Marijuana Legalization Zeitgeist In America To Continue Into 2010: Federal Government Lags Behind The States

Already Four States Have Marijuana Legalization Bills In Play; Californians To Vote On Legalization in 2010

It can readily be said that 2009 was one of the busiest and most productive years in cannabis law reform since NORML’s founding in 1970. However, it appears as if 2010 is going to be an even busier year–notably marked by the increasing number of actual state legalization bills and a voter initiative in America’s most important state.
Currently, there is legalization legislation pending in California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and a legalization bill was just introduced this week in Washington. Frankly, most of these bills do not have a strong prospect in passing this time out, however the immense public discussion that is generated is crucial for overall reform efforts.
The formula is simple: No public discussion or debate about legalization, obviously equates to no substantive law reforms. This is what regrettably happened in the United States, Canada and Europe from 1980-2000, buttressed by extreme federal anti-marijuanism in the form of the DARE program in the public school, the blitzkrieg of Partnership for a Drug-Free America ads polluting media airwaves and omnibus federal crime bills overloaded with severe and costly penalties (i.e., mandatory minimum sentencing, civil forfeiture, mass drug testing, etc…). However, since the turn of the century, there have been ever-increasing public discussions and debates about marijuana prohibition–principally driven by the creation and implementation of medical cannabis laws in thirteen states–which is leading to greater public support for reform.
Breaking News: NORML has just learned that the TaxCannabis2010 initiative in California has gathered more than enough signatures to qualify for the 2010 ballot and the announcement of such is imminent (like, this week!).
This coming year the following states will have numerous cannabis law reform legislation or initiatives:
Medical Cannabis
State legislation: MN, IL, MO, OH, TN, MD, NC, PA, DE, OH, WI, NY, CT, MA, NH and TX; NJ has a special legislative session going on right now until January 7, 2010 where a pro-reform medical cannabis bill is pending and the outgoing Governor assures a signature to passed legislation.
Voter Initiatives: AZ
Cannabis Legalization
State legislation: VT, MA, WA; CA’s legalization bill (AB 390) will kickoff a smoking hot year in cannabis law reform with a series of planned subcommittee hearings and testimonies currently scheduled for the first week in January.
Voter Initiatives: TaxCannabis 2010 appears ballot bound and this means that Californians will have the opportunity on November 9, 2010 to effectively end cannabis prohibition in the United States, and arguably most of the of the civil world. Also, Nevada and Oregon voters may also be voting on cannabis legalization initiatives in 2012.
In a country where one out of eight citizens live in a particularly state, and that state’s citizens democratically vote to end cannabis prohibition and replace it with tax-and-control measures, it is only a matter of time before a number of other states follow suit, then the federal government must end it’s failed three-quarter of a century social experiment of cannabis prohibition.

0 thoughts

  1. Hey, I’ll be perfectly content to keep it at home. I just don’t want to have to stress about drug testing at work and about a pissed off neighbor turning me in.
    Hey #17, what the man said, if you truly hate NORML then get off this page! I for one WANT cannabis to be taxed(at a reasonable rate of course-$50 per ounce tax is absurd!) I want The American People to see cannabis as a beneift to them, whether they toke or not. I want to be personally responsible for cotnributing to the infrastructure of this country, and being able to fund programs for those who need help.
    Hey #27, trust me, if pot were legal from the beginning, I’d still love it! (provided the tobacco companies didn’t take it over and kill it with bug spray like they have with tobacco!)
    And I’ve been saying this all along, but I knew from the time that Obama opened the floor for public discussion and legalizing marijuana came out #1, that 2009 would be a momentous year for pot. and it has. and 2010 has the “pot”ential to open the floodgates of political pressure. If pot gets legalized during Obama’s term, given the survey results, he’ll almost certainly get elected again.
    But Oh, won’t we hear Hannity and Beck howl!

  2. #42: whose side are you on? You want to see strict penalites for those driving “under the influence” of substances, particularly mind-altering ones, but wait a minute, wouldn’t that include Zoloft, Pristiq, Effexor, etc? Oh wait a minute…those have been well-researched and are completely safe….
    There needs to be more scientific research on the issue of cannabis consumption and driving, to see where the line is where it becomes dangerous, and figure out some way to do a field test on motorists, but it has to be a way that’s accurate objective and focused on impairment and not on some random number in your blood levels.
    I personally wouldn’t be bent out of shape over my airline pilot having smoked pot the night before, or even the morning of, or shortly before for that matter, depending on their experience with it. But conversely no way would I want my pilot to fly after a couple of drinks of alcohol. Or if he had a bad cigarette habit and couldn’t go more than a couple hours without a cigarette without getting bugeyed.
    But that’s just me.

