NORML's Weekly Legislative Round Up

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.

Washington: Lawmakers on the House House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness will vote on Wednesday, January 20, at 1:30pm on two pending proposals, House Bill 1177 and House Bill 2401. House Bill 1177 seeks to reclassify the possession of forty grams or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a class 2 civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine. House Bill 2401 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.” This will be the first time state lawmakers have ever voted on regulating marijuana production, distribution, and use by adults. If you reside in Washington, please contact your House member and urge him or her to support one or both of these measures by going here and here. You can also call the Committee and leave a polite, concise message voicing your support for marijuana law reform at: (360) 786-7131 or toll free at: 1-800-562-6000. You can watched archived footage of Wednesday’s hearing on these measures here.
New Hampshire: Lawmakers on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hold hearings on Wednesday, January 20, beginning at 1:00pm on two pending proposals, HB 1652 and HB 1653. 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. House Bill 1653 seeks to reduce minor marijuana possession penalties from a criminal misdemeanor to a fine-only offense. If you live in New Hampshire, please contact your House members and urge them to support one or both of these measures by going here and here. You can also call the Committee directly by going here.
Virginia: Lawmakers this week pre-filed legislation, House Bill 1134, seeking to dramatically reduce the state’s marijuana possession and cultivation penalties. You can read all of the bill’s proposed changes here and here. You can contact your state lawmakers in favor of this common sense proposal by going here.
Tennessee: Lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a pair of bills — Senate Bill 2511 and House Bill 2562, the Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act seeking to establish a statewide production and distribution program for qualified medical marijuana patients. NORML has retained a state lobbyist to represent the interests of our statewide affiliates as this bill moves forward in the 2010 legislative session. To learn more about this effort, please visit here.
Wisconsin: Members of Madison NORML and IMMLY are organizing a Medical Marijuana Lobby Day in support of AB554/SB368 the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act. The program will take place on Wednesday, January 20. It will run from 12 to 1pm at the state Capitol, in the first floor rotunda. More information on this event is online here. You can also voice your support for the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act by going here.

For information on additional state and federal marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

0 thoughts

  1. i’m so glad to see so much change going on around the U.S. with these “new” laws taking place. i live in GA and eventhough GA is not on the same page as other state i still contact other state’s house members to urge for there support (whenever NORML post it). THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS! that being said. i hope that others will do the same no matter what state you are in. a little bit of weed has ruined my life, so lets work together to change these laws!!!


  3. Regarding the Washington State hearing video which i watched they more than once mentioned marijuana sales at liquor stores . This must never happen . Marijuana ( a gift of God ) & Alcohol are two opposites . Driving under the influence of Alcohol combined with marijuana ( a woman – man made drug ) would not only make for deadly consequences on the road but can adversely effect typical behavior patterns . In other words combining the two would put many out of their minds . Alcohol creates aggression . Marijuana is a peaceful drug . God does not want war , violence , crime & this is why they must never be combined or sold together . One of God’s angel’s ( Whose name is Satan ) turned against God & created wars , murders , crime , lies & deception,.God wants the World at peace . Satan overthrew God & this is why thousands are being executed ,murdered , persecuted , prosecuted and imprisoned for marijuana crimes . Satan has overpowered God .
    This is also why there are wars , violence ,crime , liars , murders . God gave us marijuana because he wanted the world at peace & none of these bad things to occur .
    John 3; 8
    He that commitheth sin is of the devil : for the devil sinneth from the beginning . For this purpose the son of God was manifested , that he might destroy the works of the devil .
    Revelation 21 ; 4
    And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes : and there shall be no more death , neither sorrow , nor crying , neither shall there be any more pain :

  4. one state at a time. unfortunately, my congressman in WV still thinks marijuana is a gateway drug and was dead set on any possibility that marijuana has any medical properties. big tobacco and big alcohol talking, no doubt.

