Looking to become more involved in your community? Passionate about cannabis being legalized in Maryland? Then this meeting is for you! We realize that with Maryland being such a big state, we need to take the movement to YOU! MDMJ will be holding meetings throughout the state so that everyone who is passionate about this issue, has the opportunity to become an important member in this community organization. Our mission is to LEGALIZE, NORMALIZE, and fight for FREEDOM! Over the last month, several members of DCMJ, MDMJ, and VAMJ have been lobbying on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC for better protections for the consumers. For more information on how these meetings for new legislation went, check out MDMJ on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.We are so excited to see some new faces and learn what it is that matters most to you with cannabis legalization. This is a community effort so not only is being a voice encouraged, but it is NEEDED! Let’s take back our rights to grow our own cannabis!
When: Thursday, May 30th, 2019 from 7:00PM – 8:30PM
CONTACT: ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671 Adam@DCMJ.org
“Congressional Seed-In” Announced for April 2, 2019
Citizens to Lawfully Give Viable Cannabis Seeds to Members of Congress to Demand Federal Legislation to Grow Cannabis At Home
No Current Legislation in Congress Explicitly Legalizes Home Cultivation as Corporate Lobby Grab Leaves Many Americans No Way Grow
WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, cannabis reform advocates from DC Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”), Maryland Marijuana Justice (“MDMJ”), and Virginia Marijuana Justice (“VAMJ”) will descend on Capitol Hill to lawfully give away cannabis seeds to members of Congress and their staff, 21 years of age and older. The action is to call for cannabis consumer-friendly legislation that permits adults to grow cannabis in the comfort and privacy of their homes & backyards.
“As full legalization & descheduling of cannabis approaches cannabis consumers & medical patients must be able to travel throughout the United States without fear of arrest, detainment, or harassment,” says Dawn Lee-Carty, Founder of Speak Life, a mom and founder of Speak Life, an organization dedicated to educating parents and legislators on the benefits of cannabis. Ms. Lee-Carty came to advocate the use of CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis, and THC after pharmaceuticals failed to adequately treat her epileptic 11 year old daughter. Due to the federal prohibitions on cannabis, Ms. Lee-Carty cannot travel with her daughters medicine.
After voters in the District of Columbia approved Initiative 71 in November 2014 and Congress approved the law in February 2015, all adults aged 21 years of age or older can legally grow & possess small amounts cannabis in the District of Columbia. With the annual spring planting taking place after the last frost in late April, the “Congressional Seed-In” aims to help members of Congress and their staff lawfully start their cannabis gardens in the District of Columbia. Outdoor cannabis requires cannabis to be grown in cycle with the seasons, so a timely spring planting is integral to the success of the crop. However, not every American is afforded the right to grow their own cannabis. Instead many Americans are forced to buy their cannabis from dispensaries, which costs as much as 10 times more than home grown cannabis.
“The only legislation we see in the 116th Congress moving is backed by lobbyists to deal with business interests,” says Adam Eidinger, Proposer of Initiative 71 . “We’re going up to the Hill to encourage members of Congress and their staff that they represent more cannabis consumers than cannabis businesses. We want to legally grow cannabis as a basic right and this is frankly more important to me than access to banks or tax reform for huge marijuana businesses,” adds Edinger.
WHO: Members of DCMJ, MDMJ and VAMJ, expert growers, and cannabis reform activists WHAT: “Congressional Seed-In” – A Seed Giveaway for members of Congress and their staff WHEN: April 2, 2019, 11:00 am until 4:20 pm – Ending Rally Near Capitol Steps on East side WHERE: All Congressional Offices in Washington, DC WHY: Citizens demand meaningful legislation that fully ends prohibition cannabis cultivation for every adult and allows the movement of cannabis between all States.
“I don’t want cannabis grown using nuclear or coal power. I want it grown using natural sunlight. The current system of using costly warehouses to grow cannabis plants under synthetic light using synthetic chemicals is bad for consumers and bad for the environment. There is a better way,” says Ms. Lee-Carty, who currently grows using LED technology, but would prefer to grow her daughter’s cannabis outdoors..
“The age of utilizing expensive warehouses to grow cannabis is a relic of prohibition and DCMJ & MDMJ believe that cannabis should return to the fields from which it was formerly grown,” says MDMJ co-founder Kris Furnish. “Congress and state leaders have been standing in the way of cannabis consumer friendly reform, while poll after poll show that the American public fully supports the full legalization of cannabis, including home grow.
