NORML’s Weekly Legislative Round Up

For a listing of all of the pending marijuana law reform proposals that NORML is tracking, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here. (For a map of pending legislation, please visit here.)

Hawaii: House and Senate lawmakers could not come to agreement on Senate Bill 1458 before Friday’s legislative deadline, killing the measure for this year. As amended, the measure sought to restrict patients’ access to medical marijuana and would have imposed an exorbitant tax on the sale of medical cannabis via a single, state-licensed dispensary. As a result, NORML and our local allies The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii had withdrawn its support for the measure. NORML and DPFHI will continue to partner in our efforts to work with legislators to enact sensible marijuana law reform in 2012.
Maine: Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety will hear public testimony on Tuesday, May 10, in support of LD 1453, which seeks to regulate the commercial production and distribution of marijuana for adults over 21 years of age. You can support this effort via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here, and you can watch a recent press conference in support of the measure here.
Montana: On Friday, April 29, Gov. Brian Schwietzer announced that he intends to allow SB 423 to become law absent his signature. Senate Bill 423 repeals the state’s six-year-old medical marijuana law on July 1, 2011 and replaces it with entirely new provisions created by the legislature. The stated intent of this measure is to reduce the number of state-licensed medical cannabis patients from an estimated 28,000 today to less than 2,000.
Among the most serious changes in law:
* Chronic pain patients will face more stringent requirements to qualify under the law, and in some cases may require a recommendation from two separate physicians;
* Patients found guilty of marijuana DUI will have their medical marijuana privileges revoked; Advising physicians will be reported to the Board of Medical Examiners if they recommend for more than 25 patients per year.
* Physician will be responsible for the costs of this investigation;
*Caregivers may accept no monetary compensation for providing cannabis to qualified patients.
A full summary of SB 423’s provisions is available here.
Montana NORML is still encouraging advocates to pressure the Governor to change his mind and veto SB 423. You can contact the Governor’s office and leave a message at: 406-444-3111. Montana NORML is also contemplating the possibility of taking legal action and/or initiating a citizens’ referendum to delay or block the implementation of this law. For more information on these efforts, please contact Montana NORML here (or on Facebook here or contact Patients and Families United here.
Washington: Democrat Gov. Chris Gregoire on Friday vetoed sections of Senate Bill 5073, which sought to license and regulate the dispensing of medical cannabis to qualified persons, and would have enacted additional legal protections for patients who voluntarily participated in a statewide registry. In her veto statement, Gov. Gregoire alleged that the licensing and registry provisions “would open public employees to federal prosecution.”
Governor Gregoire did sign into law provisions in the measure reaffirming that qualified patients and their caregivers possess an ‘affirmative defense’ against state prosecution (Section 402 and 406). She also codified provisions of the measure that extend legal protections to patients or caregivers who participate in a ‘collective garden.’ A summary of the sections of SB 5073 that were approved, as well as a summary of sections that were vetoed, is available here and here. Additional information is available from the Washington state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) here or via Washington NORML here.

31 thoughts

  1. Here’s a question you can ask anyone opposed to repeal of prohibition:
    “Would you rather 1. allow someone to smoke a joint and not go to jail, or 2. would you rather support them in prison at $54,000.00 per year – provided they don’t have medical issues which increase the tab by $14,000.00 per year.
    Require an answer [then] be silent.

  2. I understand Gov. Gregoire’s concerns, but sometimes you have to take risks, even if it would mean legal troubles from the federal government. Marijuana is still being treated like a scapegoat, but hopefully the government will protect our rights!

  3. Medical Marijuana is lame.
    Studies show that 89% of “Medical Marijuana” patients are between the ages of 18 and 27 years old…really.
    When have the youth of this great country become so slight so dependant.
    If you want to smoke then smoke! Dont hide behind some bogus transparent facade. Face life head on and not head high.
    [Paul Armentano responds: “Studies show that 89% of “Medical Marijuana” patients are between the ages of 18 and 27 years old…really” Please cite these studies; I’m all ears — really.]

  4. Despite rough start with SB 423, which calls for cruel and unjust laws to be enacted, May is going to be a good month for medical marijuana advocates, and 2011 a great year. We’ve experienced a few road bumps on our way to to the decriminalization of cannabis, and will experience more before reaching our goal. Speak out against SB 423!

  5. I fvcking hate NY, nobody ever move to this state unless you like getting raped with taxes and considered a criminal for smoking a plant. NY is a false “decrim” state, they’ll still throw your ass in jail and take away your financial aid for school if they nail you for pot…and trust me these incompetent NY cops only care about pot.

  6. complete legalization, both industrial and medical, by ballot initiatives, will be the only end to the matter. or spend years and billions of your tax dollars for lawyers and politicians following their own agenda’s and the agenda of big oil, big pharmacy, big alcohol, big cotton, big lumber, and even bigger government. that’s the answer. which propaganda is it that you still believe? it’s your choice, either rally the majority or suffer the agenda’s of lawyers. it’s your tax dollars and their propaganda.

  7. 5. Donna
    Your words are falling on deaf ears. We are quite indifferent to your phony balogne comments. Save your breath.

