Democrats and 11 Republicans)
  • Of these, only two US governors, both Democrats, received an ‘A’ grade
  • 17 governors received a ‘B’ grade (11 Democrats and 6 Republicans)
  • Nine governors received a ‘C’ grade (5 Republicans and 4 Democrats)
  • 13 governors received a ‘D’ grade (All Republicans)
  • Seven governors received a failing ‘F’ grade (All Republicans)
  • Two governors received no grade because of insufficient data
  • Of the 31 Republican US governors currently in office, 11 of them received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (35 percent)
  • Of the 18 Democratic US governors currently in office, 17 of them received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (94 percent)

THE TAKEAWAY

Similar to the findings of NORML’s Congressional Scorecard, this gubernatorial analysis affirms that voters’ views on marijuana policy are typically more progressive than the views held by the highest elected officials in their states — 56 percent of whom received a passing grade from NORML. For example, while sixty percent of Americans support legalizing the use and sale of cannabis for adults, only four percent of state governors voice support for this position. Governors overall are also far less supportive of legislation to legalize the medical use of cannabis than are their constituents – approximately 80 percent of whom back these type of reform measures.

Governors ScorecardAlso evident is that gubernatorial support for marijuana law reform falls primarily upon partisan lines. While over 94 percent of Democratic governors received a passing grade of ‘C’ or higher (one Democrat received no grade), fewer than 40 percent of Republican governors did so. Further, all of the governors who received either a ‘D’ or a failing grade from NORML are Republicans. Conversely, both of the governors who received a ‘A’ grade from NORML are Democrats. This partisanship lies largely in contrast to voters’ sentiments, as the public tends to view many aspects of marijuana law reform, such as the regulation of medicinal cannabis, as non-partisan issues.

Commenting on the report’s findings, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “It is apparent that voters’ views regarding marijuana policy have evolved significantly over the past decades. Yet, the positions of their governors have not progressed in a similar manner. Constituents ought to demand that their lawmakers legislate on behalf of policies that more closely reflect marijuana’s rapidly changing legal and cultural status.”

To read how NORML’s grades were calculated and to review the individual profiles for the governors of all 50 states, please visit: http://norml.org/us-governors.

Kentucky Industrial Hemp Legislation Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature

On Friday, April 5th, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky stated that he will let Kentucky’s industrial hemp measure become law without his signature. Gov. Beshear had expressed concerns that marijuana growers could hide their illegal growing operations with hemp plants. Despite his concerns, he allowed the measure to become law without his signature and did not veto the legislation.

House and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in March during the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Noting that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

After the bills approval by the state legislature, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer stated that “by passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Kentucky is now the ninth state to have passed a law allowing for farmers to cultivate industrial hemp. Hemp cultivation is still prohibited by the federal government, so until the feds alter their current policy, it is unlikely that Kentucky farmers will begin to grow this crop. Of the eight states who previously approved industrial hemp legislation, only Hawaii has received a federal waiver allowing them to grow an acre of hemp for research purposes.

Federal legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is currently pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been sponsored by prominent politicians such as Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. You can click here to write your federal officials in support of this legislation.

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service report. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

Senate Bill 50 “establish conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designated the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Federal legislation, the 013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill.”

If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service report. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

Senate Bill 50 “establish conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designated the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Federal legislation, the 013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill.”

If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

Kentucky: House and Senate Lawmakers Pass Industrial Hemp Legislation

hempfieldHouse and Senate lawmakers yesterday passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp.” The floor votes took place with only hours to go before the close of the 2013 legislative session. Proponents of the measure acknowledged that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to the Congressional Resource Service. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing.

Senate Bill 50 “establishes conditions and procedures for the licensing of industrial hemp growers by the Department of Agriculture.” It designates the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission to work in concert with the state Department of Agriculture, and also tasks the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experimental Station to engage in research related to hemp production.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 88 to 4. The Senate re-approved the measure by a vote of 35 to 1.

