Below is this week’s summary of pending state and federal legislation and tips to help you become involved in the legislative process.
Washington, DC: US Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced legislation in Congress Friday to strip the federal government of its authority to arrest responsible adult cannabis consumers. The measure, H.R. 5843, known as an “Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults,” is the first federal decriminalization legislation introduced in 24 years. Frank’s pending bill, co-sponsored by presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), seeks to eliminate all federal penalties prohibiting the personal use and possession of up to 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) of marijuana. Under this measure, adults who consume cannabis would no longer face arrest, prison, or even the threat of a civil fine. The bill also eliminates all penalties for the not-for-profit transfers of up to one ounce of pot. All are encouraged to write their representatives in support of this important legislation via NORML’s online advocacy system.
Washington, DC: Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) introduced H.R. 5842, the “Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act,” earlier today. This bill would make federal authorities respect states’ current laws on medicinal cannabis and end DEA raids on facilities distributing medical marijuana legally under state law. Representative Paul, whose presidential campaign prominently featured the ending of the drug war as a platform plank, was joined by Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), and Sam Farr (D-CA) in co-sponsoring this bill. All NORML supporters are strongly encouraged to write their Representatives in favor of this important bill via NORML’s online advocacy system.
New Hampshire: House Bill 1623, which would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, was passed by the House on March 18. The Senate Judiciary Committee will now hold an important hearing on this bill at 3:00 PM on April 22. All supporters are encouraged to attend. Additionally, our allies at NH Common Sense are now encouraging supporters to contact Governor John Lynch directly and urge him to rethink his assertion that he will veto HB 1623 if it reaches his desk. New Hampshire supporters are strongly encouraged to urge their Representatives and the Governor to support these bills via NORML’s online advocacy system.