NORML’s Weekly Legislative Update

Lawmakers around the country are debating a record number of marijuana law reform bills in 2010. NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up is your one-stop guide to pending marijuana law reform legislation around the country, along with tips for influencing the policies of your state.
** 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.

Hawaii: Senate lawmakers approved a series of bills last week that seek to reform the state’s marijuana laws. Senators voted unopposed in favor of SB 2450, which seeks to reduce penalties for the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine to a civil offense. You can read NORML’s recent commentary and testimony in favor of this measure here and here. You can voice your support for the measure here.
Senators this week also approved Senate Bill 2141, an act to increase the quantities of medical marijuana that a patient may legally possess under state law to ten plants and five ounces at any given time. Lawmakers approved the proposal by a 24 to 1 vote. Lawmakers also voted in favor of SB 2213, which would establish ‘compassion centers’ to provide medical marijuana to authorized patients. All three measures are now before the House for consideration. You can learn more about these proposals here.
Washington: House lawmakers on Wednesday, March 3, voted 58 – 40 in favor of an amended version of Senate Bill 5798, which would expand the state’s nearly twelve-year-old medical marijuana law. Because the House made minor amendments to the bill, it now must be re-approved by the Senate — who previously had 37 to 11 in favor of the bill in February. If enacted, SB 5798 will allow additional health care professionals – including naturopaths, physician’s assistants, osteopathic physicians, and advanced registered nurse practitioners – to legally recommend marijuana therapy to their patients. Under present law, only licensed physicians may legally recommend medicinal cannabis. To learn more about this measure, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action’ Center here.
Rhode Island: House lawmakers this week for the first time introduced legislation to legalize the production, distribution, and personal use of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. As introduced, House Bill 7838: The Taxation and Regulation of Marijuana Act, would exempt adults from any statewide criminal or civil penalty for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, engaging in the not-for-profit transfer of small amounts of marijuana, and/or the cultivation of up to three marijuana plants. The proposal also establishes licensing requirements for the commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana via retail facilities. The measure states that “at least one” marijuana retailer shall exist per county within one year following the passage of this act. To learn how you can support this act, please visit here.
New Hampshire: Next Wednesday, March 10, House lawmakers are scheduled to vote on House Bill 1653, which would amend penalties for possession of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine, to a civil offense punishable by no more than $200.00. Members of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee previously voted 16 to 2 in favor of passing the bill, and NORML anticipates that House lawmakers will do the same. However, Democrat Gov. John Lynch has threatened to veto the measure. Contact information and talking points for Gov. Lynch may be found at NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.
Massachusetts: The Joint Committee on Judiciary held a hearing on Tuesday to debate SB 1801, which seeks to “regulate and tax the cannabis industry” in Massachusetts. You can watch video from the hearing here, and you can contact your state elected officials in support of the measure here.

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

0 thoughts

  1. Illinois needs to get on that map! Good luck to all those states pushing for reformed laws!

  2. Sadly…nothing in Iowa. =(
    My state representative wrote me back and told me he wasn’t going to support any pro-cannabis legislation. =(

  3. Moderator-I don’t know where else to ask questions we need a forum type thing on here, anyway.
    I read on another site cbs changed they’re mind about running norml’s ad in time square,are we gonna except they’re changed point of view’s or are we saying we had enough ????please answer????????

  4. damn Brandon that’s so messed up dude…..
    wow i wish i could have a voice of all so all could here
    cannabis is god
    god is freedom
    freedom is me smoking my cannabis without anyone telling me different
    no matter what drug who’s more powerful than i or you not him,i hope.
    We are all created the same,so why’s he, they get to choose my style!

  5. @Chadwick
    That is very strange…I would hope it’s simply a mess up, but if not, that’s absolutely insane.

  6. Oklahoma senator Cliff Aldridge (R) LITERALLY BRINGS GUNS TO THE DIPLOMATIC TABLE during medical marijuana advocate discussion at capitol.

  7. #3 its ok cuz the Iowa Legislation and the state of Iowa will go broke jus like Cali is now. Which is sad because they wanna wait til this states broke as fuk n then then talk about it. If it were me id do it b4 we even started goin broke . that would be too good though or the right thing to do these fukers r too stupid

  8. Brandon Roberts, I’m in Iowa also. I never got word back when I wrote my reps. This sucks, I’m in the middle of limbo in the legal system, waiting on my sentence. It is unfortunate that our reps don’t support logic and reason.

  9. This whole decrim argument is less of a penalty for cannabis users but the $200 and/or whatever fine/time is still basically a getting-caught tax/punishment. I’m so sick of this shit. I want outright legalization for recreational and medical use.
    What’s the strategy for NYC now that CBS has decided to allow NORML’s ad? 4th of July Hemp Festival in Times Square, New Year’s Eve, something else timed to get the NY state legislators to go pro-cannabis. What would happen if NYC would legalize along the lines of Oakland, California?

