NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

Marijuana law reform legislation is pending in over twenty 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.

Massachusetts: State lawmakers have reintroduced legislation, HB 1371, that seeks to legalize and regulate the “production, distribution, and sale” of marijuana to adults. The measure has been referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. You can learn more about how to support this legislation by contacting MassCann, NORML’s Massachusetts affiliate here. You can also contact your House and Senate members and urge them to support legalization by going here.
Washington: On Tuesday, February 8, members of the House Committee on Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness heard testimony in favor of HB 1550, which allows for the state-authorized cultivation and distribution of marijuana and marijuana-related products. You can view archived video from this hearing here. The Committee is anticipated to vote on this measure on Friday, February 18. Last year the members of this Committee rejected a similar measure by a 6 to 2 vote. Urge them this year to vote ‘yes.’ You may contact the members of this Committee here or contact your individual House member here.
Hawaii: Members of the Senate Joint Committee on Judiciary and Labor and members of the Senate Committee on Health on Friday, February 4 voted in favor of Senate Bill 1460, which reduces 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 violation punishable by a fine of not more than $100. You can read NORML’s testimony in support of the bill here. You can contact your state lawmakers in support of the measure here.
Maryland: Over 20 members of Maryland’s House of Delegates are backing legislation, HB 606, to reduce the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $1000 maximum fine) to a civil offense, punishable by a $100 fine, no jail time, and no criminal record. House Bill 606 has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, February 22nd at 1pm. You may contact the members of the Committee here. You can follow the progress of HB 606 on Facebook here. If you reside in Maryland, you can contact your Delegate in support of this legislation by clicking here.
Indiana: Members of the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters on Tuesday voted 5 to 3 in favor of Senate Bill 192, which calls for a legislative review to be conducted by the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee later this year. The measure now awaits action from the full Senate. You can contact your state Senator and urge him or her to endorse the measure by clicking here. Additional information on this and other marijuana law reform efforts in Indiana is available from Indiana NORML here or on Facebook here.
Montana: Bad news to report from Montana. On Thursday, February 10, members of House of Representatives voted 63 to 37 for HB 161, which would repeal the state’s existing medical cannabis law. The measure must be reapproved during a final House vote (third reading), which will likely take place imminently. If approved by the House, the measure then goes before the Senate. There has never been a single state medical marijuana law that has been repealed. Do not let Montana be the first. Please make sure that your state elected officials heard from you. You can contact him or her via the Montana NORML website here or via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here. You can also visit Patients and Families United Facebook page here for up-to-date information on pending hearings and votes.

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

32 thoughts

  1. Its wonderful to see these things goin on in so many states. Be it possitive or negative. But its so discouraging to sit back and look at the big picture. It looks very bleak. But the future has yet to be written so maybe it’ll happen one day.

  2. Montana may have a State republican goon squad that bullies around the members within their party. Like the congress during George W Bush first term. That is not democracy.

  3. Go ahead Montana! Repeal that law the voters chose to enact with 62% voting YES. From now on it’ll be the repeal of the prohibition of personal use, and the establishment of legal retail taxation and sales. C’mon! Please think forward. This isn’t 1970.

  4. Well, it looks like the Anti’s are in full swing here in the state of Montana: Quote, Billings Gazette, 2/16/2011: HELENA — A Billings group is launching a $20,000 weeklong, statewide television advertising campaign to ask Montanans to urge their state senators and Gov. Brian Schweitzer to support repealing Montana’s 2004 law legalizing medical marijuana.
    The ad will be taped Thursday and will begin running on Tuesday. It will feature some kids talking about marijuana getting into schools.
    Cherrie Brady of Billings heads the group Safe Community, Safe Kids, which is running the advertising campaign.
    Brady said the theme of the TV ad is that “our kids are in trouble and that medical marijuana has penetrated the schools.”
    “Schools are pretty much under a gag order,” she added. “We’re hoping to expose a little of what’s going on in schools.”
    Brady said school officials have told her privately that there’s so much excess medical marijuana in Montana that kids are selling it all over schools and that some kids are prostituting themselves to obtain it. Law enforcement officials have told her that they can’t police the use of marijuana in the schools because it’s often consumed in brownies and candy, she said.
    “It’s crossing boundaries,” she said. “It’s not just the bad kids. They have star athletes (using marijuana too).”
    The House, on a preliminary 63-37 vote last week, passed House Bill 161, by Speaker Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, which would repeal the state’s voter-passed medical marijuana law. It is expected to face a final House vote soon before heading to the Senate.
    The article is here http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_f60c2380-4a87-55d7-9ffe-bccd719a40d0.html
    with more ‘Reefer Madness’ lies and propaganda for your reading pleasure…

