by John Hartsell
Today, Donald J. Trump becomes the President of the United States and thus, his team will begin the work of our federal government. In reference to Medical Marijuana programs across the country, our new POTUS has been less than forthcoming on his intended approach wavering from a state’s rights position to cabinet appointments which indicate potential programmatic interruptions at the state level.
In their own words:
In reference to medical and adult-use cannabis, President Donald Trump told Bill O’Reilly that, “In Colorado, the book isn’t written on it yet, but there is a lot of difficulty in terms of illness and what’s going on with the brain and the mind and what it’s doing. So, you know, it’s coming out probably over the next year or so. It’s going to come out.”
U.S. Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” And he said, “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized…that it is, in fact, a very real danger.”
Vice President Mike Pence, in response to reducing criminal penalties for marijuana possession, said, “I think we need to focus on reducing crime, not reducing penalties.”
Though a quote was not readily available for Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price, his actions speak louder than words:
CALL TO ACTION
Last week, members of Arizona’s House of Representatives were set to hear HCRs 2002 and 2007 and HB 2320, all with the intention of repealing or weakening the Voter Protection Act (VPA). As you know, the VPA, and its ¾ House and Senate approval requirement, is the first line of defense in keeping AMMA safe from legislative attacks.
Without VPA, AMMA would have already been changed significantly including amendments to certification processes, growing methods, and other very limiting laws which did not pass due to the ¾ vote requirement. This is an explicit attempt by some members of the legislature to manipulate the system to take power from the voters and give it to themselves as legislators.
AMMA PAC, along with several other groups, registered in opposition to the bill with hundreds of citizens stating their opposition to the three bills. AMMA PAC alone was responsible for registering well over 100 cannabis activists and leaders in opposition. And, the bills were held from consideration during last week’s hearing in House Government.
In a hail-Mary hope for fatigue among our opposing activists, HCRs 2002 and 2007 and HB 2320 have been scheduled for another hearing this week in the same committee. To have us register you in opposition to these three bills, go here: http://www.ammapac.com/registration.html. If you already asked us to register you in last week, we will automatically do so again unless you ask us not to.
Below, find each of the committee members and their contact information. Please call them and tell them that the Voter Protection Act ensures that voter initiated laws require a higher threshold for changes. Ask them to oppose HCRs 2002 and 2007 and HB 2320.
Rep. Michelle B. Ugenti-Rita (Republican) Sponsor of all three bills- (602) 926-4480
Rep. Todd A. Clodfelter (Republican)- (602) 926-4850
Rep. Drew John (Republican)- (602) 926-5154
Rep. Douglas Coleman (Republican) Chairman- (602) 926-3160
Rep. Bob Thorpe (Republican) Vice-Chairman- (602) 926-5219
Rep. Ray D. Martinez (Democrat)- (602) 926-5158
Rep. Athena Salman (Democrat)- (602) 926-4858
Rep. Ken Clark (Democrat)- (602) 926-3108
Please click here http://www.ammapac.com/meeting.html to schedule an appointment with
John Hartsell to discuss what else is upcoming at the Legislature that you should be aware of.
We hope to get as many people as possible to call and email each of the above listed Representatives to show them that the marijuana industry is paying attention and does not want changes to the AMMA or Proposition 105.
Finally, look for our next email which will tell you more information about our AMMA PAC lunch and learn with legislators on March 6, 2017 at the Capital where we will introduce multiple legislators to industry leaders as a first part of our goal to show the business aspects of the medical marijuana industry to our elected officials.