Said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in a prepared statement: “By passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Federal legislation, the 013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 50 now goes to the desk of Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear, who has said he shares the concerns of the Kentucky State Police who opposed the bill,” but has not stated publicly whether he intends to veto the measure.

If you live in Kentucky, click here to write the Governor and urge that he does not stand in the way of this legislation.

Virginia’s Tea Party Backed Attorney General Cuccinelli “Evolving” on Marijuana Legalization

kenVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Tea Party favorite and presumed Republican candidate for Governor, opened up on his views regarding marijuana legalization while addressing a group of students at the University of Virginia this week.

When asked how he felt about Colorado and Washington legalizing the adult use and commercial production and sale of marijuana in November, the conservative politico caught many off guard with his answer.

“I don’t have a problem with states experimenting with this sort of thing I think that’s the role of states,” Cuccinelli stated, “I’m not sure about Virginia’s future [re: marijuana legalization], but I and a lot of people are watching Colorado and Washington to see how it plays out.”

Twice during the talk Attorney General Cuccinelli referred to his views on the subject as “evolving.”

You can view video footage of this event here.

New Poll Shows Huge Support for Marijuana Law Reform in New Hampshire

Polling data released this week by Public Policy Polling shows a large base of support for marijuana law reforms in New Hampshire. Not only is there majority support from New Hampshire voters for the medical use of marijuana and decriminalizing its possession, but more than half support regulating and taxing marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

When asked if they would support or oppose changing New Hampshire law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, where stores would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older, 53% responded they would support this law and only 37% were opposed.

62% stated that they would support a change in the law to provide for a fine of up to $100 without jail time or the threat of arrest for those who possess an ounce or less of marijuana and 68% support allowing for its physician supervised use. Even more enlightening, 52% stated an elected official’s support of medical marijuana made them more likely to support them.

Fortunately for New Hampshire lawmakers, they have the opportunity to capitalize on this groundswell of support for sensible marijuana laws. Legislation has already been introduced to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and a separate measure has been introduced to allow patients to use marijuana for medical purposes. The incoming governor has even voiced her support for legalizing medical use.

If you live in New Hampshire, you can use NORML’s Take Action to easily contact your elected officials in support of these measures. Click here to view our alert for decriminalization and here for medical use.

You can view the full polling data here.

NY Governor Cuomo Reaffirms Commitment to Marijuana Decriminalization

In his State of the State address, delivered this morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reaffirmed his commitment to reforming his state’s marijuana laws. The governor proposed decriminalizing the possession of 15 grams of marijuana in public view to a civil violation. Currently only possession of marijuana in private is decriminalized, possession in public view is still currently a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 with a maximum sentence of 90 days.

“These arrests stigmatize, they criminalize, they create a permanent record. It’s not fair, it’s not right, it must end and it must end now,” Governor Cuomo stated.

Last year, the Governor declared his support for a similar proposal, but was unable to gather significant support in the state legislature by the end of the year. NORML applauds Governor Cuomo’s commitment to the issue and we were glad to see him putting the topic front and center in a prominent speech.

You can view Governor Cuomo’s speech on C-SPAN here.

WA Governor-Elect Inslee: It is the Best Interest of State and Country to Allow Legalization to Move Forward

During a press conference today, the governor-elect for the state of Washington, Jay Inslee, defended his state’s recently approved marijuana legalization initiative. He stated that he believes it is the best interest “not only of our state, but in our country” for President Obama and the federal government to allow these recently approved measures to move forward.

“My belief is Washington has worked its will. The voters have spoken,” Inslee stated, “I was not supportive of the initiative but I’m going to be fully supportive of protecting, defending, and implementing the will of the voter—which will essentially allow the use of recreational marijuana in our state.”

In regards to the federal government, the incoming governor encouraged their support. “I will be working to a very rational, mature way to convince the administration that it’s in the best interest, not only of our state, but in our country, to allow our state to move forward in this regard.”

You can view his comments in full here.

