“Our opponents are cowards,” said Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “This is an outrageous and deeply flawed decision by a group of activist judges. This ruling means that sick and suffering medical marijuana patients, including veterans, will continue to be criminals in Nebraska when they try to live healthier lives.”
"Vermonters overwhelmingly supported the effort to regulate cannabis sales prior to COVID-19, and the sense of urgency has only increased in light of the economic downturn," said Matt Simon, MPP's New England political director.
The Marijuana Policy Project is helping to coordinate the Montana legalization effort. Its deputy director, Matthew Schweich, said the organization does so only when polling suggests at least half of voters would support the measure.
“It’s becoming normalized for people,” Schweich said. “People know that other states are legalizing it and the sky has not fallen.”
"It’s certainly historic. Having the House vote on what’s in effect a legalization bill would certainly be a big moment in the timeline and the history of this movement," said Chris Lindsey, MPP's director of government relations.
"Compromise is often difficult, but legislators deserve credit for setting aside their differences and working together to help establish a regulated market for cannabis. I’m hopeful that they will finalize the details of the bill at their next meeting," said Matt Simon, MPP's New England political director.
The Marijuana Policy Project, a national organization supporting the legalization of cannabis, believes that for many, marijuana can be a safer alternative to opioids and other stronger pain and sleep drugs.
“Marijuana is not harmless, but there are no fatal overdoses with it,” said Director of State Policies Karen O’Keefe. “And marijuana is safer than alcohol, which is legal.”
O’Keefe said study after study has concluded that marijuana policy reform is not linked to increased rates of marijuana use among teens, a concern she hears often.
Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, predicted that others in the Biden orbit would continue to shape his views on the subject. “I certainly expect that Kamala Harris as his vice president and most likely several members of a Biden Cabinet would all be there to sort of help in his evolution on cannabis,” he said.
“It’s absolutely incredible what the volunteers and this campaign pulled off. The state received signatures from nearly 200,000 Nebraskans, including parents of children with epilepsy, cancer patients, and veterans with debilitating pain — people whose lives literally depend on this being on the ballot and passing,” Jared Moffat, campaigns coordinator for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment.
What MPP's New England Political Director Matt Simon wanted from the annulment bill was for the state to automatically expunge past records; in other words, to expunge your record without requiring you to initiate a request. “We learned that it's not possible in New Hampshire due to the primitive way records are kept. So it has to be a process, as I understand it,” explained Simon. “Certainly good that the process exists, but my hunch and my understanding is that not a lot of people have done it, simply because there's a fee involved. There's work involved.”