Statewide efforts to enact medical marijuana law reform still remain in play in nearly a dozen states.
Here are some highlights and ways that you can help.
New Jersey: Last Thursday, members of the state assembly Health and Senior Services Committee substituted, then approved, Assembly Bill 804: the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. The bill will now go before the full Assembly.
However, as substituted by the Committee, neither qualified patients nor their caregivers would be authorized to grow cannabis medicinally under the law. Instead, patients will be required to obtain their medicine from yet to be established ‘nonprofit Alternative Treatment Centers.’ (Read all of the changes made to the measure here.)
A less restrictive version of this proposal, Senate Bill 119, was approved by the Senate in February. If the Assembly ultimately approves A 804, members of the Senate would have to approve the Assembly’s changes.
Further information about this effort, visit the Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey or go here.
New York: Legislation (Assembly Bill 7542) to exempt qualified medical cannabis patients from state arrest and prosecution continues to move through the state Assembly. So far, members of the Committees on Health, Codes, and Ways and Means have all signed off on the proposal, which is now before the Assembly Committee on Rules. A companion bill, Senate Bill 4041-A, remains pending before the Senate Committee on Codes. If you live in New York, you can contact your elected officials and urge them to support this effort by going here or here.
Delaware: Last week, members of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee approved Senate Bill 94, an act that seeks to allow for the use of medical cannabis by state-authorized patients. The full Senate is expected to take action on the measure in the coming weeks. If you live in Delaware, please urge your state Senator to move expeditiously on SB 94 by going here.
Illinois: House lawmakers adjourned last week without taking a floor vote on Senate Bill 1381, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. However, this does not mean that SB 1382 is dead! House members may call the bill for a floor vote later this fall. If not, the bill will carry over to January 2010, where lawmakers will once again take up the measure. To get involved in this effort, please visit Illinois NORML or go here.
New Hampshire: If you live in New Hampshire and you have not yet contacted Governor John Lynch and urged him to protect patients who use marijuana medicinally, you can do so by going here or here. Gov. Lynch is the only hurdle that stands in the way of patients and their medicine in the Granite state, so make your voice heard now.
For information on additional state and federal marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s Take Action page here.