Below is this week’s summary of pending state legislation and tips on how you can become involved in changing the marijuana laws in your state.
Montana: Legislative hearings were held this week on a pair of bills related to the medicinal use of marijuana. On Tuesday, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony regarding Senate Bill 212, which seeks to impose a lifetime ban on qualified medical cannabis patients who commit certain driving indiscretions. NORML opposes this effort and is working closely with Montana Patients & Families United to derail this measure. Committee members are expected to vote on SB 212 as early as tomorrow morning (Friday, January 23), but you still have time to urge lawmakers to vote ‘no’ by visiting here.
On a more positive note, Montana’s House Human Services Committee is expected to vote by next Wednesday (January 28) on House Bill 73, which will allow patients greater access to medical cannabis. You can contact the Committee and urge their support for this common sense proposal here.
Minnesota: Senate File 97, an act to exempt qualified medical cannabis patients from state arrest and prosecution, has been referred to the Health, Housing, and Family Security Committee. Last year, a similar measure gained strong legislative support, but was tabled after last-minute opposition from the Governor. You can voice your support for this year’s proposal by visiting here and here.
New Mexico: The New Mexico Department of Health finalized rules last week governing the production, distribution, and use of medicinal cannabis under state law. The new guidelines specify that state qualified patients may possess up to six ounces of medical cannabis (or more if authorized by their physician) and/or 16 plants (four mature, 12 immature) in accordance with state law. State regulations also authorize non-profit facilities to apply with the state to produce and dispense medical cannabis. State licensed producers may grow up to 95 mature plants at one time. New Mexico is the first state to codify rules for the state-licensed production of medical cannabis by not-for-profit organizations.