  3. @ marilyn
    I don’t think you are being a jerk at all. Your attitude and idea is exactly what i would expect from someone who would want to protect the legalization of cannabis. The last thing we need is the law getting overturned because some Soccer-Mom group is complaining about public cannabis smoking and starts making scare ads like they do with the “big tobacco”. Also another thing i think we should consider. Has anyone tried getting Big Tobacco to give funds to our Cannabis Reform Effort?

  4. Next year will be pretty exciting. I can’t wait to see what big corporations fund anti-legalization commercials. I’m sure we’ll see pharmaceutical companies fight this as much as they can.
    We can’t have a non-addictive pain killer/wonder drug on the market for anyone to buy/grow for very little profit. That would be irresponsible…

  5. @ #17 Give Me Liberty:
    Wow, you’re stupid. Let me tell you why;
    First of all, why are you anti-NORML? They are the biggest advocate for legal marijuana, which is a big deal to Libertarians. Sure, no taxation of goods would be nice, but without taxes the government wouldn’t be able to support it’s self, and without a government there would be complete anarchy. And if you think that sounds appealing, you’re probably an immature child who has some growing up to do.
    Secondly, taxing and distributing marijuana is a hell of a lot better than complete prohibition of a simple plant. Sometimes, compromise is the answer.

  6. When Cannabis becomes legal, beware Big Tobaccos choice of product. They will tamper with it and truly make it dangerous. The Cannabis they decide to sell will not be the all natural soil, water, sunlight Cannabis we are all accustomed to.

  7. so #17…. let me get this strait…. you would rather keep it illegal and pay huge inflated prices instead of making it legal and paying less because some of it is in taxes?
    do you even realize how cheap it is to grow cannabis? prohibition has created an insane inflated price…. we are all used to paying this price… so if it becomes legal then the price will drop real quick and the government will tax it and it will still be quite a bit cheaper than what we are all paying now…. EVERYONE WINS!
    save money while helping out local, state and federal governments…. how often does that happen? you could always move… oh wait, you will get taxed on that too… i guess you cant do that either…..

  8. Allen,
    I know someone posted in the comments earlier but I am curious. Why is it that Norml continues to ignore the fact that there are people in Florida ( gathering signatures for a voter initiative on medical cannabis? I am sure you guys don’t think it will pass and don’t want to waste the time supporting it but why not at least include it in your posts. It would cost you nothing to do so. The home base alone has already collected close to 40,000 signatures and that doesn’t even count all of the people who have yet to submit the ones they have gathered. If you really care about the movement as a whole please take the time to mention it next time you have the opportunity. I understand if financial support is not a priority but any little bit of press helps.
    On a side note thank you for all the dedication and hard work you guys are putting in.

  9. The fact that personal freedom and individual liberty are even open to debate in this country is proof positive how far we have strayed from the God-given, Constitutionally guaranteed foundation upon which this nation was built. The fact that liberty and freedom are routinely violated is a slap in the face to true American patriots who sacrificed everything. Only sheeple willingly live in a police state, not true freedom-loving Americans.

  10. Marilyn #42: The punishments are already in place. They align with drunk driving laws. If you drive stoned, you risk DWI. Nothing will change when it’s legal. Why make laws even stricter than they are? It’s not as bad to drive while stoned as while drunk.
    Although NORML does not support the right to drive high (as lawmakers would never agree), it is correct to say that driving stoned is much safer than driving drunk. That is simply because marijuana does not impair judgment like alcohol does. I can pass a sobriety test while stoned, and have actually administered them to friends to see if they could pass (and they did).
    The only time I’ve seen people “too stoned to drive” was when they were new to marijuana and giggled uncontrollably at everything. Obviously that passes with continued exposure to the drug and the realization that you can function normally while stoned.
    I drive stoned all the time. So do many of my friends. I don’t smoke while driving because it’s too distracting and risky, but I will smoke before leaving the house. I’ve never had an accident or ticket.
    It’s really common here in California to drive stoned. Why don’t we ever hear about crashes involving marijuana like we do with alcohol? You can’t say it’s because nobody drives stoned…

  11. A big selling point on the true legalization of cannabis should be the fact that once cannabis is truly legalized, the whole “medical marijuana” issue will go away. This will be a real enticement to those states where law enforcement is seeing problems in the dispensories and government is becoming increasingly burden overseeing these places. Hence the struggle to tax “medical marijuana”.