  5. Rep. Finney has done a great job at introduced HB 2330 The Cannabis Compassionate Care Act. If you saw what happened last year with HB 2610 then you know the chairperson.Her contact information is Rep. Brenda Landwehr- 785-296-7683 or email @ brenda.landwehr@house.ks.gov.Message: I would like for Rep. Landwehr to support a hearing on HB 2330 the cannabis compassionate care act as soon as possible!
    DO NOT LET HER SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG AGAIN!
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kannabis-Project/177880335581350?sk=wall

  6. I wanted to share an excerpt from an email that I received today from Mr. Seitz, a senator in Ohio, with some good news! (I did not post the complete email because I did not receive permission to do so). Ohio is currently looking for ways to save money by reducing imprisonment for non-violent offenders. Here is what he wrote to me:
    “…Under SB 10, first time F-4 or F-5 nonviolent drug offenders will now be unable to be sentenced to prison, but rather will be subject to intensive probation for 3 years and sent to prison only for violating the terms of the probation. Also under SB 10, the mandatory drug penalties on marijuana were reduced….”
    This proposal is currently in the Criminal Justice committee.

  7. I think NORML should make a correction about states repealing medical marijuana laws. Arizona passed a medical marijuana law at the same time California passed prop. 215 in 1996. That initiative was progressive like prop. 215 in that it did not limit the conditions people could qualify to use medical marijuana and itn allowed for personal growing. The Arizona legislature repealed that law soon after it was enacted. Arizona did not regain medical marijuana until last year with a bill that was inferior to the 1996 bill in that it excludes people from having medical marijuana if they do not have specified conditions and forbids the home growing of cannabis for patients once a dispensary is established that is considered within reach of the patient. Since I am a hypertension patient and it is uncertain to me whether hypertwnsion could be considered a qualifying condition the 1996 Arizona law would have guarunteed my safe access to my medicine but the 2010 law may unjustly exclude my from my medicine. Unfortunately since I live in New York I do not have any access to my medicine at any time. What I fear may happen is one one the following possibilities:
    1: the law could be repealed and access for patients could never be regained
    2: the law could be repealed but a subsequent initiative could put intto power a much more restrictive intiiative which would deny access to some patients such as myself
    3: the law could be changed and access would be denied to some patients such as myself
    4: the law could be changed but a proper regulatory environment could be established and access would not be denied to any patients.
    If the first possibility occurs all patients loose.We will for the second time, Arizona in 1996 being the first time have a state loose its medical marijuana law.
    If the second or third possibilities occur patients like myself would be made into sacrificial lambs. Only if the fourth possibility occurs would justice be done. We must move heaven and earth to pass a bill that properly regulates and preserves medical marijuana for all patients not just a select few. Some patients should not be made into sacrificial lambs so that other patients may have their medicine. Such a compromise which lets some patients become sacrificial lambs hurts all patients everywhere throught the world.
    [Paul Armentano responds: To clarify, Arizona’s Prop. 200 was written in such a way that its provisions pertaining to medical cannabis posed a direct conflict with federal and thus could not be legally enacted. State lawmakers ultimately did repeal several provisions of the initiative but did leave others in place.]

  8. I Pray To GOD
    May GOD Take the miserable souls who call them drug warriors, hang them and on a large barge, dump their useless bodies into the deepest part of the sea.

  9. enso – boy ,
    YOU HAVE BEEN TRICKED & they are succeeding in fooling the populace, too . Just like the anti – Drug people (example ; Drug free America ) they are sponsored by pharmaceutical, tobacco and Alcohol .
    I’m telling you the truth, they are the Devil themselves with all their lies & many methods of deception and you, too along with everyone else have been duped .

