On August 26, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and the Keystone Cannabis Coalition (KCC) sent out a questionnaire to all Pennsylvania candidates for the General Assembly asking their position on decriminalization and legalization of adult use of marijuana. While we have heard back from many candidates, most have not yet responded.
Contact the candidates in your district, let them know you support marijuana policy reform, and ask them to respond to the MPP/KCC candidate questionnaire.
As election season approaches, MPP and KCC want to ensure voters know which candidates support common sense marijuana laws. Before Election Day, we will create a Pennsylvania voting guide — including past votes on medical marijuana — along with the answers of those who responded to the questionnaire and the names of those who did not.
Please contact the candidates in your district and politely ask them to complete the questionnaire so Pennsylvania voters will know their positions on marijuana policy. If you aren’t sure what district you live in, you can find out here. Thanks for all your help!
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In the evening of August 25, 2016 the KCC Facebook page hit a new milestone of over 12,000 supporters!
That’s 12,005 people who passionately support cannabis reform, not just in Pennsylvania but nationwide. That’s twelve thousand people who are highly informed and ready to get active in the fight for decriminalization and full legalization of cannabis both on a state and national level.
The thing that makes the KCC page unique is that it’s not just a Facebook page. KCC is a movement that is constantly active and doing amazing work. We have organized 16 rallies and participated in many others. We have attended every press conference, town hall, debate, legislative hearing, and debate possible. We have given many speeches, TV and radio interviews, conducted a hempcrete workshop, multiple press conferences and other events.
KCC was a major part of the movement that passed medical cannabis legislation. We got the industrial hemp bill introduced, lobbied for hearings and walked the bill through every step of the way until it was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on July 20 of this year.
We fought hard in Philly in the battles that led to decriminalization there. We were a part of the movement that led to decriminalization of cannabis in Harrisburg and lent our support to State College when they were considering their decriminalization ordinance that passed. We are friends of the movement that decriminalized cannabis in Pittsburgh.
KCC is not just a Facebook page. We are an official 501 (C)4 non-profit organization. The key word in our name is “Coalition”. We do a lot of work on our own but we often work with our great friends from other like minded organizations. In addition we have cultivated good relationships with many state legislators and departments, city councils in various cities, farm organizations and businesses. We continue to cultivate relationships within the Pa. General Assembly that we need to pass statewide decriminalization and eventually full legalization of cannabis.
In addition to the main Facebook page we have a Facebook group page that has more than 2,500 members. While the main page is great for sharing information the group page is better for deeper discussion of the issues. The main page is open to everyone but to get in the group you have to be from Pennsylvania or have strong ties to Pennsylvania.
Then of course we have the website, KeystoneCannabisCoaltion.org where you can find all of our past blogs. Sign up for our mailing list and you can keep up to date on important events and ways that you can participate and help us to finally once and for all end cannabis prohibition in Pennsylvania.
We also have a twitter page too. Our friend Ryan Yeager runs it and posts often. You can follow us @KCC_PA
Despite our many accomplishments, either accomplished alone or in conjunction with other reform organizations, we wake up every day and act as though nothing has changed and work with fevered passion to further cannabis and hemp reform. We focus mainly of reform in the state of Pennsylvania but we will not rest until the entire country has ended this insane war on the people over a plant.
We’re smart, informed, sophisticated, dedicated, active, effective and involved. We have a record of accomplishment and we have a plan for future victory.
Keystone Cannabis Coalition is an organization that you can trust and we are working on your behalf and on behalf of all people who believe that it is wrong to punish a person for preferring a plant over alcohol.
If you want to be a part of the solution and help KCC continue to fight for the legalization of cannabis please make a generous donation today, as much as you can afford. Even donations of $10 or $20 help out a lot because often all we need is gas money. For our bigger and more ambitious plans though we need to raise some serious funds.
Members of our group don’t have to worry about where their money goes. Those who follow us know that we put every cent directly into our events, activism, lobbying, signs, brochures, printed materials and improving the professionalism of our display.
So thank you to all of the fans, followers, supporters of KCC and all active participants who are slowly helping us to win the war. I hope you continue to support us and spread the word far and wide of the Keystone Cannabis Coalition and the important work that we are doing.
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Executive Director, Keystone Cannabis Coalition
In the afternoon of July 20, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed historic legislation into law that will serve as a first step towards bringing back a revival of the once great Pennsylvania hemp industry.
The bill known as HB967 is now known as Act 92. It was introduced into the house by Representative Russ Diamond and cosponsored by Representative Marty Flynn. There were nearly two dozen cosponsors in all.
HB967 was a companion bill to legislation introduced into the state senate by State Senator Judy Schwank and cosponsored by State Senator Mike Folmer. That bill was known as SB50 and was passed in the senate 47-0 earlier this year.
HB967 passed in the House 187-0 and passed in the State Senate 49-0. That’s 233 Yes votes and ZERO No votes!
No one in the state of Pennsylvania opposes farmers growing industrial hemp. Not even law enforcement opposes it. When the Senate and House Agricultural and Rural Affairs committees organized their joint hearing they sought to find people opposed to hemp who would voice concerns. They found no one opposed hemp in Pennsylvania.
The legislation was supported by the Pennsylvania Farmers Union, Penn State, the Pa. Department of Agriculture, Lancaster Farm Bureau, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Bernville Grange, Pomona Grange, Pennsylvania State Grange, Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council and farmers across the state.
KCC played a key role in passing hemp legislation having made it our top priority. We worked closely within the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council to achieve our goals and walked the bills through every step from their introductions all the way up until final passage of Act 92.
The next step is the fun and exciting part. We get to actually build the Pennsylvania hemp industry from the ground up. We are very excited and will work to make Pennsylvania not just a participant but a world leader in the cultivation, manufacturing and marketing of hemp and hemp products.
The Department of Agriculture is now tasked with writing rules and regulations for implementing the hemp program. Through Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council we will work with the department to encourage them to take a bold approach and a broad interpretation of both Section 7606 of the federal farm bill and state law.
Pennsylvania has a rich history of hemp production. It was grown in the state for over 250 years, from 1681 until the 1940’s. Some anecdotal reports indicate that hemp was grown in some of the rural areas of the state until the 1960’s.
Kentucky is well known as the largest producer of hemp in the nation from the early 1800’s until the Civil War. What is less well known is that before Kentucky took the lead one of the most well-known hemp producing regions in the nation was centered in Lancaster and York counties and the entire surrounding region.
Between the years of 1720 to 1870 there were over 100 water-powered mills for processing hemp fiber in Lancaster County alone and dozens more hemp mills in all of the surrounding counties – hundreds throughout the state.
Hemp will be a win-win-win for Pennsylvania. It will help farmers by giving them another cash crop, help the environment and create jobs. Farmers interested in growing industrial hemp are encouraged to obtain memberships to the Pennsylvania Industrial Hemp Council.
A new day is dawning in Pennsylvania and the opportunities abound to create a vibrant industry. We have a fascinating past with the hemp crop but the future is even more exciting.
We are going to bring hemp back to the fertile soils of Pennsylvania and we are going to put the HEMP back in HEMPFIELD!
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