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. a bit off topic but did anybody here the pres today praise cali in being a leader in clean energy? he said something like “by having good policy in place” and something about using cali as a example the rest of the nation could learn from them. hopefully he will continue to use cali as a example for the rest of the country eh. Lets thin out some prisons and legalize and use home detention for the non violents. I would rather do the 87 months they wanna give me for conspiracy to manu and deliver in my home instead of prison.

  2. So is FLORIDA…it was just in the newspaper a few weeks ago. You have got to add us to your list as we are no where to be found.

  3. The wall is coming down. Weed will be legal much sooner than you think. I expect it to be legal for medicinal purposes nationally before the year’s out.

  4. Greg,
    NC’s legislative alert is here:
    I feel like I have to explain this week after week, but these posts are NOT INCLUSIVE. There are simply too many bills in play to summarize each one in a blog post. BUT THAT SAID, all state pending bills are UPDATED REGULARLY at NORML’s Take Action Center here:
    If you are curious about the legislative status of a bill and don’t see it mentioned here, then just check the Take Action Center. I update that page daily.
    RE: FL. Florida is NOT a legislative effort. It is a proposed statewide initiative that is in the signature gathering stage. This post and the Take Action Center page focus on legislation only. NORML generally tends not to report extensively on these efforts until after they have qualified for the ballot. A similar initiative petition is also pending in Arizona. A 2009 medical marijuana petition will go before the voters this fall in MAINE. You can read the details tomorrow in NORML’s weekly news release.

  5. contact your reps! it actually matters to them what people push for, despite what you might think

  6. Come on Virginia, you’ve been missing lately and you have democratic majorities. TIME FOR ACTION! I want legal medicine and I don’t want to move.

  7. Oh finally!
    New York has stepped up to the plate!
    You bet my ass that i’ll help NY, about fucking time!
    Like one of the guy’s on this site said before in a different blog “Who the hell in NY doesn’t smoke”?

  8. I’m still waiting to hear what is going on in North Carolina. Fox news ran a short clip about a month ago about Greensboro voting on a medical marijuana bill, but now it’s all hush hush.

  9. Down here in Georgia. I wish the lawmakers would look at the influence the Drug Trafficing Organizations are having on Mexico and Atlanta. If 3/4 of the DTO’s profits were cut off, maybe the violence would end. There have been several reports of kidnapping and hold drug dealers ransom for unpaid debts. Lets take the profits out of the hands of the DTO’s. I wonder who supplies Cali with its weed demand. Is it home grown or imported? when i buy beer, i support my local brewery (sweetwater 420 pale ale) I hope one day i can support my local grower.

  10. Good news is popping up on pretty much a daily basis, but does anyone know when the floor will vote in Illinois? ive been waiting for a while checking up on it every here an there but havent heard of a date though.

  11. It would be a great time to organize a voting bloc for the next congressional elections in 2010. It would help your state legislators make up their minds.
    If we could demonstrate just 5 percent of the vote in the next congressional elections, no one in congress would get any tougher on pot, in fact they would suddenly not even know how to pronounce marijuana (hell they wouldn’t know how to pronounce pot).
    If we could demonstrate just 10 percent of the vote in the next elections, congress would pass almost any reform we want just shy of FULL LEGALIZATION.
    If we could demonstrate 20 percent of the vote in the next congressional election, THEY WOULD NO LONGER HAVE ANY OTHER CHOICE.
    Very few elections in this country are decided on more that a 10 percent spread. When your the one who gives a congressman his job, your the one who writes the law.
    YES WE COULD !!!!!!

  12. Dear NORML,
    As you can read here in this blog, your readers are primarily interested in their own States. Yes, it’s important to do what we can to reform MJ laws in already approved States but the rest of us are feeling neglected to say the least. Has anyone thought of having a hempfest in Tennessee? Of course not, you’d be arrested! There’s little hope for the rest of us in the short term but, we are very excited for the few States in our Union who’ve worked so hard to get where they are today. I for one, will be moving to a State that has approved marijuana programs. At age fifty, I ain’t got a lot of time to enjoy the rest of my life.

