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.

Virginia: Members of the Virginia House Courts of Justice, Criminal Subcommittee are scheduled to hear testimony on Wednesday in favor of House Bill 1134, which seeks to dramatically reduce the state’s marijuana possession and cultivation penalties. Representatives from NORML’s national staff and state affiliate will be in attendance and testifying in support of this measure. You can read NORML’s written testimony to the subcommittee here; NORML’s letter in yesterday’s Washington Post appears here.
Virginia residents are urged to contact their House delegates today. If your delegate is one of the members of the House Courts of Justice, Criminal Subcommittee, then it is especially important that he or she hears from you today. Phone and e-mail contact information for these members is available here. A pre-written letter will be e-mailed to your Virginia state House member when you go here. Finally, those seeking to attend Wednesday’s hearing in Richmond should contact Sabrina at Virginia NORML at: sabrina@norml.org for further information. You can also track the legislative progress of this effort on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/vanorml.
New Hampshire: Lawmakers on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held hearings last week on two pending proposals, HB 1652 (legalization) and HB 1653 (decriminalization). You can read NORML’s written testimony in favor of these measures here, and you can voice your support for these efforts here. You can also watch video highlights (and lowlights) from last week’s hearing, care of our friends at New Hampshire Common Sense, by clicking here.
Colorado: Members of the Colorado Senate, Health and Human Services Committee are scheduled to hear testimony Wednesday morning regarding proposed state regulations to Colorado’s medical marijuana law. You can read more about these controversial guidelines here, here and here, and you can contact members of the Committee here.
Washington: House Committee lawmakers rejected a pair of marijuana law reform proposals last week that sought to remove criminal penalties for the adult, personal use of marijuana. You can see how House members voted here. A Senate companion bill to decriminalize marijuana possession, SB 5615, still awaits floor action and can be supported by going here.

For information on additional state and federal marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.
[UPDATE!!! For folks interested in the progress of New York’s pending medical marijuana legislation, there’s this report from today’s New York Times.]

0 thoughts

  1. I think ya’ll need to change that caption to: “I’m not a criminal, I’m a cannabis consumer.” The whole pot smoker thing carries a lot of negative connotations with it.

  2. I’ve said it before, get the petitions for complete legalization going in each state where a ballot initiative can be voted on by the people. it’s the only way to bypass lawyers and politicians getting there fingers in the pie. it’s all about the control. didn’t the legislative from california think his vote counted for more than the majority of californians.his lamentation that the courts ruled in favor of the will of the people should invoke a wake up call. the british are trying to get control.california’s court system had to recognize what the ballot initiatives passage meant.isn’t the legislature in michigan trying to circumvent the 72% majority of the voters by taking away their right to grow their own marijuana. if we wait on legislatures to craft the laws, you will never have the liberty granted by the Constitution. get the petitions, make it for complete legalization, without lawyers and politicians stealing your right to life,liberty, and growing your own medicine for pennies, growing your own clothing, growing your own fuel oil, growing your own tobacco replacement for cigarettes, cleaning your own environment, replacing paper from trees to paper from hemp. all the special interests now have free reign to contribute as much as they want to any candidate. what happens when they flood the ballot with several candidates who they’ve bought and paid for? the wealth of america has been stolen by wall street and corporate lawyers, we are entering a new era in government control, controlled by big alcohol, big pharmacy, big tobacco, big oil,and big government agencies who rely on your tax dollars to enslave you to there interests. the petitions, for complete legalization, now!

  3. I strongly disagree with (almost) all the negatives my representatives brought forward in the hearings. Was hoping for a different outcome but expected this one. still supporting decrim SB5615 though(WA).
    @randy nc: ‘pot’ is slang, so I agree in that light, but I also wonder if there’s a way to dissolve said negative connotations.

  4. There is also a NEW YORK STATE PETITION ! to LEGALIZE MARIJUANA !!! GO TO THE NYNORML WEBSITE THEN GO TO THE “GET ACTIVE” LINK ON THE LEFT SIDE , THEN SCROLL ALITTLE DOWN TO #2 TO CLICK ON THAT LINK ! GET THOSE PETITIONS SIGNED !