ABOUT DCMJ Since its founding in 2013, DCMJ has lead the nation in creative and high-profile cannabis reform activism. After introducing and passing ballot initiative 71, which legalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis in the District of Columbia, DCMJ organized two large seed giveaways that provided all adults the means to grow cannabis for themselves. Since then DCMJ has deployed giant 51’ inflatable joints outside the White House, the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Times Square in New York City, the 2016 Presidential Debates, and Boston’s Freedom Rally, as well as distributing over 10,000 joints of District of Columbia home grown cannabis at the Inauguration of President Donald Trump to most recently, attempting to distribute 1,227 joints at the congressional “Joint Session” in 2017, where U.S. Capitol Police unlawfully arrested seven DCMJ activists. All charges were dropped the following day. The “Congressional Seed-In” is DCMJ’s fourth annual “Reschedule 4/20,” day of action to highlight the need for meaningful cannabis reform legislation in the United States. In 2018 and 2019, aligned organizations MDMJ & VAMJ were formed to advocate for cannabis reform in Maryland and Virginia.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. Unfortunately, the information you provided had no sources or references, so I was able to find a vast array of reliable studies and surveys that provided contrasting data to all of the alleged negative impacts of marijuana legalization. First, a study from Kent University states that there is no concrete evidence that strict marijuana laws deter young people from using or abusing cannabis. Based on analytical data from 38 countries, Alex Stevens concluded that when a more theoretically relevant group of respondents was used to re-apply and re-analyze data from the Health Behavior in School aged Children Survey, there was no statistically significant association between policy reform and higher odds of adolescent cannabis use.
While people with a family history of psychotic disorders or that have experienced childhood abuse have a greater possibility of developing psychosis due to cannabis use, there is still only a very small percent of the population that is susceptible to these disorders, and more importantly, being familiar with genetic indications of psychotic disorders outweighs any added effect of cannabis use. Furthermore Harvard Medical School performed a recent study of cannabis related to schizophrenia in which Dr. Delisi concluded that a genetic predisposition is necessary, meaning that cannabis does not cause schizophrenia by itself.
Since the state of Colorado passed Amendment 64 in 2012 and enacted the legislation in 2014, annual marijuana use among teens has decreased in adolescents aged 12-17, according to two surveys performed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. In addition to Colorado, jurisdictions such as Maine, the District of Columbia and California also have statistics that show a decrease in marijuana use among youth ages 12-17 proceeding the legalization of cannabis.
In conclusion, there are a number of widely accepted sources that collectively agree about the positive medical benefits of cannabis in addition to policy reforms enacted by states can decrease use among adolescents. The true issue surrounding marijuana policy reform is the disproportionate arrest rates of African-Americans to whites for non-violent possession charges. My sole reason for asking you to support H.R. 420 is to discontinue the arrest of citizens for the possession of marijuana, which has been used as a tactic to destroy the lives of minorities with fines, court costs, and criminal records, which have prevented me from obtaining employment with numerous companies. I highly encourage you to consider these sources and perform more research about the positive effects of marijuana legalization and the negative effects of prohibition, such as blacks representing 50 percent of people incarcerated in the United States, even though they represent 30 percent of the overall population. Mendacious
Proal, A C, et al. “A Controlled Family Study of Cannabis Users with and without Psychosis.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24309013.
CONTACT: ALFRED DAWSON (214) 384-1732 KRIS FURNISH (720) 607-8369
February 18, 2019
Maryland General Assembly Schedules Hearings for Cannabis Bills
Bills Being Heard Would Allow Police To Obtain Free Medical Cannabis And Tax, Regulate And Legalize Adult Use
ANNAPOLIS, MD USA — The hearings for SB0383 and SB0771 in the Maryland Senate will take place on February 26th, 2019 at 12 P.M. noon at the James Senate Office Building in Annapolis, MD. Senate Bill 0383, introduced by Senator Cheryl Kagan, (D-17) would allow law enforcement to obtain medical cannabis at no cost, not be subject to arrest or punishment under certain circumstances, and also grants many other benefits to law enforcement obtaining and using medical cannabis for the purpose of establishing a program to study the effects of intoxication as it relates to impaired driving. SB0383 provides advantages to law enforcement without preferential treatment to our nation’s veterans, that have been negatively affected by the war on drugs, and would still be subject to arrest for the possession of cannabis under Maryland state law even if this bill passes.
“If we are doing this for police officers, then why can’t we do the same for our veterans, who continue to take their lives at a rate of twenty two a day due to suffering from illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and chronic pain?” said Kris Furnish of Maryland Marijuana Justice, (MDMJ). MDMJ assisted in facilitating and organizing the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition“Lobby Day 2019” on February, 5th. Furnish adds, “We can’t continue to arrest people and just let the police have free cannabis, we need our delegates to change the law now.”
