Call to Arms: Senate Omnibus Marijuana Package on Wed. Feb. 18th

Analysis and draft testimony for the bills identified are now available at the top of the 2015 Legislation Tracker.  Please note that the cutoff for testimony is 24-hours prior to the hearing.  Anything less than 24-hours may be accepted, but will be “late”.

Not to be outdone by the House, the Senate has rolled out its own omnibus package of marijuana bills to be heard this Wednesday afternoon (February 18th). The slate of three meetings is led by the Senate Committee on Health (HTH) with joint committee hearings also scheduled with committees on public safety (PSM) and with judiciary/labor committees (JDL). On the agenda is: Hearing #1 (1:30PM, HTH only)

  • SB682 – Discrimination against users of medical marijuana
  • SB596 – Legalization of marijuana
  • SB1019 – Use of medical marijuana in hospital settings
  • SB1291 – Employment discrimination against users of medical marijuana

Hearing #2 (3:30PM, HTH-PSM)

  • SB228 – Expands definition of marijuana
  • SB189 – Removes marijuana (and its derivatives) from Schedule I and its classification as a controlled substance.

Hearing #3 (4:00PM, HTH-PSM-JDL)

  • SB1302 – Medical marijuana dispensaries

Many of these bills are counterparts to bills that have already been heard in the House. While SB1302 has many common elements with HB321, it takes a much more stringent approach to regulation of dispensaries. If forced to choose between HB321 and SB1302, the latter would be. If the Legislature was not hell bent on the proliferation of marijuana (medical and recreational), I would prefer that none of them pass. Please check this post for updates on analysis and draft testimony. Analysis is already available for SB1291 and SB228 – just look for the House bills on the same topic. Information for SB1302, SB189 and SB596 will also be drafted.