As I suspected, my bill was hijacked by a late introduction. Below is the email I received from the Committee. Sadly, HB 1472 does not include any protecting against any Federal action against hemp growers in MD. It also has a much higher fiscal note, meaning it will cost the State more money.
On the positive side, this does move in the right direction, though it is really only a pilot program/ study. For this reason, and because this is such an important issue, I will co-sponsor this HB 1472
The House Environmental Matters Committee heard two bills this session relating to industrial hemp – HB 1010, which you sponsored and HB 1472. The Agriculture, Agriculture Preservation & Open Space Subcommittee amended HB 1472 to require MDA to study the feasibility of growing industrial hemp in the State and the availability and extent of commercial and industrial markets for hemp. MDA must report back to the General Assembly by December 1, 2014.
In light of moving HB 1472, your HB 1010 received an unfavorable report from the subcommittee. The subcommittee members wanted me to follow up with you to see if you would like to be added as a cosponsor to HB 1472. Please let me know as soon as possible, as the bills will be before a full committee vote tomorrow.
My bill, HB 1016 – Cannabis Freedom Act is scheduled to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow. Hearings start at 1pm.
This bill alone DOES NOT make Marijuana legal for any use in the State of Maryland. This bill is a NULLIFICATION Legislation and it would prohibit the State from assisting the Federal Government from taking any punitive or legal action against any citizen of Maryland in regards to any form of marijuana use in accordance with any law or regulation passed by the STATE of MARYLAND. In other words, Should Maryland pass HB879- Marijuana Decriminalization Act or HB880- Marijuana Control Act , these laws would be considered the laws of Maryland, without the shadow of the Federal Government’s unconstitutional prohibition on cannabis.
And there it is- the controversy. Are Federal marijuana laws unconstitutional? The basis of HB 1016 lies in rejecting the idea that the Federal Government has the Constitutional authority to prohibit and ban marijuana.
I ask that you consider the following:
When the Federal Government desired to prohibit the possession, sale and use of alcohol in 1919 it took an amendment to the Constitution, (the 18th ) to grant the constitutional authority to do so. When the disastrous policy failed and the Government wanted to repeal it, they needed to pass yet another amendment to the Constitution,(the 21st)
To date there have been no such amendment to prohibit marijuana.
How many of you believe that the Federal Government has the right to prohibit or ban private ownership of guns or certain types of guns and small arms? Most conservative republicans would rightly say it does not have that authority to do so! Yet many of those same people support such a ban on marijuana, why? ” But Delegate Dwyer, the second amendment protects gun rights!”
Folks- the Bill of Rights does not grant you 10 specific and limited rights, the Bill of Rights places a limit on the Federal Government for certain enumerated inalienable rights and the 10th amendment specifically protects all inalienable rights NOT ENUMERATED and clearly states that any power not given to the Federal Government resides in the State or the PEOPLE.
“The powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
This means that YOU- not the Federal Government, have the right and responsibility to determine such issues as marijuana law. You do this by means of your local and State representative. Many states are considering legislation to regulate and tax marijuana, including Maryland. However, citizens who comply with State law are still in danger of Federal action which result in thousands of dollars spent in legal fees and even jail sentences as happened in the case of Robert Duncan, of California who worked for a dispensary made legal by California State law.
Monday afternoon, Robert Duncan will report to Mendota Federal Correctional Institution near Fresno, Calif., to begin a two-year prison sentence. His crime? Working for a medical marijuana business that was legal under California state law. Not owning it; not profiting from illegal sales. Merely for being employed by the business. Read the full article
As I stated, this bill alone does not legalize marijuana use or possession, however, this bill paves the way for Maryland to begin re-assessment of Marijuana laws and policy.
If you would like to support this bill, you may appear in person to testify, submit written testimony by noon tomorrow to the Judiciary Committee and or call or email the members of the committee in support of HB 1016
This bill has the support of:
Does the President or the Federal Government have the right to arrest a person, imprison them and throw away the key? All without charging them with specific crime and denying them the right to see a lawyer?
The Federal Government says they have that right and they made it into “law”. Each year they pass the National Defense Authorization Act, NDAA which among other things authorizes defense spending. It also authorizes the Government to imprison indefinitely any person they label a “terrorist”. Who does the Government think might be a terrorist? Tap here for the FBI’s flyer for potential terrorist activity for Coffee Shops
I have introduced a bill for the second time which would Nullify the Indefinite Detention of Maryland Citizens without due process.
