The season of celebration might be over, but there is another season/ or so more session that is just starting. After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season starts a whole new hustle and bustle for lobbyists, lawmakers and activists.
Legislation session is when Arizona State Senators and Representatives join together to determine policies and regulations for Arizona. The offices at the state capitol are now full as legislation session 2022 launched on January 10th.
Get your medical Marijuana card ready Senator Ontondo. If last year was a rodeo, this one might be a circus, according to AZCentral. In Governor’s Ducey’s last and final State of the State speech, he charged state legislators with issues most significant to him, such as water, education, and the Arizona national border.
This year, who knows what the state’s legislators will throw at the cannabis community and industry. Arizona NORML and Southern Arizona NORML l appear prepared for the 2022 legislation session.
Mike Robinette, the Director of both NORML chapters, states:
“We are excited to usher in the new legislative session that started on Monday, January 10th. We hope to have more volunteers and members of the community involved in this session. We have hosted two legislative trainings in December to demystify the legislative process and help our volunteers understand how to read bills and how bills become law. We will also be hosting trainings on the Request to Speak (RTS) system in January so that our volunteers can have their voice heard at the legislature. We enter this session with a strong legislative agenda but are also prepared to play defense and work to kill any and all bad bills related to cannabis. While we are concerned about the specter of THC caps, we are fully prepared to fight this latest prohibitionist push against legal and state-controlled markets. Lastly, we are incredibly excited to host our virtual lobby week that will take place from February 7th through February 11th. Last year, we hosted 51 lobby week meetings and hope to surpass that success by scheduling 60 meetings for this session.
That’s just on the defense position of participating in the political game this year. Jon Udell, the Director of Politics for Arizona NORML states:
Arizona NORML is eager to begin its first legislative session since the Smart & Safe Arizona Act was implemented. As a result, Arizona’s tax coffers have swelled by approximately $200 million as the new law’s popularity continues to grow. Moving into this legislative session, we look forward to fighting for better expungement laws, lowering costs for patients, reigning in the Department of Child Services, and finally adding autism to the list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card. We are cautiously optimistic that as Prop. 207 becomes ever more popular, our legislators’ actions will more closely conform to their constituents’ beliefs in this session. Moreover, as our expungement clinics made clear, reforming our marijuana laws is not just good public policy, it is good politics. Over the last eight months, we have spoken with and assisted Arizonans of all political persuasions, from cotton farmers in Yuma, to factory workers in Phoenix, to ranchers in Show Low. At first glance, these people may share little in common, but they are uniformly tired of wasting tax dollars on bloated government bureaucracies that serve only to strip Arizonans of their constitutional rights regardless of whether they harmed their neighbor.