  12. I live in Virginia and I want us so badly to reform our laws and make it legal. We have strict laws regaurding alcohol, and I once came so close to getting a DUI that I no longer drink and when I do it is at home. I found myself not liking the way I felt with alcohol, to many bad experiences so now I just toke up when I can. I am hoping the new chapter of NORML in VA will help win the fight. However I may just move to a state where it is more excepted or becomes legal first.

  13. I agree “Great Editors note”. I was once a “Libertarian”, I have given up on them. They have become so radical. They have been taken over by the Bob Barr “Republicans in sheeps clothing”, Tea Party wacko’s. Total Marijuana lagelization is the only way to protect use on the employement side. If it is just “Decriminalized” your boss can still fire you for off job use.

  14. Could we please stop referring to Maryland as a MMJ state? It is nowhere NEAR accessible to patients in a safe and legal fashion. Yes, I agree it is good that a patient who can prove medical use is absolved of a record and any punishment but a fine, but that still takes court time, legal fees, and more.
    I live in Maryland and we need REAL medical marijuana provisions immediately, that provide growing licenses, dispensary licenses, and other forms of safe access.

  15. Hey, Did`nt you all Forget a Bill, The Most Important Bill of ALL that has been introduced and could be pushed for a vote – HB 2835 Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act 2009, What about this one?

  16. If you see this #47 Nic, you should retain a lawyer if you smoke cannabis without a medical card. Anyone who smokes cannabis who isn’t a patient should retain a lawyer and find a lawyer through NORML’s home page.
    This movement is not out of the woods yet. If I were able to smoke cannabis in a non medical state, which I’m not, you can bet I’d have a lawyer on retainer. And even if Utah does allow medical marijuana I’m still going to retain a lawyer for a year or two until the hoopla is over.

  17. Well now, there’s some progress! I wouldn’t worry about the fed, their heads are so far up their asses they’ll never smell anything but SHIT. Heheh. Keep up the good work people of the states! YOU HAVE THE POWER!!

  18. Re #62
    Thanks for your inquiry.
    NORML does not typically promote signature-gathering efforts on its webpage. Also, as no successful cannabis law reform voter initiative has made the ballot without funding from either DPA or MPP (as both are conduits for very large Soros/Lewis/Sperling donations). Considering the geographical size, diversity in politics and the state’s dozen separate media markets, if past is prologue, absent $1-$2 million worth of donations being properly accounted for and spent to advance signature gathering efforts in FL, there is little to no chance of PUFM in my view gathering the needed funding and/or signatures.
    If the money does not flow from MPP/DPA coffers, then the real challenge is getting Floridians to fund their own freedom and autonomy, not look to elite out-of-staters.
    Like the dozens of voter initiative efforts since 1992 in favor of cannabis law reform, NORML will largely report on them post-qualifying for the ballot, not beforehand.
    Thanks again,
    -Allen St. Pierre
    # Denver Says:
    December 14th, 2009 at 8:05 am edit
    I know someone posted in the comments earlier but I am curious. Why is it that Norml continues to ignore the fact that there are people in Florida ( gathering signatures for a voter initiative on medical cannabis? I am sure you guys don’t think it will pass and don’t want to waste the time supporting it but why not at least include it in your posts. It would cost you nothing to do so. The home base alone has already collected close to 40,000 signatures and that doesn’t even count all of the people who have yet to submit the ones they have gathered. If you really care about the movement as a whole please take the time to mention it next time you have the opportunity. I understand if financial support is not a priority but any little bit of press helps.
    On a side note thank you for all the dedication and hard work you guys are putting in.

  19. I was born in 1992.
    I live in Hungary, quite a distance from America, but I hope we can have calm conditions, in a shop to smoke a joint bí the time when I get 30.
    I am crossing my fingers for you guys out there, here the politicians, law enforcement, and the media is very brain washed about illegal drugs, while we consume nearly the most alcohol in Europe per one person. Even on Dec. 6 a National group was giving brandy freely to everyone.
    This is what I call hippocracy.
    Best wishes

  20. I live in Springfield Vermont which is also where we celebrated the simpsons contest but anyways i love tokin up bud almost every day i rlly hope it gets legalized here by the way california sucks ass for weed cause in vermont we have pure nataural weed grown fresh outdoors and people love vermont for weed it just fits here i think california has already done enough for any agriclutre use besides it isnt a very good example for weed out there if any state should be getting attention it should be vermont trust me its hard to beileve but we do get the same good stuff surprisingly i found out that that only a couple towns away from where I live in Vermont there is sour D and all those genetics oh and great white shark but vermont is best and natraul for hedes

  21. I just hope Texas wakes up one day. I doubt it, but one can hope. What they do here is so wrong, it’s a money system. I think this state will be the last to reform, along with some of the other “deep south” states. What we need is a re-schedule at the federal level. Then they can argue all they want, it won’t do any good.