SB0771, introduced by Senator Will Smith (D-20) would legalize, tax and regulate the adult use and cultivation of cannabis in April of 2020. While this bill allows for the cultivation of up to 4 plants by an individual over the age of 21, there are very precise restrictions surrounding the visibility of cannabis plants in a cultivators residence. These provisions do not allow for plants to be publicly visible, and also require that the plants be locked and not accessible to persons under the age of 21, but does not include any exemptions or exceptions for medical youth patients. Although these bills enact more regulations regarding cannabis, the specific guidelines within them have potential to continue the injustices we have seen perpetuated by the failed war on drugs.
“We want to make sure that the counties aren’t shafted by the tax revenue generated from legalization” said Alfred Dawson of MDMJ. Mr. Dawson adds, “Our representatives know that this issue is important to their constituents, and with the right laws in place, everyone can benefit”. In addition to the two bills in the Senate, members of MDMJ, Maryland NORML and others united under the banner of the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition raised awareness of two bills in the Maryland House of delegates that also pertain to the legalization, taxation, and regulation of cannabis.
HB0632 introduced by Delegate David Moon (D-20) would amend the Maryland State constitution to put the question of legalizing marijuana on the November 2020 Presidential election ballot. While this bill allows for the most democratic approach to legalization, it also has the potential for voter suppression or other factors to negatively influence the results. The alternative approach is HB0656 introduced by Delegate Eric Luedtke, (D-17) the jointly related bill to SB0771, which would enact full scale legalization of cannabis in April of 2020, but also has to be approved by a super majority in both houses of the General Assembly (85 votes) in order to avoid veto by incumbent Republican Governor Larry Hogan, who has openly opposed the legalization of cannabis for adult use. The hearings for the two House bills will take place at the Maryland House of Delegates Chamber on March 6th at 1 PM.
Maryland Marijuana Justice is an organization dedicated to fighting for cannabis users, growers and their families in the free state.
Thank you for contacting me regarding your thoughts on marijuana. As a physician and a member of the Doctors Caucus, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me regarding this very important issue.
I understand that marijuana used specifically for medical reasons can result in positive outcomes. For example, in Colorado, Charlotte’s Web, a THC-free strain of marijuana,reportedly reduces seizures among persons suffering from epilepsy. While I support efforts to cure and treat disease, I strongly believe that just like every other medication made available to the public, medical marijuana should be subjected to the FDA for rigorous testing to assure that there are not adverse health risks.
However, marijuana is also the most commonly used illicit drug in the world, including in the United States. In 2016, an estimated 8.9% of individuals in the United States aged 12 or older used marijuana in the past month. The rate of reported marijuana use in 2016 was significantly higher than those rates reported prior to 2007. Mirroring this increase in use, the supply of marijuana in the United States has also increased. This growth has been linked to factors such as certain states’ legalization of recreational marijuana, rising marijuana production in Mexico, decreasing marijuana eradication in Mexico, and increasing marijuana cultivation in the United States led by criminal networks including Mexican drug trafficking organizations.
As a physician, I have serious concerns about the potential impact of legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Legalization in the United States and elsewhere has resulted in documented increases in drug abuse, especially among children and teenagers. Marijuana use literally changes a teenager’s brain structure; diminishes memory, attention and IQ; leads to learning and behavioral problems and poor school performance; and contributes to symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychosis and schizophrenia. Furthermore, studies show that legalization of “pot” leads to drastic increases of use among young people, with usage increasing more-than-two-fold higher than national averages.
I hope this information has been helpful. As the Congress addresses the many challenges facing our nation, I hope you will continue to share your suggestions. To keep up with my work in Congress, visit my website at harris.house.gov and sign up to receive updates at harris.house.gov/contact-me/newsletter.Sincerely,
CONTACT: ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671 Adam@DCMJ.org KRIS FURNISH (720) 607-8369 Kris@MDMJ.org
CONGRESSMAN ANDY HARRIS’ OFFICE CHARGES 20 YEAR OLD STUDENT WITH FELONY
Harris Tries to Make an Example Out of Young Activist Who Recorded Staffer Without His Permission During Group Meeting After Multiple Protests
SALISBURY, MD – On Tuesday, October 2, 2018, Salisbury University progressive student activist Jake Burdett attended a medical marijuana protest against Congressman Andy Harris organized by Maryland’s new cannabis advocacy group Maryland Marijuana Justice (MDMJ). At the meeting inside the Congressional office that resulted from the protest, Mr. Burdett briefly livestreamed one of Harris’ staffers without his permission, which Mr. Burdett did not realize was a felony – or even illegal in the state of Maryland at all. Mr. Burdett deleted the livestream the following day after he found out his recording was illegal, but Congressman Harris dropped the hammer on Burdett to try to make an example out of him by deciding to press felony charges.
