NORML's Weekly Legislative Round Up: Which State Will Be The Next To Legalize Medicinal Cannabis?

A number of state legislatures are actively vying to join Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington to become the fourteenth state to legalize the physician-supervised use of medicinal marijuana.
Here’s how you can help make these efforts a reality.

Illinois: This week the Marijuana Policy Project began running targeted ads in support of House Bill 2514 and Senate Bill 1381, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Acts. Both bills have already passed various legislative committees and are expected to receive floor votes imminently. If you live in Illinois and have not yet contacted your House and Senate members in support of these measures, please do so now by going here.
Minnesota: A pair of bills (SF 97 and HF 292) seeking to allow for the use and distribution of medicinal cannabis have cleared committee and are expected to be voted on shortly by members of the full House and Senate. UPDATE! THE SENATE TODAY GAVE PRELIMINARY APPROVAL TO THE BILL! One potential hurdle: Governor Tim Pawlenty, who has voiced opposition to the measures. Tell the Governor that “it is unconscionable to deny this effective medicine to sick and dying patients” by going here.
New Hampshire: UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! The Senate voted TODAY in favor of HB 648. Now only one man stands in the way of legal medical marijuana and that is Gov. John Lynch, who has expressed reservations about the measure. Please write or call him here.
New Jersey: In February, members of the state Senate approved the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act by a vote of 22 to 16. Yet months later, leadership in the Assembly has still not taken any action on this measure, which has received the support of the Governor and the Attorney General. Please contact your member of the Assembly here, and urge him or her demand that their colleagues hold hearings on medical marijuana.
New York: Lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly introduced legislation this week to legalize the state-sanctioned use and distribution of medicinal marijuana. The bills’ sponsors are confident that they have the necessary votes to pass medical marijuana law reform in both chambers. Further, according to news reports, Gov. Patterson is also privately supportive of medical marijuana law reform. If you reside in New York, please consider assisting this campaign by going here and by contacting your elected officials here.

0 thoughts

  1. I have been hearing a lot of talk about Florida considering legalizing marijuana for medical use. I am a student in Lake Tahoe right now so I am out of the loop on the whole fight for the right issue since both Nevada and California (I’m on the border of both =D) have it available for medical use and california has it decriminalized. I am though still a resident of Florida with a Florida License and all, and if and fact they do legalize it for medical use or even better do that and decriminalize it, it will be one of the happiest days of my life. For all the people who do live in Florida and are up to date on all this information, can you leave a comment telling me where I can look up the legislature for it cuz I don’t want to get a cali id card if I can use my Florida License to get some grade A medical shit. Not like I don’t get it already anyways =O lol.

  2. “The Constitution Party will uphold the right of states and localities to restrict access to drugs and to enforce such restrictions.”
    ”Yesterday, September 22, Congressman Ron Paul publicly gave me his endorsement for the office of President of the United States. In his blog at the Campaign for Liberty web site, he said, “I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.”
    U.S. House Representative Ron Paul (Texas) tells CNN that the use and distribution of pot should be regulated by the states, and that ending prohibition would dramatically decrease prohibition-related violence at the U.S./Mexican border.
    I’m pretty sure I know how MY state at least is going to regulate the use and distribution. You think Tennessee and Georgia are behind the times. When I go to Tennessee I’m going to TOWN. If anything the Federal laws are a moderating influence around here.
    My state was once a “trail of tears” state. It will be again. Go west, (Or North) young man

  3. I think New Jersey is set to vote on it this week. I heard something about it, and saw it in an article on

  4. @47 Paul Armentano,
    Well said, we all have to do our part and find a little courage to do a little more.
    Napoleon once said that 10 voices are louder than millions. We can do this by staying the course, speaking out, and inspiring those around us who aren’t speaking up, or aren’t doing enough for the cause.
    This isn’t just for us, guys! Let’s do it.