HB1011- Maryland Liberty preservation Act has a hearing on Friday, March 7 at 12:30 pm in Health and Government Operations Committee. Please contact my office at 410-841-3047 if you are interested in testifying in favor of this bill. Contact members of the Committee to express your support for HB 1011
Introduced last session as HB 558- here are last years committee votes.
Ted Cruz opposed NDAA 2013 because it retained the Indefinite Detention Clause.
Today I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act. I am deeply concerned that Congress still has not prohibited President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested on American soil without trial or due process.
“The Constitution does not allow President Obama, or any President, to apprehend an American citizen, arrested on U.S. soil, and detain these citizens indefinitely without a trial. When I ran for office, I promised the people of Texas I would oppose any National Defense Authorization Act that did not explicitly prohibit the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. Although this legislation does contain several positive provisions that I support, it does not ensure our most basic rights as American citizens are protected- Ted Cruz (R) Texas regarding NDAA December, 2013
I desire a strong defense, however everyone should be afforded the protection of the 4th Amendment as laid out in the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. With Department of Homeland Security funding studies like this one done in 2011 by the University of Maryland, its clear that the Federal Government is actively pursuing justification for redefining “terrorist” to include virtually anyone they want.
(Note: this study was funded by the Department of Homeland Security- essentially, you have the federal government funding studies to give “legitimacy” to redefining terrorists and terrorism any way they want.)
Further news articles:
Gun bill day in the House is tomorrow, March 4th in the Judiciary Committee hearing room at 1pm. If you are able brave the weather and come to testify, or come stand with your fellow gun owners and patriots. Last year you came in droves to protest SB281 and you were not heard by those in Annapolis who wish to be your overlords. Do not let them break your conviction and your will. Don’t let them silence you!
For a complete list of legislation being heard tomorrow,tap here.
My bill, HB995- Firearms Freedom Act is on the docket. This bill’s intention is to declare that Maryland will not participate in any Federal gun ban. This does not affect gun laws passed in Maryland- Delegate Smigiel has introduced several important pieces of legislation seeking to restore gun rights in Maryland and I co- sponsored and support them fully.
HB 955 was important to introduce because it deals with the possibility of an Unconstitutional Federal ban on guns or types of guns. I want Maryland Citizens protected from Federal action should this come to pass. Please consider testifying in FAVOR of HB 955 while you are in Annapolis tomorrow.
If you have any questions or would like to testify, please call my office at 410-841-3047
If you can’t come, you can watch the hearings online. Tap here and select Judiciary once the hearing starts.
On February 19th, HB 1010- Industrial Hemp, had a hearing in front of the Environmental Matters Committee. At the time HB 1010 was the only bill addressing industrial hemp. As I have stated, this bill would be a great economical and ecological benefit to Maryland. I was sure that I would be able to get supporters on both sides of the aisle because it is an important issue given the many benefits of Industrial Hemp. Turns out the Dems really like my idea. On February 21st, just two days after the hearing for HB1010, and well after the final drop date for filing bills, HB1472- Industrial Hemp- Pilot Program was introduced by Delegate Fraser- Hidalgo who just by chance maybe, sits on the Environmental Matters Committee.
HB 1472 differs from mine in a couple of ways, but over all the intent is identical. The most important difference is that HB1472 does not afford protection by the State of Maryland for farmers who grow hemp from potential action by the Federal Government which is still enforcing an Unconstitutional ban on growing hemp.
Now, it could be that his bill was in the works, even late for filing deadline, however it is typical that Delegates request co-sponsorships by email, and I did not receive such a request.
The cross files, SB 280 and SB 880 were heard in the Senate Finance Committee last Tuesday, March 4, 2014. These bills have yet to receive a committee vote. If you support these bills, please call or email the members of the Senate Finance Committee to let them know.
Consumers should have the absolute right to permanently opt out of smart meters without having to pay a fee. There are many concerns with the smart meter including privacy issues. Delegate Glen Glass has for the last three years championed consumer rights regarding smart meters.
HB 332- prohibits an electric company from charging a penalty or fee
HB 331 prohibits an electric company from selling data from smart meters to a third party.
I co-sponsored both of these and will continue to support them and vote YES. Both Bills have a hearing on March 6 in the Economic Matters Committee If you would like to come testify, please contact Delegate Glass at 410-841-3280. Please call or email the members of the committee to express your support of these two bills.
Below is information from Delegate Glass.
As you may know, the Public Service Commission (PSC) recently came out with their decision regarding consumer opt-outs in the installation of smart meters. The PSC decided to allow consumers to permanently opt-out of getting the smart meter but consumers would have to pay excessive fees. All opt-out customers will pay an initial $75 fee divided into three monthly payments. BGE, Pepco, Delmarva Power & Light and SMECO customers will then have to pay $11 per month, $14 per month, and $17 per month, respectively.
