NORML's Weekly Legislative Round Up

Marijuana law reform bills are now pending in nearly two dozen states. Here is this week’s summary of pending state legislative activity and tips on how you can become involved in changing the marijuana laws in your area.

Montana: Lawmakers introduced a measure this week to make minor marijuana offenses a civil violation. House Bill 541 would amend state law so that the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by up to six -months in jail) to a $50 fine. The proposal is now before the House Judiciary, which is expected to hear testimony in favor of the bill in March. You can show your support for HB 541 by going here. Similar pot decriminalization proposals are pending in Vermont, Washington, and Hawaii.
Update!!! Update!!! Update!!!  In related Montana news, the Senate is now anticipated to vote on SB 326, and act to expand the state’s medical marijuana program, by the end of this week.  For more information, please contact Montana Patients and Families United here.
Kentucky: Kentucky legislators are trying to misuse the state’s traffic safety laws to target adults who use marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own home. It’s up to us to stop them. This week, Senators approved SB 5, which seeks to criminalize anyone who operates a motor vehicle with any detectable level of marijuana in their blood. Under the strict interpretation of this standard, responsible marijuana consumers who last used cannabis days earlier could still be potentially arrested and prosecuted for ‘drugged driving’ — even if they are completely sober. NORML recently testified against a similar proposal in New Hampshire, which legislators rightfully dismissed as improper and illogical. Please help us derail SB 5 in Kentucky by contacting the members House Judiciary Committee and urging them to vote ‘no’ on 5.
New Jersey: The Senate is expected to vote on Monday, February 23, on Senate Bill 119, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. If passed, this measure would make New Jersey the fourteenth state to allow for the physician-supervised use of medicinal cannabis. Governor Jon Corzine backs the measure, as do many of the state’s largest newspapers. Residents in New Jersey are strongly encouraged to write or call their senators now and urge them to vote ‘yes’ on SB 119.
Washington: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony this week in favor of Senate Bill 565 — an act to reclassify the possession of forty grams or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a class 2 civil infraction. You can read about the hearing here, and urge the Committee to back the measure by going here.

To learn about additional pending legislation in Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, please visit NORML’s Legislative Action Alerts page here.

0 thoughts

  1. Just curious, how do you know NJ’s vote is expected for the 23rd? The Legislature’s website doesn’t have anything listed yet.

  2. Let me reiterate. The Phelps bust raises new questions about Privacy in America. For years I have looked for a way to use roe vs wade to legalize weed .The Phelps matter is just right for such a Supreme Court challenge.
    In furtherance of this I request that any all persons similarly afflicted ,to join me now and rid the earth of this anti marijuana scourge now .Contact lawyers ACLU etc. to work together to bring this action or similar class action petitions now to the Supreme Court
    Im paul jensen

  3. looks like the feds are going to have a lot of weed after raiding medical stores in all these states. its good the states are starting to wake up !

  4. It is great to see so many States looking into reform…
    but alas Florida still remains off that list…grrrrrrrr

  5. Decriminalization is so wrong as it leaves marijuana sales in the hands of street drug dealers. If marijuana was sold in store as a legal product like tobacco it would have a lot less chance of being a gateway drug because you could buy it without being exposed to a Drug dealer trying to sale anything to make himself a few bucks!
    Legalize it!!
    “The War Against the People” must end!!!

  6. Michigan recently passed a medical marijuana law. After having read the law more than several times, I find it to be a sham. Frankly, it’s a laugh. They don’t, won’t or couldn’t provide means to allow a person, deemed fit by the State of Michigan, to obtain legal marijuana, seed stock or provide a source.
    Gee, most Dr.s won’t sign the state form. If you can even get a Dr.’s signoff and jump thru all the hoops you better watch your ass very closely.

  7. “I support Senate Bill 5615 and House Bill 1177.” – Sen. Eric Oemig State Senator Legislative District 45 Kirkland, WA.

  8. I sure would like to hear something about Wisconsin legislation. Things have been real quiet around here lately, so I have to wonder what’s going on.
    I know that a bill put in place last session never even got LOOKED at, which is really depressing, frustrating and even infuriating. It’s shameful, really.

  9. If , Michael Phelps was sending a bad message to kids then we need to put a stop to all those ” Amhaueser – Busch ” ads on TV and on billboards telling us how great it is to drink alcoholic beverages . Saw a big bottle of Bud light the other day on a Billboard while headed south out of , Eureka , Ca. NOW…. THAT”S REALLY SENDING A BAD MESSAGE TO KIDS ! Alcohol is also a gateway drug leading to harder drugs . Ask any heroin or meth user if they had gotten drunk before using other drugs and the answer is always…………..yes.

  10. My first buzz was with beer that’s the gate way drug i am 45 now and i would rather use cannabis than drink beer i feel it’s much safer than drinking no hangovers.

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  12. I can’t find anything on the progress regarding NJ’s Bill 119. Where can I get the info on how the vote turned out?

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