  5. im in pain right now because i need a job. i took marijuana to stop the pain i have in my jaw and neck but because i cant find a job that doesent drug test here in NY. If compaies were really worried about accidents on the workplace wouldnt they also test for alcohol consumption? oh i forgot alcohol is legal. so its perfectly ok to be drunk in a workplace but not stoned? careful. the vending machines at work might be in jeapordy!

  6. I called Gov. Patterson’s office and emailed all my senators and representatives. Is there anything else I can do here in NY to help out? I am going to tell all my friends to support it.
    Thanks NORML!
    Btw, are those commercials airing here in NY? If not, you should run some.

  7. I know it’s not happening in Indiana. They can’t even figure out how much we owe on property taxes in our neck of the woods. How the hell are the elected officials are going to come up with responsible marijuana legislation if they can’t even figure our property taxes or anything else in this POLICE STATE WE LIVE IN. INDIANA SUCKS!

  8. Here in Nevada we seem to have state legislators who only have the courage to make decisions popular with the soccer mom set. Freshman State Senator Alice Copening recently sponsored changes in marijuana cultivation sentancing to assure anybody caught cultivating 25 cannabis plants or more will do mandatory prison time. When asked why she sponsored the stiffer penalties she explained that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had asked her to do it.
    Rumor has it that Sen. Copening has always had troulbe saying no to men in uniform.
    What is surprising though is that Nevada has a constitutional ammendment passed in general election on two occasions that says that the will of the people
    of Nevada is that Medical Marijuana be legal and available to those that would benefit from it. I guess Sen. Copening and the other politicians who voted
    for this legislation care more about a donation and endorsement from law enforcment organizations than the will of the people of Nevada.
    The Nevada Health Department who “regulate” medical marijuana in Nevada also recently posted a WARNING on their website saying that if a person with a MM card is caught delivering any amount of MM to another person, even if that person is also a MM card holder they will be arrested. That would be in contradiction to the Nevada Constitutional Ammendment and also the Nevada Revised Statutes. It would seem some people in our state government have a hard time seperating their feelings on how they wish things were and the Constitution they swore to uphold and defend.

  9. I’m hoping that if enough states do this, the federal government will have to consider themselves stumped.

  10. One state that should have been on this list is Texas. HB 164 bill currently pending in committee would create an affirmative defense for individuals arrested for cannabis possession, who have a doctor recommendation to use cannabis as a medicine.
    This bill is not entirely legalizing medicinal marijuana, per se. It does take a step in the right direction, though patients would still have to either illegally grow their medicine or purchase it from a criminal.
    If you are in Texas, you can help us give this bill the attention it deserves by attending The Second Annual Texas Cannabis Crusade on May 2nd. Festivities kick off at 10 AM at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.
    more info is available at
    peace n danks!
    Texas NORML

  11. come on KANSAS step it up. were all gettn left behind. …f*** it im movin ta cali

  12. “Legal marijuana would mean more access to marijuana. The number of marijuana users would spike, including teens.”
    according to Mr. Gogek, there are millions of people that can’t wait to start smoking marijuana but simply don’t because of current laws. I don’t agree with him, but doesn’t that rationale tell you that perhaps it’s time to let the people have what they want?

  13. minnesota has seen the light now we are on our way so that everyone can have medicinal marijuana if ur 18.
    so far its only for those who are dying of illness so we have a ways to go before were like california

  14. We need help and support in West Virginia we have an idiot politician pushing hard for drug testing anyone on unemployment,welfare ,or any state assistance.Whats next a drug test for anyone who has a fishing license,marriage license,drivers license,or voters registration.I send letters to all my state reps but I am only one voice.

  15. I truly hope Maryland will see the light. I am very sick and my Doctors WANT to prescribe it,and they KNOW it will help me! Actually,they know for a fact that it does,I have told them so.
    It has honest to God saved me from trips to the Emergency room!! It has stopped my vomiting and given me an appetite-My 73 & 76 year old parents know and agree that it helps me and would like to see me be able to get it without the threat of the law.
    I thank God for all of you and the tiredless efforts of Norml.