It is a victory that we were able to pressure the PSC to allow permanent opt-outs. The problem, still, is the issue of fees, especially the endless monthly fees. Thus, I will continue to fight hard to keep the fees to opt-out as reasonable as possible for utility consumers. My House Bill 332 (which was cross-filed as Senate Bill 880) aims to address the opt-out fees.
I will also continue to fight for House Bill 331, which was cross-filed as Senate Bill 280. House Bill 331 aims to protect consumers by prohibiting utility companies from selling the smart meter usage data to third parties. The bill would protect the privacy of consumers and keep “Big Brother” at bay.
Nullification under the “Doctrine of Interposition”, is very simply the Legislatures of the individual States voting to not comply with Unconstitutional Acts by the Federal Government. The bills I have introduced last session and this session are considered Nullification Legislation, by which the State of Maryland would refuse to comply with Federal “laws” for which the Federal Government has no Constitutional authority to impose. The legislation also prohibits the State to use and resources to assist the Federal Government in taking action against Maryland Citizens who are not complying with any Unconstitutional Federal Act.
For Example, HB 1010 – Hemp Freedom would nullify the federal prohibition of growing and selling hemp withing the borders of Maryland. It also protects farmers who do so by Maryland’s refusing to assist any entity of the Federal Government in pursuing punitive or legal action against them.
Legislation such as this is necessary in the pursuit of liberty and freedom. We have given the Federal Government power outside of the Constitutional limitations. The Tenth Amendment says that powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or the people.
Does the Constitution give the power to the Federal Government to prohibit the production and sale of Hemp? Does it give the Federal Government the authority to indefinitely detain Citizens without due process under the law? Does it give the Federal Government the authority to ban certain firearms or impose a national registry of lawful gun owners? Does it give the Federal Government the authority to ban the use of marijuana? Does the Constitution grant authority to mandate healthcare, or education standards? The answer of course is no, it does not. The best example of this is from our own history. In 1920 The Federal Government desired to ban alcohol. Having no Constitutional authority to do so, Congress had to pass a Constitutional Amendment in order to lawfully ban the sale and consumption of alcohol, the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution (Prohibition) once so amended, it became, Constitutionally, the law of the land and when the policy failed it took another amendment, the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution to repeal prohibition. To date, there are no Amendments to the Constitution giving authority to ban hemp, marijuana, firearms or types of firearms or to mandate the purchase of health care, or to adopt indefinite detention under legislation such as the National Defense Authorization Act.
The rightful remedy to the ever increasing over reach of the Federal Government is nullification, under the “Doctrine of Interposition” whereby the States interpose between its citizens and the unlawful reach of the Federal Government.
“…but where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that without this right they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them”- Thomas Jefferson
Nullification is not an act whereby a state simply refuses to comply with a Federal law it does not like, it is the claim that the law is not a law at all because it is unconstitutional.
To read more about Nullification and Interposition
CHARLESTON, W.Va., February 24, 2014– As first reported by BenSwann.com last month, West Virginia legislators introduced legislation to nullify the federal ban on hemp. Earlier this afternoon the West Virginia State House voted to approve the bill which authorized the production, distribution and sale of industrial hemp within the state. The final vote was 88-8.
Olympia, Wa., February 17, 2014– State legislators in the Washington House of Representatives just voted unanimously (97:0) to approve HB1888, which effectively nullifies the federal ban on hemp within the state of Washington.
This legislation is very similar to my HB 1010, that will be heard tomorrow in Committee. I am hopeful that my legislation will be as successful as the bill just passed in Washington State. Will Maryland soon see the economic benefits of Industrial Hemp as other states have begun to see? If you would like to testify in support of HB 1010 please call my office at 410-841-3047. Hearing starts at 1pm in the Environmental Matters Committee Room. If you cannot make it to Annapolis, but support this bill I would encourage you to call or email the members of the Environmental Matters Committee.
I have reintroduced the Maryland Liberty Preservation Act, HB 1011 for this Legislative Session. This is a bill which would prohibit the State of Maryland to use Agents or resources to aid in the unconstitutional arrest and indefinite detainment of Citizens by the Federal Government under the Federal NDAA.
Last year this bill had tremendous support from various groups who came to testify, including the ACLU of Maryland.
Please consider appearing in Annapolis to testify in support of this bill on March 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm in the Health and Government Operations Committee, and contacting committee members in support of this bill.