  8. Government Agenda, cannabis, and global domination.
    When it comes right down to it – “The Bottom Line” – our psychopathic government has callous, unconcerned feelings for its citizens. It has reckless disregard for its citizens – and – an incapacity to experience guilt. It has no moral conscience or fiber – it has no soul to save.
    At this very moment – We the People of the United States of America – are being “set up – played by the dark force – for global domination and control” of the worlds most widely used, and least dangerous substance, known to man. It’s all about global control, global profit, and global industry. That’s “The Bottom Line” – that’s what its all about! – that’s “The Nitty Gritty.” This psychopathic government has grown out of the industrial age – to fill the Robber Baron’s coffers – and – nothing has changed since the 20th Century.
    God save us all.

  9. It just kills me that marijuana is prohibited even on the island paradise Hawaii. I’m pretty sure the native Hawaiians don’t approve of this anymore than the native Americans approve of the 10 year sentence that Patricia Spottedcrow got for selling a mere $31 worth of marijuana to a proud undercover police officer in Oklahoma.
    Even worse is that I’m appx. 99% sure that President Obama would truly enjoy smoking some fine herb on a beautiful nice Hawaiian beach. And – unlike 99.9999% of us, he could do something very powerful to make that happen for himself and all of us.
    Please God – let Gary Johnson be our next president! If you do, I promise I’ll start going to church again!

  10. Tough week for the legislative roundup…
    Meanwhile, here in PA, we have plans to build some new prisons.
    I say 5-6 years for PA decrim, 10-12 years for PA legalization and 20+ years for federal legalization.

  11. Those predictions are, of course, largely contingent on what Washington, Colorado and California do in 2012. Even if just one green lights the green, I suspect the rousing success it will become will help other states move closer to regulation as well.

  12. Our forefathers are no doubt rolling over in their graves. If they were here, with us today, crocodile tears would be rolling down their cheeks with the knowledge of what has happened to their country. In this country – their country – you can be anything you want to be – unless – a prohib tells you that you can’t. How does that make you feel? It’s time to step up to the plate.

  13. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!
    I’ve repeatedly said – “Prohibs will wear their shame on the bosom of their souls.” This, in no way, compares to the “SHAME” I bear for our present government [not our country]. It’s the 2012 Main Event – Pride v. Shame. I pray each day that we can turn jeers into cheers in 2012 and once again hold our heads high as proud Americans. God bless We the American People and God bless America.

  14. If only you had the same conviction to true political disgraces. Na better just to be high…right. (American Gen)
    89% is from front page story in Time magazine (Paul). When it came out I posted on this site; asking why NORML made no mention of it…you guys never touched it.
    *Please note: I am for the COMPLETE LEGALIZATION of marijuana. Medical Marijuana is a backdoor attempt to that end but do to greed of man the MM movement only assures that full legalization of marijuana will never happen. Why? As soon as the Gov and Pharm companies see that there is profit to be made they will never give it up…never!

  15. 24. Donna
    Big Pharma and government “know” the profit in the worlds most used substance, and “have” taken over the substance on a global basis, as a global industry, for global profit. Everyone is going to get a piece of this action [world’s most used substance – world’s greatest profit]. Thus – a systematic shut down on all cannabis involvement opposing government control [extortion] – and – a propaganda machine armed with every mendastic tool in their tool box.
    Donna
    Quote: If only you had the same conviction to true political disgraces. Na better just to be high…right. (American Gen)
    Donna
    Well! – CDXX Communion is always good – but – explain “same conviction to true political disgraces.” Note – I have spent my whole life studying the dark side of government. This I can tell you – “Behind every great fortune – there’s a great crime.”

  16. We ares so glad that the governemnet has momney galore to waste on the war against marijuana smoking US citizens.
    They will get the revenue by cutting off life support systems to keep US elderly alive, since it it costs money to treat the old people nad since they are no longer productive working citizens, it is probably just as well, in the eyes of the rich, to let them end their misery, since keeping them alive topay the bill would probaly give the patient a heart attack anyway.
    Another source of revenue will be to throw the old folks out of the nursing homes, since they cannot afford to apy the bill, and the Republicans certainly do not want that to be covered by medicare. After all, it costs a lot of money to keep those old people in the nursing homes. It is just as well they sell the home, I guess, even if one of the old people in the married couple still lives there.
    It is not important that many people lose thier homes because of medical bills they cannot pay.
    It is more important that US spends tax payer revenue to kill another enmey whihc most really do not care if alive or dead, especially when we feel betrayed about US Governemnt insincerity to cut wasteful military spending abroad, which includes aa few hundred billion wasted to make sure people do not smoke marijuana, while alcohol and tobaco are just fine.
    How is it that the normal individual still had a very difficult time believing that he US Government is acting for the better welfare of its citizens. We are more inclined to believe that government officials routinely betry the interests of the poor to enrich and empower themselves and their financuial backers only…i.e. It is hard to believe any governing offical does not have hhis mind coerced by special business interests of ne type or other.
    Legalization is intensely opposed by the commercial entertainment industry: especially all those places which sell alcohol
    Having people sitting at home and making own food while smoking a joint and watchint internet video will simply deprive certain businessess of the revenue they think they deserve.
    For many of us, these types of spending is called discretionary, and going out to spend ($100 or so) is a lot for dinner and drinks and it is just not as appealing as it once was considered to be..

  17. Government spends a ton of money fighting cannabis – but – they take in more revenue by doing it. The more income justifies the more out go.

  18. Money spent on the war against drugs is not “discretionary spending” – it’s “discriminatory spending.” They are discriminating against our religious use. They would all be behind bars now if not for their phony Compelling Justification and Prior Competing Governmental Interest Clauses. Both violate the Constitution and are voidable. Prohibs are voidable as well – so – it’s up to us in 2012 to clean house, and have a field day.

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