NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

Marijuana law reform legislation is pending in over a dozen states, and progressive measures have been pre-filed in many more. Below is this week’s edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up — activists’ one-stop guide to pending marijuana law reform legislation around the country.
** 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 to make the changes they want to see.

Washington: A coalition of House lawmakers have introduced legislation, House Bill 1550, to legalize and regulate the “production, distribution, and sale” of marijuana to adults. “[T]he legislature intends to promote commerce and competition within Washington by eliminating penalties for the possession and consumption of cannabis, regulating and taxing the sale of cannabis by state government, and licensing cannabis growers,” it states. The measure has been referred to the House Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. You can contact the Committee and your own House member in support of HB 1550 by visiting NORML’s ‘Take Action’ page here.
Massachusetts: Legislation that seeks to legalize the adult recreational use of cannabis will be introduced in the Massachusetts House imminently. Separate legislation to allow for the physician supervised use of medical marijuana has also been pre-filed and will be reintroduced in both chambers this legislative session. Further details about these efforts and how to support them is available from MassCann, the Massachusetts affiliate of NORML, here.
Indiana: Senate Bill 192, which calls for a legislative review of state marijuana policies, is pending in the state Senate. Says the bill’s sponsor: “Every year, we spend countless dollars pursuing these non-violent offenders. This study would provide an assessment of the actual costs to our criminal justice system including the impact on law enforcement, prosecution, and sentencing. It will also provide members of the public with the opportunity to voice their opinions on the state’s current policies and other options for regulating marijuana.” To contact your state Senator in support of SB 192, please click here.
Oklahoma: State lawmakers for the first time will consider legislation that seeks to exempt qualified medical marijuana patients from statewide criminal penalties — penalties which are among the strictest in the nation. Senate Bill 573 seeks to create the “Compassionate Use Act of 2011” which states, “Oklahoma Statutes relating to the cultivation of marijuana shall not apply to a patient, or to a patient’s primary caregiver, who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician.” To support this effort, please click here.
Medical marijuana law reform bills were also introduced this week in Delaware, Idaho, and were pre-filed in Maryland. For more information on ways to supprt these proposals, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action’ page here.
Montana: On Tuesday, members of the House Judiciary Committee tabled House Bill 33, which sought to improperly define marijuana consumers as “drugged drivers” even if they are neither under the influence nor impaired to drive. NORML thanks those of you who took the time to call and e-mail members of this Committee and urged them to reject this draconian proposal.

To be in contact with your state officials regarding these and other pending legislation, please visit NORML’s Take Action Center here.

20 thoughts

  1. This is truly wonderful news. I guess the pres. saying it is a genuine topic of debate may have had an affect after all. However, I saw it says over a dozen states, but only a few of them are listed. Which others are there, and is there any news at all about Ohio?
    [Paul Armentano responds: Ohio’s medical marijuana bill has been pre-filed. The full list of states is here:

  2. let me just say its 3:30 am in Indiana and i cant believe what i read we never have pot friendly legislation im going to get my mind right and come back to reread it

  3. At # 3 :
    Ya, the fact that Indiana is even thinking of changing the laws is huge. What does that say about our movement?

  4. President Obama on Thursday called drug legalization “an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” but quickly added “I am not in favor of legalization.” my response is simply, Put Up or Shut Up Mr. President! The debate you claim is “an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” is long over due. We the People have been a…sking this Government to give us this debate and debate this issue like reasonable human beings. The government’s response has “shocked the sense of fair play,” they have openly lied and mis-informed the general public for since 1937. Mr. President we want this debate! We dare you to set this in motion and since you clearly stated, “not in favor of legalization”, you and your party should put up or shut up and defend Prohibition. We the People will bring it on, set the ground, we’ll debate who ever you send. All we ask is that it be live and transparent to the public.

  5. Mr. Armentano,
    I appreciate the link, but it took me somewhere else. When I finally found the list, Ohio wasn’t on it. Is there a different link you may have been thinking of?
    [Paul Armentano responds: The link goes to the page where NORML lists all pending legislation that NORML is championing. Ohio’s bill, as I responded previously, has been pre-filed. That means that it has been written but not yet filed in the legislature. When it is, we will add an action alert re: it to NORML’s Take Action page.]

  6. You missed one. Medical marijuana bill introduced into the Tennessee senate 1-27 SB0251 “Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act.”
    [Paul Armentano responds: Yes, SB 251, “Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act,” was filed yesterday. This is the reintroduction of legislation championed by NORML last year. TN NORML last year retained a lobbyist to support this measure, which had numerous legislative hearings and passed out of multiple committees.]

  7. A man in Colorado was sentenced today to five years in federal prison for growing too many marijuana plants in his basement after he was interveiwed by a reporter that asked how much money he would be making growing his plants for medical purposes. Now the news said he was not allowed to use the states medical marijuana law in his defense. What good is the law then if they can send you to jail anyway?
    [Editor’s note: The case in point has the man growing many more cannabis plants than Colorado law allows…had he stayed within state limits, he would not have attracted the fed’s malevolent attention. When in federal court, one can’t cite state law as a defense. Terrible, but true.
    The lesson learned: Loose lips sink ships.]