“Jake, who is a serious student leader, has a bright political future ahead of him that Representative Andy Harris wants to tarnish. In his honest attempt to provide the public with transparency into actions of a Congressional office that regularly insults marijuana reformers with false accusations, Jake’s livestream served as a conduit for the public to witness the endemic corruption in Salisbury,” says Adam Eidinger, Co-Founder of MDMJ. Eidinger adds, “MDMJ activists protested Harris for his backwards views on cannabis and refusals to meet with cannabis reform activists, so we feel Jake is being treated unfairly because of his role in the Democratic Party as Vice-Chair of the Wicomico Democratic Central Committee.”
Although Mr. Burdett is pleading guilty and he has personally apologized to Congressman Harris’ staffer, he did not realize the nonconsensual livestream was against Maryland’s “all-party consent” law at the time. “Is it unreasonable for a 20 year old to think that it’s legal to record a staffer of a United States Congressman in a public space? In a society that supposedly values transparency in government, I do find it odd that Jake can be found guilty of the ‘crime’ of recording the staff of elected government representatives in a taxpayer funded space,” says MDMJ Co-Founder Kris Furnish.
“By deciding to throw the book at Mr. Burdett for an honest mistake, one that was fixed almost immediately, it shows how partisan and petty Congressman Harris has become. He clearly wants to chill citizen participation in government,” says Eidinger. “Rep. Harris is adding to his recent list of bad PR moves that includes meeting with known White Supremacist Chuck Johnson, and planning to meet with the leader, Tomio Okamura, of a far right wing party in Czech Republic, whose secretary called for the gassing of ‘Jews, gays, and Roma’.”
“Mr. Burdett’s plea, which will take place on March 1, in Wicomico County, and Harris’ slew of prior racist scandals, should not distract from the original issue that brought me and other advocates to the protest in the first place – the legalization of cannabis,” says Furnish. “Rep. Harris wants to pretend to be victimized by a 20 year old’s deleted livestream, while he supports the racist war on drugs that actually victimizes thousands of people a day by locking them up for the victimless crime of smoking marijuana, a non-addictive substance with many medicinal benefits. Rep. Harris is a medical doctor, so I’d think he of all people would recognize the medicinal benefits of marijuana, and how it could be used as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs such as painkillers, which are an epidemic in Rep. Harris’ district right now. We can’t help but wonder if Rep. Harris’ seemingly irrational opposition to legal marijuana has anything to do with the $42,200 he’s accepted from the pharmaceutical lobby in the 2017-2018 election cycle, which vehemently opposes any form of marijuana legalization,” concludes Furnish.
Please complete this form to register for participation in the Maryland 2019 Cannabis Legalization Lobby Day. One form must be completed for each registrant using the address listed on their Maryland Voter Registration card (or where they intend to register to vote).
Maryland NORML calls on all who support legalizing responsible adult cannabis use in Maryland to register for the most impactful event of the 2019 legislative session!
The purpose of this lobby day event is to demonstrate that the citizens of Maryland are ready for the General Assembly to hold a vote on Cannabis legalization during the 2019 General Assembly Legislative Session; we want to touch base with as many members of the Maryland General Assembly as we can.
We request that you provide your voter address when you register, allowing us to match you with a scheduled meeting time with your General Assembly representatives in the Maryland State Senate and House of Delegates. We request that all registrants allow us to schedule appointments with their respective General Assembly representatives rather than contacting legislators directly. This will help us match registrants with previously scheduled meeting times and avoid legislators continuing to receive phone calls after meetings have been scheduled.
Once you register, you will receive a registration confirmation email with additional information, including your legislator meeting times.
Prior to meeting with your elected officials and/or their staffs, we will provide you with an information package prepared specifically for you. This information package will contain your scheduled appointment times/locations, suggested talking points for your specific representative(s), copies of legislation we are promoting, and other important materials.
07:30 AM – 08:00 AM: Register, name tags, pick up your information package, meet and greet, assemble
08:00 AM – 08:30 AM: Guest Speaker and game plan for meetings with elected officials and/or their staffs; review content of participant information packets; answer questions
09:00 AM – 10:00 AM: First round of constituent meetings with elected officials and/or their staffs
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Social media, coffee break
11:30 AM – 01:00 PM: Second round of constituent meetings with elected officials and/or their staffs
01:00 PM – 03:00 PM: Social media, lunch on your own
03:00 PM – 04:00 PM: Third round of constituent meetings with elected officials and/or their staffs
Please join us on January 22nd at the District Court of Maryland for Wicomico County for AJ’s jury trial court date. After multiple appearances, AJ finally gets to go before the judge with a jury present to plead his case for marijuana possession along with other charges. We need members of the community to come support AJ as he pleads his innocence against these false and unjust charges. We desperately need cannabis reform, and this case is a prime example of why. It is unjust to arrest people for a plant. However, it happens everyday. We must fight the system to change it’s laws regarding cannabis.
Date: January 22, 2019
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: 201 Baptist St. Salisbury, MD 21801 District Court of Maryland for Wicomico County