  13. He is right, please don’t leave us out.
    FLORIDA brings many tourists into this state, this legalization or medicinal usage would be a great contribution to this state.
    Thanks in advance NORML

  14. What about Virginia!!!…it has not been mention….the laws in Virginia are bad. If you live in virginia please call your representative. Lets stop this rediculous war on drug in virginia.. I fucking hate this laws!! I really want to move out of here if stuff are not gonna change!

  15. Well California here i come my state doesnt wanna do n e thing i’ll go where it is although i shouldnt hav to its supposse to b AMERICA

  16. Glad Norml and MPP decided to cut out the giggling at the end. Havent seen any of the ads in Illinois yet but am really looking forward to them being aired right on time for SB 1381 and HB 2514.
    #14 Steve I think the Senate may vote on SB 1381 sometime this week and I think it has a good chance of passing. If it passes the Senate than it will move to the house. The house is still on the fence but the good news I’ve heard the governor most likely will not get in its way if it passes both the Senate and House. So we from Illinois need to really push these next couple of weeks and hopefully Illinois will become the 14th state to legalize medical cannabis ! May 2 Global Marijuana March, May 6 Activist training class. Contact Norml Illinois
    [Editor’s note: MPP was not involved]

  17. are there any states that have both decriminalized marijuana AND have medical marijuana programs?
    [Editor’s note: AK, OR, CA, NV, CO and ME)

  18. Yeah, make mention of Florida, we need to gain support. We’ve already got a woman with a petition, Kim Russell. I’m sure you’re already aware.

  19. Wisconsin is right on the B.R.I.N.K. and the Govenor said he would sign it into act right now if they will lay it on his desk but the representives will not bring it and not sure if they are organized enough to deserve it here or not …Come on get up stand up !!!

  20. I couldn’t believe it when I heard NY was moving ahead with reform… I still can’t! About freakin’ time! All these other states are moving ahead and I’m like, “what the heck are we doin?”

  21. just got done writing to my assembly person here in NJ. I am keeping an eye out over here hopefully something will happen soon

  22. Im gland to see so many states waking up, i too have issues with my legislators, I have written adn called, Im due to go to DC in 2 weeeks and I have meetings set for one of my senators and my congressman, but both have written back sayign the same old lie, “Ther is no Medical Value in Marijuana” Well they are either lying or have no clue what the truth is.
    I have sent both a list of medical documents over the last 30 years proving this point and also the original Nixon report showing that there is no reason for Prohibition of marijuana,Ive gotten no responce ssince I sent those lists, and I called them ignorant for not knowing the truth or at least researching the subject!
    If you live in a state that has a bill being looked at I must stress the importantance of getting all your smoking buddies together and all write a letter and email to support the bill. Also push the community and educate everyone and anyone that will give you even 30sec. This is our War people and we need every single Canabis user to step up and fight.
    Good luck all, you all will lead the way to my state to finaly wake up!

  23. We’re taking over… one state at a time. We’ll get there, people!
    Incidentally, you missed Missouri’s HR277, which our House Speaker Ron Richard refused to assign to committee until NORML inspired people to call and voice dissent. I was told on Tuesday, April 21st that HR277 WILL be assigned to committee today, April 23!

  24. Why do you guys keep leaving out Pennsylvania?
    [Editor’s note: There is no pending cannabis law reform legislation in PA.]

  25. i am very excited that NEW YORK has finally given new yorkers a chance to push their reps for this bill . i have already sent an email to my new york reps, sent and email to my friend about this bill, and finally i am goin to call my reps today . i am very passionate about this this whole entire year in Marijuana reform. thank you norml for the opportunity.

  26. Damn Florida! Get with the fucking program already! We already have the highest number of elderly people…doesn’t the state government believe they have a right to medicinal marijuana? Charlie Christ, get your ass in gear! Obama, get your ass in gear! Tampa mayor Pamela Iorio, GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR! Tired of this nonsensical bullshit, when will the suffering end?!?! For God sakes…..what’s the fucking problem?!
    Legalize marijuana and end the suffering of humanity.

