Below is this week’s summary of pending state legislation and tips to help you become involved in changing the laws in your state.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: No surprise the biggest political news of the week comes from New Hampshire, where the House voted Tuesday to decriminalize pot possession. Kudos to the nearly 700 NORML supporters who contacted their representatives in support of HB 1623. Our allies at NH Common Sense are now encouraging supporters to contact Governor John Lynch and urge him to rethink his position on HB 1623. Activists may also wish to give their two cents to Manchester Mayor (and wannabe Governor) Frank Guinta, who appears to have lost his mind following Tuesday’s surprise vote.
HAWAII: House Bill 2675, which seeks to establish a legislative task force to study issues pertaining to the legal supply of medical marijuana for authorized patients, continues to move forward in the Senate. (The bill already passed the House.) As recently amended by the Senate Health Committee, the proposal would establish a legislative task force to “study the feasibility of developing safe growing facilities” to provide therapeutic cannabis to state-qualified patients. To contact your elected officials in support of HB 2675, please click here. To watch excerpts from a recent legislative hearing, click here.
CALIFORNIA: California NORML’s Dale Gieringer, along with the owners of several medical cannabis dispensaries, testified before the state Board of Equalization on Tuesday in favor of legislation to tax the retail sale of medical cannabis. He said that sales tax revenue from cannabis could total more than $160 million annually. Legislation to tax and regulate medical cannabis sales is pending in the state Senate.
MASSACHUSETTS: The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony this week from supporters and opponents of an initiative petition that seeks to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. You can view excerpts from the hearing here. If legislators fail to approve the measure, it will go before Massachusetts voters in November.