  22. Indiana?
    Are you kinding? Those bums still wont let you buy alcohol on sunday. I moved from there with no plans to return.

  23. If you believe in God…and…God’s gift of Manna (green herb-food-meat) to his craetion as Holy Sacrament…you’re a “Genesist.” It’s like saying…if you’re born in America…you’re an American. “It’s just that simple.” It’s omni-distinctional. Nothing can be added to it, nor anyhting taken away from it. God made it so. It doesn’t matter what religion one practices. Being a “Genesist” is having “the faith” (trust and belief) in Genesis I:1,29,30,31. God created the heavens and the earth…and…God gave us the green herb for food-meat, which is our Holy Sacrament. God has made it so, and behold, it was very good. Whatever God has given endures forever. Genesists are a family of believers, and there is nothing stronger in life as the bond of family. Stand proud and faithful together. Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold in the sun. “Our sun is shinning.”
    Manford Mantis

  24. More people in the Movie Industry need to help to get the message out. They were able to get a president elected, I’m sure they could get this accomplished. Think of all the people in prison for smoking marijuana wishing they were at the theater instead !

  25. Holy Smokes. Just one state, just one state. Make it happen. “Build it and they will come.” New meaning to California Dreaming. The wall will come down. Mr. Obama, tear this wall down.
    The Rev.sLeezy
    Universal Life Church of the Holy Smokes
    Potland, OR

  26. I personally think big pharma is stupid to oppose cannabis legalization. I mean, it not only could be a huge tax-savings in regards to enforcement, a big tax-intake for the government, and a huge freedom for peaceful adult users – it is a huge, giant, larger than life cash potential for the pharma and medical communities as well. Think about it – there are 60 (or very possibly tons more) cannabanoids contained inside the plant – only one gets you high, and the other 59 or more don’t – yet every last one of them does something medically beneficial for countless ailments. Why not move it to schedule 2, then let the AMA and big pharma do proper research on it – they can abstract each cannabanoid from it, then do testing on each one, and combonations of them, to see how they effect different ailments. That way, they can use the plant by putting the correct chemicals together, and it would be safe and effective medicine. And as far as they are concerned – the best part is they have thousands of more pill types to sell. It seems to me that big pharma would be all over this.

  27. Iowa just announced that due to the 12,000 comments received about current mj law reform, the state will wait untill Feb. 2010 to push new legislation through.

  28. Wow, 12,000 pages of comments is amazing. Anytime you see anything about marijuana in news articles on the web, you quickly see how many people post that marijuana prohibition needs to end.

  29. Woo hoo!!! Go Oregon
    #13-I was watching Cannabis Common Sense and heard that they had just turned in the bill. They are waiting for the ballot name. I had heard they will start collecting signatures about in February.
    Wish this would all happen sooner. Like yesturday.

  30. Thanks NORML make it legall¡¡¡2010 you know i live in Central America (Guatemaya) and the violence and crime
    made by the drug cartels here its un belivable ..urge to tax and control¡¡Globaly imediately¡¡our life is in great danger.

  31. Anyone here from Texas? I’m hoping for legalization of medical marijuana to be passed but I see little action and knowledge of the bill from person to person. I’m thinking of starting some kind of campaign to run educational commercials in hope that the people will respond. In my opinion every State should have medical marijuana legalized so patients can get their medicine instead of traveling to other states. So this year, lets go out there and vote people.

  32. if each person minds there own business,and not judge other peoples actions we would have a wonderful country,so you drinkers and pill poppers and porn addicts mind your own business, do what you do, stop worrying about any one is not our job to tell people how to live there lives,fuck you if you don’t like what i do.stay out of my business cause i don’t care about yours.keep on toking my fellow smokers

  33. Come’on Alabama!!! Let’s legalize marijuana!! Stop putting inocent, harmless citizens in jail!! We need to get it through our Governor’s (Bob Riley) thick head the marijuana is proven safer the alchohol!! Let’s just tax marijuana so that way we can someday legalize it!!!

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