It was a LONG 730 days. Finally, however, the 2018 midterms have taken place and we can move forward once more w our cannabis reforms now we know who the new elected officials are. 2018 was a decidedly mixed bag for AZ. But there are plenty of bright spots to appreciate.
Please use these links to congratulate the winners and get them ready for a hard fought couple of years of cannabis reform. With your help we can make this election the one that turns the tide.
AZ FEDERAL ELECTIONS
(D) Rep. Raul Grijalva*- A true champion on the issue, Grijalva was first AZ congressperson to work for reform. An NCIA 6 for 6. A+
(R) Rep. David Schweikert*-That’s right, Scottsdale’s GOP representative has a perfect NCIA 6 for 6, like Grijalva, including key votes on banking protections and restricting the DOJ from interfering w state programs. A
(D) Rep. Ruben Gallego*- Longest AZ champion on the issue, both at the state and federal levels. As a state legislator, Gallego was the first to introduce legislation for full adult use in AZ, a 6 for 60 on NCIA and cosigner on dozens of bills. A+
F rated congressmen Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs both were reelected. CD9 Former PHX mayor Greg Stanton is a win. Stanton had pledged to meet w the AZ industry and activists if elected. Returning Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (CD2) is now an MMJ supporter, giving us 5 potential allies in Congress, 2 prohibitionists and 2 moderates.
OTHER FEDERAL or NATIONAL NOTES
Both Pete Sessions (TX) and Bob Goodlatte (VA) lost their seats in the House. Sessions was head of the House Rules Committee that blocked reforms for the past several years. Goodlatte was head of the House Judiciary Committee and did the same. Today in the aftermath of the election, our biggest federal obstacle, AG Jeff Sessions resigned. While this could prove devastating to the Robert Mueller Russian influence investigation, this removes the biggest prohibitionist blocking reform. W pro-reform heads on House committees, we expect major progress there.
Missouri and Utah both succeeded w their medical marijuana ballot measures and Michigan approved adult use. Utah will be holding a special legislative session to implement the initiative. Missouri NORML both wrote the initiative and led the campaign that passed their ballot measure by 66%. Michigan is now the 10th state to legalize, meaning now ¼ of the US population lives a legal state.
Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois elected governors who campaigned on legalization, California and Colorado elected governors that have already been part of their legalization and New Mexico and Maine got rid of prohibitionist governors. Maine’s Paul LePage had blocked implementing the state’s 2016 vote to legalize for two years now.
A-rated Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema is trailing and likely to lose. Statewide office cannabis reform supporters: Garcia, Contreras, Sears, Hobbs and Manoil all lost. Which means Kimberly Yee, a leading prohibitionist, will be our next state treasurer. Many pro-cannabis Democratic challengers lost in their battles to unseat incumbents.
Pro-cannabis Legislative Race Winners
LD 2 Dalessandro
LD 4 Otondo
LD 24 Alston
11 of 30
LD 2 Gabaldon & Hernandez
LD10 Friese and Powers-Hannley
LD26 Blanc, Salman
LD29 Chavez, Andrade
LD30 Teran, Meza
19 of 60
LD1 Sen Fann, Rep Campbell
LD6 Rep Thorpe
LD11 Sen Leach, Rep Finchem
LD14 Reps Griffin & Nutt
LD15 Rep Barto
LD16 Sen Farnsworth, Rep Townsend
LD20 Sen Boyer, Rep Kern
LD23 Rep Kavanaugh
Legislative Plans for 2019 Legislative Session
AZ-NORML will be pursuing bills w Republicans Sen Borrelli, Reps Payne, Rivero, Toma and Stringer. Democrats, Sens Mendez and Navarrete, Reps Powers-Hannley, Freise, Engel, Espinosa, Salman, and Chavez.
Ideas currently in play:
- Redefining cannabis and removing it from the list of Narcotic class four felonies.
- Training for LEOs on MMJ rights
- Removing metabolite criteria from cannabis DUI
- Allowing DHS to do longitudinal anonymous research on patients, product use and strains
Popular Ideas for AZ Legislation in General Discussion
- Removing list of qualifying conditions and replacing it w a CA-like doctor recommendation
- Reciprocity for out of state patients to shop in dispensaries
- Testing standards and independent testing licensing
- Extending cards to two-five years
- Regulating caregivers: requiring testing and inspections in trade for allowing them to sell into the wholesale market
- Expanding types of medical staff who can certify patients
- Creating a set conversion rate for flower to concentrate products