  8. I saw the U-tube interview with Obama…I say Obama was stoned….Play it again and check it out!!!

    Medical cannabis is legal in a third of the states – pending in another third of the states – but – until it’s pending and “past” in all fifty states the possibility of total federal legalization doesn’t stand much of a chance. Our objective should be directed at sovereign states [then] the feds won’t stand a chance. Wouldn’t it be better to advance against a platoon rather than the whole damned army?

  10. Bar-T Lake Co, Tn. Colony
    10. mountainDude
    is on 1-27 SB0251 “Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act.”
    Let’s have a coordinated discourse on Tennessee. Let’s hear from its individual colonies.
    mountainDude – what’s your thoughts?
    Tennessee Activist – where are you?

  11. We know – the tail is wagging the dog. Our challenge is – how long are we going to let the tail grow? Certainly – no longer than it is right now. So! its our objective to let the dog know that “We the People” are about to bob its tail – and – it better be a good dogie, abiding by the will of its master [We the People]. We’ve had a terrible habit [history] of kidding ourselves – but – that’s history and we have no intent of letting history repeat itself. The best way to find out if we are serious is to test it. Well! test away tail! Get your toes on the line!

  12. This is a question for the religious crowd here. Is there a website I can go to get info on the Genesist faith? I smoke mostly for recreation, but it forces me to look at life’s problems when I have been idle – which is one major component to any religion. I am a devout Christian, and am also extreme right of center. (You might say I am a God-fearing hippy-Bush). Every time I search for “Genesist faith”, I only get Bible references. So, is there a site for your denom?

  13. 17.Luke
    “The Reformation”
    Genesis I:29,30,31
    First – can I suggest Christians for Cannabis.
    Second – All monotheist religions can declare their faith in Genesis. The Genesist Faith does not alter one’s religion – it simply follows God’s word in Genesis. By declaring your faith in Genesis, you would be a distinguished Christian Genesist.
    Third – Our attorney [a NORML attorney] and Genesis are working on a Faith based web as we speak. We can be directly reached at for up to date information.
    Finally – we have posted our Faith’s political concerns throughout many boards with NORML. Please join in our discourse. Let us know what Colony [county] and state you are in so others can form a stronger bond in that Colony. Genesis is a worldwide faith based community.
    Have a great CDXX Communion,
    San Diego Colony

  14. 17 Luke
    Here are the current posts that may answer your question.
    Post 1. Normals Weekly Legislative Round Up – 13, 18.
    Post 2. President Obama’s Response – 86.
    Post 3. Mainstream Media – 24.
    Post 4. Ask Obama Top 100 Questions – 28, 56, 62.
    Post 5. President Obama to Answer Online Questions – 14, 30, 59 + 82.
    Post 6. Reason on Marijuana – 12.
    Post 7. Connecticut Law Review – 25, 57, 61, 66, 72.
    Hope this helps you understand what it’s all about.
    Good Communion
    San Diego Colony

  15. It is all well and good to talk about the advancement of MMJ legislation or voter referendums in new States, or dare it even be mentioned, some advancement toward re-legalization. I hate to be the contrarian voice of discord on this blog, but what of the apparent loss of MMJ rights in those States that already have, by voter referendum or State legislature, already established some measure of MMJ liberty.
    I can attest to the very real discrimination against MMJ patient rights in the one State that has had MMJ the longest — California. No doubt some of this discrimination can be attributed to the failure of Prop 19, which by it’s flawed nature has stirred up not only discontent by MMJ proponents, but also re-invigorated the police state|nanny state reactionaries opposed to not only re-legalization but also MMJ itself. Not only are the driving rights of MMJ patients threatened, but also their employment and housing. The will of the people, expressed by both voter referendum and by State legislature, is being suborned by reactionary DA’s, politicians, and police departments — hardly by small “d” democratic process, but instead by regulatory persecution and edicts of legalist constructs.
    Want housing in California? Are you a State-legal MMJ patient? Good luck with that endeavor. Police departments at the County as well as incorporated city level are colluding to strip MMJ patients of their lawful rights, in their use of “Crime Free Lease Addendum” which quote the enforcement of Federal [21 USC 802 J Section 102] code rather than State criminal code. This effectively eliminates or nullifies CA State code regarding Prop 215 and SB 420, without benefit of any voter “interference”.
    I have seen this Addendum or one very like it applied to mobile home park lot leasing agreements in Lake County, and in apartment rental agreements in Solano County. If there is no equal protection under the law, then effectively there is no rule of law — it has been usurped by the Powers That Be, in a decidedly undemocratic show of force. The political party in power at the local level seems not to matter one whit, Democrat or Republican, but more a matter of an alliance of police departments State-wide in collusion with the Federal LEO (DEA) authorities to abrogate the small “d” democratic process. In nearly any other country in the world, this would be considered the oppression of tyranny over the will of the people themselves.
    Hopefully, something short of the recent unrest seen in Tunisia and Egypt will occur to shift the balance the power of government in favor of the people themselves … until that occurs, the suppression of the subjugated people continues.

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