  10. Note ; Alcohol & pharmaceutical always use children to battle their competition and never will mention Alcohol, tobacco or pharma. costing the many lives of our children . DON’T BE FOOLED .
    ” Satan’s most powerful tool is deception “

  11. The basic fallacy of prohibition is that keeping cannabis illegal actually prevents people from using it.
    The focus of reformers must be to educate the public that prohibition doesn’t significantly affect consumption, but rather serves only to maintain a thriving black market which enriches criminals and drug cartels.

  12. I am a patient from a nearby state and liked that Montana honored visitor patient rights. I spent money and time yearly to vacation there because of that. I will have to vacation/spend elsewhere if they go back to the dark ages.

  13. Talk talk talk, Blah blah blah, Same old same old yet nothing substancial ever changes. People not in the streets for any of their beliefs, we have become a shadow of our former selves. Now the big Pharm companies will have their way and will soon take natures blueprint and make it their own to sell and distribute to the masses.
    While we watch our fingers type furiously….so sad

  14. Just so those that don’t know can be let in the loop, SB 5073 and its companion hb 1550 in Washington has more to do with making it hard for DR’s to help patients and making it MANDATORY to register your home address and personal Info in there database, than it does anything to actually help patients.In fact if this passes it will put more hardships on patients and there providers than EVER before. Please read the full bill here http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5073.pdf
    Not all change is good…
    If you live in Washington and want to support REAL change please sign the 2011 Initiative I-1135 and remember to VOTE in November!
    [Paul Armentano responds: HB 1550 is not a companion bill. It is a separate legislative measure to legalize and regulate the “production, distribution, and sale” of marijuana to adults.
    http://www.capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=24023501
    SB 5073/HB 1100 is the legislation specific to expanding the state’s existing medical marijuana law.
    http://www.capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=22061501
    There is no reason why activists can not support reform via BOTH the initiativ and legislative process.]

  15. We have a lobbyist at our capital. We have many websites in Kansas that support at least medical use of cannabis. We have a petition on KS HB 2330 that needs all our Kansas signatures now. We have website that can connect us all together. The time is now for us to come together and get our legislators motivated.
    http://www.change.org/petitions/kansas-cannabis-compassionate-care-bill-hb2330
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kansas-Teapot-Party/122154237847185#!/pages/Kannabis-Project/177880335581350

  16. Will someone please tell me where to find the facts that the statement from the Kaua’i County Prosecutor is false? Do dispensaries do the below?
    “The trouble began after the ACLU learned of the county’s first press release regarding its plans to hold the rally.
    It includes a quote from County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, who stated that if the proposed marijuana bills passed, they would result in increased violent crime, economic crisis, and a higher rate of marijuana usage among children. It also stated that police chiefs and prosecuting attorneys from the four counties stand united against this “dangerous legislation.”
    “It cannot be disputed that the overriding purpose of the rally is to persuade constituents to lobby legislators to vote against the pending bills, HB 1169 and SB 58,” the ACLU wrote in its complaint letter.
    Citing Stanson v. Mott in the California Supreme Court, the ACLU argued that the expenditures for such matters would raise potentially serious constitutional questions.”
    http://thegardenisland.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_4ed87e18-3bf7-11e0-9012-001cc4c002e0.html

  17. Please include Tennessee SB 251 introduced by Beverly Marrero, “Safe Access to Medical Cannabis Act.” We could use the press and the help. It has been coming up year after year since I can remember (and im kinda young; but went throug 3 sub comm. last year). Senator Beverly Marrero and her staff deserve the help.
    [Paul Armentano responds: NORML has been working with her office for some time now. The alert for this bill is here: http://www.capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=24963501.%5D

  18. 16 THE TRUTH DOCTOR
    Of course you’re absolutely right. The greatest trick My Evil Brother ever pulled off is making us think he doesn’t exist.
    While My Evil Brother promotes our children’s best interests – they advertise directly to them at their eye level – below the parent’s level of their awareness – and – parents follow their lead like a bunch of sheep.
    We Genesist are sick and tired of Our Evil Brother using our children for pawns and human shields. And our children are fed up too – just ask them.

