NORML's Weekly Legislative Round Up

As I’ve written previously, more states are moving forward to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties for marijuana offenses. This week has been no exception.
If you have not yet gotten active in your state, now is most definitely the time to start. Here’s this week’s latest summary of how you can get involved!

California: California’s first-ever marijuana legalization bill, Assembly Bill 390: The Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act, is tentatively scheduled for a hearing before the Committee on Public Safety and Health on Tuesday, March 31. The Committee is expected to vote on this proposal immediately following the hearing so it is vital that you contact your elected officials, and the members of the Public Safety Committee in particular, and urge them to support AB 390. Contact information for the Committee is available here. You may also send letters in support of this measure to your state assemblyman here. For additional information on this hearing, or if you are interested in attending, please contact California NORML.
New Hampshire: Earlier today, members of the House Health, Human Services & Elderly Affairs Committee voted 13 to 7 in favor of House Bill 648, which seeks to legalize the use of medical cannabis in New Hampshire. The bill will now go before the full House with an “ought to pass” recommendation. Two years ago the House narrowly rejected a similar bill by a margin of 186 to 177. If you live in New Hampshire, now is the time to contact your House members and urge them to support HB 648. You can write them here. Our allies NH Compassion have any additional information you may need here.
Montana: On Friday, March 20, members of the House Human Services Committee will hear testimony in support of Senate Bill 326, an act to provide greater access to medical marijuana for state-authorized patients. If approved, this proposal would: (1) Expand the number of qualifying conditions for which marijuana may be legally recommended; (2) Increase the amount of marijuana a patient may legally possess; (3) Prohibit employers and landlords from discriminating against medicinal marijuana patients solely because of their medical status. Thanks in large part to your support, the Senate previously voted 28 to 22 in favor of this measure. Please assure that the House does likewise. You can contact your representatives here. Local allies Montana Patients and Families United will be meeting with witnesses and attendees prior to the hearing. You may contact them here.
Kentucky: Finally, we have good news to report from Kentucky. Last week we asked for your help to kill an amendment that sought to criminalize anyone who operates a motor vehicle with any detectable level of marijuana in their blood. Many of you responded and as a result, the provision was withdrawn. While we’re not entirely out of the woods yet, it’s now looking far less likely that lawmakers will prevail in their attempt to misuse the state’s traffic safety laws to target marijuana consumers.

To learn about additional pending legislation in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Washington, please visit NORML’s Legislative Action Alerts page here.

0 thoughts

  1. I’m glad to see this progess all over the country,well most of the country, but we really need some help down here in Florida, we are still the most backwards state in the nation when it comes to marijuana policy. Our NORML chapter here at UCF is working hard but theres only so much we can do…we need as much help as we can get!!!

  2. Where are all the activists in Arizona? We have some of the worst drug laws in the nation.
    Having any THC in your system is currently grounds for a DUI. If stopping this from happening in KY is such a priority, why is there no reform talk here?

  3. “The noncommercial cultivation of marijuana for personal use – defined as ten plants or fewer – would not be subject to taxation under the proposal.”
    This is the part I like best. It’s so rational and fair that I’m amazed it’s in the bill. This means that anyone with a yard can have free weed for themselves and give away the overflow. It may kill the retail market, however. It’s hard to compete with “free”.

  4. Where are all the activists in PA????
    Only 10 people at the state’s largest city NORML meeting is not very encouraging.

  5. Change is coming, yes, but there is no panacea, this will be and has been a gradual battle.
    As much as Id love to see President Obama or the new Drug Czar repeal prohibition its not going to happen that way, and honestly I think it would be wrong if it did.
    Change will come when the majority calls for it, change will come when you and I stand up and say its time. We have already begun this process but I have a feeling we are not completely there yet- we have many voices, but fewer who let their names be known.
    How will I know when prohibition is in its last throws of life? When each and everyone of us is willing to sign our first and last names in support of this issue.

  6. What the heck is going on in Wisconsin???? I had heard talk of Medical Marijuana legislation coming up this year. But to date, I have not heard another word. We don’t even have a NORML chapter in Milwaukee!! I’ve emailed, called and written my state representatives and senator. He’s the only one who actually corresponded with me via snail mail, (Senator James Sullivan). He’s supportive of Medical Marijuana, and would vote in favor of…..so why doesn’t he get the ball rolling?? I’m 55 years old, have been smoking pot for 37 years, (the past 5 years have been for medicinal purposes). I’ve been denied SSDI, unable to work, living off of my retirement fund, and probably don’t have a heck of a lot of time left. But Damn it. I ain’t leaving here until I can smoke and grow my own medicine!
    Come on Wisconsin!! Let’s get something going before I find myself moving to a “friendlier” state.
    Peace & Pot

  7. I’m still waiting for New York, if NJ is considering so should NY.
    I hope to god that A390 will pass, if that passes i’m sure other states will follow for sure in a short period of time cause it’ll become a huge success on the market.
    Hell if CA is laid back on MJ, so should NY, after all NY is CA’s east coast cousin. Better yet all over the world!

