As you can see in the strategic plan below, this year is an ambitious and bold one for MPP. If you like what you see below, would you please donate to our work?
DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA IN VERMONT
In June 2013, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed legislation passed by the Vermont Legislature to decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana. MPP led the nearly four-year lobbying effort for the law, which reduces the penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to a civil fine for adults 21 and older.
LEGALIZE MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN ILLINOIS
After nearly 10 years of lobbying in Springfield, MPP has finally succeeded at legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois. In August 2013, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation passed by the Illinois Legislature, making Illinois the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana. As many as 60 retail establishments will be licensed to sell medical marijuana to patients with cancer, AIDS, and other serious illnesses.
LEGALIZE MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
In July 2013, Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill approved by the New Hampshire Legislature to legalize medical marijuana, making New Hampshire the 19th medical marijuana state. MPP worked for several years to bring about this victory in the Granite State. The 2013 legislation will allow patients with serious illnesses to obtain marijuana from four nonprofit, state-licensed alternative treatment centers.
BUILD SUPPORT FOR LEGALIZATION IN THE RHODE ISLAND LEGISLATURE
We successfully legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized marijuana possession in Rhode Island in 2009 and 2012, respectively. There is now considerable momentum to tax and regulate (T&R) marijuana like alcohol, so we need to ensure that Rhode Island’s state legislature becomes the first to do so.
PLACE AN INITIATIVE TO REGULATE MARIJUANA ON THE BALLOT IN ALASKA
MPP is providing financial support and strategic guidance to the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana in Alaska. In 2013, this will entail drafting initiative language, securing state approval of the language, and collecting enough signatures to qualify the initiative for the August 2014 ballot.
BUILD SUPPORT FOR LEGALIZATION IN CALIFORNIA, MAINE, AND OREGON
There will be a sincere effort to pass T&R bills through the legislatures in these three states. Should they fall short, MPP and its allies will pursue statewide ballot initiatives in November 2016, at which time all three will be expected to pass.
BUILD SUPPORT ONLINE
People have said that the Internet is marijuana legalization’s best friend, and this could not have been more evident than it was last year. Campaigns mobilized their supporters, organizations raised funds, and the public was able to follow the progress in real time. Prohibitionists, who have depended on the government for its largess for years, are now at a disadvantage. Private citizens simply do not want to donate to them, and most information about marijuana is now reaching the public without being run through their filter.
CONTINUE THE STEADY DRUMBEAT IN THE MEDIA
National and local media outlets are covering the marijuana issue more than ever before. Communicating to voters through news coverage is the most cost-efficient way to increase public support for ending marijuana prohibition, so we need to keep the issue in the spotlight.
BUILD SUPPORT FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN CONGRESS
There are already approximately 185 members of the U.S. House who want to stop the U.S. Justice Department from spending taxpayer money on raiding medical marijuana businesses in the 20 states (and D.C.) where medical marijuana is legal. We want to reach 218 votes on this amendment, thereby ensuring the amendment's transfer to the U.S. Senate for an up-or-down vote.
BUILD SUPPORT FOR ENDING MARIJUANA PROHIBITION IN CONGRESS
Last year, the first-ever bill to end the federal government's prohibition of marijuana attracted 21 sponsors. Our goal is to expand the number of sponsors to more than two-dozen during the 2013-2014 election season.
Note: Parts of this plan may change from time to time as the year progresses.