  19. 16 THE TRUTH DOCTOR.
    WHAT DO WE KNOW FOR SURE?
    My Evil Brother – Prohibs [pot-phobic or not] believe that the end justifies the means – and have the means to justify the end. They will lie, cheat, and steal to have “their way” – and – praise God for doing it in their name. It very well may be that it’s not that they want it – they just don’t want us to have it. “Competition is a sin” it was remarked, and so it exists today.
    My Evil Brother – Prohibs are killing us with a thousand cuts. Yesterday they cut us, today they cut us again, For sure – they’ll cut us tomorrow. They’ll cut us everyday – until we bleed to death. Reality says: “They let us win one here and there” [yet still] enforce their will regardless of their loss. They are the epitome of “It’s mine! mine! mine! – and – you can’t play with it. More or less – “A typical spoiled brat.”
    WHAT DO WE KNOW FOR SURE?
    My Evil Brother – those prohibs that have profited by its prohibition, can now profit from its FDA Aproval – by using the natural extract of cannabis [in pill form with graduated dosage] as a schedule III substance – at the same time – leaving the whole plant material in schedule I, and remaining federally illegal – their “Competition is a sin – Non-Competition Clause.” They’re very simply saying: “You can have the orange juice – but – you can’t ‘touch’ the orange” It’s ours and we’re going to control it – and – profit from it [you can expect to pay top dollar]. So! – As as a profit making ex-prohib, they might be having trouble with their declaration of side effects and disclaimer – as there are none. “What are they going to do with that empty space where a health warning used to go.”
    SIDE EFFECT:
    Caution: You may experience a great nights sleep, waking refreshed in the morning. Excessive relaxation may occur on the following day after its consumption.
    WHAT DO WE KNOW FOR SURE?
    When we legalize something – “IT’S LEGAL” – and will follow the law of which its codified – in this case – PHARMACY. Pharmacy Law is tough man! really tough. What we know is – “If you’re not a licensed pharmacist holding your prescription from a licensed doctor – you’re in jail. Federal Law trumps State Sovereignty and there is no such thing as collective – unless – Ya! the “Unless Clause” you are a certified grower for the government or are Con-Agra, Monsanto, or Archer- Daniels-Midland.
    Well! you get the point!
    Manny
    Genesis – San Diego Colony

  20. The Montana repeal is being led by Mike Milburn. Mr. Milburn takes money from the liquor industry and yet wants to put more people in jail for using marijuana. Here’s the money trail:
    Montana campaign finance:
    http://campaignreport.mt.gov/forms/candidatesearch.jsp
    Milburn 2010 contributors: Beverage industry (root beer?), Tavern Association, Law Enforcement, Gaming industry, Attorneys… All groups that are trying to protect their own pocketbooks by locking people up for using marijuana. Mr. Milburn wants to put your kids in jail for using marijuana, at the same time that he’s taking money from the liquor industry.
    http://campaignreport.mt.gov/ Check committees for “Tavern” “Spirits” “Beer” “Hospitality” “Beverage”
    The Cascade County Independent Tavern Association has been pouring money into the political process. That’s Mike Milburn’s home district. Now he wants to lock up more people for using marijuana.
    http://campaignreport.mt.gov/ Check committees for “Tavern” “Spirits” “Beer” “Hospitality” “Beverage”
    The Cascade County Independent Tavern Association has been pouring money into the political process. That’s Mike Milburn’s home district. Now he wants to lock up more people for using marijuana.
    There are MANY contributions from the liquor industry. Montana, don’t let the liquor industry lock up your kids for using marijuana!

  21. With all of the legislation on weed beeing taken seriously in the states taking progressive measures to legalize marijuana. I hope that more conservative southern states begin to take notice and start the process for the decriminalzation and legal distribution of medicinal marijuana throughout and below the bible belt.
    The good lord himself proclaimed that man could partake from any plant minus one, which was not Cannibis.

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