Below is this week’s summary of pending state legislation and tips to help you become involved in changing the laws in your state.
Ohio: Legislation was introduced this week in the state Senate to legalize the medical use of cannabis to authorized patients. The Ohio Medical Compassion Act is modeled after existing medical cannabis laws in twelve other states. Tonya Davis of the Ohio Patient Network discusses the new bill on NORML’s Daily Audio Stash here.
California: Legislation seeking to halt the role of state and local police in assisting in the US Justice Department in carrying out arrests and prosecutions against state-authorized medical marijuana patients and providers is scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly. As amended, Assembly Bill 2743 would prohibit state and local law inforcement personnel from “assisting in federal raids, arrests, investigations, or prosecutions [of] marijuana-related offenses … if the target is … covered under state medical marijuana laws.” A similar resolution is also pending in the Senate. Californians can support both bills via NORML’s online advocacy system.
New Jersey: The state Health Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee held an informational hearing this week on legislation that seeks to allow for the state-authorized use of medical cannabis. NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano and NORML Legal Committee member Alan Silber both submitted testimony. New Jersey activists are encouraged to contact their state elected officials in favor of this measure by visiting NORML’s online advocacy system.
Minnesota: Minnesota Representatives adjourned this week without taking action on House File 655, which sought to authorize the medical use of cannabis by qualified patients. A companion measure had previously passed the Senate. House leadership failed to call the bill for a floor vote after promises by Gov. Tim Pawlenty that he would veto the measure. Medical marijuana proponents can contact the Governor here.