  5. It’s encouraging to see more and more states working towards “honest” drug policy.
    For those of you out there in states without compassionate use of cannabis just keep putting pressure on your representatives.
    The thing people need to understand, is that most politicians “fear” supporting cannabis because they view it as political suicide. The only way they can support it, is if there is overwhelming public support.
    Here’s a good starter question for your representatives. Ask them if they know about Harry J. Anslinger. If they are unfamiliar with Harry, then they are ignorant of cannabis-prohibition history.
    For the doubters and knee-jerkers, point them to Portugal’s 2001 Decriminalization scheme for all drugs of abuse. Teen drug use in all categories was reduced after decriminalization.
    Ask them why congress passed their bullshit legislation in 1998 which made it a part of the “Drug Czar’s” job to say cannabis had no medicinal value at all!
    Support them if they support cannabis reform. This means letting them know YOU WILL NOT VOTE for them until they work for reform.
    If we live in a Democratic Republic we should have the right to demand that science and evidence be the basis of policy, NOT conservative ideology.
    One other note, writing an actual U.S. Mail letter with a stamp carries more weight than e-mail when writing to an elected official.

  6. Wow, can’t beleive that bill is here in VA!!! Could you elaborate on what this bill has to go through and the likely hood of it getting passed??? I’ve already sent out the e-mail and will be getting everyone I can to do the same. Also I wasn’t sure what to select as the “issue area” and was wondering what your best suggestion is. Thanks for everything NORML!!

  7. How many other medications require a medical card/registration? The only way to end marijuana prohibition is through the liberty movement.

  8. I live in Minnesota as well, and I would love to see marijuana legalized. I’m from the west coast where its so much more accepted. If any other minnesotants want to get together and fight with me to our medicine legalized, then find me on facebook. It’s about time Pawlenty stops living in the 1930’s and starts living in 2010… the year of marijuana legalization!

  9. I urge everyone to read the text of 1177. This bill does us NO GOOD , sure you get a ONE TIME break,if you call a $100 fine a “break”, BFD if you get busted a second time you get double the fines, read it…
    I will write all on the committee urging a NO vote.

  10. Nothing can really be done in Minnesota-as long as Pawlenty keeps vetoing bills, at least. Legislators won’t risk political capital fighting for a bill that will receive a veto they can’t override.
    If a pro-medical marijuana governor is elected, the legislature should be able to successfully pass a bill.

  11. Awesome, I’m excited for the Virginia bill, since I was arrested for possession of half an ounce before and I think it’s much more fair (and closer to decriminalization) to only be fined.
    Honestly, I think it’s funny that possession will have the same punishment as “setting off an explosive device in a prison.” I emailed my reps from my hometown and college town so I hope it helps.

  12. we will win we will defeat our evil policies. Fuck those people who don’t believe smoke all day in front of people. Talk about it. Know what to say to defend yourself. Fight, now is the time attack those who are nay sayers beat them down for once. we will win

  13. i would just like to say that i wish u all luck!! i live in oklahoma pot not allowed. i used to do it to wind down at nights and yes days too i have had rsd now for 16 yrars now and pot really helps u not think about ur pain for awhile. i dont knoe about yall but i think obama should leagleize it for all states. i will be going to a hosp. soon for 30 days, when i get out i want to give it acouple of months and i am going to D.C. i am going to wheel myself in a wheel chair, and walk for as long as i can. i have smoked for over 25 years day in and day out, and it DOES HELP WITH THE PAIN. i need to know how to go about getting sponsers for my trip. if i cant get any sponsers i will still make the trip. i cannot stand those of us who cannot get meds for no ins. i want to help them. please if u know how to get sponsers please help me out.
    thank-u for taking the time to read this god-bless
    carol v. psaute