  8. Please support the letter writing campaign NORML is suggesting. We need to flood the legislators’ and regulators’ offices with snail mail. While e-mails are a lot easier and cheaper to do, snail mail is something these elected officials can hold in their hands and fondle. E-mails are mostly abstract and cold numbers on a computer screen and as such often do not get the response a sack full of letters will.
    After you have written to the addressees recommended by NORML, please take the time and click on the link below, for a letter campaign I am launching on 4-20-09 and that you please forward the link to your “heady” friends and get them involved. In the now almost 16 years I have been advocating for the legalization of cannabis, this is the closest we have been to make some inroads in the almost century old war on cannabis, started with the 1914 El Paso City ordinance prohibiting this harmless herb.
    Get involved, stay informed!
    http://tiptopwebsite.com/websites/index2.php?username=busgreg&page=100
    Thank you in advance!

  9. Tennessee is moving in the right direction for medical marijauna reforms. If you want to get results in reforming the marijuana laws in your home State, you MUST be and stay in contact with your State Reps., Senators and Congress Members to demand that your voice be heard and properly represented. If not, don’t vote for them next election. Demand results from leaders to be heard and follow up! Visit State Leaders with your area media. Did all you nice folks think reform would come without a battle? Wake up! We’re all up against some very tough opposition that you can’t see, hear or touch.
    (Dave #3)
    I expect Florida to be one of the last States to reform marijuana laws since the mafia’s livelyhood will end with prohibition since the drug lords have bought the State a long time ago via drug profits. So good luck, it’s going to be a long hard fight for Florida citizens.
    Mr. R.D. Seymour
    TENNESSEE NORML, L.E.A.P., MPP
    Federal Narc Agent Retired

  10. Questions (Would prefer a formal response):
    * If you are out of state (CA), does it make sense to try and contact the Committee and/or the elected officials in CA?
    * When you send letters or emails, if you leave off your full name (or any name), does the credibility of the correspondence lose any or all of its value? The reason I ask this is because I believe there are more people interested in supporting NORML, but many are afraid that there name will somehow be put in a database or used against them (after all, marijuana is illegal. I think this particular question/issue lies at the heart of much inaction….let’s get creative on how to solve it NORML!
    Thank you for your responses.

  11. Working in Alabama to help pass HB 434! Coming together as one people is the best way to go. Advertise and promote. Let the world know what is right and reasonable. If Alabama can change, America can change!

  12. California and Oregon need to be at the forefront of this political reform. If these two states can successfully implement legalization and taxation, then Washington and many more cash-strapped states will follow.
    Bringing in multi-BILLIONS of revenue, and creating entire new industries to provide millions with jobs are just a few of the benefits gained by sensible laws, as Obama says, “based on science, not political ideology”. Not to mention the resources saved by not overcrowding the nations prisons with non-violent, possession-only offenders. Get educated; cannabis and hemp are NORML.

  13. Don’t get your hope up guys. You think your the first
    gemeration to try this? And you won’t be the last either.

  14. Brenda, I know it has been tried, but we have made so much progress that we need to keep pushing towards. I mean after all the last time we successfully ended a drug prohibition was also during a gang-activity filled recession.
    Sent my letter!

  15. Brenda post 17 said: Don’t get your hope up guys. You think your the first
    gemeration to try this? And you won’t be the last either.
    No, we aren’t the first generation to try this. But we are going to, eventually, be the last.

  16. RE: #14. To your first question, yes you are free to contact any member of congress about any concern. If your not in his or her district or state you can’t threaten to vote against him. BUT YOU CAN SURE PROMISE TO CONTRIBUTE TO HIS OPPONENTS CAMPAIGN IN THE NEXT ELECTION.
    To your next question, No you lose no credibility by not signing your letter. Just my opinion but only a complete idiot would sign his name to one of these “copy and paste” letters you see on other comment pages. Any one who tells you you’re a coward for not signing your name is one of the many law enforcement personel who DO READ THESE PAGES EVEN MORE THAN YOU AND I DO. Don’t send your congressperson anything you wouldn’t send your local sheriff . Again there’s a very good reason you don’t see more NORML bumper stickers.. If your going to be that studid I’d say you made their point for them.
    IT’S WHY WE HAVE A SECRET BALLOT, my question is why haven’t marijuana smokers ever used it. Again just an opinion but I don’t agree that flooding the post office with letters is going to change anything,, VOTES WILL (also contributions) but mainly votes.
    Check out what I would do if I ran NORML on the comments page of the post “GOP senator assails”. Let me know if you think I’m stoned or just stoned.