  10. By the way # 3 Darin Beck is running for Iowa legislation i believe this yr,which could be a good thing cuz he’s said he wants to cut unneeded spending in Iowa Im from Iowa myself,Waterloo as amatter of fact

  11. Am very pleased to see that Washington state has included naturopaths, physician’s assistants, osteopathic physicians, and advanced registered nurse practitioners. Am also pleased to read that intractable pain (defined as pain unrelieved by standard treatment or medications) is on the list of approved medical reasons.
    Something that does bother me though, perhaps this can be of use to you NORML in the future, is that Chiropractor’s were not included. The reason I bring this up is because I’ve had two falls injuring my right lower back. The first fall was severe and the first thing I did, after I was able to catch my breath, was call my Chiropractor for an appointment that day. I knew if the back was to get any better it needed an adjustment and not a pain pill or muscle relaxer from the Medical doctor.
    The second fall was approximately five years later striking near the same area and of course, my first call was to my Chiropractor.
    If anyone realizes what real physical pain a person’s body is going through, it’s a Chiropractor.
    We are either moving to Washington state or Colorado and while Colorado would be closer to friends I’m hoping for the job in Washington state to come through first because of the snarled mess in medical mj allowed recommendations to date.
    Of course this will all change when Cannabis is re-legalized but I’m not getting any younger and this body is not getting any better.

  12. Legalization will occur,but we are going to have to take the right to smoke marijuana from the federal government one state at a time.
    If we were just fighting the industrial lobbies that buy opposition to legalization,we could vote out their handmaidens.
    If it was just the ONDCP,eventually they will have to cut their budget,China wont loan us any more money and Japan is sinking fast.
    But then you add the Judicial system,including the Supreme Court. All Judges are lawyers and the amount of money lawyers make defending marijuana cases rivals ONDCP’s budget. How many friends of the Judges would help hang the Justice that derails that money train.

  13. Good to see so much is happening. Go Hawaii ! Its about time the laws were more in line with the islands will.
    Anyone know whats happening in the IL State House on SB 1381 ? SB1381 is IL’s medical marijuana bill that already has passed the state senate. Winning IL would be huge considering its the 5th largest state for population and would be the 2nd largest medical marijuana state behind CA.
    [Paul Armentano responds: IL NORML Has several lobby days scheduled on behalf of SB 1381. Please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ for dates and details.]

  14. illinois patients go to facebook and look up ILLINOIS CHAPTER~ASA (American’s for Safe Access) GET INVOLVED, GET OFF THE COUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. ckdk30 I lived in Waterloo for a time , great college town. Dont worry all . Iowa will change its mind . Our nation is changing. The insanity our leaders profess as the right thing is now being seen as not representing Americans. The more they fight us the more shit hits their fan.

  16. @ Chadwick #1 :
    Ya what is with that? 2050? Is that a joke? typo? Or has some asswipe prohib slipped that in under the radar? 2050? whats the point of making a law that isnt good untill 2050?

  17. i just got a DUI and will prob. be on probation for two years.. our beloved governor in the state of minnesota vetoed medical marijuana although it passed everything else just needed his signature… they are pretty stubborn and still consider marijuana to be a threat to young kids. i wonder if they have done any research on the other 14 states??? its a medicine plain and simple…. anyways back to my story.. so yeah i got pulled over cuz i had 3 beers around 7 at a friends house watched a movie and eat some food fell asleep and about 3 am i woke up and went home.. well in the small town i live in his excuse for pulling me over was “isn’t it a little bit late to be driving around” im 25, their is no curfew or anything like that…just a small town. i have ulcerative colitis and itp (low blood platelets). he put me in handcuffs and made me do the sobriety tests which im sure i did fine…i dont drink that often since me and my girlfriend had a beautiful little girl. only on the weekends if we have time for a beer or so. and i use marijuana because it ease my stomach pain.. the doctors in rochester supposily the best clinic in the world never seen U.C. and ITP together so they wanted me to stay there and be their guiny pig… i AM A HUMAN BEING not an object! i hurt and now that i cant use marijuana its only going to get worse with bleeding… if i get caught with marijuana in my system on probation they could take my daughter away from me… what do i do or if anyone can help.. life just kinda sucks, thanks america. kepp us all in pain so we can either be dead or just like you(tim pawlenty)

  18. nuuge–
    Maybe you should consider joining the doctors in rochester, not just as an “object” but as a partner, based on putting in the hard time writing a detailed diary of observgations on your health progress and re(ad)searching the conditions you are concerned with diligently on the innanet. I’m sure those doctors have the clout to get you furnishings in liberal tolerant rochester and “don’t-have’to-drive-to” jobs for you and girlfriend and a “village” to hang with that benefits the baby.

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