  14. When it comes to collecting the profits and getting them back to Mexico in large wads of cash, however, cartel relatives and direct employees are on hand.
    Gangs and distributors take the proceeds from drug sales to networks of cartel cash collectors in U.S. cities who in turn use corrupt currency exchange businesses to swap small bank notes into $100 bills.
    Trusted with up to $20 million hidden in a single vehicle, traffickers use spotters at the border crossings into Mexico to alert them by text messages when they think it is safe to get through. U.S. customs only sporadically check vehicles heading south due to a lack of manpower, although the U.S. government has pledged to step up its south-bound inspections.
    Once in Mexico, the smugglers head to safe houses where, watched over at gunpoint, groups of mostly women and girls count the money by hand. The cartels wash their dirty money through businesses that can produce bogus receipts such as hotels and apartment buildings. The profits are kept in bank accounts in Mexico and abroad in places such as Panama, drug trade analysts say.
    Despite the global economic slowdown, business is booming.
    “Sometimes the cash is coming in so fast we can hardly deal with it,” said a trafficker handling drug profits in a car junk yard in Tijuana. “We have hours and hours and sometimes days and days just counting money,” he added.
    Using the conservative estimate of 40 billion dollars going to the cartels,how many trucks would it take carrying 20 million dollars each(if 20 million in $100 dollar bills will fit in a semi) to move that 40 billion? And not 1 has been caught?
    As the UN drug czar has stated that the only reason most of the major banks in the world did not fail in this financial upheaval was drug money,I believe this story was bought by the banks,to draw the attention away from their laundering and transferring the cartels cash.
    Using the same 40 billion dollar estimate and the estimate by the DEA that 70% of the cartels cash flow is for marijuana ,what would 28 billion untaxed dollars not leaving our country,but being spent for washing machines,tv’s,and cars instead of marijuana,do for our stressed economy,if we were allowed to grow our own?
    Using the governments estimate of 2,000,000 marijuana users in America,how much would each toker spend to achieve 28 billion
    dollars of marijuana money?
    Using an estimate of $3000 per year per toker,how many actual tokers are there in America spending that 28 billlion?(I used my estimated cost ,per year as an average,some spend more,some spend less)
    Crunch the numbers people. The ONDCP,as required by congressional mandate ,is lieing about the number of marijuana
    users in America,as he has lied about nearly everything else about marijuana.
    – ClayUS January 16, 2010 7:19AM

  15. I want to go to pawlenty’s house and have a MFing protest. I can’t believe that in our country, 1 man can keep thousands (at least) of people in his state from having medication that will help them. He calls himself a christian? I don’t think Jesus would deny cancer patients the right to alleviate their pain and nausea. If he had chemo, I guarantee he’d be down for smoking a joint or two.

  16. I am so happy to see TN starting to take notice of national trends towards legalized marijuana law reform. Marijuana reform, though it is taking longer for the south to catch on and even though republicans are far lagging for favoritism of reform, is a subject that crosses both ideologies of the democratic and GOP party lines. Thank you NORML for all your hard work!!

  17. I would like to see a site where an E-Mail can be sent to EVERY political person in the ENTIRE COUNTRY. Not just the politicos in the state in question need to know how strongly we (the people) feel about this, politicians in EVERY state need to know. When I send an E-Mail to my rep, it’s not really just meant for him, it’s meant for every rep in every state. Please, someone, anyone with the skill to do this create a site that will allow “Send to ALL”.
    [Paul Armentano responds: Elected officials generally ignore communications that come from outside of their own district.]

  18. If you’re state isn’t listed and you want to get into activism, check out You can watch some great videos on cannabis and hemp, then send the links to friends, family, potential MMJ patients (like those you know w/ chronic pains, migraines, etc.).
    If you want others to join the fight along with you, you need to actively help in educating and informing them on the truths of cannabis prohibition. Have them go to

  19. leaps and strides in just the last few years my state (Ca.) will hopefully implement tax/regulate laws and hopefully this will be the first step of many to reform these opressive,civilrights stripping laws nationwide.

  20. Enough of people arguing why marijuana should not be illegal. I want to reverse the arguments and have the government argue to the public why they justify it still being illegal. I think that would expose their useless laws and principles concrning marijuana.

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