  16. dowhatican, i disagree…i see tons of blacks in florida all the time driving brand new suvs, buying tons of smokes and I am behind them in line…i usually 9 out of 10 have to wait for them to get food stamps out….its bs, more than half of them exploit the system… i say drug test these loser pos’s!!! There is no debate…they need to be tested if the government is giving handouts to them..unemployment is another subject because you have to actually earn that in my state… but free government handouts should be rightfully insured with a drug test that can be done for easily under 30 bucks. Thats their debate that it costs too much to test these aholes…..fugin bs! Anyone can get tests on ebay that doo all drugs for only 5 bucks.

  17. If Texas is second to last, looks like Louisiana will be third to last. Obama needs to reschedule cannabis, c’mon Kumar, tell him! Seriously, Louisiana Always seems to be the last state to do anything honorable and right. By looking at medical staes on the Norml map it appears the deep south states need to show a little compassion. I’ve kinda lost faith in obama, after his chuckling at reporters questions about smoke. lets vote all the corrupt, lying, hypocritic, turds out of office! aww damn then we’d have to start all over. It appears writing gov. officials here gets a visit from the local leo. thanks for everyone’s hard work and commitment! There may be alight at the end of the tunnel, not sure. Dammit just another cop with an led light.

  18. #73 Chris Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:28 am
    …Obama needs to reschedule cannabis, c’mon Kumar, tell him!
    Seriously, Louisiana Always seems to be the last state to do anything honorable and right.
    By looking at medical states on the Norml map
    it appears the deep south states need to show a little compassion.

    I’ve kinda lost faith in obama, after his chuckling at reporters questions about smoke.
    lets vote all the corrupt, lying, hypocritic, turds out of office!…..
    It appears writing gov. officials here gets a visit from the local leo.
    thanks for everyone’s hard work and commitment!…..
    Have you seen / watched this video before???
    5 Tips for Calling Congress on Marijuana Policy Reform

  19. #73 Chris Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:28 am
    …..It appears writing gov. officials here gets a visit from the local leo…
    Additionally Chris,
    – You might want to identify yourself as…
    Even though I don’t smoke MJ / cannabis, and am
    against irresponsible ‘drug-use’, present drug policies are wrong because…

  20. Thanks for the info friends of mine! The sheriff around here has more deputies than louisiana has National Guard, my ex wife is one of them. I suspect he is well aware of my medication choice. Opiates just don’t help unless I take enough to knock me out. Besides that I need to be able to function, though that may be very low level functionality. I’ve been fighting chronic pain since 1987 and I’m almost all out of steam. I’m sure there are many many people worse off than I am, government needs to admit the political corruption and greed started prohibition, man up and admit it. Maybe that would be a step toward restoring a tiny bit of public confidence in our government. It’s sad that everyday citizens think the worse of all gov. officials. I’m sure there are a few good ones, they must be in other states.LOL! Thanks again folks for the advice and concern, stay well. Chris

  21. Liberty:
    people deserve freedom to use marijuana.
    The first and most basic reason that marijuana should be legal is that there is no good reason for it not to be legal. Some people ask ‘why should marijuana be legalized?” but we should ask “Why should marijuana be illegal?” From a philosophical point of view, individuals deserve the right to make choices for themselves. The government only has a right to limit those choices if the individual’s actions endanger someone else. This does not apply to marijuana, since the individual who chooses to use marijuana does so according to his or her own free will. The government also may have a right to limit individual actions if the actions pose a significant threat to the individual. But this argument does not logically apply to marijuana because marijuana is far less dangerous than some drugs which are legal, such as alcohol and tobacco.
    SUMMARY: Individuals deserve the right to decide whether or not they should use marijuana. The government should not tell individuals what to do as long as they do not harm others.
    Anyone who has ever been charged in the court of law for Marijuana should be able to sue the government. The fact is the government has with held important information regarding Marijuana that would couse it to be legal the government is wrong in lying to the american people and with holding the information, as so the government should pay for its crimes against the people.

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