  17. @Vote like a Beast
    Thank you for your response. On question #1: that is what I believe, but it seems like NORML was suggesting we should snail mail a letter. I didn’t know if that was because they know the way elected officials substantiate their votes for their area of what. On question #2: This is also what I believe. In general, people are not going to list their name on anything, for fear that they will get in trouble or come under surveillance.
    As you have probably heard, there have been polls done that show the majority of americans (~58%) of Americans don’t believe in the legalization of marijuana. However, if someone called me and asked me to be part of a poll, I would be just as concerned that they are harvesting information about me. This leads me to the same point I was trying to make before: NORML….I think if we can find a way to give people the voice, but give them the security and safety of anonymity….until the legalization occurs! Maybe the best thing is to write or print a letter and stick it in the local mailbox.

  18. I TRY AND PUT MY MONEY WHERE MY MOUTH IS. UNFORTUNATELY FOR ME AND NORML, I HAVE MORE MOUTH THAN MONEY. I DID MANAGE TO SCRAPE TOGETHER $27.00 I’LL SEND AFTER THIS MESSAGE. I WONDER HOW MUCH CANNABIS THAT WOULD BUY TODAY. A FEW PIN JOINTS WORTH OF MEXICAN RAG WEED DIRT, SEEDS AND STEMS? NEAR BANKOK I ONCE SAW A LADY OF THE EVENING CASUALLY SELLING THAI-STICK FOR .15 CENTS EACH. TWO PUFFS AND YOU STILL KNEW YOUR NAME, BUT WHY BOTHER. JUDGING FROM THE RESPONSES TO VARIOUS SEGMENTS ON THIS SITE, THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME INTEREST IN KNOWING IF/WHEN CANNABIS WILL BE RE-LEGALIZED IN THIS COUNTRY. THAT WILL BE ABOUT THE SAME TIME THE MAJORITY OF RESPONDENTS HERE ARE NOT CANNABIS CONSUMERS. IF THIS WERE ABOUT THE LEGAL STATUS SURROUNDING A COMMON SHRUB, I WOULDN’T BOTHER. VOLUNTARY DRUG USE IS ALWAYS A SELFISH ACT WHICH REQUIRES TIME AND MONEY. I HAVE LITTLE OF EITHER AND BETTER THINGS TO DO WITH BOTH. TO ME THIS IS ABOUT INFINITELY MORE SIGNIFICANT IDEALS. THIS IS ABOUT LIBERTY, FREEDOM, HUMAN DIGNITY AND COMMON RESPECT. I’VE FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM VARIOUS TIMES AND PLACES BUT THE ENEMY WAS ALWAYS THE SAME. IT IS THE SAME MONSTER WHICH KEEPS CANNABIS ILLEGAL HERE NOW. IT IS SOMEONE WHO THINKS THEY KNOW WHAT’S BETTER FOR YOU THAN YOU DO AND HAS THE POWER TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT INCLINATION, PARTICULARLY IF THAT PERSON MEANS WELL AND JUST WANTS TO HELP. LAWS THAT ATTEMPT TO PROHIBIT HUMANKIND’S ABILITY TO FREELY CHOOSE THAT WHICH DOES NOT INFRNGE ON THE RIGHTFUL LIBERTIES AND FREEDOMS OF OTHERS IS ATTEMPTED SLAVERY. I REFUSE TO LIVE LIKE A SLAVE AND THANK NORML FOR BEING ONE OF THE AVENUES I CAN SHARE IN MY QUEST FULFILLING AN OBLIGATION MY GOD DEMANDS TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY. I AM STILL FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM, BUT HERE I AM NOT ALONE. THANK YOU.

  19. Waiting on Nebraska
    but if AB390 is passed and works effectivly
    I can see marijuana being legal within the next 10 years

  20. Well there is a lot of talk these days and that’s a good thing but, until we can vote out all the Grassley’s from office don’t see things changing any. So get out and vote. To Dave in FLA. MOVE…. Personally I will not even return there to visit family, I hope other healthcare professionals will leave the state as a form of protest, if so please write the Gov. Or the state house to let them know that you refuse to practice with no compassion. Maybe losing more nurses and Doctors from the state will give them a pause for serious thought/debate on the subject. Good luck to all who want change for the better in this country of OURS….. Aloha

  21. response to #9 tom. tom ive fought this battle for 30 yrs and ive always used my first and last name. shame on the pricks who refuse to speak out. BOB SEARCY INDIANA

  22. It will never be federally legalized until politicians stop taking money from or owning pharmaceutical companies.

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