  27. I see a few fellow Virginians on here complaining about no legislation. So this is a shout out to all of us that read these comments and don’t do anything, Take Action! Make flyers raising awareness, tell your friends about norml, and call our reps and senators at least once a week!!

  28. Call this number and hit the “#” sign after the lady gives her 30 second speech.
    I received it through a forwarded text and it is to vote for legal weed. In the message, it states that once one million people have registered their vote they are going to bring it to the attention of President Obama!! I hope this works and thanks NORML for everything you have done. 🙂

  29. This is madness!!! Everybody just STOP……and smoke a bowl for the cause real quick. In other news: Legalization took another step forward 2day.

  30. WTF why is Wisconsin not even on the look out list? we now have 3 counties in Wisconsin where the possession of marijauana is lowered to a misdemeanor/no jail…dane, waukesha, and milwaukee…but when are we goin to see some change to statewide policy?

  31. To Tennessee Activist #17,
    I appreciate your frequent posts so I wanted to take time to respond to yours. The progress that you see occurring in “other” states like New Hampshire, New York, Illinois, and elsewhere did not occur over night. In most of these states, activists on the ground have been building coalitions and working with lawmakers and NORML and MPP affiliates on the above bills for the better part of the past 4 to 6 years, and in some cases far longer (10+ years in Minnesota) to get where they are today. It is unrealistic to assume that legislative reform takes place any other way. The answer isn’t moving to another state or posting messages on this forum saying, “Why isn’t anything happening in my state?” You and your fellow citizens have to make something happen.
    As I’m sure you know, in your home state (TN) there were two medical marijuana bills introduced this year before the state legislature: Similar bills were before the legislature last session, as well as a medical marijuana commission bill. All of these bills have had multiple hearings and legislative debates. Have you written and called your local state representative and senator and discussed the issue with them? Are you aware of their views on the matter, and if they oppose these efforts have you asked to set up a face-to-face meeting at their local offices to offer your opinion otherwise? Have you been in contact with the Tennessee Medical Association, which recently came out opposing any use of medical marijuana, and offered evidence to them as to why they should change their position? What about the Tennessee Nurses Association? Have you reached out to assist in the efforts of local NORML affiliates and Board of Directors (Paul Kuhn) who are working on this issue in Tennessee? I’m not asking these questions to pick on you; just to point out that these movements work from the ground up, and that there are numerous actions any individual can — and should — be taking to build support for these efforts, both now and in the future.
    Do you think that these efforts in other states were successful right away? No, they took years of proactive citizens doing just the sort of activities I’ve laid out above.
    RE: the questions about Pennsylvania, please see our alert here:
    Once again, NORML’s affiliates in PA and NJ are largely responsible for this effort (the bill still remains forthcoming, but will likely be introduced shortly) — we are hardly ‘ignoring’ it.
    RE: Virginia… See my advice to TN Activist. Seriously, Virginia is truly a citizens legislature and a member of the public can attend and testify at hearings in Richmond. I know. I lived in Virginia, and was directly involved in killing proposed zero tolerance marijuana DUI legislation two years in a row. Virginia is also a state where a voter can ask their state delegates to introduce a bill ‘by request.’ That means that if you call them up and say that you want them to introduce legislation to tax and regulate marijuana that they are pretty much obligated to do so. (Several other states have this process as well. To anyone reading this: does yours?) Why not copy and paste CA or MA’s legalization bills and think about asking your state rep to introduce a version of these next year or the year after? (Virginia and some other states employ an every-other-year legislature.) Trust me, it’s a far better use of your time than complaining on message boards.

  32. New Hampshire – Governor Lynch said he would never sign a medical marijuana bill even if it was voted Yay unanimously by congress. This is why the democratic party has lost my support and I am not a libertarian. Ron Paul 2012!!

  33. In response to:
    devil dog Says:
    April 22nd, 2009 at 7:28 pm
    I’m still waiting to hear what is going on in North Carolina. Fox news ran a short clip about a month ago about Greensboro voting on a medical marijuana bill, but now it’s all hush hush.
    Both bills passed their first reading and have been referred to the Health Committee. You can keep updated on their status here:

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