It is refreshing, to say the least, to see an elected official going to bat for the voters of their state and defending the will of the people when it comes to marijuana policy. As always, NORML will keep you posted on the ever evolving situation between Washington and Colorado’s new marijuana legalization laws and the federal government.

Governor Cuomo: No Pay Increase for Legislators Until They Decriminalize Marijuana

While the discussion of marijuana policy may be noticeably absent from the current dialogue in the presidential race, one prominent Democratic Party member is not backing down on his push to reform his state’s marijuana laws.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has redoubled his efforts to decriminalize the possession of marijuana in public view after state legislators failed to act on the measure before the end of this year’s session. Amid discussions of a pay increase for legislators, Governor Cuomo told reporters this morning that, “I would not even consider, even consider a pay raise, unless the people’s business was being done in a thorough, responsible way.”

Included in his definition of “the people’s business” is the decriminalization of marijuana he had championed earlier in the year, along with an increase in New York’s minimum wage.

There have been talks about the legislature reconvening for a special session in the state after election day and before the start of next year’s session in January, but the governor made clear he would not sign off on their desired pay raise without action on these reform efforts.

“I understand they may have an interest in a pay raise. I’m interested in a people’s agenda and that’s what the session would be about,” stated Gov. Cuomo.

It is refreshing to see such a prominent sitting politician stand up for sound marijuana reform. New York’s current failed policy has cost the state around $75 million a year to arrest about 50,000 people for small amounts of marijuana, 85% of whom were people of color. This policy disproportionately targets the most vulnerable in our society and we applaud Governor Cuomo for taking a strong stance on this important issue. We can only hope other elected officials take notice and follow suit.

UPDATE: New York City Council Member for Council District 8, Melissa Mark-Viverito, has released a statement applauding the Governor’s action:

I commend New York Governor Cuomo for urging the State Legislature to adopt what he calls ‘The People’s Agenda,’ which includes an end to unjust small-quantity marijuana arrests, before they consider a potential salary hike for legislators.

I strongly support this principled act of leadership in the face of a hostile Republican State Senate which in the last session blocked legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view. This inaction has led to thousands more unjust stop-and-frisk arrests of young men of color when they are told to empty their pockets during stops. Enforcement of this policy costs the city an estimated $75 million each year.

The new law would make marijuana possession merely a violation, like a traffic ticket, and not a crime that the police can arrest people for committing. Since there are currently over 50,000 annual stop-and-frisk arrests for small-time marijuana possession in NYC, this will dramatically reduce the unjust criminalization of our youth. Earlier this year, the New York City Council passed a resolution in support of this legislation, which I sponsored, and Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have voiced their support of these reforms. The Commissioner even issued a directive to officers intended to slow down the number of marijuana arrests. Still, it is essential to codify this policy change at the State level, and I thank Governor Cuomo for taking this issue so seriously. – Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito (source)

Note: This story was featured on The Colbert report last night. You can view the segment here. You can view more press coverage here.

Candidate for California Lieutenant Governor to Speak at Valley Event

Tarzana, CA (PRWEB) June 17, 2006

Lynnette Shaw, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for Lieutenant Governor of California will appear as the guest speaker of the supper club of the Libertarian Party of the San Fernando Valley (LPSFV) in Tarzana at Carrows Family Restaurant on June 22, 2006.

Shaw, who announced her candidacy in December of 2005, is a medical marijuana advocate with more than 9 years experience operating a licensed cannabis club in Fairfax (Marin County). Her previous efforts in political activism have resulted in a medical marijuana truce throughout that county. A Marijuana Peace Plan outlined by the candidate has provided safe and affordable access to patients, gained support from law enforcement, and saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The LPSFV regularly meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at Carrows Family Restaurant in Tarzana at 18355 Ventura Blvd., which is 1 block East of Reseda Blvd.

Members begin gathering in the back room of Carrows around 7 pm to order food and the program starts at 8 pm, running to approximately 9 pm.