  5. hey man i know this isnt the time or place but i think ohioans should help to make medical marijuana kegal it could help me in so many ways first im epalptic and the cannaboids help with regulating my brainwaves i also hae slight add but i see no difference when im high like right now i just get lost in trance and then im 16 and like 5 11 and ive lost 12 pounds in less than three weeks due to my medication amphetamines and i cant eat while on them its like eating when ur full it just hurts i think thousands of ohioans could also use marijuana for the healing properties i contains so those in ohio please do somethign to make it legal as i cant sorry im high its hard to do this sorry my spelling sucks

  6. Change.org is asking for more ideas…. I am asking that Marijuana be removed from a Schedule I substance (I think you would all agree this should happen).
    Please go vote and tell your friends to as well (you have to sign up with change.org first):
    http://tinyurl.change.org/OCWVx
    Yeah… I realize this may be glossed over once again, but it doesn’t hurt us to keep pressing the issue!!! The vote gathering will go on until Feb 18th and we need to make sure this idea gets to and stays in the top three. I emplore you to take two minutes and sign up and vote. Pass this around on facebook, myspace, twitter, and any other pro-pot websites so that we can get the most attention as we can.

  7. I wonder to myself, time and again, if it wouldn’t make sense to take the battle from an offense perspective, not a defense. To push it as far as the very Constitution and to argue on the grounds that the destruction and illegalization of such a plant is detrimental to the overall health of nature. To approach it in the legal arena as a crime against both humanity and nature. If people could do that, I think it would knock the nay sayers for a loop and put them in their place.

  8. #7 – Sorry Cory,
    We just happen to live in the most Fascist State in the U.S., I actually think Ohio will be one of the LAST States to Approve Medical Cannabis, But I am Still holding out Hope that, one day, We will be able to use it without being considered Criminals. At Least it Has been Decriminalized somewhat but DON’T get caught Growing it!!!!! They will Royally Screw you.

  9. We are the swing vote. The last 3 Presidents got into office by admitting to using, knowing we would vote them in with the hopes that they would work toward ending prohibition (because they are like us). Shame on us for falling for this for a 3rd time. We need to vote for them based on their voting history. Not based on false advertising.

  10. Isn’t it funny that although they refuse to allow medical clinical testing of marijuana,a pharmaceutical company can make hemp oil,cut it with a carrier fluid and use it as a spray in your mouth joint in a bottle?
    G&W Pharmaceutical,a division of Bayer,has a medicine in the final stages of clinical testing that is extracted directly from the hemp plant.
    Although the DEA and all the agencies under the ONDCP are required to fight legalization of any schedule 1 drug being legalized as a medicine,in any form,not a word from them and no busts for possession of a controlled substance,which they must have to extract the medicine from. And they are not being required to use the inferior marijuana grown for that purpose by NIDA. Supposedly the marijuana anyone is required to use for any clinical testing.
    It is a blatant attempt to make a medicine from marijuana,while keeping marijuana schedule 1,because if they can extract the medicine from marijuana,so can we. And if marijuana sprayed in your mouth is a medicine,why is ingesting marijuana not. The only difference is with the spray,all you miss out on is the fiber. I guess the fiber in the plant is the dangerous part.

  11. I think we reformers need to keep harping about the $14 billion legalization can haul in. I’d put it bluntly: That’s $14 billion that we didn’t have before to give businesses tax incentives to create more jobs, in addition to the cannabis jobs created that will come above ground and be taxable income. I would just come right out and say it to prohibitionists. Gotta a better idea how to come up with $14 billion we didn’t have before? No. Lead, follow or get out of the way. No. Just stop talking. No. Just shut up.

  12. Instead of worrying about legalizing cannabis why don’t you people put this much ambition into feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless, and curing the moral ills of this planet. Marijuana is illegal for a reason, I’ve been a Police Officer for 16 years and I have seen it destroy many families lives. Prohibition works people…
    [Editor’s note: Thanks for expressing your naked self-interest as a cop. The law reform movement is blessed by opposition like you. If prohibition works why do children have more access to untaxed and unregulated cannabis than drugs like alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals? If prohibition works why do so many people, notably youth, have ready access to cannabis? If prohibition works, why does such a large segment of society support law reforms? If prohibition works why did someone just get busted while these sentences were being written (i.e., arrest every 38 seconds)?]

  13. “The only difference is with the spray,all you miss out on is the fiber. I guess the fiber in the plant is the dangerous part.”
    reply to Clay Gooding
    there is nothing dangerous about cannabis.
    the hemp seed is a gift from god , a full balanced oil
    you could run the entire planet from this plant.

  14. Herbs are considered to be nature’s gift to mankind.
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