Lobby Day was fantastic! The cannabis community rallied and delivered 200 educational folders to every one of our legislators, while talking up our bill, H3195. Here attached are the documents and thank you letter we delivered.
TALKING POINTS for activists while delivering packet
TALKING POINTS for activists while delivering packets
TALKING POINTS expanded
• Keep Taxes Low The tax in the law (6.5% sales tax, 3.75% excise plus 2% local for a total of 12.25%) must be kept low to eliminate the black market. As we have seen with the cigarette tax, increases beyond a point merely encourage smuggling. With Maine set to tax at a rate of 10%, increasing our tax beyond it’s current rate will just encourage people to drive across the border, as they do with alcohol and tobacco (to Rhode Island and New Hampshire).
• No Limits on Home Grow Any limit on personal home grow amounts perpetuates the police state mentality. The voters have decided that cannabis use is no longer a crime. Having police officers enter a private residence to count plants is a violation of the spirit of legalization. It is permissible to brew ones own beer, distill small quantities of liquor and make wine. There is a limit to how much one can produce (200 gallons of beer or wine). There is no enforcement of this limit (no one forces entry into a private residence to count gallons of beer). Some Legislators have asked what the ‘normal’ yield for a cannabis plant is. Grown outdoors, with adequate care and no pests, a grower can expect an annual yield of around 2 ounces per plant. The plant is planted outside after last frost and harvested in September or October. An indoor grow room yield will depend entirely on the amount of light, and quality of care provided. Indoor yields are generally 1 ox per square foot, with a plant requiring approximately 2 square feet and yielding around 2 oz of dried flower. From seed, It takes approximately 6 months to grow, bloom and dry a plant. Every seed will not yield a viable female plant: at least 50% will be males that are unusable. It takes 3-4 months to get to the point in the grow cycle where one can tell male from female. Under the six plant limit, and with a lot of luck, a grower could expect to end up with 3 female plants (the males would be removed and destroyed at flowering age: 3-4 months) which would yield approximately 6 ounces when harvested and dried (at age 6-7 months). Keeping to the limit, one’s maximum annual yield would therefore be approximately 12 ounces, If one were an experienced and lucky grower.
• No Delayed Start for Sales The postponement of legal sales has created a ‘legal grey zone’ where the possession of Cannabis is legal but the only place for a non-medical user to obtain it is the black market. In delaying sales, we are perpetuating the illegal profits from this market, encouraging the cartels and gangs to continue to market to potentially underage consumers, and foregoing potentially millions of dollars in tax revenue. It is in the best interest of the Commonwealth to stamp out the black market, with their marketing to underage people and pushing alternative drugs like heroine. The sooner legal sales begin, the sooner the illegal sales and exposure to more harmful substances will end.
• Record Expungement Too many of our citizens have criminal records because of simple possession charges, some many decades old. These people are discriminated against when it comes to job applications, housing, and federal student loans and grants. These people are disproportionately minorities because of the uneven application of prohibition enforcement. These people are sentenced to lives of poverty because of a record for something that is no longer a crime. All records for simple possession (no guns involved) must be expunged.
• Repeal the Hemp Zoning Exclusion (Chapter 351) Chapter 351, passed in December had a clause in it to specifically exclude Cannabis – even low THC Hemp – from the Chapter 40a Law that prohibits zoning discrimination against commercial agriculture. This portion of the bill languished and died in committee before being resurrected and passed in secret during the informal session with no debate and no public hearings. It must be stricken from the books. The farmers of the Commonwealth must be permitted to grow hemp for food, and for dietary supplements. There is already a multi-million dollar industry in this country and all the profits from the farming of hemp are going to farmers in Canada, Germany and China.
• Protection for Parents Cannabis use must no longer be considered grounds for an investigation by DCF, grounds for loss of parental rights, nor grounds for loss of custody in divorce. Hospitals must no longer test infants for THC (which currently triggers an automatic investigation by DCF). Partners has already made this policy change. The other hospital systems must also.
THANK YOU LETTER
THANK YOU LETTER
FACTS, not FEAR
Attorney General Sessions wants to know the science on marijuana and opioids. Here it is. Washington Post, February 28, 2017
WAPO article re no increase in teen use, December 21, 2016
WAPO article re no increase in teen use, March 21, 2017
Here are the bills that we filed;
H3199 An Act Repealing Chapter 351 (the 6 month delay and 40a Zoning on hemp)
H3198 An Act Relative to Marijuana and Marijuana Concentrate in Primary Residences (repeals homegrow limit)
And the bill from Massachusetts Growers Advocacy Council = H2385 An Act to Protect Patients Approved by Physicians and DPH to Access Medical Marijuana
March 22, 2017
Massachusetts State House
Beacon Street, Boston
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
On March 22, activists from around the state will join forces at the Statehouse to insist that our Representatives and Senators respect the will of the people in the implementation of Chapter 334 (formerly known as Question 4) – The Law to Tax and Regulate Marijuana. We will set up teams of activists who will visit every Representative and Senator and deliver a package of information about the bill Representative Provost sponsored that stakes out our position on how legalization should be implemented in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Every Constituent Visit is crucial to let the legislature know the Voters are watching and they support Legalization.
Add your name to the sign up list here! Please provide your address with zip code (so we can identify your Representative and Senator) and your email address (so that we can contact you).
There will be a Preparation Meeting on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at High Noon at 976 Main Street, Waltham, MA 2nd Floor (Offices of CBD Please). We will go over talking points, what to expect when you get to the Statehouse, tips on talking to Representatives and their aides, and answer any questions you may have.
On Lobby Day, we will meet at the Café (cafeteria) on the 4th Floor at 10:00 am.
We will divide into teams, with a seasoned activist leading each group of people. A Map of the Statehouse will be provided, with the Offices clearly marked. We will provide a folder of information to leave at each office, with a nice thank you letter enclosed. Groups will visit the Offices of their own representatives who will be notified ahead of time to expect their constituents. After all the groups have completed their missions, we will meet up on the Grand Staircase for a photo op.
If you wish to call your representatives office and make an appointment to meet with them, by all means do so. Try to get the appointment between 11:30 and 4:00 if possible. If you do not wish to or are shy, we shall notify your representative to expect their constituents. If you do get an appointment, please email the time and representative’s name, along with your information, to email@example.com and we will arrange your team’s schedule to accommodate it.
The legislature is intent on rewriting the new law, and they need to hear from YOU about whether you approve. Every letter and phone call helps, but a visit is worth 100 phone calls. When a person takes the time to actually visit the State House and speak to their Senator or Representative, that person knows that there are many more who feel the same and they will actually take notice.