# # #





When A Governor Calls And Asks For Support To Reform Marijuana Laws…

…you provide it!

I want to relate to NORML supporters my recent call with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, his support for major cannabis law reforms and his wont as a re-elected governor to become a national spokesperson for cannabis law reforms before the Congress and Executive branches.

Many of us have worked for too many years (decades!) to arrive at this juncture in the Cannabis Prohibition epoch when elected policymakers now contact pro-cannabis law reform organizations proactively for financial help, and to affirm their support for legal reforms.

Therefore, I strongly suggest it behooves those of us who can make a political donation to a sitting governor that supports legalizing cannabis to do so by a Vermont-imposed August 14 deadline to demonstrate the kind of political-financial support necessary to provide these reform-minded politicians with both the mettle and funding to advance long-needed cannabis law reforms.

You can donate to Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s re-election campaign through either 1) the NORMLPAC by calling in a credit card donation to 202-483-5500 or 2) by sending a check to: NORMLPAC, 1600 K St., NW, Mezzanine, Washington, DC, 20006.

NORML supporters can donate up to $5,000 annually to the NORMLPAC.

To comply with current Federal Election Commission rules, $25 of any NORMLPAC donations received by non-members will be separated from your PAC donation and must be applied to an annual NORML membership (because, only NORML members can donate to the NORMLPAC).

If you’d rather make a direct donation to Shumlin’s campaign, the contact and donation information are found below:

Shumlin for Governor
PO Box 5353
Burlington, VT 05402

shumlinforgovernor.com

FYI: The maximum donation from a person or business in Vermont’s election cycles is $2,000.

Please reference your support for NORML and cannabis law reform when corresponding with his campaign. One can envisage Governor Shumlin informing his fellow governors that he supports cannabis law reforms, sought the support of the cannabis law reform community and received large support and enthusiasm. This will surely encourage some of his fellow (and closeted) governors to both embrace the law reform community and to recognize how popular cannabis law reforms are today among the American people.

In my recent blog post memorializing Cannabis Prohibition’s unfortunate 75th anniversary I lamented: Do not elect politicians who support Cannabis Prohibition.

The polar opposite of such is: Support elected politicians who favor ending Cannabis Prohibition.

We’ve this opportunity in Vermont, and I suspect soon in many more states around the country.

Again, cannabis law reformers have worked hard and long to arrive at these days where, according to most recent Gallup polling, legalization is more popular than prohibition–let’s help finish this process sooner than later by helping to elect the political allies we need to replace the failed and expensive public policy of Cannabis Prohibition with logical alternatives.

Thanks in advance for your consideration, financial support and kind regards!

New Hampshire Senate Fails to Override Governor’s Medical Marijuana Veto

Members of the New Hampshire state Senate this morning failed to override Governor John Lynch’s veto of SB 409, which sought to allow for the personal possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis by qualified patients. The Senate voted 13 to 10 to override the Governor’s veto. However, 16 total ‘yes’ votes were necessary to achieve the two-thirds Senate majority necessary to enact SB 409 into law.

Although House members had overwhelmingly backed SB 409, Senate support for the measure had consistently been more evenly split, with Senate members having previously voted 13-9 in favor of the bill. According to a MPP news release, two Democratic Senators, Lou D’Allesandro and Sylvia Larsen, reversed their prior ‘yes’ votes on the bill and decided to uphold the veto of Gov. Lynch, who is also a Democrat.

In 2009, Gov. Lynch vetoed a separate medicinal cannabis law. That year, members of the Senate also fell just shy of the votes necessary to override him.

While today’s outcome is disappointing, the future nonetheless looks bright for the passage medical cannabis legalization in New Hampshire. Lynch, a four-term governor, recently announced that he would not be seeking re-election in 2012. Hopefully, New Hampshire’s next Governor will listen to the will of its people and to the majority of state lawmakers and sign medical marijuana legalization into law. If so, the Granite State will soon join fellow New England states Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont — all of which now allow for the possession and use of cannabis as a medicine.

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