It’s January 2010, and that means it is time once again for NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up — your one-stop guide to pending marijuana law reform legislation around the country, along with tips for influencing the policies of your state.
** A note to first time readers: NORML can not introduce legislation in your state. Nor can any other non-profit advocacy organization. Only your state representatives, or in some cases an individual constituent (by way of their representative; this is known as introducing legislation ‘by request’) can do so. NORML can — and does — work closely with like-minded politicians and citizens to reform marijuana laws, and lobbies on behalf of these efforts. But ultimately the most effective way — and the only way — to successfully achieve statewide marijuana law reform is for local stakeholders and citizens to become involved in the political process and make the changes they want to see. We can’t do it without you.
California: Reminder — On Tuesday, January 12, members of the California Assembly will decide on Assembly Bill 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act, which seeks to regulate and control the production, distribution, and personal use of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. Tuesday’s vote will mark the first time since 1913, when California became one of the first states in the nation to enact cannabis prohibition, that lawmakers have reassessed this failed policy. You can read NORML’s prepared testimony here, and if you live in California it is pertinent that you call or fax your Assembly member this week by going here.
New Hampshire: A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers today introduced the state’s first ever bill to legalize and “regulate the purchase and use of marijuana” for adults. As introduced, House Bill 1652 “allows [for] the purchase and use of marijuana by adults (age 21 or older), regulates the purchase and use of marijuana, and imposes taxes on the wholesale and retail sale of marijuana.” Personal possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and/or non-commercial cultivation of up to three marijuana plants would not be subject to tax and regulation under this act. You can read the full text of the measure here, and you can urge your politicians to support HB 1652 by going here. (FYI: A separate bill seeking to decriminalize minor marijuana possession, HB 1653, is also pending in the New Hampshire legislature.)
Washington: [UPDATE!!! Members of the House Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will hear testimony in favor of both marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills on Wednesday, January 13, at 1:30pm. Please see NORML’s ‘Current Action Alerts page here for more info.] Legislators have pre-filed House Bill 2401, which seeks to “remove all existing civil and criminal penalties for adults 21 years of age or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana.” You can read the full text of the proposal here, and you can show your support for the measure by going to NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here. (FYI: Separate decriminalization legislation also remains pending, and may be supported by going here.)
New Jersey: Time is running out to make New Jersey the fourteenth state to legalize the therapeutic use of marijuana for qualified patients. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act on Monday, January 11. This is the final day that lawmakers will be voting on issues from the 2008-2009 legislative session. This means that the bill must pass the Assembly floor, and then be rectified with the Senate version of the bill, before it can be sent to outgoing Gov. John Corzine for his approval. If you reside in New Jersey then it is vital that you take action this week by going here.
For information on additional state and federal marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.